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When Politicians Tax Violent Video Games

samzenpus posted about 5 years ago | from the hands-in-the-cookie-jar dept.

Government 315

talien79 writes "Taxing video games has a storied history in state legislatures. The reality is that video games, violent or otherwise, simply make too much money to be stopped. But taxing them is a viable compromise, a 'sin tax' of sorts similar to that levied on cigarettes. This article reviews the time-honored tactic of politicians pandering to their base: taxing violent video games."

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315 comments

Tax my Toilet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27562037)

When will they eventually get to the point of taxing what comes out of my butt?

Re:Tax my Toilet (4, Funny)

ArcherB (796902) | about 5 years ago | (#27562163)

When will they eventually get to the point of taxing what comes out of my butt?

Unless you make more than $250,000, you have nothing to worry about. Obama said so:

"Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes."

Maybe you'll have to take your pay stub into the store to prove that you make less than a quarter mill' a year. I'm still waiting for my cigarette tax refund paper work to come in the mail I paid the extra $1.00 tax recently and I don't make more than $250,000/yr.

Re:Tax my Toilet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27562251)

These are tax proposals by STATE legislatures.

learn2federalism.

Re:Tax my Toilet (2, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | about 5 years ago | (#27562309)

These are tax proposals by STATE legislatures.

learn2federalism.

Which part of "...not any of your taxes" did you not understand?

Re:Tax my Toilet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27562401)

This is exactly the response I expected from someone who doesn't understand federalism.

Hint: When a FEDERAL government official says that no taxes will be raised, it's implicit in the statement that it means FEDERAL taxes. The FEDERAL government has no control over what your STATE charges you.

See also Constitution, United States.

Re:Tax my Toilet (2, Interesting)

GNUbuntu (1528599) | about 5 years ago | (#27562433)

Which part of STATE legislatures did you not understand?

Re:Tax my Toilet (1, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | about 5 years ago | (#27562605)

Which part of STATE legislatures did you not understand?

Oh no, I got it. Obama has no control over state and local taxes. However, he should has specified that when he said "...not ANY of your taxes..." He could have said, "...not any of your FEDERAL taxes." or "not any of your INCOME taxes." He didn't. He said, "not ANY of your taxes". This is a classic case of a politician over promising something that he could not possibly deliver. Not that it matters as the FEDERAL cigarette tax kinda blew that promise out of the water anyway.

Re:Tax my Toilet (5, Insightful)

GNUbuntu (1528599) | about 5 years ago | (#27562623)

I'm pretty sure anyone except for people who are trying to nitpick non-issues knew that Obama was only talking about Federal taxes. There are plenty of good reasons to bash Obama, this one is just flat out stupid.

Re:Tax my Toilet (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27562667)

There are plenty of good reasons to bash Obama

No there's not. You're just being racist.

Re:Tax my Toilet (1)

ArcherB (796902) | about 5 years ago | (#27562717)

I'm pretty sure anyone except for people who are trying to nitpick non-issues knew that Obama was only talking about Federal taxes. There are plenty of good reasons to bash Obama, this one is just flat out stupid.

Yes. I will gladly admit that it is a nitpick and a case of RTFA. The cigarette tax part was not a nitpick, but could be considered off topic.

You win this time, Gravity!

Re:Tax my Toilet (0, Troll)

mu11ing1t0ver (1175051) | about 5 years ago | (#27562719)

That's the difference with Obama: he has high expectations for us, and he assumes you have a high-school education if you're going to discuss national politics. Of course this is an assumption, and we know what those can make of us.

Re:Tax my Toilet (2, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 5 years ago | (#27562729)

Oh no, I got it. Obama has no control over state and local taxes. However, he should has specified that when he said "...not ANY of your taxes..." He could have said, "...not any of your FEDERAL taxes." or "not any of your INCOME taxes." He didn't. He said, "not ANY of your taxes".

This is a classic case of a straw man. Pretty much everyone understood the context this was in. Except you decide to remove context, ascribe intent to lack of context, and go on your merry flaming ways.

Nice try.

Re:Tax my Toilet (0, Redundant)

gd2shoe (747932) | about 5 years ago | (#27562641)

The part where a federal officer (President) has any authority over state taxes. He doesn't. What part of that don't you understand?

(Alternate quip: The part that was said by a politician.)

