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John's Blog

John's conservative blog supporting President Trump

New taxes on smokers

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Smoke break gets more expensive with tax boost

It looks like it's getting even more expensive to smoke cigarettes in the good old USA.
WASHINGTON – However they satisfy their nicotine cravings, tobacco users are facing a big hit as the single largest federal tobacco tax increase ever takes effect Wednesday.

Tobacco companies and public health advocates, longtime foes in the nicotine battles, are trying to turn the situation to their advantage. The major cigarette makers raised prices a couple of weeks ago, partly to offset any drop in profits once the per-pack tax climbs from 39 cents to $1.01.
First, cigarette makers raise prices, then the federal tax more than doubles. What's a poor smoker to do? Quit you say? Well, as someone who has never smoked I don't know, but I suspect that if they had wanted to quit they would have already. But as we all know, many people just can't seem to quit no matter how hard they try because the addiction to nicotine is so strong.

So the government has them hooked on taxes just like they are already hooked on nicotine. And since it is so addictive, you know that they are going to find a way to pay for it no matter what, even if it means selling their souls to the devil. So unlike something like the federal income tax which is often evaded, the government knows it will get it's money out of this tax.

God, I am glad that I didn't ever start smoking. Like most people, I have made mistakes in my life, but starting smoking wasn't one of them.

So was the tax increase on tobacco a wise policy decision or not? Actually, I have ambivalent feelings about it. On the one hand I suppose the if anyone was stupid enough to start smoking in the first place then that's what they deserve. But on the other hand, the more compassionate side of me says that it is not right to squeeze tax money out of people, many of them poor, who can't afford it but will find a way to pay for it anyway even if it means neglecting the needs of their innocent children.

I guess the only solution to this conundrum is to find a way to reduce federal spending once and for all to the point that we don't need additional tax revenues. But don't hold your breath on that one. If Bush couldn't hold down spending how can we expect the tax and spend liberals who are in charge now to do so? That's the question of the hour.
posted by John, 8:50 PM


I blogged about this a while ago.


But one thing I missed, is that while the tax addicted libs start putting RJ Reynold's and the like out of business due to people quitting smoking (I smoke, but am quitting on April 1st when the new tax is implemented), they are going to come after property owners, gasoline buyers, etc. because the tax revenue from tobacco will not be there so they will have to drain other people's pockets.
Best to put your money into property taxes than nasty cigarettes.
I don't smoke - however, I think the government picks on them as it is one of the first things that gets a tax hike. Maybe if the government taxed beer sales more, they could get in a little bit more money. The government has gone crazy on their massive spending spree - now they are scrambling to see where they can get more money to waste.
commented by Anonymous Mike, April 7, 2009 at 8:14 PM  

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