In a move that represents a surprising although logical extension of the current demand by the 99% for a more progressive tax system, the Obama administration has proposed a beauty tax that will be built into the new health care system. In the search for ever greater equality and degrees of fairness, the administration is relying on the many scientific studies that have shown that good looks give those who possess them an advantage in college admission, obtaining jobs and securing promotions, contributing in a significant way to economic inequality. While the government cannot make people equally beautiful, it can redistribute the wealth acquired through the unfair natural allocation of pulchritude. Under the new health care law, physicians administering the mandatory annual good health examination will apply rigorous guidelines to calculate a person's pulchritude index, which in turn will add points to the effective tax rate.
Republicans greeted the news with a mix of jeers and genuine outrage, demanding that the new tax not go toward more Democratic spending. Proposals have been floated in the Republican House that a tax credit be awarded to those who fall short of average, to ensure that the new proposal remains revenue neutral. Press Secretary Jay Carney, in a moment of candor confessing himself pulchritudinously challenged, implied that the Republicans' proposal for such credits was self-serving, since it is widely known that conservatives are not as attractive as liberals.
While most of the Democratic party's core constituencies are in favor of this new redistributive measure, the Black Caucus noted that it would be necessary to footnote the 60's civil rights slogan, "black is beautiful," to remove any implication that black Americans should pay more taxes. Another stalwart of the party's base, Hollywood, has been notably and understandably mum on the proposal. Some on the right have joked that a "million dollar smile" could soon become a reality. The new proposal is also predicted to have an impact on the stodgy tax assistance industry whose leaders are already exploring partnerships with a variety of grooming, diet and dental experts to help reduce the pulchritude tax by making their clients fatter and less attractive.
Late night television hosts pounced on the tax idea, joking that new parents will have to learn to refute any suggestion that the new baby is beautiful. "Everyone knows new babies are not actually beautiful," Mr. Carney said in response to a question, "and that it was all along a figure of speech." Rush Limbaugh, radio host and syndicated columnist, also weighed in, ridiculing Democrats for chasing after an elusive egalitarian society by their persistent and short sighted leveling. If Democrats have their way, he said, we will end up a country of uniformly poor, ugly morons.
In a late breaking addendum to this story, AP reported that Republican Leader John Boehner has rejected Mr. Limbaugh's remarks and denied that Republicans reject poor, ugly morons and will not work for their vote in future elections. We are an inclusive party, he said, and many poor, ugly morons are also Republicans.