Taxes

Smoke 'Em While You Can Afford 'Em

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Americans for Tax Reform is smokin' mad about a fresh congressional proposal to raise cigarette taxes by 61 cents per pack–a 156 percent increase, ATR says, and a direct blow to the working poor of the sort Obama swore he'd eschew.

The war on smoking on grounds other than cost is covered quite extensively here at Reason magazine and Reason.com.

NEXT: Are You Listening President Obama?: Miami Needs Waterslides! Akron Needs Decorative Fences! Salt Lake City Needs Bathrooms!

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  1. Hmmmmmmmmmmm . . . maybe I should start selling loosies.

  2. a fresh congressional proposal to raise cigarette taxes by 61 cents per pack–a 156 percent increase, ATR says, and a direct blow to the working poor of the sort Obama swore he’s eschew.

    That was a pretty asinine non sequitor.

  3. Dust off those grow lights…. I know a profitable crop when I see one…

  4. Ughhhhhh

  5. Hmmmmmmmmmmm . . . maybe I should start selling loosies
    ______________________________________________
    Good idea, until they ban selling loosies like they have here, something bout the kids as always, and drugs. they actually cracked down on blunt wraps for Christos sake. Smoking is a non goverment issue. it is a free choice. if people do not like it, then it will die. resturants and bars would be smoking or not based on the free market! The market corrects all, goverment screws all!

  6. Dust off those grow lights…. I know a profitable crop when I see one
    __________________________________________
    What dust, LOL a man needs meds don’t he, LOL

  7. Next, they should raise the gasoline tax by 150%. For starters.

  8. Like gasoline, to a not-unappreciable segment of consumers the demand for toboacco is relatively inelastic. Since taxes never go down on cigarettes this does have an effect on new consumers purchasing smokes, but penalizes the old croon smoking two packs a day.

    Such is life.

  9. That was a pretty asinine non sequitor.

    I don’t see how. From change.gov: (http://change.gov/agenda/taxes_agenda/)
    Under the Obama-Biden [Comprehensive] Plan: (my emphasis)
    Middle class families will see their taxes cut — and no family making less than $250,000 will see their taxes increase.

    Raising cigarette taxes (which I don’t necessarily oppose) is quite clearly raising taxes on (some) families making less than 250K.

    Now, it’s only technically a ‘flip-flop’ if he winds up signing such a bill.

  10. Now, it’s only technically a ‘flip-flop’ if he winds up signing such a bill.

    This is my point. Obama hasn’t said peep, didn’t propose this, isn’t, dare I say it, involved with the story at all.

    I get how it is important to get street cred right away beating on the new statist master of the universe, but I think it slightly obnoxious to bring someone up when they are not involved.

  11. From the CDC

    Among racial/ethnic groups, Asians (13.3%) and Hispanics (16.7%) had the lowest prevalence, and American Indians/Alaska Natives had the highest (40.8%). Current smoking prevalence also was higher among adults living below the poverty level* (32.9%) than among those at or above the poverty level (22.2%).

    Can you say regressive boys and girls? I know you can.

    I haven’t read the comments yet so am unsure if the paternalistic “it’s for their own good” soft racism comment has been made yet, but I’m confident it will be.

  12. El-
    You gotta admit we live in the times of the imperial presidency. Or are the left leaning folks start going to give some credit to the Republican congress for the mid 90’s economic growth?

  13. and a direct blow to the working poor of the sort Obama swore he’d eschew

    Reached for comment, Obama issued the following statement:

    “No, no, I was misquoted. What I actually said was let them use chew.”

    Media analysts immediately praised the brilliant clarification.

  14. This is my point. Obama hasn’t said peep, didn’t propose this, isn’t, dare I say it, involved with the story at all.

    Right, because Congressional Democrats would obviously never discuss their proposals with a Democratic President-Elect.

    LET NONE SPEAK ILL OF THE MESSIAH!!

  15. Are cigarette taxes high enough that they’ve created a black market secondary market yet? Note that I know little about smoking, the cigarette industry, etc.

  16. Seward,

    Not sure about a black market, but New York and the Seneca are arguing (NY wants money, natch)http://www.wivb.com/dpp/news/seneca_nation_vows_to_fight_law_20081215

    The Seneca win (for the moment) http://www.buffalonews.com/cityregion/story/532934.html

  17. Cigarettes, meh. What’s really got me torqued is that the S-CHIP cigar tax (53% up to $3.00 per cigar) vetoed by Bush will almost certainly be passed by Our New Masters.

  18. Are cigarette taxes high enough that they’ve created a black market secondary market yet? Note that I know little about smoking, the cigarette industry, etc.

    In NYC and other high cigarette tax jurisdictions, yes.

  19. If ever there were a post that needed Hit & Run’s stock photo of Obama with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, this one is it.

  20. LET NONE SPEAK ILL OF THE MESSIAH!!

    Speak ill of a man when he has done something wrong.

    You gotta admit we live in the times of the imperial presidency. Or are the left leaning folks start going to give some credit to the Republican congress for the mid 90’s economic growth?

    Some do, most don’t. Ideological blinders are not peculiar to any *particular* ideology.

  21. Are cigarette taxes high enough that they’ve created a black market secondary market yet? Note that I know little about smoking, the cigarette industry, etc.

