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For two years in a row, former Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle proudly signed TWO increases in Wisconsin's state cigarette tax with the help of both houses of the then Democratic Legislature.  The Wisconsin tax increased by $1.75 a pack in a little over a year, not counting the federal tax hike during the same time period.  Doyle cynically rationalized that his motivation was not a path-of-least-resistance, soak-the-poor revenue gimmick for the state, but him playing both doctor and take moral ownership of his state's people with the hope of "getting them to quit".  And judging by the 2010 election in Wisconsin, Doyle was right....if by "getting them to quit" he meant "quit" voting Democrats.....

There were a number of states where Democrats got smashed on November 2, 2010, and Wisconsin was near the top, replacing revered Democratic Senator Russ Feingold with a corrupt hack who believes global warming is caused by sunspots, replaced a Democrat-controlled Senate and state Assembly with Republicans, and of course, installed as Governor, to replace Doyle, one of the biggest villains to rise out of Republican politics in my lifetime, Scott Walker.

Would Walker and the rest of the GOP candidates have been victorious without the Democrats' arrogant financial assault on Wisconsin smokers?  It's hard to say. But even as a nonsmoker myself, if I put myself in the shoes of the 20% of Wisconsin voters who smoke and get singled out to have my pocket picked to the extent that they were, I'm gonna be hard-pressed to reward the party of Jim Doyle the next time I go to the polls.  That's a pretty large segment of voters to make angry, and very possibly the difference in the election that brought to power the rat bastard that is Scott Walker.

Why do I bring this up now?  Because in my home state of Minnesota, which has been shut down for the past six days due to a budget fight marred by the usual brand of economic terrorism by Republicans unwilling to compromise, the outcome I predicted coming since last December showed its first signs of materializing.....once again resolving a budget hole by mortgaging the state's budgetary future on still higher taxes on working-class cigarette smokers.

Now Governor Dayton, for all of his faults, is a very good man and I commend him for holding out as long as he has before resorting to this mindless gimmick, but he has gone there now and my sense is that Republican leaders have been waiting for it.  They have publicly rejected the call for the tobacco tax increase thus far, but it seems very likely that any final negotiation is going to include them since smokers are a demographic neither side has a problem kicking in the crotch.  And it will be a win-win for Republican leaders because the overwhelming majority of their caucus will get to vote against the increase, requiring the Democrats to vote almost unanimously in favor of it to get it passed.  They will have their deal....with all the blood on Democratic hands in the eyes of voters, including many of whom have been sympathetic to Dayton's side up until his "compromise" blackballed them.

Everything about exploiting smokers through the tobacco tax is diabolical, but given that they're a disempowered minority, they're easy prey for cowardly politicians.  As the frequency of these surprise attacks on smokers increases, and is usually advanced by Democratic politicians, it is needlessly alienating a large segment of the population that is demographically sympathetic to the Democratic platform away from the party.  If it's even a possibility that obnoxious increases in the Wisconsin tobacco tax helped elect Scott Walker, it is worth a very strong moment of soul-searching for Democrats whether they really want to be seen as the party who always shanks smokers....and the moment of soul-searching needs to start with Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton tonight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Cigarette tax is Regressive.... (8+ / 0-)

    ...and Dems who increase it are COWARDS who don't have the b---- to ask the affluent to pay their fair share.

    Where's the graduated wealth tax, applicable to households with net worth of at least 50M, at 1%, up to 8% for the likes of Buffet and Ellison?

    No, it's much easier for Dems to increase the tax burden on the already oppressed working and middle-class.

    If Dems want smokers to quit, why not outlaw it?

    And if they don't, I would support the immediate elimination of All excise taxes, both state, local and federal, on cigarettes.

    And I'm not a smoker.

    But I am a Dem who champions the working and middle-class.

    Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

    by PatriciaVa on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 08:32:42 PM PDT

    •  PatriciaVa - wealth taxes (0+ / 0-)

      The federal government could not implement a wealth tax without a Constitutional Amendment, like the one that was passed to start the federal income tax. My guess is that states could pass a wealth tax, however it is likely that the first state to pass one would start an exodus of wealth out of that state and into states with low taxes. Some European countries have wealth taxes and they are in the 1-3% per year range. Surprisingly more European countries had wealth taxes and dropped them in the last decade. The analysis of those countries that dropped their wealth taxes was that the tax was hurting overall tax revenues because of the impact on economic growth, and capital fleeing to more favorable tax environments.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 09:30:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  then use the progressive income tax. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        phonegery

        Ratchet it up to the levels it was at under Eisenhower (90% top marginal rate) but without loopholes.  

        Watch the Rs shit in their pants.  

        And watch the landslide.  

        •  G2 federal income tax rates are set by Congress (0+ / 0-)

          All tax bills must originate in the House. As long as the GOP holds the House no new income tax rates will be proposed. In addition if the gopers hold 41 seats in the Senate, even in 2013, you will not see an income tax rate increase. Our best hope is that the Dems in the Senate will have the political will to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire at the end of 2012. It takes no Congressional action to let the Bush tax cuts expire, and that's the best we are going to do in the foreseeable future.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 09:11:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  It wasnt the Cigarette tax that cost Democrats (5+ / 0-)

    It was Obama's idiotic quest for bipartisanship at any cost that caused Democrats to stay home and for independents not to see a difference between the two parties.  

    •  Disagree.... (7+ / 0-)

      Too many Dems at the state and local level do indeed prefer to raise taxes on the working and middle-class instead of the really wealthy.

      In NJ, Corzine increased the state sales tax by 14%, and lost in a Blue state.

      In IL, the Governor announced that he would increase income taxes by 66% on every household.  He won by 0.4% in a state that President Obama carried by over 24% points.

      We, as Dems, often lament that so many Southerners vote against their self-interest by voting GOP.

      What do we tell a Dem that has seen stagnant wages for over a decade, who has Dem governors and mayors increasing his tax burden?

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

      by PatriciaVa on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 08:43:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  that's an abstraction. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      phonegery

      Getting hit with a self-righteously regressive tax every other day of the week (or however often people buy cigarettes), is as concrete as it gets: "the Democrats did this to me, I'll show them!"

  •  No, it wasn't the cigarette taxes (4+ / 0-)

    And it won't be the thing people really remember about Minnesota either.

    •  Keep Telling Yourself That..... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      phonegery, PatriciaVa, G2geek

      ....and then keep wondering why the "white working class" is the difference in every election that swings to the GOP.

      •  that and firearms. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        phonegery

        The "moral crusader" mentality isn't limited to Republicans.  There are "moral crusader" factions among Democrats too, and when they go on their petty little crusades, they alienate voters in double-digit percentages.  

        We need to rein in this crap.  We cannot and should not be the party of petty personal moralizing.  Regardless of whatever "rationales" may exist for it.   Leave that shit to Republicans, and watch the tides turn in elections.  

  •  Lol (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, Chinton, Roadbed Guy

    good snark.

    "every time we start a pie fight a wingnut gets his wings"- MinistryofTruth -6.38, -4.15

    by James Allen on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 08:43:06 PM PDT

    •  Keep Laughing and Keep Losing..... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, phonegery
      •  pfft (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chinton

        Ok, so I read the polls.

        by andgarden on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 08:56:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  if you can find any actual data (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        andgarden, WisVoter

        to back up your assertions, there wouldn't be a huge gap between your alleged cause and effect.

        Lol at the idea of Dems having blood on their hands for raising cigarette taxes.  High cigarette taxes save lives by preventing young people from starting to smoke in the first place.

