Friday, October 12, 2007

When did smoking become a crime?

While abortion rages unrestricted throughout this country, taking thousands of human lives per day, our government is treating smokers as the real criminals for the base purpose of raising tax revenue! Smokers are increasingly being thrust out fo restaraunts, public places, and in some areas, entire cities. They suffer from much higher insurance rates (never mind the fact that probably 85% of smokers will never develop lung cancer), social stigmatization and absurdly high taxes on the cigarettes they purchase.

I am not a smoker, nor have I ever been one. I think smoking is gross, but by God, a man ought to have the right to sit down and calm his nerves with a peaceful smoke, or sit in a pub puffing on a pipe if he so pleases! Though I'm not a smoker, I am outraged that this one segment of the population is singled out for such intense abuse.

Consider this: On Tuesday, September 25th the House of Representatives passed a $6.10 per carton increase of the federal excise tax on cigarettes by a vote of 265 to 159. On Thursday, September 27th the Senate passed the same legislation by a vote of 67 to 29. State and federal cigarette taxes have been raised 73 times since the year 2000-increasing the average price of cigarettes 80% a pack! It is anticipated that the president will veto this, but it is by no means certain.

But, aren't the taxes being paid by big, fat tobacco corporations? Sure they are, but that doesn't make them right. I don't care if you are a blue collar working Joe or a billion dollar company, it is not right to single one industry out for such outrageous taxation, especially when these tax increases since 2000 amount to a 156% tax increase, which is passed on to the smoker. Taxes on tobacco companies equals to higher costs for the smoker.

Two things about this issue: one, it is often argued that higher taxes means less smokers. Well of course! If you tax anything 156%, chances are less people are going to do it. We could eliminate a lot of alcoholism in this country, too, if we were tax beer at 156%. And junk food, and sugar, and every other item that some bureaucrats and radical Leftists decide we should not be able to put into our bodies. But is this a licit way of reducing an unhealthy habit? Especially when smoking is such a difficult thing to break, persons who want to quit ought to be given help to kick the habit, not socked with huge fines for being addicted to tobacco. I think most worldly people I know drink too much, also. But you know what? I'll fight to the death to keep it legal because I fear the government trying to regulate what I can and cannot do more than I fear the possible negative consequences of drinking or smoking.

I urge you to visit this website to petition Congress and let them know they are going too far. Yes, this site is paid for by Philip Morris, but that shouldn't stop anybody from protesting an unfair 156% tax increase. Injustice is injustice, no matter to whom it is done, and singling out one particular segment of the populace for this punishing tax is criminal. It is a sign of the incompetence of our lawmakers that they can never think of a way to raise revenue without increasing taxes.

1 comment:

Athanasius said...

What causes me to boil over to bad language, is the absurdity with which smokers are treated. I hate cigarettes personally, I smoke cigars and a pipe. I don't know why anyone would smoke cigarettes, however that being said, more people die from alcohol related deaths in this country than smoking deaths. More children are harmed by dogs than what are harmed by smoking. More children die in pools than die from smoke. My mother smoked in an enclosed house 24-7, and I have no lung problems, chronic diseases, etc.
What the government doesn't realize, in its lust for more cash, is that if smoking disappears, if cigarettes are gone tomorrow, they will lose untold millions of dollars which fund their children's health programs. Yet they want to apply more "sin" taxes. Let them tax abortion to the point where it is unfeasible to get one. Then we'll be getting somewhere.