A more simplistic definition to define sin taxes would be a tax on goods that are not needed for everyday survival or goods that are deemed immoral to society. Sin taxes also know as excise taxes date back to the Post Revolutionary Era. A sin tax is a form of tax used to “raise revenue for the government and…curtail behaviors that are unsavory” (Class notes). Sin taxes where mostly popular in the prohibition era the government not only used sin taxes to raise revenue but also a “noble experiment” for the government to take a national stand in order to curtail alcohol use (Class notes). In their quest to wage war on the budget the government has passed sin taxes on everyday goods such as “tobacco, alcohol, gasoline and candy”, this also including taxes on “pole and gambling” (Class notes). In this essay I will examine two different articles “Hate the Sin, Tax the Sinner” and “Paying with our Sins” on their view points on the use of sin taxes to raise revenue for the government.
This two argumentative essays argue the pros “Paying with our Sins” and cons “Hate the Sin, Tax the Sinner” of sin taxes. In “Paying with our Sins” the author argues that “now is the time to legalize (and tax) drugs, prostitution and gambling” (Gillespie). He goes to argue that instead of letting these vices go to waste the government should legalize these vices and tax them (Gillespie). He provides evidence why legalizing these vices will be beneficial in raising revenue. This article argues this point on three ideas that taxing these lifestyles will help President Obama, law enforcement, and end black markets. In respects to President Obama he thinks that taxed vices will lead “revenue streams” that would help with his health care plan, green energy and also help with his innovation of gee whiz trains that travel at 100 miles per hour. Also by having funds generated from this outlet it could put an end to black markets which he reference to being “deadweight losses”, in the sense that the black market industry does not help in the contributing funds (Gillespie). Last but not least legalizing our sins would help decrease the criminal activity and with law enforcement this will also help in decreasing corruption or as he says hearing “headlines about cops pocketing bribes and seized drugs attest” (Gillespie). But in his conclusion Gillespie acknowledges the fact that the legalization of these vices “will not balance government’s deficits” but it will help in raising revenue (Gillespie).
In the “Hate the Sin, Tax the Sinner” Sirico argues the cons of imposing sin taxes he argues on the economic aspects and the morality of it. In a way he rebuts Gillespie argument that one way the money could be used is to help President Obama with his policy, but arguing that sugary drinks are not the reason for the obesity epidemic (Sirico) which the...