Taxes

Tax-Free Tampons Are a Matter of 'Social Justice,' Say California Lawmakers

On Tuesday, the California tax board endorsed a measure to make menstrual products exempt from sales tax.

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aniquenyc/Flickr

Why should women have to pay a tax on tampons and menstrual pads, which are surely more necessity than luxury? Perhaps because we all pay sales taxes on all sorts of goods—food, toilet paper, shoes—that are an integral part of modern life. But according to certain California lawmakers and the state's tax board, the sales tax on menstrual products is sexist and must be abolished. 

On Tuesday, the California Board of Equalization—the agency in charge of administering California's sales, use, fuel, and vice taxes—endorsed Assembly Bill 1561, which would make menstrual products exempt from sales tax. The measure is co-sponsored by California Assemblymembers Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) and Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond) as a way to "bring more gender equity to California's tax code," according to a press release from Garcia's office. 

"Effectively we are being taxed for being born as women," she said. "AB 1561 is about social justice [and] an opportunity to end an outdated tax that uniquely targets women for a function of their body, a function we don't control and can't ignore every month of our adult life."

Currently, five U.S. states—Minnesota, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Maryland— exempt menstrual products from sales tax

There tend to be two libertarian camps on sales taxes, which can be described reductively as either 1) screw sales tax, because screw all taxes, or 2) sales taxes are a good alternative to income taxes for raising government funds. But I think we can all agree that if sales taxes exist, they should be straightforward and applied equally across broad categories. Randomly selecting certain products for exemption based on the idea that they're more or less essential to daily life than others is just a recipe for complication and special-interest-mongering. (Just look at the arcane patchwork of rules concerning food taxes in California, which leave bureaucrats perpetually arguing over things like whether a frozen sandwich microwaved at a gas station counts as a hot or cold food for tax purposes.) 

Garcia and Chang argue that for extremely poor women, buying tampons or pads each month is a severe financial burden which we need to mitigate. But is it more of a burden than buying, say, contact lens? Toothpaste? Toilet paper? At least there are reusable options for menstrual products; you can't reuse toilet paper or toothpaste. 

Of course, exempting menstrual products from sales tax is only a stepping stone as far as Garcia is concerned. Her end goal is to "make these essential products free or covered by insurance for women," she said. 

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176 responses to “Tax-Free Tampons Are a Matter of 'Social Justice,' Say California Lawmakers

  1. “Effectively we are being taxed for being born as women,” she said. “AB 1561 is about social justice [and] an opportunity to end an outdated tax that uniquely targets women for a function of their body, a function we don’t control and can’t ignore every month of our adult life.”

    Some men have periods, cis scum shitlord.

    a function we don’t control

    And this is just a lie.

    1. a function we don’t control

      And this is just a lie.

      Menstruation is a social construct.

      1. [golf clap]

    2. But notice how she waltzes right past the point that everyone is being taxed for toilet paper and other essentials. If only she could see the bigger issue about taxation.

      1. Everyone uses toilet paper. Non-starter.

        Name one… ONE product that a man is FORCED to use?

        1. Actually forced? None. Effetively, many men are forced to shave because of workplace rules, prison rules, military rules, etc.

          1. Hmm… so razors as social justice.

            I like the cut of your jib.

          1. Mon., someone with a thick Italian accent asked me where he could buy one of those. (Actually it sounded more like “fresh right”.) On his description, I gathered he was looking for a place that’d sell a flashlight. He insisted after I pronounced it that that’s exactly what he’d been saying.

        2. But men need more toilet paper. Tissues work too.

          1. I’m not sure about that.

            However, men need more *food*. We should be given a rebate or something.

            1. If you’re thinking about food, you missed the joke.

            1. It’s funny and not disturbing.

              1. You’re right… that was awesome.

          2. That is a beautiful review.

        3. No woman is “forced” to menstruate.

          Once you have a hysterectomy, you don’t menstruate any more. They have a choice: womb? or period?

