Greatest Hits- High Cigarette Taxes Backfire Once Again: Illinois Latest State to Collide with Reality


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High Cigarette Taxes Backfire Once Again: Illinois Latest State to Collide with Reality– Once again, cigarette taxes fail, but that won’t stop regressives from proposing them!

Who would have thought that higher cigarette taxes would reduce tax revenue?  Well, anyone with a brain would have predictecd that, so I guess that’s why regressives went and did it anyway.  Hot Air has the details…

With some time having passed to let the cash cow fatten, we should check back in and see what the fine citizens of the Land of Lincoln are doing with their new found largesse. I do hope they’re not all getting fat and lazy now that all of the state’s fiscal problems have been solved. Ahhh… happy days.

When Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill adding another dollar a pack to the state’s cigarette tax, law enforcement leaders knew they had their hands full.

John Chambers, head investigator for the Illinois Department of Revenue, says cigarette smuggling now rivals illegal drug smuggling, and street gangs are getting involved.

“Keep in mind this is very similar to drug activity, smuggling drugs, and there could be concealed compartments, false floors in the bed of a truck, much like drugs, all packed with cigarettes,” Chambers said.

In Cook County, the tax on smokes is now $4.66 a pack. In Indiana it’s $0.995. Missouri checks in at $0.17. Who could possibly have seen this coming?

In a recent study, University of Illinois at Chicago professor David Merriman found 75 percent of cigarettes in Chicago didn’t have the proper tax stamps. He says the most recent increase will likely have a big impact along state lines.

“For the ordinary everyday smoker, many of them have already found ways to avoid the tax. I think it’s going to be a much bigger issue in areas where the state border makes it a big difference,” Merriman said.

A clerk at a tobacco shop in Hammond, Ind., less than a mile from the state line, says business has doubled since the latest increase began at the end of June.

How many times does this have to happen before the regressives see that it doesn’t work?  This humble blogger has been covering this type of thing since 2009.  Like this…

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.

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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.”

 And here…

Apparently, raising taxes on tobacco products is falling out of favor with state governments…

According to Patrick Gleason, director of state affairs for the conservative Americans for Tax Reform, tobacco has not been the revenue boon states that have increased cigarette taxes had hoped.

“The lack of interest in raising tobacco taxes this year can be attributed to the fact that tobacco taxes have indisputably proven to be a dubious and declining source of revenue,” Gleason told TheDC. “From 2003-2007, 16 of 59 tobacco tax hikes fell short of revenue projections.”

Here in Washington D.C., for example, the city’s 2009 $0.50 tax hike resulted in a severe drop in expected revenue. In 2010, the District of Columbia’s chief financial officer Natwar Gandhi reported to the mayor that the projected government intake was over $15 million below what they had initially estimated.

Gleason pointed out that for revenue, cigarette taxes are proving to be a loser.

“New Jersey raised its cigarette tax by 17.5 cents in 2007, yielding $52 million less than Garden State lawmakers anticipated and $22 million less than was generated prior to that tax hike,” Gleason told TheDC. “Over the past decade it has become clear that tobacco taxes are an unreliable source of revenue and one in which no budget should depend on.”

And here…

  For the latest, NY State is lamenting the fact that their cigarette tax revenue is far below expectations…

The Empire State is struggling to bring in additional tax revenue it projected it would gain from efforts to stop smokers from buying untaxed  cigarettes on Indian Reservations, reports the New York Post:

The state’s tax collectors were recently calling around to convenience-store owners, wondering what was up. The $130 million in extra tax that Albany was expecting from a change in the law about cigarette sales on Indian reservations wasn’t happening.

A memo sent to members of the New York Association of Convenience Stores from the group’s president, Jim Calvin — a copy of which I have on my desk — said, “I got a call from Gov. Cuomo’s budget office yesterday. In examining cigarette tax receipts so far this fiscal year (April 1 to March 31) it looks like they will fall considerably short of their projection in new revenues. . . .”

