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View Diary: Thank You for Smoking?: The President's Pre-K Plan (114 comments)

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  •  It is odd ... (9+ / 0-)

    ... to have one part of the government discouraging smoking while another relies upon it. Truth is I'm not sure how much lower we can bring smoking levels, though remarkable progress has occurred during our lifetimes.

    •  And this is getting old, too (12+ / 0-)

      Feds just raised the taxes $1 per pack in 2009 and most states did, too.

      How about boosting the taxes on alcohol for once instead of beating on smokers some more.  

      BTW, one of the biggest stealth vote-getters for Scott Walker and Ron Johnson in Wisconsin was run by the tobacco institute.  It was an official email from both to smokers that promised to repeal the new federal cigarette tax.  Of course, once elected, they "forgot" their promise and Scott Walker introduced an extra $1/pack state cigarette tax increase, too (extra money to funnel back to his donors in tax givaways).

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 03:29:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Alcohol is a state issue, traditionally. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poco

        Cigarettes are regulated federally.

      •  How About Raising Taxes On The Rich...... (20+ / 0-)

        The alcohol tax is just as unethical as the cigarette tax as it preys upon people's personal weaknesses and lets government get a cut out of it.  There is nothing more disgusting about the current state of the Democratic Party than their diabolical escalation of this most disgusting revenue-raising scheme.  Forget chained CPI.....kicking smokers in the crotch without any public hearing yet again is orders of magnitude more vile than anything else in Obama's budget.

      •  Thomas Jefferson says: (7+ / 0-)

        “If we run into such debts as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, and give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses. "
        I have seen the price of alcohol go up and up over the years, due to taxes, exchange rates and to a lesser degree commodity inflation. Distilling your own, which takes a pretty big investment is highly illegal as the revenuer wants his taxes (it is also dangerous due to flammability and creation of poisonous methanol and acetone).
        I just keep paying more and more for everything so we can run prisons for the war on drugs, endless foreign wars, multibillion dollar domestic surveillance program, corporate subsidies for oil and sugar, etc, etc.

        "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

        by shmuelman on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 05:09:36 PM PDT

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        •  Jefferson didn't really LIKE "government" (0+ / 0-)

          We can't blame him.  He had never seen a good one.

          As far as HE knew the last GOOD government had been under one of the pre-Christian Roman Emperors  (Gibbons had said so in his Decline and Fall) ... since which time, the plebeian class had never been so well governed nor so well washed -- and their governments had been merely  a succession of tyrannical monarchies and the occasional plutocratic "republic".

          Like most landed Virginians of the day, TJ had ENORMOUS respect for the legendary patrician Cincinnatus and the mythical  plebeian archetype "fabianus rusticus"  

          In this quote I particularly like the way he conflates what free laborers (a class about which he knew almost nothing) must pay to Government for their taxes, and what they must pay Merchants and Landlords for their food, clothing and shelter.  These days we tend to do the same:  excoriate Government for levying taxes, while extolling  Capital for earning profits.

           Nothwithstanding ... TJ felt that the common sort of person was well off if he had food sufficient to his daily hunger, clothing adequate to the climate and "more than required by mere decency," and some form of shelter.  If he could gain all of these things by farming his own little plot of land ... so much the better -- morally if not economically

          Again: to his credit TJ had seen, or at least read about, simple folk in Europe and Russia who had much LESS of these things than even his unambitious standard for the lesser members of the commonwealth.

          Of course from TJ's point of view  (and this was a man who really like his Plantation lifestyle) the taxation of Tobacco must have seemed  a tyrannical overreach of the first order, by an illegitimate government.

    •  We know what works. And it's not actually gums (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      devis1, kainah, AoT, Lonely Liberal in PA

      and patches and pills.

      We can take the advertising out of the windows.  We can get the smokes away from eye level.  We can, state by state, make it just as hard to get a license to sell smokes as to sell hard liquor.

      We can stop tobacco companies cracking nicotine into a freebase form.

      I'm not kidding about that.

      http://biopsychiatry.com/...

      There's a lot we could do, if regressive taxes targeting a reviled minority of people suffering from addiction weren't seen as a popular "something for nothing".

      dEar Ellois: U send Fud down holez, we no eaTz u. That iz deAl. No forget. MooRlockz Haz 2 eats. Stoopid Elloiz.

      by JesseCW on Sun Apr 14, 2013 at 08:17:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Too Easy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wood Dragon

        The tobacco companies manipulate the tobacco product to increase addiction rates--with MAOIs, changing pH (AKA free-basing), and so on.

        The pharma companies then get to charge you for a product to quit that has a low success rate and costs a fortune.

        Then the FDA goes after a harm-reduction alternative that works (the electronic) and that people have used to quit.  Fortunately, the not-quite-corrupt-yet court system knocked that down a number of years ago.  They're trying again this year.

        It only makes sense if you assume that, as a whole, government doesn't concern itself with the welfare of the people, merely the constant flow of money to itself and its benefactors.

        (-6.38, -7.03) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

        by Lonely Liberal in PA on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 04:56:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If This Tax Is Any Indication...... (2+ / 0-)

          ......the latter option is the government's only concern.  If they didn't want people to smoke, they wouldn't expand health care and preschool programs exclusively with dollars raised by cigarette taxes.  Not sure it's humanly possible to be TOO cynical about government's motives when tobacco is involved.

          •  The only logical conclusion... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mark27

            ... is that either:

            1) They want people to smoke for the revenue it generates
            or
            2) They don't really give a f*** about funding pre-K

            The meek shall inherit the Earth that the stupid destroyed.

            by CharlieHipHop on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 06:40:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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