Perspective Plus discussion

Chit Chat > Something to think about

Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod
While waiting on the adjuster yesterday, I was reading "Crain's Cleveland Business News". The two issues I read were from January 13-29, 2012 and January 30- February 5, 2012. The first contained the article and the second an opinion poll related to the article. Now, for those of you who are wondering what "Crain's" is, it is a weekly paper that focuses on local business news and issues. It is a well respected publication.

So, here is what I read. It seems that locally there is a 30 cent tax on every pack of cigarettes that is sold in Cuyahoga County benefits THE ARTS!. Now, in 2015 the voters will be asked to renew this tax to keep giving THE ARTS! funding. Now, I know some of you are going to say "Well, people shouldn't be smoking.",or "So what? If they want to have such a filthy habit, they should pay.", which was some of the opinions of the poll in the following issue.

Here is my question. If everyone stopped smoking, where would the money come from? Will we move onto "unhealthy food" and beverages (which some states including Ohio are considering a "junk food tax") and would that include beer, wine and other alcohol? What if they decided to tax YOU for being "unhealthy" deeming you such under whatever arbitrary rules they come up with, as long as it benefits THE ARTS!, it's fine?

It is easy to go after smokers since most of us can agree and I know some smokers who say this too, that it's a filthy habit. Smoking can hurt non-smokers as well since second hand smoke is just as bad if not worse than what the smoker is inhaling. (I have yet to hear anything on second hand fat.) What is being done, though, is taking something that is "bad" and making something "good" out of it. In Cuyahoga County, there is already a "Sin tax" on beer, wine, spirits, and cigarettes that was supposed to be on the wholesale end of things and not on the consumer, but is passed along by every bar, restaurant, and some stores. It was passed and has been renewed 2 times since by voters. The original passing built a baseball stadium, the second a basketball area, the third to build new football stadium. People who smoke cannot smoke at these places, and those who do drink, pay twice. Once for their own beer at home and again at the stadium. That tax in addition to the tax for THE ARTS! make cigarettes very expensive, and the hope (I think) was to tax smokers into quitting.

Obviously,that didn't work. So now, we are thinking about keeping a tax on a product that the state is using money from the cigarette companies to help with cessation programs. Some employers will not hire you if you smoke, forcing many to quit. So, where is the money for the next sports arena or for the next program we don't want to pay for with our already high taxes?

Special taxes on undesirable things is becoming way too easy. Pick a thing most people will be comfortable with taxing, like cigarettes, and presto! Instant funding in one side, and required cussing it out on the other. I know arts are good and I am not condemning them. Too many schools have cut art and music programs which help students learn in so many ways, due to budget cuts and those pointless proficiency tests.

My question still stands of what happens when people stop smoking? Who is going to pay and why? Is it fair? No. I don't smoke and I don't like being around people who do while they are doing so, but I feel that punishing them like this is just the first step that will not stop. There has to be a better way of doing this. What I don't know, but this is a slippery slope that just keeps going.

I don't want to go down that, ever.

message 2: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (last edited Apr 11, 2012 06:42AM) (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod
In today's paper, the Lung Association is now pushing for higher taxes on all tobacco products, claiming that when prices are higher,people stop smoking,so let's make it harder to get any tobacco product. In a companion article, it was noted that programs funded by tobacco taxes are steady,despite less people smoking. This made me wonder. Are people smoking less, or are they actually using other smokeless tobacco products instead?

Again, I know that this a nasty habit and that nobody benefits from it.(Although there was a time as recently as the 1950's when doctors would recommend smoking as a way to settle nerves,lose weight and other health "benefits".)

My question, as always, is where does it stop? If this tax were on diapers,baby wipes and other baby products to keep people from having children, there would be such outrage that you wouldn't be able to hear yourself think, even if the money went to "the arts!" It starts here. It grows to include people who are not doing anything wrong except being who they are,like fat, short, black, white, purple.

