A Room with a Viewpoint

“The time has come,” the Walrus said, “To talk of many things: Of shoes—and ships—and sealing wax— Of cabbages—and kings— And why the sea is boiling hot— And whether pigs have wings.” (Lewis Carroll)

Friday, December 16, 2005

The Devil Made Me Do It (And he's In the Details)

Mea culpa. In my last post, I made a fairly significant analytical error. And Delftsman's comments made that clear.

By basing my initial comments on a short summary and, honestly by being too eager to write, I missed the fairly major detail that this is an embedded tax. If, indeed, the price on the item is already inclusive of the tax, then 23% of that amount is more descriptive and easier to understand. And it brings some other parts of the bill more in focus. But it is still a 30% tax on the original cost of the item and, if this bill gets debated and this fact comes up (which it surely will), it's going to be hard to explain to the general public why they're calling it a 23% tax (inclusive of the tax) when the amount added to the original cost is 30%. Or maybe the public will be so asleep (as usual) that it won't notice.

Still, the concept makes the bill much more intriguing to me. I will pull back my negative judgement and withhold judgement until I've figured it out more. I know I could take the easy way and just ask Delftsman to explain it, but I think I want to do the homework myself.

I'm way not ready to discuss the overall public policy goals of the bill. I'm still nibbling at the edges. And I try to never believe the rhetoric around a bill--I am always looking for the other shoe. But I'll certainly try to be more careful.