Monday, October 1, 2007

Special: How Long Will I Be Blowing Smoke?

Congress, in another fit of freedom deprivation masquerading as do-gooding, is considering a bill (SCHIP - State Children's Health Initiative) to increase the tax on tobacco products in order to fund more children's health programs. In its current form, it would increase the tax on cigars to almost $10 per cigar (an increase of 20,000 %). 

Now I don't know how well you have been doing lately, but at the rate that I smoke cigars, such an increase would have a serious impact on my ability to eat and pay rent. This is a bad thing and not just for me, as the SCHIP bill has a couple of what might be considered minor flaws: 

 1. Families would be eligible to receive this government sponsored program even if they made a combined income of $85,000 per year  

2. "Children" would be considered to be so up to the age of 25  

3. Most of those smoking cigars would quit, unable to pay the tax.  

4. Importers and sellers of cigars would go bankrupt and close.  

5. People working for those organizations would become unemployed and add to the jobless roles and those needing public assistance.  

6. Cigars, not being sold, would not generate the expected revenue to maintain the SCHIP initiative, which would already have become law. 

 7. You the non-cigar smokers, would then have to pick up the tab for the program, estimated to be from 35 to 50 Billion dollars. 

So even those of you who do not share my disgusting, smelly habit will eventually pay for it. Don't get me wrong, I am not so mean spirited that I want to see children unhealthy (even 25 year-old ones). I merely question the ability of a government that can't seem to keep roads in repair and borders controlled to manage the health of anyone, let alone a bunch of helpless kids. Likewise I am dismayed to find that my government, having decided that cigar smoking is bad for me (the real reason that they feel that it is OK to do this to me), seeks to perform behavior modification through taxation.  

So don't be surprised if one of these days I am forced to change the title of my blog and the picture displayed (and that would be a shame, since you might then be forced to view my countenance unobscured by the smoke), all for the sake of honesty. Then my name too could be added to the list of victims whose rights and freedoms have been trampled on by a runaway government nanny in search of complete political correctness for all of its citizens.

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