Let's talk about the D.C. plastic bag tax for a second. This insidious little imposition is the single most irritating thing about living in the nation's capital. And that is saying a lot.
Here's how it works: if you require a plastic bag because you are on the run, that'll be five cents, please. If you permanently tote around reusable bags, congratulations, you just made a profit of five cents on the birthday card, lawnmower, and sweatshirt you bought from Target because you get a reduction for every bag you don't need.
So, you are penalized for needing a bag and rewarded for not needing a bag. But there is no middle ground. Tax me five cents, fine, feel free to coerce me into not using one of the thousands of bags that have already been manufactured and will never be returned into petroleum and returned into dinosaurs. But bestow a gift of five cents on extra bag-carriers? I don't understand. If this is a real tax, then I'm paying the penalty and the other person just pays the cost of their items. Oh no, though. Washington has got it figured out. Tax me five cents and then give someone else five cents. Thereby canceling it out.
Dear D.C., you are not actually collecting any money off this enterprise. Try again.