Tobacco Tales From Both Sides of the State
The Kansas City Star has a detailed article about the upcoming cigarette tax hike, while today’s Post-Dispatch has a profile of Bill Hannegan, St. Louis’ most vocal opponent of smoking bans.
The Star story quotes a couple of statists wgo think that the cigarette tax hike is a win-win-win situation because it will provide more kids with government health insurance, encourage adults to quit smoking, and prevent future children from taking up smoking in the first place. I think it is more of a lose-lose situation, because it expands the welfare state while targeting a certain group of people (smokers) to fund the political goals of those who salivate at the idea of getting young children on the dole early, so they can spend the rest of their lives thinking it is perfectly fine and normal to be dependent on the government. From the story:
But raising taxes unfairly penalizes low-income people, who are more likely to smoke, said John Nothdurft of the Heartland Institute, a conservative Chicago think tank.
“You’re making the bottom portion of society, who can least afford to pay taxes, pay more taxes,” he said. “They’re going to subsidize middle-class families getting SCHIP.”
To think that welfare used to just be for the poor. Now, it’s for everyone!