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$10 a Pack For Smokes
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Clinically Insane
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Mar 1, 2013, 11:26 AM
 
They just boosted the tax another dollar here.

Is this kind of thing a good idea? Seems to me it just screws over poor people.


Full disclosure: I smoke, but the cost of a pack doesn't really impact me financially.
     
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Mar 1, 2013, 11:32 AM
 
Everyone knows smoking is bad for you. So is fatty food. Using taxation in an attempt to regulate consumption of perfectly legal consumer products is complete bullsh*t. "Hey, we know we can't outlaw these, so let's just keep increasing the taxes on them until the cost becomes prohibitive." Horsesh*t.
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Mar 1, 2013, 11:37 AM
 
I look at it as diminishing returns.
     
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Mar 1, 2013, 11:45 AM
 
Wut?
     
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Mar 1, 2013, 12:02 PM
 
You discourage more people at the lower levels because they're less dedicated smokers. At higher tax levels you're discouraging very few people as they're much more committed.
     
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Mar 1, 2013, 12:15 PM
 
At the cost of shafting committed, poor smokers.
     
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Mar 1, 2013, 12:41 PM
 
Nobody is forcing people to smoke. If they want to spend their last cent on a pack of cigarettes then that is their choice. I have no problem with higher taxes on cigarettes.
     
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Mar 1, 2013, 02:18 PM
 
You could also view this as government support for higher death rates in the 1%. A rare instance of government policy in favor of poor citizens.
     
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Mar 1, 2013, 04:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by Atheist View Post
I have no problem with higher taxes on cigarettes.
If you support higher taxes on cigarettes to offset the burden of tax payer money being needed to treat smokers who get ill from smoking, do you also support higher tax rates for fatty foods since they can lead to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc.?
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Mar 1, 2013, 04:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by Mrjinglesusa View Post
If you support higher taxes on cigarettes to offset the burden of tax payer money being needed to treat smokers who get ill from smoking, do you also support higher tax rates for fatty foods since they can lead to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc.?
It's not the worst argument in the world. Isn't one of the reasons fast food is consumed so much because healthy food is more expensive?
     
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Mar 1, 2013, 05:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
They just boosted the tax another dollar here.

Is this kind of thing a good idea? Seems to me it just screws over poor people.


Full disclosure: I smoke, but the cost of a pack doesn't really impact me financially.
Yeah, it screws the poor. The wealthy don't care how much they cost. Around here they're still $4.50 /pack, for premium cigs ($3 for generics), so prices vary greatly region-to-region. Hint: your politicians are screwing you, w/o lube.
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Mar 1, 2013, 05:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
It's not the worst argument in the world. Isn't one of the reasons fast food is consumed so much because healthy food is more expensive?
I'd be much more in favor of, say, a 50% tax on fast food and soda, than cigs. Then bind it to a law that places all the tax money into a fund to pay for healthcare. Boom! Obamacare funding solved, healthcare crisis averted. It's Miller time!
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Mar 1, 2013, 05:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Yeah, it screws the poor. The wealthy don't care how much they cost. Around here they're still $4.50 /pack, for premium cigs ($3 for generics), so prices vary greatly region-to-region. Hint: your politicians are screwing you, w/o lube.
We pay $6.67 a pack in taxes.
     
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Mar 2, 2013, 01:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by Mrjinglesusa View Post
Using taxation in an attempt to regulate consumption of perfectly legal consumer products is complete bullsh*t.
Only an idiot would believe those politicians are interested in your health.

They only want more $$$ out of you. That's it.

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Mar 2, 2013, 01:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
We pay $6.67 a pack in taxes.
$6.66 would have been too obvious?
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Mar 2, 2013, 04:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by Mrjinglesusa View Post
Everyone knows smoking is bad for you. So is fatty food. Using taxation in an attempt to regulate consumption of perfectly legal consumer products is complete bullsh*t. "Hey, we know we can't outlaw these, so let's just keep increasing the taxes on them until the cost becomes prohibitive." Horsesh*t.
What's the equivalent to 2nd hand smoke?