Re:Tax my Toilet (1)

mweather (1089505) | about 5 years ago | (#27562737)

Which part of Obama enumerating only federal taxes on income didn't you understand? Context counts.

Re:Tax my Toilet (1)

homer_s (799572) | about 5 years ago | (#27562303)

I wonder if anyone will catch on to the fact that the new carbon taxes levied are nothing more than a tax on the consumers of energy.

Or maybe they'll find a way to pass on the taxes to only those people who make more than 250,000 - a version of that already exists in India.

Re:Tax my Toilet (3, Funny)

mu11ing1t0ver (1175051) | about 5 years ago | (#27562513)

This is an example of the fallacy that consuming energy requires one to expel carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. For counterexample, check out the promising new 'photosynthesis' technology that the plant world has been working on.

Re:Tax my Toilet (1)

scorp1us (235526) | about 5 years ago | (#27562535)

He's already broken it.

With the absolutely crazy tax on cigarettes, which are popular across all financial/socio-economic demographics (except maybe genetic) most lower income will have to give it up or smoke themselves into the poor house.

I guess Obama didn't like the idea of poor people doing along with himself.

Re:Tax my Toilet (1)

GNUbuntu (1528599) | about 5 years ago | (#27562723)

I guess Obama didn't like the idea of poor people doing along with himself.

Or maybe it's because he had fuck all to do with those taxes since they were passed by state legislatures.

Re:Tax my Toilet (2, Informative)

mu11ing1t0ver (1175051) | about 5 years ago | (#27562841)

Uh, yeah. About that. "The federal cigarette tax rose on April 1 from 39 cents a pack to $1.01." http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2009/04/08/ap6272107.html [forbes.com] Anyway taxing smokers is smart, because smokers have health problems that taxpayers end up subsidizing through medicare/medicaid. Raising taxes on smokers results in fewer smokers, which results in a lower tax burden for nonsmokers. This is one where the "lower my taxes" crowd should be creaming their jeans, and instead they're whining about it.

Re:Tax my Toilet (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 5 years ago | (#27562839)

When will they eventually get to the point of taxing what comes out of my butt?

Unless you make more than $250,000, you have nothing to worry about. Obama said so:

With rising prices of fuels and improvements in biogas production technology, you never know when that might happen...

Depends on what comes out of your butt! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27562611)

Only if what comes out of your butt does so in a "violent" manner (E.g. explosive diarrhea). Otherwise, there's only sales tax!

Re:Tax my Toilet (1)

couchslug (175151) | about 5 years ago | (#27562777)

"When will they eventually get to the point of taxing what comes out of my butt?"

Been done already. "Municipal sewage fees."

but but but, it's for a good cause!! (4, Funny)

kcornia (152859) | about 5 years ago | (#27562039)

I'm sure ALL the tax revenue will go towards educating kids on the dangers of violent video games and/or to the victims or violent video game inspired violence, right?

RIGHT?

Re:but but but, it's for a good cause!! (3, Funny)

linhares (1241614) | about 5 years ago | (#27562087)

I'm sure ALL the tax revenue will go towards educating kids on the dangers of violent video games and/or to the victims or violent video game inspired violence, right?

No, sir, you see, it's on my contract here. The money comes to me.

Yours Truly,

--Dr. A. Linhares, Senior Vice President, AIG.

Re:but but but, it's for a good cause!! (2, Informative)

operagost (62405) | about 5 years ago | (#27562707)

You misspelled "Fannie Mae" as "AIG", there. The Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac failures all got bigger bonuses than the people at AIG who worked for $1 last year. Oh, BTW, Barney Frank is still collecting his paycheck.

Re:but but but, it's for a good cause!! (1)

KharmaWidow (1504025) | about 5 years ago | (#27562151)

and, Just because something exists doesn't mean that is justified to tax it.

The only things that should be directly taxable are those things that directly lead to government spending.

Re:but but but, it's for a good cause!! (5, Funny)

rackserverdeals (1503561) | about 5 years ago | (#27562345)

Actually, that's exactly what's going to happen.

They plan on showing them computer simulations of violent acts to illustrate how bad violence is.

I've seen the prototype of the simulation. It's pretty neat. It's from a first person perspective of someone running around killing people and being shot at. And it progresses. First you get to see what the horrors are of killing people with a pistol. Then you pick up a shot gun and see how horrible it is. Then you pick up a machine gun and see that atrocity.

There's even a little number at the top that keeps count of how much you've learned.

