Would monsieur like an inflammatory headline with his brunch?

Oh, Freeploid, you little rascal you, trying to stir up a little trouble on a midwinter Sunday morning. Front page, Sunday paper, headline and photo reproduced in accordance with the Fair Use standard of copyright law:

See, the problem with a tabloid newspaper is you’ve got one shot to catch readers’ attention. One big story, one big picture, grab them eyeballs. If you’ve actually got a catchy story, it’s wonderful. If you don’t, and you have to manufacture one, well, you get irresponsible nonsense like TAX ON FUN.

The sad thing is, the headline sullies an otherwise fine article by Terri Hallenbeck, in which she actually explores all the issues surrounding break-open tickets and Shumlin’s proposed tax.

Here’s the problem. Well, two problems. First, governments tax fun ALL THE TIME. Alcohol taxes, amusement taxes, meals and rooms taxes. If they could get it through the legislature without laughing, they’d probably have lube-and-sex-toy taxes. (And I’d love to see the Freeploid headline about that.)

Second, if break-open tickets are your idea of “fun,” you need to get a life. A break-open ticket is a brief moment of diversion while slamming down Governor Shumlin’s Favorite Adult Beverage at a bar or social club. Go back to the Freeploid: does Grandpa look like he’s having fun?

In honor of the Freeploid’s decisive stomp over the line into yellow journalism, I offer them a new motto in the same spirit:

The Burlington Free Press: SMALLER, CRAPPIER, COSTLIER.

You’re welcome.  

8 thoughts on “Would monsieur like an inflammatory headline with his brunch?

  1. The real problem with that headline is that it obscures the tactic Governor Shumlin is using to balance his budget: picking the pockets of the working class and poor.

    Between raiding the Earned Income Tax Credit to pay for childcare subsidies and taxing the break-open tickets that fund some nonprofits, Shummy’s doing Romney’s work for him.

    We might wish that Shummy would take some other famous guy for his role model. Somebody like, say, Robin Hood, or even Willie Sutton. Both men at least knew enough to “go where the money is,” Robin taking from the rich to give to the poor, Slick Willie hitting as many as 100 banks in his long career.


    It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped. ~ Hubert H. Humphrey  

  2. the argument that this will further pick the pockets of the working class or the poor.

    If you are smart and working class, or intelligent and poor, you don’t throw your $$ away buying lotto and game tickets. Even if they purport to ‘support a good cause’. You want to support a charity? Make a direct donation, or go to local auction or fund raiser. Or volunteer. Don’t buy into the scam of the tickets and the lotto mentality. Unless you like to toss down a few bucks and day dream what you plan on doing with all your winnings – then its an escapist fantasy and you can spend your $$ however you want on ‘entertainment’.

    This isn’t even close to the same thing as taxing milk or formula or basic home staples. Or even raising the gas tax.

    And yes, I agree that the people most able to pay, who benefit the most from the good work our state does (even supporting those that need help) – should be paying more.  

  3. I would like to see the wealthiest 1% paying a little more in taxes, I don’t mind paying a little more if it would result in VT making up for lost revenue & shortfalls.In the case of taxing these tickets, VT is merely catching up to other states by taxing this source.

    I also support Welch’s proposed tax on internet sales, and I do nearly all of my shopping online. It’s only fair.

    However, taking money from Vt’s neediest to fund educational/childcare goals ‘for them’ is miserly & direspectful. It is likely that ALL of that revenue ends up in the coffers of VTers and VT businesses no matter how it is spent, so this will also be a blow to VT business & the ‘job creators’.

    I remember those days as a 20-something with a new baby & young children raising my family alone as a single parent with great difficulty as the ‘sperm donor’ escaped paying child support again & again until Dean’s policies made this extremely difficult. There were no ‘food pantries’ & my choice to care for my family was to not drive so that I could make ends meet. I worked where I could walk which limited options.

    Once able to place my youngest in day care, things changed & I relied on the EIC to afford a vehicle & repairs so that I could work and attend school, plus supply the things that school-aged children need. The hardship for many of these in similiar circumstances is extreme, I find the proposal thoughtless & cruel to say the very least.    

  4. Because it’s taxing activities that society wants to discourage.

    Regardless of one’s opinion on the tax itself, or on religion, it’s amusing to see a publication that would have tsk-tsk-ed gamblers 30 years ago waxing wroth, now that a democrat has used the dreaded “t-word.”

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