The Romanian government, in its never-ending grub for money, first decided to tax the nation’s witches, fortune-tellers, and astrologers. Now it is contemplating fining them, too, whenever it is determined that their spells failed, or their prognostications did not move into the Real.
Romania is broke: the economy contracted by 7% in 2009, when the nation went into hock to the vampires of the International Monetary Fund for more than $27 billion. As I noted here, last autumn thousands of Romanians took to the streets to demand that the government rescind a 25 percent cut in all state employees’ salaries, and restore the “wage incentives” that constitute up to 60 percent of state workers’ incomes. In an attempt to placate these people, the government has vowed to funnel money collected from “tax evaders” into the depleted wage-incentive pool; creating more taxpayers—like witches, fortune-tellers, and astrologers—creates more tax-evaders.
The government’s “tax the spirit-finders” crusade followed new taxes earlier levied on fast food, the pittance old people receive in pensions, and even the allowances of children.
The Romanian witch tax, decreed in January, resulted in Outrage: multiple witches rained down curses on various and sundry government officials, employing such implements of destruction as dead dogs, the feces of cats, mandrake root, yeast, and black pepper. Jeebus knows what new assaults will besiege government toads if they actually follow through on this fining business.