Cigarette Taxes

Reuters via Yahoo! News: U.S. would reap billions from $1 cigarette tax hike

Adding a $1 per pack tax to cigarettes could raise more than $9 billion a year for states, health advocates said on Wednesday, and a poll released with the study shows Americans would support such a tax.

I wonder if there will ever come a day when I or someone who shares my philosophical temperament will encounter a mainstream news article like the above and not immediately know how it will proceed.

“An increase in tobacco tax rates is not only sound public health policy but a smart and predictable way to help boost the economy and generate long-term health savings for states facing deepening budget deficits,” said John Seffrin, chief executive of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

I loathe these people. They take a laudable goal and fuck it up by advocating the violent redistribution of property as a way to achieve it.

“We have irrefutable evidence that raising the tobacco tax lowers smoking rates among adults and deters millions of children from picking up their first cigarette,” Seffrin said in a statement.

Pragmatism: It Can Justify Anything

The groups also surveyed 847 registered voters and found 60 percent favor raising the tobacco tax to help state budgets while 38 percent were opposed.The survey, with a margin of error of three points, found that 72 percent of voters opposed increases in state sales and 80 percent rejected higher gasoline taxes.

Democracy: Danger In Numbers

“Each year in the United States, smoking-caused disease results in $96 billion in health care costs, much of which is paid by taxpayers through higher insurance premiums and government-funded health programs such as Medicaid,” the report argues”Indeed, higher Medicaid costs are one of the reasons states are facing budget difficulties.”

OBVIOUSLY WE CAN’T STOP TAXING OTHERS TO PAY FOR THOSE TREATMENTS. THAT WOULD BE MEAN AND HEARTLESS.

Rather, let’s just order cops to threaten imminent bodily harm, abduction, and detainment against those retailers who won’t collect the tax and who, after their permission to make a living is revoked, continue to operate their businesses. Let’s send strangers violently into the lives of people who have done nothing wrong and command them to raise their prices with the express intent to cut down on their sales. All of that is fine and dandy, isn’t it?

“It is disheartening the report’s authors are suggesting legislators position tax increases as a way to address health issues while the report clearly describes tax increases as a way to fix budgets and score political points with voters,” Philip Morris USA said in a statement.”The report neglects to mention the fact that cigarette tax increases rarely generate all of the revenue they are projected to raise — creating more budget problems down the road.”

Copyright Š 2010 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

And bringing up the rear: the inevitable half-hearted, nutless whining by Industry. Utterly devoid of principle and morally gutted by years of lies, the best they can offer is “I disagree, that plan wouldn’t quite work so well.” I once had some sympathy for these cretins; no more. Not when they say shit like:

In addition to violating many trademark laws, counterfeit cigarettes are almost always sold without the appropriate federal and state excise tax. The counterfeit cigarettes purchased from G.J. Smokes bore no genuine tax stamp. As a result, the applicable excise taxes were not paid.

If you actively advocate the economic destruction of your products, how the fuck am I supposed to care about another buck imposed on top of each pack? Other than the unthinkingly reflexive tea party hordes, why would anyone else give it a second thought unless it was their own habit gored by the government ox?

Big Tobacco is functionally absurd.