If We’re Going To Raise Taxes, Why Not Stick It To Hollywood?


The fiscal cliff is looming. The Republicans are ready to cave to the Democrats’ demands to raise taxes on the wealthy. Sure, they could balance the budget without raising taxes, but that’s no fun. Bashing the rich is the new American way. Who cares if the rich are already paying more than their fair share? It’s all about the sound bite these days. So why not come up with a new sound bite? Glenn Reynolds (AKA Instapundit) has been pushing this one for a while, and I think it’s got all the makings of the next Hollywood blockbuster.  Well, it would if Hollywood and other lefties weren’t the targets.

The first such proposal would be to restore the 20 percent excise tax on motion picture theater gross revenues that existed between the end of World War II and its repeal in the mid-1950s. The campaign to end the excise tax had studio executives and movie stars talking like Art Laffer, as they noted that high taxes reduced business income, hurt investment and cost jobs.

The movie excise tax was imposed in response to the high deficits after World War Two. Deficits are high again, and there’s already historical precedent. Of course, to keep up with technology, the tax should now apply to DVDs, downloadable movies, pay-per-view and the like. But in these financially perilous times, why should movie stars and studio moguls, with their yachts, swimming pools and private jets, not at least shoulder the burden they carried back in Harry Truman’s day — when, to be honest, movies were better anyway.

For extra fun, they could show pictures of David Geffen’s yacht and John Travolta’s personal Boeing 707 on the Senate floor. You want to tax fat cats? I gotcher “fat cats” right here! Repeal the Hollywood Tax Cuts!

Another valuable proposal would limit the ability of tax-exempt organizations to escape scrutiny and hoard funds. To limit foundations’ role as perpetual-employment agencies for cause-oriented Lefties (and it’s mostly Lefties), Congress might require them to spend at least 10 percent of their endowment each year, with no wiggle room.

Read the whole thing. Prof. Reynolds has some fantastic budget-closing ideas that every American should embrace, even those of us in blue states. It is all about “fairness” isn’t it? Hey, it’s only fair to force the people who helped bring about this presidency to pay for it, right?

(Image via Geek.com)