          1. Not only that, no woman who menstruates is forced to use tampons.

            There’s those cup thingies. Or, you could just do what chicks did before tampons were invented as a separate thing. I have no idea what that is, but you get my point.

            Women choose to use tampons because they are better/preferred to the alternatives.

            1. Indians had the right idea. Send em out into the woods until they’re done.

              Bonii: Keeps the bears away

            2. Here’s the thing. If a woman doesn’t want to have a period, all she has to do is take birth control pills every day of the month. Boom! No period. Keep in mind that birth control pills are covered in Obamacare, so it’s cost-free.

          2. Well is they were pregnant all the time, as God intended, this wouldn’t be an issue!

            *ducks head, makes popcorn*

        4. Jock straps.

        5. Name one that women are FORCED to use. Tampons and Pads may be more sanitary but they certainly aren’t a requirement.

          But by all means, keep following the thread of that thought – At the end of it is me justifying my non-payment of taxes because I didn’t ask to be born a man, and therefore I am being oppressively taxed for not being a woman.

        6. Name one… ONE product that a man is FORCED to use?

          Who is forcing women to buy and use specialty menstrual products?

      2. Wait, why isn’t she demanding that the tampons themselves be provided free of charge, since its a product that “uniquely targets women for a function of their body”?

        I’m sure companies will fall all over themselves to provide such a thing.

        1. Not a doubt in my mind we’ll get there.

        2. Well it should be covered by health insurance, obviously.

            1. “I have to call in your prescription for your tampons.”

              1. “Generic or name brand?”

              2. Oh, the butt-hurt would be delicious. They hate “medicalizing of womens’ issues.”

            2. The worst part about this is that if they really want to make it easier for poor women to get these products, simply allow them to set up Health Savings Accounts tax free, and then contribute to those.

          1. And in our incremental match toward single payer, the government will be subsidizing more and more of that.

        3. See the last paragraph of the post. Garcia’s end game on all products that cover bodily functions unique to women is free. How that happens, who knows but it will likely be stupid and expensive for everyone else.

        4. Better yet, why isn’t she insisting that tampons and pads be banned because they are clearly a tool for shaming and oppressing women over a natural bodily function?

  2. So that’s the trick. Get “social-justice” applied to your hobby horse, and it’s the wild west.

    1. Well, duh. What do you have against justice? You must be the criminal element we hear so much about.

  3. “The measure is co-sponsored by California Assemblymembers Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) and Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond)…”

    I don’t know about Cristina, but I suspect Ling Ling simply wants to PANDA to female voters.

    1. [narrows gaze until can’t see]

      1. Careful, Tonio — Might be a slippery slope.

        1. What you did there…I see it!

          1. Narrow gaze harder!

            1. But then I wouldn’t be able to see that slippery spot on the floor.

    2. ” Ling Ling simply wants to PANDA to female voters.”

      Ling Ling likes Bamboo(zling) voters!

      1. That’s unbearable.

        1. Ling Ling’s main problem is (re)producing results!

  4. So toilet paper, razors, deodorant, soap, etc will now be tax exempt soon? Can I write off my Dollar Shave Club membership?

    1. Nobody has to shave.

      I’m sure President Sanders would allow two types of deodorant (a mens’ and a womens’) to be sold tax-free; all non-approved products to be taxed.

      1. Nobody has to use tampons, either. Tampons didn’t always exist.

        1. Cherokee Hair!

      2. Supporting the gender binary!
        Supporting the gender binary!

    2. well beards are sexist now right? so for social justice, we should subsidize (errr Not Tax) shaving supplies so us men can fight the patriar *herp derp derp* *brain explodes*

      1. I thought they like beards because all the hipster douche betas were sporting them.

      2. No beards are necessary, because shaving is gender-appropriation.

  5. looking forward to the new products. it’s a dessert topping and a floor wax and a kotex.

