Barack Obama has signed into law a $.60 tax increase that went into effect on April 1st. Not only is this the largest federal tax increase on tobacco, not only is this tax increase larger than all of the other tax increases in America, combined, but this also marks the failure of President Obama to commit to a “Firm Pledge” to not increase the taxes of any individual making under $250,000 dollars a year. The median income of the American smoker is $36,000 dollars a year.
This tax increase is designed to help pay for a program called SCHIP; which pays for Children’s heath care in low income households (currently making up $74,200 in New Jersey). Under this bill a child may be up to 30 years old. Yet again the government aims to gain revenue from an addictive and dangerous behavior all in the name of helping the little ones. This same principle is applied to gambling at the state level; taking casino winnings, and taxing them to fund local schools. One of the problems is that in typical governmental fashion, money is often lost in the shuffle and used on other things.
Assuming that under Obama’s Next Gen Transparency, that all of the new taxes will indeed be used as it is intended, there is but one little flaw in the progressive idea behind the bill. Not only will the 156% tax increase help drive down the already falling number of smokers in the United States, but the whole plan takes revenue from a harmful activity to pay for children’s health care, promoting said activity; while at the same time, condemning the activity.
If you smoke, you are slowly killing yourself to keep kids healthy, but you are also supporting an industry that markets smoking to children and profits on the eventual suicide of everyone that uses their products. If you do not smoke you are a heartless individual that cares nothing of th American youth, are living a self-centered life, and are probably a Nazi.
I suggest that all Americans take up smoking to support SCHIP. How else will boys and girls living in low income households, that likely have one or more parents or guardians smoking in them, have the health care they want and need?
Edit: The federal tax on a pound of roll-your-own tobacco increased from $1.10 to $24.78.