Re:but but but, it's for a good cause!! (4, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 5 years ago | (#27562379)

Who cares where the tax revenues go. It all goes into the general treasury anyway. People who believe in earmarked revenues let themselves be misled. Ever wonder why earmarked revenues rarely result in higher spending on the earmarks' targets? Spending from the general treasury is reduced to make up for the earmarked spending.

My biggest problem with this has nothing to do with where the money is spent. It's with the concept that violence is OK, as long as you're willing to pay extra for it. So next time I pick up a hooker, it'll be OK if I beat her on top of screwing her, as long as I give her an extra $40 or so? Or If I send an extra $40 to the government as a "sin tax"?

If you take the ideas of these brain-dead lawmakers and their brain-dead constituents, this is the logical conclusion.

Also, while we're at it, let's tax movie tickets on a sliding scale based on their rating. G? Pay the sales tax. PG? Pay 2 x sales tax. PG-13? 3 x sales tax. Etc.

Re:but but but, it's for a good cause!! (4, Insightful)

slummy (887268) | about 5 years ago | (#27562443)

So next time I pick up a hooker, it'll be OK if I beat her on top of screwing her, as long as I give her an extra $40 or so?

You might want to OK the beating with him/her first. Otherwise her pimp Sugar might get wind of it and give you a really bad day.

Re:but but but, it's for a good cause!! (2, Insightful)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 5 years ago | (#27562803)

So next time I pick up a hooker, it'll be OK if I beat her on top of screwing her, as long as I give her an extra $40 or so?

Yes, it is OK, so long as she agrees to accept $40 for providing the service of punching bag... prostitution is about paying for what you want... it just so happens most people want sex.

Re:but but but, it's for a good cause!! (5, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 5 years ago | (#27562817)

So next time I pick up a hooker, it'll be OK if I beat her on top of screwing her, as long as I give her an extra $40 or so?

I thought the lesson of video games was that if you beat up the hooker, you got your $40 *back*.

stupid (2, Insightful)

gsgleason (1241794) | about 5 years ago | (#27562065)

Sales tax when media or other tangible goods exchanged is acceptable. Taxing the sharing of the intangible is asinine. Why not tax for having ides, next?

That makes no sense (1)

cliffski (65094) | about 5 years ago | (#27562689)

how does it make sense to only tax what is physical?
My income is electronic. People buy the games using electrons, and those electrons change a number on a hard disk that denotes my earnings.
Nothing physical gets made, moved or exchanged.
But that doesnt mean my income shouldnt be taxed just the same as someone who lays bricks or grows food.
Work is work, whether the outcome of it is digitally encodable or not.

Not that I agree in this tax. I wouldnt mind (I make non violent games) if it was consistent with taxing the fuck out of tarantinos movies. Too many hollywood guys donate to politicians to let that happen though.

This is how government controls us. (3, Insightful)

tmosley (996283) | about 5 years ago | (#27562067)

They steal more from those they don't like than those they do. God help you if they don't like you.

Re:This is how government controls us. (4, Funny)

FooAtWFU (699187) | about 5 years ago | (#27562127)

First they came for the AIG executive bonuses, but I did not speak up, because the AIG executives were a bunch of jerks...

Re:This is how government controls us. (2, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 5 years ago | (#27562791)

To some extent, you're damn right. There's a very fine line between taxing to encourage certain behavior, and taxing to punish people you don't like.

Unfortunately, the only way to get around this issue is to abolish taxes completely. Since that's an impossibility (both for bureaucratic and for survival reasons), we're stuck with trying to walk this fine line.

Re:This is how government controls us. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27562491)

It won't earn very well...unless they figure out how to tax those games downloaded via p2p ;)

TPB anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27562071)

The Pirate Bay anyone?

Movies? (4, Insightful)

maxter3185 (816089) | about 5 years ago | (#27562079)

Ok, fine, do it, but what about violent movies and TV shows?

Re:Movies? (1)

linhares (1241614) | about 5 years ago | (#27562125)

Good point. Here's more: What about the GORE AND BLOOD on the fucking Bible?

Re:Movies? (2, Funny)

jgtg32a (1173373) | about 5 years ago | (#27562291)

In most cases when there is Gore and Blood on a bible its considered art or a crime has been committed, it depends

Re:Movies? (1)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | about 5 years ago | (#27562413)

Ok, but how about how the bible erodes the family unit cause Adam was originally with Lilith and then dumped her for Eve.

