Flawed Logic

It’s sad to see Republicans doing stuff like this.

For the first time in five years, state lawmakers are looking at raising the tax on a pack of cigarettes by $1.

The additional revenue would go to fund health care programs in Georgia, said Rep. Ron Stephens, a Republican from Savannah sponsoring the legislation.

In effect, we are admitting that tobacco usage should be discouraged, so we’re going to tax it to curb its usage, while creating a dependency between the state and tobacco users who will fund our healthcare.

So, to get people over a tobacco addition, we’re going to get the state addicted to tobacco revenue to fund health care related costs. This is sheer genius.

38 comments

  1. Jace Walden says:

    Erick,

    This has truly been a red-letter day for the Conservative Republicans in the legislature. First they want to create nanny-state internet policies, now they want a tax increase. Someone remind of why Republicans are the lesser of two evils?

  2. TPSoCal says:

    Thank you Jace. My thoughts exactly. I proudly registered as a Republican when I turned 18 because the GOP believed in less government intrusion and LOWER taxes. These idiots who call themselves Republicans are a disgrace. The GOP waited 130+ years to govern Georgia so they could expand government and raise taxes?! This is NOT what I signed up for! I am so disgusted these days. To think I actually voted against ole zig zag, now I wish we could have him back. I think I’d prefer the old Democratic leadership of the state.

    AAARRRGGG!

  3. TPSoCal says:

    I have already been forced to buy my cigs on the black market in CA, now I will have to find a connection in GA too? Where’s the nearest Indian reservation?

  4. Demonbeck says:

    “Where’s the nearest Indian reservation?”

    North Carolina. Home of RJ “Coughing with Camels” Reynolds.

  5. Tea Party says:

    So this sentiment repeats throughout the Land:

    Llife long GOP’ers, myself included, are disenfranchised by “spend and spend” Party leaders.

    What is the alternative? Is their a lesser of two evils in this election?

  6. Doug Deal says:

    Erick,

    I agree, but it is the same with other issues that use “violators” to fund popular program-x.

    If speeding is so dangerous, why use expected tickets to fund a trauma program instead of just criminalizing to the point of eliminating it? Jurisdictions will simply want to encourage people to break the law to obtain more revenue.

    With government it is always about sleight-of-hand parlor tricks to distract you from your wallet and freedoms as they make them disappear.

    Anyone who claims to be a Republican who supports such measures is a disgrace, yet it will not stop them due to their addiction to revenue.

  7. IndyInjun says:

    “Where’s the nearest Indian reservation?”

    We Indies are off the GOP reservation, for sure.

    Has anyone noticed the HUGE numbers of folks voting on the Dem side? With the few partisan GOPers split 50/50 with each side having nearly pure hatred for the other faction, this could be a very nasty year if GOPers don’t quickly come up with challengers for their own dreadful incumbents.

    An awful lot of RedStates are about to turn blue without Mrs. Rudolph chanting any incantations, for the spell cast was by elephants. For critters with such great memories, they sure have lost the way.

    Or is the narrow path too much so for an elephant to travel?

  8. Bobby Kahn says:

    deja vu. Who proposed the largest tax increase in Georgia’s history his first week in office. That’s what Sonny did. Included a tobacco tax increase, which passed. Sponsored by Glenn Richardson. Hey, how about taxing quickie divorces?

  9. CobbGOPer says:

    Mr. Kahn is correct. What should we expect when the current Republican governor was a Democrat as recently as 1998?

    It’s ridiculous. Politicians don’t want people to stop smoking, it provides too much revenue. But they don’t want to give the impression that they’re promoting this vice, so they shroud their scheme with language about pricing tobacco out of people’s reasonable spending range with higher taxes, knowing that the smokers will buy tobacco regardless.

    It’s certainly a neat little trick, one that governments use all the time in all sorts of matters.

  10. Jace Walden says:

    I’m confused. Are Republicans trying to turn smokers into second-class citizens? Or are they trying to balance the budget off the backs of smokers? Or Both?

  11. TPSoCal says:

    I have never voted for a Democrat on any level of Government (non-partisan elections excluded). If the Georgia Dems ran on a platform to rollback Republican tax increases, I probably would vote Democratic for the first time. Maybe it’s time for a GOP “timeout”.

  12. Lorie says:

    This makes so much sense…. snark. Now when I was phone polled on this very issue several months back, I couldn’t figure out which side came out with this ridiculous idea. Georgia has no right to “play” with more money when DCH sent back $33 million to the state treasury because of cuts to children under Medicaid. Which in turn reduces the Federal matching by $57 million for FY08.

