This letter regards Bill Moran and his initiative to trim Idaho’s in-state tuition. He makes a fine case for selective taxation. His strategy is as tempting as it is insidious. If smokers are driving up health care costs, then apply the cigarette tax to health care. Why engage in sleight-of-hand tax shuffling? If the residents of Idaho want to reduce tuition, let everyone share in the expense. Accountability for the funds would improve if everyone’s tax dollars were invested. Folks like Mr. Moran are well intentioned, perhaps, but selective taxation on a particular legal industry, however unpopular, is un-American. Consider how many products in your local grocery store lack any nutritional value and are even demonstrably/measurably harmful. By Mr. Moran’s logic, shoppers are subsidizing the soda industry, the energy drink industry — health-conscious people know this list could go on and on. Why not add taxes to packaged doughnuts? Or sugary cereals? Or bacon? See, now I’ve probably got your attention. My point is, taxation should be fair, equitable and, where possible, user-fee based.
Cliff Cromwell, Boise