Re:Movies? (2, Insightful)

CyberLord Seven (525173) | about 5 years ago | (#27562577)

Already been done, my friend.

Take a good look at all those biblical epics Hollyweird produced in the late 1940s through the 1950s: The Robe, Ben Hur, Samson and Delilah, The Ten Commandments, and others. Hollyweird used those to defeat the censors. It's hard to complain about all those HOT JEZIBELLES and all the MURDER AND VIOLENCE when it all originated in the Bible or in christian fiction. I mean, it's good for the children to see this stuff, cuz' it's from the Bible. So all you censors can just STFU! :)

By the way, the Book Of Revelations is my hands down favorite book of the Bible, old testament or new. There is more sex, violence, depravity, and just plain general sin in those pages than any ten Hollyweird epics.

Re:Movies? (3, Interesting)

linhares (1241614) | about 5 years ago | (#27562699)

MEMO to game makers: PLEASE make a game with the most kick-ass moments [cracked.com] from the bible and market it as a christian thing.

Re:Movies? (2, Funny)

linhares (1241614) | about 5 years ago | (#27562835)

I'd pay $200 for a bible game that included Ezekiel 23:19-20 [cracked.com], with all the members and their emissions. $200 dollars would be a good price for encouraging a game developer to fight fire with fire. They should even market it as a good bible teaching aid.

Please think about the Porn (1)

Krneki (1192201) | about 5 years ago | (#27562123)

What is next, a 40% tax on Porn?

Re:Please think about the Porn (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27562359)

I think it would be a 69% tax.

Re:Please think about the Porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27562557)

oh great, now my productivity is shot for the day

They just want more taxes (1)

microbee (682094) | about 5 years ago | (#27562133)

..for whatever reason.

"Protecting the children" is often a convenient one, but there are others.

Re:They just want more taxes (2, Insightful)

reidiq (1434945) | about 5 years ago | (#27562773)

Anytime they (as in government) can label someone as a victim they see a reason to tax and in turn desire control.

When Editors Tax Frost Posts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27562143)

"Taxing first posters has a storied history on blogs like Slashdot. The reality is that first posts, frosty or otherwise, simply make too much hilarity to be stopped. But moderating them is a viable compromise, a 'goatse tax' of sorts similar to that levied on erections. This article reviews the time-honored tactic of politicians pandering to their base: downmodding frosty posts."

Keep pushing (1)

Itninja (937614) | about 5 years ago | (#27562145)

The powers that be seem hell bent on making any video more intense than Paper Mario an adults-only form of entertainment; and thereby make even 3rd rate gore games desirable in the eyes of the consumerist teenager. They just keep pushing these games into sexier and sexier territory: "What? I have to pay a special tax because "teh game is teh hardcorz"? I'll take ten!!!"

Violent games are never good (4, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | about 5 years ago | (#27562159)

Good for them. It's not like violent games ever show [wikipedia.org] justified violence [wikipedia.org], or even semi-realistic portrayals of current foreign combat. It's not like there is ever a point of the violence.

Violence is always bad [wikipedia.org]. It's never a good way to put an end to problems [wikipedia.org] people may face.

Of course, why not.. (1)

rotide (1015173) | about 5 years ago | (#27562173)

I mean, "violent" video games are linked to cancer. They are linked to diseases of bystanders who are in frequent proximity as well.

It's causing quite the health epidemic. It's amazing how it was once popular and even fun! Now, it's known to be a carcinogen and causes other diseases.

Wait.. games.. right? We're talking about video games here? And what the @#$@ is "violent" anyways? Anything that shows any blood? Anything to do with guns? How about anything that depicts fighting or harsh language? How about any game where anything at all is killed?

Goombas, the genocide of Goombas. That's pretty f'ing violent. Better double, wait.. we are already taxed on the sale, plus a sin tax, so triple tax Super Mario Brothers.

Lets just go ahead and ban anything that happens outside of Church and Eating meals with the family. Crap, aren't there some churches that aren't quite, *cough* wholesome as well? Little boy fondlers and all (no matter how rare). Oh and bad stuff happens in the home in some cases as well, so we should strike that too. Let alone any entertainment that has obviously been **PROVEN** to cause violent behavior in, well, anyone.

WTF am I even talking about anymore? I'm making about as much sense as these god damn politicians now.

