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Author: Subject: Proposed cigarette tax...

Extreme Peach





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  posted on 9/30/2007 at 07:36 PM
Dems and more taxes...imagine that:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,298663,00.html

Congressional Democrats Propose Cigarette Tax Hike to Pay for Children's Health Coverage

WASHINGTON Congressional Democrats have chosen an unlikely source to pay for the bulk of their proposed $35 billion increase in children's health coverage: people with relatively little money and education.

The program expansion passed by the House and Senate last week would be financed with a 156 percent increase in the federal cigarette tax, taking it to $1 per pack from the current 39 cents. Low-income people smoke more heavily than do wealthier people in the United States, making cigarette taxes a regressive form of revenue.

Democrats, who wrote the legislation and provided most of its votes, generally portray themselves as champions of the poor. They do not dispute that the tax plan would hit poor communities disproportionately, but they say it is worth it to provide health insurance to millions of modest-income children.

All the better, they say, if higher cigarette taxes discourage smoking.

"I'm very happy that we're paying for this," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said in an interview Friday, noting that the plan would not add to the deficit. "The health of the children is extremely important," he said. "In the long run, maybe it'll stop people from smoking."

Congress probably will revisit the cigarette tax issue soon because President Bush has pledged to veto the proposed $35 billion expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program. The decade-old program helps families buy medical coverage if their income is too high to qualify for Medicaid.

Bush has proposed a more modest growth for the program, and both political parties seem inclined to pay for it through a tax on an unpopular group, cigarette smokers.

By most measures, the average smoker is less privileged than the average nonsmoker. Nearly one-third of all U.S. adults living in poverty are smokers, compared with 23.5 percent of those above the poverty level, according to government statistics.

The American Heart Association reports that 35 percent of people with no more than 11 years of schooling are smokers. Those with 16 or more years of formal education smoke at a 12 percent rate.

Non-Hispanic black men smoke at slightly higher rates than do non-Hispanic white men. But the reverse is true among women.

The demographics of smoking and taxation received scant attention during last week's House and Senate debates, perhaps because many Democrats and Republicans agree that cigarettes are the best target for tax increase if the insurance program were to grow. A few lawmakers, however, took a swing.

"I know there is very little sympathy for smokers these days," Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., said during the House debate. "But it is still a tax increase on the backs of the smokers. And in order to get enough money to pay for this, it would require 22 million new smokers."

Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., defended putting the burden of expanded medical care on smokers.

"The tobacco tax is a great way to pay for it," he said, "because if you tax people who are smoking and they smoke less, then we have less health problems."

Rep. Jim McCrery, R-La., did not buy that logic. "To propose funding a growing program with a declining revenue source is, I would submit, irresponsible fiscal policy," he said.

If the federal cigarette tax nears $1 per pack, smokers in many states will pay hefty sums into government coffers unless they kick their habit. On top of the federal tax, New Jersey levies a $2.57 per pack tax on cigarettes, followed by Rhode Island at $2.46.

California is near the middle, at 87 cents a pack. Three states tax cigarettes at less than 30 cents per pack. South Carolina is the lowest at 7 cents.

Bill Phelps, spokesman for Philip Morris USA, based in Richmond, Va., said a steep federal tax increase could accelerate the national decline in smoking to the point that the insurance would have to find other revenue sources.

The average U.S. price of a pack of cigarettes has risen by 80 cents since 1999, Phelps said, largely because of state tax increases. State and federal governments received more than $21 billion in cigarette excise taxes in the 2006 budget year, he said, "so we think this trend is unfair to adults who smoke and to retailers who sell tobacco products."

In Congress, these groups receive little sympathy. But some lawmakers say voters should know the details of the insurance program's proposed funding structure.

Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., who spoke against the bill in last week's debate, said: "The headline ought to read, 'Smokers in America to pay for middle-class welfare.'"

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 9/30/2007 at 09:08 PM
Doulble and triple the tax on ciggaretts all they do is kill people !

 

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  posted on 9/30/2007 at 09:24 PM
quote:
Doulble and triple the tax on ciggaretts all they do is kill people !


