The revenue is going for the insurance program here, S-CHIP. That is low income children getting needed insurance. Paid for by the habits of smokers.
The #1 complaint seems to be that it is somehow 'unconstitutional' for the government to penalize...er, tax...a minority of the public. They are singling out a group of people for taxation. It's not right punishing any one group based on their choices. They have to pay higher taxes now than X percentage of the public.
Ok, in 'debate mode' here I could jump all over this in agreement. Why pick on smokers? As a local talk radio station argued, what about everyone else? What about folks who play baseball -- tax their bats and balls. What about adding extra taxes those folks driving SUV's and other large vehicles? If the government can single out one group over others for taxation, what freedom is left?
Now, on the other side (and I'm sorry, but it's just the plain common sense side folks...). Smoking is a free will choice you make. It endangers your health and you still knowingly and willingly choose to do it. That's called stupidity if you want to label it. And it's not only YOUR health, but everyone else around you with your second-hand smoke. Go ahead and make your choice but how dare you force anyone else to pay your consequences with you.
And someone argued they don't raise the liquor taxes like this.
Boo to the idiots in government then. They should. That's another free will choice that endangers not only the initial drinker, but has a very serious trickle-down effect to inumerable others. They should be taxed and that money should be funneled into health care as well.
Taxing individual groups based on personal choice has always happened. Hello...it's the government. Adjust and get used to it.
As to that argument that folks driving large vehicles and such should be/could be singled out for higher taxation....already happens. Here in our county (rate hike capitol, it seems) it costs me over $280 a year to get that lame little sticker to makle my license plate legal because I drive the year and model I do. Started off at double that, but it does go down a little each year. Yippee for little favors. Back north, I'd pay maybe $78 a year.
I'm not trying to be 'mean' to anyone. Smoking is a pwrsonal choice and as such sets you aside in a minority grouping. It's dangerous to everyone around you, and 9 times out of 10 costs someone else money later on while you live out your last days on 24/7 oxygen. It's a horrible way to suffer and a terrible way for loved ones to watch you die. If you make the choice to smoke, then lump it and put on your big boy/girl panties and pay extra to do it. I don't smoke -- and I did for a number of years, so don't start that argument with me --but if I did and the increase in tax was a big deal, I'd reexamine why I was buying the cigarettes and decide if I could afford to keep doing it. It's totally up to you if you participate in this latest tax hike from Big Brother. You sure can't say that about many of them!
Smoking is a nasty habit. It is now, and it was when I was using my own brain for a chimney and sucking down 2 packs a day -- but I'd rather you smoke in my presence than chew tobacco and constantly spit in a cup, can, or at my feet. Do I look like a spittoon to you???
But THAT is a whole Knuther soapbox there....
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