        "every time we start a pie fight a wingnut gets his wings"- MinistryofTruth -6.38, -4.15

        by James Allen on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 08:57:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually..... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib, G2geek, phonegery

          ...high cigarette taxes make government the primary profiteer of tobacco products given that the much-maligned Big Tobacco profits pennies per pack of cigarettes sold and government profits dollars.  Government doesn't "save lives" when it increases cigarette taxes, it just makes the welfare of the state more financially dependent on tobacco continuing to end lives.

          As for data to back up my assertion, it's a hypothesis.  It would be great if somebody had the insight to ask such a question in an exit poll sometime though, because I expect a lot of Democrats would be shocked to the learn that the same voters they chose to rob blind while simultaneously calling them out as the scum of society actually chose to not reward such behavior at the next election.

          •  Why do NC politicians tend to oppose (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            WisVoter

            cigarette tax increases?

            Ok, so I read the polls.

            by andgarden on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 09:06:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wasn't Aware They Did..... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek

              They passed two cigarette tax increases, albeit small ones, and a statewide smoking ban in the past few years, with Governor Purdue calling for another $1 per pack increase last year.  Oh...and Democrats controlled North Carolina government back when they voted for these.  Now, Republicans do....so thanks for more anecdotal evidence making my case.

              Seems very likely that arrogant policy towards NC smokers played a role in enabling the rise of whatever Michele Bachmann clones replace Brad Miller, Heath Shuler, Mike McIntyre, and Larry Kissell in the North Carolina House delegation next year.

        •  so does preventing gay marriage. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mark27, Roadbed Guy, phonegery

          See, that's how all the moral crusading works: it always finds a way to rationalize itself.  

          Smoking kills!

          Homosexuality kills!  (AIDS)

          Guns kill!

          Abortion is murder!  

          It's all about stigmatize, scapegoat, and punish.  Feels really good to have someone to kick, doesn't it?

          Problem is, those people you're kicking in order to get that righteousness buzz, they're going to vote.  And you're going to lose.  

          •  Fair is fair, and using (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mark27

            increased  taxes on cigarettes to be the sole source of funding for a program that benefits the population as a whole is not fair.  Then saying that raising the tax on cigarettes is doing the smokers a favor by encouraging them to quit smoking is rubbing salt in the wounds.

            Democrats - We represent America!

            by phonegery on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 06:13:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, this diary seems to be offered (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen

      based on the "we need to burn the village to save the village" idea - god forbid that the poor actually stopped smoking thereby saving themselves substantial $$s immediately as well as over the long term (for example, by not dying before they can collect their due share of SS benefits . . . .).

  •  an interesting idea but I don't think it can (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, WisVoter

    pass close examination.  NY raise the cigarette tax to where they are over $10/pk.

    The sun's not yellow, it's chicken. B. Dylan

    by bgblcklab1 on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 08:44:53 PM PDT

    •  Yes, And It's Terrible Policy..... (6+ / 0-)

      ....both in terms of having a sustainable budget that isn't set in quicksand...and for Democratic politicians attempting to credibly portray themselves as the party of working people.  It's a sad commentary on the state of today's Democratic Party that the foolheaded policy of endlessly taxing working-class smokers has to be so thoroughly explained.

      •  Yeah well, it got me to quit so I am (5+ / 0-)

        grateful.  May I add a GUS tag to your diary?  It may be of some interest to the people who follow that tag.

        The sun's not yellow, it's chicken. B. Dylan

        by bgblcklab1 on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 09:10:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I will admit that initially... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        phonegery

        ...the cigarette tax increases were overwhelmingly more good than bad, but I also recall some cautious warnings from very veteran statehouse pols in my home state of Virginia: don't let the tax get out of hand. As long as the tax increases were in the context of overall take-home income increases, they would be at worst grudgingly accepted.

         But I see the diarist's point here: the tobacco tax has become the revenue source of least resistance and is now well past the point of being counterproductive both as a revenue source and leverage for social behavior. It would actually be worth dialing back the tax to make the black market created far less lucrative. I'm just guessing but the price point that discouraged the maximum number of new young smokers was hit over a decade ago.