The state had hoped to get the extra dough by enforcing a new law that made it illegal for licensed cigarette wholesalers in the state to sell untaxed name-brand cigarettes like Newport and Marlboro to Indian reservations.

Seriously, how many more times does this have to happen before the regressives get it?  They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again, and expecting a different result.  Apparently, regressives are the craziest folks on Earth, as they are the energizer bunnies of taxation.   Unfortunately, they are continuing to raise taxes of all sorts, and it’s only going to hurt people, or turn them into criminals.

When regressive propose and implement a policy, and it fails, not only is someone else to blame, the solution to the failure is to do more if it!


Things that You Need an ID to do, But Voter ID is Racist!


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It seems that people get through life just fine with needing an ID to access products of government services.  However, to vote?  Why sir, that’s racist!

The Washington Examiner compiles 24 things that you must have an ID to purchase, I don’t hear much from liberals about how any of these things are racist. When it comes to protecting the integrity of what keeps America from turning into a dictatorship, showing an ID is definitely racist.

Mind Boggling.

Below are just some of the examples of things you need to prove your identity for:

1. Alcohol


2. Cigarettes


3. Opening a bank account


4. Apply for food stamps


5. Apply for welfare


6. Apply for Medicaid/Social Security


7. Apply for unemployment or a job


8. Rent/buy a house, apply for a mortgage


9. Drive/buy/rent a car


10. Get on an airplane


11. Get married


12. Purchase a gun


13. Adopt a pet

 There are a lot more over at The Young Conservatives, so get on over there!


Cigarette Taxes Create More Failure? NY and Chicago Suffer From Liberalism


It’s common sense, really.  If you tax something highly, human nature dictates that people will go out of their way to avoid the tax.  Liberals, however, seems to have missed that, because they continue to tax and tax.  Then, they are completely shocked and surprised when people do what they have always done.  Hot Air has the latest…

First, my own home stomping grounds of New York, which has been seeking a way to stave off total fiscal collapse by jacking up one of the highest tobacco tax rates in the nation. How’s that working out for ya?

ALBANY – Chronic cigarette-tax evasion continues to cost New York State at least $1.7 billion a year in tax revenue and 6,700 jobs, according to a new report from the New York Association of Convenience Stores (NYACS).

Commissioned by NYACS, the economic study by John Dunham & Associates determined that in 2011, one of every two packs of cigarettes consumed in New York State escapes collection of New York State taxes. “This is further proof that New York, which has the highest cigarette excise tax in the nation, continues to suffer the corrosive economic and fiscal effects of the worst cigarette tax evasion in the nation,” said NYACS President James Calvin in a press release.

Their study finds that nearly half of the packs of smokes purchased in New York were “from other states, Indian reservations, duty-free shops, and military bases.” And that doesn’t take into account the number of smokers who are choosing to do their shopping with black market bootleggers who are increasingly prevalent in sections of the state which are further from the border.

Lol, this has been reported for years.  I think I did my first post on cigarette taxes in NY in 2009.  But, in response to their failure, the liberals keep going and going -reality be damned.

Apparently, Chicago is also seeing the problem…

But that’s just New York. We’re kind of weird out here anyway, right? So maybe this case is just an outlier. I’m sure things are working out much better in Chicago, where Illinois is quickly moving to catch New York in the smoke tax category. The money surely must be rolling in by now.

CHICAGO (CBS) – Cook County investigators have been raiding stores across the county that have been breaking the law, and ripping off taxpayers of millions of dollars, by selling cigarettes without proper taxes…

About 800 raids take place each month.

“Roughly a quarter of them result in confiscations,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said.

“In the last fiscal year, it was a loss of $6 million,” she added. “$6 million would make a great deal of difference to our healthcare system, or to our criminal justice system.”

Chicago has at least found a way to make up some of the loss, giving credit where credit is due. To date they have managed to issue more than $1.3M in fines, largely against small retail outlets who sell cigarettes. So they’ve got that going for them I guess. And hey… they’re creating jobs, too.

