Gingrich Hits Romney on Gun Tax Increase

Continuing his full frontal assault on Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich (looking thoroughly befuddled by that thing he’s holding, above) lit into the a-little-too-perfectly coiffed former Massachusetts governor for raising taxes on guns by 400% when he was the Bay State executive. Sticklers for the truth that they are, guardian.co.uk points out that, “the ‘tax’ Gingrich refers to was in fact a fee on gun licenses that Romney raised in 2003 as part of his administration’s effort that year to scour the tax code for loopholes it could close and fees it could hike to close a budget deficit.” Thanks for that distinction without a difference. Tax or fee, the dollars still come out of gun owners’ pockets every time they buy a new boomstick or renew an existing license. And as we learned in Econ 101, that which is taxed is discouraged. . .

Imagine that – a Massachusetts governor raising taxes. Say it ain’t so, Joe. That’s almost as newsworthy as a politician lying. But the next primary’s coming up fast and Gingrich sees an opportunity.

“He raised taxes on owning a gun, a topic we will talk about a great deal in South Carolina, where they think registering a gun and having it taxed by the government is not a very clever idea,” Gingrich said yesterday in Manchester, N.H.

Meanwhile, Romney’s trying to be just as pedantic as the Guardian.

Romney has long argued that fees are not taxes because they are charged for specific services. But others, including gun owners in Massachusetts – who number about 200,000 – have rejected that distinction.

“It’s a tax on our rights. Period,” (executive director of the Gun Owners Action League, James) Wallace said today.

Good luck making that case, Mitt.