Tax on pornography?

Democratic lawmakers in California are proposing tax hikes on pornography, beer, gas-guzzlers and yachts to generate cash. They argue it’s the only way to stop huge cuts to education and healthcare.  What’s the best way to raise revenue — to tax beer-drinking, pornography-watching, yacht owners? Or is that unfair? How would you plug a $20 billion funding budget without raising income tax? I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts — we’ll be discussing possible solutions on the World Today on Sunday morning.

Piers, World Today Weekend.

21 Responses to “Tax on pornography?”

  1. 1 steve
    May 9, 2008 at 12:18

    If they tax beer, they should also tax water, barley, wheat, rice, and hops too. Also the tax on beer will immediately be halted when homeless people and poor people say it’s a regressive tax, then the socialists will screech “Oh my God, what have we done?”

    I’m curious what they consider to be gas guzzlers? All cars that aren’t Toyota Prius’????

    California is a major budget problem party in due to the problems of illegal immigration and providing free health care to them. What to do? Deny people healthcare? Enforce the laws?

  2. 2 Roberto
    May 9, 2008 at 13:19

    Democratic lawmakers in California are proposing tax hikes

    —– Not exactly breaking news is it?

    Republicans, Democrates, majority of the voters, they’ve all lost the plot obviously.

    Cali is truly one of the great blessed geographies in the world save the earthquake problem. They brag about having something like 5th or so greatest economy when isolated and compared to the rest of the world’s economies, and I would imagine their budget is also in the same ballpark, so why are they always struggling?

    Answer: They operate an obsolete economic and bureaucratic system. All this massive development with poor vision has left them as beggers constantly extorting the voters, most of whom are just trying to make ends meet.

    A less developed California was a much more pleasant place and more easily managed. Education has more taxpayer money than it has ever had in it’s history. Time for major education reforms starting from the top. Lop off half the management, and make the rest pull half-time teacher duties so they have to live with the policies they pass. Major improvements for teachers, students, and economy to follow out out of necessity.

    Or just drive what ain’t working into the dirt.

  3. 4 Katharina in Ghent
    May 9, 2008 at 15:26

    How come they want to tax beer and not wine? And how can it be that the state with the big Hollywood industry and all the rich actors can be hurting for money? It seems to me that something has gone seriously wrong there, and the Gouvernator hasn’t come up with the solutions after all… I would come up with a film-making tax, that should solve the problem immediately.

  4. 5 Will Rhodes
    May 9, 2008 at 15:40

    Correct me if I am wrong but didn’t Cali give massive tax breaks to get companies in so the economy could grow at the rate it has, plus they put chunks of money into sub-prime loans etc?

    If this is the case then they were not very forward looking and after a quick buck. Now it is the people who will have to pay, whether through their viewing, driving or drinking pleasure.

    They could always as the Chinese for a few billion?

  5. 6 Tita Lenz
    May 9, 2008 at 15:48

    I do not know why the delay because taxing pornography is something that ought to have being taxed.It first of all destroys the moralist of the society.So for the government to stop this tax should be given to the pornography industry .

  6. 7 Joel Salomon
    May 9, 2008 at 16:20

     If the aim of the tax were to stop the production of pornography there would be a much simpler method: deny porn any copyright protections. This is just a revenue generator.

  7. 8 steve
    May 9, 2008 at 16:23

    @ Katharina:

    Because most beer isn’t made in California, but lots of wine is made in California. Plus bleeding hearts tend to drink wine, not beer, so someone else has to pay the tax.

  8. 9 Peter Gizzi UK
    May 9, 2008 at 16:36

    Hi all,
    In The UK we have Value Added Tax. Most of it goes to The European Union I think. At least with this kind of taxation one can choose “no to”. There is no tax on food.

  9. May 9, 2008 at 16:55

    I am generally opposed to taxes that do not have an impact on improving the thing it is taxing. The only way a tax on pornography should be allowable is if it goes towards improving the quality of porn. Maybe better plot lines, titles, acting quality.

    The one thing that always comes up in these debates is who gets to decide what is “pornographic.” Who gets the job of determining whether it is porn or not? Can I apply for that job? Discriminating is dangerously close to violation of the freedom of speech. It is also a lopsided tax that targets mostly males. Will the revenue go to pay a state official who eventually gets caught hiring a prostitute.

  10. 11 Laura in Minneapolis
    May 9, 2008 at 18:24

    I’d accept an additional tax on all alcohol, especially if it went straight to education. But I’m baised- my whole life is centered on kids and youth.

    Whatever it takes to improve schools, I’m for it. 10 cents extra on my drink? Who cares. If you can’t afford it, then start drinking less- your liver will thank you for it anyways 🙂

  11. 12 Dennis Young, Jr.
    May 9, 2008 at 18:48

    i agreed with the posting of Roberto Carlos Alvarez-Galloso,CPUR ….

