The Interactive Great American Taxing Game: Intro

Art Carden,

Release Date
August 13, 2013


Gov't Debt & Spending

Join the Great American Taxing Game with your host, Professor Art Carden. The question posed is who should be taxed. If you were a government official trying to raise revenue, would you choose to levy taxes on gas, on smokers, or on luxury goods? How would these taxes turn out? Prof. Carden explains that it is important to consider whether the consumer or the producer of a product is more likely to bear the burden of the taxes. Choose wisely and see what happens.

The Crusade for Politically Correct Consumption [article]: This FEE article discusses how the push for sin taxes invites pork-barrel politics and stems from puritanical elitism.
A Higher Gasoline Tax Will Solve Everything? [article]: Another FEE article compares gas taxes to sin taxes, arguing that they are ultimately paternalistic measures.
Luxury Tax [encyclopedia entry]: A definition and history of the luxury tax.
The Effect of Tax Changes on Consumer Spending [report]: The New York Federal Reserve reports on the impact of taxation on consumer behavior.

The Great American Taxing Game: Intro
Should we impose higher taxes on rich people? What about poor people? How about smokers? What about tobacco companies? Should we raise luxury taxes on things like yachts and jewelry? At the end of this video you, yes, you will get a chance to step into the shoes of a lawmaker and decide who you would tax and then see the results.
But before you get to taxing, I want to warn you. What matters is not whose name is on the check to or from the government. What matters is whose behavior is changed the most by changing prices: consumers or producers. This provides us with the first important step toward really understanding who’s really affected by the policies we enact. So if you’re a government official needing to raise revenue, which one of these would you want to tax?