Balancing the Federal Budget with an Exise Tax on Stupidity

I long ago reached the conclusion that the dream of every political hack and influence-peddler since the days of the Roman Senate is to find something to tax that is both abundant and something that no one would miss, even it were taxed into oblivion.  After years of searching for such a commodity, I have discovered that it would be matter of exquisite simplicity to balance the federal budget and replenish the Social Security Trust Fund, by imposing a federal excise tax on stupidity.

Why would you want to tax stupidity?

In the above paragraph I noted that what is needed for a tax base is something that is both plentiful and present in unlimited amounts.  Obviously, only stupidity meets both criteria.

How would such a tax be levied?

If there is one thing that Congress has perfected to an art form, it’s levying taxes.  All that is needed is to determine the amount of tax to be assessed and then define what constitutes stupidity.  Once those minor details are taken care off, all we have to do is sit back and watch the money start rolling in.

Any tax on stupidity would, of course, be progressive.  This means that each subsequent incidence of stupidity would be taxed at a higher rate than the previous incident.  The trick would be to maximize revenue without encouraging a reduction in the amount of stupidity.  Given the current state of American politics, and society in general, this shouldn’t be a major problem.

Can you explain that “progressive” part again?

A progressive tax is one that increases in proportion to the amount present of whatever it is that you’re taxing.  Under the current system, the more money you have the more you have to pay.  At least that’s the way it’s supposed to work.

Under the new system, you would still have to pony up more money for each act of act of stupidity but each act is going to cost you more.  For example, say that the first act of stupidity results in a tax of $1,000.  The second act of stupidity would cost you, say, $2,000; the third $4,000; the fourth $8,000 and so on.  Simple mathematics demonstrates that, after about the 20th act of stupidity, not even Bill Gates could afford to be stupid.

Who decides what is stupid and what isn’t?

Stupidity will be defined, and the appropriate tax levied, by a Blue Ribbon Commission on the Identification of Stupidity that will consist of 18 members. 

The 9 Permanent Members of  the Commission will be  the 9 currently-sitting Justices of the Supreme Court, with the Chief Justice acting as the Presiding Chairman (or Chairwoman) of the Commission. 

Three members will be chosen by the Permanent Members from a list of candidates submitted by the President of the United States, with the advice and consent of the Senate being duly noted, considered, and then ignored. 

The final three members will be selected at random from the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area telephone directory and serve until the publication of the following year’s directory.

All members of the Stupidity Commission will be paid a salary that is based on the average income (for the preceding three years, and after deduction of the necessary stupidity taxes) of Sean Penn, Paris Hilton, and a member of the Kennedy family to be chosen by lot.

In the interest of integrity, no member of the Executive or Legislative branch of government may act as a member of the Commission until at least two years after leaving office.

What about those with less financial resources?  Will they be prohibited from doing and/or saying anything stupid?

No, not at all.  The act will contain a provision for what will be known as the Earned Stupidity Credit which will consist of vouchers that will be issued to low-income families at the end of each year and redeemed as needed when a family member commits a taxable act of stupidity.

Who would be stupid enough to agree to such a scheme?

Have you watched C-SPAN lately?


One Response to “Balancing the Federal Budget with an Exise Tax on Stupidity”

  1. Uncle Buck Says:


    Uncle Buck

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