    Dennis~Madrid, United States of America

  12. 13 Jens
    May 9, 2008 at 19:21

    i love the idea of taxing pornography, because goverment has just legitimezed it by making money from it.

    i think these taxes a clearly aimed at NASCAR fans, who are yacht owners.

    what a bizzar mix of suggestions. will pornography filmed on a yacht be doubly taxed?

  13. 14 Dennis Young, Jr.
    May 9, 2008 at 20:44

    taxing pornography would bring down
    the deficit in the state of california!

    dennis from madrid, united states of america

  14. 15 J D
    May 10, 2008 at 09:09

    sounds like it should happen in the states then mr young, keep all of those young AND! old, lots of old!, good old american women away from our viewing and then they may find more self esteem, however!, my point being that TAXING pornography in the UK! would be an absolutly outstanding piece of lord and common man thinking alike and seeing the benifits to the country, as the worlds oldest proffession amongst humans, WILL never end, and creating another route of revenue for the “country” would be great, HOWEVER, we can not police this country to be any kind of -“crime free shineing light to europe”at the moment, i would see more a future of more a fadeing pansy in the result in the need to hire more inland security forces etc,  hence suffocation.  if we are trying to be at the foremost of forward thinking ecological thinking, then please WHY do we persist on trying to strangle our own civilians within, with it be food diseaseses, asking OUR young FUTURE ! military troops to fight abroad, crucifying all of OUR members of parliament at the first and easiest oppertunity, when we are the same people that decided to give them a chance in the first place, and dose no one think that ministers may acctualy be doing what they have been appointed to,(trying the best for everyone, instead of most ministers thinking that everyone has to try the best for them)!  for example, msp wendy alexander has had her soul ripped apart and kassed aside to the public, for doing no more than any other proud person would do when being pinned to the wall by the wolves and awaiting punishment! WHY!! –  when did our right to NOT have a voice come in to play within HER OWN party???.Viewing the show, and typing this at the same time, i can 100% hole heartedly say that the standard of the BBC NEWS broadcasting department is but a joke!when i was growing up when we only had four channells, i always used to look to the BBC for GREAT , forward thinking, fast and STUNNINGLY available pieces of not just TV, but at times it felt almost cinematic viewing, as you (the BBC) would take US there! and it was in our own front room! AMAZING!, but it wasnt to be, (we dont need things broken down to much, or cartoons shown etc). it seems as if the BBC has lost a grip of “itself”, and now seems to be trying to “compare” with the other channells.so PLEASE, GOD, QUEEN AND COUNTRY thank you very much, but please stay original and BASICALY british!!so PLEASE F.A.O- the head of BBC entertainment,
    KEEP UP THE GOOD SHOW, but lets keep the BBC like the ONLY future television and broadcasting antiques show (priceless)!!, not just because of the years this institutte has been advancing for, no, but for something a whole lot simpler, WE DO LOVE OUR ANTIQUES AND HERITAGE, and the BBC has always been makeing britain GREAT all day!
    long live the BBC.mr j donnellySCOTLAND

  15. 16 J D
    May 10, 2008 at 09:10

    open to all comments.

  16. 17 Dennis
    May 11, 2008 at 16:34

    @ JD

    I am a loyal fan of the BBC and i am from the United
    States of America!

    Dennis from Madrid, U.S.A.

  17. 18 Aaron
    May 11, 2008 at 18:38

    I agree with Dennis, BBC is a phenomenal news source. Compared to the U.S. news media who is very biased giving a one-sided story with sound-bites of important issues in which they use to raise their ratings. I thoroughly enjoy the various topics that are covered by the fantastic news correspondents. There is one reason I listen to the BBC, and that is for the large geographic coverage of news ranging from China to the South American countries. Oh yeah, I love the British accent…is so sophisticated and sexy..Keep up the good journalism that keeps the world informed.

    Hats off,

    Aaron O. from Las Vegas

  18. 19 viola anderson
    May 13, 2008 at 17:46

    How to plug a $20M gap? They could try the “fee for service” gimmick. Our local library has just been informed that the RCMP criminal check done on its employees is no longer accepted. Now they have to pay $20 for each employee to be checked again through the Criminal Records Review Program office of the Ministry of Solicitor General. Naturally, it is being viewed as a money grab.

  19. May 21, 2008 at 07:02

    I would fully agree on some comments,that taxing porn gives it legal standing,As a normal person who enjoys normal sexual pleasure,I have never seen the need to watch someone else do what I am able to do myself,Banning would be a more sensible idea,then might see less perverted crimes committed,We know how weak peoples minds are if games etc, take over there mind control,Tax your Guzzlers,We are over £5 Per gallon in the UK,There seems plenty of room for tax on your fuel at only $2&1/2 Per gallon.

  20. May 27, 2008 at 14:34

    Pornography is a legitmate business in california. It should be taxed in the same way as any other business.

    As to alcohol taxes, in comparison to the uk alcohol is relatively cheap! Although people who make claims that raising tax on alcohol will slow down alcohol consumption should look to the UK as proof that it doesnt.

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