Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cigarette tax

Yes, aparently this is a rather hot topic here in Mississippi. Tomorrow the price per pack goes up and the legislature her in Mississippi is trying to pass their oen tax hike of anywhere from 62 to 80 cents per pack.

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....
Sent from my BlackBerry Smartphone provided by Alltel


LizBeth said...

Okay, how did you quit two packs day? That's quite a blessing to your children - whenever you were smoking. I'm impressed. Liz

mrshester said...

Here here!! As a fellow ex-smoker, I am in whole-hearted agreement. Cigarettes in my part of Tennessee went up not too long ago (I think maybe a year and a half?) and now everyone is crying about this latest one. I'm so tired of the whining. I know it's a hard habit to quit. I can't lie and say I never want one, and I have even backslid once or twice (praise God, not since last summer!). But knowing my kids won't be burying me at 60 from lung cancer and my husband's peace of mind is more than enough incentive for me. Oh yeah, and the first reason I quit: as a Christian my body is to be treated like the Lord's temple, and who wants to live in a stinky, smoky house? I thank God for the strength He gives me to fight it, because I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like California to me....smokes tax went up 101% (about $1.00 a pack)today for the same reasons as your state. Sales tax went up 1 cent more, making it .8375% in our county. When Trapper Dude asked about this at the gas station this morning, the attendent said as of right now, the tobacco Co.'s are going to absorb this and not raise prices...really?..so the increase in prices at stores is profitting the owners of the stores???
SO glad I don't smoke anymore...it's been years, thank the good Lord above :)
Motor Vehicle registrations? Here in California, they are going to be outrageous...Trapper's truck made it in before the increase...but it's still $350 !! My little car WAS $59...PLUS another $54 to get it smogged every other year. From what I read, with the increase in fees, I will pay over $100 this year. I won't even begin to rant on this...remember, I live in the "Republic of California"...common sense is a rare quality....farmers CAN NOT have their water supply from a certain canal in the Central Valley (our biggest growing area) because some fish huggers convinced a judge that a teeny fish called the "Delta Smelt" is endangered.
Yeah, well, so are our farmers and that means your food....doesn't 2+2+4 anymore????
THANKFULLY (after all that!) "I KNOW whom I have Believed in and am [ersuaded that He is able to KEEP that which I've committed unto Him against that day."
Praise Him for His faithfullness. mercy and longsuffering....Lord, how long?

Mrs. Trixi said...

This is a hot topic here. Personally, it doesn't effect me, as noone in my family smokes but an increase in taxes of anything effects us all. It goes back to tax without representation. I don't know about you but none of this goverment beit federal or local represents my family.

Lisa said...

I like the fact that it is a usage tax. The more you buy, the more you pay. If you don't buy it, you don't pay it! Back when they instituted the higher gasoline taxes to pay for road improvement, there was a lot of whining. But, if you use your gas wisely (combine trips, carpool, whatever) then you only pay a small amount. If you choose to drive a car that doesn't get good gas mileage and run around town everyday, you pay the price... literally!

And they should have higher taxes on alcohol. Seems a no-brainer to me. Of course, I don't smoke or drink, so I'm biased! LOL

Anonymous said...

The real problem here is that the government is trying to dictate behavior by punishing us for what we do. I don't smoke. My mom did, and I hated it. However, you don't punish someone to try to control what they're doing. What about when they start adding huge taxes to something the rest of us enjoy doing? We all have things we choose to do that others disagree with. We need to stop all this nanny-state nonsense. These politicians are deliberately choosing to tax a group that we have all been groomed by the media to detest, for a cause that no one dares speak out against...children. Who can argue taxing the evil smokers to "save" children, right? That's just to get us used to the idea that this government is going to start taxing EVERYTHING we do, for whatever cause THEY think is best. We're paying enough as it is, with income, property, sales tax, you name it. Now they want to top off everything with more taxes? Taking the little money we have--from those of us who haven't lost our jobs yet? They might as well put us all on welfare. Just my two cents.


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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