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Old 08-08-2007, 10:53 AM   #31
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Re: smokers tax

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Originally Posted by Schneed10 View Post
Alcohol is taxed here in PA, and trust me, those businesses are doing fine.

People, increasing taxes on things like Smoking and Drinking are not going to change people's behavior, and the legislators know this. People are still going to smoke and still going to drink. The point isn't to get them to stop, the point is to subsidize government programs by taxing the people who cause a bigger financial burden on society (smoking leads to emphysema and heart disease which generally strike in old age, which affects how much the Federal Government pays out in the form of Medicare benefits).
Yeah, earlier in the summer I visited TN and they tax the hell out of alcohol. For me, being broke made me seriously curb my alcohol consumption while I was there, but I saw tons of people in the hotel tossing them back and not thinking twice about it. It was a little crazy, we were paying NY prices.
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Old 08-08-2007, 11:13 AM   #32
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Re: smokers tax

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Originally Posted by mredskins View Post
Hmmm...A six pack of coors Light in MD. is like $4.99. How much in PA?
10.00 easy. maybe alittle less in some spots, maybe alittle more
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Old 08-08-2007, 11:23 AM   #33
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Re: smokers tax

Dont add more taxes, cut the government waste.
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Old 08-08-2007, 11:38 AM   #34
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Re: smokers tax

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Which conservatives support the tax?
All of those on this board.

Schneed, people should be independent minded and not stick to their "liberal" or "conservative" friends on every issue. My only point was that conservatives rarely walk the walk. Conservatives often talk about "small government" and "states rights," yet they are so often proponents of growing a larger and more powerful federal government.

Smoking is NOT just a public health issue. Cigarette taxes ARE also about big government and whether the government ought to try to influence individual behavior through taxes.

And there is something redeeming about cigarettes...people like them. Cigarettes are perfectly analogous to harmful fast food - both are totally unhealthy, no one HAS to consume fast food or cigarettes, but they are redeeming because people like them despite their ill health effects.
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Old 08-08-2007, 11:57 AM   #35
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Re: smokers tax

The one difference is that cigarettes don't sustain you (some could argue that they do ) but fast food, as bad as it is for you, keeps you alive.
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Old 08-08-2007, 12:00 PM   #36
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Re: smokers tax

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Originally Posted by Lady Brave View Post
If smokers are such a burden on the healthcare system, then you can say the same thing about overweight and obese people. Let's tax the crap out of high fat and fast food as well.
My point is that the people who are over weight can be for many reasons. Some out of their control. Even the "bad foods" that some of them eat to become overweight are inherently bad for you. A "bad food" is only so when consumed in indulgent quantities. The problem of overweightness(not a word I know) is not one directly attributed to the food being bad as much as it is to genes and behavior. The bahavior is one of necessity too. We all have to eat. Some of us simply are able to control our behaviors moreso than others. I don't see how taxation is fair in this case.

As for cigartettes, they ARE inherently bad. They offer no reasonably positive attributes. They are not part of some necessary behavior. There isn't even a glint of positiveness associated with them. Ridding society of them is only positive(economic issues aside). I see no good reason not to tax the hell out of them. I see plenty of reason not to tax overweight people.
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Old 08-08-2007, 12:05 PM   #37
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Re: smokers tax

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Originally Posted by Sheriff Gonna Getcha View Post
Cigarettes are perfectly analogous to harmful fast food - both are totally unhealthy, no one HAS to consume fast food or cigarettes, but they are redeeming because people like them despite their ill health effects.
I really have to diagree. That "totally unhealthy" fast food is not inherently totally unhealthy. It contains nothing that other healthy foods don't also contain they simply have more of certain things that CAN BE unhealthy in great enough quantities. Fat is not bad for you in proper amounts. I simply cannot associate any real food with cigarettes. There isn't one redeeming quality about them. And "people like them" is not a redeeming quality. By that logic murder has redeeming qualities because some people like to kill other people.
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Old 08-08-2007, 12:09 PM   #38
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Re: smokers tax

I think true conservatives don't hate all taxes. They hate over-taxes. I have no problem paying taxes to protect our country.