    Now that I heard the Sen Unterman(CMO exec) is on the committee to restructure DHR, I’m disgusted.

    Now as a light smoker, I would not mind paying extra “tax” for a public “good”. My personal health insurance will pick up any problems I may have due to my vices. I pay extra as a smoker. My extra “taxes” shouldn’t pay for the health of someone who can’t afford health insurance but can buy cigarettes. OMG, I’m becoming a Republicrat.

  13. Bull Moose says:

    This is very much a good idea! This money will help fund healthcare and is a great idea!

    I’m very proud of Ron Stephens for touting this proposal.

  14. Doug Deal says:

    This is very much a good idea! This money will help fund healthcare and is a great idea!

    I’m very proud of Ron Stephens for touting this proposal.

    As certainly as McCain is the world’s one true conservative?

    Bull Moose, where did they discard the remains of the pod that has evidentally replaced you over the past year?

  15. This is crazy stuff. As Bobby Kahn has reminded us, rather than continuing to please the masses when he took office, Gov. Perdue temporarily suffered amnesia and forgot them that brung him to the Gold Dome. Rather than cutting taxes, his first major proposal involved raising taxes. And it wasn’t just going to be to get King Roy back by raising the property taxes that Barnes had cut.

    The new governor said he also wanted to increase revenue for the state by reducing the consumption of taxable evil products.

    Say what Gov.? Easy, says he; I propose increasing taxes on cigarettes and liquor as a way to help balance the state budget and, at the same time, dissuade Georgians from buying alcohol and tobacco.

    Although we in South Georgian sure didn’t appreciate the Governor adding taxes to our cash crop tobacco as if our farmers didn’t already have problems enough from Washington, a compromise in Perdue’s proposed tax increase ultimately did prevail.

    As noted at the outset, this is crazy stuff.

  16. Donkey Kong says:

    BM,

    Since when should the government be giving us health-care in the first place? If you want government health-care, why support McCain? My God, BM, please explain to me how government sponsored health care is a good thing. History dictates that as the government grows, freedom and prosperity slows. There is a science called Economics which provides mathematical and logical support to these claims. Experience shows that when the government runs a service, it is more costly and more inefficient. Why, BM, should we take another leap towards a less free and poorer country?

    This is unbelievable. Its bulls**t like this that convinced me to stay out of politics. Our politicians do not listen to good policy, regardless of party. Where are the statesmen?

    Sometimes the geographical separation of a blog between its members is a good thing. I would hate for all the children to hear my vitriol towards our public policymakers.

  17. Rick Day says:

    Don’t we all agree if we taxed and strictly controlled the sale of regulated benign industrial hemp and marijuana instead, that we could fund the entire budget on the backs of those wonderful (See GEN 1:23) plants, instead of the deadly tobacco plant?

    Tobacco money = blood money.

    Just a suggestion! 😀

  18. Gag Halfrunt says:

    Perdue and The Gang don’t always propose tax increases. Remember the capital gains tax bill that saved some investors thousands of dollars in taxes? I’ll bet the people (person?) who benefited from that one doesn’t mind raising other people’s taxes.

  19. gatormathis says:

    Sid Cottingham // Feb 13, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    Although we in South Georgia sure didn’t appreciate the Governor adding taxes to our cash crop tobacco as if our farmers didn’t already have problems enough from Washington, a compromise in Perdue’s proposed tax increase ultimately did prevail.

    The Georgia tax was raised 25 cent per pack, from 12 cent to 37 cents per pack.

    Here’s a little known fact. New York State charges $1.50 per pack tax on cigerettes. New York City charges an additional $1.50 tax per pack on cigerettes bought within its municipal jurisdiction.

    This is in addition to all other taxes and costs.

    Sooooo…..the municipal area of NYC taxes at the rate of $3 per pack, while the rest of the State gets $1.50.

    Approximately 100,000 packs of cigerettes are derived from an acre of South Georgia(or anywhere else) tobacco.

    This means that people who do nothing to cultivate, grow, or produce the tobacco, glean from $150,000 to $300,000 per acre of tobacco.

    The farmers, for their all their labor, inputs and risk gross between $2000 and $3000. (GROSS I SAY)

    All the while they are slandered, chastised, and ridiculed for being “subsidized” by the government.