        Just as with pretty much everything else, job creation is the better "solution": more "traditional" income created to lessen the impulse to push the "sin tax" button when revenues tighten.

        The so-called "rising tide" is lifting only yachts.

        by Egalitare on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 03:27:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Although.... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, Futuristic Dreamer, G2geek

      Governor Patterson's proposed 18% tax on soda was widely unpopular.

      Also, there's is was a loophole in the New York cigarette tax & several ways around it. The tax wasn't collected on Indian reservations (although, New York has been in court trying to force the reservations to collect it). Also, the five families & other organized crime outfits took advantage of the situation to traffic cigarettes.

      And you could always drive or take the train to Connecticut to stock up.

      From the Gothamist:

      We all know that cigarettes are very expensive in New York, thanks to another $1.60 state tax imposed last year, which prompts some smokers to head to cheaper pastures. One gas station on the border of New York and Connecticut has now taken an ingenious approach: Put an ice cream truck selling smokes on the Connecticut part of its property.

      The Port Chester, NY Sunoco station has its pumps in Greenwich, CT. And though the cigarette tax is $3 in Connecticut, the 4th highest in the country, it's easier to stomach than NY'c $4.35 cigarette tax. A Stamford resident knowingly told NBC Connecticut, "In Connecticut they're greatly cheaper than in New York. In New York, it's like $11.50 in the city for a pack of cigarettes. That's kind of ridiculous."

    •  Cigarette tax at $10/pk (5+ / 0-)

      Gives organized crime a great price umbrella to build a big business smuggling cigarettes into New York.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 09:34:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Organized Crime Has Been Doing This.... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, shann, G2geek, phonegery

        ....since cigarettes were about $5 a pack.  One of the least reported stories of the globe is how artificially high cigarette taxes in America and Europe are bankrolling organized crime and Middle Eastern terrorist cells.  At some point there will be a very high price to pay for these path-of-least-resistance cigarette taxes that force legal merchants in New York City to sell a product with a global market value of $6 per carton for $150 a carton.

        •  holy shit i had no idea of the price! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mark27

          I used $10 / carton as my hypothetical example.  

          I don't smoke cigarettes either, but this whole "tax the working class" thing is just disgusting and I had no idea it was that bad.   $150 a carton?!  That's just asking for every mafia and drug cartel and street gang to jump in the action and fatten themselves up beyond our worst nightmares!

    •  which funds criminal enterprises via.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      phonegery

      .... cigarette smuggling.

      Really now.  If you can buy 'em for let's say $10 a carton in one state, and load up the trunk of your car with a few hundred bucks worth, and sell 'em for double your money in another state, why not do it?  You can pay for your vacation that way!

      And if the small fry can do that, you'd better believe organized crime is doing it by the trailer truck load.  

      Which in the end just deprives the state of tax revenue while fattening up organized crime.  

      Is that what you want?

      Or do you want to try to stamp it out by ratcheting up the surveillance and start requiring internal passports and vehicle searches to cross state lines?

      Yeah, why don't we bring back alcohol prohibition while we're at it?, that'll make all the surveillance even more worthwhile and catch even more people at the same time!  Wow, wonders never cease!

  •  You had your answer in advance, of course (0+ / 0-)

    In the real world, most surveys I've seen show that there is broad support for higher cigarette taxes.

    As a policy, I happen to support figuring out the cost per pack past which most smokers would evade the taxes by smuggling, and set the tax just below that. Cigarette taxes get people to quit smoking, and that's good for everyone. But if you choose to smoke, you're going to pay for the externalities that you impose on the rest of us.

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 08:58:52 PM PDT

    •  The "Externalities" Imposed On The Rest of Society (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, G2geek, phonegery

      ....includes a 21% REDUCED cost of lifetime health care costs compared to healthy-weight nonsmokers.  
      http://www.startribune.com/...

