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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Liberals (ala "Meathead") Are Two-Faced Fools

In a delicious bit of irony, actually several tasty bits, Meathead is opposing a proposed $1.50 per pack tax on cigarettes designed to fund emergency rooms and other health programs. Meathead was the driving force behind a 1998 ballot measure that added a 50 cent tax on tobacco products. But now he's worried that any new tax will cut into the funding his initiative was reaping. Why would that happen, you ask, since the new tax would be on top of the old tax? Economics, my friends, basic economics. Meathead realizes that by further artificially driving up the price of smokes, the overall demand will lessen because the habit will become unaffordable for many (or move elsewhere, e.g. internet, across the border) and therefore the beneficiaries of these taxes will get less than expected. If you think I'm making this up (which, with all respect, means you are economically ignorant), read the money quote: "If the state increased cigarette taxes as proposed by the hospitals, purchases would decline as smokers shop elsewhere for lower prices or give up the habit. If fewer cigarettes are sold in the state, tax collections will decline and First 5 [Meathead's initiative] would receive less money." So the caring liberal, worried about our health being compromised for profits by Big Tobacco, is pissed because this new tax may result in more people quitting therefore less money for his desired objectives. Isn't this precisely the motivations attributed to the tobacco companies?

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