2nd hand fat from others eating bacon?
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Mar 2, 2013, 07:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by hyteckit View Post
What's the equivalent to 2nd hand smoke?

2nd hand fat from others eating bacon?
Not to mention you NEED to eat, you don't NEED to smoke. Bad comparison to food, IMO.
     
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Mar 2, 2013, 09:57 AM
 
As a "sin tax," cigarette taxes for the most part do what they're supposed to do: discourage some people from buying cigarettes. This applies most to people who have the least available money to spend on cigs, like juveniles.

Back when my parents picked up the habit, "everybody" smoked and the general sense was that it was OK, but their parents weren't very happy about it. Cigarettes cost not very much, and they signified the smoker was cool and grown up... 40 years later my mom died of cancer, almost certainly due to her smoking from a young age. If a stiff tax that raises the cost of an individual cigarette to 50¢ or more keeps kids from starting smoking, I think that is a Good Thing. If it makes some people think they should give up the habit so they can afford stuff like rent and food, that is also a Good Thing. If you're well off enough to not worry about the cost, hopefully you also have good health insurance...

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Mar 2, 2013, 10:08 AM
 
I don't have a problem conceptually with sin taxes, the issue I have comes from them being a regressive tax.
     
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Mar 2, 2013, 02:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by exca1ibur View Post
Not to mention you NEED to eat, you don't NEED to smoke. Bad comparison to food, IMO.
You don't NEED to eat fast food either. The comparison to fatty food, fast food, "bad" food is perfectly legitimate. If increasing taxes on fast food leads to fewer people eating fast food, getting obese, etc., that's a GOOD THING right?

Hey, let's take it another step. Gun control. Since they know they can't outlaw guns, how about instituting a selective 50% Federal Tax on firearms and ammo? They already have done this with things like automatic weapons, suppressors, short-barelled rifles - you need to pay a extra $200 tax to be able to purchase these things.

SELECTIVE taxation/"sin" taxes of certain goods/services is a BAD THING. Period.

This is legislating morality in the disguise of taxes - we'll put higher taxes on things we don't like relative to things we are OK with in order to discourage/reduce purchase and/or reduce consumption.
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Mar 2, 2013, 03:20 PM
 
You need to EAT, regardless of what type of food it is, to survive. You don't NEED a cigarette under any circumstance to survive. I stand by what I said that this is NOT a legit comparison.

From what I see, most people tend to eat fast food because of the convince and being cheap, it's their choice and it doesn't affect anyone else. Unlike 2nd hand cigarette smoke. Most smokers tend to not care who they affect when people are around them.
     
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Mar 2, 2013, 04:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by exca1ibur View Post
You need to EAT, regardless of what type of food it is, to survive. You don't NEED a cigarette under any circumstance to survive. I stand by what I said that this is NOT a legit comparison.

From what I see, most people tend to eat fast food because of the convince and being cheap, it's their choice and it doesn't affect anyone else. Unlike 2nd hand cigarette smoke. Most smokers tend to not care who they affect when people are around them.
Don't kid yourself, they are not raising taxes on cigarettes because they care about reducing second hand smoke.
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Mar 2, 2013, 05:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by Mrjinglesusa View Post
SELECTIVE taxation/"sin" taxes of certain goods/services is a BAD THING. Period.

This is legislating morality in the disguise of taxes - we'll put higher taxes on things we don't like relative to things we are OK with in order to discourage/reduce purchase and/or reduce consumption.
Legislating morality?

I don't think it has anything to do with morality. How many people are saying smoking is immoral or a sin?

It has to do with public health and safety, not morality.
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Mar 2, 2013, 05:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by Mrjinglesusa View Post
Don't kid yourself, they are not raising taxes on cigarettes because they care about reducing second hand smoke.
Why don't you think people including politicians care about 2nd hand smoke?

