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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Asshole Tax


I think everyone will agree that freedom is a good thing. We should have lots and lots of freedom. However, you can’t always get away with doing anything you want if it bothers someone else. It’s like the old saying goes, your freedom to play the accordion ends where I am in range to hit you with a pillow case filled with pool balls. Just because we like freedom doesn’t mean that everything people do in the name of freedom should be free.

No one said that pissing off your neighbors by revving your Harley Davidson was going to be free; first you have to buy an over-priced motorcycle and an assortment of official Harley Davidson accessories which make you look like a stunt double for one of the Village People. Dew rag, wallet with chain, leather vest; it's hard to tell if you are trying to look threatening or going to a Halloween party. You can get away with unbelievably obnoxious conduct if you are willing to pay to have things ironed out for you after you finish. Just ask OJ. If you have the money you can have a three-egg bald eagle omelet for breakfast, kill someone in a drunken driving incident after lunch, and then top off the day at the Netherland Ranch doing some things that would make a Catholic priest blush. No one said that living in the sewer was going to be cheap; that's why we have lawyers.

There are all sorts of things that fall into the category of bad behavior which are still free of charge. With America’s infrastructure crumbling down beneath us, I think it’s time to start generating a little revenue from a lot of anti-social behavior that has been free thus far. We’ll call it the asshole tax. You can keep on being you, no one wants to impinge on your freedoms, but from now on a lot of what you think is normal conduct is going to cost you. Being an asshole isn’t a right, it’s a privilege. It’s time people paid for that privilege.

We’ll start off by putting a meter on car horns. Wanna blow your damn horn? Go right ahead, but it’s going to cost you $5 every time you touch it. You get fined for speeding and other obnoxious acts while driving, so why shouldn’t people have to pay to honk? Blow your brains out, big guy. We need to rebuild a bridge in Minnesota. Feel like blasting the stereo in your little Fast and the Furious-mobile? It’s going to cost you $20 for every decibel over 90. Flashing lights and deafening dance beats seem more suited for a gay nightclub than a vehicle, but that’s just my opinion. It’s a free country as they say, and from now on you need to pay to keep it that way.

Have the need to talk on your cell phone in a movie theater? No problem, the phone companies can tack on a surcharge of $1 for every syllable that comes out of your fat, pop corn-stuffed gob. The phone companies are already the masters of taxes and extra fees. If there is one thing the phone companies are good at it's charging for shit. They will be able to figure out the logistics of this add-on before you finish reading this essay. Are you going to finish? Is anyone still reading?

We could charge people for writing offensive and not-very-funny essays on the internet. That seems fair to me, but then we’ll also have to charge anonymous trolls for leaving comments completely lacking in wit. I think that there is enough asshole-ish behavior going on that if taxed properly America can be completely rebuilt and looking like something out of the Jetsons. Lord knows that taxes won't reduce the number or severity of assholes but we may as well make some money from our collective incivility. The Internal Revenue Service is America’s most ruthless and powerful organization. I think it’s time we introduce the IRS to America’s lone gunmen, Al Qaeda terrorists, HOV lane violators, and passengers who insist on using the front overhead bins for their luggage even though they are sitting in the back of the plane. If we can’t stop’em we may as well charge’em.

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