So do cars..........

Tax trans fat!!!! Tax coffee!!! Tax cotton candy!!! Tax Disney World!!! How dare anyone have choice of pleasure!!!

Why is it that cigarettes in most European countries do not have the same rate of cancer deaths? Just a question......oh never mind, the task at hand is to TAX!!!!

'Nother question: If cigarettes are such a deadly menace, why doesn't congress have the intestinal fortitude to ban such a product? Or is the revenue more important than the publics wellbeing? Like I said, just a question...

 

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  posted on 9/30/2007 at 10:14 PM
Personally, I don't care if they tax cigarettes and tobacco products. Health problems from smoking are a great drain on our health and healthcare system. I hope the cost of cigarettes goes so high that people are forced to cut down and if the tax on them pays for children's heathcare so much the better. It's difficult to have much regard for smoking if you've ever watched people you love hack their way to an ugly death because of emphysema or lung cancer.
 

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  posted on 10/1/2007 at 12:49 AM
Ok, over 50,000 die each year in automobile wrecks, and countless tens of thousands are injured stressing the health system. Therefore, every non-residential road should be a toll road, all should pay the tax every day to defer the costs, and it should be law that everyone driving a car is required to wear a helmet. And, no speed limit, even on the interstate highways, can not be higher than 40 mph.

Folks, the liberals are coming. Watch your back.

DH

 

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  posted on 10/1/2007 at 01:01 AM
quote:
Ok, over 50,000 die each year in automobile wrecks, and countless tens of thousands are injured stressing the health system. Therefore, every non-residential road should be a toll road, all should pay the tax every day to defer the costs, and it should be law that everyone driving a car is required to wear a helmet. And, no speed limit, even on the interstate highways, can not be higher than 40 mph.

Folks, the liberals are coming. Watch your back.

DH
yeah derek the liberals are coming, higher taxes are coming, somebody has to pay for the wreckless spending of the current hacks in office.

 

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  posted on 10/1/2007 at 05:33 AM
quote:
All the better, they say, if higher cigarette taxes discourage smoking.


The last thing politicians want is to discourage people from smoking. If everyone quit their cash cow would die.



[Edited on 10/1/2007 by bob1954]

 

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  posted on 10/1/2007 at 01:34 PM
quote:
Dems and more taxes...imagine that:


I guess you have been out of the country for the past 7+ years? This isnt anything compared to what the Republicans have done to us.

Nevermind all of the corporate welfare under Republicans, either.

Blame the Dems.

 

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  posted on 10/1/2007 at 01:56 PM
quote:
quote:
Dems and more taxes...imagine that:


I guess you have been out of the country for the past 7+ years? This isnt anything compared to what the Republicans have done to us.

Nevermind all of the corporate welfare under Republicans, either.

Blame the Dems.





Lay the blame for corporate welfare on both political parties. The party in power tends to grant favors to their corporate supporters. Its a long-time tradition.

 

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  posted on 10/1/2007 at 02:42 PM
For some people, all the troubles in the world belong at the door of the 'liberals'. It makes it easier to blame someone else rather than accept any personal or party responsibility. Helmets in cars? Where does that keep coming from? Ludicrous!
 

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  posted on 10/1/2007 at 06:18 PM
quote:
quote:
Doulble and triple the tax on ciggaretts all they do is kill people !


So do cars..........

Tax trans fat!!!! Tax coffee!!! Tax cotton candy!!! Tax Disney World!!! How dare anyone have choice of pleasure!!!

Why is it that cigarettes in most European countries do not have the same rate of cancer deaths? Just a question......oh never mind, the task at hand is to TAX!!!!

'Nother question: If cigarettes are such a deadly menace, why doesn't congress have the intestinal fortitude to ban such a product? Or is the revenue more important than the publics wellbeing? Like I said, just a question...


SUV's kill people, peole don't kill people.