I'm betting most people in CA do. Most people in CA care about smog and air polution too.

The primary reason for raising taxes on cigarettes? Generate more tax revenue.
Secondary reason is to reduce its usage.

Is 2nd hand smoke an excuse to raise taxes on cigarettes? Sure. But a very valid excuse.
Bush Tax Cuts == Job Killer
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Mar 2, 2013, 07:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by Mrjinglesusa View Post
You don't NEED to eat fast food either. The comparison to fatty food, fast food, "bad" food is perfectly legitimate. If increasing taxes on fast food leads to fewer people eating fast food, getting obese, etc., that's a GOOD THING right?
You're comparison between fast food and cigarettes is faulty.

If they can't afford fast food anymore due to increase in taxes, and unable to find a cheaper healthier alternative food source, they could die from hunger. Healthy food is often more expensive than cheap fast food.

If you can't afford cigarettes due to the increase in taxes, and unable to find a cheaper alternative, they wouldn't die from withdrawal would they?
Bush Tax Cuts == Job Killer
June 2001: 132,047,000 employed
June 2003: 129,839,000 employed
2.21 million jobs were LOST after 2 years of Bush Tax Cuts.
     
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Mar 3, 2013, 02:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by exca1ibur View Post
You don't NEED a cigarette under any circumstance to survive.
You've never smoked, obviously

From what I see, most people tend to eat fast food because of the convince and being cheap, it's their choice and it doesn't affect anyone else.
Right, our country's growing obesity problem has nothing to do with 1/6 of GDP i.e. the healthcare industry.

Unlike 2nd hand cigarette smoke. Most smokers tend to not care who they affect when people are around them.
Care to back that up? In my experience, its just the opposite (with exceptions of course).
     
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Mar 3, 2013, 02:34 PM
 
I think there's been a cultural shift.

I've been doing it long enough I've actually smoked on planes. My attitude was way different then.
     
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Mar 3, 2013, 02:39 PM
 
Raising taxes on ciggies has led to a drop in smokers, both in the UK and in France. BUT, there is also an increase in smuggling (the Frogs buy their booze and ciggies from the Spanish, the Brits goto France or Holland) black market cigs.

It would be interesting to see some reliable data about the cost of smokers / non-smokers / fast-food eaters (and possible combinations) to society. Due to the latest food scares in Europe there have been a few articles about meat consumption, one very interesting article stated that after 40 years old, we don't actually need to eat any more meat.
     
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Mar 3, 2013, 03:38 PM
 
If I wasn't paying lip-service to quitting by not buying large quantities, there's no question I'd take one step over the county line and save a good $4 a pack per on a carton.
     
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Mar 3, 2013, 03:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
You've never smoked, obviously
Nope. I respect my body a lot more than that. All I'm saying is YOU want to do that, it's your body, just don't do it around me. I also know tons of people who quit cold turkey after 10+ years of smoking too. When you are talking about your health, you better step up, or you are gonna step out.

Care to back that up? In my experience, its just the opposite (with exceptions of course).
So, the "no smoking in public places" law was put in place for nothing?
( Last edited by exca1ibur; Mar 3, 2013 at 04:07 PM. )
     
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Mar 3, 2013, 07:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by exca1ibur View Post
Nope. I respect my body a lot more than that. All I'm saying is YOU want to do that, it's your body, just don't do it around me. I also know tons of people who quit cold turkey after 10+ years of smoking too. When you are talking about your health, you better step up, or you are gonna step out.
Well, easy enough. Don't be around me when I do it.


So, the "no smoking in public places" law was put in place for nothing?
We don't have one of those yet, but we're not quite as nanny-state as CA. As for indoors, i don't and would not smoke indoors - even in public places. Also, what the government decides is best for you has nothing to do with common courtesy and culture. Around here, people generally still respect one another enough to be able to sort these things out themselves without legislating social interactions. How's all that extra taxing working for you guys out there? Still 10 digits in the red?

