BY RICHARD NEBEL
“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” – Margaret Thatcher
This is a comment on the proposed half-cent increase in the Los Alamos County Gross Receipts Tax rate. So far we have had proposals to cut spending or to increase the GRT. Let me propose a third alternative.
Nobody likes cutting spending and the problem with the GRT is that it is a highly regressive tax. I’m sure that our local progressives don’t like regressive taxes. Consequently, I think that what we need is a Progressive Tax. Namely, we need to start taxing Progressives. If they want to spend the money, then they need to be the ones supplying it. Remember, we aren’t looking for an equal solution here, we are looking for an “equitable” one.
So, how might a Progressive Tax work? Obviously, a poll tax is illegal so you can’t tax people by their political affiliation. However, you can find out what Progressives like and tax it. For instance, we could impose a $10 tariff on all bottles of wine imported from California. This would not only increase revenue, but it would also give a boost to New Mexico wineries. A latte tax for all cups of coffee that cost more than $3 is another possibility.
Since our local state representative is the chairman of the House revenue committee, I’m sure that she will be happy to start moving this through the legislature. However, in the meantime let me suggest that the Los Alamos Democratic Party needs to open up a “Go Fund Me” account so Progressives can easily make voluntary contributions to the county coffers. Since we have a group of very sincere and generous progressive politicians in Los Alamos, I’m sure that they will be more than happy to cough up $10,000 – $20,000 apiece to help fix our revenue problems. If our local leaders will only lead by example, we can solve this problem without raising taxes or cutting spending. Let’s give them a chance to do this voluntarily. We will also solve the “Thatcher conundrum” and set an example for other governmental