Stop me if you’ve heard this story before. A state spent more money than it expropriated from the people living within its claimed borders. Eventually the state realized it was deeply in debt and had no way to sustain its expenditures at its current rate of expropriation. Faced with a decision, to reduce spending or increase expropriation, the state decided to increase expropriation. Yeah, it’s a story as old as states themselves but like many great stories it continues to be relevant today. Governor Dayton has decided that the best way to get Minnesota out of debt is to increase the state’s rate of expropriation:
He would also increase the cigarette tax by 94 cents a pack, primarily as a way to discourage smoking.
Smokers have been a victim of constantly increasing state expropriation. Through its propaganda machine the state has made smokers into pariahs who receive little or no support from non-smokers. Due to their pariah status smokers make excellent tax victims since nobody is going to come to their defense when the state says the cost of their cigarettes will be increasing.
Dayton, who campaigned in 2010 calling for the state to “tax the rich,” would create a new tax rate of 9.85 percent, to be paid on taxable income above $250,000 for joint filers and above $150,000 for single filers. That would net about $1 billion from 53,000 returns and give the state one of the top five top rates in the country.
Are you a successful entrepreneur? If Dayton gets what he wants, and he most likely will, you will be punished for providing your community with the goods and services they desire. The “rich” (which is an arbitrary term), like smokers, have been a victim of constantly increasing state expropriation. Like it did with smokers, the state has used its propaganda machine to create a rift between the “rich” and everybody else. Few people are willing to stand against increased income taxes so long as it only applies to the “rich” (which is defined by most people as anybody who makes $1 more than they do).
For the first time, Minnesotans would pay sales tax on clothing — items above $100 — and on services like haircuts, auto repairs and legal fees.
Minnesota is an inhospitable wasteland for several months out of the year. During our winters an individual needs to dress in layers. One of those layers, the winter coat, usually costs more than $100. Boots, another article of clothing necessary for withstanding winter temperatures for any length of time, also generally cost more than $100. A sales tax on clothing costing more than $100 is really a tax on survival in this state. I guess it serves us Minnesotans right, living in this climate is rather idiotic and should be punished harshly.
Now that you know what the game is let me tell you how to avoid the game. Start doing all your shopping online. Amazon offers everything you need to survive Minnesota winters and doesn’t collect sales tax. Smokers can buy cigarettes online (I’m not a smoker so I don’t know if that’s a good site, it’s merely an option I came across) and avoid paying individual state sales taxes. These sales tax increases don’t concern them since I do most of my shopping online anyways.
The apparently obvious weakness in shopping online is the threat of a national sales tax. Fortunately that’s a minor problem. Sites like Alibaba allow individuals in other parts of the world to sell to other individuals in other parts of the world. If the United States enacted a national sales tax that would merely mean you would have to buy products from other countries. At one time buying from overseas sources would have been difficult due to shipping but international shipping has becomes so streamlined that it involves, at most, a slight increase in delivery time. My laptop, a MacBook Pro, was shipped directly from Shanghai, China free of charge in four or five (I don’t remember exactly) days.
The Internet is the greatest tool for those wanting to avoid state tyranny. It connects every part of the world with every other part of the world. International borders and, by extension, states have been rendered less and less relevant.