Another sure-fire way to save Wisconsin’s budget

Just pay the taxman, you deadbeat. Who do you think you are -- Popeye? (YouTube link)

Just pay the taxman, you deadbeat. Who do you think you are — Popeye? (YouTube link)

Dear Wisconsin Legislators:

I have been reading about your proposed $25 tax on the purchase of new bicycles in the state, but I have an even better idea: tax people for disagreeing with you.

Sure, a bike tax is a brilliant way to help kill everything from people to nature to clean air by encouraging the dirty, unhealthy and economically critical habit of driving uninsured deathtraps along our deteriorating highways and bridges.  It’s also a cleverly subtle attack on the profitability of the family business of our last Democratic gubernatorial candidate.

But there’s so much more you can do to reach your social and economic goals.

Seriously.  Until you can finish discouraging the populace from thinking, why not make everyone pay for disagreeing with you?  Something along the lines of $2 per reasonable idea ought to be plenty as a start.  Let’s call it the Rational Thought Tax.

For instance, 94 percent of Wisconsinites apparently do not agree with your approach to cutting funding for K-12 education in this state.  They obviously don’t realize that educating people would keep some of those pesky poors from migrating back to the South or wherever the political climate is more welcoming.

At 5.7 million population, according to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, that would be approximately $10.7 million in tax revenue for a single rational thought on that single issue.

There may be some problems with my methodology, as the census figures are from the feds and obviously can’t be trusted, and lots of the 5.7 million are too young to be taxpayers, and I bet at least a couple dozen people in Wisconsin are poors who wouldn’t even pay taxes anyway.

But I think you get the point.  This is a gold mine, and since those hippie environmentalists kept you from letting Gogebic Taconite dig up the northern half of the state, you guys deserve at least this.

I’ve got it all figured out.  You wouldn’t even have to do much work — just watch the opinion polls and any time one comes out that you don’t like, you can assume it’s probably based in some kind of rational thought.  Then multiply the percentage of people who disagree with your view on any given topic by the number of people in Wisconsin, multiply it by the number of times the thought is likely to occur, multiply that by $2, and then toss it into a spreadsheet to keep a running total of how much the people of Wisconsin owe the state.

On Jan. 1 of each year, simply take the total at the bottom of the spreadsheet, then post on the Web the resulting tax liability per actual Wisconsin taxpayer.  (This would keep your best political supporters from being harmed.)  Add a line to the tax form where taxpayers deduct their cumulative thought-tax amount from any refund due.

Click the picture above to get your $2 billion!

Click the picture above to get a spreadsheet showing how you can get your $2 billion!

I’ve attached a sample spreadsheet.  I haven’t thought it through much, and I only came up with a couple billion in revenue.  Still, it would be more than enough to build … not subsidize, but completely pay for … at least one gold-plated basketball arena so that we could stimulate more jobs in the overpriced-concession-stand-beer industry, which I believe you are counting on being a mainstay of the Wisconsin economy.

Let me be honest.  I purposely made a few mistakes in my figures and reasoning because I can’t really afford to pay the potential taxes on this letter.

You gotta admit this is a good idea, and that alone will cost me a couple of bucks.  Plus whatever else I did get right.  Even though I was off here and there, let’s just estimate that I had four rational thoughts at $2 each in this letter.  Therefore, I have enclosed a check for $5.

Thank you for your consideration of this idea.

Signed,

A good citizen

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