Sin Taxes are a Sin Themselves

cigarette-tax-hikesI have to admit that this is a topic that is personal to me as well as one that just infuriates me to no end. On Wednesday, the government begins imposing the single largest federal tobacco tax increase in history. I have a pretty big issue with these sin taxes. This one in particular because it affects me, but all of them in general because of what they say about our American political system. What I am going to write may be a bit of a stretch for some, as I will bring Black Flag’s belief into the fray, but stick with me here and give it some thought. We may be closer to killing all the left handed blue eyed people than you initially think….

So the nitty gritty is this. The current federal tobacco tax, despite all of the claims of outrageousness, currently amounts to 39¢ per pack. The new federal tax rate on tobacco, beginning on Wednesday, will be $1.01 per pack. That is a hike of 62¢ per pack, or what amounts to a tax increase of 159%, in one fell swoop. He got this bill passed by linking it with the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). That was a convenient way to make it so that if you opposed the tobacco tax increase, they could accuse you of not wanting to help children in need. It provided a great excuse for even North Carolina Democratic Senator Kay Hagan to vote to hurt her state. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to have an open debate on the bill. So much for transparency and openness. This increase is not including any forthcoming increases in state or local taxes. Those are generally even worse. 

smoker-scissorsThere are ten states with a state tobacco tax of $2.00 or more per pack (AK, AR, CT, HI, ME, MD, MI, NJ, RI, WA). Of those, the worst are NJ ($2.58) and RI ($2.46). Another 17 states are between $1-$2, with VT, WI, and SD all getting ready to move up above the $2 mark. So in at least 27 states the government is making a minimum of $2.01 per pack and a maximum of $3.59 per pack, all on a product that they have nothing to do with the production, growth, or sale of. Since 1997, the weighted state average tax has gone up 197.5%, from 32.1¢ per pack to 95.3¢ per pack as of January 2008. From 1997-2008, there have been 93 excise tax increases in 45 states and the District of Columbia. Total state excise tax revenues have risen 98.4%, from $7.3 billion in 1997, to $14.5 billion in 2007.Sounds like a pretty good racket to me. Of course, just about all taxes are a pretty good racket for the government, but I digress. 

Here in North Carolina, we have traditionally had a fairly light tobacco tax. After all, tobacco is a pretty big deal here. Every stage of production of tobacco, from tobacco growing to final product manufacture, is located in North Carolina, and this state has been one of the centers of the US tobacco industry. North Carolina ranks first in the United States in the production of tobacco, with 2006 annual farm income of $506.2 million. In addition to these farmers, the tobacco business employs many workers in processing, manufacturing, wholesale, and retail outlets, and related industries. Phillip Morris, the country’s largest cigarette company, held 50.4% of the cigarette market in the first quarter of 2007. While Phillip Morris’ headquarters is located in Virginia, they maintain a manufacturing facility in Cabarrus County.

bull-durhamOther well-known companies are entirely based in North Carolina. Reynolds American Inc. is another tobacco giant that recently formed when R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. joined with the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. in 2004. R.J. Reynolds is the second-largest tobacco company in the country and is centered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Finally, the Lorillard Tobacco Co., the third largest U.S. tobacco firm, is centered in Greensboro, NC. James B. Duke formed the American Tobacco Company in Durham. I can tell you that my city has been decimated with the death of the tobacco industry in Durham. People here had no other skills to fall back on. 

So as a resident of Durham, and someone who has fallen in love with his city in my brief 7 years here, you can see why the tobacco taxes are personal to me. Tobacco is important to Durham, and North Carolina as a whole. If you strangle the tobacco industry, you strangle North Carolina. Now NC is starting to increase exports in other areas, including high tech stuff as Research Triangle Park is the Silicon Valley of the East Coast and also the home to many pharmaceutical companies. But tobacco is still pretty important to the welfare of North Carolinians. Of course that isn’t stopping new Democrat Governor Beverly Perdue (yes those Perdue’s) from proposing a 113% increase in the state tax per pack, but that is a story for a more local audience…

Beverly Perdue

Beverly Perdue

So where am I going here? I have had enough. The federal and state governments have seen fit to rape tobacco users without so much as a welcoming kiss for years now. Medical groups see a tax increase right in the middle of a recession as a great incentive to help persuade smokers to quit. Their big argument is that the cost to the government to pay for increased health care for smokers gives them the right to tax it heavily (here’s a novel plan, stop promoting government paid for health care and the cost will fall to…ghasp… the smoker!). Great then let’s start taxing overweight people, X-Games competitors, Soldiers, and everyone else who participates in an action that leads to an increase in health care costs.

So why is this a tax on the poor you say? Because studies show that the majority of smokers are just that… poor. It is a habit that is not easily quit and regardless of what anyone promoting the tax tells you, the burden of paying this particular tax increase falls overwhelmingly on those “making less than $250,000 a year”. So much for your campaign promise that you wouldn’t raise the tax on those folks “not one single dime”. Liar. And for those folks who “roll their own” in an effort to save money, gig’s up for you too. The federal tax increase affects all tobacco products, but loose tobacco is facing the most significant change: from a $1.10 per pound tax to a whopping $24.78 per pound tax.

We have always known that the burden falls to the poor on this tax. Way back in 1794, Alexander Hamilton’s tax package included an excise tax on tobacco. James Madison, brilliant writer of many of the Federalist papers responded that, “As to the subject before the House, it was proper to choose taxes the least unequal. Tobacco excise was a burden the most unequal. It fell upon the poor, upon the sailors, day-laborers, and other people of these classes, while the rich will often escape it”. 

taxing-the-poorAccording to the Center for Disease Control, 20.8% of all American adults smoke, but 30.6% of adults below the poverty line are smokers. This means that this massive tax increase disproportionately impacts the individuals who are least able to afford it. Lower-income individuals also have the greatest difficulty in reducing their use of tobacco because they cannot easily afford products like nicotine patches that might help them overcome their addictions. The National Taxpayers Union noted that tobacco taxes take a 50-times-larger share of income from those earning less than $20,000 than those earning more than $200,000. Put another way: Families making less than $30,000 per year pay more than half of all taxes paid on cigarettes, while families making more than $60,000 pay only 14 percent.

But the increased tax burden on the poor isn’t really what is in my craw. I expected that O’prompter was lying about that. You can’t fund massive government increase in reach and intrusion without taxing everyone heavily. Stupid people who voted for “hope and change” failed to take that fact into account. Suckers.

obese_peopleNo, my issue is that this is a sin tax. Smoking is the test market for what can be controlled and how easily a segment of the population can be turned against. Personally, I think obesity is next. The campaign has started – ban trans fats in some states, commercials about diabetes and unhealthy fats. Mark my words, a few years from now we’ll be looking at taxing the fat people because they are a burden on society. Government will figure out what your target weight is and tax you at a per pound rate for anything above that. Is there anyone reading this blog that thinks they would be able to make what the government thinks your target weight should be? I am 5’9″ and only weigh about 160. At my heaviest I was a ripped up 185 in the military, and that did not meet military standards

fat-policeAnd before you start saying it won’t happen, it already is. A press release issued by the Governor’s office in New York on December 16, 2008 confirms that New York will be among the first jurisdictions in the world to impose an obesity tax in the form of a tax on non-diet soft drinks. The new budget measure will add an 18 percent sales tax on non-diet soft drinks to “combat obesity and related diseases”. In Canada, under their perfect government health care system, they are taking action too. From their government: “Concrete action is necessary to help reduce the $6 billion to $10 billion economic toll and 25,000 to 47,000 premature deaths attributable to diet and inactivity-related disease annually in Canada.” Sounds just like the cigarette argument today doesn’t it? Still want that welfare health care, USA?

And why is it that I really hate sin taxes? Because they equate to the left handed blue eyed argument that Black Flag often uses. He often asks those who follow any law blindly a simple question: If the majority decided to pass a law that said all left handed blue eyed (we’ll call them LHBE’s) people must be killed, would you follow it? Well substitute smokers for LHBE’s and that is what is happening. The 80% majority in America are being allowed to punish the 20% minority. They are taxing a lifestyle choice heavily because it is the minority and they can get away with it. 

triplestackersThe government gets away with this because they know that the only people who would allow this issue to influence their vote are the 20% who smoke. And 20% of America can’t do shit when it comes to the vote (after all Ross Perot got 19% of the vote and we see what effect that had). For all of you who support these types of sin taxes, ask yourself one question: When the smokers quit because it is too expensive, the government will lose the Billions in tax revenue they get from tobacco. They certainly aren’t going to cut spending, we’ve see that. So where do you think they will regain that revenue? What sin will they go after next?

Alcohol? Obesity? Homosexuality? Big SUV drivers (wait Al Gore already going after them)? Mountain Climbers? Soda Drinkers? People with too big a bass box in their cars? People with poor dental hygiene? Coal Miners? CHRISTIANS? Those that have an abortion? Single Mothers? Poor people? Non-politicians? Left Handed Blue Eyed people?

And here is an interesting thought for you. Those same folks in Washington who want to tax the crap out of tobacco, all in the name of protecting our health of course, want to legalize smoking marijuana. I guess smoking pot isn’t really smoking. Or is it that they just see another sin tax revenue that they are not yet able to capitalize on?

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Comments

  1. Not to worry,U.S.Weapons,the tobacco companies raised their prices two weeks ago to offset any loss of profit that will be caused by the Federal tax increase due to some smokers quitting.This will result in a smaller demand for tobacco,so the price will go down and that too will be to their benefit.Eventually the tobacco farmer will cut back on planting and the price will stabilize.This is the market working,when subjected to outside influence.Some of the poorer organized growers will go out of business.

    There will be other reactions also,harder to spot though.Fewer bottles of oxygen will be required.A few less hospital beds will be occoupied.There will be more groceries purchased,perhaps enough extra to warrant one of the out of business tobacco farmers to plant vegetables.Smokers that quit will have more disposable income.

    More police will be hired as crime will increase.Got to have cigarettes,no money,steal them.Insurance rates will increase.A boon for that industry.Isn’t the market wonderful in how it adapts?

