Limited Taxation & Government
Post Office Box 408     Peabody, Massachusetts   01960     (508) 384-0100
E-Mail:       Web-page:

CLT&G Update
Saturday, December 19, 1998

The Boston Herald
Saturday, December 19, 1998

Ted K:  Hike Tax to Pay for Drugs
By Eric Convey

Sen Edward M. Kennedy said yesterday that he wants the federal Medicare system to begin covering prescription drugs and he'll try to hike the cigarette tax 70 cents a pack to pay for it.

A spokeswoman for the Republican chief of the Senate's tax-writing panel, William Roth of Delaware, said the move by the powerful Massachusetts Democrat may well work.

"I don't want to say it would fly through by any stretch of the imagination," said Ginny Flynn, Roth's spokeswoman. "But a Medicare prescription drug benefit is something that would probably get considerable support on both sides of the aisle."

[ . . . ]

A Kennedy spokesman said last night that raising the tobacco tax 70 cents per pack would generate about $8 billion a year for the federal government.

Greetings activists and supporters;

If we don't spend it all first, at this rate we'll be able pay off the entire six trillion dollar national debt pretty soon and fully-fund social security too while we're at it, just by raising taxes even more on tobacco and smokers!

Why not? It seems to be the bipartisan funding-de-jour solution for every government spending wish-and-gift list being dreamed up these days.

Though a classic example of the Law of Diminishing Returns in action for the rest of us, it "would probably get considerable support on both sides of the aisle" in the thin oxygen of state and federal legislatures, where realities can be ignored, inevitabilities denied.

Hey, let's put the entire federal and state tax burden on smokers too! There still must be enough of those taxpayers out there if Teddy and Bill plan to harvest even more from them. Why stop now?

When I saw an agreement inevitably coming down the track for the tobacco settlement, I recognized that businesses and corporations don't pay taxes, fees, fines or settlements but only pass them on, adding to the cost of their product. To avoid a death of a thousand cuts, tobacco companies were going to cave in, to sell out their customers to Big Government.

I decided then that enough was enough. I haven't been a tobacco tax-payer for four months now. I didn't quit smoking for reasons of health. I finally quit being tax-victimized when "Big Tobacco" caved-in to "Even Bigger Government."

So Teddy, don't count on an additional $500 a year for your proposed new spending scheme coming from me. In fact, Teddy, deduct the many hundreds of dollars more I used to annually pay in federal and state tobacco taxes. You got greedy enough and won, I've quit, and I'm no longer a contributing taxpayer to any -- any -- of your anti-smoker schemes.

If other smokers wake up and quit being played for suckers and fools, refuse to carry everyone's government burden for everything, then statists can go after the weight- and cholesterol-challenged" and tax the hell out of their sweets, desserts, and junk food; I don't do much of that either!

They'll demonize Ronald MacDonald, the Frito Bandito, the Pillsbury Doughboy and all their "pusher" friends and paying "users," pick their pockets then their bones clean too, then target their next defenseless victim and squeeze him dry.

Wow, this is really great new progressive tax policy for a free society! Find some weak victim and tax the hell out of him, but leave me untouched!

Isn't this democracy stuff wonderful? Thanks to the innovative and courageous bipartisan leadership of Senators Kennedy and Roth we can now in good conscience demonize then tax the weak out of existance, then find another victim to carry our tax burden.

Chip Ford --

NOTE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to:

Return to CLT&G Updates page