In a development that can only be described as a deep breath into the realm of absurdity, the government has unleashed a revolutionary plan to tax the most fundamental of human necessities: oxygen. Yes, you read that correctly. The very air we breathe is now fair game for taxation, all in the name of achieving what they call "breathing equity."
At a press conference held in a room filled with greenery (to compensate for the oxygen being taxed), government spokesperson Ima Gasbag unveiled this breathtaking scheme. "It is with great gravity and a hint of irony that we announce the taxation of oxygen," Gasbag declared as a chorus of incredulous coughs and sneezes filled the room. "It is time for every citizen to contribute their share for the privilege of inhaling and exhaling."
Under this audacious policy, citizens will be required to purchase Oxygen Credits™ based on their estimated lung capacity and breathing habits. The tax will be progressive, with yoga practitioners, marathon runners, and Darth Vader among those expected to pay the lion's share. The government insists that this will level the playing field, ensuring that everyone, regardless of lung size, pays their dues.
Unsurprisingly, the announcement has left citizens gasping for words and air. Protests have erupted nationwide, with demonstrators brandishing placards that read, "Our Lungs, Our Rules!" and "Don't Tax My Breath!" Many argue that breathing is a basic human right and should remain untouched by taxation.
Environmentalists, on the other hand, see a glimmer of hope in this hazy horizon. "By taxing oxygen, we are encouraging people to breathe less, which is undoubtedly a step toward reducing carbon emissions," said Green Lung, spokesperson for the Environmental Breath Alliance. "Every breath you take now comes with a carbon footprint and a tax receipt!"
Businesses, ever the opportunists, are scrambling to adapt. Oxygen bar owners are planning to rebrand as "Breath Lounges," where patrons can savor an extravagant gulp of oxygen at a premium price. Scuba diving schools are considering a pivot toward teaching people how to hold their breath longer, thereby avoiding the dreaded "oxygen tax."
In response to mounting criticism, the government has promised subsidies for low-income citizens who may find the cost of breathing burdensome. "We want to ensure that every citizen, regardless of their financial situation, can enjoy the privilege of respiration," Gasbag said with a perfectly straight face.
As the nation grapples with this breathtaking taxation concept, citizens are advised to practice shallow breathing, perhaps taking inspiration from meditating monks or, in extreme cases, getting cozy with houseplants for some shared oxygen. Whether this audacious tax policy will truly promote "breathing equity" or simply leave everyone breathless from the sheer absurdity remains to be seen.