    Advertisers will be working overtime for the tobacco companies.The lost consumers have to be replaced with the next generation of smokers.That will be my grandcildren,actually,that will be targeted.They’re young yet and there’s only four of them.That fifth one,the one that statistically smokes,maybe he /she wasn’t born.Maybe the other four will escape the clutches of big tobacco.Let’s hope so.

    Tell me one more time how the poor in this country are being forced to pay a tax on a commodity they have no business using anyway.I know for a fact that budgets are being adjusted to accommodate tobacco products because I see my neighbors do the adjusting. They’re cutting out food and medicine purchases for tobacco.That’s medicine they likely wouldn’t need if they didn’t smoke by the way.

    I asked my neighbors about quitting,and I got a rant about it being their right to smoke and no G.D. do gooder was going to take that right away.I guess you really have to admire a person with breathing problems,standing before you,sucking on a cigarette,telling you about his right to smoke.

    Keep up the good work,U.S.,on this one and just maybe you’ll convince one of my four grandchildren that it’s their duty to smoke and support the economy of North Carolina.

    • Ron, I believe you are missing US’s point. It is not cigarettes per se, it is the tax anything that someone deems a sin he is referring to. Do you drink? How about a 165% tax increase on any alcoholic beverage? Do you eat red meat? How about a 200% tax on that? You see, once the politicians start, they never stop. If everybody quit smoking, what would be the next sin to be heavily taxed to fill the void of lost revenues…would it be something that affects your daily life? I cannot help but think a different tune would then eminate from you.

      • esomhillgazette says:

        I think an old saying would be appropriate here; “it all depends on who ox is gettin’ gored”.

    • esomhillgazette says:

      Ron,
      The fact that you are an Anti-Smoker is glaringly obvious in your little missive here. Well that’s fine. You have your opinion. But, your neighbor with breathing problems standing before you, sucking on a cigarette, is right! It is his right to smoke. US has a point that I think you must have missed. (here’s a novel plan, stop promoting government paid for health care and the cost will fall to…gasp… the smoker!). If the us government would stop interfering with and in peoples lives, and allow them to pay their own health costs, why then the responsibility would fall where it belongs; on THEIR shoulders!!! I smoke. I am also an LHBE. I’m ALSO 5’7″ and 240lb. So. When is it my turn to pay even more taxes just because of who I am or what I do?

    • TexasChem says:

      Ron,

      I don’t believe you have a right to tell anyone they can or can’t smoke. It is thier own personal right to do as they want. You can have an impact in your grandkids life if you talk to them about the hazards of smoking yet it will still be thier personal judgement call when they come of age regardless.

      Now personally I don’t smoke but I do chew tobacco. I have a right to do that and any other vices I may have such as consuming a bit of the bourbon from time to time. Is it healthy? No but neither is half the preservatives and steroids in food/drinks today. Too much excess of anything can kill you. Even water =)

      • Well said Texas. It is Ron’s duty as a role model for those grandchildren to teach them that smoking is bad for them. It is then their right to determine the path that the will take. Sitting in a position where you think that you have the right to determine everyone’s path is better described as thinking you are simply smarter than any of them. And doesn’t just just sound exactly like today’s politician?

        • U.S.–Please let me explain.I am smarter than anyone who smokes.That my friend is an undeniable fact.

          I agree with you that anyone who wants to has a right to smoke.I would never presume to try to take that away from them.I do however have a preference as to where that right is exercised.

          I live in an area of the world that stopped all smoking where people are present.Workplace,bars ,restaurants,public buildings,and I think cars with children present.Don’t quote me on that last one.

          I understand that you’re railing against a government and a tax that you think unfair,but it such an easy tax to avoid that I fail to see the point.

          Consider this:People making $30,000 or less are going to pay 1/2 the tax on tobacco.How many of thes people are situated to pay for their health care?How many are going to rely on Medicaid to pay?

          Smoking and the health care costs it causes is a serious issue in this country.It’s very expensive.It’s fine for anyone to say that they’ll be responsible for their care when the time comes,but I’ll tell you when you need the care your tune will change.

          • I understand what you are saying Ron. However, I just don’t think the government has the right to legislate this way. As I said, if we give them this right, they will take others. The next one they tax might be the one that you are upset with. At that point you won’t have an argument because you allowed it in this case. You said you would not presume to take away their right to smoke, but support all those places. So you wouldn’t dream of taking away a right, but you are OK with severely limiting that right?

          • TexasChem says:

            Health care costs are high in this country because of demand. The average age that folks live to has increased dramatically the past 100 years. As people live to an older age thier bodies immune system becomes weaker and they are more susceptible to disease and organ failures. Increases in medical technology have allowed for increasing age but at a cost to mobility and well being in most cases. Thats a fact!

          • To Ron:
            People making $30,000 or less are going to pay 1/2 the tax on tobacco.How many of thes people are situated to pay for their health care?How many are going to rely on Medicaid to pay?

            I smoke. When I started at my place of employment I was making $24k..3 years later I am making $32k and during period, I paid for my own healthcare and even paid taxes for those that get stated funded medical assistance. I don’t agree with you. God gave us free will or free choice. The government is trying to play GOD and we are allowing it.

    • Ron,

      I won’t convince any of your grandchildren that it is their duty to smoke to support NC. That wasn’t the point of what I wrote anyway. You fall into the trap of reading the article without thinking about things. That is why I asked you to do so right from the beginning. Yes, the market will adjust, just as you have said. Many people who give up smoking gain weight as they turn to food instead of cigarettes. So now they will be unhealthy overweight instead of unhealthy smoking. But then, by your standards, we will have the right to go after them for that too.

      The more dangerous part of your thought process is that you will more likely convince your grandchildren that it is government’s right to tell them what their individual rights are and are not. As the old saying goes, if you give government the right to legislate your neighbor’s behavior, you give them the right to legislate yours as well.

      But thanks for missing the point.

      • U.S.—I didn’t miss the point,I ignored it.This is one time I don’t think your point shold apply.

        • USWeapon says:

          So what makes this time any different than any other time that the government decides to tell us how to live our lives “for our own good” I laid out quite a few areas that they could move to next. Would you be OK with all of those as well? If not, then why? What makes this argument different?

      • Thomas Jefferson stated it best…He, who governs least, governs best. A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have. I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

    • It’s not about the smoking its about taking people’s choice away. It’s about taking people livelihood away. It’s about more job loses…it’s the prinicpal of the matter. I can understand increase the tax by 10% but 165%? I guess people heads are in the sand and they are yes’sir masters when it comes to the government. When the goverment impose on all of your rights, freedoms, and choices, you will think twice then. For those non-smokers, think of the bigger affect here, not just thinking inside of the box meaning “I don’t smoke so I don’t care”

  2. The price of cigs raised here already, several days ahead of the Wednesday deadline. I heard of someone paying $70 for a carton, the generics cost about $40 / carton. Our great DEMO-CRAP Governor here already raised the state tax by $1.00 per pack.

    I can’t defend smoking, but it is more than a mere habit, it is an addiction, and a strong one at that. No matter how disgusted people are with the price of cigarettes, it is not a matter of just up and quitting.

    What a wonderful, nearly endless tax revenue, find an addicting LEGAL product and tax the heck out of it.

    Maybe smokers should send all their cig butts to Obama, and demand a tax refund on the unsmoked portion.

    I’m not sure of the details, but I know that an Indian casino near here sells cigarettes at about $10 a carton cheaper than anywhere else, something about not being subject to tax…but that may be state tax, not federal.

    Funny story about our governor…not only did he get the tax on cigarettes raised, he also got smoking banned just about everywhere, even in bars. No smoking in state owned vehicles, or on state property, of course. He “thought” his wife had quit smoking, but she started again….and was seen in a state vehicle, driven by a state trooper….smokin’ away (an offense that can be fined)….LOL. They live in a state owned governors mansion….have to wonder how that’s going, must make for an interesting marriage, I hope she slaps him upside the head every day! Sometimes a little violence has it’s place.

    • Forgot to say…what do you want to bet that Obama lights up in the White House? A picture of that would be….PRICELESS!

    • Dee,It is just a matter of up and quitting.That’s all it is.

      Also ,Dee,Does the irony that the tax is being implemented on All Fools Day ecape you?

      • Ron,

        Have you ever smoked? If not, then you have no idea what you are talking about. It is an addiction, I know, I’m an addict. I’ve tried quitting, have even succeeded for months at a time but always end up going back. But all of that is beside the point. The government has absolutley no right to interfere in our lives like that. It’s none of their damned business what I do to my body, it’s my body. Personally, I’m tired of being treated like a second class citizen because I smoke.

        • I have asked many people about what happened when they quit smoking and I get various answers.A common thread that seems to run through the answers though is that when they finally made up their minds to quit,they did so successfully.They said they really had to want to quit.Many said they had made attempts and failed,but after really wanting to quit not one regressed.When asked if nicitine was a physical addiction,many said no,it was psycological.

          With all that I do understand that women find it especially hard to quit.It may be a physical addiction for them,I don’t know.

          It is your body and you are free to do what you want with it.That is true.No argument from me.It is my government and at times I will ask it for assistance.This time the non-smokers are asking for help.This is not the government,this is a grassroots movement the like of which you can only watch in wonder and wish about.

          • esomhillgazette says:

            Naw! Nicotine IS physically addictive. The psycological part it in reaching for another. I have quit 3 times, once for 2 years. There’s always something that pulls me back in. My dad has been quit for 38 yrs and still occasionally yearns for one if he smells them. I’ll put it this way. If the damn things weren’t physically addictive, there wouldn’t be very many people smoking to begin with. And quitting would be a snap!

          • Kristian says:

            Just exactly how much more help do non-smokers need? Smoking is banned in all public places, what else do the non-smokers want?

