Salem, OR: In the upcoming legislative session, Oregon lawmakers are set to consider imposing a tax on fuel-efficient vehicles for revenue lost from drivers not purchasing gasoline. The law would affect any vehicles getting over 55 miles per gallon, which means drivers of most hybrids and electric vehicles, the same people who take jobs away from garbage men by recycling and composting. Studies show that this same population of drivers also occasionally ride bikes rather than driving, which is essentially tax evasion.
This new bill has touched off a new era in government regulation. Billy McExxon-Mobil, Oregon policymaker who assures us he has no connection whatsoever with any major gas companies, explained, “Too long have governments been limited to taxing what people do. What about what they don’t do? I mean, there’s some damn good money to be made there.”
State governments all over the country are following Oregon’s example. In Montana, lawmakers are set to vote on imposing a tax on former smokers and alcoholics to make up from revenue lost from them beating their addictions. In Montana, this law would be nicely complemented by the lack of sales tax, which would make it more economical for people to take up their old habits.
In California, an energy tax is being considered. That is, businesses and homes that have been built or renovated to be more energy-efficient will be taxed to make up for lost revenue. Especially hard-hit will be those who have solar panels and smart grid technology, who lawmakers claim “are just showing off”.
Washington considered complementing is recent legalization of marijuana with a tax on not smoking. The bill would have been enforced by random searches of citizens for possession of marijuana cigarettes and paraphernalia. If someone was found not to possess either of these, they would be subject to a fine. The bill was voted down on the grounds that the fine would likely rarely be assessed.
This move has extended to the federal level, as well. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program is being changed to the Energy Sad-Face program, where products that consume less energy will be labeled with a big red sad face, while highly wasteful alternatives will be labeled with a red white and blue smiley face wearing a pollution mask. In another striking move, the words “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” will be changed to “Revenue, Revenue, Revenue”.
This type of thinking was picked up by proponents of legislative reform. A bill was proposed to put a tax on Congress for not passing worthwhile legislation. The bill was locked in committee for six months, brought to the floor with several additional riders, filibustered for a year and finally tabled last week.