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Old 04-10-2013, 10:29 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, 12:01 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by Cephalic Trauma View Post
Is there a specific physical portion in the brain that will lead to the manifestation of those actions?
Yes, the brain is behind all those behaviors.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:02 PM   #77
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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.
10 packs per carton but I have no idea of price.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:02 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by Cephalic Trauma View Post
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?
So would a soda tax. So would a TV watching tax probably.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:03 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Bowser View Post
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.
not sure what the cost is now. There are 10 packs to a carton. I wish I never picked it up but I am glad that I was able to quit.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:07 PM   #80
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So would a soda tax. So would a TV watching tax probably.
Which both don't have a clean relationship like smoking does with lung problems.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:08 PM   #81
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10 packs per carton but I have no idea of price.
Just spoke with a coworker and he says a pack of Marlboros is $5.60 here, a carton is 10X that so no break for buying a carton.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:12 PM   #82
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Yes, the brain is behind all those behaviors.
I think oftentimes we look at areas in the brain as a collection intangible structures, but in reality, we have many behaviors mapped to certain physical areas in the brain, and each of these areas can have variation.

It stands to reason, then, to think that certain areas in the brain of a homosexual may in fact have a physical variation. The sexually dimorphic nucleus is one that is often studied.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:17 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by Cephalic Trauma View Post
I think oftentimes we look at areas in the brain as a collection intangible structures, but in reality, we have many behaviors mapped to certain physical areas in the brain, and each of these areas can have variation.

It stands to reason, then, to think that certain areas in the brain of a homosexual may in fact have a physical variation. The sexually dimorphic nucleus is one that is often studied.
Yes, I understand that, but I don't see why it would matter if either (a) we had enough understanding of one behavior to have mapped it to the brain but not another, or (b) one behavior is controlled by a localized section of the brain while another is controlled by a more complex interaction of multiple sections of the brain. And in any event, even if we have a predisposition toward a particular behavior, it's still not like skin color in that we have the option to choose to override that predisposition and choose, for example, abstinence (alcoholism) or celibacy (sexual preferences).
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:19 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by Cephalic Trauma View Post
Which both don't have a clean relationship like smoking does with lung problems.
I wonder how Bloomberg was going to justify the large soda ban then.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:20 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by Cephalic Trauma View Post
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?
It's not the government's job to protect people from themselves.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:23 PM   #86
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It's not the government's job to protect people from themselves.
It's about protecting us from them however. Speeding laws aren't really designed to protect the speeder. They're designed to protect the rest of us.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:25 PM   #87
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Just spoke with a coworker and he says a pack of Marlboros is $5.60 here, a carton is 10X that so no break for buying a carton.
That would put a dent in anyone's beer fund.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:29 PM   #88
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Yes, I understand that, but I don't see why it would matter if either (a) we had enough understanding of one behavior to have mapped it to the brain but not another, or (b) one behavior is controlled by a localized section of the brain while another is controlled by a more complex interaction of multiple sections of the brain. And in any event, even if we have a predisposition toward a particular behavior, it's still not like skin color in that we have the option to choose to override that predisposition and choose, for example, abstinence (alcoholism) or celibacy (sexual preferences).
Yeah, see now this gets a little more complex. The sexual dimorphic nucleus is based on environmental factors in the womb, and being dimorphic, it is malleable during development. We used to this it was very black and white (male vs. female), but evidence suggests more of a continuum of traits.

Now, as far as alcoholism and celibacy (NOT sexual preference, because those are not the same), those complex behaviors are both polygenic and influenced by environmental factors, which makes those extremely hard to characterize in the brain. You can have an interplay between a multitude of areas in the brain that ultimately will dictate their outward manifestation.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:29 PM   #89
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That would put a dent in anyone's beer fund.
Agreed, not worth it IMO.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:30 PM   #90
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I wonder how Bloomberg was going to justify the large soda ban then.
A. Ask him.
B. It didn't pass.
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