Well, this is a catastrophically stupid idea. Excerpt:
Just this month, the governor of Vermont, Phil Scott, a Republican, attracted attention when he announced, “If you or anyone in your household identifies as Black, Indigenous, or a person of color (BIPOC), including anyone with Abenaki or other First Nations heritage, all household members who are 16 years or older can sign up to get a vaccine!”
A Reason article notes that in December 2020, while Republican Donald Trump was still president, the federal Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it would prioritize Black, Hispanic, Native American, and Asian veterans in vaccine distribution. Reason cites the Cato Institute’s Walter Olson as describing these schemes as unconstitutional, a violation of the “equal protection” clause of the 14th Amendment.
Yet vaccine line-leapfrogging may be just a warmup act for a longer-term issue to ponder as this year’s annual Internal Revenue Service tax-filing deadline (extended to May 17 for individuals) approaches.
“Prediction: By tax year 2024, Americans will be asked to indicate their race on the Form 1040,” tweeted Scott Greenberg, a former analyst at the Tax Foundation who now writes about tax policy in a Substack newsletter called “No Withholding.”
Greenberg was reacting to a tax-policy reporter for the Wall Street Journal, Richard Rubin, who had flagged the news that the Biden administration had put the Treasury department’s top tax-policy official on an “equitable data working group.”
Do I need to point out the fundamental racism behind all of these ideas?
Never mind Phil Scott (Stupid Ass – VT)’s idiot idea to prioritze vaccines by melanin content. But the tax idea, a back-door way to get reparations for a historical incident that affects nobody alive today, that’s just horribly stupid.
Bear in mind that the very idea flies in the face of the Fourteenth Amendment:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Equal protection under the law. That means everyone is the same in the eyes of the law; that means that certain preferred groups don’t get prioritized for vaccines, or get special tax breaks, or anything else, especially not when that priority is based on any ill-defined, nebulous historical unfairness that no person alive today has experienced.
But wait! There’s more! The purpose of the tax code should be – it isn’t, not anymore, but it should be – to raise revenue for essential government functions. Not to address perceived historical unfairness, nor to reward or punish certain behaviors. Those things also fall afoul of the Fourteenth Amendment.
We’ve come a long ways, though, since the Constitution meant anything to the political class.