You also failed to address the most important part of my response to you. You really think bad eating habits and smoking share nothing in common?
     
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Mar 3, 2013, 07:21 PM
 
No ban on public smoking here either, except in restaurants and other enclosed spaces (unless the establishment has it obviously posted that smoking is permitted). My favorite local eatery/pub allows pipe smoking, but not cigs or cigars, and that suits me perfectly.
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Mar 4, 2013, 08:09 AM
 
YOU VOTED FOR IT! Your idiots in office aren't really interested in you. You are just a source of more tax dollars.
     
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Mar 4, 2013, 10:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
We don't have one of those yet, but we're not quite as nanny-state as CA.
Red State PA has already banned smoking in restaurants and bars. Smoking is one of those subjects where political leanings has very little to do with your stance on it (As several threads from the far past would attest to).

Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
How's all that extra taxing working for you guys out there? Still 10 digits in the red?
What the hell does this have to do with anything. Also
     
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Mar 4, 2013, 12:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
Well, easy enough. Don't be around me when I do it.


We don't have one of those yet, but we're not quite as nanny-state as CA. As for indoors, i don't and would not smoke indoors - even in public places. Also, what the government decides is best for you has nothing to do with common courtesy and culture. Around here, people generally still respect one another enough to be able to sort these things out themselves without legislating social interactions. How's all that extra taxing working for you guys out there? Still 10 digits in the red?

You also failed to address the most important part of my response to you. You really think bad eating habits and smoking share nothing in common?
If people had common curtesy there would be no need for a public ban. No I don't think bad eating and smoking is a legit comparison for the reasons I already stated above. You don't eat you die, it's a necessity, no matter how you look at it. Smoking is not, it's a choice no matter how you spin it. Not to mention is hurts you and other people around you.

Wow, why all the CA hate? What the hell does that have to do with this conversation?
     
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Mar 4, 2013, 03:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Red State PA has already banned smoking in restaurants and bars. Smoking is one of those subjects where political leanings has very little to do with your stance on it (As several threads from the far past would attest to).
Like I said, I support the ban of smoking in restaurants and bars. I would argue that regardless of political leanings NY and certain jurisdictions in CA banning smoking in public at all to be Nanny State. Don't get me started on NY's food regulations. But hey, Government knows best right?
What the hell does this have to do with anything. Also
Something doesn't pass the sniff test here. They're raising spending by 5 bil and all the sudden the budget is balanced? I'm not buying it.

California Budget Buoyed By Higher Tax Revenues In 2013-14 Fiscal Year

State of California Debt Clock

They also have a huge debt to be overcome. They aren't exactly in good health.
     
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Mar 4, 2013, 03:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by exca1ibur View Post
If people had common curtesy there would be no need for a public ban. No I don't think bad eating and smoking is a legit comparison for the reasons I already stated above. You don't eat you die, it's a necessity, no matter how you look at it. Smoking is not, it's a choice no matter how you spin it. Not to mention is hurts you and other people around you.
I concede your point about needing food vs cigarettes being a "luxury" (can't think of a better word). However, does that distinction really matter when we're talking about the impact to our society? If so, how?
Wow, why all the CA hate? What the hell does that have to do with this conversation?
I don't believe in the government "knowing better for me" than I do. I.e. where it is appropriate to do certain things, what I am allowed to eat, whether I can smoke or not. I'm fully capable of making that decision.

CA, the home of "Pass it to know whats in it!", certainly falls into this category for a number of issues. The general attitude and lack of respect for people who choose to smoke illicits a similar general attitude and lack of respect. That's where the hate comes from.
     
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Mar 5, 2013, 08:32 AM
 
Up here, AFAIK no one's been allowed to smoke anywhere indoors in a room accessible to the public for many years. There has recently been talk (and perhaps actual bans in some localities) of smoking in public parks as well.

