Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Broken promise

In Dover, NH, on September 12, then-candidate Barack Obama said:

"I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes."

He repeatedly told audiences that "you will not see any of your taxes increase one single dime."

However, today one of the largest tax increases took effect and it's going to hurt lower-income families more than most.

Taxes on a pack of cigarettes increased $.62 today to a total of $1.01. Other tobacco products saw similarly steep increases. The tax is going to be used to fund an expansion of SCHIP, the State Children's Health Insurance Plan, though the expansion will cover, in some states, people (not just children) in the top 25% of wage-earners in the country.

During the campaign, Pres. Obama told Americans they could have affordable health insurance without raising taxes on anyone but the rich. However, cigarette taxes are an increase on people who don't qualify as 'rich' and have a huge impact on lower wage earners because they are more likely to be smokers.

Then there is the anti-logic of taxing a product that you're trying to get people to stop using - trying so hard, in fact, that you're spending other tax dollars on the effort - and counting on what will obviously be declining revenue to fund a long-term expansion of a growing program. Can you say 'stuck on stupid'? (And no, this is not an April Fool's joke...)

The only remaining question is this: will Obama supporters who smoke see this as the breaking of promise? Or will they make the excuse that it's okay because it's 'for the children'?

1 comment:

-Sepp said...

The death / estate tax was reinstituted yesterday too...thanks democrats!

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