But the particular shape of the debate will be interesting. Warren Buffet is predicting that the economy will be "in shambles" throughout 2009, and states are beginning a mad scavenger hunt in search of revenue sources. And Hey, Sailor -- they're willing to try anything.
Per the Times, "anything" may well include legalizing marijuana sales so that they can be taxed (California); building casinos (Massachusetts); changing the tax structure for brothels (Nevada, obviously, which already has a tax on marijuana).
But our favorite anecdote of these lean times concerns Washington state legislator mark Miloscia, who
says he has supported all manner of methods to fill the state’s coffers, including increasing fees on property owners to help the homeless and taxes on alcohol and cigarettes, most of which, he said, passed “without a peep.”
So he proposed the next seemingly logical step, an 18.5% tax on sex toys and adult magazines. To his surprise, Miloscia reports, “People came down on me like a ton of bricks,” accusing him of attacking the First Amendment and, more to the point, saying that “saying their marriages would fall apart.”
Miloscia gets it, now, finally, about the world we live in: “I didn’t quite understand. Apparently porn is right up there with Mom and apple pie.”