Besides the difference between a "required" tax and a "selective" tax is not insiginificant to me. If I don't like the cigarette tax then I don't have to pay it. I simply don't buy cigarettes and the tax doesn't apply to me. As for income tax, well if I don't pay then everyone else gets to ante up for supporting me while I rot in jail for a little while. Big difference to me.
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Old 08-08-2007, 12:36 PM   #39
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Re: smokers tax

I think the tax on cigarettes is a bad idea. It will create a HUGE blackmarket in this country (already exists and will get bigger). We must remember that most people that smoke are ADDICTED to the nicotine! I am not a smoker, but I am addicted to another form of nicotine (chewing tobacco). It is extremely difficult to stop. Call it willpower, call it whatever. Those that are addicted to nicotine, such as those addicted to other drugs will find a way to get their "fix".

Currently there are ways to not pay tax on tobacco products via the internet. I am not going to digress, but this certainly will become a much bigger marketplace should they start taxing the crap out of cigarettes.
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Old 08-08-2007, 12:43 PM   #40
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Re: smokers tax

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Originally Posted by TheMalcolmConnection View Post
The one difference is that cigarettes don't sustain you (some could argue that they do ) but fast food, as bad as it is for you, keeps you alive.
Until you die of a heart attack or diabetes?
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Old 08-08-2007, 12:53 PM   #41
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Re: smokers tax

I thought cigarettes were an appetite suppresant, therefore preventing you from eating that fast food, clogging your arteries, getting a heart attack and dying.

So...cigarettes are clearly good for you
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Old 08-08-2007, 12:54 PM   #42
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Re: smokers tax

Maybe I am more conservative than I think, but I generally do not like the idea of the federal government using its power to tax to legislate for or against certain lifestyles or freedoms. The ability to smoke or do with one's body whatever one pleases is a significant freedom. The notion that taxes should be used to promote certain lifestyles or to kick certain choices is, IMHO, a fundamentally "unconservative" notion.

As for obesity, some people definately have a genetic pre-disposition to become obese. However, statistics show that over the past 40 years obesity has been skyrocketing due to personal choices (e.g., not exercising and poor diet). Rapidly increasing rates of cardiovascular disease among the general public (which is largely due to poor diet and lack of exercise) has overtaken lung cancer as the #1 killer in America and costs American taxpayers more every year than smokes. I am not for a "fat tax," but I don't really see how people can support a cigarette tax and not be for a fat tax.
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Old 08-08-2007, 12:54 PM   #43
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Re: smokers tax

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Originally Posted by mredskins View Post
Hmmm...A six pack of coors Light in MD. is like $4.99. How much in PA?
$5.99, sometimes way more.
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Old 08-08-2007, 12:57 PM   #44
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Re: smokers tax

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Originally Posted by dmek25 View Post
10.00 easy. maybe alittle less in some spots, maybe alittle more
A lot of that cost is because you can't buy beer at grocery or convenience stores. At beer distributors, you can only buy by the case. So the only place to get a sixer is at bars/restaurants with liquor licenses who sell take out beer.

These places are the only places open in the state that sell beer after 10:00 pm. So they jack their prices way up because of the supply and demand balance.

So you can't compare the prices of sixers in VA and PA, it's not apples to apples. But if you compare prices of cases in PA and VA, you're talking about 10-20% more in PA.
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Old 08-08-2007, 12:59 PM   #45
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Re: smokers tax

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Originally Posted by SmootSmack View Post
I thought cigarettes were an appetite suppresant, therefore preventing you from eating that fast food, clogging your arteries, getting a heart attack and dying.

So...cigarettes are clearly good for you
There was an interesting study that came out of Yale or MIT a few years ago that showed that cigarettes may actually SAVE taxpayer dollars. Crazy you say? Guess when people stop "contributing" to society, at least in terms of tax dollars? When they are old and retired. Guess when people consume tax dollars in terms of Medicare and Social Security? When they are old and retired. Guess what cigarette smoke does? Kill people prematurely. The study "proved" that smokers' premature deaths offset the costs of caring for them when they get sick from cancer.

Obviously, I don't advocate people dying young or smoking cigarettes. But, I wonder if the social utiliarians (i.e., those who advocate taxes on smokes because smokers take away tax dollars) are truly utilitarian and would support tax breaks for cigarette smokers if the above study was proven correct. If the study was proven correct and the social utiliarians still believed that the federal government should tax smokes, they are really basing their support of such taxes on "I don't like your lifestyle, choices, or habits, so I'm going to tell you what to do or not to do."
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