I’m smokin’ mad

July 27, 2007


Last Thursday, it was the federal government proposing a 61 cent increase per pack tax on cigarettes to fund SCHIP. Then Monday, Governor Blago signed into law a complete ban on smoking in public places (bars, restaurants) in Illinois starting January 1st. And now today I read that state lawmakers are considering raising the Illinois excise tax on cigarettes an additional 75 cents to pay for road projects and school construction. From the Trib:

Illinois’ 98-cents-per-pack tax ranked 22nd highest at the beginning of the year, and the Cullerton proposal would raise the rate to $1.73. Other states, such as Michigan, Washington, Maine, Rhode Island and New Jersey, have state cigarette taxes ranging from $2 to nearly $2.58 cents.

But with taxes in Chicago at 68 cents a pack and Cook County at $2 a pack, the overall tax alone in Chicago would be a whopping $4.41

SCHIP and the smoking ban were at least health related. But road projects and school construction? Give me a fucking break.  From the Tax Foundation in regard to a recent discussion in Wisconsin about raising cigarette taxes there:

Mark Pocan (D-Madison), says that the cigarette tax should be raised because it’s “politically easy.” Unbelievable. Why not impose a special excise tax on people who have two vowels in their last name? It’s makes about as much sense as arbitrarily choosing smokers to fund various government programs that have nothing to do with smoking.

In addition to being unfair, it is an economically unsound source of revenue (h/t Willisms.com):


From the same Tax Foundation link:

It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part. If a majority be united by a common interest, the rights of the minority will be insecure.

— James Madison (Fourth President and “Father of the Constitution”), Federalist Paper 51


4 Responses to “I’m smokin’ mad”

  1. […] only joy from the latest attack on smokers comes from this article about the increased use of patio heaters in the UK causing further global […]

  2. the government, knowing that cigarettes kill a huge percentage of users, has decided the appropriate thing to do is not criminalize them, but to suck as much money as they can out of smokers while they are still breathing. This is a raging governmental hypocrisy. They don’t raise the tax on potato chips, and big fat fucks have as many health problems as smokers do

  3. John in IL Says:

    Thank you. I’m glad I’m not alone in my outrage.

    They don’t raise the tax on potato chips

    Just wait, they’ll do that too.

  4. smokelover Says:

    Classic tobacco cigarettes are so pass, hooray for the revolutionary electronic cigarette and e-cigar! ^^

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