US Politician Wants A Sin Tax On Violent Video Games

US Politician Wants A Sin Tax On Violent Video Games

A Missouri state representative wants a 1 per cent sales tax levied on “violent video games” sold in the state, despite the fact similar efforts to tax specific games based on their content failed in other states, including most recently Oklahama.

Diane Franklin, of Camdenton, Missouri, said the 1 per cent tax would finance law enforcement measures and mental health programs. The Associated Press notes that both the state’s Democratic governor, and the Republican majority controlling the general assembly, oppose any new taxes. Franklin is a Republican. Her proposal is assuredly motivated by national concern over mass shootings such as the one a month ago in Newtown, Connecticut.

Last year, an Oklahoma state lawmaker — this one a Democrat — proposed a similar tax on video games rated T or stricter, reasoning that “Violent video games contribute to some of our societal problems like obesity and bullying,” he argued at the time, “but because they raise a lot of revenue, they can also provide part of the solution.” That proposal was shot down in committee as more senior lawmakers questioned its usefulness or validity.

Mo. lawmaker wants tax on violent video games [AP]

Picture: Wikipedia


    • Actually, Sin Tax is a fairly commonly used political term to describe taxes used for social engineering purposes. The most obvious one is the Alcopops tax or the ever increasing tax on cigarettes.

      They also do tax breaks and offer tax deductions for things the government wants to encourage, like marriage. It’s the same thing but using an incentive instead of a punishment.

        • There are so many problems when laws are based on moralistic choices, not the least of which is the subjectivity of morals as a whole. For instance, I happen to think that a good guide for the making of laws (and something that I think should be applied retroactively for all laws) should be along the lines of:

          The government should not make, uphold or enforce any law in any instance where the law does not:

          a) Prevent, or aim to prevent, one individual causing harm to another, or a business entity or group from causing harm to an individual.
          b) Provide reasonable protection to an individual from harming them selves by means of misadventure, misinformation, accident or incompetence, including such situations being caused by a third party.
          c) Directly and solely exist for the purpose of providing a means for the government to function and enforce laws relating to a) and b)

          And that’s it. In my personal opinion, going beyond this is too much, and as HH said, forcing your morals on someone else for no good reason.

          The only problem with this? In some cases, people are going to argue that no action is a bad action, and regardless, it’s a fine line to walk.

          Take something simple (and for the sake of not getting too distracted, unrelated), like the concept of unrestricted medical research. Think of the possibilities! Faster cures, pharmaceuticals being available in the same year they are proven to be clinically effective, hell, even maybe some of the big breakthroughs we have been looking for like external organ cloning and perhaps even human regeneration! The downside? Without some kind of regulation, the chances of things like rogue bio-weapons, bigger (and privately owned) nukes, and killer nano-bots creep a little bit closer to reality too. Without even considering things like intentionally marketing ineffective or harmful products to people for fun and profit, we already have 3 potential apocalypses’ that such moralistic legislation are holding at bay :).

          Sadly, commenting on running a country is a lot easier than running one, but I have noticed that most of the time when there is contention around a law, it has either ignored the guides mentioned above, the law is disproportionate to the harm, or the relationship between the prevention of harm to citizens and the creation of the law is too obscure for a casual (read: at first glance) understanding.

          • D) laws should be reinvestigated at the end of every decade (if not sooner) to amend their relativity to new or upcoming technologies.

  • Why not Tax guns and bullets? Guns and bullets have been involved in every shooting, but video games aren’t always involved and sometimes under the most twisted of logic.

    COD is played by millions of people who have never hurt anyone.

  • Hey, America! How about taxing the richest people in your country! You know, those 1-percenters who pay less tax than your poorest citizens?
    Oh, right … of course not. They run the joint.

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