    1. Please, LW, “pad” or “bandage” (yes, they really did used to call them that). Kotex is a brand name.

      1. So was Zipper. Hey, I see a pattern.

  6. “make these essential products free or covered by insurance for women,”

    Why not make food free too?

    I WANT COMMON SENSE FOOD INSURANCE

    1. We have a winner, folks! Yes, Lee, this is the tip of the wedge argument which will eventually lead to calls for all “essntials” to be free.

    2. Hey, if men won’t pay for women’s shit voluntarily, we will use the violence of the state to force them to!

      1. Equality at last!

  7. Why aren’t my jack rags tax free? I prefer using Bounty paper towels because they are the quicker picker upper, and sure I’m only talking about a tax savings of a few duckets a year. But for someone like Warty, the tax savings in jack rags could reach well into the six figures.

    1. “Ducats,” which is generally pronounced to rhyme with “bucket” in US English.

      1. oh come on, Gul Bucket would be the worst character ever

        1. +1 Kardassian

        2. It’s pronounced “Boo-kay”.

    2. “Why aren’t my jack rags tax free?”

      Try a memstrual pad and feel the liberation from overbearing taxes.

      1. Then it would be sticky on both sides.

    3. Women masturbate, too, and also need to clean up after. You’re conflating a necessity with no substitutes and jack rags.

  8. Either everything should be taxed or nothing should be taxed.

    But these people don’t believe treating *people* the same way, much less products

  9. Do not click on that frozen sandwich link. It’s infuriating.

    1. Which part, the byzantine tax laws, or the sob-story about the guy who’s too “poor” to live the good life in the most expensive city in America?

  10. “menstrual products” include that fifth of Jack Daniels I need to calm me down during that period.

    And why MENstrual? Shouldn’t it be bitchstrual?

    1. I wish more women would take your attitude and just stay home drunk.

  11. “a recipe for complication and special-interest-mongering.”

    WELCOME TO CALIFORNIA!

  12. free or covered by insurance

    I see a plank in Bernie’s platform. The country doesn’t need 57 kinds of tampons and menstruation pads. Production and distribution of these products should be a federal concern. All workers would be unionized, of course.

    1. Already covered at 1:56 PM, above. Suck it, slowpoke. But kudos on “57 varieties”. (Ewwww…)

    1. That’s the point I was trying to make above with actually-forced versus effectively-forced.

      1. Society places that *need* upon them.

        1. Real social justice would be to change society’s attitude toward red pants.

          1. And that’s no joke.

            There was a recent intertube stink about a 16 year old girl being menstrual shamed because she was menstruating all over her pants and some older woman offered her a tampon in a hushed voice.

            1. Does this story involve pig’s blood at some point?

    2. They could use “diva cups” if they don’t want to pay the tax every month.

      1. See, there you male hetero patriarchs go again telling women what to do with their genitalia!!1!

      2. plus, “Two Girls, One Diva Cup” for added savings.

        1. EEEEEEEEEEEWWWWW!!!!

      3. Diva cups are like $40 and they’re only reusable for about a year (they need to be boiled to sterilize). So it works out to be a similar cost and tax.

  13. Seems like this could lead to good things in a very taxed state. Pass this bill, then you can use it as a precedent. “If THIS product is so necessary that it needs to have no sales tax, than THIS OTHER more necessary product should have no sales tax either.”

    Then keep drilling away with that logic the sales tax is gone, piece by piece.

    1. I like the way you think. Its na?ve, but optimistic.

    2. You missed the point though. This product wasn’t selected for tax exempt status because it was essential to people. It was selected because it is essential to women.

      This isn’t about helping poor people. It’s about gender equality. That’s the only precedent it would set.

