Arizona lawmaker wants to tax pornography to pay for Trump's erection … of a border wall
An Arizona Republican is piping up with a new idea for how to fund Donald Trump’s Monument to Racism, or, as he likes to call it, his “wall.” What if we, like, charged everyone who ever watched pornography $20? And then put all that money into Trump’s wall fund for some reason?
Republican Rep. Gail Griffin, R-Hereford, has introduced House Bill 2444, which would make “distributors” of devices that allow access to the internet install software to make the offending material not viewable. To remove the blocking software, a person would have to pay the state $20.
To be clear, the $20 is almost an afterthought here; the most central part of the provision is the notion that all electronic device manufacturers would be required, by law, to create their hardware and software such that it could block certain internet content (to be specified by government policy), and the only way for consumers to then access that content would be to register themselves with a state-run list. Both the state and device manufacturers would have their own fees for doing so, of course. You would have to “unblock” content on each of your devices separately, via different companies and at different rates.
The repercussions of such a plan should be evident: Once all devices have been redesigned to comply with state-run regulations on which content should or should not be blocked from consumer view, there’s nothing to say that the rules on what content would get blocked would not change. Perhaps, say, when some future hypothetical elected official didn’t like the news coverage he was getting, or when some future hypothetical elected official’s extremely weird vice president declared that words contrary to his own religious beliefs counted as “pornographic,” because they just did, that’s why.
So no, this isn’t going to go anywhere. It might be surprising to learn that this is actually just another iteration of anti-pornography legislation that has been banging around multiple statehouses recently, seemingly due mostly to the efforts of one particular “jokester.” The only new part is Rep. Gail Griffin’s idea to use some of the collected pornography access fees to sponsor Donald Trump’s erection—I mean, the erection of Donald Trump’s Racism Wall.
How Rep. Griffin came up with that particular twist is unclear. Also unclear is whether individual pornography distributors would be getting recognition for the portions of the wall their own customers sponsored. Would there be plaques? It seems like at the very least they could insist they be given plaques.