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‘Pink tax’ proposal is only about scoring political points

Some legislators think Nevada women are cheap dates.

Consider a recent proposal from Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui, D-Las Vegas, and Sen. Yvanna Cancela, D-Las Vegas, to eliminate the 8.15 percent sales tax on feminine hygiene products. Around the country, liberals are on a crusade to eliminate the “pink tax,” the higher prices women supposedly pay for products.

Jauregui claims that, by assessing a tax on tampons, “our state government doesn’t view feminine hygiene products as a necessity.”

This is ludicrous. State government has no opinion on feminine hygiene products. Tampons are taxed because Nevada has a sales tax. If Democrats want to reduce the overall sales tax rate, let’s talk. But Jauregui’s logic leads us down a dangerous road.

Clothes are a necessity. Scan the pages of legislative lobbyists for proof. Nevada taxes clothes. Voila: State government doesn’t view clothes as a necessity. Jauregui wants you to walk around naked. Cancela wants the homeless to freeze to death.

See how stupid this is?

Nevadans and our duly elected representatives have decided to use a sales tax to fund state and local governments. The rate should be uniform and low on all products. We should be taxed on how much we buy, not on who selects or doesn’t select a politically favored good or service.

Instead, politicians and, yes, voters have used the sales tax to pick winners and losers. Tesla won’t pay sales taxes for 20 years. The sales tax doesn’t apply to groceries or services, and in 2016, voters gave the first of two required approvals for a constitutional amendment that would exempt medical equipment from the sales tax. The “pink tax” proposal is the latest attempt to single out a new winner.

Note the cognitive dissonance here. Leftist academics routinely claim that associating pink with women is a gender stereotype. They argue it’s one of many stereotypes that our patriarchal society has put in place to solidify an unequal power relationship between men and women. Men use this power to keep women barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen.

These politicians should apologize for … oh, wait. Liberals only pull out that psycho-babble for Republicans.

Cancela and Jauregui are playing politics to try to score some cheap political points with women — emphasis on cheap. Cancela acknowledges that “the total savings a year aren’t significant,” but that it’s about the “principle.”

Politicians ham it up for the cameras all the time by giving away someone else’s money, but usually they give away something of significant value. Thousands of Nevada government workers make more than $150,000 a year. Union construction workers are paid wages 45 percent above market rates on government projects. The billionaire backing Faraday got more than $200 million.

For women? My wife estimates this “pink tax” proposal would save the average woman 75 cents a month, or $8 a year.

At least we’ve identified a source of the mythical gender pay gap. Some people think women don’t know how to negotiate.

Victor Joecks’ column appears in the Nevada section each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Contact him at vjoecks@reviewjournal.com. Follow @victorjoecks on Twitter.

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