This is a discussion on Tobacco Rant within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Now I don't smoke any more (Had Cancer of the tongue and lymph nodes) but I did when I was young and later I smoked ...
March 28th, 2009 10:06 AM
Now I don't smoke any more (Had Cancer of the tongue and lymph nodes) but I did when I was young and later I smoked a pipe for many years don't know if the cancer was from smoke or just bad luck but my wife still smokes (Her Choice) and my 82 year Mother does also my gripe is the chosen one has put two tax hikes on tobacco in a row the second starts on 1 April." Its for the children" Mr Obama made 4 million last year and god knows how much he will make as Pres so if smokes go to $10 a pack he could care less along with all the other crooks in congress and their $25 dollar cigars ,pipe tobacco went up from $17 a pound to $49 a pound. Now like I said I don't smoke but I don't care if anyone else does its a personnal choice and the taxes only hurt people who arn't rich or live on a fixed income. NOW what if the chosen one desides to double or triple the taxes on ammo or componets "for the children" who will speak up?
smoking has been bastardized till no one will speak up whats next?
THINK ABOUT IT
March 28th, 2009 10:15 AM
I'm with you on this and I don't smoke either. Kind of reminds me of a tea party in Boston.
March 28th, 2009 10:16 AM
Smoking a pack, or multiple packs, a day harms the individual and can cause problems to those around.
Tax them to death, I could care less.
Now for ammo, I can do one, two, three, or even four or more boxes a day...no problem for me or anyone else.
I see a big difference between taxing a health hazzard and a recreational activity, but I get your point.
I beleive that taxing ammo 'out of reach' would cause an uproar from 80 million gun owners.
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NRA Life Member
March 28th, 2009 10:18 AM
I totally agree; I lost interest in smoking 6 or 7 years ago, I still smoke a cigar now and then (5-6 times a year) but as long as it is legal, people who smoke should not be ostracized and over-taxed.
But many other things are that way: a $200 speeding ticket has a diffeent impact on the person who makes $250,000 a year or those who make $7/hour. Many other examples.
But who said life is fair ?
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March 28th, 2009 10:31 AM
I did not smoke at all until I turned 60, then decided that I would smoke cigars. Price, especially on good cigars, eventually caused me to reconsider my new habit. I'm sure a substantial part of the price was tobacco tax.
Now, there is one thing about smoking that does affect all of us whether we smoke or not. The health care costs are spread to all of us in the form of higher premiums on regular insurance and higher premiums for Medicare. If raising taxes on tobacco both discourages an unhealthy activity and provides money for treatment that the use of tobacco made necessary, I see no reason why the product should not be taxed.
What I don't understand is laying the blame for tobacco taxes on the present administration, specifically Mr. Obama, as these taxes have been around and been going up slowly forever.
You raise the interesting point, "what if the chosen one decides to double or triple the tax on ammo or components."
First, the President by himself can not do that. The correct question is, what if Congress decides to double or triple the taxes on ammo and components?
Well, Congress represents us all, and taxation is their province. Only Congress (the House) can initiate tax increases, and that was set that way in our constitution to insure that the people are involved in making decisions on how they are taxed.
Second, the question could just as easily be asked about whether or not state sales taxes, state property taxes, gasoline taxes, or even income taxes can't be raised to impossible levels and specified against a specific social or political target. Your house could be taken by property taxes, for example. And the answer is that yes they can, so the problem is more broad than ammo.
The power to tax it has been said is the power to destroy. But, someone has to pay the bill so taxes are a necessary thing in our lives.
Still, the decisions come from "we the people" through our elected representatives. If you don't like what your representative stands for run for election yourself, contribute money to the election, or get out of you house and volunteer to hang lawn signs for the opponent before the next election.
You aren't powerless. We aren't powerless. IT isn't us v the government, though too many seem to think that way. It is us choosing to do something or choosing to sit around and do nothing but complain.
