Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Obamawatch: Obama’s tax pledge broken in first 100 days

Posted by sanityinjection on April 1, 2009

At first I thought it was an April Fool’s joke, but mirabile! There it was: an AP article slamming their former golden boy, Barack Obama for breaking his promise not to raise taxes by raising the cigarette tax:

Obama said repeatedly during the campaign that he would not raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year. The AP article points out that the campaign specifically included other forms of taxes besides the income tax in this pledge, though they’re pretending now that they didn’t. Thus, the 62 cents per pack cigarette tax increase taking effect today is a direct violation of that pledge. Of course, your Sanity Injection told you back in the fall that this pledge was a total fabrication that was belied by Obama’s own economic plan. So I’m hardly surprised by this move.

The AP reporter (Calvin Woodward, who will probably be fired for writing this article) even points out that a cigarette tax hike disproportionately hits lower-income people who are more likely to be smokers. So it’s a regressive tax, exactly the sort Democrats usually complain is unfair.

What the article doesn’t explain is that the cigarette tax is an inherently unstable revenue source, because if the price goes too high, some people will quit smoking and thus not have to pay the tax. This means that any projections of revenue the tax hike will generate are unreliable espcially after the first year. In turn, that means that any federal program receiving funding from this tax – such as the children’s health insurance expansion Obama wants to use it for – is in danger of seeing that funding melt away (or should I say, vanish in a puff of smoke?) in successive years. At that point you either have to cut the program (which never happens, think of the children!) or find another source of funding – which means another tax hike.

Smoke’em if you got’em.


3 Responses to “Obamawatch: Obama’s tax pledge broken in first 100 days”

  1. Sister Benedict said

    Smokers do quit if the price gets too high. Massachusetts decided that it would raise the ciggie tax by $1, taking effect on July 1, 2007. As a way to flip the finger to the Massachusetts Legislature (taxation w/o representation) and our Friend Of Barack governor, I quit smoking that day and have never taken another puff.

    I quit because I didn’t want them to add more of my ciggie money to their general fund so they could spend it on stupid crap I didn’t vote to support.

    Frankly, I hope that all smokers who desire to quit are able to do so before their addiction cripples or kills them, regardless of the reason why. For any smokers who are reading this, how about taking the opportunity to quit as a tax revolt? Throw the tea into the harbor, so to speak.

    Want to quit? This free website, not run by any government agency or tobacco company coerced by a lawsuit settlement, was what got me out of a twenty-year habit:

  2. goodtimepolitics said

    Its the old back door democrats tax on all Americans!

  3. Belva said

    Good website! I truly love how it is easy on my eyes and the data are well written. I’m wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your RSS which must do the trick! Have a nice day!

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