Smokers, You're Worse Than Me So You Have To Pay
Via this blurb at NiT I have discovered that Smoke-Free Tennessee inadvertantly pressed one of my buttons. In a HUGE way.
Why not raise the cigarette tax and get rid of the food tax?
I abhor taxation. I think it is barbaric and contrary to the spirit of self-governance. If we were truly self-governing we would pay for services instead of having our money taken from us by force. What I hate even worse than taxation is the idea that it should be wielded as a tool for correcting certain behaviours while rewarding others. Want people to have more children? Make children tax deductable! Want people to buy houses? Make mortgage interest tax deductable! Want people to refrain from drinking alcohol? Tax the heck out of alcoholic beverages. Forced taxation, tax penalties and deductions are a prime way for government to control the lives of its citizens, to either encourage or curb behaviours.
What's most irritating is when people look at the bad habits of others--habits they themselves do not indulge--and decide that we should tax THAT bad habit. It's smug and sanctimonious and disgusting. Okay, fine. You don't smoke! Good for you. You already have the rewards of living longer (maybe--provided irritated smokers don't cut you down in a haze of anger), saving money and not smelling like you smoke. Why for do you have to kick those who are already down?
I speak for the smokers--even though I am not one--because I know that the day is coming, and fast soon, that I'll be staring at some nanny-stater's tax proposal on ice cream, soda, candy and other non-essential foodstuffs. Followed shortly thereafter on taxes for non-organic foods.
Funnily enough, Smoke Free Tennessee exposes the hole in his/her own plan:
Tennessee needs to ban smoking or give its local governments the authority to ban smoking in all public places.
Great thinking, buddy. Pin your revenue on an activity, and then curb the activity, thus automatically decreasing your revenue base exponentially. This type of 'logic' makes me think that perhaps the SFT blogger is already in some type of political office.