The Stripper and the “Other Woman”: The Effects and Ineffectiveness of the Single-Purpose “Pole” Tax

In his classic novel, A Woman of No Importance, Oscar Wilde wrote: “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” When he wrote this classic, Wilde probably did not foresee the economic burden of that future, where today, every sinner’s future is prey to a plethora of sin taxes. Instead of raising income tax rates, lawmakers have chosen the more “politically attractive” taxes on unhealthy commodities or services. As states struggle to close budget gaps and reduce deficits, lawmakers have proposed sin taxes on everything from cigarettes to soda, candy, and bottled water.