Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“There's no such thing as a free lunch.”     Milton Friedman

March 9, 2009

A Tax By Any Other Name Is Still A Tax

by Brad Warbiany

Obama says those of us making less than $250K/year will not see our taxes increased “one dime”. Does he actually believe that user fees aren’t taxes? Because he’s gonna raise them:

Extra fees get under the skin of all but the most zen travellers. First you pay one price for your ticket, and then they tack on a bunch more in taxes and fees? Outrageous! But if the American government’s “Aviation Passenger Security Fee”, currently at $2.50 for each leg of travel, is already annoying you, the Obama administration has some bad news: it won’t be staying at $2.50 for long.

The Homeland Security portion of Obama’s proposed 2010 budget (PDF) includes a plan to raise the fees by an as-yet-undisclosed amount in 2012.

They want to raise the fees because the fees themselves don’t cover the cost of those friendly effective TSA security checkpoints (after all, having a bunch of people standing around doing nothing — a feature I see every time I fly — gets expensive). And I don’t suppose they’ve considered re-privatizing the checkpoints; no, the unions won’t accept that.

So what does this mean? Any of us who fly are going to get soaked here. And I’m sure it will be by a lot more than a dime.

But hey, I’m sure the tourism industry will appreciate Obama’s increased cost of air travel!


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