Thursday, June 29, 2006


No taxation without representation

Just when you think you have heard it all, you have not even come close. There are plenty of ways to address the oldest profession - the sex industry. A country could legalize and regulate it - Netherlands. Others could turn a blind eye to it - Thailand, Brazil and many other underdeveloped countries. Or, you could try to force the sex trade out by simply taxing it - a new approach being proposed in the US. It such an easy solution, one is surprised that it hasn’t' been thought of before.

Republican Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa is hoping to stamp out the sex trade by taxing pimps and prostitutes, then jailing them when they don't pay. Grassley believes the IRS can choke out the sex trade like they did Al Capone. So much for bootlegging booty.

Senator Grassley was able to lead passage of a bill that authorizes at least $2 million toward the establishment of an office in the IRS criminal investigation unit to prosecute unlawful sex workers for violations of tax laws.

Senator Grassley is a 1/4 right on the issue. Prostitution should be legalized, regulated and taxed. Prostitutes should be free to earn a living in a clean and secure environment. The sex trade is a serious issue that deserves a serious solution not some half-baked, moral superiority quest.

Here, here.
He's just following what the government already does for other vices, including smoking and booze. Tax the hell out of them so that people don't use them as much.

Not that I support that, or anything.
Except that buying alcohol and cigarettes is legal. The sex trade is illegal. The idea of taxing something that is illegal is, to say the least, idiotic. The notion that somehow you will smoke out illegal activity by taxing it is crazy. There is no way the prostitution should be taxed unless it is legalized and regulated. Prostitutes deserve a clean work environment and clients deserve to know that there are standards being enforced and adhered to.

The sex trade is deplorable. The idea, however, of solving it through the tax system is just non-sense.
Unfortunately, the sex trade will always be with us. Therefore, it is time to legalize it and make it safe for the women it employs. I agree fully that it would be ludicrous to tax the current situation, and that the sex trade as a whole is deplorable.
But doesn't taxing prostitution legitimize the profession, then? If pimps, johns and hookers must contribute to the government coffers because of those activities, then it is one Supreme Court decision away from being completely above ground.

Or so one would think.
Conservatives can't have it both ways. If you tax it, make it legal. If not, it must stay in the underground economy and we all can watch it happen. There can be no tax revenue or health and safety standards.
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