How the Government Keeps Airline Taxes Hidden from Customers


Writing at The Washington Post, George Will highlights a legal challenge filed by Spirit Airlines and several other low-cost carriers against a government rule forbidding them from prominently listing the amount of federal taxes that comprise total airplane ticket costs. As Will writes:

The government retains a narrow authority to prevent deceptive advertising practices. But as the airlines argued in petitioning the Supreme Court to hear their case, the government is micromanaging their speech merely to prevent the public from understanding the government's tax burdens.

The government's total price rule forbids the airlines from calling attention to the tax component of the price of a ticket by listing the price the airline charges and then the tax component with equal prominence. The rule mandates that any listing of the tax portion of a ticket's price "not be displayed prominently and be presented in significantly smaller type than the listing of the total price." The government is trying to prevent people from clearly seeing the burdens of government.

Read the whole thing here.