The health of American children will rest on the shoulders of a dying breed if President Obama signs the SCHIP Reauthorization Act of 2009. Click the PDF version and scroll to page 265, Title VII—Revenue Provisions. Taxes on tobacco and related products will increase by as much as 3,057%. Here’s a sample:
SEC. 701. INCREASE IN EXCISE TAX RATE ON TOBACCO PRODUCTS.
(a) Cigars- Section 5701(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended–
(1) by striking `$1.828 cents per thousand ($1.594 cents per thousand on cigars removed during 2000 or 2001)’ in paragraph (1) and inserting `$50.33 per thousand’,
(c) Cigarette Papers- Section 5701(c) of such Code is amended by striking `1.22 cents (1.06 cents on cigarette papers removed during 2000 or 2001)’ and inserting `3.15 cents’.
Funding child health care by taxing smoking, an activity which is increasingly targeted for eradication by government campaigns, creates an indirect conflict of interests. You can’t have it both ways. But according to the rhetoric of our times, individuals are morally compelled to sacrifice themselves for the good of the collective.
So find a place where it’s still legal and light up, smokers! Spread the good news to your non-smoking friends: to quit is to condemn future generations. These are the times that try men’s lungs.
If you smoke a non-tobacco substance, put away the reusable smoking paraphernalia and puff your stuff in papers taxed under 5701(c). Better yet, use the wrapper from a cigar taxed under 5701(a) and remind yourself that you did it for the children.