Cuyahoga County Sin Tax

Submitted by JOEBIALEK on Thu, 03/27/2014 - 16:12.

This letter is in response to the articles covering the Sin Tax vote
occurring Tuesday, May 6, 2014.

This issue is the absurdity of absurdities. Let me get this straight: the
purpose of the Sin Tax is to gouge those who purchase alcohol and cigarettes
not because anyone is trying to discourage consumption but rather so the
County can use that money to pay for sports stadiums that do not produce
anything but a fleeting moment witnessing the passing of a football, the
dribbling of a basketball and the throwing of a baseball so that such a minute
tidbit of diversion can be enjoyed by all. The stupidity of this proposition is
enough to make your head spin even though the spin doctors advocating
passage of this nonsense are already doing a pretty good job of hypnotizing
the voters to actually consider supporting it. At least the Robber Barons
of the previous centuries provided something tangible such as oil, steel,
railroads etcetera. These team owners do not even provide one tangible thing
that could ever be considered with the term “value added.” Almost everyone
discusses this “enterprise” as though it is the same thing as industry {which
it is not}. The price of admission is essentially a voluntary tax paid by those
who can afford it to pay those who don’t need it. If this isn’t a transfer of
wealth I don’t know what is.

The real outrage here is the fact that taxes on alcohol and cigarettes will
not be used to aid in the reduction of addiction {hence the reference to “sin”}
but rather to stuff the pockets of all three teams who could easily afford to
pay for the repairs themselves. The vote was rammed through the last time
{under somewhat suspicious circumstances} and hear we go again. But this
time...not so fast!!! We the voters of Cuyahoga County are going to fight the
proponents on this one and we don't care if the teams up and go somewhere
else {please see my views on entertainment below} because quite frankly there
are simply more important things than sports and the unearned money that
comes with it. Those in public office who are too stupid and lazy to find other
ways to grow a major American city need to resign and leave their self-seeking
political ambitions on the scrapheap of history. Don’t ever let it be said that
this was time when the tide ran out on Cuyahoga County but rather was the
time when the voters rose up to welcome the rising tide of change and rebuked
this pathetic paradigm our previous elected leaders embraced.
Let the battle be joined.

And now to the real underlying issue at hand:

One of the most disturbing facts about our capitalist nation is the
misappropriation of funds directed to the salaries of entertainers.
Everyone should agree that the value an athlete, movie star, talk-show host,
team-owner, etcetera brings to the average citizen is very small. Granted,
they do offer a minuscule of diversion from our daily trials and
tribulations as did the jesters in the king's court during the middle ages.
But to allow these entertainers to horde such great amounts of wealth at the
expense of more benevolent societal programs is unacceptable.
They do not provide a product or a service so why are they rewarded as such?

Our society is also subjected to the "profound wisdom" of these people
because it equates wealth with influence. Perhaps a solution to this
problem and a alternative to defeated school levies, crumbling
infrastructures, as well as all the programs established to help feed,
clothe and shelter those who cannot help themselves would be to tax this
undeserved wealth. Entertainers could keep 1% of the gross earnings reaped
from their endeavor and 99% could be deposited into the public coffers.

The old ideas of the redistribution of wealth have failed, and it is time to
adapt to modern-day preferences. People put their money into entertainment
above everything else; isn't it time to tap that wealth? Does anyone think
this will reduce the quality of entertainment? It seems to me that when
entertainers received less income, the quality was much higher.

Joe Bialek
Cleveland, OH

"Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was
once eccentric." Bertrand Russell

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