      1. Even better, because then men will demand gender equality for males too. Just keep chipping away both sides

    3. Exactly. Does ENB think equalizing or broadening taxes is going to reduce them? Bwahahahah!

  14. If we get rid of the tax, will they shut up during the game?

    /spits on floor

    1. [golf clap]

  15. Fun fact: Modern menstrual pads were developed by Allied forces field nurses during WWI (the tampon would come later). Prior to that, women used menstrual diapers, often home-made using scrap cloth, hence the phrase “on the rag.” Those diapers would be washed and re-used.

    1. washed and re-used.

      Hmmm… sounds like modern progressives are only in favor of convenient sustainability.

  16. you can’t reuse toilet paper or toothpaste

    You underestimate your audience, ENB.

    1. Actually, I think she is overestimating her audience.

  17. That nicely illustrates the pseudo-egalitarianism of feminism. Being consistent, there would have to be compensation for IQ differentials, based on heredity. (Extend to personality/behavioral genetics.) Even in the realm of sex and gender, what feminists seek to redistribute (compensate) are only female disadvantages. Take risk-aversion: They leave the advantages in place, but offer free courses in negotiation, make corporations and universities actively approach female students, seek to reduce the wage gap through discriminate impact moves — while not “redistributing” females greater life expectancy.

    Any effort of redistribution between groups would have to be based on a complete understanding of the “comparable worth” of all the goods, advantages and disadvantages the respective groups have. Otherwise you may simply increase “injustice” through invervention. Good luck with that.

    1. “Even in the realm of sex and gender, what feminists seek to redistribute (compensate) are only female disadvantages. ”

      Identity politics are just old fashioned political patronage, delivering bacon for votes, dressed up in Marxist oppression talk.

    2. correction: “*disparate* impact”

  18. “But I think we can all agree that if sales taxes exist, they should be straightforward and applied equally across broad categories.”

    Hey, ENB, I hate to out-feminist you, but I actually think it’s a good idea to exempt certain necessities from sales tax – eg, food, medicine, tampons.

    Incidentally, ENB, would you consider interviewing Sue Ellen Browder?

    As a journalist, she promoted the sexual revolution. Now she’s repented, and written a book about it. And she spoke at the recent March for Life.

    By the way, guess what she joined?

    1. I actually think it’s a good idea to exempt certain necessities from sales tax – eg, food, medicine, tampons

      You’ll change your mind after reading that frozen sandwich link.

  19. So, food is generally exempt from sales tax, right? (I live in a non-sales-tax-state, so I’m not up on all of this.) Seems like on the same reasoning, all household paper goods and toiletries could be exempt as well. Everyone sort of needs those things too.

    But then you can’t make it into a new front in “war on women” so what fun is that?

      1. I thought you didn’t have a sales tax. Or am I thinking of income tax?

        1. OK, there really is no income tax. That I know for sure.

          If I’m wrong about that one, FDLE is coming for me as we speak.

      2. I’m pretty sure I pay sales tax every time I go to Publix. Are you telling me I’ve been hallucinating that?

        1. *Entirely possible, BTW.

        2. Some prepared foods are taxable. Now for the definition of “prepared food”, see pages 15 through 1,487 of the regulation manual.

          1. PS–please stop fucking raining for 5 minutes.

      3. In Texas, the basic stuff like eggs, milk, bread, flour etc. is usually exempt, but prepared foods like frozen pizza and soda are taxed.

    1. At least in Floriduh, food is subject to the same sales tax as any other good. Well, except school supplies on that one day a year. And things like hotel rooms and bell phone bills, which have extra taxes on top.

    2. In states that do have a sales tax, food is tricky. Usually 75% of what’s in the grocery store is tax exempt. If it was prepared it’s taxed. Soda is taxed. Some candy is. I’ve never really tried to figure out what was prepared enough to qualify for tax to be honest. Products always are.
      It was stated above, but this could open the door to get a lot of household essentials to be tax free.

      1. It could open the door to everything’s being tax free. Organize everybody to get their own loopholes in every tax, & eventually nothing?incomes, outgos, whatevers? is taxed. People will fight to get & keep every loophole for themselves, which means every loophole is defended & expanded, & taxation is ripped apart by representative democracy, bit by bit, because it pays for everyone to invest a little in bribing legislators to save a lot in taxes.