Lol, when will they ever learn?  If you want something to go away, or go underground, tax it.  In pretty much every state where a cigarette tax has been pushed to the limit, revenues have not met projections, and in some cases, they have dropped in total.

The solution is really simple.  If the government reduces the tax, people will no longer have the incentive to avoid it, and revenues will increase.  But, the liberals will never see that.  It’s reality, and that really doesn’t “compute” to the liberal mind, so the taxes will continue to grow.  More people will be made criminals, and will not only revenues decrease, but the liberals then expend a freakton of resources on enforcing the taxes, to the detriment of other activities in the public interest,


Will the Transportation Bill Kill Roll Your Own Cigarettes?


Thanks to a tiny amendment buried in the Transportation bill, businesses that have machines to roll cigarettes will be forced to close, and lay off their workers.  America’s Watchtower has more…

Buried deep in the transportation bill was an amendment which was added to the legislation which will change the definition of cigarette manufacturers to include those who own and operate roll your own cigarette machines, effectively shutting down these small businesses all across the country.

For those who do not know: Loose tobacco is taxed at a much lower rate than cigars and cigarettes and because of this many people have opted to save money by rolling their own cigarettes and this led to a boom in the roll your own cigarettes business. Entrepreneurs went into business for themselves by purchasing rolling machines which afforded smokers with the opportunity to roll many cigarettes in minutes while paying half the price for name brand cigarettes.

This is how it works; you go to a small business that has a rolling machine for cigarettes.  You select the blend of tobacco that you want, and the type of tubes, and the operator puts the ingredients in the machine.  In a few minutes, you have a carton of cigarettes-for less than half the price of brand name manufactured cigarettes.  Considering the taxes that have been put on cigarettes, these businesses have done quite well.

Bunkerville has more…

A tiny amendment buried in the federal transportation bill to be signed today by President Barack Obama will put operators of roll-your-own cigarette operations in Las Vegas and nationwide out of business at midnight.

“It saves me time and money, and in the end I feel better because I don’t get all of the chemicals that the other cigarettes have,” Bawden said. “With the brand-name cigarettes, we pay for the chemicals and the name, and I don’t want any of that, so I don’t even know what I’ll do when the shop closes down.”

Robert Weissen, with his brothers and other partners, own nine Sin City Cigarette Factory locations in Southern Nevada, including six in Las Vegas, and one in Hawaii. He said when the bill is signed their only choice is to turn off their 20 RYO Filling Station machines and lay off more than 40 employees. Dont you love Obama and his job creation?

So, this story has it all, intrusive government that causes people to lose their jobs, and closes businesses, with a heaping helping of crony capitalism.

From what I have been able to determine, this bill will not affect people’s ability to buy the ingredients and make their own cigarettes at home. It seems to  only impact the machines that can churn out hundreds of cigarettes in just a few minutes.  I guess we can’t let the government go without taxes, big tobacco to not have the business, or people to have the jobs, can we?


Chuck Schumer Channels Nazi Germany, Goes After Americans Attempting to Escape Taxes


We’ve talked about taxes quite a bit here.  We covered that when Maryland passed a special tax on millionaires, one third of their millionaires disappeared, and the state ended up losing money.  When NY passed oppressive cigarette taxes, New Yorkers found ways to evade it, and the state missed their income projections by several country miles.  And, we covered that the early 90’s luxury tax cost tens of thousands of jobs, and then the government ended up paying more for unemployment benefits than they collected in revenue.  In short, tax increases kill jobs, and result in the creation of new and different means to evade them.

