Brickbat: In the Bag


The Fairfax County, Virginia, board of supervisors has voted 9-1 to impose a 5-cent tax on plastic bags. The tax will start Jan. 1. It exempts bags for dry cleaning, prescription drugs, garbage, pet waste, and leaf removal. Supervisor Pat Herrity was the lone vote against the tax. "Residents have seen a 45 percent increase in their taxes over the last decade, inflation rising at the fastest rate in 12 years, on top of the impacts of the pandemic during which many have lost their loved ones, homes, jobs and businesses," Herrity said. "It should go without saying that this is the wrong time for a new tax, especially one that will disproportionately impact people who are already struggling."

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  2. I don’t feel bad for these people, since most are federal workers.

    But bag bans and taxes are the wrong way to reduce garbage and pollution.

    Get rid of campaign signs, which are non-recyclable multilayer plastic boards. Get rid of campaign cards and flyers and mailings, which go straight to the landfill.

    And most of all, get rid of politicians, because they produce hot air and waste tons of resources in office space, equipment, supplies, and transportation fuel/electricity.

    1. Lots of service industry type folks live in Fairfax. Many with large families. 5 cents a bag will have an impact on them.

      1. Lots of service industry type folks live in Fairfax

        They are serving the parasitic class.

        The fact that most of the wealthiest counties in the country surround D.C. is an abject disgrace.

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  3. Plastics stop COVID. What are these science deniers doing???

  4. Why would anybody in Fairfax County give a shit how much their maids and housekeepers and cooks pay for plastic shopping bags? It’s not like they ever set foot in a grocery store.

  5. If it was that important, there wouldn’t be any exemptions.

    1. dry cleaning, prescription drugs, garbage, pet waste, and leaf removal

      All of the exceptions seem exceedingly mundane in an upper middle class fashion. Exception for bagging up your dependent’s garbage that they left in your Mercedez? Granted. Exception for keeping your shoes dry while you collect aluminum cans in the rain? $0.05 please!

  6. Why would residents of Fairfax care when they can just pass those to you the national taxpayer in their current cost plus profit defense contract.

  7. Vote for democrats, get taxes?

    1. Vote for republicans, get deficits?

      Oh right, deficits don’t exist, they are myths. Spend spend spend!

      1. I do remember Karl Rove saying “deficits don’t matter.”

        I remember thinking what the fuck, now you guys too?

        It’s the most bipartisan thing we have now, only Democrats seem to have a bigger faith in the MMT perspective. And bigger deficits.

        1. I do remember Karl Rove saying “deficits don’t matter.”

          I remember thinking what the fuck, now you guys too?

          This is between apocryphal and revisionist history. Do you remember Karl Rove saying it or Dick Cheney? Do you remember the words coming out of their mouth or do you remember it being recalled secondhand (by their opposition)? Was it said as an endorsement of spending, increased deficits, decreased debt, or as agnostic political fact?

          At least one telling goes that the phrase was uttered by Karl Rove and when asked, in the moment, to rectify the statement with his previous stance against deficits, his reply was that candidates don’t win by running on deficits which, present reality confirms his assertions.

          Not to defend neocons too vociferously (I voted against them in Bush’s second term), but it’s a bit of proto-both sidesism. Taxes, spending, deficits, debt, political victory/viability, there are many facets, or sides, and you can only reasonably eliminate one without sacrificing on the other sides*.

          *This is not an endorsement of taxes, spending, or deficits. Just an acknowledgement that morally, financially correct options are not always or even generally politically viable.

        2. Democrats have MMT because they want to justify their belief that deficits don’t matter. So they went trawling for some junk economics and fount MMT (because not even full blow neo-Keynesianism could manage that).

          Republicans have shuffled off any need for intellectual justification for anything they do, so they don’t even bother with MMT. Deficits don’t matter so why bother trying to justify that? If some off-the-reservation reporters asks about out of control spending, the Republican just accuses them of wanting to take benefits (ei. entitlements) away from the working class and seniors. That shuts up the reporter every time.