    I’m pretty sure it would take quite a bit more tax pressure than this to create a real black market in the things, that is, more than the occasional Internet or interstate smuggling scheme to avoid *state* taxes. Tobacco, unlike marijuana, is a bitch to grow and only grows well in a narrow range of environmental conditions, so the suppliers are fairly easy to keep tabs on.

  22. They are even raising taxes on ’em in Virginia, which shoots a hole in my plan to truck them up 95 to NYC and make some cash.

  23. Obama did not even propose this, but it is a great idea. We need to take the profits away for BigTobacco.

  24. As a resident of Illinois, our state and county govt’s are always raising cig taxes. Cartons run around $60-70. Add on the new Fed tax and it just screams insanity. I purchse my smokes online from the Indian reservations and can get a carton for around $32. Been doing that for years so the greedy politicians won’t get my tax money. Sort of my payback for taxing smokes to the max. The other posters were right that maybe “Mother Natures” tobacco may be the best deal in town now. LOL

  25. Smoker,

    I generally disagree with people avoiding taxes, unless they are taxes for an immoral purpose like the Vietnam war or the war on drugs. Helping the Native Americans the way you do deserves praise.

  26. As a resident of Illinois, our state and county govt’s are always raising cig taxes. Cartons run around $60-70.
    ____________________________________________
    WOW! here in MS ya can get a carton of el cheapos (karnival from korea, not bad at all) for under 15.00 and camel etc runs 27-35 per carton! Guess I have no room to bitch about the cig taxes

  27. LurkerBold,

    “We need to take the profits away for BigTobacco.”

    Unfortunately, if the taxes are imposed on all companies equally, a very large portion of them will be passed on to the consumer — which in this case is disproportionately black and poor.

  28. Lester Hunt,

    Another reason to nationalize tobacco companies.

  29. Among racial/ethnic groups, Asians (13.3%) ….had the lowest prevalence

    I almost don’t believe it. How come I feel like Asians are heavy smokers? It must be the spent in casinos and on the golf course distorting my view. My neighborhood is 40% Korean, but it’s not like I’m going to many Korean neighbors’ homes for dinner.

    Which sucks, because bababim (however the hell you spell it) and BBQ are slamming.

  30. At some point (perhaps already) when the price cigs are sold at exceeds their real price by a certain amount, the black market will really take off — I would think through international mail order or perhaps smuggled from Canada and Mexico.
    Once that happens, tax revenue will seriously decline despite the higher taxes.

  31. Unfortunately, if the taxes are imposed on all companies equally, a very large portion of them will be passed on to the consumer — which in this case is disproportionately black and poor

    I don’t think these taxes will be imposed at the company level but instead will be imposed at the retail level.

    At least that is the way it works in Illinois.

  32. All this talk of the cost and tax burden are well and good, but when did we concede the point that it’s the Government’s responsibility to control our behavior?

    Oh well, as long as I get my stimulus check…

  33. Say Lurker, is there an industry you DON’T want nationalized?

  34. Libertarians should rejoice that nobody has proposed taxing stupid ideologies.

  35. holy god the troll load is getting unfuckingbearable.

  36. holy god the troll load is getting unfuckingbearable.

    Si

  37. “holy god the troll load is getting unfuckingbearable.”

    Surely not for you passionate advocates of free speech and defenders of the market place of ideas. The last thing you would want is for this forum to become an echo chamber of ideological conformity!

  38. We believe in the marketplace of ideas, the problem is that you’re devoid of ideas!

  39. ….and a direct blow to the working poor of the sort Obama swore he’d eschew.

    And you believed him? Sucks to be you, I guess.

    As a resident of Illinois, our state and county govt’s are always raising cig taxes. Cartons run around $60-70.
    ____________________________________________
    WOW! here in MS ya can get a carton of el cheapos (karnival from korea, not bad at all) for under 15.00 and camel etc runs 27-35 per carton! Guess I have no room to bitch about the cig taxes

    Which is why you have bootleggers running cigs.

  40. I think Smoker lives in Crook County. In the rest of the state, Marlboros go for $40 per carton, max.

  41. “Speak ill of a man when he has done something wrong.”

    THE MESSIAH CAN DO NO WRONG!!

    BURN, YOU HERETICS, BURN!!

  42. Holy crap! Has this become a branch of The Nation or something?

    On the black market question, I believe the spread between VA prices and Manhattan prices, mostly due to taxes, is enough to run smokes up there. Not sure if NC is cheaper enough to make the effort to get cartons there instead.

  43. Want to ramp up revenue and help the homeless? Put a deposit fee on bottled water. Ten cents’ll do. 1) Stunning revenue — anyone willing to pay for expensive bottled water won’t even notice the small surcharge, 2) homeless can collect the bottles, return them and make some good change for their efforts.

  44. Want to ramp up revenue and help the homeless? Put a deposit fee on bottled water. Ten cents’ll do. 1) Stunning revenue — anyone willing to pay for expensive bottled water won’t even notice the small surcharge, 2) homeless can collect the bottles, return them and make some good change for their efforts.

    In Detroit (Michigan has a 10 cent deposit on carbonated beverages) all beer and soda pop container litter is removed instantly at no cost to the taxpayer. Expanding that to bottled water, fruit punch, iced teas, etc would do just what anneftx* sats.

    I’m not saying I support bottle deposit laws (stores, especially small mom & pop types, hate them for obvious reasons), but I do notice what gets picked up by scavengers and what doesn’t.

    * No offense intended but anneftx is a crappy nom de guerre. Pseudonyms should be pronouncable IMHO.

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