In the last few years, Americans have seen the national deficit top $1.3 trillion. To combat this, the United States should institute a national — and an international — entertainment tax.
To make a significant debt in the national deficit, I would suggest creating a 3 percent national sales tax on the sale of DVDs (all formats), CDs, video games, movie tickets, sporting event tickets, and concert tickets. There would also be a 3 percent tax on all downloads and rental purchases of music, movies, and video games.
While the United States cannot directly tax purchasers from other countries, they can tax the sales of these items internationally. The same 3 percent tax rate would apply. Along with the money from the national entertainment tax, the money from the international entertainment tax would directly toward subsidizing the national deficit.
Movie rentals: Americans spent just more than $20 billion, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, on home video rentals in 2009. This included video rentals and at-home rentals through services like On Demand. This figure alone would place $600 million in the coffers for equaling out the national deficit.
Music downloads: The average download through iTunes costs $0.99 in the United States. At more than one billion songs sold just to customers in the United States a year (going by current totals), that would raise close to $30 million toward eliminating the national deficit.
Entertainment tickets: The average household spends $606, says the Department of Labor, on entertainment tickets every year. This includes movies, sports, and concerts. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there are about 114,825,428 households in 2010. That means that we can figure that the overall total for movie tickets, sporting event tickets, and concerts in the United States would top $69 billion. This would equate to more than $2 billion for the national deficit.
Grand totals: While the exact numbers for entertainment sales abroad are not all available, the numbers for the entertainment sales in the United States are. The entertainment sales are expect to top $1 trillion within the next year. That would bring $30 billion in for equalizing the national deficit. I would expect that we can come close to tripling that number when international sales are added. This would be close to a 25 percent reduction in the national deficit and greater than any president has accomplished in the past.
It should be noted that this would not completely eradicate the national deficit. It would be a non-traditional start. Also, I should mention that a 3 percent increase would be a nominal amount as a whole. With the average household spending about $3,000 a year on entertainment, an extra $90 a year would appear nominal.