[Edited on 10/1/2007 by dutchoneill]

 

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  posted on 10/1/2007 at 09:01 PM
Smokes are pretty expensive here in Ottawa, most of it is taxes. A carton- 8 packs of 25's costs $64.00. Individual packs cost $10-$11. This has led to an underground smuggling network for cigarettes made on Native Indian reserves. Natives are not taxed on tobacco or spirits (booze). They can produce 200 cigarettes (equivalent to a carton)and sell 'em in a ziplock bag at a profit for only $12.00. There is a huge business dealing in these smokes on and off the reserves. It is estimated that about 25%-35% of all cigarettes smoked in Ontario are contraband smokes.

 

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  posted on 10/1/2007 at 09:06 PM
I saw a news report about Tennessee cracking down on people who buy their cigarettes out of state and bring them into Tennessee. Seems they added a tax onto the price of a carton and people are buying them in other states. That sort of sounded really strange to me for some reason.

I know other countries pay more for cigarettes than people do here. Cigarettes in Germany were almost $4 a pack in the 90s when they were under $2 here. But $10 a pack!!! Holy cow!!!

 

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  posted on 10/1/2007 at 10:48 PM
quote:
quote:
Doulble and triple the tax on ciggaretts all they do is kill people !


So do cars..........

Tax trans fat!!!! Tax coffee!!! Tax cotton candy!!! Tax Disney World!!! How dare anyone have choice of pleasure!!!

Why is it that cigarettes in most European countries do not have the same rate of cancer deaths? Just a question......oh never mind, the task at hand is to TAX!!!!

'Nother question: If cigarettes are such a deadly menace, why doesn't congress have the intestinal fortitude to ban such a product? Or is the revenue more important than the publics wellbeing? Like I said, just a question...



It's never been a tax issue for me but a death issue. I watched my father die of emphysema for 11 years. He finally passed at age 43.
As a matter of fact I'd rather see them outlawed than taxed.


.....and whiich party has run up the biggest deficit in history ?...not the Dems

[Edited on 10/2/2007 by jamminpappy]

[Edited on 10/2/2007 by jamminpappy]

 

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  posted on 10/1/2007 at 11:09 PM

quote:
Ok, over 50,000 die each year in automobile wrecks, and countless tens of thousands are injured stressing the health system. Therefore, every non-residential road should be a toll road, all should pay the tax every day to defer the costs, and it should be law that everyone driving a car is required to wear a helmet. And, no speed limit, even on the interstate highways, can not be higher than 40 mph.

Folks, the liberals are coming. Watch your back.

DH

Derek, you are a master of obfuscation! I am often tickled silly by your outrageous leaps of illogic and this is a prime example -- thanks for brightening my day.

FYI more than 350,000 Americans die each year from tobacco use -- that's seven times the number you quote above for automobile deaths. Hmmm?

More importantly, automobiles -- when used as their manufacturer recommends -- are not deadly. There is a reason why wrecks are called accidents. Cigarettes, on the other hand -- when used as their manufacturer recommends -- are physically addictive and kill hundreds of thousands.

I'm a lifelong non-smoker and could care less about cigarette taxes. But if higher prices cause even ONE smoker to quit, it's a net gain --- in my opinion.

Thanks again for making me laugh!

 

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  posted on 10/2/2007 at 07:22 AM
If the gov't really wanted to discourage smoking, they might have allocated more than a mere pittance of the lawsuit settlement w/ the states to smoking cessation programs rather than putting the money into the general fund. No, the gov't wants people to buy cigarettes so they can extract revenue from an unpopular group. This proposal to fund children's health care w/ tobacco taxes makes as much sense as taxing blue-eyed people to fund health care. Reminds me of the story of the person who did not speak up as various groups were taken away by the Nazis, and then when they came for him, no one was left to speak up for him. The benefits of child health care are universal, so the taxes should be levied on all. But neither party has the political will to anger all, so they divide and conquer.

 

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  posted on 10/2/2007 at 08:16 AM
If it's just tax revenue they want, why don't they legalize hemp and put a tax on a pack of Cannabis Thins or a Golden Stogy? But I also agree that if higher taxes cause some smokers to quit smoking, it's all good and well.