Now back to smoking. A colleague died of lung cancer at 57. He knew he shouldn't smoke. He knew the dangers. It didn't deter him. At least he had the thoughtfulness to refuse chemotherapy and avoid the run up of huge medical bills that would at most have prolonged his life a few weeks or months.
How about this, you get to smoke all you want but you don't get to drain the insurance funds for the care your behavior cost the rest of us? Make that bargain and I'd support repeal of the tobacco tax.
March 28th, 2009 10:51 AM
Thank you for raising this important point. I don't like my tax dollars going to pay for the healthcare of people who choose to be unhealthy. That's why we should support significantly higher taxes on fast food and any product with excessive sugar. We'll let Congress decide what's excessive.
Originally Posted by Hopyard
Also, the military requires me to get permission for "high-risk" activities. Why? Because I could get injured. We could defray health care costs (and generate revenue!) by requiring a license for various activities. Want to go skiing? It will you cost you a $200/yr. I don't ski, and I don't want to pay for your broken leg. General Aviation? Risky and a hazard to those of who don't fly...seen all those planes crashing on houses lately? A pilot's license should have a surtax. Hangliding or bungee-jumping? Waaay risky and waaay expensive to fix injuries. Let's make that one $500/yr.
Tanning beds is another area we could tax. Beachgoers, too, on a lesser scale. I'm not paying for your skin cancer when I don't like the beach. You drive a corvette? Well, the ONLY reason someone wants a car like that is because they clearly want to go fast...risky! Tax it.
Let's think even bigger...do you know how much a kid costs the health care system? There's prenatal care, delivery, and the ER visits all the dang time. I don't want kids, and I don't to pay for someone else's. Instead of a child-tax CREDIT we need to have a straight up child-TAX.
Lastly...guns. Do you know how many people are brought into ERs with gunshot wounds in our cities? Any idea how expensive that is? Nobody needs a gun...that's what cops are for. Think how much money we could save LE and hospitals if we could just get all the guns and ammo "off the streets." At the least, we could significantly raise taxes on guns and ammo to help with the health care costs gun-owners' choices generate.
/sarcasm off. You're smart enough to see the slippery slope of your argument, but I thought I'd helpfully point it out.
March 28th, 2009 10:53 AM
Hopyard, I think if you ckeck you will see obama personnaly pushed the last two tobacco taxes through. As far paying for medical bills for smokers I think it was just a good chance for the insurance companys and hospitals to get more money. We all know smoking is bas but explain to me why your buddy died at 57 and my Mom is 84 and has smoked for 50 years and for her age is in great shape.
retsupt99, have you every heard the story about "when the came for the Jews I didn'e care because I wasn't a Jew" and so on untill there was no one left to speak for any one?. My whole point here is these people want total control and we are giving it to them. The best way to screw up anything is let the Government run it if we don't wake up and stand up and vote these crooks
out of office its only going to get worse
March 28th, 2009 11:24 AM
I am a smoker and I agree smoking is unhealthy. I don't think trying to tax it out of existence is the right way either.
I keep hearing, "I don't smoke, why should I pay higher medical insurance premiums to pay for someone who does?". Well I don't drink, why should I have to pay higher car insurance premiums because someone else decides to. Lets raise the tax on alcohol so a 6 pack of beer cost $40.00, a bottle of off the shelf wine is $75.00, a bottle of liquor is $100.00. Also let's put drinkers in a separate section of restaurants so non drinkers don't have to put up with their loud obnoxious behavior and conversations.
March 28th, 2009 11:27 AM
"On February 4, 2009, Congress enacted, and President Obama signed into law, a 62-cent increase in the federal cigarette tax, along with increases in other tobacco taxes, to fund expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The federal cigarette tax will increase to $1.01 per pack on March 31, 2009.
Since January 1, 2002, 44 states and the District of Columbia have increased cigarette taxes, some more than once. The average state cigarette tax has increased from 43.4 cents to $1.21 a pack."
Ah, the big tax debate...many states already have a consumption tax. Some have higher land taxes than others. And of course...those that make more, pay more in income, SS and Medicare taxes.
