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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Cost to smoke might go up

WASHINGTON A key Senate committee overwhelmingly approved a bill yesterday that would raise the federal tax on a pack of cigarettes to $1 to pay for a children's health-insurance program, but the proposed bill has a long way to go before becoming law.
...Rep. Bob Etheridge, D-2nd, said he is open to a smaller increase in the tobacco tax. "To put the burden on the backs of one group of people is very difficult and unfair," he said. "If it's 61 cents, I won't vote for it."
...Under the proposal, the tax on cigars, now at most 5 cents a cigar - depending on size and price - will increase to as much as $10 tax a cigar.
"I think we ought to just shoot people that presume to smoke cigars in my presence and get it over with," Lott said. "It's ridiculous, and I don't smoke them. The ridiculousness of this just shows you what one of the many problems are with this bill," he said.

—Mary M. Shaffrey for the Winston-Salem Journal

Does the Senate plan to charge a 30-plus percent tax on every vice that we have? How about a $1 tax on every Big Mac since consuming too much McSh!t is bad for you, too?

In case you haven't noticed, Senators, virtually every American has a vice. Some smoke $3.25 packs of cigarettes, some sip on $25 bottles of wine, and others (maybe even yourselves and your peers) regularly rattle glasses of Speyside whisky on the rocks (the best priced at $2,500 a bottle). So while over-taxing the vice of an American minority may be effective in gathering money for pet government projects, it's not exactly fair. Further, do I really want rich politicians deciding what is the best vice to disproportionally tax? No, thanks. This is just one more reason why a flat percentage consumption (sales) tax based on what we buy and the elimination of the IRS would let us all play (and sin, if you will) on a level playing field.

Smoke 'em if you've got 'em.

1 Comments:

Blogger Steve Brenneis said...

But Strother, it's for the cheeldrun, dontcha know?

It's a strange place in which we find ourselves these days. I don't honestly believe the pols give a read hot damn one way or the other which vices we sample. They obtain power by pandering to people who insist on telling us how we should behave.

That's how you get hypocrites like Coy Privette from Mecklenburg County. He spent years trying to keep Mecklenburg County dry and keeping the strip joints all contained within the Charlotte city limits. Meanwhile, he was making weekly visits to a collection of hookers.

I guess it's bad enough when someone elected chooses to impose their petty moral quirks on everyone, but it is far worse when they use their position to impose someone else's petty moral quirks.

Saturday, July 21, 2007 9:51:00 AM  

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