Monday, October 13, 2008

Tax The Candy-Rich!

As an adult, I have to agonize every year about what to wear for Halloween. It was so much easier as a kid, since I didn't care all that much about my costume...I was in it for the candy. And we didn't really have money to invest in any materials for a costume, let alone a pre-made one; somehow, we made do and I freakin' loved Halloween anyway.

But the annual quandary remains: what to wear...what to wear?

After much thought, I've decided to dress-up as Barack Obama for Halloween. (Which, as a Cracker-Ofay-Mista' Charlie-White Devil- Honkie-American, probably makes me some sort of racist, but then again, what doesn't make me a racist in today's climate?)

Be that as it may, my costume will provide an excellent opportunity to provide the local urchins with an important "teachable moment".

You see, I intend to exact a "Windfall Candy Tax" from the little beggars, just as Mr. Obama intends to do to the oil companies.

(BTW, concept of "windfall profits" has a long and odious history in America. The phrase originated back when colonists were prohibited by the Crown from using any lumber one foot or wider unless an act of God such as a storm knocked down a tree on your property. In which case you were beneficently permitted to use the lumber or sell it; if a severe storm caused several trees to fall on your property, you were said to have windfall profits.)

Anyway, if it's fair to extort something from, say, oil companies, I don't see why it's not also fair to do it to "the children". Here's my rationale:

Oil companies, like nearly all American corporations, have rather large (as a percentage of revenues) expenses: payroll and associated taxes, equipment and materials purchases, maintenance and repairs of said equipment, R&D, rent and/or mortgages, liability insurance, construction costs, legal costs, other taxes and so forth.

They are also taking a non-trivial financial risk simply being in business.

But the little costumed scamps may have as little as $0.00 invested in their costumes. A ratty old bedsheet with a couple of eye-holes makes a perfectly acceptable "ghost". A corrugated box with a few holes and some dials drawn in magic marker makes a fine "robot". Actual cost of either costume: effectively nothing; no financial risk involved.

Which means that each and every miniature Charleston Chew, Baby Ruth, Mike & Ikes, etc. represents pure profit to the revelers. I'll even be fair and decree any licorice, popcorn balls or jellybeans as "bad debts" and "write-downs", since nearly all kids hate that crap.

Yet even with that exceedingly generous concession, every single tasty little morsel in their sacks is pure profit without the beneficiaries having risked a single penny. And that strikes me as flat-out un-American.

So I will explain patiently to the little costumed darlings that since they're receiving the boon of "unexpected" goodies, they must forfeit 40% of their candy to me. Because I am far too old to get away with directly availing myself of Halloween's largesse and thus am capriciously declaring myself to be a "deprived due to no fault of my own, but still worthy person" and, as such, am "deserving" of redistributed candy.

A stance which I believe is perfectly reasonable in today's America. (After all, the federal government makes more in taxes on every dollar of gasoline sold at retail than the oil companies make in profits. And then Congress demonizes the companies while taxing their profits, too.)

I will patiently explain to the kiddies that my plan happens to be every bit as "fair" as what the government does to oil companies as well as their working mommies and daddies. (Whom I feel certain will laud my efforts to help educate their children in the ways of the world as well as helping to reduce the terrible scourge of childhood obesity.)

I feel very strongly about this, as Halloween actually teaches kids numerous bad lessons about life.

For starters, they don disguises, often wearing a mask or extreme make-up in order to hide their true identity. Thus prepared, the perpetrators then proceed to show-up uninvited at all of the homes in their neighborhood and demand "treats" (i.e., gratis sweet, sweet candy) in exchange for not performing "tricks" (i.e., egging your house, toilet-papering your rhododendrons, etc.).

You can pretty-it-up any way you like, but Halloween reduces to, "That's a nice little split-level home you've got there, mister; it'd be a real shame if shaving cream accidentally got squirted into your mail slot or a flaming bag of dog doo just happened to wander onto your doorstep..."

When guys named, say, Vinnie Ragucci or Jesse Jackson do that sort of thing, it's considered a "shakedown" and (occasionally) the malefactors actually go to jail. But when minors do it on October 31st of every year, it's considered "adorable"; the children are praised and (occasionally) the malefactors get an extra Milky Way miniature.

Now what sort of lesson is that for the children? It not only rewards them for threats and intimidation; it also gives them an entitlement mentality.

Which prepares them quite nicely to be "community organizers" or other non-productive leeches on society.

Such as politicians.