Staff Blog: Excessive Cigarette taxes are subjective


I usually devote my columns and blogs to important matters like constitutional law, fiscal and monetary policy, foreign policy and world geopolitics. 

However, I’ve become more irate over a populist cause as of late: the excessive taxes on cigarette smokers.

Full disclosure, as unfortunate as it may be, I myself, am a smoker – although, I have assured myself I am quitting soon.
Cigarettes, to much chagrin to the health extremists, are legal in this country. And, as much as they detest the fact, as it stands now it is no different than alcohol, a firearm, lottery tickets, military service, voting rights or jury duty.

The American Medical Association and the National Cancer Institutes’s findings state that cigarettes contain cancer causing agents. And, if I were on the government’s – taxpayers – insurance plan, what I ingested would be of legitimate concern to the very people footing the bill.

However, I am on a private plan. I pay completely, without any government assistance.

That being the case, why am I a subject to the government’s subjective confiscatory tax?

A pack of the particular brand I smoke has increased from slightly more than $3.00 to more than $6.00 in a little over a three week span.

Has the cost of tobacco gone up, or more succinctly – yet still not the prime cause – has the government’s inflationary policies caught up with us?

The latter is more than assuredly coming, however, subjective taxes for out-of-favor industries are the rule of the day.

Read no further than the March 23 Wall Street Journal’s news and OP/ED pages – All bankers who work for a corporation that received more than $5 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program capital and that make more than $250,000 annually can expect a 90 percent tax burden on their bonuses next year.

Government led mob rule.

Before the recent tax hike, more than 80 percent of the cost of cigarettes were tax. Why should we as a segment of the population be subjected to this type of a tax? Now account for the almost $3 increase.

More to the point, imagine if the government decided to tax other products, services or income in the manner they now tax tobacco?

Imagine paying a 150 percent tax on Bibles, firearms, alcohol, building permits, driving licenses, et al.

When did American citizens’ right to liberty and freedom end at the pursuit of placation and appeasement for those either expecting federal money or advocating confiscatory taxes on a segment of the population they disagree with?