    3. In sc, if you’re eating at a restaurant, you’re paying sales tax.

      1. Why haven’t restaurants organized successfully yet for tax exemption to get a level playing field w groceries?

    4. Over my lifetime there seems to have been a general movement to exempt food & drugs. Both NYS & NYC, for example, used to tax sales of both. More recently we got clothes under $100 exempt. I say keep it up, more exemptions please.

  20. end an outdated tax that uniquely targets women for a function of their body

    This only makes sense if there is a special tampon tax (which I would favor repealing).

    Doesn’t sound like there is. Sounds like the general sales tax. If so, its neither “outdated” nor does it “target” women.

    1. I would be in favor of a special tampon tax to fund social security. A woman using tampons is obviously not bringing in new contributors to the social security scheme.

      1. I would call it “TSS” – Taxation For Social Security

    2. If you assume that only women ever pay for them, I suppose you could twist your way into thinking the tax “targets” women, but that is of course laughable.

      “Sorry Honey, only you use them. Tampons come out of *your* money.”

      [takes box of tampons out of shopping cart]

      1. Not every woman is married, nor is every man the head of household among married couples. How’s 1955 treating you?

        1. I’d suggest rereading what I wrote, but in your case, I doubt that would help much.

    3. Do you buy a lot of tampons for arts and crafts or something? How does it not target women to apply sales tax to a necessity that only women require? Please no responses about not “required”, free bleeding, or sitting on soiled rags; it’s idiotic. If men were leaking from the groin, there’d be no question that cheap, sanitary, and discreet solutions were a necessity. It’s so typical of men to expect periods to never been seen or heard, but not aid in even the smallest way to make it happen.

      I do think that there ought to not be taxes on basic personal care items, such as toilet paper. I’m originally from a state without taxes on food. So I don’t think a pick-and-choose sales tax is a bad thing. But I can’t think of a single thing that men need that women don’t (I saw razors in the comments and had to laugh; I go through plenty of razors, but no one “needs” to). When, if ever, that thing is found to exist, I will be happy to campaign to repeal the tax on it.

      1. I can’t think of

        We have no disagreements there.

      2. How does it not target women to apply sales tax to a necessity that only women require?

        They are used to stop nose bleeds in male sports such as football.

      3. Wadda ya mean, “If men were leaking from the groin”?

        I leak from the groin everyday!

        Men should not have to pay taxes on rubbers! /Derp

      4. I’m a man and I buy tampons all the time. I’m not sure what to do with them, but the commercials told me if I bought them I could go biking and horseback riding and swimming and play tennis – and who doesn’t love that shit?

        /still waiting for my damn pony over here, Tampax

        1. Preparation H also owes me a bike and a pony.

        2. With Cialis you can sit on a couch over the water, or in a bathtub where there’s no water. Beer can make you do damn near anything except work, by which I guess they mean that with beer you don’t have to work; how should we know, when they never show you what to do with the beer?

      5. If men were leaking from the groin, there’d be no question that cheap, sanitary, and discreet solutions were a necessity.

        And that is why millionaire trophy wives need to have their tampons subsidized by men!

        It’s so typical of men to expect periods to never been seen or heard

        Your period can be HEARD? My god, that’s disturbing.

        But, really, I don’t have any expectations about your period. Do whatever you like. Run around with stains on your pants if you like.

        But “it’s so typical of women to expect men to give them stuff for free”, isn’t it? It’s also so typical for women and male feminists to be sexist and bigoted like you are, isn’t it?

      6. How does it not target women to apply sales tax to a necessity that only women require? Please no responses about not “required”…

        1.) Those specialty products are not required. Women will not die simply b/c they don’t have a tampon or pad and their bodies will continue to function the same w/o them. (Your personal comfort and preferences do not a necessity make…)

        Women survived for a couple hundred thousand years without tampons or pads, and many are turning to homemade, reusable products.