            • RWBoveroux says:

              Kristan:

              Some random thoughts in no particular order:

              1. the government SHOULD NOT/CANNOT try to change people’s behavior with tax policy. It is IMPOSSIBLE to legislate morality.
              2. If a smoker wants to/needs to stick carcinogens into their body, go right ahead. That is their choice and they can do so.
              3. Smoking is not currently banned in all public places everywhere in the US. That is a rather broad and inaccurate statement.
              4. it is possible to quit. I have done so for close to 30 years. It boils down to a choice. Am I tempted to have a cig from time to time, yes in deed! However, at times like that I make a choice not to succumb.
              4. As a non-smoker, why should my life expectancy be shortened and my health care costs be greatly increased because I have to walk through a dense cloud of cigarette smoke in order to get into an office building? Second hand smoke has been clinically proven to be just as hazardous to people’s health as the actual cigarette.

              • Kristian says:

                Then let me clarify, smoking has been banned in public place where I live in the state of FL. I’m aware that it is possible to quit and one day I may do just that. The point of the original post by US is this though, if the government is allowed to tax this and call it a sin tax, where is it going to stop? It all boils down to, whether you smoke or not, how far do we let this administration go before we really stand up and do something? And as far as your last point goes, I don’t care how many studies you read, if you read enough of them you’ll figure out that everything is bad for you and if you do it you’re gonna die. Well, guess what? We’re all gonna die eventually. You want to live forever? I certainly don’t, not with the direction that this country is headed in.

    • Dee,

      I know that the cigarette companies also changed the price on their cigarettes the day this bill was passed. They claimed to be getting a head start on recouping the losses they will see ahead of time. While greedy, I guess I can’t fault them for that.

      I guess the real question here is how long before we see a bailout for the cigarette companies as well?

      • That is exactly what will happen if cap and trade is implemented. Any impacted industry will see their bottom line diminishing and pass that “tax” on to the consumer. “Anybody making less than $200,000.00 per year will not see a tax increase…not one dime” Bulldookey…couldn’t resist Esomhill!

      • esomhillgazette says:

        Ha Ha! Wouldn’t that be Ironic?

      • Clinton says:

        I haven’t heard anybody report this so I’ll pass it along.

        I make my own cigarettes, either using a machine to stuff pre-made filter tubes or using filters, rolling papers and a rolling machine. I do this so I can control what I’m smoking. I (use to) buy tobacco that (was) is labeled ‘all natural’ so that I could avoid the additives that are in commercially manufactured cigarettes.

        Four weeks ago I bought a 1 pound bag of Golden Harvest All Natural tobacco here in the PRC of Washington State. It cost $22.29 and that gives me enough tobacco for the equivalent of two and a half cartons of Brand cigarettes.

        Five days ago I went to my local smoke shop for another bag of tobacco and they were out of stock. Everything for making cigarettes was sold out. The clerk said she had no idea when they were getting more.

        They had lots of Brand cigarettes available though.

        So I hopped the border into Idaho and discovered that Obama and Congress had struck.

        That same 1 pound bag of tobacco that (thanks to Idaho’s less greedy/grasping government) used to cost around $15.00 now costs $72.00 per pound bag.

        The clerk (different clerk) at my local (WA) tobacco shop told me that, again, he had no idea if or when they were going to get roll/make-your tobacco in but when they did it was going to be over $80 per pound.

        A couple of things have occurred to me since this began.

        * Somebody figured out that people who roll their own were slipping though Mama’s net and not being clipped like obedient sheeple were supposed to be clipped and this… I can’t even figure out how much of a percentage of an increase this sh*theadedness is… is punishment of some bizarre kind.

        * Even if you assume that 1 pound bag of tobacco will make 250 cigarettes (2.5 cartons/25 packs) then this is more than double what the new tax is on Brand cigarettes. I suppose, like everything else government does, some a*shole with an agenda padded the data (don’t ask the smokers, ask the people who want to make people stop smoking… SOP) fed to congress how many cigarettes can be made from a pound of tobacco.

        I’d have been tickled pink if I could have gotten the equivalent of more than 60 packs of cigarettes out of a 1 pound bag of tobacco…

        * 100 tobacco seeds costs $5 and when they ban or tax out of existence cigarette papers/tubes and filters then there’s always the corn-cob pipe.

        I suppose they’ll ban lighters and matches too. Flint & steel too?

        End of insomniac spew.

        Thanks.

  3. This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

  4. US,

    You are totally correct in this. It doesn’t matter that it is over a ‘Cigarette Tax’; it’s the “sin” component of this. It equates to a larger part of the population picking on a smaller part of the population for something they don’t like or is not popular (aka Politically Correct). The message that I get is that we will force “comrades to comply”.

    I can hear good ole Joe right now, “It’s patriotic to have a BMI of 17”.

    I abhor the political machine that has come into being. It is out of control because the machine’s desire to take all control.

    On April 19, 1775 in Concord, MA, there was a “shot that was heard around the world” that ushered in freedom from Tyranny…a freedom for people to have personal freedom.

    On April 15, 2009 in the United States of America, there will be a great roar whose rumblings are already starting to be heard. This will be a roar whose message is clear that we will not stand for this. My scream will be heard in Richmond, VA and will seek to harmonize with like-minded people on core beliefs.

    To all,

    Will your scream be heard?

  5. US, again a great post. It is amazing to me how some seem to be blind to the real truth you uncover here. Everything is already taxed. To what levels will it take for the citizens to revolt? I believe that it is getting near that threshold. I have been saying this for years, and it looks like now it may come true. Politicians, and I mean just about every one of them, are not in politics to help anyone but themselves.

    If this tax goes on without any great uproar, there will be another. It will be targeted to a minority of folks as well so as not to create a majority uproar, then another, then another, etc.. When will it stop? I have to go along with BF on this as I am sure he would say that no government would mean no taxes…

  6. This is where I diverge with your opinion, USWeapon. We have very little tolerance for smoking in the northeast, and it makes for a much better atmosphere for gathering with friends or going to a restaurant. This wasn’t always the case; most of my relatives (although not my immediate family) smoked when I was a kid and it exacerbated what turned out to be my undiagnosed asthma. Smoking effects other people’s health, and adds to health care costs borne by the populace at large. While I agree in general that targeting small unpopular groups with taxes (be it the AIG execs, or smokers) is a slippery slope, when that groups activities increase my costs or effect my kids’ health, then I have no problem with doing whatever is necessary to decrease it’s usage, IF it is constitutional. For the same reason, I believe in seat belt laws, and that morbidly obese people should buy two seats on an airplane (I pay for my WHOLE seat). Decreasing smoking and obesity should be a goal in this country; the extra health care costs incurred by these is staggering, and I pay for it. BTW, I do have an extremely low BMI, but my husband does not. I’m not sure that increasing taxes is the way to get people to lose weight, but they sure are not doing it themselves when fully 2/3rd’s of our population is overweight. There would be an enormous cost savings realized in health care so the need to find other sin taxes would be more than offset by this huge savings. If there other effective , revenue neutral ways to combat these issues besides hitting the affected “sinners” pocketbooks, then I’m all ears, but it seems like people respond best to financial sticks. People have the right to make choices; you can choose to smoke, choose to pig out and not exercise, choose to drink, but that doesn’t mean that I should have to pay for the indisputable negative consequences of your behavior.

    • TexasChem says:

      I think some of you are forgetting that it is not within your rights to tell others how to live. You know the old addage “Judge not less yee be judged”. I am a firm believer in victimless crimes being totally done away with.

      I agree with Mom, you shouldn’t have to pay for someone elses negative behavior. Thats why social healthcare should be eradicated as well! If someone doesn’t have the sense to put up money for thier future or family to take care of them then it should not be societies “JOB” to take care of them. Heartless? Perhaps, but I also believe that if someone has lived thier life in a good manner others would see it as well and could gain help through charity.

      • You all leave out the issue that smoking effects other people. Not just as a nuisance, but as a health issue. Second hand smoke has been proven to have serious health consequences, and therefore, it is not just your choice to do whatever you want to your body. You are effecting the health of others, in particular children and those with whom you live. Case in point; my 40 year old friend; beautiful, smart, mother of 4 little kids grew up in a house of smokers. She never smoked, but she got lung cancer and died. Most likely cause; her exposure to smoking as a child. So you see, this is not a victimless crime.

        • TexasChem says:

          Ummm… when I was in college I never got high from being in the same room as some of my friends that smoked weed every day. I personally never developed a taste for it. It will also not affect your ability to pass a drug test for a job by being in the same room as smokers. I know that for a fact because I applied for a job and had to pass a drug test and was worried.

          Here read this article about second hand smoke…

          Does second-hand smoke really cause cancer?
          June 2, 2000
          Dear Cecil:

          Having recently debunked the Super Bowl Sunday violence story, perhaps you could check into this secondhand smoke business. I seem to remember that after the initial study came out blaming secondhand cigarette smoke for every kind of ill, this study was found to be seriously flawed. Is this another case like the “LSD causes chromosome damage” study?

          — Rick Remaley, Chicago

          Sure, what the hell, why not insinuate myself into yet another hot-button topic? Then I’ll be ready to take on gun control, abortion, and which are smarter, cats or dogs.

          Let me begin by saying that I’m allergic to tobacco smoke, and laws against smoking in public places have personally benefited me. In principle I don’t have a problem with banning public smoking: it’s an annoyance to nonsmokers and a danger to vulnerable folk such as asthmatics, children, and the elderly. All that having been said, the claim that “environmental tobacco smoke” (ETS) seriously threatens the health of the general public, and in particular that it causes lung cancer, is unproven at best.

          There have been scores of studies on the health effects of ETS, but the one you’re probably thinking of was a 1993 report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which labeled ETS a class A carcinogen that caused approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths among adult nonsmokers per year.

          The EPA report put secondhand smoke on the political front burner once and for all. Countless jurisdictions relied on it when they banned public smoking. Today the U.S. has probably the most stringent regulation of public tobacco use of any major nation.

          The tobacco industry and its allies were quick to attack the EPA report as “junk science” and filed suit to have it vacated. They won an important victory in 1998 when a North Carolina federal judge ruled that the EPA had made serious procedural errors and, worse, had “cherry-picked” its data to reach a preordained conclusion. The EPA has denied this charge and is appealing the decision.

