Funny Names, Sad Commentary - "BoTax," "Tummy tuck tax," "Vanity tax," "Nose job tax"

By Dr. Sutton Graham on July 28, 2009

Today various news outlets are reporting that the Congress or Obama administration are proposing sales or excise taxes on elective cosmetic procedures. This might include cosmetic surgery, non-surgical cosmetic injections, laser treatments, and others. It might also include Lasik vision correction, tooth whitening & hair transplants.

Lawmakers and interest groups pushing expanded government health care proposals are responding to revelations that their proposals will be much more expensive than they initially claimed. They are having to come up with taxes that appeal to a broad majority, even if they unfairly take from significant minorities of citizens.

If folks want these expensive programs, they are going to have to have major new taxes to pay for them. It is sad that proponents of reforms haven't been able to propose broad taxes that take from all that will benefit from the proposals. Why not simply raise general revenue tax rates on everyone. Narrowly focused taxes are politically more palatable, but create ever more complex tax laws and enforcement bureaucracies. They are fundamentally unfair.

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