I'm all for it, because I think it's a dirty habit and when I walk into a house in which people smoke, I now cringe in disgust - it's that noticeable. I do recognize the hypocrisy of my own stance given that I normally support an individual's right to choose to risk their own life - but at least I can rationalize it because smokers almost inevitably expose other non-smokers to second-hand smoke even if they're careful - and let's face it, the vast majority are not particularly careful all the time, especially when it comes to their children.

Also, given that we have state-paid "free" healthcare in our country, I fully support those people who willfully choose to engage in activities that will hugely impact their health having to pay "tax" on their activity. (It's a slippery slope argument, yes...but I'm waving my hands in the air like I don't care.) That argument may not be so strong in the US, but given the recent push for changes in your healthcare system it may become even more applicable.

At the end of the day, like every other teenager I tried smoking, and decided I did not want to do it. And thus I have zero sympathy for those who do. Sorry suckers.
     
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Mar 5, 2013, 09:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
They also have a huge debt to be overcome. They aren't exactly in good health.
Move those goalposts!
     
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Mar 5, 2013, 12:42 PM
 
As a guy with emphysema to lift heavy objects. Nice.
     
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Mar 5, 2013, 04:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Move those goalposts!
How did I move goalposts?and when did you become such a troll?
     
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Mar 5, 2013, 04:39 PM
 
Posthole digger. Ask for the large size.
     
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Mar 5, 2013, 04:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
How did I move goalposts?and when did you become such a troll?
Deficit > Debt.

How is calling you out for crap arguments trolling?
     
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Mar 5, 2013, 04:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Posthole digger. Ask for the large size.
I think you're onto something. They should rename that size to the goalposthole digger and sell them on forums.
     
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Mar 6, 2013, 03:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Deficit > Debt.

How is calling you out for crap arguments trolling?
You've cited a single article from a biased source claiming CA's financial problems are over based on future revenue projections, vs not only conventional wisdom but a plethora of economists and my arguments are crap?

Whichever metric you want to use - my argument is that CA's nannystatism has run them into a pretty bad economic hurt. The goalposts were always there - I did not move them an inch.
     
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Mar 6, 2013, 11:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
You've cited a single article from a biased source claiming CA's financial problems are over based on future revenue projections, vs not only conventional wisdom but a plethora of economists and my arguments are crap?
I missed the part where you rebutted with "conventional wisdom" and a plethora of economists.

Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
Whichever metric you want to use - my argument is that CA's nannystatism has run them into a pretty bad economic hurt. The goalposts were always there - I did not move them an inch.
Changing metric = moving goal posts.

Still, the overarching point is, why the hell are you picking on California just because one of the participants in the thread is from there? Particularly when cigarette taxes are a less than unique circumstance.
     
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Mar 8, 2013, 01:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
I missed the part where you rebutted with "conventional wisdom" and a plethora of economists.
Conventional wisdom doesn't really need a citation, but if you must:

If You Live In California Things Just Got A Whole Lot Worse
Jerry Brown Creates California Surplus Miracle, But Can It Last? - The Daily Beast
California, Unsaved, Speeds Toward a Wall of Debt - Bloomberg
Jerry Brown: California’s Recovering, So Let’s Spend, Spend, Spend! - Hit & Run : Reason.com

How many do you want? There's alot more than the 4 minutes it took me to find these. They are shifting deficit to debt. What a great solution!

Changing metric = moving goal posts.
I never changed the metric. I offered one, after you put up resistance to my original statement, so I offered another to avoid derailing the thread. The goalposts were always the same - CA is in deep economic shit. You took issue with my first metric, which was not apart of the original statement (i.e. the goalposts).

Still, the overarching point is, why the hell are you picking on California just because one of the participants in the thread is from there? Particularly when cigarette taxes are a less than unique circumstance.
I think you've missed my point.
     
