Writing Out Loud: TP 1.01

By George Stahl

The latest tax to come from the lawmakers of California is called, ‘TP 1.01.’ It is a tax that will be levied on how many rolls of toilet paper is used per household. The hope behind this tax is to reduce the amount of paper that is wasted by the millions of us who live in the state. In the original proposal by Governor Jerry Brown, an estimated savings of 150 rolls of toilet paper per household per year was a potential and based on the tax amount, close to $2.5 billion dollars will be raised by the state in that same one-year period.

The money generated from the tax will be distributed among agencies who deal with the homeless, lower income families and a growing deficit in the educational programs in the state. The Sacramento legislature voted to accept Governor Brown’s proposal and the bill went into effect last Wednesday. But then an unforeseen thing happened. No one gave any thought as to how this tax was going to be enforced. The wording in the bill says that the tax is levied on rolls of toilet paper used, not bought. In other words, it is an after usage tax.

Some suggestions were presented to Governor Brown and his staff, but all of them were turned down. According to sources in the state capital, when the idea was fresh, everyone was so excited about the prospect of all of that revenue, but no one had a clue as to how they were going to get it. They all said that a plan would come together in time; let’s get the law passed first, then deal with the particulars. The power they had was in getting the bill passed, and then the challenge was how to enforce the bill.

The powers that be have been in power for so long that they are getting out of control. The driving force behind them is no longer what is for the good of the people, but how far will the people let them go? It seems there is a tax in California for everything. Whenever we turn around there is a new tax. Fortunately, if you haven’t guessed, ‘TP 1.01” is not real. But something like it could be one day.

It’s not just California, either. They say that the only things that are a sure thing in life are death and taxes, and even death is taxed. The original design for the U.S. was that the people have control over government, not the other way around. For that to work, maybe we need new faces and new leaders who realize who it is they work for, and leaders who will listen when we speak. Some people are of the mindset that the system is broken, and that it is beyond repair. Well, it’s probably not broken, and it can be repaired. You could say it’s just a little out of alignment. One good election, and it could be realigned and on its way to being repaired. In that process though, it’s the people who have the power to make that happen. If you don’t want a ‘TP 1.01’ in your future, then you have to take responsibility and do your research on measures, people running for office, and on the propositions. Then get out and vote. Take a stand. Who knows, it could work. Some know it used to work. There doesn’t have to be a ‘TP 1.01’ in our future. That’s pretty much up to us.

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