10 Things That Should Actually Be Taxed

060207_taxes_vmed_11a.widec.jpgBy Teague Bohlen

The economy’s tanking, the national debt is soaring to frighteningly new heights, and the givernment has less money for services such as Medicare and education. Obviously, things are going financially to hell, and the only way the U.S. is going to survive is by raising taxes. Before you freak out, we at Topless Robot believe that Americans have a few obnoxious resources that could be used to generate huge piles of money while bettering American culture as a whole! Here are 10 acts and items that could be taxed to everyone’s satisfaction.

1) Use of the Term “Dude”

This was born with Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and honestly, it should have died there too. After all, Alex Winter’s film career had the courtesy to end with Bill & Ted (save for a recent extended appearance as “King Mole Man” in the cartoon Saul of the Mole Men. Which somehow manages to be more pathetic than ’70s and ’80s TV icon Willie Aames and his long, eventual slide down the Hollywood ladder to his recent roles as “Bible Man”.) Anyway, “dude” has run its course, except as to identify characters in film or literature who remain hopelessly stuck in the grunge era, and who shall remain unaffected by this taxation.

2) Starbucks

Note that this tax is on a sliding scale. Regular coffee will be taxed at the usual flat sales-tax rate. So this new tax will not be on the drink itself, but on the extra adjectives applied to said drink. So that extra-hot, no foam, low-fat, triple shot, half-caf sugar-free vanilla latte will cost you an extra bit of change there, Sally Sue. Also, if you buy anything else from a Starbucks, be it music, an Oprah Book Club selection, a holiday-themed mug, or anything else that cannot be consumed on the property itself, there shall be a 100% additional tax for supporting the manufacturing, marketing, and sales of utterly useless items. (See corollary tax for Pottery Barn.)

3) Bad Television

In the interests of encouraging good television, and discouraging bad TV, there will now be instituted a “Quality Tax” on all future programming. For example, Lost will be free, but if you want to watch American Gladiators or The Bachelor or Wife Swap, you have to pay to compensate for the damage inflicted on our national collective IQ. Revenues so collected will go to support aforementioned “good” television, so that such programming can avoid being made possible by corporations, government grants, the letter Q or the number 6.

4) Internet Porn

The new tax on pornography, which is estimated to comprise fully one percent of the entire body of information of the internet (and growing rapidly, if you know what I mean, nudge nudge), will be a miniscule amount in terms of a per-file charge?say, .01 cents per half hour of porn-viewing. It is, however, expected to add up quickly, and is projected to pay for the Iraq War in full within a week and a half (or a single week, if it’s a three-day weekend).

5) Bad Driving

With the aging population of the United States, this issue has become more and more important over recent years. This new tax structure, which can be compiled in association with both local DMVs and the AARP, will be designed to address traffic and safety issues. Taxes will be levied for: failing to use a turn signal; failing to turn off their turn signal; driving five or more miles under the posted speed limit; driving hunched over the steering wheel with one’s mouth slightly agape; or owning an older-model Crown Victoria without either modifications for illegal street-racing or a deep sense of shame.

6) Use of Internet Language

You may LOL or even ROTFLMAO, but OMG if you use terms like BTW or GTG or you say IDK about this new tax, and furthermore IDC, then that taxpayer will be SOL. Worse, if a person were to actually use these terms off the internet, the taxes should be tripled, and a beating administered, leaving them financially pwned.

7) Home Shopping Networks

While these may have made some sort of sense in the pre-Internet days, their use at this point in technology can only be for those people who are either still as-yet unaware of how internet shopping works, or who are such shopping addicts that they shop online with television shopping networks playing in the background, so as to shop at two places simultaneously. Either way, the IRS firmly believes that both these groups need to be taxed out of existence.

8) Donald Trump

Because we can, and he can afford it. And maybe, if he’s busy enough filling out all the tax forms he’ll need to complete just to exist, he’ll be too busy for future seasons of The Apprentice.

9) Cell Phone ringtones

Phones that do anything other than ring (which include but are not limited to: playing “My Humps,” sounding like Darth Vader’s wheezing, or vaguely resemble a famous movie star or cartoon character yelling “Hey, your phone’s ringing!”) will be taxed to the fullest extent possible.

10) Insipid Lists Passing for Feature Articles

In the early days of magazines, before the content-hungry machine that is the internet, the likes of E.B. White, George Orwell, and Jack London provided the articles and essays that entertained readers and illuminated philosophy and thought worldwide. In order to increase revenue from the internet and to encourage the right sort of content for America’s growing appetite, all “humorous” lists both online and in print shall be taxed, in terms creation, publication, and perusal. This may initially cause many magazines and most internet sites to cease publication immediately, but the sheer number of these list “articles” presently existing online and in print should be able to bring in tax dollars for a very, very long time.