Re:Of course, why not.. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27562397)

If you like to drink Coke or Pepsi while you game, and you live in NYC, then you could soon pay a soda tax [slate.com].

Boost your tax revenue in a few easy steps! (1)

w0mprat (1317953) | about 5 years ago | (#27562215)

1. Select an arbitrary public health/social/economic issue

2. ????

3. Propose tax as a solution

4. ???

5. Profit ?

Cigarettes are demonstrably harmful; Games aren't (1)

Dr. Spork (142693) | about 5 years ago | (#27562257)

I don't like the precedent set here. It's like we're failing to distinguish between what is harmful and what we find in bad taste. Cigarettes are harmful. The studies are conclusive. Is there any evidence that games are?

Re:Cigarettes are demonstrably harmful; Games aren (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | about 5 years ago | (#27562333)

As if taxing cigarettes and alcohol prevented anyone from using them anyway.

Re:Cigarettes are demonstrably harmful; Games aren (1)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | about 5 years ago | (#27562609)

I know at least one person who gave up on cigarettes because of cost. And I know many more who didn't.

If I were tax dictator the extra taxes would go into a smokers insurance fund that will treat heart attacks and cancer for smokers. Either that or ban all publicly funded health care and mandate people buy their own health care coverage from their own pocketbooks, like auto liability insurance. If you want to kill yourself, do it on your own dime.

Re:Cigarettes are demonstrably harmful; Games aren (1)

locallyunscene (1000523) | about 5 years ago | (#27562861)

Your point is fair, but I'd also point out that taxing cigarettes is also supposed to offset the costs imposed on the healthcare system which the taxpayer ends up paying anyway.

Maybe a similar case could be made for video games and gun crime, but I doubt it. I doubt the cause and effect, and that the NRA and similar lobbying organizations would let such a precedent be set.

Anyone know how much of the cigarette tax goes to anti-smoking campaigns and other health related spending?

Sin tax? (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | about 5 years ago | (#27562267)

a 'sin tax' of sorts similar to that levied on cigarettes

Can you please explain what part of playing a violet game is a sin?
I can understand a tax on tobacco and alcohol, both have a clear and quite direct negative side effect on you and the people around you.
But what makes a violent video game different from a other video game? The simulated violence? How about real violence shown on the news and "reality" shows? Isn't real violence worse than simulated violence?

Re:Sin tax? (2, Insightful)

sesshomaru (173381) | about 5 years ago | (#27562633)

See and this is a problem with "sin taxes." A sin tax is just a tax on a socially unpopular item. It's not meant to be a fine, which is a punishment that's used to discourage people from breaking the law.

The reason why sin taxes target socially unpopular items is "divide and rule." In other words, if everything gets a sales tax, everyone complains. If violent video games get a sales tax, only video game players complain. If they aren't a big enough block to vote out the taxers, and the tax holds up in court (I'm not sure that it would, but it might), then the tax gets put into place and allows the state government to collect the revenue.

Sin Taxes, are sold as fines, but it's usually a problem for the taxers if they work as fines (in other words, if people quit smoking, drinking and gaming). Because in that case the tax base starts to shrink and the revenue disappears.

I'm reminded of the story of a town whihc levied a fine on false burglar alarms. Well the town auditor complained when one year the fine brought in less revenue than the previous year. The police chief had to patiently explain to him that the fine was working as intended, and the police were having less of their time wasted with false alarms. The fine wasn't supposed to be about raising revenue, it was to free up police resources to go after actual crimes rather than people who carelessly set off their own alarm.

Whats next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27562279)

We tax condoms to $5 a piece, becasue we all know THAT's a sin too. Honestly, if we start taxing things just because we don't agree with them, where do we stop? Who determines what's considered worthy of additional taxes and what's not?

Constitutional? (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 5 years ago | (#27562295)

Would the Supreme Court find a content based tax constitutional? I can see how states would get away taxing all video games, but taxing one type of video game based on its content seems like a first amendment issue. Are there other types of media that get this treatment?

Re:Constitutional? (3, Insightful)

mea37 (1201159) | about 5 years ago | (#27562591)

Well, tax laws can apparently be used to punish you for something you did before the law was passed (see AIG bonuses), so why would the Constitution apply in this case?

Re:Constitutional? (1)

scorp1us (235526) | about 5 years ago | (#27562679)

Well the Constitution has two types of tax: Direct and indirect. There has only ever been one direct tax that I know about, so we'll put that out of view.

