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Old 08-09-2007, 02:57 PM   #91
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Re: smokers tax

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Originally Posted by Mattyk72 View Post
I don't agree with that. I'm all in favor of paying higher taxes for something if I know where that money is going and if it's for the better good of society in general.
But what exactly is the "better good of society," or who determines what that is? If some fat guy wants to stuff his face and die of a heart attack by age 35, that's his perogative. Likewise, if some idiot wants to smoke himself to an early grave, that's also his choice.

I see no difference between taxing fast food at 150% (so you're typical value meal will cost about $12.50) and taxing cigarettes at 150%. Both are unhealthy. No one needs to smoke and no one NEEDS to eat fast food. Both are supposedly costing taxpayers money. And by the way, I oppose both such taxes.
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Old 08-09-2007, 03:21 PM   #92
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Re: smokers tax

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Originally Posted by Sheriff Gonna Getcha View Post
But what exactly is the "better good of society," or who determines what that is? If some fat guy wants to stuff his face and die of a heart attack by age 35, that's his perogative. Likewise, if some idiot wants to smoke himself to an early grave, that's also his choice.

I see no difference between taxing fast food at 150% (so you're typical value meal will cost about $12.50) and taxing cigarettes at 150%. Both are unhealthy. No one needs to smoke and no one NEEDS to eat fast food. Both are supposedly costing taxpayers money. And by the way, I oppose both such taxes.

Again, food, a requirement for life, and continuation of life.
Cigarettes...not so much. Death will happen and much quicker than normal.

Big differences there.
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Old 08-09-2007, 03:29 PM   #93
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Re: smokers tax

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Originally Posted by Sheriff Gonna Getcha View Post
But what exactly is the "better good of society," or who determines what that is? If some fat guy wants to stuff his face and die of a heart attack by age 35, that's his perogative. Likewise, if some idiot wants to smoke himself to an early grave, that's also his choice.

I see no difference between taxing fast food at 150% (so you're typical value meal will cost about $12.50) and taxing cigarettes at 150%. Both are unhealthy. No one needs to smoke and no one NEEDS to eat fast food. Both are supposedly costing taxpayers money. And by the way, I oppose both such taxes.
I'd support both such taxes and here's why:

Both products create health problems which are obvious; emphysema, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure which can lead to stroke. All of those medical conditions tend to strike the elderly, and if you follow the money, the federal government pays immense medical benefits (in the form of Medicare) to seniors as a direct result of these diseases. Citizens who smoke and regularly eat fatty foods are much more likely to cost the federal government a lot of coin after their 65th birthday. Taxes on these products help ensure that the people consuming these products are doing more to subsidize the cost of their medical treatment.

No, this tax revenue does not go directly to the Medicare program. But it has a fiscal domino effect. This cigarrette tax revenue goes to fund government programs or reduce the federal deficit, meaning the government does not need to raise Medicare tax rates, or raise income taxes on the rest of us. Ultimately, the smokers end up paying more into the take-a-penny, leave-a-penny jar, and that's the way it should be, because at the end of their lives they're taking quarters and dollars while the rest of us are taking pennies.

This tax isn't about philosophy and trying to dictate behavior. You're dreaming if you think people pass tax laws to affect human behavior. They do it for one reason: money. Specifically, making sure the nation is aligning the inflows and outflows fairly.
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Old 08-09-2007, 03:44 PM   #94
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Re: smokers tax

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Originally Posted by Sheriff Gonna Getcha View Post
But what exactly is the "better good of society," or who determines what that is? If some fat guy wants to stuff his face and die of a heart attack by age 35, that's his perogative. Likewise, if some idiot wants to smoke himself to an early grave, that's also his choice.

I see no difference between taxing fast food at 150% (so you're typical value meal will cost about $12.50) and taxing cigarettes at 150%. Both are unhealthy. No one needs to smoke and no one NEEDS to eat fast food. Both are supposedly costing taxpayers money. And by the way, I oppose both such taxes.
I'd define the better good of society as whatever costs us all less money in the long run.
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Old 08-09-2007, 04:20 PM   #95
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Re: smokers tax

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Again, food, a requirement for life, and continuation of life.
Cigarettes...not so much. Death will happen and much quicker than normal.

Big differences there.
Just because a chicken mcnugget is edible doesn't make it a requirement for life. Coca leaves are edible too btw.
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Old 08-09-2007, 04:23 PM   #96
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Re: smokers tax

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Here is one such study I referenced earlier. It was authored by a member of the Congressional Research Service.
Schneed, check this study out. We went over this argument a few pages ago, but basically, some believe that cigarettes actually save the government money because smokers often die before they get their social security checks, before they use a lot of medicare payments, etc. While cancer treatments aren't cheap, nursing home care is ridiculously expensive.
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Old 08-09-2007, 04:27 PM   #97
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Re: smokers tax

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Again, food, a requirement for life, and continuation of life.
Cigarettes...not so much. Death will happen and much quicker than normal.

