Monday, January 30, 2006

Proposed tobacco tax killed in commitee

Governor Daniels's proposed increase of the cigarette tax by 25 cents a pack has been voted down in commitee.

The purpose of taxes should be to raise revenue for neccesary government functions. It should not be used to discourage lawful behavoir, no matter how much the governor or members of the state legislature might find that behavoir undesirable.

Taxes on cigarettes are regressive. The tax that a janitor pays for his Marlboros is the exact same that an accountant pays for her Benson and Hedges. A person with a nicotine addiction is not going to be deterred from smoking a pack a day, even if Daniels's increase would have caused him to pay an extra $91.25 annually for his habit. That money could have been used to pay for nicotine patches, gum, or other aids to break the addiction.

4 comments:

  1. At least they did something worthwhile in Indianapolis...

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  2. What did "they" do in Indianapolis? Did they impose a totalitarian, Taliban/Nazi style "ban" on public tobacco use? Is THAT what is "worthwhile"? Is the restriction of liberty for the purpose of mere social engineering the "worthwhile" thing? What is this "wortwhile" thing done in Indianapolis?

    Do Libertarians routinely support Nazi-style public smoking bans?

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  3. Back on the topic, it does not matter if a given tax is "regressive" if the purpose for the tax is wrong in the first place. The stated purpose of the now-failed tax was nothing better than social engineering. Is it the proper place of government to impose social engineering?

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  4. Gadflier, perhaps either you misread my post or Mike's comment, or I have misread your comments.

    What "they" did that was worthwhile, was kill the tax increase on cigarettes.

    Libertarians routinely oppose government-imposed smoking bans. We believe that privately owned businesses may restrict or forbid smoking on their own premises.

    If the tax is wrong in the first place, it is even more when it is regressive. It is like the difference between stealing $100 from a millionare versus stealing $100 from a single mother who makes $18,000 a year and doesn't have anything in savings. The latter is more wrong because it causes the victim more damage.

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