        2.) Women are not the only consumers of tampons. I, and many other men I know and have known, purchase tampons for other purposes. They are great in first aid kids for nosebleeds or gunshot wounds, and have several prepper / survival uses (ie crude water filter, tinder for starting fires, even to make fire by fire-by-friction, etc.). And I’ve seen pany-liners (the ones with wings) used as emergency field dressings

        So, a general sales tax on products that anyone, regardless of vaginal status, can purchase and use for purposes other than menstrual hygiene, is absolutely not targeted at women.

    4. Target disparate impact.

  21. Just look at the arcane patchwork of rules concerning food taxes in California…

    If you get a cold sandwich at Subway, it is not taxed as it is food that can be taken home and kept, as though it came from a grocery store.

    If you get a hot sandwich at Subway, it is taxed as it is obviously intended to be consumed immediately.

    When someone asks you if you want that toasted, you say “No”! Important safety tip.

    1. If you get a cold sandwich at Subway, it is not taxed as it is food that can be taken home and kept, as though it came from a grocery store.

      Forgot to mention: you have to get it to go, or it is taxed as you are obviously consuming it immediately.

    2. Yeah, one of the sandwich shops near where I work always has a case of pre-wrapped “EBT Sandwiches,” ie, those which can be legitimately purchased with EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer, aka welfare debit card). Had always wondered what the dividing line between “prepared foods” (not EBT eligible) and those sammiches.

    3. It’s considerably simpler in NY. Any prepared food is taxed. Doesn’t matter what temperature it is or where it is consumed.

      1. I believe it was in Arkansas that I saw a store with a case of various soups and sandwiches and stuff next to a microwave and a note that if you heated the food before you paid for it they had to tax it as a hot food but if you paid for it first and then heated it they didn’t. It was only a couple of cents difference but it seemed like the store owner was making a point about how complicated the system was. I live in Georgia where the sales tax/no sales tax rules on food are pretty complicated, but they’re made even worse by the distinction between state and local sales tax plus the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax which means the tax on that sandwich can be anywhere between zero and eight percent depending on which city or county you’re in.

        And while I hate the special-pleading crap, anybody that gets out of paying taxes any way they can is fine by me. The first time you complain about people not paying their fair share of taxes, though, you’re getting punched in the head. And that does seem to be what this whole argument is about – it ain’t the tax per se, it’s the faaaaaaaiiirrrrnessssss.

  22. “Why should women have to pay a tax on tampons and menstrual pads, which are surely more necessity than luxury? Perhaps because we all pay sales taxes on all sorts of goods?food, toilet paper, shoes?that are an integral part of modern life.

    I’m here to tell you all two things:

    1) Sales taxes are the most voluntary form of taxation possible. Individuals get to make the choice of whether to pay the tax every time they make a discretionary purchase.

    2) Exempting necessities like food, tampons, etc. from taxation, coupled with restricting taxation to only sales taxes, would result in the freest society possible. Taxes would be paid on a more or less voluntary basis.

    The question to ask isn’t whether women should pay taxes that others don’t. The question to ask is why any of us should be forced to pay taxes when there are other, better, more voluntary systems of taxation.

  23. Sigh. Why did we give women the vote again?

    1. To increase the progressive vote.

    2. So that we could perpetually deny that prohibition doesn’t work.

  24. Social justice is often about free shit for a privileged class.

    but in this case the social justice warriors are behind the times. Tampons are a tool of the patriarchy to denormalize menstruation and menstrual shame women.

    What is really needed is a law protecting the right of women to menstrate wherever and on whatever they choose.

    Free the flow now!

  25. The fewer things taxed the better, despite the moronic reasoning.

  26. That link to birdeemag.com is hilariously all white. Lena Dunham would love it. That site says that a woman is reclaiming ownership of her body, as if someone else already owned it, like Dunham taking endless, endless selfies of her rich kid pale female body (larval white almost, in her case), and posting them online. And it’s *your* fault that she keeps doing it.

