Tax Hypocrisy, Smugglers Profit

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Hey Buddy, Wanna Buy A Smoke?
Hey Buddy, Wanna Buy A Smoke?

In our current PC society, there are few people as marginalized as the humble, hacking and wheezing smoker.  Vilified as  harbingers of death, these poor souls are now one of the most set upon populations.  With the recent tax increase passed by the messiah SPENDULUS MAXIMUS, they have even fewer reasons to be happy.

Now, as Jim Quinn so aptly states, “Liberalism achieves the exact opposite of it’s stated intent.”  Why say this?  Well, for several reasons. ..

Reason 1: The messiah SPENDULUS MAXIMUS breaks a campaign promise by rasing taxes on people that make less that $250,000 a year.  Most smokers are low income, and can least afford a tax hike in this economy.

Evidence, you ask?  Look here.

We mean the tax increase on smokers that is part of the new children’s health-care subsidy bill. To finance this $73 billion entitlement expansion over 10 years, the bill imposes an additional federal tax of 61 cents per cigarette pack, from 39 cents today. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, 96% of America’s 25 million smokers make less than $150,000 a year. The Tax Foundation estimates that 99% of the smokers who will pay the new tax make less than $250,000, which is the income below which President Obama promised would see no tax increase.

You mean the messiah SPENDULUS MAXIMUS lied?  You bet your a** he did!

But Wait, there’s more!

“No other federal tax hurts the poor more than the cigarette tax,” says the Tax Foundation. These are the same folks the Obama Administration wants to help by raising the amount of the earned-income tax credit, but wait. A 61-cent cigarette tax hike is the equivalent of a 25% cut in that tax credit for some low-income families. So the politicians give these families money with one hand and take it back with the other.

You mean that the messiah SPENDULUS MAXIMUS will take more in tax increases than he “gives” in his tax cut (that really isn’t a tax cut)?  YUP!!

Reason 2: Higher taxes don’t meet revenue targets.

This is explained well here:

Oh, and there’s another problem. The number of smokers keeps falling, but health-care costs keep rising. So paying for the biggest new health-care expansion in years with a declining revenue source is a guarantee of future red ink that will increase pressure for higher income taxes too. Just ask the politicians in Maryland, who doubled their cigarette tax two years ago to finance a new health-care program. That has led to 25% less tobacco revenue than expected because of declining sales, so the program is already in the red after its first year. But hey, it’s the thought that counts.

You mean that when taxes go up, revenue goes down?  Who would have thought of such a thing?  It seems that the libs never recoup what they say, and there is more red ink as a result.  After all, the only thing that is more enduring than say, the Egyptian Pyramids,  is a government program!

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Here’s even more:

In 2006, New Jersey raised its already high cigarette tax, thinking it would bring in an extra $30 million a year. It didn’t. Worse, it caused their actual collections to drop by more than $20 million. The tax increase threw the state’s budget off by $50 million, money that had to be made up by other taxpayers. This isn’t unique to the Garden State. Since 2003, there have been 57 cigarette tax increases across the country. In 37 (68 percent) of those cases revenues failed to meet projections.

Tax increases fail to meet expectations?  HAHAHAHAHAHA!  When are the libs EVER going to figure out that higher taxes messes with revenue?  Now, dear reader, the government suggests that many people quit smoking due to high taxes.  This is true, myself being in that category.  But there is another reason as well.

Honest Officer, I have No Idea How Those Got in There!
Honest Officer, I have No Idea How Those Got in There!

Reason 3: PEOPLE AVOID TAXES YOU IDIOTS (LIBS)!!!   Native Americans are exempt from cig taxes.  Guess what?  People go to them and buy their smokes!  That seems simple enough, but as usual, there is more here.

The tax hike, the first in six years, is expected to earn the state between $200 million and $300 million. A pack of premium cigarettes in New York City now costs $7 or $8; prices would rise to above $9. Opponents of the tax increase argue that higher prices would drive smokers to seek ways to evade the law and purchase cheaper cigarettes from smugglers or in neighboring states, blunting potential revenue gains for the state. “It’s a black market gold mine,” a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, E.J. McMahon, said of the proposed tax. “You have to invest resources in scores of attorneys, cops, and auditors, who are all part of the tax enforcement you need.”

“By raising cigarette taxes you help fund the mob,” the president of Americans for Tax Reform, Grover Norquist, said. “Cigarettes are easier than liquor, as they’re lighter and smaller per container. It leads to smuggling and smuggling is done best by organized crime.”

And there’s even more…

Mr. Norquist said New York’s proximity to states with lower taxes would lead smokers to cross the border to buy cigarettes, reducing tax revenue below state projections.

New York has seen significant increases in its cigarette tax rates before. In 2002, New York City’s cigarette tax increased to $1.50 from $0.08, as part of an initiative by Mayor Bloomberg to encourage smokers to give up the habit. Although the taxes produced an increase in city and state revenue, some smokers took illegal measures to avoid paying the new tax, costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.

A 2007 report by the Independent Budget Office, a nonpartisan city agency that analyzes the city’s finances, found that 27% of city smokers and 34% of upstate smokers sometimes bought “under-taxed” cigarettes in 2006. These smokers avoided the tax by buying cigarettes from other states, ordering cigarettes over the Internet, and purchasing cigarettes at Indian reservations. The city lost an estimated $40 million in tax revenue as a result of cigarette tax evasion in 2006, according to the report.

“It encourages people not to be ripped off,” the founder of Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment, Audrey Silk, said of cigarette taxes. “Any consumer who’s so abused will look for ways to avoid it, making outlaws out of normally law-abiding citizens.”

Hmm.  Creating more criminals.  Isn’t that what many libs say about drug laws? Now, how much does it cost to reassign cops and DA’s to investigate and proscecute these newly minted criminals?  Millions more?  How many other crimes DON’T get investigated?  How many more cops and DA’s have to be hired?

Okily dokily, the libs pass new and oppressive taxes.  They gain less than projected revenues, causing budget shortfalls, leading to deficit spending, cuts to other programs,  and diversion of badly needed law enforcement resources.  Do they ever break even in the end?   Do they even care?

How ya likin’ that change?

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