City should sniff out corrupt bureaucrats, not freelancers
The City Paper recently reported that Philadelphia is taxing residents who blog. An online CP follow-up clarified that the tax is on blogs that “make some money or, at least, have the potential to make some money.”
In other words, bloggers who run an advertisement or two and have a Philly address are being taxed. Which sounds more like extortion than taxation. Many of us already pay a business privilege tax for freelance writing and, in good years, a net profits tax, not to mention wage taxes on regular income as well as property taxes and other steep fees. All of this for the privilege of living in a cash-strapped city that puts itself even deeper in debt by paying huge sums to officials like Carl Greene, who can’t even pay his own bills. More on that scumbag in a second.
The blog tax is the sort of squeeze play executed by a city where idiots call the shots. A city that gouges taxpayers because it has a large percentage of residents who don’t pay any taxes. That uses its tax revenues wastefully, often on salaries for drones and cronies and petty dictators like Greene, the Housing Authority chief, who makes $306,370 a year plus bonuses to oversee spending of federal money for public housing in Philly.
Next thing you know the snoops at City Hall will be taxing residents who sell their possessions at sidewalk sales, probably to keep up with city taxes.
City officials diligently pursue residents who are paid, say, $200 for writing a freelance article. I propose that they out the same amount of energy into pursuing and prosecuting well-paid public officials who turn out to be crooks or incompetents. It’s not a crazy idea, not if it’s written into the contracts. Think of how much more efficient and just it would be if Greene had to surrender a year’s salary in return for settlement of sexual harassment lawsuits brought against him. That amount would add more to the tax revenue stream than 6,000 bloggers paying annual $50 usage feees.
It’s annoying that right-wingers all over the country have picked up the blog tax story and are using it as an argument against all taxes, instead of just bad taxes. Or as an argument against regulation of businesses. (If regulations had been in place, the Wall Street banks wouldn’t have been able to wreck the economy.) Way to go, Philly!