“It took President Obama 72 days to breach one of the most salient promises made in his covenant with the lower and middle class voting base. I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.””
It took President Obama 72 days to breach one of the most salient promises made in his covenant with the lower and middle class voting base.
I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.
I suppose raising the federal excise tax on tobacco by its largest margin in history and broadening the scope of taxable tobacco doesn’t count as a tax increase. Maybe President Obama should call the tax hike something more fun and upbeat, something other than a dirty word like tax, so that he can avoid criticism for breaking one of the most paramount promises made in his campaign for the executive office. How about a Children’s Healthcare Benefit Levy, or a Federal Health Concern Assessment? Those sound deceiving enough.
Well, as President Obama said himself, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.
In his unending battle to win the support of the middle and lower class, President Obama may have dug his own grave on this one. No matter how many Obama apologists you hear advocate for the initiative, calling it a voluntary tax because one doesn’t have to purchase tobacco, it can be most accurately and frankly described as a regressive tax. As opposed to a progressive tax, such as our income tax system, a regressive tax imposes a greater burden on those with less disposable income (the lower class) than those with more (the upper class). It is an empirical fact that the lower class possesses a higher disposition to use tobacco products than the upper class. In fact, one in four smokers lives at or below the poverty line, and they are not happy that they have to pay more for a carton of smokes.
President Obama has said that the increase in tax revenues generated by tobacco sales will directly fund a program that expands healthcare for children.
Why do smokers and tobacco enthusiasts have to be subject to extortion to advance a socialistic idea of government financed healthcare? Why can’t the government tax some other hobby or leisure activity like tickets to sporting events and concerts?
Don’t give the excuse that the government is concerned for our health as a reason for the tax increase. If you really believe that then it would logically follow that less people will be inclined to smoke because of the high prices, which leads to decreased earnings by tobacco companies and decreased tax revenues received by the government, leaving us with no way to pay for this $38 billion healthcare initiative.
Think about this. A person that smokes just one pack of cigarettes a day will spend about $1,820 a year on cigarettes. If a person has been smoking for 20 years they will have spent about $36,400 on cigarettes alone. That could be an entire years salary for that person. The most stunning aspect of that number, however, is that about $24,266 of the money spent on cigarettes derives from federal and state taxes on tobacco.
So, let’s consider a scenario much different than the one we know now, one that is more friendly to lovers of capitalism and a free market society. Imagine a nation that does not tax tobacco one cent. The person described above that spent about $36,400 on cigarettes over 20 years could have about $24,266 more in disposable income over that same period of time. And, if a person had smoked two packs a day rather than one, they could have almost $50,000 more in disposable income over 20 years. That person could use that money saved to pay for health insurance for their children themselves, rather than depending on a government entity to do so.
Obviously we do not live in such a nation free of exorbitant and inappropriate taxation, but at one point we tried to. Remember the one of the first times someone tried to tax the hell out of something we Americans liked to indulge in? We dressed up as Native Americans and dumped 342 chests of tea into the Boston harbor, waged a revolutionary war against the most powerful military in the world and established a republic dedicated to preserving the people’s unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.