A Democratic Cry for Help

I have periodically advocated a "Megan Tax" for certain consumer goods which are, I believe, God's way of telling you that you have too much money for your own good.  It is my belief that if you buy a $20,000 Hermes handbag (after putting yourself on a waiting list for some), or a Harrier, this is a sort of cry for help.  Your money is overcrowding your life so much that you have become unable to deploy it wisely.

In the event of such a tragedy, I have suggested, the government should swoop in, take half your money, and donate it to the Children's Scholarship Fund. You will breathe freer, and some poor kids will get a shot at a decent education. Gains from trade!

The wait lists for Hermes handbags have evaporated, so perhaps the Megan Tax is no longer a pressing social need--for individuals. But now I suspect that the Democratic Party may need our help. They're running ads against...Mitt Romney. Yes, that Mitt Romney, the one who isn't, y'know, running for office this year. Donors, take note: they don't need any more money. The next stop is overfunding the throw-pillow budget at national headquarters.

Update:  sources at the DNC argue that since this isn't a television ad, and it was done in-house, this doesn't really count as "running ads" or "spending money".  Of course, there are in-house staffers who are not being paid less than minimum wage (I devoutly hope) and are probably being paid a really nice hourly wage to find the clips, edit them together, get the thing approved by the higher-ups who one hopes have to sign off on this thing, and upload it to the web.  Those are real costs.  I certainly hope that the DNC understands that indirect spending is still a drain on resources that could have been deployed elsewhere.

Mitt Romney is not running for office.  If the DNC has people it can afford to deploy on making attack ads against a non-candidate . . . well, if I were a donor, I'd conclude that it has too many people.  Your mileage may vary.

Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Politics

Just In