They Want to Ban the Food We Eat and the Bags We Use

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Taxes

Share with your friends

The modus operandi of liberals is to confiscate consumer products that work and saddle us with inefficacious replacements – usually brought to you by their corporate cronies.  That’s why they’ve banned Thomas Edison’s light bulb and replaced it with the curly french-fry bulbs supported by those with the best lobbyists.  That’s why they seek to ban cars that aren’t paper thin and don’t work on 54.5-miles per gallon of gas.  That’s why they have infringed upon our right to purchase ethanol-free gasoline.  That’s why they seek to ban the plastic bag and replace it with…who knows?

The main threat to our freedom to choose plastic bags is coming from state and local governments.  Many state legislatures are considering bans or taxes on the use of plastic bags in stores, while a number of local governments have already implemented these anti-liberty restrictions.  Two years ago, D.C. implemented a 5-cent per bag tax on both paper and plastic bags.  Earlier this month, The Beacon Hill Institute, a phenomenal free market think tank, conducted a study on the deleterious effects of this nanny-state tax.  Here are the key findings:

  • Instead of raising $3.6 million in revenue for FY 2010, the bag tax only raised $1.5 million.  That’s because plastic bag use was down 80%.  It’s amazing how liberals cannot see a supply-side tax lesson even when it hits them in the face, and even when they are actually pursuing the very effects of supply side tax policy.  The more you tax something, the less of it you get. In this case, the desired result was to decrease plastic bag usage.  But what happens when you tax success, Democrats?  Will you get more of it?
  • Economic losses related to the tax are likely to drive sales tax revenues in the city down by $163,500 for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011.
  • A rebound in bag consumption among shoppers is likely once the “shock” of the tax wears off. An estimated rebound in bag use by FY 2016 will:
    • Cost D.C. residents $5.73 million and lead to greater losses for the D.C. economy.
    • Employment losses will rise to 136 net local jobs from 101 in FY 2011, and aggregate real disposable income will to fall further by $8.08 million from $5.8 million in FY 2011.
    • Investment declines will increase to $1.58 million from $600,000 in FY 2011.

So how exactly does a plastic bag tax create jobs?