          The controversy over ETS and the EPA report has been marked by accusations of conspiracy, bias, and cooked data, so one has to tread carefully. Nonetheless, a few tentative conclusions can be drawn. The first is that under the most charitable interpretation the EPA’s evidence that ETS is carcinogenic comes perilously close to noise level–you’re not sure if you’re seeing a real effect or just random spikes in the data. The EPA report was based not on original research but on a “meta-analysis” of 11 existing studies; the analysis purported to show that ETS caused a 19 percent increased risk of lung cancer. While this seems like a respectably large number, remember it comes from an epidemiological study, which attempts to infer causality based on associations in the data–circumstantial evidence rather than a smoking gun. Whatever song and dance you may get from the statisticians, skeptical observers prefer to see an increased risk of at least 100 percent before they consider a relationship to be established beyond reasonable doubt.

          The tobacco industry claims the EPA had to fudge the numbers just to arrive at 19 percent. For example, in calculating the probabilities, the agency used a “confidence interval” of 90 percent rather than the more stringent (and in my observation more common) 95 percent. The lower the standard, the more statistically significant your results can be made to seem.

          Tobacco defenders claim that of four major ETS studies completed since the EPA report was released, two found no evidence that ETS increased cancer risk, one found weak evidence, and only one found strong evidence. The EPA’s take on it is that all four studies support its position. Sounds like bluff to me, but read the agency’s response and decide for yourself at http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/strsfs.html.

          Smoking opponents say there’s a scientific consensus in the U.S. that ETS is bad, citing an impressive list of articles and official pronouncements–for example, a 1998 review in the Journal of the American Medical Association of 100 studies, 63 of which found some evidence of harm from ETS. I agree ETS is harmful, broadly speaking; the question is whether it causes lung cancer and other significant health problems, as the EPA claims. For years the tobacco industry denied any link between active smoking and lung cancer in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, so you have to wonder when they make the same claim now about passive smoke. Nonetheless, one can’t escape the suspicion that this time the weasels may be right.

          — Cecil Adams

      • RWBoveroux says:

        Texas:

        Hate to tell you this, but there is no such thing as a victimless crime. every crime has a victim even if it is the person committing the crime. Also, society as a whole is a victim of every crime.

        • Most “crimes” today ARE victimless “crimes”. Unless you have been drinking the collectivist kool-aid, or believe that no one owns their own life. If an act harms no other innocent person, no legitimate “crime” has been committed. Even suicide is an absolute right, and no act harms the self more than that. Ownership must include the right to destroy that which you own or it is meaningless.

          “Society” is made up of individuals and doesn’t exist apart from them. If no individual is harmed, there is no “victim”. Unless, of course, you are a collectivist who believes “society” owns us all. I don’t recommend acting on the erroneous belief.

    • It is still an attempt to regulate how someone lives their life. It is government control. Don’t they control enough already? I used that seatbelt analogy with my wife. She agrees with you, it is a good thing, it saves lives. To me, it is still a government control, and is another small bit that allows them to dictate to you how to live your life. It allows the police (government tax collecting agents) to stop you for no other reason other than it appeared as though you were not wearing your seatbelt, and impose a fine if you are not. I suspect that wearing a crash helment would also further save lives beyond just wearing a seatbelt. How long will it be before that is imposed on everyone, and would you adhere?

      • My tax dollars are being used to scrape people off the road and take care of their more traumatic injuries when seatbelts aren’t used. More may die without seatbelts, but more may also survive disabled, which is another burden on healthcare costs. I agree that healthcare should not be socialized, but even though you may have private insurance, the costs are passed on to all of us via higher premiums.

        • If they are being scraped off the highway, at least let it be their choice. I wear my seatbelt and would do so even if it wasn’t a law. Personal responsibility…that is what is at question here. I don’t need the government to tell me what is right, do you?

      • I agree with this.

        Madmom your/our tax dollars already goto the scene of any accident quite a few cities have Police, Fire, and EMTs show up to major accidents “just in case”. Also the stats that I’ve seen while I was in the military were really shaky at best something like in 50% of accidents seat belts saved a life 50% of the time. However they may have been using bad data.

    • Calf Roper says:

      MadMom,

      I am shocked that you wrote this response as you are an organizer of the Tea Parties. How can you pick and choose what you want the government to control and what you don’t want them to control? You can’t have it both ways, that’s how our federal government has grown to the behemoth it is today – special interests.

      Your decision to not attend the smokey bar is the only control needed. It is the free market working itself out. If enough people feel like you and do not patronize smokey bars, then pretty soon you will see non-smokey bars pop up. The fact that non-smokey bars haven’t popped up in a free market environment is simply a result of not enough consumers really caring whether it’s smokey or not.

      • Sorry, I’ve long been an anti-smoking advocate. And a Republican. The important thing about to note about the tea parties is that they are apolitical; we have people from all walks of life who advocate for the government to stop the reckless spending. I still maintain that smoking is not a vicimless crime. If parents smoke with impunity in their homes, where do their kids go? They have higher rates of a whole assortment of childhood diseases. Is it any coincidence that the kids of lower income parents are more likely to be exposed to smoke regularly AND have a higher rate of said diseases? If a higher tax is the only thing that’s gonna make them decrease their smoking and thus, their kids’ exposure, then so be it.

        • I am just as skeptical of all the reports on the ills of children of smokers as I am of the reports on the ills of global warming. But that gets away from the point, since when do we have the right to tell people how to raise their children? Should we do a 159% increase on the taxes on alcohol, cheeseburgers, and sugar too? They all cause just as many health problems.

        • Calf Roper says:

          This is exactly what has happened to move the Republican party away from being the “party of less government” to the party of “government is okay as long as it fits with Republican ideals”. I agree that smoking is bad for your health and I can understand why it is such a hot topic for you; however, the minute you choose to tell someone else what to do within their own lives you have crossed the line into a fascist state of mind. It is exactly this type of thinking that has grown our federal government into the fascist behemoth that it is today. We, as a people, now use every crisis and every study that comes out to legislate more and more broad sweeping action. Where do we draw the line? Is there even a line.

          The original point of the tea party is to “STOP GOVERNMENT’S GROWTH AND INCREASING INTERVENTION INTO THE PERSONAL FREEDOMS OF ALL AMERICANS. STOP TAXING US TO DEATH, STOP REGULATING US TO DEATH, AND STOP SHREDDING THE CONSTITUTION”.

          That’s why I made the point I made about supporting the tea party and then turning around and supporting increased federal government intervention into our personal lives. It’s hypocritical. If you want to work against smoking then give money and/or volunteer time to non-smoking organizations and education, don’t let the federal government get involved. Please stop supporting anything the federal government does, it doesn’t do any good thing.

          • Amen Calf Roper…could not have said it that good myself.

          • Madmom, I’ve got to say I’m with Calf-roper on this, a little surprised at your stance on this issue. Understand your large personal stake, but it is when a persons stake is so large that they must stand for liberty, even though it may cost them.
            Keep up the good work though! With you on everything else….
            Good reply Calf-roper!

        • TexasChem says:

          Mom I applaude your stand on not smoking but you can’t force people to quit by taxation. That is not ethical. I believe a more ethical stance would be to educate people of the harm that smoking may cause to thier health and for them to make thier own decision.

          I disagree with the belief that children of smokers have more health problems. Both my parents smoke. I have never seen any medical documentation to back that up. I have two brothers and we are all three over 6ft. 200 plus lbs. All were athletes in highschool and we still go to the gym now in our thirties. Hardly ever got sick growing up. None of us have any diseases caused by smoking or otherwise.

          I am a gym freak to be certain 6ft 235 lbs. =) Pic of me on Facebooks Stand up for America site under Darrell Glynn with my 16 year old daughter.

          Course we all know everthings bigger in Texas anyways so maybe this post isn’t useful? lol =)

          • There are tomes of medical documentation to back that up.

            • Clinton says:

              I don’t much care if The Great Sky Fairy climbed down and handed you all that FUD carved in stone. It’s not your business to tell me, damn near 3500 miles away from you, what I ingest, where I ingest it and by what means I ingest it.

              If my second-hand smoke (do you drive a car or use public transport that burns fossil fuels? Heat your house or use electricity generated by combustion? I bet you do. Hypocrite…) bothers you, I suggest you hold your breath and run away from me as fast as you possible can.

              Too bad I can’t do something similar when I’m stuck inhabiting the same planet as people with this damnable “It’s ok to frack you over because we want to. After all, we outnumber you.” mindset.

              Somehow or the other you’ve been taught that just because you don’t like something someone else does you have some Sky Fairy Given right to stop them.

              You hold onto that mindset, all of you, and any attempt to pry the government out of our lives and wallets is going to fail with the sound of lefties snickering. This is what’s doomed the Libertarians to being comic relief.

    • MadMom,

      I understand your position. I don’t agree, but I understand. The question for me is where is it that you have to be that you will deal with second hand smoke. Legislating is the issue here. For example, telling bars that they cannot allow smoking. You are not forced to go into that bar and partake of second hand smoke. If it is a problem, the free market would take care of it. The bar’s traffic would go down and they would change to a non-smoking policy.

      You admit that it is a slippery slope but still seem to be OK with it. And that perplexes me. We either think it is OK for government to tax every choice we make or no choice that we make. We cannot sit in a place where it is OK for government to tax only the things that certain people think is OK.

      • I said that the tax needs to be constitutional. For instance, I believe the bonus tax on AIG will prove to be unconstitutional, and will thus be thrown out. I am not a Libertarian, and therein lies the differences in my belief system. I believe that there are instances in which government must step in for the benefit of the welfare of all it’s citizens. Smoking is one of those issues. My husband’s a doc, I worked in biotech at all of the top institutions in the northeast for 18 years, selling drugs for various cancers. There are studies and there are studies. I wish I had the time to go and cite all the data out there showing the ill effects of smoking on others, particularly kids (asthma and other respiratory diseases in particular), but I am up to my eyeballs in work. Taxing something is not the same as outlawing it. People still have a choice, so if you (and I don’t mean you personally) want to expose your kids to smoke, feel free. Parents can leave their child in a bathtub alone too; it’s not against the law. But it’s stupid and endangers the kid’s life. Like I said, if there are other revenue neutral ways to decrease smoking, particularly around kids, then let’s hear them. But my guess is that those answers would be far more intrusive into people’s personal lives than a tax.

