Irony, Sex and American Politics Presents: the Failed 'Sin' Tax...

Is there anything more ironic than American politics? We watched (mostly Republican) congressmen shake heads and wag fingers when slick Willie got blown in the Oval Office by an intern. He would later be impeached for this transgression because trying to take the edge off of arguably the hardest job in the world is the same as attempting to break into the Democratic National Committee headquarters.

The irony comes in the years following Clinton's impeachment when the twenty-four hour news cycle starts unearthing secrets that would make some politicians look like they would be more at home with Britney Spears and Lindsey Lohan on the cover of US Weekly.

We had a governor of New Jersey who came out of the closet and then resigned his position... because you
obviously can't be gay and run a state at the same time. Next up, a Republican congressman from Florida (a crusader against child exploitation of course) who offered to give private ethics lessons to teenage boys on AIM. Another Republican congressman who wanted to get his glory hole on in a Minneapolis airport, only the officer in the stall next to him wasn't really feeling that... he was promptly arrested.

This year has unearthed even more sins of the flesh and to the delight of Reagan fans everywhere it involved a representatives from the Democratic party. Bad ass, former New York Attorney General who pushed his prosecutorial authority to the limit to huff, puff and blow the houses down of executives during all of those Accounting scandals, got busted for his penchant for thousand dollar an hour 'escorts.'

And then there's the pretty boy John Edwards who has had the great pleasure of getting the Bill Clinton treatment from the media over recent weeks. I know, he cheated on his wife who may have been battling cancer and it might be his baby but still... cut the guy some slack.

Regardless though, of the the multitude of sins committed by themselves or their peers, our leaders continue to give the American public advice (and by that I mean maintaining archaic laws or enacting newer, even more ridiculous ones) on what we should (abstaining from sex) or shouldn't (watching porn, fucking someone of your gender) be doing. Honestly, at this point that's like a mother telling her children not to do drugs while she's taking bumps of blow and watching Grey's Anatomy.

Offset the harms that opponents claim the [adult] industry creates, including "numerous health, safety and societal problems, including reducing property values in affected neighborhoods and encouraging unsafe sex and aggressive attitudes toward women." Excerpted from here.

That's the intended purpose, according to Democratic Assemblymen Charles Calderon of a recently proposed bill in California. Thankfully, it died in committee but had it been enacted, this 'sin' tax (which already exists for other enjoyable things like alcohol and cigarettes) would have imposed a twenty-five percent excise tax on adult products and productions. It also would have applied to businesses who sell sexually explicit materials (that means newsstands and gas stations that sell skin mags) and websites.

Some opponents of the bill felt, "the government shouldn't be involved with people's sex lives." There's a part of me that guesses all of those shamed politicians who are now out of public office couldn't agree more.

~ Alex Rose

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