The indirect tax (excise or tariff) is on the happening event. It can only be evoked when someone or something is doing something. Your current oil and tobacco taxes are on the manufacture or importation of these things. These specific two examples also have transfer liability clauses that allow the tax liability to be transferred to the buyer, thereby making it seem that it is on something, but really you're paying for a tax that was generated some time ago, because you pay the tax it incurred at production when you pay at the register.

Your income tax therefore is not a tax on the income per se, it is a tax on the receiving of income. The tax is generated by the reception, the amount of tax is then measured by the amount of income. If you never receive anything that is "income" (loans, etc) there is no "income" event, and therefore you do not need to worry about the tax liability.

Re:Constitutional? (1)

scorp1us (235526) | about 5 years ago | (#27562771)

Addendum.

That was for federal taxes. (For video games, the Federal government could claim authority under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution or the First-Sale Doctrine, if coming in from outside the US, and additionally subject to tariffs)

The states can do whatever they want as long as it does not violate their own state constitution.

A viable compromise to what? (1)

rolfwind (528248) | about 5 years ago | (#27562361)

But taxing them is a viable compromise

You know, I could see taxing alcohol and cigarettes in proportion to the societal burden it incurs and if it were applied in a systematic way to pay for healthcare, prevention and education programs, extra police, etcetera instead of being thrown in the general fund and cranked up everytime they "need" more money.

However, violent video games have a neglible (perhaps even positive as a cathartic release) societal burden. This is just a money grab on an unpopular group or easy scapegoat by the majority. The republic was made to protect the rights of the individual (in theory).

So They Tax The Pretend Violence (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27562373)

And use most the money made for real war.

What the fuck is wrong with these people?

Pirating = Tax Evasion too? (2, Interesting)

kannibul (534777) | about 5 years ago | (#27562385)

You can't "copy" cigarettes, but you can (but not legally in most cases) with digital media.

If said digital media has a "tax" on it, and someone makes a copy, then could that be made into an additional crime of tax evasion?

Another example is Trolltech's Qt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27562387)

Another example is Trolltech's Qt, "taxing" the "sin" of producing non-free software.

yea great idea.. (2, Insightful)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | about 5 years ago | (#27562393)

That won't encourage piracy....

I would also point out that taxing doesn't reduce the amount of violence in the game..

Sounds as effective as the Green tax tbph..

Any Electronic Entertainment? (1)

vortoxin (213064) | about 5 years ago | (#27562403)

I am picturing an Air Force general getting pissed slamming his hand on a desk screaming, "How did my missile targeting system for F-22's and interactive guidance systems for drones to drop bombs go up by X amount of dollars?"

It is not quite out on console yet, but I do wonder how they will legally classify a taxed video game from a non-taxed one.

first they came for... (1)

bugs2squash (1132591) | about 5 years ago | (#27562471)

alchohol; and I do not drink enough to make a difference, so I stood back and watched.
Then they came for Tobacco; and I do not smoke, so I did not speak out.
Now they've come for video games; and I don't play them...
I see a pattern emerging here. Who cares if they tax video games. Thanks for the extra revenue that does not have to come out of my paycheck.

Re:first they came for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27562735)

Prepare for a visit from a drunk, angry, nicotine-starved mob. You'd better hope they know the difference between video games and real life...

First Amendment? (0, Redundant)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | about 5 years ago | (#27562485)

I don't much see this surviving challenge, if it goes that far. A tax on things like cigarettes is one thing; a tax on media due to its content seems like something that contravenes the 1st Amendment. Otherwise, you'd never have to ban speech you don't like, you'd just make it really, really expensive.

Bear in mind I'm not a lawyer; I don't even play one on message boards.

Missing the point. (0)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 5 years ago | (#27562517)

This isn't an attack on "violent video games" per se, but rather the government responding to the economic crisis by applying sin taxes [wikipedia.org] on a variety of goods, such as liquor, cigarettes, gas, electric, water, (the last three under the guise of "conservation"), and so on. Anything that is not a majority-use good or has any kind of social stigma will be taxed.

I really hope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27562563)

they know the Pandora's box they are going to open with this piracy is just going to sky rocket then game companies that make sports and elmo games are going reign.

Taxing for taxes sake. (3, Interesting)

geekmux (1040042) | about 5 years ago | (#27562565)

A sin tax? Are we serious? What's next? Will confessionals become toll booths? What constitutes a sin and by whos guage?