        • It still is simply a method of government to control individuals lives…and this way they get paid for it. In for a penny, in for a pound…you either want government control, or you don’t. Personally, I don’t.

      • RWBoveroux says:

        USW:

        In regards to where we have to be to run into 2nd hand smoke, it is everywhere. As I said above, I should not have my life shortened because I have to go through 2, 5, 10 different people killing themselves in order to go to my daughter’s school, or my bank, or some other public location. Will this issue be resolved because our nanny state has raised the monetary price of cigarettes? No it won’t. End of story.

        • I almost never encounter second-hand smoke anywhere. When I do, it isn’t even an inconvenience. I pass through it, holding my breath if I feel the need to do so, and never give it a second thought. Maybe it is a Cosmic Comedian that puts the thing that upsets you the most in your path day after day. Stop letting it bother you and the Cosmic Comedian will have to find something else to tease you with.

          • RWBoveroux says:

            Kent:

            Come hang out in DC with me. You’ll run into it.

            It does not “upset” me as if my frame of mind is changed, or some such thing. I was making a simple question\statement about how someone else’s choice affects me and the fact that there are two different groups involved in the debate about public smoking.

            • If I were in DC, I doubt I would stay out of prison long enough to run into anything.

              But that’s your problem; it isn’t second-hand smoke you are smelling, it is fire and brimstone seeping through the gates of hell where all the “laws” emanate from.

              • Now that was “xun do xi zwha” (Funny). Perhaps only Kent will understand my use of Mandarin, lol

  7. In addition, Obama is selling the fallacy that sin taxes ultimately decrease healthcare costs. Here is a quote from Charles Krauthammer from Special Report with Britt Hume on 12.11.2008 that I happen to agree with. He is speaking of preventative care in general, but the same applies to sin taxes.

    You can see the entire transcript at:

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,466027,00.html

    “KRAUTHAMMER: For example, the biggest preventative healthcare success in American history is the reduction in smoking. What happens instead of dying young if you smoke, you die older, spending years in a nursing home, and the costs end up higher. I’m not in favor of dying young, but it’s more expensive if you live longer.

    If you die of a heart attack at 50, that’s awful, but it’s cheap. If you live into your 80’s, you will end up with Alzheimer’s or cancer or a chronic disease that’s expensive.

    So, as a society, look — I’m not arguing in favor of sudden death and early death, but it’s not a way to save money, which is what Obama is selling, which I have heard for 30 years.”

  8. esomhillgazette says:

    I am a smoker. An LHBE, 5’7″, 240lb., overweight White American Male. I already pay between 50 to 60% of my income to taxes in one way or the other. I mean, good God; how much more can I afford to be taxed? Not to mention Obama is already working to take all of the rest of my freedoms away. The reason a “sin” tax is wrong is because it targets a specific group. You know who else smokes a lot for their population? Blacks. So I wonder how happy they are with Mr. Obamas new gouge? That should have knocked that “messiah” image of his down a couple of points! Then again; most of the folks who voted for him are probably to blinded from the glow of his halo to notice! Notice how things like this sin tax are just one more thing being thrown at us with lightning speed? He is piling on the bulldookey faster than it can be kept up with. I guess when he gets around to LHBEs and fat people i’ll have to just fade into the woods with my rifle and hide from the revenue agents like an old moonshiner!

    • Esomhill, you crack me up! Bulldookey! Your points are valid, and I agree…it is just great to be able to laugh once in a while…thanks!

      • esomhillgazette says:

        Terry, I am just an old hillbilly from northwest Georgia. My daddy was fond of repeating old saying and has a unique way with words. I guess you could say I am truly my father’s son, and proud of the fact. (Was going to name my blog EsomHillBilly, but my son already uses it!)

        • I’m a country boy myself from northwest Louisiana, the humor reminds me of home! Your effective use of it in the context of this blog is great…keep it up!

          • esomhillgazette says:

            I lived in N.O. for a couple of years. If you’re like we are though; we consider Atlanta a Tiolet stuck in the middle of an otherwise beautiful State! We traveled a good bit around LA while we lived there. I was thinking the same goes for N.O. in your State

    • Esom,

      My daughter is a waitress in a pizza joint. She came home the other night and was telling me that there was a group of blacks sitting at one of her tables. She told me that their discussion was centered on how furious they are with Barack Obama over the increased taxes are on their smokes (yes, cost of cigs have increased here already in anticipation of tomorrow) and also furious with Timothy Kaine (VA’s Gov) over the smoking ban (restaurants and bars) that goes into effect here December, 2009. To me, I found it very interesting and somewhat ironic.

      NO ONE PERSON likes to be picked on emotionally. I mention emotionally, because I believe Political Correctness has some roots in brainwashing people…i.e. the machine says, “You smoke, therefore, You are bad”. It is no longer politically correct to be a smoker. The message is: “You are sinful”. This applies to just about anything that a larger group of folks or the machine is prejudiced against. To me, it seems that in this context (of not being politically correct), the financial aspect (i.e. tax) is simply the consequence of prejudice against a group of people who are not politically correct (aka sinners).

    • You are correct. Has anyone sat down and actually figured their percent of income that goes to one tax or the other? Depending on the state you live in it could be as high as 75-80%. Isn’t that wonderful….you work for a quarter and give the government 3 quarters. I have a question I think fitting at this point. If you could buy silver today as a survival tool…..would you choose boullion, troy silver dollars, or junk silver (US coins)?
      Tax and spend….we are all slowly going broke….no wonder so many people went into debt the government was taking so much of their money they could not afford anything….thus credit!

  9. Great post and discussion, as usual. US, TC and others are right. It’s not about the cigarettes, it’s about government controling personal choices. I have never been a smoker, but I fully support a person’s right to do with their bodies what they please. If you get sick, well, too bad for you.

  10. OK this is an interesting topic for me and one quite honestly, where I need to think beyond my personal feelings and look at the bigger picture.

    First smoking: I’m with MadMom here – simply hate it. Grew up with it all around me, hate going out and within five minutes smell like it and especially hate it when my kids are around it. My first instinct is to tax it good and promote banning it in public places. However, I also know taxing this habit and banning it are treading on personal rights so my action (inaction?) is to avoid going to places where smoking is allowed and I would not participate in the recent movement to ban public smoking. True confession, this is the ONE time, I am glad of the Democrats in charge, as more and more cities in Wisconsin are going smoke-free. Just went to a restaurant Friday night where they serve great fish, but haven’t been there in five years because to get to the eating area, you had to find your way through the haze of the smoke-filled bar and couldn’t stand it. That area is now smoke free so we went and it was as delicious as ever. Maybe I’m a hypocrite for enjoying the (smoke-free) rewards at other’s people’s expense, I don’t know.

    Now obesity: I am in the health and wellness industry and a lot of my business comes from overweight people! I could do very well if extra taxes are imposed on unhealthy, overweight people. However, I need to remind myself once again, of what my core beliefs are and not think merely self-promotion. So I do not support this method of taxation.

    Here is Wisconsin our sin tax discussion is about our favorite pasttime…..beer! We tax the crap out of the tobacco users but beer lovers have no fear! Unlike NC, at this point, we are protecting our local industry and this gets a lot of pushback from groups like MADD.

    A good subject that makes us think – are we selective in our support of certain taxes or actions because it helps us personally or are we strong in our beliefs overall? Thanks USW and all!

    • Kathy,

      I admire you for looking past your personal feelings at the bigger picture.

      • It took some deep thinking about 2-3 years ago when the state-wide smoking ban push started…..I really, really, wanted to jump on board (lots of history with smokers: parents, grandparents, in-laws and have seen some of the worst that smoking brings so I really wanted to act to save people from themselves! How virtuous of me!) However, there is a local conservative radio talk show host that I agree with 99% of the time but on this issue we disagreed; at first I thought it was our own self-interests as she’s a smoker, I’m not. But the more I listened, the more I “got it”, that when government starts stepping in one area, they could step in other areas as well. So I didn’t join the “ban smoking” crowd.

        As I mention above, I’m a small business owner and as such am a member of my local chamber of commerce and when they called to get my support of local businesses to hold off the ban, I also did not lend my support as I wanted the ban to go through.

        So, don’t congratulate me too much….I really did nothing but let it happen around me. Hey, wait a minute, isn’t that what BF wants us to do? Do nothing? I guess I followed his lead without knowing it!! 🙂

  11. What I think is important, is the misinformation we are fed to justify this tax (or any other tax).
    Studies have proven that if everyone quit smoking, it would actually increase healthcare costs. A study by the New England Journal of Medicine concluded ” If poeple stopped smoking, there would be a savings in healthcare costs, but only in the short term. Eventually, smokin cessation would lead to increased healthcare costs”. I’ve also read a university study (can’t remember the name) from Denmark that looked at 3 groups, healthy non-obese non-smokers, obese non-smokers, and non-obese smokers, Their results stated that healthcare costs over a lifetime were more costly for the healthy (they live longer), followed by the obese (they have health problems sooner in life, that are not life threatening and last longer), and last were the smokers (their health problems came later in life and they died sooner). There are numerous studies that support these positions. With that said, when the Govt. says they are doing this to save in healthcare costs, they are lying to all of us (gee, go figure).

    Here’s O’promter’s other mistake. He’s wants to use this tax money to fund healthcare for kids, which is admiral, except it is also a lie (at least here in Ohio). I work for a hospital, and there are several programs, govt and non-govt, that foot the bill for all kids under 18 years of age. Kids have been covered in Ohio all my life, and most states have similar programs in place.
    Call your local hospital and ask for info in your state, or just google it. I think everyone will be surprised to find out just how much our Govt is lying to us about many things.