Sooo, do I have a bleeding heart for cigarette taxes...nope. I wish someone would move overseas to Europe and see their taxes...might open some eyes.
Regardless...I'm more worried about my children and the debt they will carry from federal spending...yep, and the taxes to pay for it. I suspect you will see taxes go up in many consumption items...including ammo.
March 28th, 2009 11:33 AM
I wouldn't mind it so much if it really went to healthcare, but it won't and everyone knows that.
What about the billions of dollars that were paid to the states from the lawsuits that were supposedly for the increased healthcare costs of smoking? Where did that go? It didn't get used to help what they said. It got spent on roads and other things. What about all of the current taxes on tobacco? Where is that money going? Not into healthcare, I'd be willing to bet.
Tobacco taxes pay for a lot of things that benefit non smokers. But no one seems to care that this one group is getting over taxed because of the straw man argument about healthcare. And it keeps their taxes lower. Because if everyone quit smoking, everyone elses taxes would go up. They have to get the money from somewhere.
Now think about this... Obesity causes as many deaths and health problems as smoking. Why isn't there a fat tax? I think there should be. Why should I pay for someone to stuff their face until they have a heart attack?
Last edited by morintp; March 28th, 2009 at 05:23 PM.
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March 28th, 2009 11:41 AM
Man I can see it now cig stamps for the poor folks after all everyone should be able to get a cig.
FBOand his people in office
March 28th, 2009 01:00 PM
I dont smoke. My brother in law just quit after smoking for 35 years. I quit chewing tobacco 3 months ago.
Sorry, IMO cigarettes should be illegal but, because of my conservative we need less government intrusion in our lives outlook on life I say smoke up if thats what you want to do.
Let em tax the crap out of it. I couldnt care less.
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March 28th, 2009 02:45 PM
It's a pity that this thread was started, I've lost respect for some of the contributors. Tobacco, albeit unhealthy as we all know, is a legal industry that was publicly raped by the Clinton administration. I own a small tobacco farm and it's been worked by honest folks with a distinct history. But no more. Indeed, what's next? It doesn't matter as long as it doesn't effect the liberties that are more personal? The profits and taxes on tobacco over the years have built infrastructures that many rabid-anti smokers now enjoy. It takes a fair amount of narrow minded nerve ..... you know what, never mind. I'm gonna go out in the yard and talk to a rock. We should stick with those things that bring us together and not attack personal liberties on other fronts. What an irony that we're scrutinized and governed by ATF.
What if the Hokey Pokey IS what it's all about?
March 28th, 2009 02:55 PM
What applies for one, applies for the others ..... sooner or later. Just ask any "anti-gun" if he would like to see outrageous taxes on ammo and guns.
Originally Posted by retsupt99
We have to defend everyone's rights, not just the one's we like or not. It's a right to choose.
March 28th, 2009 03:09 PM
One truly unfortunate thing is that somehow a substitute money making crop has not been found that could allow folks like you to make a living. I can't fault you for wanting to be able to grow and market your crop. But, I have to marvel at the fact that it is still legal to do so.
Originally Posted by svgheartland
We don't, and never will, live in a libertarian utopia. If we did, you could use that patch of land to grow pot, and personally I wouldn't care if that was legalized. But for now, you are stuck with tobacco.
Anyway, I do think our Agricultural Research establishment has done much too little of the real work needed to give guys like you a way to make money from your land while producing something that is not harmful to the consumer. There have been attempts to genetically engineer the tobacco plant to produce useful products, but attitudes about genetically engineered agriculture (and a couple of awful bad incidents) have pretty well shut such efforts down.
Of course, a truly libertarian viewpoint would hold that government has no place trying to "invent" a way for this man to make a living from his land. I disagree. We could better his situation, and our own, if there was a useful crop that could replace tobacco.
P.S. I like my cigars with CT tobacco wrapper. When I buy cigars with let's say Indonesian tobacco, I don't like the fact that the source isn't "made in America."
So I'm fairly conflicted about the right and wrong of this very complicated issue.
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