Thursday, February 5, 2009

SCHIP, Only The Beginning

SCHIP, the State Children's Health Insurance Program was passed by the House today 290-135. It will provide expansion of the an existing program that was twice vetoed by former president Bush. 

It seems highly unlikely that President Obama will follow in his predecessor's footsteps, and highly likely therefore that this will be signed into law. Once in effect, an estimated 4 million additional children will become eligible for the program, financed by some $35 billion in additional tobacco taxes (approximately a $.62 per pack increase), bringing the total for the program up to $73 billion. The age of children eligible will increase to age 30, with income levels for families eligible for the program growing to a limit of 300% of the poverty level.

A fair amount of gloating will be going on over the next few days and weeks as another blow is struck against the evils of the tobacco companies and those who partake of this filthy little habit, while likewise celebrating a victory for the health of children everywhere. 

Over time however, a bit of reality may set in. This tax will undoubtedly encourage a great many of those previously portrayed evil smokers to finally give up their nasty little habit (they'll be prying my last cigar from my cold, dead fingers), which will undoubtedly reduce the projected revenue to fund this program. Underfunded and now needing a new bunch of behavior to modify (and therefore a new group to tax), this program will no doubt be seeking another group's behavior to demonize and penalize.  

So while all of you nannies out there are sitting over pate and martinis, enjoying the discomfort caused to the smokers of the world, you should keep a close watch over your own shoulder. There is little doubt that either the consumption of alcohol or of unhealthy foods is high on someone else's list for future behavior modification. Steak, french fries, or candy bars may soon face the same fate as tobacco does now. 

Whether you enjoy a Bud or a Bushmills, a porterhouse or a Butterfinger, you may find yourself in someone sights. While this latest round of taxes as behavior modification didn't happen to cut into your dirty little habit this time, it soon will.

 

9 comments:

Hooda Thunkit said...

Tim,

Having spent 30-years in the belly of “The Beast,” no one knows better that I it's tenacity to life and to an all consuming growth.

That said, it will continue, as you have foretold, to target different additional groups as those previously targeted dry up and die.

Because of “The Beast's” insatiable appetite for sustenance and an all encompassing need to control our very lives, purportedly for our own good, the picture (and the final outcome) is quite clear.

“The Beast,” a.k.a. “Big Gov.” will systematically suck the life out of businesses/industries, one by one until our country collapses and dies (death by/from government), leaving us to fend for ourselves (which is all that we ever wanted in the first place) to start all over again.

When the inevitable comes/happens, I will become a goat herder, as I can't stand sheep/lamb/mutton.

I will spend my days on the side of a hill, tending t my flock and playing a flute...

When the inevitable comes, what do you want to do?

I suspect that you would take up tobacco farming.

Everybody will fall back on something and barter/trade with each other in order to rebuild a new society.

Fortunately, the politicians will wither away and die off, as they have no marketable skills (there will no longer be a market for bullshit and bossiness) and will starve for the lack of a useful/marketable skill/product. . .

:-)

Jay Ott said...

Those who use tobacco products are damned by the liberals if they do, and damned if they don't.

If they quit using tobacco, they will be accused of killing kids who rely on SCHIP.

But if they continue to use tobacco, they will be accused of contributing to global warming or killing others who breathe their second-hand smoke.

Tim Higgins said...

HT,

I fear that The Beast will find me less than appetizing, but let it go ahead and take it's best shot.

As for what I will do on "the Mornining After", probably bring out my carefully hidden stash of good whiskey, good wine, and good cigars to enjoy for as long as they last. Then we can get on with rebuilding the world as we see fit.

Tim Higgins said...

Jay Ott,

Conservatives are damned by liberals for existing. At least this way I will have given them a reason for their condemnation.

As for contributing to global warming, I'm all for it. I freezing my butt off.

Judy said...

SCHIP, SNIP, ZIP, ZAP, just like that, another group is the target for more taxes. Hold onto your hats fellows, if they see you are bald, you'll have to pay a tax for excessive loss of hair! It clogs up the sewer system!

Roland Hansen said...

Interesting post to which I respond:
The SCHIP you say!!!

What will the 'gubment" (Hooda Thunkit has affected my spelling -- lol) ever do if everyone stopped smoking?
On the one hand, tons of tax money is spent to tell us of the hazards of smoking tobacco; and yet, on the other hand, tons of tax money is generated from tobacco products.

Ben said...

"It seems highly unlikely that President Obama will follow in his predessor's footsteps, and highly likely therefore that this will be signed into law. "

Understatement of the year, Tim.

Tim Higgins said...

Ben,

Thank you. I am rarely accused of understating anything, and am therefore grateful to find out that I am capable of it.

Ben said...

Ha.

Yeah, I will vouch for you on this one if it comes down to it.