    Also, there will be a black market, as well as increased internet sales from overseas, and many smokers will just quit. BO’s projected revenues from this will be far less than he says, and he knows this, because it’s just another lie.

    OH! Good morning everyone! Hope life finds you well today.

    G-Man

    • esomhillgazette says:

      I agree G-Man. If they want people to stop smoking because of health concerns, why not just pass a law outlawing it completely. I’ll tell you why. If they did that then they COULDN’T tax it, that’s why. If they could figure out a way to tax marijuana, they would legalize it. (Taxing it would actually be easy, but I digress) You can look for a tax soon on alcohol though. If you’re gonna tax one sin, why not all of them! Obama is eventually have to come up with more and more taxes to pay for his Spendulus Plan and Budget. As far as sin taxes go though, he’s gonna create one hell of a black market! I think i’ll grow some tobacco this year and get in on it! Oh Damn! He’s got that new farm food safety thing now. Guess i’ll have to hide it in the woods! And Esom Hill’s already famous for pot growing! Damn!

    • Yes, I agree with your post G-man…the Universal Kid Healthcare is bogus. All states have healthcare for kids under 18…It’s called PeachCare, Wellcare, and Medicaid in the state of Georgia. The politicians are lying to us with smiles on there faces.

  12. What I hear from the arguements against smoking is the same arguement that I hear from my liberal friends about guns. “Nobody NEEDS a gun, Guns KILL people, guns are BAD”. Just substitute cigarettes for gun, and boom – lets tax it and force people to quit. Truth be told, the government could easily do this with anything, including guns and ammunition. Rather than outlawing it, just make it so expensive that no one can afford to buy it. (think cap and trade…) Just like OR said, this is not about tobacco, this is about more taxes, this is about government regulating personal choice. If you are a person that truly believes in smaller (or no) goverment, then you cannot pick and choose what rights and personal freedoms must be protected and what rights and freedoms are okay to be taxed and limited. What frustrates me (and scares me) is that this is happening all over in little ways, such as the NY soda tax, and the trans fat bans, and most people get angry at first and then roll over and take it, because really it good for us right? its not such a big deal right? Wrong, its just paving the way – so don’t think its gonna stop at those things that you don’t consume or don’t need or don’t like.

  13. TexasChem says:

    Ok taxing the heck out of something to destroy it is just wrong. Our government should not have the right to infrige upon personal freedom in that manner. Period.

    Like I have said before…what’s next? Taxing the heck outta guns/ammunition? Taxing the heck outta alcohol? Taxing the heck outta our churches? Sin tax is a control method. Period. We will continue to lose our freedom from these types of taxes if this continues. Wake up people!

    • Yes, those things you list are next. It is a simple matter of time and need for more tax dollars. With the MASSIVE amount of spending that is currently under way, there will be nothing that is not subject to tax increases. I can not understand why everybody in this country is not pissed off yet…

    • No, they want tax guns and ammo, they are just going to band them. They are using Mexico “Drug war” to take care of this…next comes Martial Law. They have the nerve to say that 90% of Mexican weapons come from Americans in exchange for drugs and money…that is BS. The guns Mexicans have come from the Military…imagine that?!

  14. TexasChem – looks like you and I wrote the same thing at the same time 🙂

  15. Calf Roper says:

    US Weapon is dead on. Everything that government touches has unintended consequences. Examples:

    1) Government taxes cigarettes, people smoke less, live longer, spend more time in nursing homes on expensive medication paid for by welfare dollars.
    2) Government informally guarantess home loans so everyone can have a home in the good ol’ U.S., banks make loans to anyone who is breathing and has a pulse, they don’t pay them back, the system collapses, and we all pay the price.
    3) Government taxes income, people do everything they can to hide income and/or deduct expenses from that income while losing their incentive to work harder to earn more income, people become less productive, gross tax revenues to the government fall.
    4) Government subsidizes ethanol production to promote green energy, corn farmers sell all their corn to the ethanol plants, the availability of corn for fructose and food drops, prices skyrocket and food prices increase.

    I could go on and on. My point is that anytime government taxes or subsidizes anything they screw it up. Why don’t people see this.

    By the way, the fact that the federal government now guarantees car warranties on GM and Chrysler vehicles will have profound unintended consequences. Just wait and see.

    • Pols screw it up because they never intend to solve anything. The idea is power and control. They never study anything to see what the outcomes will be. One of my favorite classes in grad school (Public Administration) was program evaluation. We actually planned out programs with outcome measures to determin effectives. Do you ever hear politicians talk about outcome measures/measures of effectiveness? NO! I worked for a state government for 30 years, and, if outcome measures were ever part of a program, they were soon forgotten or politically spun to within an inch of their lives. They just want to maintain ongoing confusion to get the [control] agenda through. And Barack [Speedy Gonzalez] Obama is on a roll. Maybe the G20 will slow him down some.

    • I agree with your post but would like shed some light on bullet 2
      2) Government informally guarantess home loans so everyone can have a home in the good ol’ U.S., banks make loans to anyone who is breathing and has a pulse, they don’t pay them back, the system collapses, and we all pay the price.

      That is just part of the reason the system collapsed. This is going to sound far-fetched but follow me. Do a little bit more research but your on the right track.

      US Debt Swap-Debt conversion 5/21/03
      Given 6.5 trillion dollars
      The receivership expired 5/08
      Secret Meeting 5/17/08
      We pay nearly $500b in interest every year out of income taxes. In ’01 the World Trade Center is blown up…why, to get the Gold in the vaults of the towers (9/11 was a Hoax). The citizens paid this debt off in 2003. Instead of paying the debt they injected it into banking systems-increasing loans. The government took the gold and now there is no money to back the gold up; that is why the system truly failed. The Fort Knox, KY gold inspection was a hoax.

      Inflation here we come…after while, none of this will matter because we will be slaves to the FEDS if we don’t take our rights and freedoms back. The time is now!

  16. Disgusted in Cali says:

    Once again smokers get to take it in the shorts. I no longer smoke but don’t expect to push my will on those that do and taxing them is just another way for the government to tell you what you can or can’t do. Esom’s right…Bulldookey!

  17. I have a question…people seem to think or have the opinion that certain elements need to be taxed to prevent sickness. So does that mean that they government should be paying very large sums of money to the citizens they have given cancer too? How much cancer is actually cause to smoking or drinking compared to cancer caused by DTT, agent orange, asbestos? If some of you are not informed these agents were used heavily inside the US by the federal government and some of you may not know you were even exposed. Folks the US government wants to tax people for getting hooked on cigaretts or other things to pay for health care, but do you have any idea how many people they sprayed with agent orange and DTT? This is one of the issues USW is fond of….the pot calling the kettle black. I would venture to say since it was cause by the government that there are no records…..but if I were a betting person more people are sick from DTT, agent orange and asbestos than any other “sin item”.

    • DTT has been proven to be harmless to humans. It was banned because it was shown to harm birds by making their egg shells thinner, and therefore their population. A shame really, the continuing stigma keeps its from being used in malaria area’s, resulting in millions of preventable deaths.

      • Sorry, DDT

        • Well, given the evidence that DDT is found in alot of woman with breast cancer and men with testicular cancer….chances are that the two are related. But you are correct malaria runs ramant in areas that could use DDT. People are more important than animals in my opinion and DDT could be used safely. The problem is our government did use this chemical alot and used agent orange on our follaige dumped and sprayed by planes. There are alot of people sick because of this. My take on this is just as I stated….it is a case of the pot calling the kettle black….it was ok for the government to cause people to get sick….but it is not ok for a person to choose to smoke or drink or not wear a seat belt or what ever. It is like the government is saying it is ok for us to make you sick but don’t you dare do anything that makes you sick or what “we” deem to be unhealthy.

        • Black Flag says:

          DDT has been proven to be harmless to humans.

          Be very careful with “correlation = causation” arguments, Amazed1.

          I can say “Hmm, almost everyone who has cancer has brushed their teeth at some point in their lives, therefore brushing teeth caused the cancer”.

          Or “In every cancer cell, we find water molecules, therefore water caused the cancer”

          and so on. You get the picture.

  18. Check out this article on FOXNEWS.COM that outlines specifically what is being talked about here today!

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/03/31/cities-states-plan-strange-new-taxes-pretty/

    • Karyn,

      Thanks for posting this. I had logged off my site and gone to FoxNews and saw this as well. I came back over just to post this same link as I found it ironic that they put it up this morning. Perhaps they are reading my blog and copying me!

    • esomhillgazette says:

      My favorite was the Texas “Pole Tax”!

  19. This is a good discussion today, because there are varying views, for various reasons. The tax on tobacco is, based on everyones opinion, fudamentally wrong. Even if you hate cigarette smoke, the tax issue should take a higher priority. If you do agree with this tax, then you would agree with this tax proposal that I present as an alternative to fund child healthcare.

    TAX Proposal GM-69: Beginning Jan 1, 2010, and retroactive to Jan 1, 1992, all mothers who give birth to a child, of which the mother is not married to childs father, said mother shall be taxed $1000 per year, every year, that the said mother is not legally married to childs father. This only applies to to the marriage status at time of birth of taxed child, and will apply to all children born out of wedlock, ending the year the child turns 19 years old. All tax revenues will provide healthcare insurance for all children born to legal citizens of the U.S. In the case of children born after Jan 1, 1992, a tax bill will be sent for the entire amount and is due upon receipt. How many tax dollars would this save???

    Note: This is meant as a parody about taxes only. No malicious intent is made.

    • Huh?

      • This is just an example of what a “sin tax” could look like in the near future. Since the cigarette tax is being directly related to child healthcare, this could be an alternative for BO incase his cig tax don’t work. The post as meant to show how bad the cig tax and taxes like it really are.

    • Kristian says:

      That was a good one G-Man and I think that you are right, it may not be far in our future.