          1. The current debt ceiling increase and continuing budget resolution in Congress show clearly that Republicans love spending, too.

            A pox on both sides.

  8. It exempts bags for dry cleaning, prescription drugs, garbage, pet waste, and leaf removal.

    Obviously the solution is to always carry a prescription drug or a bit of garbage with you.

    1. Just think how many groceries you could fit in a garbage bag.

  9. In my area, the grocery stores are not allowing reusable bags to be brought in *because Covid* . . .

    Somehow they are considered less sanitary. Probably because they’re carried by dirty hippies, but hey.

    1. Places near my in Commiefornia used to do the same. But things have eased up to the point that they will even bag for me with my own reusable bag! I have friends who said they just take the full cart out to their car and bag their stuff there. I’m not rich, but dammit it’s a major grocery chain, they will bag my stuff even if I have to pay ten fucking cents a bag! Jeepers, next thing you know they won’t check your oil at the gas station…

      1. Consider it a blessing when they won’t bag your groceries. Who wants their dirty hands touching your stuff a second time?

        I swear they should have to dip their hands in formaldehyde every minute.

    2. They are legitimately less sanitary. Reusable bags are a great way to get salmonella and other food borne illnesses if you don’t expend the extra effort to sanitize them.

      1. Sure, but I’m not going to get or give *covid* by using them.

  10. Here in Maine they passed a law banning single-use plastic bags, and then COVID hit. So they delayed the law for a year or two because reusable bags spread germs. But now they’re enforcing it.

    1. Hey! Those bag taxes go to COVID hospitals!

    2. Yup. Here in Commiefornia they didn’t enforce the bag tax for about six months. Supply chain issues, the stores were using whatever bags they could get. But the tax came back. Silently.

      A bit before the pandemic, this one liquor store didn’t charge for bags, and had the nice thick reusable bags (the kind you need for bottles). So I would always go there as my small act of rebellion against the tax. But then they caught him and he had to shut down. Now it’s an empty shell of a building. So sad. All the rebels eventually get hauled off to the gulag.

  11. I suppose it never occurs to them that people reuse these bags all the time. Could one be exempt form the tax by providing photos of grocery bags being used in the bathroom wastebasket, picking up dog turds, etc.?

    1. That did occur to them, the plastic is just an excuse for a new tax. They don’t really give a shit about the plastic. Here in Commiefornia the plastic bag tax was applied to ALL BAGS including paper bags. I’m old enough when we were heavily encourage to NOT use paper bags because trees have feelings too.

      Frankly, I think it’s all a scam being run by the hemp industry.

  12. It should go without saying that this is the wrong time for a new tax

    Any time is the wrong time.

    1. But in the end virtue prevails; because it is really important that the “stupid American voter” feels good about something.

  13. collecting dog poop in plastic bags has got to be top-five of the most retarded things we’ve done as a species.

    1. No doubt. Back in my day we used paper bags. They burn much better on the neighbor’s front step.

      1. My favorite uncle [WW2 vet, outstanding example of the “Greatest Generation” just recently deceased] grew up back in the 30s and told stories that sounded like a gritty version of “Our Gang.” One of his favorite pranks was the burning bag of shit on the porch of an asshole neighbor; but he die not use dog shit…

        1. It’s amazing how long that prank has survived over the years. It was one of my favorites as a punk back in the eighties.

    2. Not even close. The 5th person to “domesticate” a cat was number 5.

      1. my cat is like a middle linebacker. putting *leaves* in a plastic bag is pretty stupid too.

    3. I remember stepping in dog poop as a kid.

      Fuck that.

      Pick it up.

      1. No. Make them carry a fucking scoop to move their dog shit to their own fucking yard, where their fucking shit machine should have been walked at the start.

        Just leave shards of broken glass in your grass. After a week, they’ll avoid your lawn and you can shopvac it up.

  14. It sure feels good to know that some kid in a Chinese sweatshop gets a bowl of rice today because I bought a reusable grocery bag.

  15. Just carry around a small amount of prescription medication. Then fill the rest of the bag with anything you want.

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