The vice chairman of corporate and investment banking and chairman of the financial strategy and solutions group at Citigroup, Peter Orszag, who was also director of President Obama's Office of Management and Budget, has a Bloomberg View op-ed proposing an increase in the tax on indoor tanning services:
In the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration imposed a 10 percent excise tax on indoor tanning services to help pay for expanded health insurance coverage. The inspector general at the Treasury Department, however, reported in 2011 that the tax was being collected from less than half of the expected number of tanning facilities.
Treasury should more aggressively collect this tax, and Congress should consider raising it to 25 percent or even 50 percent.
A good reason to oppose any proposal of any new tax is the phenomenon that, once the newly imposed tax fails to raise the predicted revenues, the supporters of the tax propose to raise the rate. If Congress follows Mr. Orszag's advice and raises the tanning tax to 50 percent, expect to see tanning salons open across the border in Mexico and Canada. When the 50 percent tax fails to raise the expected revenue or have the expected deterrent or public health effect, one can expect to see Mr. Orszag return with a proposal to raise it to 75 percent or 100 percent.
This happened with the income tax, the payroll tax, the estate tax — you name it. The tax starts out at a low rate or applied to only a few people, and then it gradually increases.