The opinions stated in this article are solely those of the author and not of The Davis Clipper.
A Utah juice and smoothie bar has gained national attention (both applause and derision) for its unique cost structure. Its menu board lists two price categories for a 16 oz. drink: political conservatives pay $4.95, and political liberals pay $1 more ($5.95).
The owner’s rationale is that liberals (or, as they way in southern Utah, “dad gum Democrats”) usher bloated government, leading to higher taxes and decreased jobs. Therefore, they owe additional money to make up for the economic havoc they create. The juice bar donates the extra $1 payments to a conservative think-tank.
The owner is on to something. However, in the sense of fairness, I propose cost structures for both sides of the political spectrum.
For instance, conservatives are far more likely than liberals to drive gas-guzzling trucks and blimp-size SUVs. Trail mix-eating liberals are more often seen driving a Prius or using mass-transit.
Therefore, since conservatives impact our roadways more than liberals, I propose conservatives pay an annual pothole tax, either through a 25-cent surcharge on each gallon of gasoline or a $250 assessment on their state tax return. This would raise considerable money; I doubt you’ll find many Republicans riding to work on their Schwin.
However, liberals impact the healthcare system. Liberals are far more likely to enjoy alcoholic cocktails or premium beers than religious conservatives. (Can you imagine Dick Cheney or Rush Limbaugh ordering a Pink Lady or a Mojito?) I propose liberals pay $150 more per year for the right to enter a Utah liquor store, with the money turned over to Gov. Herbert to offset Medicaid costs. (One exception: since studies show the consumption of red wine is beneficial, any liberal who can prove he or she purchased 10 bottles of merlot or cabernet sauvignon in a given 12-month period will be relieved of the liquor fee and be handed a $50 tax credit for healthy imbibing.)
Conservatives eat more red meat than liberals Р and with all those cows, we can only imagine the damage to the environment from all that methane gas.
An easy solution is to charge conservatives 10 cents more per pound on ground beef and 25 cents more per pound on choice or premium steaks. (If a conservative can pay $85 for an a la carte rib-eye at Ruth’s Chris, he can afford the extra tax!) Liberals who eat sustainable fish such as trout and salmon, which don’t harm the environment, will not pay any extra fee.
Liberals, however, comprise a larger than normal share of book readers. I propose that liberals pay an additional $1 on each hardbound or paperback book they purchase to help reforestation efforts.
Conservatives will not have to pay the fee because they usually only read books written by Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, and Ann Coulter; if anything, conservatives could be charged a small nuisance tax for believing these blowhards.
Oh, and there’s one more tax that we can all readily agree upon. Last week a business owner in Cedar City fired two employees on the grounds they voted for Pres. Obama. Firing a person at a private business for political reasons is not illegal in Utah, but I suggest anyone doing it (either a conservative or a liberal) should be charged something. Let’s just call it a Stupidity Tax!