Originally Posted by abu ronin
Personally, I'm more concerned w/American children having health insurance than I am w/yours and mine tobacco prices.
This statement is so wrong headed on so many levels I am not sure where to begin. I suppose I am struck by the notion that tobacco consumers alone should be expected to for the SCHIP when in theory everyone's kids are expected to benefit from the program. Although I should know better I am also surprised by the notion that tobacco consumers owe the rest of society something given that we pay higher insurance premiums then anyone else, pay more in taxes then anyone else despite having shorter lives and hence, collecting less social security. Lots of individual choices made by consumers have far worse public health impacts then tobacco consumption yet such decisions are not taxed and condemned and some are even celebrated. I will also point out that since tobacco consumers tend to have lower incomes then the rest of society tobacco taxes are extremely regressive. Seeing that you are a fairly leftist guy Iíd assume you'd be against taxing the less well off more heavily to pay for benefits given to everyone else but I guess not.
In any case, the tax increases that Obama is depending upon to fund SCHIP won't do so for a bunch of obvious reasons. When you tax something the price of that product goes up and consumption goes down. We know this from being conscious but also from a long history of tobacco tax increases reducing consumption to such an extent that the higher tax rates result in lower tax revenues. As people in the industry lose jobs they become a burden on the welfare state rather then contributors to it and the all the things that SCHIP is supposed to do fail because the funds simply are not there.
If you actually want to understand why taxing tobacco at ever higher rates doesnít and canít help fund anything read the following: http://www.heritage.org/research/healthcare/wm1548.cfm