Friday, October 26, 2007

Increased tobacco taxes do not deter smokers and is a disasterous way to fund government programs

The story of New York smokers who dodge the tobacco tax is found online here.

Excerpt:

New York City's smokers dodged as much as $43 million of cigarette taxes last year......

"Twenty percent of smokers without high school diplomas reported evading cigarette taxes, compared with more than 60 percent for those with college degrees," .............some 34 percent of other state residents said they got "under-taxed" smokes via the Internet or Indian reservations..............the report ....concluded: "The availability of under-taxed and therefore cheaper cigarettes undermines the city's efforts to reduce smoking and deprives the city of funds that would be otherwise directed towards public health initiatives."

This study proves two things:

1) increased tobacco taxes do not produce the claimed desired effect......decreased smoking.

2) funding governemnt programs with a tobacco tax is a recipe for revenue shartfalls.

Recent Democratic attempts to fund the expansion of S-CHIPS on a new federal tobacco tax will be as equally disasterous. According to the results of the New York study, the $35 billion expansion of S-CHIPS; allowing income earners up to $82,000.00 without children qualify for "free healthcare"; will in reality be paid by non-smoking taxpayers.

President Bush was right to veto this over bloated spending bill the first time.......and I am confident he will continue to veto this bill as it stands, no matter how many times Democrats vote for it.

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