U.S. House Democrats are considering legislation to tax the revenue from the various fees and surcharges airlines have been collecting (for checked bags, flight changes, isle seats, wider seats, pillows, blankets, snacks, beverages and headphones, etc.) to offset spikes in fuel prices and weakened demand due to the crappy economy. This is the same group now willing to allow the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of the year RAISING TAXES FOR EVERYONE beginning Jan. 1, 2011. (Side note: Nancy Pelosi says allowing the tax cuts to expire is not a tax increase).
Yes, I said raising taxes for everyone because even if they compromise playing the class warfare game again by taxing only the 2-3% of the wealthiest Americans, everyone pays in the end. The wealthiest 2-3% are also the biggest consumers –that’s good for business! If you smack them down, with taxes and regulations they don’t buy as much and consequently small businesses suffer and lay people off. It has a way of running downhill. And by the way, in all my lifetime over several different jobs (cashier, lifeguard, salesperson, waitress, dental hygienist and real estate broker) no poor person has ever hired me. It’s the wealthiest 2-3% that already pay most of the taxes (40% of all taxes collected) because they make more, but it’s also that same group that creates most of the jobs. So it’s a stupid rationale to keep kicking the wealthy because “they can afford it”, or “they make enough” or, “how much do they need?” as we keep hearing over and over again from the spread the wealth crowd in our government who seem to hate American success and ingenuity.
Back to the airlines, according to the Wall Street Journal, the government currently collects a 7.5% excise tax on passenger fares but not on ancillary fees. Airlines collected $1.3 billion in fees for checked bags and reservation changes in the first 3 months of this year alone and the government has to find a way to get a piece. What does it mean to you and me? HIGHER TICKET COSTS! It’s that gravity thing again, Sh_t flows downhill.
Here’s a real life personal example. We recently booked a trip to the mainland on Priceline.com (no booking fees ever!) but the last 2 times we’ve booked with them right at the end, after you’ve gone through all the screens searching for the ideal arrival, departure times with the fewest stops -you know the agonizing drill, they slipped in a paper ticket fee, $25 + tax on each ticket! It added $54 to the cost of our trip and it’s all due to businesses trying to cover the cost of taxes imposed on them. Taxes are always passed on to the consumer -all consumers not just the wealthy.
Never forget this. The government has no resources. They produce NOTHING. They can only take from one group and give to others they feel more worthy of their largess, oh yes, and more likely to vote for them.