Thursday, April 2, 2009


Now that we're into April, taxes are just around the corner. I usually have mind done by late January, early February, but this year I have been dragging it because, like too many now a days, I just plain fear my tax bill. Turns out I won't owe, but just barely. This year will prove to be the highest tax liability and lowest return since 1985 when I gained all my income from independent contract work and owed because of self employment social security taxes. With the entire country in dire straits and government doing everything they can to squeeze every spare cent we have into their coffer so they can waste it or pay off their special interest groups, I thought I go over one of the taxes that has me scratching my head and why I think it's setting up down a slippery slope that we won't be able to get out of.

The federal government, as well as the state of California, have just raised the cigarette taxes beyond belief. Now for every carton of cigarettes, a dollar will go to the federal government, and, here in California, $3.00. Every state have their own regulations and taxes on such products, but this borders on complete extortion. $5.00 a pack here in California and $4.00 of that goes into government coffers and $1.00 to the cigarette company that makes a profit of about 10 cents. You tell we who makes the money with cigarettes. Don't get me wrong, I don't care for smoking or smokers in general. My ex girl friend before I met my current wife was one and she was by far one of the worse and most vile women I've ever known (why I stayed with her is for another blog, but the gist was because I thought I didn't deserve better). The government is using two arguments for this extorted policy and both are wrong.

The first, the one that seems to be selling, is that by making it so costly to consumers, people will be force by economic necessity to quit. If things were so simple. First, smokers are drug addicts. They're addicted to the nicotine. Remember all those hearing about the cigarette companies lying about how they thought cigarettes weren't additive? Well, we now know they were lying through their teeth. Worse, they not only knew, but made them even more addictive by adding more nicotine. So getting a smoker to quit is much akin as getting a heroin or crack user to quit. The addiction is just too strong and it can't be done without medical interventions that have the highest rate of success because they can treat the addiction. Desire alone will not be enough. From my experience with my smoker, they love their nicotine. More than their significant other, their children, even their own lives. Making it more expensive will not make them quit. They'll just give up other things, like food, than to give up their drug. They Democrats that promoted this are claiming to doing it for the little people to get them to quit just isn't going to hold water and will make things more punitive as they're giving up food, gas, or even rent to get those overpriced cigarettes. This argument is the same as trying to get heroin or crack user off by making the prices go up which we did during our defunct drug war. It only escalated the poverty of the user, not get them to quit and the same is going to happen here.

The other is that they're obligated to protect the public health and safety. Well, glad they know about this provision in the Constitution, but I just wish that they would take that more seriously because this excuse is far from the truth. They don't care about the health and safety of the smoker, they just want their money. As we already know, it's not going to get them to quit, so saying these tax increases are going to promote public health and so they're obligated to do so by taxing the crap out of it is spacious at best. The true meaning here is that they can pick on this group of our society and have the expectation that no significant outcry will result from it because most of us aren't smokers. Since it doesn't effect us, we won't care. That kind of thinking is extremely dangerous. If they can use this argument, then what's next? A tax on meat? Fast food? Cheese? A dog because he pissed in your yard? We already have one for gas. While we're at it, lets have taxes for not exercising, for exercising too much, up the alcohol tax (that one would get an outcry right now). Heck, they're not taxing the brothels in Nevada. You see, soon, they'll use this to promote any radical agenda and make it so that anyone opposing their ideology will just be tax out from their opposition and we must all conformed or be economically ruined. This the way socialist and tyrants work. Start small so the people don't noticed their freedoms are being taken away. Then you go for the big one when the people are too weak to resist. Smokers have been the cannon fodder for this economic warfare by the left and now we must rise up before they start coming after all of us piece by piece.

The other fact is as our government gets more tax revenue, they increase their spending by two fold for every dollar rise. We're already beyond bankrupt. We need to get our government to reverse their thinking. Reduce spending over trying to find new revenue. The current administration hasn't been in office for 3 months and already has triple the national debt. Giving them more money to throw at who knows what won't make our economic situation improve. In fact, the opposite is going to be true. After all, many of these taxes and programs are suppose to be temporary til we get out of the quagmire that we're in. However, nothing is more permanent in government than a temporary program. These programs will be here to stay, they will bankrupt us faster, and the temporary taxes will never go away, but will indeed go up. Don't believe it, just look at Social Security and Medical. They were designed to be a temporary shield during their time. SS started at 1% for the first $3,000.00 and Medicaid was .5% for the first $10,000. Now it's 6.6% for the first $85,000 and 1.5% for every dollar made indefinitely. BO wants to make SS go indefinitely as well and raise them 1 to 3%. So much for temporary relief. That means, no matter how much you make or how well you create jobs and provide for the welfare of your common man, the government will tax, if it goes by the max, 18% weather you're rich, poor or in between and that doesn't even include the income tax. With the cigarette tax now, it may became the biggest new revenue source in history if the sales by numbers stay the same in American history. Bigger than the largest tax increase by today dollars of the taxes in 1863 and we didn't have income taxes then. So remember, as the government gets so big that they take everything we own there are those that think having the government be able to give us everything we need is beneficial. Well, if they're able to give us everything we need, they also have the power to take everything we have as well.


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