I told them. If you want people to quit smoking, you had best not get used to the revenue from tobacco taxes. Don’t count on it for anything if you want to extinguish smoking in our lifetime. You know, make it history? But what did New Hampshire Democrats do when Republicans tried to back away from tobacco by lowering the tax just one thin dime? They snapped like addicts in withdrawal. They got the Democrat DT’s and everything.
You can’t cut the tobacco tax. We’re losing revenue. We need that revenue. I gotta have revvvaaaaannnooooo. (Insert primal scream here.)
Their new plan? Same as their old plan. Raise the tax on a product they don’t want around to tax. Yeah, that will fix the wagon (actually it wont) ….until January2014 when a provision in Obama-Care delivers the coup de gras.
In January 2014 anyone who is still funding the tobacco tax with their ‘habit!’ is in for a surprise. Obama Care has a provision in it that allows insurance companies to charge 50% more for individual health Insurance policies held by smokers. That”’ add thousands of dollars more per year to those people’s premiums. You think some folks will quit?
Might just be a big old beaver dam blocking the revenue stream. But then, that was the goal.
So I think we can count on extinguishing tobacco tax revenue in our lifetimes. At least in any form to which we’ve become accustomed. And hey! maybe the insurance premium gang rape will finally be the thing that keeps kids from taking up the habit–lord knows the Democrats previous tobacco tax hike didn’t have much effect. Did I say we might want to back off that dead-end revenue stream if the goal? I did. So don’t get too used to that money. And while you are doing that you might want to ask about future funding for SCHIP. Isn’t the Children’s Health Insurance Program heavily reliant on revenue from tobacco sales?
Say it with me. “We have to pass the bill so we can see what’s in it.”
Steve has been recognized as the Americans For Prosperity Blogger of the month for December 2012