Our need to control everything into an acceptable package because we don't like it,is getting worse every year. It starts with something unpopular like smoking and ends who knows where. I am not saying the government is full of fascists, or anything like that, but I can not help but draw the parallel that this "war on smoking" is not too unlike the anti-Jew campaigns of post WWI Germany. The government sponsored programs that euthanized children who were disabled, handicapped, or who had birth defects. This practice became public norm, so when the focus began to include Jews, political foes, gays, or other undesireables, the public was geared to accept this as being status quo. Yes, there were those who did not agree with what was happening, but there are always those who will tow the party line no matter how ridiculous it is.

As with anti-smoking campaigns, we as a public have been taught to accept that this a "health issue" so therefore what ever is done is in our collective best interest. We have been taught to accept this party line and that this is the government looking out for us and helping those who will not help themselves by offering help to quit the habit or by making them quit by raising prices which then gets justified by helping programs that serve us all.

Again, I go to, when does it stop. When one issue is under control, who or what is next? Fat people are already being treated with the same distaste and scorn as smokers. Will we have fat/no fat sections in restaurants now? State wide hiring bans on fat people? Refusal of healthcare? State wide bans on fat people period? And will all the money "saved" be used to fund "the arts!" or other programs?

Who's next after us?

message 3: by A. (new)

A. | 19 comments Don't worry...they will start taxing the air you breathe soon

message 4: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod
You know.....

message 5: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod
California will vote today on Prop. 29 which will raise the tax on cigarette packs and raise the price on the product as well. CA has the highest taxes of any state except on cigarette's, which are the lowest. CA is known for a healthier take on life as a whole and will be putting the proceeds from this tax to, wait for it, cancer research! Some "expert" claims that there is world wide proof that raising the price of these products does make people quit. I call bullcookies on that one. I think it forces people to be more creative in how they get their smokes. Many places here in the area limit how many packs and cartons you can purchase per day, claiming manufacturer limits, so what's to stop people from going to multiple places? (Kinda like how you HAVE to get a decongestant from a pharmacy to control the meth production which isn't really helping to curb it. Makes YOU feel like a criminal for having allergies...)

Again, I go to the idea that what happens if every one stops smoking and all this research money dries up? Who will they go after next?

message 6: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod
In Ohio, they are now being criticized by the Lung Association, for not doing enough to stop smoking in the state, so they are thinking of raising the taxes on tobacco products to pay for smoking cessation programs.

So, what happens when every one stops smoking?

This makes my brain hurt.

message 7: by Kim, Proud Queen of the Fat and Fabulous! (new)

Kim (mrsnesbitt) | 1031 comments Mod
I would like to clarify/continue my above thought. I ran out of my allotted time the other day and could not explain why my brain hurts. First of all, I want to restate that I do not think that smoking is good for you and that if you smoke, I do hope you are considering quitting for your own sake.

Now, I do and do not see the point of putting money into a fund to help people quit smoking with monies garnered from the very activity you are trying to curtail in the first place. My question above goes to a circle argument that if every one quits smoking, and funds run out to help them quit half way through the process, then how are you going to pay to finish the process?

Will these people go back to smoking and start the whole vicious circle all over again or will they have moved on to other undesirables they wish to stamp out with further tax hikes and special taxes?

See, this is how it starts,kids. They get you thinking that THIS is the only answer we have and when it works (even it is only 1%) they feel that they have a way that will blanket work for everything. Taxes are the government squirt bottle of water and we are the badly behaving pets who need to be kept in line. When we get rowdy, they threaten us with higher taxes, and then say "well, we'll do this instead....i.e. go after fat people,smokers or drinkers to get the money so you are safe", which just makes us a target for more fear and loathing (and we're not even in Las Vegas).

This is how they get us kids. Its' the little things like this health issue that they have been fighting for years. Spanish Inquisition, Witch Trials, McCarthy and his senate committee, they all started with good intentions too my lovelies, and look how they ended.

On the other hand, you have different fingers.

back to top