Big differences there.
I fail to see the difference if they both lead to premature death.
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Old 08-09-2007, 05:21 PM   #98
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Re: smokers tax

BOTTOM LINE:
Does anyone feel confident, and comfortable with the Fed regularly exercising it's power to tax..........anything, or to escalate a tax on something so that you can no longer do whatever "it" was?
I do not.
I would like the Fed to account for what it gets now. Would you like to know where your money goes? You never will. Let's face it, this Govt. is FAAAAT!
More tax is not the answer. Less Govt is the answer.
I do not begin to have the confidence in the Fed to support more of our American freedoms being put in jeopardy, to line our politicians pockets.

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Old 08-09-2007, 05:24 PM   #99
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Re: smokers tax

But people can live without smoking. Fatty or not, food sustains you.

It'll lead to an early grave, but not as early as not eating period.
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Old 08-09-2007, 05:26 PM   #100
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Re: smokers tax

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I fail to see the difference if they both lead to premature death.

You don't see the difference?
OK, stop eating right now. Do not eat anything ever again, see what happens to you. How long do you think you'll live? 7 days? 30 days?

Now if you're a smoker, stop smoking now, do not smoke ever again, then see what happens to you. You'll live a lot longer, and life will be clearer and smell better.

See the difference now?
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Old 08-09-2007, 05:28 PM   #101
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Re: smokers tax

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But people can live without smoking. Fatty or not, food sustains you.

It'll lead to an early grave, but not as early as not eating period.
exactly.

I will admit eating at McDonalds for every meal won't get you far, but how many people actually do that?
The ones that do, are just as dumb as those that smoke a pack or two a day.

ps- not all the food that fast food joints sell are bad for you.
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Old 08-09-2007, 05:28 PM   #102
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Re: smokers tax

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Originally Posted by jsarno View Post
You don't see the difference?
OK, stop eating right now. Do not eat anything ever again, see what happens to you. How long do you think you'll live? 7 days? 30 days?

Now if you're a smoker, stop smoking now, do not smoke ever again, then see what happens to you. You'll live a lot longer, and life will be clearer and smell better.

See the difference now?
Well.......if he quits eating, it will kill him!
If he quits smoking, he may come kill you!
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Old 08-09-2007, 05:30 PM   #103
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Re: smokers tax

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Well.......if he quits eating, it will kill him!
If he quits smoking, he may come kill you!
LOL.
He may, but he'll get over that urge and live and long and fruitful life.
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Old 08-09-2007, 05:46 PM   #104
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Re: smokers tax

I still fail to understand how cigarettes equate similarly to fast food. Again, fast food in and of itself IS NOT BAD FOR YOU. What is bad for you is the amounts of it you eat. There is not a single thing in fast food that is only destructive. Every ingredient has healthy benefits as much as any other food we eat. It is not the food that is inherently bad. It is our eating too much of it. Cigarettes on the other hand have no positive benefits in any quantity. The only thing they do...the one singular thing... is kill you.

To me the two are not even in the same ballpark. In fact I cannot think of anything legal that is in the same ballpark as cigarettes. Possibly alcohol but there are numerous studies that show some benefits of alcohol consumption in proper quantities.

As far "the betterment of society issue". Our country long ago decided that we should govern consumption and use of certain things. Many drugs are illegal because they are harmful for example. Because of the uniqueness of cigarettes I really don't see taxing them out of existence as a step onto the slippery slope. I just think if we are allowed to make things illegal like drugs then there is no reason cigarettes should be legal. Seeing as they are legal and making them illegal would put major companies out of business I'd prefer that a less direct action be taken and they get taxed into oblivion.

I'ma conservative and firmly believe the government should stay out of my busniess but I don't think the government should stay out of all of my business without exception. Ridding our society of illegal drugs and other products that kill us prematurely seems like a pretty good job for our government to me.
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Old 08-09-2007, 05:51 PM   #105
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Re: smokers tax

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I still fail to understand how cigarettes equate similarly to fast food. Again, fast food in and of itself IS NOT BAD FOR YOU. What is bad for you is the amounts of it you eat. There is not a single thing in fast food that is only destructive. Every ingredient has healthy benefits as much as any other food we eat. It is not the food that is inherently bad. It is our eating too much of it. Cigarettes on the other hand have no positive benefits in any quantity. The only thing they do...the one singular thing... is kill you.

To me the two are not even in the same ballpark. In fact I cannot think of anything legal that is in the same ballpark as cigarettes. Possibly alcohol but there are numerous studies that show some benefits of alcohol consumption in proper quantities.

As far "the betterment of society issue". Our country long ago decided that we should govern consumption and use of certain things. Many drugs are illegal because they are harmful for example. Because of the uniqueness of cigarettes I really don't see taxing them out of existence as a step onto the slippery slope. I just think if we are allowed to make things illegal like drugs then there is no reason cigarettes should be legal. Seeing as they are legal and making them illegal would put major companies out of business I'd prefer that a less direct action be taken and they get taxed into oblivion.

I'ma conservative and firmly believe the government should stay out of my busniess but I don't think the government should stay out of all of my business without exception. Ridding our society of illegal drugs and other products that kill us prematurely seems like a pretty good job for our government to me.
Good points.
It's called grasping for straws for the sake of an argument.
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