      If there truly was a tangible "cost to society" as a consequence of smoking, that would be the only legitimate grounds for using public policy to censure smokers, but the reality is the diametric opposite, then it exposes the tobacco tax hacks as what they are....predators.

      •  Every time I find myself behind a smoker (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fizziks, WisVoter

        on the sidewalk, the quality of my life is reduced at least as much as if it had started to rain. And that's just one example.

        Smoking isn't just a danger to smokers themselves; it's a public nuisance.

        Ok, so I read the polls.

        by andgarden on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 09:10:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Same Thing Could Be Said..... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Futuristic Dreamer, G2geek, phonegery

          .....about everything to diesel trucks to perfume to people who just digested a plate of refried beans.  In a free society, there should be no public policy goals assuring you a path of fresh air to accommodate your every footstep.  Because if we go down that road, I have a long list of other people's freedoms I'd like to criminalize....

          •  Except I don't say it, because it isn't equally (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fizziks, annetteboardman

            true. Cigarette smoke is obnoxious in a special way because it is blown at face level close to other people. And many smokers still believe that it is acceptable to subject others to their toxic habit.  

            Your freedom stops when it assaults me with a headache, cough, and stuffy nose.

            Ok, so I read the polls.

            by andgarden on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 09:20:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's Not Unique..... (4+ / 0-)

              All kinds of people have severe allergies to food and perfumes, yet we're not enacting laws censuring and criminalizing people who consume those products in public.  You're looking for a loophole to justify singling out one lifestyle choice that you believe "smells yucky", and doing so entirely out of self-interest while not respecting a consistent application of law.  But no such a loophole exists no matter what kind of mental gymnastics you perform attempting to find one.

              •  For you, cigarette smoke = perfume (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                fizziks

                QED.

                Ok, so I read the polls.

                by andgarden on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 09:30:51 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Are You Denying There Are People..... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Futuristic Dreamer, G2geek, phonegery

                  ....who are allergic to perfume?  And even as someone who is not allergic to perfume, I think it "smells icky"...so shouldn't government intervene with laws taking away the perfume-wearers' freedom so that my nose is never offended?  That's the endgame that will be America if we continue to appease the prima donnas stomping their little feet about cigarette smoke even in the outdoors.

                •  the other day i was downwind of someone... (0+ / 0-)

                  ... who was wearing something that nearly made me throw up.

                  Good God!, how they can call that stuff "perfume" is beyond me, it ought to be called "chemical weaponry."

                  So yeah, I want "perfume" taxed at 500% just like cigarettes, and I want to see a government-appointed Bureau of Olfactory Aesthetics deciding which ones to impose the huge tax on, so I don't have to smell the damn stuff in public.  

                  And I don't care if we lose another 5% of the voters, I'd rather have Republicans in control of all three branches of government, than have to smell something nasty on the street!  In fact Republicans would be downright welcome if they would just get on the bandwagon about banning cigarettes, refried beans, pinto beans in general, stinky perfumes, and people who refuse to wear deodorants and antiperspirants regardless of whatever chemicals are in 'em.

                  Really now!   If we're going to have a world with 9 billion people in it, we can't just allow people to smell however they want to smell, we have to start compromising so we only smell the way others want us to smell.  Freedom to smell however you like is a thing of the past!  

            •  refried beans are obnoxious in a special way.... (0+ / 0-)

              .... because their stinky farts are blown at the face level of children!

              Just think of the children!

              And when the children get a face full of that stench and then puke all over their clothes, it's a huge headache for their parents to have to take them home, clean them up, change their clothes, and get the pukey clothes into the laundry before the stuff hardens!

              Your freedom to eat refried beans stops when you fart in children's faces on the sidewalk, or anywhere near me in an elevator or on public transport.  

              At least with smokers you can see who's holding the cigarette!  But some selfish refried-bean-eater farting up the place can't be detected unless they're really noisy about it.  Otherwise all you can do is say "Who's the bioterrorist?!" and hope to embarrass them into saying they're sorry.  Then you can lecture them about the eeeevils of eating beans when they're going to be out in public.   And then in time you can raise a tax on them.  Serves them right!

