Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Smoke signals on the horizon

Many on the left like to talk about how we live in a fascist state and that all of our personal liberties are being destroyed. Based on their examples, they have little to no clue what a fascist state is. It is when the government uses its power to restrict and punish citizens for performing perfectly legal activities. An example of this type of behavior is; State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), Senate Concurrent Resolution 21. (JCX-43-07). This resolution will add additional taxes to tobacco and most notably cigars. Specifically a cigar tax of 53.13% PER cigar up to a maximum of $10. Cigars are sold by the box or individually and individual cigars range in price from less than a dollars (for something that you would not really want to smoke) to mid-range $3 to $5 per cigar to high end smokes that top out at $20 to $25. Under this law, a $5 cigar will cost about $7.50. A $10 smoke goes to $15 and a $20 goes to $30.

Last I checked, smoking is still a legal activity in this country. The government and society as a whole, don't want you to engage in this activity but it is still legal. So instead of being “adult” about it and out-right banning the growing, manufacturing, sale and consumption of tobacco products, the government (at nearly every level) instead chooses to tax it for your own good. The government’s financial reward is then used to help offset tax shortfalls elsewhere. Smokers are treated as a bottomless pit of money that the government can hit up any time it needs a little extra cash. Why should you care you ask, you don’t smoke and it is a filthy, disgusting habit that affects the smoker and those around him (or her) and should be stopped anyway. Maybe but until the government gets off of its fat, lazy *ss and outright outlaws it, it is still a legal activity that any American adult is free to engage in. Another reason you should care is that today the government is going after tobacco partially because it is a risky activity that they feel “safe” attacking. What is next, after the tobacco train stops running? Firearms and bullet taxes? Higher alcohol taxes? Risky sports taxes? SUVs? Gambling winnings? The list of “bad” or “evil” targets is as great as the vices of man and there is always someone somewhere that will disapprove of some activity and want to “punish” it by tax or law “for your own good”. I only smoke an occasional cigar so I have no direct dog in this fight but I am getting just plain fed up with the nanny state chipping away at what was once considered adult responsibility and self determination.

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