    So rich white girls are using poorer women to avoid paying tax now, I wish people would recognize how ‘conservative’ privileged white girl feminists are (and so awesomely shameless about it.)

  27. Why not free?

    1. Based on what principle?

  28. I just hope they don’t tax us for all the free entertainment gubbermint provides.

  29. Discussion of sales tax as an alternative to income tax doesn’t work while we continue to have a state income tax. In any event, as Milton Friedman says, “Oppose any tax, any time, for any reason” and “The real rate of taxation is the rate of spending.” I don’t care that it’s not fair. It’s a tax exemption. Taxes are unfair to begin with, so any exemption to the public at large is fine by me!

  30. Search at Walmart.com and Amazon.com, and you’ll see that the tampons are so cheap that the tax savings would be so little as to be non-existent. California is again casting for ways to institutionalize women as victims.

    “The Doctrinaire Institute for Women’s Policy Research: A Comprehensive Look at Gender Equality” http://www.malemattersusa.wordpress.c…..-research/

  31. Read that side article – somebody should tell that Jim Ayers dude that he simply needs to move. He can come move here to Yuma. I know a guy who’ll rent out a room in his house for $300 – utilities, cable, and internet included – and he’ll get access to a kitchen and a house with a yard and garage. He could even put some work equipment in the garage and earn some spare cash that way. Yeah, he can bring his door too.

    Oh, and everything here costs about *half* what it does in San Fransisco.

  32. Penis pumps are social justice! And Viagra! Viagra is social justice!

  33. Wait…there are reusable options for menstruation products? Dude…I was about to eat dinner. Not cool, man. Not cool.

  34. Free protective cups for men, and while we’re at it free shaving gear and what’s up with only males required to register for this Selective Service anyway.
    ,

  35. Nonsense

    To give tax breaks which are only beneficial to women is sexist.

  36. The way the society is changing, soon all men will become pussies and then they will need tampons too.

  37. I think we can all agree that if sales taxes exist, they should be straightforward and applied equally across broad categories.

    Jim Lewis did not agree. He preferred taxes on narrow categories such as imports (tariffs, duties) because then they were “elective” taxes in that people could avoid them by not buying those goods.

    I don’t know that I agree that that makes them elective, but I do think that punching more & more loopholes in broad taxes is a likely route to the abolition of taxation. Concentrated benefit, diffuse cost. Divide & conquer. If it exempts the 1% (and there’s always some 1% of something), or 0.1%, that benefit class will constitute a powerful lobby since it’d save them so much & cost everyone else so little in revenue. Little by little, everything will come under an exemption as everyone wants their own loophole, et voila, no more taxes.

  38. whether a frozen sandwich microwaved at a gas station counts as a hot or cold food for tax purposes

    If It’s from a gas station, shouldn’t that be subject to fuel tax?

    1. Is it being microwaved by a man or a woman? And which orifice is it going to be inserted into afterwards?

  39. Sex is a basic necessity. Being consistent, the services of prostitutes should be financed by the government. It would not even be necessary to directly account for men’s greater sex drive (though it could be used in the argument). Of course this would worsen the average woman’s bargaining position (sex for X, principle of least interest), and increase women’s romance deficit (which free romance novels wouldn’t quite suffice to fill). Paying men to be romantic is paradoxical. So even if romance in general is not a basic need, romantic sex could not be provided either. — This, by the way, mirrors the problem of redistributing personal relationships. (Friendship a basic necessity?) You can redistribute a husband’ss financial assets, you can’t redistribute the homemaking wife’s friends. (Note that the social circle is mostly “curated” by women.)

  40. Wow Nice Informative Post!!!
    Using tampons makes lots of landfill waste, which leads to occur many bacteria in the environment.It has many uses which we got to know from this post .

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