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Tax Till It Hurts

Last week I referred to one of the habits of segments of our society who encourage the government, any government, to impose taxes on parts of our daily life that are deemed to be undesirable, so that this will disconnect people from indulging in smoking, drinking, driving a car, or eating junk food.

Governments of all flavours have to impose taxes to finance the operations of governing. In my opinion that should be the only reason for imposing a tax, whether that is income tax, property tax, rates, stamp duty, death duty, even road tolls which arguably should never be privately operated.

Arguments will always crop up about State owned enterprises or monopolies and philosophical arguments should intrude into questions like “shouldn’t the government do something?” and “shouldn’t the government provide a service or money, or facilitate the provision of a service?”

Let these arguments continue by all means but tax should not be collected as a punishment or deterrent.