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Old 04-10-2013, 10:29 PM  
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Obama calls for cigarette tax hike of 94 cents a pack

At least he's paying it too, I suppose.


Obama calls for cigarette tax hike of 94 cents a pack

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — President Obama’s call for a 94-cent-a-pack hike on federal cigarette taxes to fund early childhood education programs is controversial.

Anti-smoking groups applaud the proposal, but some tax experts and tobacco companies are against it.

The case for the tax. The tax is being presented as way to fund education and reduce smoking rates. It would raise roughly $78 billion over 10 years.
“The proposed tobacco tax increase would have substantial public health benefits, particularly for young Americans,” the president’s budget read. “Researchers have found that raising taxes on cigarettes significantly reduces consumption, with especially large effects on youth smoking.”

After a 62-cent-a-pack tax hike was passed in 2009, cigarette sales dropped by 10%, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

There’s also little doubt that fewer people smoking is a good thing for society. Costs related to smoking amount to $193 billion a year in both direct medical payments and lost productivity, according to a Centers for Disease Control study done during the early part of the last decade. Smoking kills about 443,000 people each year.

Passing the tax “would be a giant step toward winning the fight against tobacco, the nation’s number one cause of preventable death,” Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said in a statement.
Why it may be a bad idea. The biggest argument against the tax is that it will fund early childhood education on the backs of the poor. Not only is the tax not progressive – it does not go up the more money one makes — but a higher percent of smokers are middle or low income.

The median household income for a smoker in 2011 was $27,700 compared to $45,761 for nonsmokers, according to Reynolds American, a cigarette maker which is, unsurprisingly, against the tax.

Nearly half of all smokers had a household income of less than $25,000 a year. Meanwhile, under 15% of smokers had a household income over $75,000.
“The idea of increasing taxes on low- to middle-income Americans at this time is ludicrous,” Bryan Hatchell, a spokesman for Reynolds American, said in a statement. “The effect of the payroll tax increase this year, along with higher gas and food prices, have hit hard millions of Americans who are simply trying to keep their heads above water financially.”

Anti-smoking groups counter that the poor are especially vulnerable to smoking’s ill effects, as they often lack healthcare and are less prepared financially to deal with an illness.

Cigarette taxes across the nation. Many smokers already pay a high tax rate for cigarettes. The current federal tax rate is $1.01 a pack, but the taxes don’t stop there. So Obama is proposing an increase to $1.95 a pack.
Some states and municipalities have also used cigarette taxes as a cash cow for years. In New York City, the country’s highest-tax area, combined state and local taxes add up to $5.85 a pack, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. In Manhattan, a pack of cigarettes can cost $14, while at an airport duty free shop they can be as low as $3 or $4 a pack.

But the taxes are low in other states. In Missouri, state taxes are just 17 cents a pack. The average price of a pack of cigarettes nationwide is $6, with taxes making up $2.49 of that.

Some economists question how wise it is to fund what will presumably be a long term program — early childhood education — with revenue that will likely fall over time. About 20% of Americans smoke, a number that has dropped considerably over the past several decades. The tax itself is specifically designed to get people to stop buying cigarettes.

Others say that while the tax won’t be to much of a burden on the overall economy, it will hit smokers and those that work in the industry hard. They say the president could raise far more money by focusing on spending cuts.
“It’s excellent politics, but it doesn’t make good economics,” said William McBride, chief economist at the Tax Foundation, a think tank that advocates for lower taxes.

http://wqad.com/2013/04/10/obama-cal...-cents-a-pack/
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:33 PM   #151
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I was never for toll roads due to the massive inconvenience factor in the past... but today's toll roads in Texas kick all sorts of ass. The North Tarrant Express is a perfect example of what a toll road should be. (Assuming it all goes according to plan)
Depends on the toll road. North Dallas tollway ****ing sucks. G Bush turnpike is awesome. The one that is going in from Burleson/Cleburne (which is what I think you're talking about and is going to be named Chisholm Trail tollway or some shit) should be awesome for the people in Burleson/Cleburne. Right now it ****ing sucks for me because everything around me is torn up for the construction.
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:34 PM   #152
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I agree with you EXCEPT I take serious umbrage when the false argument is made that the tax is ok because it is supposed to defray these mythically higher economic burdens caused by smokers. At least be honest and say "we're taxing cigs because .. well... **** you, we're taxing cigs!" It is kind of ridiculous when you are looking at a tax that amounts to well over 100% of the cost of the item.
Yes absolute horseshit how much tax is on them, I'm so happy I quit when I did.
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:37 PM   #153
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I agree with you EXCEPT I take serious umbrage when the false argument is made that the tax is ok because it is supposed to defray these mythically higher economic burdens caused by smokers. At least be honest and say "we're taxing cigs because .. well... **** you, we're taxing cigs!" It is kind of ridiculous when you are looking at a tax that amounts to well over 100% of the cost of the item.
Sure, I agree with that. I'm not a big fan of it, tbh. Every time a new program is announced, the easiest thing to say is "and it'll be paid for with an xx% tax on tobacco."

That's not a very sustainable way to run programs. For one, what do you do when the rate of smoking falls to the point where it no longer sustains these programs.

