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Old 04-10-2013, 11:29 PM  
Taco John Taco John is offline
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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, 11:43 AM   #46
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You choose to get married. You choose who you get married to. Our current marriage laws don't discriminate on the basis of sexual preference.
Really pat? Can a man marry a man in Missouri and have it legally recognized?
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:44 AM   #47
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Really pat? Can a man marry a man in Missouri and have it legally recognized?
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:46 AM   #48
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Really pat? Can a man marry a man in Missouri and have it legally recognized?
Not that I know of, but a gay man can get married in Missouri and have it legally recognized.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:46 AM   #49
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Obesity costs us more.

Where's the twinkie tax? Should we start giving people a food limit?

Are we just going to tax everything that's bad for you?
I'm not someone who thinks we should be using the tax code to encourage/discourage behavior with the tax code. But it is what it is and absent a radical simplification of the tax code, it is going to continue to be that way.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:48 AM   #50
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Not that I know of, but a gay man can get married in Missouri and have it legally recognized.
I have no interest in your bullshit semantic games. There is same sex discrimination wrt our marriage laws whether you choose to acknowledge it or not acknowledge it.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:48 AM   #51
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Wait - isn't this "discrimination" against smokers? I was told during the gay marriage debates that we cannot "discriminate" against one group of Americans. Violates equal protection! It's anti-American! You don't pick on any group you deem inferior!



Well Libs? Explain yourselves now.
Interesting point. Statistically most smokers are also lower income/less educated than non-smokers...aren't these the people the libs are so worried about? "The poor and underpriviledged hit the hardest...details at 10"
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:52 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by KC native View Post
I have no interest in your bullshit semantic games. There is same sex discrimination wrt our marriage laws whether you choose to acknowledge it or not acknowledge it.
It's the choice of partner that is discriminated against, not the inherent trait of sexual preference. You're the one who distinguished between choices and inherent traits.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:52 AM   #53
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:53 AM   #54
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Obesity costs us more.

Where's the twinkie tax? Should we start giving people a food limit?

Are we just going to tax everything that's bad for you?
True story, but what is more alarming is the childhood obesity rate. Get parents to yank those damn video game controllers out of their kids hands and go out and freakin' play...or do yard work...or something rather than stuff their faces while they become masters of the universe.

I know, just one of the causes, but IMO a huge one...
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:57 AM   #55
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:02 PM   #56
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Organized crime approves a tax hike.
Maybe I should move to New York City and open a smoke-easy.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:06 PM   #57
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True story, but what is more alarming is the childhood obesity rate. Get parents to yank those damn video game controllers out of their kids hands and go out and freakin' play...or do yard work...or something rather than stuff their faces while they become masters of the universe.

I know, just one of the causes, but IMO a huge one...
Hey man, don't bash video games. Video games are no more harmful than TV.

The primary problem is with the American diet. I don't think the government should dictate our diet, but they should protect the people. For example... there is a warning on cigarettes that it causes cancer. Okay. It DOES cause cancer.

So does soda pop. Where is the warning label? It has a highly addictive drug in it (Caffeine) and it marketed directly to children. I see this as being just as moral as marketing cigarettes to kids, and it's having the same kind of impact on the health of the younger generations.

I'm don't think attempting to dictate behavior with taxes is okay, but I don't think forcing shady companies to admit the threat their product poses is a bad thing.

People know Soda is bad for them, but they have no idea HOW bad it is for them. People are ignorant and it's fine, in my opinion, to make facts available for them. Then they can make an informed decision.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:08 PM   #58
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Interesting point. Statistically most smokers are also lower income/less educated than non-smokers...aren't these the people the libs are so worried about? "The poor and underpriviledged hit the hardest...details at 10"

Regressive taxation has never been a conundrum for Liberals. They want to re-make society into their own image, so expecting consistency and sanity would be pure folly. (Discriminate against the poor while publically telling them how much you love & care for them. Truly awesome)
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:08 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by WhiteWhale View Post
Hey man, don't bash video games. Video games are no more harmful than TV.

The primary problem is with the American diet. I don't think the government should dictate our diet, but they should protect the people. For example... there is a warning on cigarettes that it causes cancer. Okay. It DOES cause cancer.

So does soda pop. Where is the warning label? It has a highly addictive drug in it (Caffeine) and it marketed directly to children. I see this as being just as moral as marketing cigarettes to kids, and it's having the same kind of impact on the health of the younger generations.

I'm not up for the shit out of people, but I don't think warning people of the potential harm is bad.

People know Soda is bad for them, but they have no idea HOW bad it is for them.
Im all for label's telling you what is in a product, Then let the consumer make that choice.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:14 PM   #60
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You don't choose to be gay, black, Hispanic, male/female.
Which of these things is not like the other?

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Originally Posted by KC native View Post
gay
Behavioral trait
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Originally Posted by KC native View Post
black
Physical trait
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Originally Posted by KC native View Post
Hispanic
Physical trait
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Originally Posted by KC native View Post
male/female
Physical trait - although some DO choose this these days

Your argument might be better if you grouped gay in with angering easily or having a short attention span.
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