Ten Things That Should Disappear


By Richard Colman

There are too many rules, laws, and regulations.

Here are 10 things that should disappear:

(1) THE LOCAL GASOLINE SALES TAX.  On a gallon of gasoline, there is a federal tax and a state tax.  Local governments can add another tax, which means that the local tax is a tax on the other taxes.

(2) THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE.  Each year millions of Americans have to fill out Form 1040 and perhaps many more tax forms.  The forms are so complicated that many taxpayers have to hire someone to fill out the forms.   Why not add 15 percent to every purchase and get rid of all other taxes?  The IRS can be abolished.

(3) TIPPING.  In Europe, Japan, and other places, there is generally no tipping.  Tips are included in the bill.  Does the average person know what 15 percent of $17.45 is?  If there has to be tipping, the tip must be based only the cost of the food, not the food plus a sales tax.

(4) PROJECT LABOR AGREEMENTS (PLA’s).  Under PLA’s, workers are to be paid “prevailing rates” (union rates).  Usually, these rates are 20 percent to 50 percent higher than market rates.  Let’s get rid of PLA’s.

(5) PROPERTY TAXES.  With normal household purchases (such as purchases for furniture, appliances, and clothing), there is no tax owed after acquiring the asset.  (On some business property, there is a tax on such things as computers and furniture.)  The tax on an asset (if the asset has appreciated in value) is paid based on the selling price of the asset.  But the owner of real estate has to pay an annual property tax on an asset that is still in the owner’s possession.  In reality, the property tax is a wealth tax.  People should ask themselves if they really own their homes.

(6) BRIDGE TOLLS.  Why does one have to pay a toll when crossing certain bridges after the cost of the bridge has been paid off?

(7) EXCESS STAFF.  Years ago, the British writer C. Northcote Parkinson wrote a book called “Parkinson’s Law.”  The book argues that in a bureaucracy the number of employees tends to expand dramatically.  In a newspaper interview, Parkinson said that when the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opened in 1936, there was a paint staff of 12 people.  Thirty years later, the size of the paint crew reached 77 people even though huge trucks could be used to apply paint more efficiently.

(8) PUBLIC-EMPLOYEE STRIKES.  In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a Democrat, wrote that public-employee strikes must be prohibited.  Yet, over 80 years later,  groups such as public transit workers and public schools teachers go on strike.  Many teachers have tenure.  Should tenure be abolished for teachers who strike?

(9) THUGS IN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS.  Whatever happened to such gentlemen athletes as Joe DiMaggio and Jackie Robinson?  Today, professional athletes are often paid millions of dollars and often act like spoiled brats.  Let’s bring back good sportsmanship.

(10) SPECIAL SUBSIDIES.  If a sports team wants to build a stadium, the owner often asks for a subsidy, a tax break, or both.  This practice is socialism for multi-millionaires and billionaires.  Cities that doll out funds to ultra-rich people, need those funds for schools, police officers, and fire fighters.  Subsidies and tax breaks for sports facilities must stop.  Why is government padding the wallets of the super-rich?

Have you had enough?  The above list could be lengthened considerably.


Richard Colman is the founder and president of Biomed Inc., a biotechnology, publishing, and informatics company.  He is a biochemist and earned masters and doctoral degrees from the University of California at Berkeley.  He lives in Orinda, California.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal.

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C E Voigtsberger
C E Voigtsberger
1 year ago

I have always thought that if a sports stadium or arena were such a financial boon to a community there should be a long line of private investors waiting to get in on that gravy train. It always seems there isn’t a single commercial investor who thinks that the R.O.I. on a sports facility is significant enough to warrant lending money to build same. That should tell cities and other public entities who are so eager to pay for stadium or offer ultra generous tax breaks that it is a bad deal.

Most of the jobs that such facilities bring to a community are low wage, part time work. The high paying jobs are paid to the performers who, many times, don’t even live in state — or corporate executives who definitely don’t live in state if it’s California.