I’ve written a couple of times recently about the sales tax that my suburb’s City Council is about to shove down our throats, even though 72 percent of voters said “No!” to a property tax increase last year.
One of the popular ways to sell a sales tax increase is to tell people it’s “just a penny.” I mean, nobody worries about a penny here or there, right? Take a look at this comment left by a woman on a local newspaper’s website:
“I don’t have a problem with the increase. IF people could do math…eh hemm..like when tipping at a restaurant…they would realize it’s ONLY 1 cents on a dollar that THEY choose to spend. It’s not like it’s 100s or 1000s of dollars like when they were trying to raise our property tax.”
This woman is apparently too ignorant to realize that pennies add up to millions of dollars. The increase (which is a whopping 50 percent hike from the city’s previous sales tax) is expected to raise about $5 million a year. That’s a lot of pennies.
This woman also doesn’t seem to understand that the new tax will take hundreds or thousands of dollars over the year from individuals and families — not just the penny she’s happy to pay — just like the property tax she said she opposed. She also doesn’t understand that it’s not like a tip at a restaurant. With a tip, you decide whether the service is worth it. The state arrests you if you don’t pay taxes. Slight difference.
What can you do when people are this ignorant? What conclusion can you come to other than to realize that as long as the majority have the power to take your money and make up rules for your life, there’s no logical or practical limit to what they might irrationally decide to do to you.