How does Veterans Day differ from Presidents Day? How does each differ from Memorial Day? These aren’t variations on a riddle, but our idea for raising taxes. In our opinion we should forget about sin taxes on cigarettes or junk food; we should reduce business and income taxes and we should make up the difference with an ignorance tax.
Veterans Day began as Armistice Day, marking the anniversary of the end of World War I, November 11, 1917. In 1938, as war clouds rolled over Europe once again, Congress made Veterans Day an annual national holiday, to be observed on that date. Notice the use of the word ‘observed.’ That is completely different from the word celebrate which would be appropriate for the Fourth of July.
Yet fewer people each year actually know the difference between these unique days. Even fewer can distinguish between Veterans Day and Memorial Day. Congress eased the path to ignorance by passing the National Holiday Act moving most Federal holidays to Monday, thereby placing the focus on a three day weekend instead of the event itself. (And while this might be slightly off-topic, who decided that apostrophes were unnecessary after the words ‘Veterans and ‘Presidents?)
Since these days have become prime shopping days, quite different from their original intent, our idea is that every consumer should take a quiz based on the day’s specific theme. Sales tax for that day should be levied based on how well one does on the quiz. Score high and pay little; score low and pay a lot. Veterans, of course, would pay no tax. Rather than going into government coffers the money collected could be matched with a recipient charity that exemplifies the day’s focus. Punishing ignorance while increasing gratitude towards our veterans sounds like a winning move all around.