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Mar 8, 2013, 01:29 PM
 
I thought maybe I missed a page or two of this thread, but there's only one page. I have idea what your point is.
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Mar 11, 2013, 12:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
Conventional wisdom doesn't really need a citation, but if you must:

If You Live In California Things Just Got A Whole Lot Worse
Jerry Brown Creates California Surplus Miracle, But Can It Last? - The Daily Beast
California, Unsaved, Speeds Toward a Wall of Debt - Bloomberg
Jerry Brown: California’s Recovering, So Let’s Spend, Spend, Spend! - Hit & Run : Reason.com

How many do you want? There's alot more than the 4 minutes it took me to find these. They are shifting deficit to debt. What a great solution!
The state’s budget challenges have been exacerbated by the Wall of Debt—an unprecedented level of debts, deferrals, and budgetary obligations accumulated over the prior decade. In 2013‑14 alone, the state will dedicate $4.2 billion to repay this budgetary borrowing—paying for the expenses of the past, instead of meeting current needs. Moving forward, continuing to pay down the Wall of Debt is key to increasing the state’s fiscal capacity. In 2011, the level of outstanding budgetary borrowing totaled $35 billion.
So he's slashed spending, increased revenue and is setting aside a portion of the current budget to pay down previous debt. Can you explain to me what is so bad about this?



Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
I never changed the metric. I offered one, after you put up resistance to my original statement, so I offered another to avoid derailing the thread.
You're right, your initial statement was a non-specific bashing of California's monetary situation, so I'm wrong there.

Again, though, what would you like Governor Brown to do, magic the debt away? Do Californians forfeit their ability to have an opinion until the deficit is cleared up? The debt?



Originally Posted by Snow-i View Post
I think you've missed my point.
I totally did. That's why I asked:
why the hell are you picking on California just because one of the participants in the thread is from there? Particularly when cigarette taxes are a less than unique circumstance.
What's the answer?
     
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Mar 11, 2013, 04:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
So he's slashed spending, increased revenue and is setting aside a portion of the current budget to pay down previous debt. Can you explain to me what is so bad about this?
It's great! But after a decade of bad decisions (including by an (R) governor) and the wealth that has bled the state, and without the tax increases having had their effects (other than on budget projections) I'd hardly call them out of the water. Irregardless...


You're right, your initial statement was a non-specific bashing of California's monetary situation, so I'm wrong there.
Is that supposed to be a dig?
Again, though, what would you like Governor Brown to do, magic the debt away? Do Californians forfeit their ability to have an opinion until the deficit is cleared up? The debt?
No, but their history can also serve as an example. Hence why I brought it up.


I totally did. That's why I asked:

What's the answer?
My point isn't that hard to figure out - I apologize if you take issue with me for picking on CA as an example, but excessive sin taxes as a feel-good measure, or worse outright bans on public roads and sidewalks, serve no purpose other then lining the pockets of the lobby for insert cause here while throwing those who partake in that activity (mainly in this case lower income individuals) in an even tougher spot.

California's problems cannot be attributed solely to this issue but the general ideology of their ruling class can. I was attempting to paint a picture of what can happen with a virulently statist governance, using CA AND NYC as miniature examples. You didn't take issue with me for mentioning New York or Nancy "Pass it to see what's in it" Pelosi in the same response. Who's paying for CA's problems now? The taxpayer. It's great that they just started on the path to a solvent future but they are by no means there now, today.

To me, it's against the spirit of this country (you know, freedom and all that) and serves only to further divide the ruling class and average individual based on one's approval of another's lifestyle.

In case you missed it the first time, here it is again:

Wow, why all the CA hate? What the hell does that have to do with this conversation?
I don't believe in the government "knowing better for me" than I do. I.e. where it is appropriate to do certain things, what I am allowed to eat, whether I can smoke or not. I'm fully capable of making that decision.

CA, the home of "Pass it to know whats in it!", certainly falls into this category for a number of issues. The general attitude and lack of respect for people who choose to smoke illicits a similar general attitude and lack of respect. That's where the hate comes from.
     
 
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