Obama Raises Taxes on the Poor

I meant to post about this when it happened a couple of weeks ago. Today I was reminded about it by a catalog from JR Cigars, announcing the 54% tax increase on cigars.

Obama promised none of his tax increases would hit the poor or middle class. He lied. Surprise surprise.

SCHIP was originally intended to provide health insurance for poor kids. The Democrats tried to expand it dramatically under Bush, but he vetoed it. But under our new deadly combination of a socialist president and a socialist congress, it slithered through, virtually ignored by the mass media.

Not content with redefining anyone making more than $250k as rich, he’s now defined people making up to $63k as poor, poor enough to be covered by SCHIP. States will be able to raise this to $83K if they like. The cost of SCHIP is to be covered entirely by taxes on smokers.
Here are the tax increases:

  • Cigars from 20.719% to 52.75% per 1000 over 3 lbs with a 40.26 cents per cigar cap (+155%)
  • Little cigars from 4.0 cents to $1.00 per pack (+2,400%);
  • Cigarettes from 39 cents to $1.01 per pack (+159%)
  • Snuff from 58.5 cents to $1.51 per pound (+158%)
  • Chewing tobacco from 19.5 cents to 50.33 cents per pound (+158%)
  • Pipe tobacco from $1.0969 to $2.8126 per pound (+156%)

As horrible as these taxes are, the worst was the attack on the poorest of the poor – the people who are trying to save money by rolling their own.

  • Cigarette papers from 1.22 cents to 3.15 cents per 50 (+158%)
  • Cigarette tubes from 2.44 cents to 6.30 cents per 50 (+158%)
  • Roll-your-own tobacco from $1.09 to $24.78 per pound! (+2159%!)

I predicted this back in 2000:

Technically, rolling your own isn’t a tea party because the supplies are available retail and are not heavily taxed. But if enough smokers start doing this you can be assured the politicians will implement punitive taxes on the bulk tobacco, the kits, the tubes, the box it comes in, the cellophane used to wrap the box and the ink used to print the instructions. Be ready to start ordering from Indian reservations and overseas suppliers when it happens.

Smoking is more prevalent among people with lower incomes, so they’ll the hardest hit. A smoker making $20k a year now has to pay for the larvae of someone making three times as much.

But Obama isn’t going to raise taxes on the poor, no sir.

This will lead to an even more massive move toward “black market” tobacco, and it should.

The American Revolution was started over taxes on tea.  The colonists were weren’t just pissed about the amount of the tax, (which was far, far, far lower than today’s tobacco taxes) but on being taxed without representation. Tobacco users are now paying taxes of hundreds of percent, and in some cases, thousands of percent. When was the last time you heard anyone, in any governmental body, propose anything that could be construed as representing smokers? When smokers flock to Indian reservations and overseas vendors to avoid draconian taxes, they shouldn’t be regarded as criminals. They should be regarded the same way we regard the perpetrators of the Boston Tea Party: as patriots refusing to kowtow to government oppression.

Big Brother, of course, is pissed at these patriotic Americans who refuse to screwed. In my state, NY, Governor Patterson is trying to force Indian reservations to pay federal taxes. The reservations are refusing, of course. The last time a governor tried this the Senecas started a tire fire on the Thruway, a major thoroughfare in NYS that runs through their reservation. I saluted them, and if they’re going to do it again I have a few spare tires in my garage I’ll be happy to donate.

The next time someone praises the Lord Messiah Obama about his concern for the poor, ask them about his 2,400% tax increase. They’re probably not even aware of it.

8 Comment(s)

  1. My favorite part of the anti-smoking movement is the double-think.

    “Smoking is more addictive than heroin and smokers will go to any lengths to continue smoking.”

    “Raising tobacco taxes will reduce smoking.”

    I find it odd that smoking is on one hand is addictive as heroin/cocaine/meth, yet when prices are raised, smokers will not go without vital goods or turn to crime like people addicted to those drugs would. Which is it?

    It’s either a crushing, almost unbreakable addiction or it is not as bad as the claim it is for a few dollars more (although percentage wise rather large) to break the habit.

    Harley | Mar 21, 2009 | Reply

  2. I gave up smoking years ago because it was getting too expensive to smoke. I do buy Cigars from time to time especially on great American smoke out day.
    I also figure that I would make my point by not supporting SCHIP with my taxes in light of the fact that I will eventually end up paying for SCHIP when people either stop smoking or use the black market and they apply that tax on something else.
    What I am really amazed at is the complacency of people when products are taxed at many times the actual cost of an item. Too many fall into the trap of “it’s for our own good” and don’t realize that something they like might be next.

    Tom | Mar 23, 2009 | Reply

  3. Although I have as much of a problem with SCHIP as any other intelligent person (if I lived in the US, I’d be having T-shirts printed with “Support childrens healthcare – smoke more” on them) I’m going to have to play nanny’s advocate a little.
    A pound of tobacco is actually quite a lot (it’d see me through about three months of fairly heavy pipe smoking) so having an additional $24 on it probably wouldn’t make that much of a difference over that long.

    The one good thing about SCHIP is that it pretty much assures that it’s now in states interest to have enough smokers to pay for it, so it might encourage them to keep the worst antics of the antis in check.

    Rufus | Mar 25, 2009 | Reply

  4. Yeah, because it is not like the government never does ANYTHING that is counter-productive or contradicts its own interests…

    Harley | Mar 26, 2009 | Reply

  5. Hi Dave,

    I saw this and thought of your discussions about second hand smoke.


    I played a parody PSA on one of my podcasts about third-hand smoke. How ridiculous is it that someone is actually arguing about the evils of third-hand smoke now?



    Gene S. | Apr 2, 2009 | Reply

  6. Gene,

    I covered that a while back, and it generated a lot of comments:


    Dave Hitt | Apr 4, 2009 | Reply

  7. Sorry I missed that one. Thanks for the link.

    Gene S. | Apr 4, 2009 | Reply

  8. I notice the Indian Reservations are adding most of the taxes to their prices (RYO is $40 off-reservation and $30-35 on the reservations). Evidently they learned a lot from the White Man – use your advantage and pocket the difference.

    Sharpshooter | Apr 29, 2009 | Reply

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