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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, 12:18 PM   #61
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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.
Like too much TV isn't bad? Besides, my son would have never sat all day and watched TV...but when given the opportunity, he would play all day and stay up into the wee hours playing video games, especially when they went online. IMO video games are way worse than TV (as far as addictive) because they're interactive. I'm not into taxing/restricting anything but I believe the video game culture has had a lot of negative affect on our kids...obesity just part of it...and parents have fallen down on keeping their kids involved in alternative/healthier forms of recreation for their kids. I put all sorts of restrictions on my boy about video games and he's much better off for it...absolutely convinced of it...sorry for the rant, I know this isn't a video game thread.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:19 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by LiveSteam View Post
Im all for label's telling you what is in a product, Then let the consumer make that choice.
Absolutely.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:21 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by loochy View Post
Which of these things is not like the other?


Behavioral trait

Physical trait

Physical trait

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.
That is why the "born this way" argument is so inherently important to the debate; without it they cannot claim the same status as minorities.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:29 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by fan4ever View Post
Like too much TV isn't bad? Besides, my son would have never sat all day and watched TV...but when given the opportunity, he would play all day and stay up into the wee hours playing video games, especially when they went online. IMO video games are way worse than TV (as far as addictive) because they're interactive. I'm not into taxing/restricting anything but I believe the video game culture has had a lot of negative affect on our kids...obesity just part of it...and parents have fallen down on keeping their kids involved in alternative/healthier forms of recreation for their kids. I put all sorts of restrictions on my boy about video games and he's much better off for it...absolutely convinced of it...sorry for the rant, I know this isn't a video game thread.
You are absolutely right in that regard. I don't think it's the primary cause of obesity. I do think that's more about what we put in our children's bodies.

I only said that because I'm 31. I play games, but I barely watch any television. That's the only reason I said it... it was somewhat tongue in cheek.

Games and TV are not 'things to do'. They are ways you kill boredom and pass time. Obviously a child needs to know the time he spends doing essentially 'nothing' should be limited.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:31 PM   #65
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How much is a carton of Marlboros these days, how many packs in a carton, and what would be the total cost if each pack was taxed an additional .94?
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:31 PM   #66
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I don't think they are being abused. Smoking costs us a ton of money in health care costs. If you don't want to pay the associated costs then you can chose not to smoke.
Likewise if you choose not to smoke you should pay more for social security. That selfish healthy behavior cost the rest money from you living longer.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:42 PM   #67
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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.
I think the word they always use is "oppression". Something about being unjust, or unfair.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:43 PM   #68
Cephalic Trauma Cephalic Trauma is offline
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I have health insurance. I pay for it. So why again am I being punished? Just wait. Next will be fast food, and then how people raise their kids. We're walking a slippery slope and it's only going to get worse the longer we allow it.
And so does everybody else.

Meaning, if you get COPD, Emphysema, cancer, etc. when you are older based on your own doing (smoking has a causal effect), the system will pay for you. Thus, you cost the system more in the long run by self-destructing now.

Same with obesity.

Last edited by Cephalic Trauma; 04-11-2013 at 12:49 PM..
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:44 PM   #69
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How much is a carton of Marlboros these days, how many packs in a carton, and what would be the total cost if each pack was taxed an additional .94?
that's an extra $9.40 a carton

I am all for user taxes
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:46 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by loochy View Post
Which of these things is not like the other?


Behavioral trait

Physical trait

Physical trait

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.
And yet, behavior is an outward manifestation of the way we are wired. Therefore, yes, gay can be considered a physical trait.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:50 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by Cephalic Trauma View Post
And yet, behavior is an outward manifestation of the way we are wired. Therefore, yes, gay can be considered a physical trait.
I lost you. Should the inclination toward child molestation, ditch digging and helping old ladies cross the street be considered physical traits by virtue of our wiring?
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:52 PM   #72
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I lost you. Are child molestation, ditch digging and helping old ladies cross the street physical traits?
Is there a specific physical portion in the brain that will lead to the manifestation of those actions?
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:52 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by Comrade Crapski View Post
I think the word they always use is "oppression". Something about being unjust, or unfair.

But isn't Dear Leader "oppressing" smokers with this targeted tax?
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:57 PM   #74
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If this tax directly leads to less healthcare costs by deterring those from smoking, isn't that a win for all involved besides those who are voluntarily doing harm to their body?
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:59 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by King_Chief_Fan View Post
that's an extra $9.40 a carton

I am all for user taxes
I didn't know how many packs consisted of a carton. IIRC, a carton of Marlboro's in KC is upwards of $60 now, right? Yeesh.

Definitely one habit I'm proud to say I never picked up. I've never even tried it once, just to see.
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