Five Minutes Five Issues: Car Tracking, Chocolate Ban, Media Perverts, Teens’ Marijuana Use, Tax Bill Rush
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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity welcomes you to Five Minutes Five Issues.
Starting in five four three two one.
Hello, I am Adam Dick, a Ron Paul Institute senior fellow.
Sometimes taxes are about more than just taking your money. They can also be about invading your privacy. Think of all the information the United States government collects, for example, through the submission of 1040 and other income tax forms.
Now the California state government is considering taxing people for each mile they drive their cars. A report this week by Phil Matier at KPIX-TV suggests the tax may be supported by putting tracking devices in cars.
Steven Nelson reported Wednesday at the Washington Examiner that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned two companies to stop distributing Coco Loko, a snortable chocolate powder that the FDA calls a “street drug alternative.” Nelson explains that the snortable chocolate powder is like the cacao powder used in many foods, with the difference that it includes extra ingredients such as “B vitamins, ginkgo biloba, blood flow-improving amino acid L-Arginine and the energy drink stimulants guarana and taurine.”
The USA Today editorial board provided an example of the absurd lengths some media will go to attack President Donald Trump. The editorial board began a Tuesday editorial by stating that Trump, in a recent Twitter post, was “clearly implying that [US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)] would trade sexual favors for campaign cash.” However, in the tweet referenced, Trump just wrote that the senator “would come to my office ‘begging’ for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them).”
Responding to New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof who was jumping to the same conclusion, Justin Raimondo of antiwar.com offered this quip: “If you're a sex-obsessed pervert with a dirty filthy rotten mind, then yes - that's how you'd read it.”
Tom Angell wrote Monday at Marijuana Moment regarding results of a periodic national survey conducted by the US government that indicate there may have been a slightly larger drop in marijuana use by people age 12 to 17 in states that legalized marijuana than in states that have not legalized.
These results do indicate that, in this area of concern, the sky did not fall.
But, the indicated difference in changes in marijuana use in legalization and prohibition states is rather small, and Alaska and Oregon, which have adopted legalization, had indicated increases in use, over, respectively, the year and month prior to the survey. The results thus suggest that legalization, even if it is a cause of decreased use, is likely not a very major one. Indeed, there is no reason to reject without further investigation the possibility that any greater decreased use is just a correlation with legalization instead of a result caused by legalization.
Also, concern about small changes in the percentage of Americans ages 12 to 17 who are using marijuana seems often overblown. Some of these individuals use marijuana for medical reasons, and probably more do so each year as medical benefits become more recognized. Further, through much of American history a typical teenager would be done with school and working for a living. They were widely seen as young adults who should make major decisions regarding their lives. I am not worried if some more teenagers drink beer. Why should I be worried if some more consume marijuana? I’ll leave the worrying to their parents.
There is a rush to pass a major tax bill in the US Congress before Christmas.
Why the rush? The long, complex bill could be dealt with over the winter in a deliberative and open fashion.
The rush ensures the American people, many of whom are now involved in Christmas trips and celebrations, do not understand what special interests have put into the bill. The rush also helps pressure Congress members to vote “yes” given their Christmas break is held hostage until a tax bill passes.
That’s a wrap.
Transcripts of Five Minutes Five Issues episodes, including links to related information, are at the Ron Paul Institute blog.
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