Today, the Feds could have received a check for just over 18 million dollars [Darleen Click]
Yesterday, husband and I paid $9 each to go see the new Bond film, Skyfall. Wonderful film, a great time had by all in the theater.
This morning I read where Skyfall’s debut this weekend in America grossed $90 million (including Thursdays receipts).
Now as much as I enjoyed the film, movies are candy. They are sodas with empty calories. In Bloomberg parlance, we really should restrict ourselves when it comes to passive entertainment. So in this time of economic woes second only to The Great Depression, isn’t it time to stop the Hollywood Tax Cut?
The last time America was this deep in debt was the end of World War II. One of the ways we paid the debt down was through a 20 percent tax on the gross receipts of movie theaters. (That’s right — gross, not net.) That tax was repealed in the 1950s — I guess we could call that the “Hollywood tax cut,” since we’re still talking about the “Bush tax cut” in 2012. To secure that repeal, Hollywood launched a major PR campaign about how taxes kill jobs and hurt prosperity. We haven’t heard that kind of talk from them since.
But, hey, by that time, we were bringing the debt under control. Now, we’re facing debt levels similar to those we faced after World War II, and it seems entirely appropriate to respond with similar measures. Of course, technological change means we’d need to update the 20 percent tax to apply not only to movie theaters, but to DVD sales, movie downloads, pay-per-view and the like.
Really, the illiberals are all dishonestly pontificating about “Obama’s mandate” to raise taxes on those making $250K and above — a direct bead on small businesses that already is resulting in layoffs, hiring-freezes and reduction of worker hours. Yet some of the most expensive real estate in the nation is filled with people who are movie or sports “stars.”
Isn’t time that conservatives start ripping a page from Alinksy and making the illiberals live up to their own words?
So if Boehner and his team are going to put some tax increases on the table, perhaps by eliminating deductions more than raising rates, they should learn from past mistakes a drive a truly hard bargain. Make the spending cuts immediate, not a load of cold porridge about $X of cuts happening over ten years, eight of which will never come. The opening bid should be small revenue increases for big fiscal restraint, something on the scale of giving Obama his silly “Buffett Rule” millionaire surtax in exchange for a balanced budget.
And let’s hope the Speaker and the rest of the Republican negotiators are smart enough to propose revenue increases that will hurt liberals the most. Start by taxing the ever-loving crap out of Hollywood. I’ve suggested this before, and the esteemed Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds, was on the same wavelength last August when he suggested bringing back the 20 percent excise tax on motion picture gross revenue from the 1950s. [...]
As Reynolds noted, one side effect of such proposals is that it causes far-Left Hollywood types to suddenly begin babbling about the depressing effects of high tax rates upon economic growth, as though they had been suddenly possessed by the ghost of Milton Friedman. That’s fun even if the tax proposals end up getting defeated. Especially now that we have YouTube to disseminate and immortalize their panicked bursts of “trickle-down economic” wisdom.
The internet has been full of “advice” from illiberals that GOP must change to be relevant. That we cannot stand on principle anymore.
Ok, then, let’s start with them. Let’s put the taxing crosshairs on Movie/Sports Industrial Complex and see how “patriotic” they really are.
Tags: alinsky, excise tax, hollywood