        •  every time i find myself behind someone.... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mark27, phonegery

          ..... who's addicted to self-righteous moral crusades, my quality of life is reduced at least as much as if they were trying to prevent me having an equal right to marry.

          And I don't even smoke cigarettes.  

      •  Mark - I think this is a interesting theory (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mark27, G2geek, phonegery

        I had my first and last experience with smoking at age ten and really don't like cigarettes, or cigarette smoke. However, I do think that smokers are an abused minority and your theory of a smokers' backlash is very interesting.  Your note that smokers die early, collecting less Medicare and Social Security support is also true.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 09:38:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  And At Least in Minnesota..... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek

      .....which tends to be a populist state that places a premium on fairness, cigarette and alcohol taxes only has 37% support.  Not exactly the kind of mandate you suggest.  http://www.startribune.com/...

    •  right, and lose elections but that's OK because... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      phonegery

      ... the righteousness buzz you get from bashing someone feels so darn good.  

      That self-righteousness buzz is more addictive than nicotine.

  •  What got me was in California (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, G2geek

    when the self righteous non smokers decided to completely fund a children's health insurance program by raising the cigarette tax by the total amount they needed.  

     

    Democrats - We represent America!

    by phonegery on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 09:01:30 PM PDT

  •  I blame his parents (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Futuristic Dreamer, G2geek, phonegery

    But who knows... You might have a point.

    OTOH, I live in Virginia and a pack of smokes is about $4 bucks... and we got a shitty, Republican governor last time around, too.

    This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

    by Snud on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 09:02:25 PM PDT

  •  "Sin Taxes" (5+ / 0-)

    Whether it's about cigarettes, Coca-Cola or Big Macs, let's talk about what these "Sin Taxes" are.

    They're either attempts at social engineering that may or may not work, or cop-outs by the political class who are too chicken-shit to tax rich people who can afford to pay taxes, and instead put an "acceptable burden" on poor people & the middle-class with bad habits deemed worthy of taxation.

    If you take this sort of policy out to its logical conclusion, where would it end? What's next? Coffee? A higher tax on everyone that wants to buy a latte at Starbucks? Is Sugar a "luxury" item? How about Butter? Or red meat? And from there just keep moving down the list until we create a society where the only non-sinful, non-taxed to death items are rice cakes & tofu I guess.

    •  I don't know if you intended it but your comment (3+ / 0-)

      reads like Palinesque or Beckian paranoid propaganda.

      Nobody is trying to use social engineering to force you to eat tofu.  Nobody.

      However, I will point out that as far as taxing Big Macs, you can read in books like Fast Food Nation how they are already heavily subsidized at every step of the way with my tax dollars.  From the farm subsidies for corn, meat inputs, and dairy, to the road expansion programs that occur whenever fast food franchises colonize an area, to even the VA and medicare expenditures to deal with premature heart attacks and strokes.  So since we are all already paying quite considerable subsidies toward your Big Mac, perhaps you could kick back a little into the general fund with a bit of a tax on it.  

      •  duck, duck, duck, goose! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Egalitare, Mark27, phonegery

        You're ducking the point.

        We're alienating a measurable two-digit percentage of the electorate thanks to our own brand of moral majoritarian crusading.  

        That's just plain stupid.  

        Which is more important to you: stamping out smoking (and fast food), or winning the class war, the culture war, and the sustainability war?  

        •  was your comment aimed at the comment above (0+ / 0-)

          mine, the one I responded to?  Because I was just responding to this line:

          And from there just keep moving down the list until we create a society where the only non-sinful, non-taxed to death items are rice cakes & tofu I guess.
  •  No. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WisVoter

    Less than 1/4 of the adult population smokes.

    Demographically, the numbers simply aren't there.

    "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

    by nosleep4u on Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 09:20:10 PM PDT

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