  20. Andrew Gabriel says:

    I had the pleasure of reading “1984” By George Orwell, many many years ago. I decided to pick it up again a few weeks back and WOW, the only thing I would change of that book would be the title to “2024”. Many of ya’ll have probably picked it up and read it, but man was it intense this time around. I really don’t want things to go that far, but as I was reading, it was like I was reading the future of our country, but this time not as a far away apocalyptic future, but as a person living in the prequel of that book. It was interesting, and not in a good way.

    • Went and bought it this afternoon! I think it was HS Freshman Social Studies that I last read it and I remember thinking it was pretty “out there”.

    • esomhillgazette says:

      If you like that, then read “The Last Centurion” by John Ringo. Substitute the female President for Obama and see what you think. That is a fascinating scenario that could actually happen.

  21. Disgusted in Cali says:

    Has anyone heard what exactly the revenue this unjust tax is even suppose to be spent on? Or is it just going into the governments giant slush fund to pay for the next idiotic round of spending they are planning for us? Everyone has the right to do what they want with their body without having to worry someone is going to kick in thier door and drag then away screaming…for now anyway

  22. There is one more tax that might solve a problem in this country. BO could use the money to fund more programs that study the sex habits of gerbils. I’ll call this the “GAY marriage tax” whereas, gay marriage is now legal, which will make them very happy, and a gay marriage license will have a $5000.00 per year tax, that would be renewable on each anniversary date of the marriage. Since we’re talking “sin Taxes” might as well make some money and make these people happy at the same time.

    So far today, I have invented two really stupid taxes that would tax a small minority of people of which all races are included. I wonder which number is greater, gays or smokers?

  23. As always, a very insightful and emotionally charged post (keep it up US) :; Here in CA we already have a “children’s tax” on the tobacco products via the First Five initiative brought about by Rob Reiner. Can you guess what the funds have done for children?? Correct…nothing!!

    I’m not a smoker but I am definitely opposed to singling out and taxing a group. It’s just one more area to choke us all into submission to ‘his O’highest’. BTW, the CA state sales tax goes up 1% tomorrow to add insult to injury – talk about April fools!!

  24. OK, I don’t have time to read all the comments right now, so I apologize if I say anything that has already been beat to death.

    It is time to grow your own. I am growing tobacco this year as a protest against tobacco taxes… and I don’t smoke.

    All choices have health consequences. So, a lot of smokers get cancer and heart disease. So do a lot of non-smokers. Yes, smoking probably increases the risk, but take away the welfare and let people make their own decisions and pay for them. There is no “public cost” if government isn’t stealing your money to pay the bill.

    I have read, though not confirmed, that smokers have a much lower risk of Alzheimer’s (and it isn’t because they die younger as anti-smokers might wish to claim). This seems to be confirmed among my elderly relatives. Is the payoff worth the risk? That isn’t my choice to make. And it certainly isn’t the government’s choice.

    Smoking isn’t immoral ( a “sin”), but even if it were, “Immoral” shouldn’t equal “Illegal”… or justification for legal punishment. Which theft-by-government most certainly is.

    • Growing your own…have you heard of the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009 or HR-875; they have taken over everything. Do some research on this…what you find will be puzzling!

  25. Reading back over some of the comments I find a few “For The Children” items posted. Don’t fall into that trap. And that’s all it is: a trap.

    Anything you do inside your home can harm your children. I don’t let my baby daughter handle my guns and ammunition because of lead. The nanny-statists would like to ban my guns through “lead bans” if they can’t ban them through other means. “For The Children”, of course.

    But what about parents who go to jobs where they may be exposed to germs or substances that could harm their children? Maybe the government should force them to find new jobs. No one with children should work around sick people, right?

    It is time to be consistent. Stand up for ALL rights for ALL people everywhere ALL the time, or admit where your real loyalties lie. Exposing children to second-hand smoke (another phantom menace) is not the same as brutalizing them, no matter what the control-freaks want you to believe.

    Now, do I like to be around smokers? It depends on the situation. Do I like to breathe their smoke? Not really. Is it worth it? Sometimes it most definitely is.

    • Disgusted in Cali says:

      I don’t know how many of you have children in school but schools are all full of germs. My nieces and nephews have had so many colds and flus this year its ridiculous. We won’t even go into how many times notes have been sent home about head lice. Maybe schools should be taxed or deemed unhealthy too.

    • esomhillgazette says:

      Kent, Another easy solution is what I do. I smoke and so does my wife. We made the decision a few years ago go out on the porch and smoke. Right after we started I repainted the house and we did a good spring cleaning on it. I am so used now to going outside, I do it even at someone else’s house who smokes inside their house. Let me make it VERY clear that we chose to do this on our own intiative. No one forced us to do it. Our house now smells better (which we had never noticed before we quit smoking in it), and we don’t have to listen to anyone tell us we shouldn’t smoke with the kids in the house (Mama and Daddy; what can I do?). So if you don’t want someone to smoke in your house that is your choice. Like my wife and I. But the government has no right whatsoever to TELL me what I can and can’t do as far as smoking or taxing.

  26. What would we sacrifice our PRINCIPALS for? Some will say never, there is no price that would BUY my principals. As a father of two, a threat to my wife or children might make me cast aside all I hold dear.
    To me, this is the same as defending our 2nd amendment rights. This is about LIFE, LIBERTY and the pursuit of happiness. The government is using its power to force people to stop smoking. The same government SUBSIDIZES tobacco growers. Why does the NRA fight every gun control measure? Machine guns were banned in 1938. They have attempted to ban semi-automatics several times. If they ever do, it is just a matter of time until they come after the single shots and firecrackers.
    So what is the tobacco tax really? One part is revenue generation. Another is expanding national health care. Think that through, tobacco users are being forced to stop using, so the mandated SCHIP will have to be funded so other way in the coming years.
    But what it is really about is the government ESTABLISHING how much more it can control our LIBERTY, by dictating how we live our lives. Expect fast food to be targeted next. Heart disease is our #1 killer. And like with tobacco, the poor will pay a larger share. A big mac won’t be a bargain with a $2.00 tax and a buck on the fries. Cap & trade will eventually go after low fuel economy vehicles. And even after that, they are already planing on how to get money from the most fuel efficient vehicles by taxing based on miles driven. So we have a government already planing to dictate to us how much we can travel each year.

    Madmom, I am sorry about your son’s asthma. Have a similar but not serious situation. I know of people with allergies to flour or peanuts that the least exposure can be fatal. But that is a small % of the population. It is not reasonable to ban peanuts to SAVE those allergic. Second hand smoke hazards is
    over stated for the most part. I see smoking and non-smoking areas as a reasonable compromise. Funny, I am a non-smoker and almost didn’t marry my wife over it, she had just started when we began dating. I told her I could never be in a serious relationship with a smoker. My grandmother died of lung cancer. My wife quit before it became a serious habit.

  27. Political News Update: This might interest all of you. Today, during the Senate debates on the OB budget for 2010, a amendment was passed called the Baxter amendment. Baxter is a Dem for “the land of fruits and nuts” Cailifornia.
    In short, the amendment stated that “the price of electricity and gasoline CANNOT rise as a result of a “cap and Trade” policy. Another amendment was also passed with similiar wording.

    Don’t be fooled by these amendments!! First, cap and trade will not work, at all, without extensive cost to the consumer, period. Second, it is foolhardy to believe that they (Dems) would give this up when they know they don’t have too. After the Senate passes all this budget stuff, it goes into committee with the HOR and a compromise is made and then it goes to the Prez to be signed. This very same situation occured with the stimulus bill, at which time Dodd changed the language about bonus payments (see AIG mess).

    Even if it gets past this, there are two issues, Healthcare and Education reform that will be pushed through using different rules that only require 51 (instead of 60) senate votes for passage. Either reform bill could have a section allowing Electric companies to charge a “Carbon License Fee” that would circumvent any law disallowing a raise in electric rates.

    Smoke and Mirrors at it’s best. Contact your elected officials and raise hell in opposition of “Cap nad Trade”. Get your voice heard before this goes to law, or it will be to late.
    The early estimates on how much more your home electric bill will go up is over 3300 bucks a year. That doesn’t count the fact that everything else will also rise in cost as companies pass on this expense to the consumer.

    G-Man

    • esomhillgazette says:

      The U.N. is also discussing a GLOBAL Cap and Trade policy. So we definitely don’t want to be allied or IMO have anything to do with letting those Stupid A-holes dictate to our nation what to do.

      • I agree, we got some major problems ahaed of us. I never heard of many of these ideas till the last two months, wonder why? Never mind, I know why.

    • This is a perfect law. It will achieve what the liberal government wants. Power companies will FAIL, and have to be bailed out. The executives in charge can be publicly humiliated and fired. The government will then control the utilities.

  28. I agree that sin taxes are immoral, but in our present system somewhat justified. As long as I am on the hook for the health care of smokers I’m all for taxing it. When we get rid of all government health care we can get rid of the sin taxes and seat belt laws. When people expect the government to take care of them, they open the door for the government to tell them how to live their lives. The fat people can be next as long as I’m paying for their diabetes medication.

    • Interesting comment, would you be open to taxing unwed mothers for each child they have out of wedlock? Would you be willing to tax gay marriage and be OK with gay marraige? Because our tax dollars pay the way for unwed mothers and the healthcare of those children, and we pay for the aides patients currently laid up in the hospital I work in. Unless your free from all sin, then you too can be taxed in some form that you will not agree with.

      • I think you’d have a hard time assigning a cost for gay marraige, and taxing unwed mothers would be kind of pointless since most of them would have to pay their tax from their welfare check. I would be all for forced sterilization after the first child that the government has to pay for. If you want the government to pay for your health care you should be ready for them to tell you what to do. Right now we not only pay for them to have the baby we pay them to have the baby, and responsible people can hardly afford to have children because they have to pay for irresponsible people to have children.

        • You make good points, but it’s not the government paying the bill, it’s the taxpayers. The government has made this decision, of which I am against. Actually I want welfare to end entirely, period. As far as gay marriage, I think 5K a year would be appropriate, that is if I were to support any sin taxes, which I don’t. Taxes should be equally distributed, irregardless of reason. I pay for my childs healthcare, in full, with no tax money, why then should I, as a smoker, pay for a childs healthcare that I am not responsible for bringing into this world?