    There used to be a vile bitch ,with the name of Nita Lowery that was a Senator from NY State . She was always concerned about the fahhh mers of South Georgia getting to much protection and money from the government on their peanut and tobacco crops.

    If her idea of what New York government takes up these days is equitable and fair, then it seems like some folks in South Georgia are leaving a lot of money “on the table” for their efforts.

    And if anyone ever sees a website that details how much money the individual lawyers involved with the settlement receive annually, please post a link to it on here so I can take a look at it.

    You know, like the Mississippi lawyer that got in trouble for bribing judges with some of the more than 2 million dollars a year he was receiving from the settlement.

    Pretty good windfall on Mississippi’s non-existant tobacco crop I’d say.

    What about it Squire, ya’ll getting that kind of cabbage down in the tobacco fields of Douglas??????????

    I doubt it.

  20. Bull Moose says:

    I am not in favor of raising taxes, but if we are going to raise a tax, I am glad it is a cigarette tax.

    These monies can go to help fund our trauma network, cancer reduction programs, and will lead to less people, especially our youth, from starting to smoke.

  21. TPSoCal says:

    Why is it ok to raise the cigarette tax? Is it because you don’t smoke? That is the position that drives me nuts! If the tax doesn’t affect me, then I don’t care if it is increased. That’s bunk! I am against all tax increases because I am against the government taking more of our property. I don’t drink, but I am still against an increase in a beer tax. Also, I personally hate guns, but I am a member of the NRA. I will stand up for less government when they oppress others because eventually they will come for me. If you are any kind of true conservative, you would oppose this tax increase! No more expansion of government, my gosh, what is happening to the GOP?!

    No new taxes….PERIOD!

  22. TPSoCal says:

    Hey, if we are all for funding more healthcare, and “helping” the citizens become healtier, then there are lots of taxes we could pass. Why not a 10% tax on fast food, that stuff will kill ya. We could tax sodas, cookies, candy, red meat, pork, chips, whole milk, eggs, coffee. These items cause significant negative health issues and add to the cost of healthcare. The state could raise a significant amount of money to fund healthcare. But I guess you would oppose this since you actually would have to pay the tax. Hey, how about a lazy tax? Every day you fail to exercise for 30 minutes, you must submit a tax payment to the state, this could lead to a much healthier state, and don’t we all want that?

  23. Doug Deal says:

    TPSoCal,

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Bull Moose’s beliefs on issues like this demonstrate why he was so able to adopt McCain as his choice so early, and even call him “The only true conservative in the race(tm)”.

  24. aardfark says:

    Once again, the GOP is here to rescue us all from ourselves. Hurray!

    I suggest that to realize a true savings, we adopt a reoccurring legislative “year of jubilee” whereby everyone who draws compensation from working under the Gold Dome receives no remuneration for a 12-month period. The collective savings could go to health care or whatever …..

  25. CobbGOPer says:

    How about we put a $3.00 tax on Big Macs? Talk about making some money… that would fund all our healthcare initiatives just from Big Mac Taxes. And it would force all the obese slobs I see walking around to rethink their eating habits.

    Everybody’s got their vices. I don’t think it’s right that we tax one person’s vice because of the perception that it’s more evil than another person’s vice. Honestly, Big Macs will kill you just as sure as tobacco will.

  26. Donkey Kong says:

    I don’t like UF grads (except you, TPSoCal). Can we tax them out of existence too? And Charlie Weis? Please???!?!?!?

  27. TPSoCal says:

    DK,

    If it makes you feel better, I did my undergraduate work at Baylor. Maybe that can be my tax exemption. Baylor is way too bad in football to hate.

    Sic ’em Bears!

  28. TPSoCal says:

    DK,

    No, I am a bigger geek than that. I got my Masters of Accounting with a specialization in Taxation. Haven’t practiced tax in a while. I am a CPA. I live vicariously through those of you who do something interesting for a living.

  29. Donkey Kong says:

    TPSoCal,

    We’re both geeks. I’m getting my MAcc at UGA, specializing in Audit (I couldn’t handle the tax) — though I’m going into investment banking in NY.

  30. Donkey Kong says:

    I tried accounting at a big 4 last summer, loved the people I worked with, but realized its not the profession for me.

  31. TPSoCal says:

    DK,

    That’s great. I understand about public. I did four years in public. I worked for Price Waterhouse (pre-merger) in Atlanta. Public is tough. I left PW and was hired by Disney internal audit. That’s how I ended up out in So Cal. Industry is much better, but I hear public is paying big bucks now. I really enjoyed getting my MAcc.

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