I’ve often joked that the liberals will eventually want to “build a wall” to keep people from escaping their “paradise.”  Apparently, Chuck Schumer (Douchenozzle, NY) has taken this a bit too seriously, and has proposed legislation to create a “tax wall,” of sorts.  God Father Politics has some more…

For centuries, millions of Europeans came to the United States to escape the oppression of tyrannical regimes. Others came for expanded economic opportunities. With the rise of Nazism in Germany, many Jews saw the handwriting on the wall and got out with their possessions before it became illegal to do so. Most didn’t. Gary North’s comments put a fine edge on the point:

The hypothetical Jewish family in question should have done a lot more than sew gold coins into their clothes in 1939. The head of the household should have sold his house and his business. He should have transferred all of the family’s assets to Switzerland, England, or the United States. Then he should have directed the family to pack their bags and follow their money. After August 31, 1939, this became illegal. World War II broke out.

Sen. Chuck Schumer and some of his fellow Democrats want a new law placed on the books. It’s called “Ex-PATRIOT”: “Expatriation Prevention by Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy.” The proposed law is in reaction to Eduardo Saverin’s decision to renounce his American citizenship which Democrats like Schumer believe is a “scheme” to “help him duck up to $67 million in taxes.”

So then, Mr. Saverin wants to escape taxes in the era of Obama’s class warfare.  Then, just as he’s about to get away, Schumer wants to consfiscate his wealth, just like the Nazis did with the Jews.

Isn’t it funny, in a tragic, history-is repeating-itself kind of way?  The administration, as well as OWS, creates the class warfare to vilify people that create wealth-just like the Nazi’s did with the Jews.  Then, Schumer proposes legislation to does just what the Nazi’s did to the Jews.  Once again, we see that the 30’s are being repeated before our eyes.

And, then again, OWS doesn’t like Jews either.

Linked at Doug Ross.  Thanks! 


New York Cigarette Tax Fails to Bring in Projected Revenues: Anyone Surprised?


One thing that statists miss is that taxes change human behavior.  When something is taxed to the extent that it becomes less affordable, people will either stop using the taxed item, use less of the taxed item, or obtain the item by other means.  For the latest, NY State is lamenting the fact that their cigarette tax revenue is far below expectations…

The Empire State is struggling to bring in additional tax revenue it projected it would gain from efforts to stop smokers from buying untaxed  cigarettes on Indian Reservations, reports the New York Post:

The state’s tax collectors were recently calling around to convenience-store owners, wondering what was up. The $130 million in extra tax that Albany was expecting from a change in the law about cigarette sales on Indian reservations wasn’t happening.

A memo sent to members of the New York Association of Convenience Stores from the group’s president, Jim Calvin — a copy of which I have on my desk — said, “I got a call from Gov. Cuomo’s budget office yesterday. In examining cigarette tax receipts so far this fiscal year (April 1 to March 31) it looks like they will fall considerably short of their projection in new revenues. . . .”

The state had hoped to get the extra dough by enforcing a new law that made it illegal for licensed cigarette wholesalers in the state to sell untaxed name-brand cigarettes like Newport and Marlboro to Indian reservations.

We’ve covered it many times before.

When something is taxed, people lose jobs…

Note that all of these articles are take from different times during the existence of this tax, which was later repealed, but the damage was already done.

According to a survey of the largest boat dealers in Connecticut, conducted by the Marine Retailers Association of America (MRAA), sales of boats costing $100,000 or more have fallen 93 percent, from $7.879 million in 1990 to $ 545,000 for the same period this year. Nationwide, more than 19,000 people have been put out of work at boat making plants.


In fact, something similar happens when you tax people…

The source is found here.

Here’s a two-minute drill in soak-the-rich economics:

Maryland couldn’t balance its budget last year, so the state tried to close the shortfall by fleecing the wealthy. Politicians in Annapolis created a millionaire tax bracket, raising the top marginal income-tax rate to 6.25%. And because cities such as Baltimore and Bethesda also impose income taxes, the state-local tax rate can go as high as 9.45%. Governor Martin O’Malley, a dedicated class warrior, declared that these richest 0.3% of filers were “willing and able to pay their fair share.” The Baltimore Sun predicted the rich would “grin and bear it.”

