Why Don’t They Just Outlaw Cigarettes?

Only in government could we find people who will tax an unhealthy product in order to support health care. By taxing an unhealthy item, like cigarettes, to pay for health care the government is saying that it approves of the item because it brings in revenue. However, the tax is regressive and might force people to quit using tobacco products. That is great, you say? Well, yes, if the intent is to get people to quit smoking but what happens when revenue from tobacco decreases because people quit? The government runs out of money or falls short in funding a program that it has established and committed money to. That revenue shortfall will need to be made up and it will come from the taxpayer, even those who do not use tobacco.

The idea behind taxing tobacco is that tobacco users are not as healthy as non users so they should pay for the increased cost of health care. Theoretically, if people quit they will begin to get healthier so there would be no need to continue with the high health care costs. However, the government has chosen to use the tobacco tax to fund health care for children so those needy kids will not go away even if the revenue source dwindles. Therein lies one of the many problems. If tobacco users are not as healthy one would assume that the tax would pay for their care but it does not. Even if the tobacco users all quit using the product the government would have a need for the revenue. Government never removes a tax it has imposed. It just shifts the burden to other sources. The US Congress is looking at increasing the federal tobacco tax to $1.00 per pack of cigarettes. The Maryland Governor wants to increase tobacco tax for the same reasons as the feds. If all taxes take effect the cost would be $3.00 a pack in Maryland just in tax. Since the less affluent are more likely to be smokers, seems to me the less affluent will shoulder the burden for the programs paid for with tobacco tax.

Nancy Pelosi has already banned smoking in part of their office complex (but members may still smoke in their offices which is a completely different rule than for all other government employees). Now they will stop selling cigarettes in the stores located in the buildings which seems stupid when the goal is to raise money.

The government does not want people to stop using tobacco regardless of what they say because this would dry up a source of income. They play with things, they make it hard, they tax the hell out of it but they do not make it illegal. If it is so bad why not just make it illegal and be done with it? All kinds of other drugs are illegal so why not tobacco? Follow the money.

Interestingly, Congress has not raised alcohol taxes under the guise that alcohol users are less healthy than the general public. Do you suppose that is because many more elected officials use booze than tobacco? I wonder if they are allowed to drink in their offices as well. That might explain some of the behavior we see from them.

They will never raise the tax on booze as long as Ted Kennedy is in office. He would have a stroke right on the Senate floor. Hmmm, come to think of it an alcohol tax might be a good thing.

Congress needs to stop playing games and either leave tobacco users alone or make the substance illegal and put an end to all the charades. As for me, I don’t care about the tax on tobacco but I am concerned with the unintended consequences of decreased revenue when people quit. We don’t need to pay more in taxes regardless of what the Democrats say.

Source:
My Way News

Big Dog

Others with similar items:
Stop the ACLU, Nuke’s, Perri Nelson’s Website, 123beta, The Uncooperative Radio Show!, Stix Blog, Right Truth, The Populist, The World According to Carl, Grizzly Groundswell, The Pink Flamingo, and Adeline and Hazel, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.



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9 Responses to “Why Don’t They Just Outlaw Cigarettes?”

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  4. Butch says:

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