Monday, July 20, 2009

Getting Taxed Out the Butt

To paraphrase Harrison Ford in "The Mosquito Coast":

"Toilet paper is civilization."

Of course, he said "ice" and he made a good case for it, but I think affordable and plentiful toilet paper could just as easily qualify.

Others disagree, and if they prevail, you could well be taxed out the butt. Literally.
Someone inside EPA has brought to my attention how Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer has proposed legislation calling on a federal agency to define toilet paper.

Really. It says it right in the bill, the "Water Resources Protection Act" (I know, I know — you were expecting it to be called the Protecting Infrastructure and Sewer Systems Act):


‘(b) WATER DISPOSAL PRODUCT. — For purposes of this subchapter —

(4) TOILET TISSUE. — The term ‘toilet tissue’ means toilet tissue, as determined under regulations prescribed by the Secretary."

No, it's not as silly as it sounds. It's sillier.

The rulemaking to define what rises to the level of a bottom-wipe is in the name of a good cause: to tax the stuff. The current band of feds don't think you've paid enough tax — this has been established ad nauseum — and now want a dedicated revenue, er, stream, to pay to replace corroded pipes and overburdened sewer sytems nationwide.
Believe it or not, Rep. Blumenauer is proposing a 3 percent excise tax on toilet paper, toothpaste, cosmetics and cooking oil because all of this stuff eventually goes down the drainpipe.

You may be wondering where in the U.S. Constitution it provides that the federal government worry about such things, but then you would be less focused on the ass-end of American life than certain congressmen.

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