One year later, nobody’s grinning. One-third of the millionaires have disappeared from Maryland tax rolls. In 2008 roughly 3,000 million-dollar income tax returns were filed by the end of April. This year there were 2,000, which the state comptroller’s office concedes is a “substantial decline.” On those missing returns, the government collects 6.25% of nothing. Instead of the state coffers gaining the extra $106 million the politicians predicted, millionaires paid $100 million less in taxes than they did last year — even at higher rates.

Way to go Maryland!  Yet another example of higher taxes yielding smaller returns!   How many jobs went out with them, I wonder?

So, you can tax products, or people, and there are always negative consequences.  But, that doesn’t go along with the class warfare narrative, so I guess we won’t be seeing anything like this in the MSM, will we?


Wisconsin Leftists Caught Giving Cigarettes to Minors in Exchange for Recall Election Signatures


Occupy Milwaukee must be real proud.  Unnamed individuals were caught on video giving out cigarettes in exchange for signatures on recall election petitions.  Here is the video, via Gateway Pundit.

Pay special attention to the stills at the end of the video.

Jim Hoft has some more background on the video…

This video and pictures were collected on the corner of 7th and North Ave. in Milwaukee during the “Occupy Milwaukee” protest/takeover of the bridge. These appear to be children under the age of 18. They were also given cigarettes in exchange for their signatures. They were asked if it would be OK to contact them to enlist their help in getting signatures from their friends.

Giving cigarettes to minors?  Illegal?

Minors signing recall petitions?  Illegal?

Giving a person something in exchange for a signature?  Illegal?

Then again, Milwaukee was made famouse for the “Smokes for Votes” fraud back in 2000…

Cigarette ‘Bribe’ Prompts Call For Criminal Charges State Election Board Will Also Receive Complaint MILWAUKEE, Updated 3:49 p.m. EST November 6, 2000 — Republican Wisconsin state Rep. Scott Walker has asked the Milwaukee County District Attorney to review whether criminal charges should be filed after Milwaukee’s WISN 12 News found Al Gore campaigners giving cigarettes to absentee voters outside of City Hall Saturday. WISN 12 News caught volunteers for Vice President Gore’s campaign giving packs of cigarettes to homeless voters whom they had transported to cast absentee ballots. “Anything that gets something of value, be it a $20 bill on the street out here, or a pack of cigarettes, we think is wrong,” Walker said. “The trading off of anything, something of worth, in exchange for someone’s vote — not only is it ethically questionable, we believe it’s a violation of the law.” Volunteers were visiting area shelters Saturday, offering rides to City Hall where homeless citizens could vote by absentee ballot. “We’ve been pretty busy, going to the shelters,” campaign volunteer Connie Milstein said. Milstein volunteers for the Gore campaign in New York and came to Milwaukee to help get out the vote. The volunteers then distributed cigarettes to voters outside City Hall.

Once again, when one observes the left, patterns of behavior emerge.  Their playbook is, in all reality, rather thin.  Yes, mobs of screaming useful idiots, scheming organizers, rampaging union thugs, stealthy rapists, and drug dealers do seem intimidating, but in terms of creativity, they pretty much come up short.  Once they run out of Alinsky, they’re dumbfounded.


Sunday Links: Banned Commercial Edition


Sorry that my rounds and posting has not been up to my normal standards lately, but family stuff, plus a lingering GI virus, in combination with the sudden and sad loss of Ken, I’ve been a bit occupied.  Hopefully, with the start of a new week, and finally getting the Christmas decorations up, I can get back to a semblance of “business as usual.”

As for the theme, it is a case of; “I was looking for one thing but found something else instead.”  I started looking for interesting Christmas commercials, but as I did, I saw some even more interesting ones.  These are all banned, and they do show how much we have changed over the last few decades.  So, enjoy the videos, and click  the links.

