The Alabama Moderate

Painting the Red State Purple.

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Gambling, Smoking, and Sales Tax! Oh My!

Posted by ALmod on March 23, 2009

There are some important votes coming up tomorrow in our state legilature, and I figured it’s high time I said something about these issues.

The budget. Please, for the love of all that is holy, get this done.  I realize that, in Alabama, it’s tradition or something for this to not get done.  I think I speak for most people in this state when I say that we wouldn’t miss this tradition.  I realize that some cuts have had to be made mostly because we’ve lost a lot of revenue in sales tax, which brings me to the next thing…

Sales tax on groceries. It’s time to cut the cord.  We have become far too dependent on a regressive tax.  I don’t mind higher income taxes, though I doubt I make enough to be affected by the increase.  At least income taxes are proportional to what I bring in.  Unless you suddenly require less food to survive  when your paycheck is smaller, I doubt you could argue the same about sales tax on groceries.  Yes, I do hold the whole “tax=bad” mentality, but I’m also realistic.  Taxes are needed to fund schools, public servants, road repairs, and all sorts of things.  I’d rather that we pay taxes as is proportional to what we make rather than have those who make the least be expected to pay out the higest percentage of their paychecks.

Bingo. It’s not your grandmother’s card game anymore.  That’s a shame.  I liked the card game.  But again, I’m a realist.  If you want to gamble, you’re going to gamble.  Prohibition doesn’t change that.  Meanwhile, groups will skirt around loopholes and put up establishments while we get chump change in return.  Legalize it and create a gaming commission to regulate it and tax it so that we can actually benefit from something that (let’s be honest) we’re already allowing.

Smoking ban. This is where you’ll see me disagree with a lot of Libertarians.  I have no issue with smoking tobacco being legal.  I have an issue with not being able to go a restaurant or other public establishment (or get a job in one) without having to breathe it.  Yeah, I’ve heard all the “blah blah your choice to eat out” arguments.  The way I see it, in areas where there are no regulations on smoking areas, I have the choice to stay home.  Period.  Smokers choose to smoke just as much as nonsmokers choose not to.  The difference is that there are no negative health consequences from being forced to breathe clean air.  “But I’d have to step outside to smoke, and it’s cold out there.”  Wah, wah…  I”m not forcing you to eat your entire meal out there.  Smoking is a legal choice, but it’s not a necessity.  Being able to work without being forced into an asthma attack is a necessity.  Yeah, I suppose I have a choice whether or not to work there, but considering today’s economic atmosphere, not everyone has that luxury.

The state constitution. I have mixed feelings on this.  It’s ridiculously bulky and makes it near impossible for local goverments to make necessary changes that they actually want to make.  However, it has also saved the citizens of JeffCo from the actions of their comically nonsensical county commission.  I’d let the people vote.  I’m sure we can draft a new constitution that would allow for the best of both worlds.

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3 Responses to “Gambling, Smoking, and Sales Tax! Oh My!”

  1. BrokeSnake said

    In respect to the State Constitution, I believe “ridiculously bulky” may be quite the understatement.

  2. […] Alabama Moderate blog wrote up a concise overview and his opinions on the bills called Gambling, Smoking, and Sales Tax! Oh My! It’s really good. Check it […]

  3. ALmod said

    “In respect to the State Constitution, I believe “ridiculously bulky” may be quite the understatement.”

    lol! I think you could be right.

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