        • Funny…in a while we will be like China and will be limited to the amount of children we have. WAKE UP!

    • I pay for schools but have no children in school. I use the private system myself. I pay for roads I never travel. I pay to have computers and internet put into schools evertime I use my telephone. soo…?

      Smokers die sooner and more quickly than alzhiemers patients. Fat people suck more resources in fuel costs. Stupid people screw stuf up that needs to be fixed, black people don’t need so much sun block and I burn like crazy …SO WHAT!

      The same government that you say implements seat belt laws is ok with you? , but when some one presents the flawed argument of smokers healthcare and you bite hook line and sinker? Dude…how many brain dead or less than dead, types suck much health care costs because they were wearing a seatbelt, where as had they been unbuckled they would be dead, costing not much more than the price of a cardboard box and enough natural gas to burn them down to ashes and teeth. That argument is flawed.

      Keep allowing government to pit you against a fellow, by in to that system and strengthen the government by it, you will find some day, the government rallying your fellow against you in some great moral crusade.

      • by the way, were I to “buy” a better OS i wouldn’t be forced to wear the badge “idiot” because I type quickly and slip in a by instead of buy. Danm.

    • If you abide by a government telling your neighbor how to act, then you have agreed to that same government telling you what behavior is acceptable.

      • Galileo says:

        Good point. I agree the tobacco tax is not fair. The smokers on this blog and others like them have my sympathy, but I don’t feel sorry for the smoker on the government dole. To them I say ” pay up or quit.” If you live in your parent’s house they tell you what to do.

      • SFC Dick says:

        Life of illusion, good person ( I wish your handle was more gender specific so i could use “good Sir, or Lady)
        I do not abide by the Government telling my neighbor how to act, even remote as they are; my neighbors and I have bonds of shared work, common interests and enjoyed each other’s charity. We abide by the natural order of common decency and earned respect. I would never deign to dictate that my neighbor bear the yoke of repression so that I might gain, even if the gain is merely feeling that some wrong has been righted.

  29. SFC Dick says:

    I chat with my old buddy Benji, ( don’t you call him Benji, you’d better call him Sergeant First Class) and I said “ya know, we are not where we are needed. Screw Afghanistan, advisors are needed back home, I like the soviet modle. We will have advisor teams dropped across the U.S, the teams will consist of a handfull of combat advisors and include 1 political advisor. The political advisor will teach the constitution as written. That’s it. then we wll let the locals decide how to further use us, if use us at all’.

  30. Today this tobacco tax goes into effect. And I find it interesting that this is happening on April Fool’s day.

    They have managed to fool America into believing that putting an exorbitant tax on tobacco will be good for our nation. It won’t in the long run. Instead it will cause some otherwise law abiding citizens to find ways to buy cheaper smokes and will create a black market in tobacco and cigarette smuggling from Mexico.

    They have fooled most people into thinking that this will fund SCHIP. It won’t do that for long either. Studies have shown that by 2017 they will need 22.4 million new smokers to continue to fund SCHIP. So either they will have to advertise more aggressively to our teens or find another minority population to tax.

    This whole thing is a joke! But sadly the joke is on us smokers and everyone else who has been convinced that this tobacco tax is a good thing.

    • esomhillgazette says:

      What’s ironic is that Obama is a smoker himself. I guess His Cigs must be bought by the Dem. Party or maybe he uses the White House Petty Cash. Or maybe…..our taxmoney?

  31. We wondered how long before the government takes over the tobacco industry….not long, already in the works:

    Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (H.R. 1108)

    http://www.kcci.com/health/19070390/detail.html?treets=des&tid=2651514762813&tml=des_8pm&tmi=des_8pm_1_08000104012009&ts=H

  32. Peter in Indianapolis says:

    The main thing here is that cigarettes are LEGAL. If cigarettes and other tobacco products are so absolutely horrible, why not just make them illegal?

    Wait… if we made them illegal, we would eliminate one of the largest cash-cows the government currently has at its disposal!

    Tobacco taxes disproportionately affect the poor. Alcohol taxes disproportionately affect the poor. Energy taxes disproportionately affect the poor. These are all things that Obama either has or soon will raise the taxes on.

    Don’t even get me started on government-run lotteries… all those amount to is VOLUTNTARY SELF-TAXATION OF THE POOR. It is probably not as far-fetched as you would all believe that Obama would eventually Nationalize all lotteries and perhaps even Nationalize the companies that run gambling institutions.

  33. Thank you for this article of your opinions. Everything you stated I have been trying to explain to people. When that 20% of people stop smoking, where will that $3.3m come from to pay for Universal Kid Healthcare. FDA has control of the manufacturing and marketing of these products so there will be no introduction of New Smokers. People aren’t thinking about states that relay on the production of Tobacco or the jobs that will be lost due to the decline in sales. Those that don’t smoke just say…they need to stop smoking anyways. This shit is so wrong! Obesity is next is what I argue too.

    A short list of what is happening and know one seems to care.
    Unprecedented government control over the auto industry-17 billion given in BAILOUT FUNDS
    •Rick Wagnor fired
    •Advised GM they have 60 days. They either renegotiate contracts or will have to file bankruptcy.
    •Government tells Americans not to worry because they “the government” will back the warranty. They also plan to provide vouchers in the amount of $3500 to trade in there car for a newer model.
    •Government told Chrysler that they have 30 days. They can merge with the Italian car maker Fiat or file bankruptcy
    •3 million jobs will be lost

    Unprecedented government control over the financial industry

    FDA has the authority to regulate tobacco products
    •Authority to regulate the manufacture and marketing of tobacco products.

    Vocabulary change
    •Global Terrorism is out Overseas Contingency Operation is in
    •Out with the word Terror or Terrorism in with Man-caused disasters
    •Global warming to climate change or climate catastrophe.

    Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009 or HR-875

    Georgia Power-implementing programs that controls the usage of your electricity
    •Introducing Power Credit – a program designed to control the amount of power used by your home’s air conditioner. It works like this: we install a switch on the outside of your home that is connected to your air conditioner. When the demand for electricity peaks in the summer (weekdays between noon and 7 p.m.), we send a signal to the switch to reduce the length of time your air conditioner runs. The change to your home’s temperature is minimal and there’s no cost.

    Carbon Emission Tax or Pollution Tax

    WAKE UP AMERICA!
    I plan on writing every politician. I am going to find out how to get my message to the White House as well. I am going to create a standard letter and begin sending it to as many politicians as I can. I am sure I will eventually be put on a terrorism list because of my out-spokenness but I rather stand for something instead of falling for anything. I don’t want my child to be enslaved into a system that we all thought was for the good of America. I don’t know how deep you are into this but I just want to share some things with you that I have uncovered.

    Do a few Google searches: Concentration camps in the United States, REX 84, Real ID Cards, Human Micro-chips or (RFID), Operation Trojan Horse: Martial Law, Bohemian Grove, FEMA-The Secret Government, Directive 51, The New World Order, International Emergency Economic Powers Act…just to name a few.

    Executive Order 10990-allows the gov’t to take over all modes of transportation and control highways and seaports Executive Order 10995-allows the gov’t to seize and control media
    Executive Order 10997-allows gov’t to take over all electrical power, gas, petroleum, fuels and minerals
    Executive Order 10998-allows gov’t to take over all food resources and farms
    Executive Order 11000-allows the gov’t to mobilize civilians into work brigades under gov’t supervision
    Executive Order 11001-allows the gov’t to take over health, education, and welfare functions
    Executive Order 11002-designate the postmaster general to operate a national registration of all persons
    Executive Order 11003-allows gov’t to take over all airports and aircraft including commercial aircraft
    Executive Order 11004-allows the housing and finance authority to relocate communities, build new housing with public funds, designate areas to be abandoned, and establish new locations for populations
    Executive Order 11005-allows the gov’t to take over railroads, inland waterways and public storage facilities
    Executive Order 11049-assigns emergency preparedness function to federal departments and agencies, consolidating 21 operative Executive orders issued over the past 15 years.
    Executive Order 11921-allows the federal emergency preparedness agency to develop plans to establish control over the mechanisms of production and distributions of energy sources, wages, salaries, credit and the flow of money in the US financial institutions in any undefined national emergency. It also provides that when a state of emergency is declared by the president, congress cannot review the action for 6 months by law.

    You AWAKE YET???!!!

  34. CanadianFox says:

    It has been a while since I blogged and I had quite a few replies to my first one. Nobody scared me off, i just have gotten busy with my job and life – which is good. What I noticed from my first blog is that many of you who blog here want to slice, dice and debate from a purely academic or theoretical standpoint. I probably won’t be a good “playmate” for you all because I believe in the real world and what common sense and actions get you. Now on the subject of tobacco let me tell this. I lived in Canada for a number of years and as you all know they have a nationalized health care system. Now since they and their fellow taxpayers are paying the bill there, you go ask them about tobacco and its cost to society. And since most of us in this country cannot afford decent health insurance on our own why would it surprise you, that as our gov’t gets more involved to help us, they would not approach it in the same manner as our neighbors to the north? And in case you do not know it, tobacco is very heavily taxed there. They were also the first to eliminate smoking in public places which was the best thing that ever happened in our social world. Also, my wife happens to be not only the director of surgery but also of oncology in one of our local hospitals. You talk to her about the cost of tobacco and try to justify its sale or use. Again, whenever I blog here I will never debate the “literal interpretation” of a document, theory, concept etc. that is “rooted in the past”. I want to talk about and debate real life, the statistics that support those things. I want to talk about the present and future, not the “theoretical interpretation” of what our forefathers thought in a world that was vastly different than our current one. You can only learn so much from the past You can win “debates on paper” all you want – but if it doesn’t help solve today’s problems or help shape a future vision – then what real good have any of us accomplished?

  35. birgel1968 says:

    Do we still live in the USA? Do you think it will end here? NO it will not. Ever tried to get help from the government? We will not have rights!! THAT’S WHY WE HAVE GUN’S TO HAVE RIGHT’S

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