Note: If you have some words about the passing of our contributor, Ken Minor, kindly leave them at his site, as I think his family will appreciate them.

Wyblog is covering some real “bi-partisanship” from a certain NJ Senator. He also has a moonbat troll.

Angel is covering the possible/probable arson in Israel.

Trestin is covering the Gadsden Plate.

Totus wants the TSA, “Off my junk.”

The TrogloPundit has some great Goracle demotivators.

The Political Commentator is discussing derivatives.

The Other McCain has a legal defense fund. He’ll win, in any event, but you know what to do. He’s also covering the “Unexpected” unemployment, as well as the Helen Thomas “Zionist Overlords,” comment. I take it that her SS uniform was at the cleaners.

The Current is extolling the virtues of the Daily Gut.

TCOTS has the Godfather House news, as well as exposing that not all GOP grassroots are really grassroots.

The Conservative Lady has a post on the Start Treaty.

The Augur has a post on gridlock, and why it is good!

After last months election, President Obama warned Republicans that they had better be ready to play ball and work with him.  “The American people were not issuing a mandate for gridlock,”  he said.  I beg to differ.  I, for one, voted for that very thing.  Call it “gridlock,” “traffic jam,” “hyper-partisanship,” or “the Party of No,”  I voted to stop what the Democrats artfully refer to as “progress.”  If that means that Congress doesn’t pass a single law until 2012, I’m OK with that.  And I think that most people who voted Republican last month would agree with me. That is why, despite liberal cries of “Treason!,” I think the Senate Republicans’ pledge to vote against every single bill until the Bush tax cuts are extended is exactly the sort of hardball Americans are dying for.  It’s just a start, but, for once, it looks like Republicans are on the right track.

SpellChek has a “green snowplow,” as well as Chaplin, and the totally expected unexpected.

Rjjrdq has Dream Act hysterics.

Right Klik has “My Big Fat Homoerotic Christmas.” You just have to read it.

Randy has Manson, and something about a pardon. (Fixed-Since I messed up Randy’s link, here is another as well…) He also has MSNBC showing how they are the totally unbiased network that never makes it up as they go along!

Porcupine Rim has a post about the sad state of Sweden.

Nuke shows why we should all be shopping at Sears.

NoOneOfAnyImport discusses why the Dems hate cameras

No Sheeples Here has a post on a kick *ss weapon system.

Nice Deb has some videos.

Manhattan Infidel interviews Gandalf the White.

Lonely Conservative has discovered the way to keep ourselves in good, old fashioned, not mercury containing, incandescent light bulbs

Motor City Times has proof that governments cannot stimulate the economy, but the left doesn’t care about evidence.

Legal Insurrection has the horror of Anti-vegetarian hate.

King Shamus has a post on that magical “un” word.

Innominatus is covering the mosque issue in Oregon.

Karen has a great gun control video.

Fleece Me shows us why weddings must be planned on days not commemorated by Nazi atrocities.

Frugal Cafe Blogger has some Scrooged moments.

Fuzzy has a history lesson from the future.

MK skewers the TSA.

Conservatives on Fire contemplates the future of Hillary.

Harrison hates Christmas music, and he’ll tell you why.

Bunkerville is covering death panels by another name.

Atlas Shugs is telling us who is rejoicing over Jewish deaths.

Ol’ Broad has an example of evil.

Opus has cats playing patty cake.

The Classic Liberal has been on fire lately.  He has American Fascism,  and tells us who is paying for the Greek bailout.

The Robot has some fine Rule 5, and some interesting notes.

The Daley Gator counters blowhard Charles Blow with Rule 5. It worked!

The CH 2.0 Info Center has more Rule 5!

America’s Watchtower has the fact that the government is tracking people’s private information without warrants.

OK, let’s be out front here.  I’m not promoting smoking, and I’m not getting gold bars from big tobacco.  It is interesting though, on how the public  consensus has changed towards this legal product.

Have a good Sunday folks, and remind those close to you how you feel about them.