And targeting this? Why don't you call it what it is. "Wow, you make too much money, we need to figure out a way to tax you more."

I'll tell you what's a sin here. Re-electing these morons back in office. Give me a break. How about we look to tax lawmakers who fail to show up for work?

Freaking morons.

Re:Taxing for taxes sake. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27562855)

How about we look to tax lawmakers who fail to show up for work?

Considering the vast majority of lawmakers, we should tax those that DO show up for work.

New Tax Idea (4, Interesting)

Sir_Real (179104) | about 5 years ago | (#27562653)

Let's just tax bad parents. You let your kid fail spelling? That's a hundred bucks. You let your kid fail math? That's two hundred. You let your kid fail PE? Well, celibacy is it's own tax plus, he/she won't be squishing out any more sedentary, garbage pile producing crotchfruit to compete with the resources of other, more fit people. TAX PARENTS.

Wait... (1)

Bones3D_mac (324952) | about 5 years ago | (#27562685)

Is the submitter suggesting "sin" taxes are a good thing?!

If so, who gets to decide what activities and products are deserving of such penalties? How does this not quality as government-sponsored policing of morality? And who's system of ethics is ultimately the correct one?

Obviously taxes are necessary to fund the cost of government and it's services, but abusing the system to punish those who aren't harming anyone is completely ridiculous. Look at the outlandish cost of cigarettes smokers are subjected to every time they want to get their fix. It's easy to criticize smokers when you don't personally smoke, but you can bet your ass that you'd be complaining about the cost if you did.

Perhaps it's time to shake things up and reverse our ideals on what constitutes a "sin" deserving of taxes... like couples who have children who annoy those of us who don't. Why should all of us pay property taxes that go into the schools that educate children that aren't ours? Maybe couples who have children should foot the entire bill for schools simply because the rest of us find the act of having children objectionable.

After all we only have extra cash because we made an informed choice not to bring another screaming brat into this world. It should be entirely ours to use as we see fit.

Guess what (1)

reidiq (1434945) | about 5 years ago | (#27562705)

Every tax the government does to companies, gets paid by the consumer. I recommend reading the Fair Tax book by congressman Jon Linder and Neal Boortz. http://www.fairtax.org/ [fairtax.org] It's astounding reading how many things have imbedded costs to items due to taxes that get passed off to the consumer. Cap and Trade will tax businesses for the consumption of energy they use and guess what happens? They raise the price of their product to pay for the tax increase. Guess what video game developers are going to do now?

Wasn't that found unconstitutional? (2, Interesting)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 5 years ago | (#27562721)

I think a "vice tax" on violent games has already been found an obstruction to free speech (how is it free speech if you're taxed depending on what you say?) and thus unconstitutional.

Letting that aside, "vice taxes" are a terrible idea, it basically means the richer you are the more vices you're allowed to have. To someone with a 200000$/year income the tax carries a completely different weight than to someone who earns 20000$/year. If vice taxes are supposed to make people use something less then they should be adjusted to the income (e.g. if every pack of cigarettes was taxed 1/2000th of your monthly income) so they don't vary between a huge barrier and a mere blip between different social classes. Not gonna reduce someone's use of something if the additional cost is so minor it doesn't matter while making it a significant bump for the upper classes will completely block it from the lower classes. Oh and hey, there we've got another abridgement to the freedom of speech, having the proles locked out of your speech if you talk about the wrong things.

Um.... (2, Insightful)

moniker127 (1290002) | about 5 years ago | (#27562785)

I'm sorry, Am I not supposed to be viewing violence as an adult male? I can understand mandates for them to put warning labels and such, for parents, but why the hell would It be reasonable to tax this?
What is our government now? The mafia? Seriously. They are essentially saying "Hey, look, we like you, but you're in trouble. Now, if you make sure we're taken care of, nothing bad will happen to you."

When did this become the job of the state?

"Sin tax" on cigarettes... not "health-tax"? (1)

rob51 (128483) | about 5 years ago | (#27562851)

Let's naively assume that the tax on cigarettes wasn't because it was a sin, but because smokers get cigarette-related illness and burden the health-care system.

By that reasoning, in Louisiana violent games cause kids to come down with The Fat, in Wisconsin it leads to kids going to juvvie, and in Corpus Christi, violent games lead to high property-taxes!

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