Which isn't to say I'm not a fan of taxing smokers. But I'm not crazy about sustaining a program for poor children on the belief that enough people will keep smoking enough. I'm not completely against it though :P
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:38 PM   #154
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people will pay 5-8 bucks a pack to ruin their own health, another buck isn't going to matter.
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:40 PM   #155
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Depends on the toll road. North Dallas tollway ****ing sucks. G Bush turnpike is awesome. The one that is going in from Burleson/Cleburne (which is what I think you're talking about and is going to be named Chisholm Trail tollway or some shit) should be awesome for the people in Burleson/Cleburne. Right now it ****ing sucks for me because everything around me is torn up for the construction.
No, I'm talking about the one going in on 183/121 from (basically) 157 to I-35W. The existing highway gets a much needed update/expansion and the toll lanes go in the middle.

2 years left on it and right now the construction sucks. The one you mentioned is even worse on construction and kindof a road to nowhere right now... but should prove it's worth since that area is exploding in growth.
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:02 PM   #156
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No, I'm talking about the one going in on 183/121 from (basically) 157 to I-35W. The existing highway gets a much needed update/expansion and the toll lanes go in the middle.

2 years left on it and right now the construction sucks. The one you mentioned is even worse on construction and kindof a road to nowhere right now... but should prove it's worth since that area is exploding in growth.
Oh yea, they're calling that the DFW connector project. Not exactly sure which portions will have tolls and which won't (not even sure if that project will have them as it was a Fed grant to do it).

They just approved a project on 35W to build toll lanes in the middle and expand 35W.

Edit: Just looked it up, there will be tolls on 114. The DFW connector is a lot more than just 114. It covers I-820, 183, and 114.
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:07 PM   #157
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No, I'm talking about the one going in on 183/121 from (basically) 157 to I-35W. The existing highway gets a much needed update/expansion and the toll lanes go in the middle.

2 years left on it and right now the construction sucks. The one you mentioned is even worse on construction and kindof a road to nowhere right now... but should prove it's worth since that area is exploding in growth.
The Chisholm Trail toll road will be awesome for everyone south of 820/I20 and west of 35W. For those in Fort Worth proper, it's a giant ****ing headache.

And they are ahead of schedule on the DFW connector project.
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:07 PM   #158
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Oh yea, they're calling that the DFW connector project. Not exactly sure which portions will have tolls and which won't (not even sure if that project will have them as it was a Fed grant to do it).

They just approved a project on 35W to build toll lanes in the middle and expand 35W.
Ha, wrong again! The DFW Connector is north of there. It's 114 and 121.. that one will be done next year.

The one I'm talking about is here http://www.northtarrantexpress.com/Maps.asp
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:10 PM   #159
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Ha, wrong again! The DFW Connector is north of there. It's 114 and 121.. that one will be done next year.

The one I'm talking about is here http://www.northtarrantexpress.com/Maps.asp
Lol I looked it up before you posted this. I avoid that area like the plague. If something is outside of Loop 820, Loop 635, or more than 3 miles north of 30 and 1 mile south of 20 then it doesn't exist to me in DFW.
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:14 PM   #160
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Lol I looked it up before you posted this. I avoid that area like the plague. If something is outside of Loop 820, Loop 635, or more than 3 miles north of 30 and 1 mile south of 20 then it doesn't exist to me in DFW.
So, basically anywhere the rich white folk live? :P Honestly, it is mostly a suburban wasteland, not much reason to go there EXCEPT that the airport is right there and this will be a huge boon for people commuting from downtown FTW to the airport.
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:25 PM   #161
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So, basically anywhere the rich white folk live? :P Honestly, it is mostly a suburban wasteland, not much reason to go there EXCEPT that the airport is right there and this will be a huge boon for people commuting from downtown FTW to the airport.
Yes, DFW is the king of suburban sprawl. People tell me all the time that I should move the one of the countless identical suburbs. It's the same strip malls with slightly different tenants over and over.

While Fort Worth may not be an urban mecca, it is a city. Dallas is more my speed but I've never had a reason to move to that side of the metroplex.
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:47 PM   #162
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Yes, DFW is the king of suburban sprawl. People tell me all the time that I should move the one of the countless identical suburbs. It's the same strip malls with slightly different tenants over and over.

While Fort Worth may not be an urban mecca, it is a city. Dallas is more my speed but I've never had a reason to move to that side of the metroplex.
Problem with Dallas is that the people suck ass and most of the "cool" areas aren't really that cool. Ft Worth is far better in my opinion. 7th/Camp Bowie for the win.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:07 PM   #163
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Problem with Dallas is that the people suck ass and most of the "cool" areas aren't really that cool. Ft Worth is far better in my opinion. 7th/Camp Bowie for the win.
Yes, that area has really shot up. I moved here before that blew up. I've lived off Camp Bowie in a couple locations for 8 years. If you're going to live in Fort Worth, somewhere off of Camp Bowie (as long as you don't get into methville on the far west part) is the place to live. 5 minutes to just about any type of restaurant you could want.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:11 PM   #164
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Problem with Dallas is that the people suck ass and most of the "cool" areas aren't really that cool. Ft Worth is far better in my opinion. 7th/Camp Bowie for the win.
And not all Dallas people suck ass, just the people that live in Pleasant Grove, and anywhere outside of 635.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:13 AM   #165
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Yes, that area has really shot up. I moved here before that blew up. I've lived off Camp Bowie in a couple locations for 8 years. If you're going to live in Fort Worth, somewhere off of Camp Bowie (as long as you don't get into methville on the far west part) is the place to live. 5 minutes to just about any type of restaurant you could want.
Heh I never realized you were so close. I live in the Ridglea area.
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