So my states governor did a radio interview and I was able catch about 15-20 minutes of it as I was driving around. He painted a very rosy picture. Sure he attacked Trump on covid even though half the deaths in our state happened in nursing homes which was his screw up but we won’t mention that. It seems now my state is having an influx of people moving in looking to escape NY. He was saying this has increased our tax base after years of our states population dwindling as we have some of the highest taxes, energy costs and mass business exodus to southern states. A lot of this is due to deals made between the state and the public union which then funnels money back to democratic candidates.
Anyway, he went on about increased capital gains taxes with the market doing so well the state is collecting those capital gains taxes from people who sell stocks.
Ok, that’s all well and good. But here is the part that got me. He was bragging about increased revenue from cigarette taxes. He described it as a windfall. Yet a year and a half ago he was pledging to raise cigarette taxes so high no one could afford to smoke, it was his way of saving lives. I was a smoker for years. It was a bitch to quit. Smoking is in a large way a tax on the poor. Despite a pack being near 13usd here I see people on disability checks figuring out how many packs they can buy for month and still afford food. So I’m all in favor of getting people to stop smoking but these taxes are just a bullshit game. I don’t remember how long I quit now, maybe two years. I know I shouldn’t do it but once every few weeks I buy a pack and stick it in my briefcase. That way if I’m doing visits or assessments and someone is flipping out about being out of cigarettes I give them a couple. In that short time since I quit I notice cigarettes have gone up well over 1 buck a pack since I quit.
Once again to clarify, this is not a post in defense of smoking. Yes there are links to obesity increasing in the US about the same time cigarettes went out of favor, I have no hard data the two are related and they are both very unhealthy. I just get shocked at the hypocrisy of our politicians sometimes.