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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, 10:53 AM   #31
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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.
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.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:54 AM   #32
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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.
That's what's kind of odd about it to me - it says the money is going to childhood education. If it's a health care cost thing then why isn't the money going for that?
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:57 AM   #33
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That's what's kind of odd about it to me - it says the money is going to childhood education. If it's a health care cost thing then why isn't the money going for that?
The same reason none of the money from those huge settlements went to health care, or helping smokers stop smoking. Greed.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:06 AM   #34
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:09 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Mr. Flopnuts View Post
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.
You don't pay enough! Pay Moar, MOAR I say!
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:12 AM   #36
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In MO. Closer to $10 on any coast. $15 in socialist NY.
Jeez. That’s what made quitting in the military so hard, I could go to the PX and get cartons of Marlboro reds for $12 back when they were selling for around $18-20 back in the states.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:16 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by blaise View Post
That's what's kind of odd about it to me - it says the money is going to childhood education. If it's a health care cost thing then why isn't the money going for that?
Yea, legislator ineptitude is ineptitude.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:19 AM   #38
KC native KC native is offline
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Originally Posted by Mr. Flopnuts View Post
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.
The deferred costs aren't and haven't been covered. Not everyone get emphysema and cancer when they're young and on private insurance.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:20 AM   #39
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You are almost as dumb as shtspryr.

You choose to smoke. You don't choose to be gay, black, Hispanic, male/female. Is that really that hard to understand?


They choose to smoke? But aren't smokers and drinkers and drug users partially (if not heavily) influenced by their genes? I've been told there's an alcohol gene, and smokers quite often have an addictive personality.


They're born that way, dude. Just like gays.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:24 AM   #40
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They choose to smoke? But aren't smokers and drinkers and drug users partially (if not heavily) influenced by their genes? I've been told there's an alcohol gene, and smokers quite often have an addictive personality.


They're born that way, dude. Just like gays.
You might actually be dumber than shitty.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:31 AM   #41
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:32 AM   #42
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It will pass. It is a Tax that affects less than 50% which is really all you need but on top of that you get to punish people for doing things you disapprove of and claim you are doing it for their own good.
make sure that they are already fully addicted first. Then hike the prices up. 'Murica.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:34 AM   #43
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But it's not fair because some people are genetically more predisposed to be smokers due to their genes. And if we can't "target" teh gayz, how on Earth is this man targeting the smokers?
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:37 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by KC native View Post
You are almost as dumb as shtspryr.

You choose to smoke. You don't choose to be gay, black, Hispanic, male/female. Is that really that hard to understand?
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.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:42 AM   #45
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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.
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?
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