 

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  posted on 10/2/2007 at 10:39 AM
quote:
quote:
Doulble and triple the tax on ciggaretts all they do is kill people !


So do cars..........

Tax trans fat!!!! Tax coffee!!! Tax cotton candy!!! Tax Disney World!!! How dare anyone have choice of pleasure!!!

Why is it that cigarettes in most European countries do not have the same rate of cancer deaths? Just a question......oh never mind, the task at hand is to TAX!!!!

'Nother question: If cigarettes are such a deadly menace, why doesn't congress have the intestinal fortitude to ban such a product? Or is the revenue more important than the publics wellbeing? Like I said, just a question...


I think they would love to ban Ciggies. But how do you ban something that :

A) Pays for our politicians ( Tabbacco lobbists have BIG $$)

B) Ban something so ingrained in society? Cops, Doctors, Politicians, Judges..........you name it, they ALL smoke.

It just can't be undone. So you make it unpractical. Heck........I think even Gregg Allman has quit! If Gregg can quit, ANYBODY can quit! If not...........If you think its such a pleasure then Rock on. Smoke and pay the price. Both Monetarily as well as Physically.

 

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  posted on 10/2/2007 at 10:46 AM
quote:
If it's just tax revenue they want, why don't they legalize hemp and put a tax on a pack of Cannabis Thins or a Golden Stogy? But I also agree that if higher taxes cause some smokers to quit smoking, it's all good and well.
I thought of the hemp thing when I first read this thread...

I don't necessarily think we should tax them higher to try and force a change in their personal behavior... to me thats their freedom of choice... we make good choices and bad choices, but they are ours to make, NOT the govt's...

 

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  posted on 10/2/2007 at 10:52 AM
An outright ban on tobacco would at least be an honest use of governmental power to protect us from ourselves. If every dollar of tobacco tax went to discourage smoking or to mitigate its effects, that would also be an honest use of power. Do you like tobacco companies? No? Because they profit from the harm caused by smoking? How are Congress or the states any different?

 

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  posted on 10/2/2007 at 11:01 AM
I don't think the purpose of gov't is to protect me from myself... and I certainly don't like paying them to do so...

 

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  posted on 10/2/2007 at 11:27 AM
Long term damage from smoking is a major drain on the health care system as older people on medicare suffer lung and heart disease. If people want to smoke, knowing all the risks, then, perhaps, the government shouldn't be asked to foot the bill for their health care.
 

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  posted on 10/2/2007 at 12:17 PM
of course they shouldn't...

 

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  posted on 10/2/2007 at 12:43 PM
quote:
Long term damage from smoking is a major drain on the health care system as older people on medicare suffer lung and heart disease. If people want to smoke, knowing all the risks, then, perhaps, the government shouldn't be asked to foot the bill for their health care.


Yes, added costs are attributable to smoking, and allegedly the state lawsuit settlements were to account for the added costs. Yet the gov'ts have chosen to take the money for unrelated uses, like child health care here. And do we deny health coverage to the obese? Or to those who don't wear seatbelts, or any other risky behaviors? And I too don't think we need a gov't nanny-state, just making an argument that that somewhat innocent motive is not what's driving this state-sponsored larceny. Don't forget also that premature death means less social security payouts; it's not totally a drain on the treasury.

 

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  posted on 10/2/2007 at 01:01 PM
In our state seat belts are mandatory and if you don't wear one, you get ticketed. And I would have no problem taking tobacco industry monies and applying them to child health care. If a child receives adequate health care when he or she is younger then I believe it forstalls future illness, something about which our present health care system is shortsighted.

People who are obese are advised to change their eating habits and people with illnesses related to smoking are advised to stop. I have no problem with requiring people accepting public funds for health care to actively participate in their wellbeing or lose their care. I do have a problem with people creating situations for themselves that result in the spending of our tax dollars for their medical expense after they've been warned. I suppose that sounds cold and hard, but in all aspects of living I believe if you're going to live life on your own terms, then you shouldn't ask other people to pay for it.

 
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