If politicians had their way, your only freedoms would stem from their generosity and your willingness to comply with their latest schemes. Their benevolence should be the source of any all liberty and civility.
For years, the US government has been waging a War on Drugs. It’s been working pretty well. Depending on how you define “well”. Or “working”.
Big Brother has assured you that a weed that grows in fields is bad for you and won’t be tolerated. They waged a propaganda campaign to get the public to assume such a weed was bad for you, then used that to deprive you of your liberties.
Personally, I don’t want to risk my health and choose to stay away, but I never thought to force that view on anyone else.
Of course, the government is all too happy to “give” you liberties they took away in the first place, but only when they can tie their stick to the end of such carrot. Legislators are now discussing a “pot tax” that could bring in hundreds of millions of dollars by their estimation.
Funny how in The Land of the Free, government only cares about protecting freedoms when they can take a free ride on your dime.
Consider it part of the Bankrupt Government Playbook: government abandons all of the “principles” it long held so dear in exchange for a hit of its own crack – tax money from you. You should only be so lucky to be getting such generosity from them.
After all, they’re raising the white flag and surrendering. But desperate governments never really surrender. They just find another way to milk their own citizens.
The “pot tax” would do all of the traditional things politicians love to sell you: repairs for schools, help for the poor, peace and good tidings to all men. Makes you wonder what they were doing with the rest of the money you sent in before lightning struck and convinced them to tax you some money.
Politicians are already talking about the “much needed revenue” as if it’s their birthright. Whenever they misuse the money they have, they just find a new issue to flip-flop on and proclaim with a sense of pride how they’ve solved the problem by screwing their own people.
Just like Cyprus account holders being “asked” to bail out their banks, or the wealthy paying their “fair share”, it sounds good to say you’re going to take money from evil, dirty, disgusting pot smokers – the bane of society no doubt – and give it to crumbling schools so fifth graders don’t have a ceiling tile fall on their heads.
Much better than saying that we’re stealing from people we made into outlaws for our own benefit.
The government doesn’t think you own anything – even your freedom – unless they can put a bounty on it and send the tax collector after you.
After all, just look at how they’ve demonized smokers. And drinkers. And the rich. And business owners. And churches.
For all their talk of helping the average Joe, they’re only too happy to make Joe a villain and then demand a tithe from him to re-fill the coffers they drained on their bureaucracy.
In bankrupt California, a Berkeley city councilman has proposed an “email tax”, saying that the billions of emails sent every day could be assessed a “tiny” tax (don’t they all start that way?) and provide – you guessed it – “much needed funds”. You’d almost think California was a resource-poor Dust Bowl with no money coming in to begin with.
Some in the tech community have said the councilman was joking, that such a proposal would be impossible to implement. Yet a columnist at the Los Angeles Times already heralded it as a great idea and is calling for it to be implemented by whatever means necessary.
That’s how it starts.
Who are you to think you can just send emails to your family and colleagues all day and not pay the piper? How dare you deprive “much needed revenue” from the government and its Post Office? Politicians will always rob Peter to prop up Paul.
And before you think that the widespread use of email would prevent such a measure from gaining traction, turn the page in the Bankrupt Government Playbook.
It’s happened time and time again.
This is the page that says that, when needed, blame a hated entity, in this case, spammers. No one likes spam. So the government can proclaim that it is doing good and ridding the online world of evildoers by putting taxes on your email.
And this is how socialism and unfree societies are built: by government creating a citizenry of lazy people who depend on it to protect them from the most benign of foes at their expense of everyone’s liberty.
Because in the government’s world, you should feel lucky you have any of those liberties in the first place. In the nightclub of freedom, they’re the bouncer, and you have to grease their palm to get in.