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Obama's First Tax Hike (and it's on the poor)

I wonder what my fellow North Carolinians will think about Obama's first tax increase (of his presidency, that is). From Amanda Carpenter at Townhall:

President Obama approved his first tax hike today.

The bill he signed to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program contains a provision to increase taxes on tobacco by a whopping 155 percent. That means the federal taxes on cigarettes have gone up an additional 61 cents a pack. This brings federal taxes on a pack of cigarettes to $1 per pack total.

(It also means the nation will need to maintain a steady level of smokers to subsidize kids health care, an unlikely outcome in light of a fledgling economy and increased taxes on the tobacco.)

Despite his pledges not to tax low-income Americans, Obama's tax increase on tobacco will disproportionately punish the poor, who are more likely to become addicted to cigarettes.

55 percent of smokers are considered "working poor" and one in four live below the poverty line.

Update: I don't know what my fellow North Carolinians here in tobacco country think yet, but the people at DU are even upset about this one.

Update II: Most amusing comment on this post so far:

Psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Feldman sez:

'The irrational lashing out at President Obama since his inauguration is best explained as a manifestation of frustration felt by supporters of George Bush and his administration. Followers were strongly discouraged (both literally and subconsciously) from expressing any criticism of Mr. Bush, his policies, and actions for fear of being labelled insufficiently unpatriotic or not being a team player. The floodgates were opened when Mr. Obama took office.'

-- Adrian Browne

Sorry Adrian/Dr. Feldman, but the criticism of Obama is far from "irrational." Unless you consider it irrational to oppose adding a trillion dollars to the national debt during a recession, or oppose a tax evader as treasury secretary, or oppose an administration full of lobbyists.

Feldman's comment doesn't explain why all the DU commenters are against the new Obama tax hike to fund children's healthcare. Those at DU are definitely not people who were afraid to criticize Bush for eight years for fear of being thought unpatriotic. This smacks of hysterical desperation. It is an unsuccessful effort to smoke screen the true reasons for criticism of The One. It isn't some deep pent up frustration that is causing criticism of Obama -- it's the policies stupid. And the nominations. And the already broken promises. And regressive taxes. And honey bee insurance. And on and on. It isn't really all that complicated or difficult to understand unless you are still in blame Bush mode. That tends to blind people to what is right in front of their eyes.


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Comments (43)

In four years we would reme... (Below threshold)
Thomas Jackson:

In four years we would remeber this when the DOW is at 4000 and our tax rates are up 50%. We won't remember this because we will think the Carter era was a fun time because inflation was only 20% and unemployment only 10%.

Wait till they atrt taxing gasoline out of your tanks and add new taxes for electricity. Wait till they tax dividends at a rate that will have people putting their money in the backyard.

Cahnge, hope, unicorns.

Die fahnan hoch!

Yeah NewPres is just gettin... (Below threshold)

Yeah NewPres is just getting started. And the cig tax is such hypocrisy. They say the tax is to encourage people to quit, yet their budgets operate on the HOPE that we don't CHANGE our ways, and continue to smoke. They need the money.

ALL POLITICIANS SUCK.

I'm going out for a smoke.

I'm a smoker and not partic... (Below threshold)
ArrowBee:

I'm a smoker and not particularly proud of that fact. I honestly believe it's more a case of my being obstinate rather than addicted. I hate stop smoking campaigns and every time a doctor tells me I should quit I want to jam my thumb in his eye. Still, of all the reasons to quit, paying an extra 61 cents per pack will likely be the one that makes it happen.

My point is, if other smokers view this the same way I do, where will the funding come from once we start quitting or cutting way down? It's absolutely ridiculous to fund a program that has ever-increasing costs and recipients with a source that the government itself is funding separate programs to eliminate and will likely diminish on its own due to the high cost.

How about the government pull all the funding from smoking cessation programs and apply it to the SCHIP?

I was going to post a "havi... (Below threshold)
Zeph:

I was going to post a "having a dose of reality" post at DU but it seems they revoked my posting privileges (as i expected) for having a good question about open dialogue without personal attacks...which the DUers replies obviously didn't follow. So i got banned for their idiocy...lol.

If they can't take this first tax hike that site's going to have an a "collectivist" heart attack before Obama's into his second year. Seems the post-9/11 "it's Bush's fault political geniuses" are finding out they know less than they thought and maybe the doses of reality will teach them not to put blind faith in politicians. Now they too are experiencing the change they voted for.

They'll be having second thoughts about how bad they thought George Bush was by the time Barack's done.

Don't they know raising the prices of cigarettes is a part of environmentalism and going green. Cigarette smoke contains pollutants and that evil tobacco plant is enslaving tobacco farmers when they could be collecting money from their governments for nothing!

In the UK we pay £5 ++ for ... (Below threshold)
Jihn:

In the UK we pay £5 ++ for a packet of "fags". Most of that is tax and some say its what gives us our free health care. Im a smoker and i know id rather have health care than not.

I quit smoking. Doesn't bot... (Below threshold)

I quit smoking. Doesn't bother me. :P

On a serious note:

I live in Canada, and health care is free (sometimes low-quality, with long waits, but free). For my country I'd be all in favour of high taxes on cigarettes, to put that money into taking care of those people who will get lung cancer later. In canada we pay about $6~$9 a pack, which is about $5~7 US dollars. Is that higher than in the USA?

It's simple folks. If all u... (Below threshold)

It's simple folks. If all undesirable habits - most of all smoking - are given up where are the tax revenues to come from?

The next product is alcohol. Damn. No smoking, no drinking... next? No eating fatty food? Next?... sugar? Next"... protein?

Obesity - even just being a little overweight according to exceedingly small standards is next. I'll be dead by then, no doubt saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in healthcare costs.

A country cannot tax itself to good health. The better the health, the less the tax, the worse the health. Is logic not taught anywhere these days?

Thankfully big changes in h... (Below threshold)
JB:

Thankfully big changes in healthcare are around the corner.

No, not the stupid single-payer system Obama wants.

Personal genomics is going to radically alter the way medicine is practiced. If everyone knows their genetic predispositions at birth, it will make whatever turkey of a socialized medicine they force on us easier to swallow -- specifically, it should reduce expenditures on expensive and sometimes redundant tests which suck up a lot of health care payment dollars these days.

All the asshole politicians can do is make the system worse, more inefficient and infected by political considerations.

The personal genomics industry will (hopefully) save us.

This is even more of an eye... (Below threshold)

This is even more of an eye-roller since the Stimulus Bill contains a $75 million line item for "smoking cessation activities."

Why do Democrats want to spend money we don't have on a program that will damage the primary revenue source for children's health care?

Another thought -- someone should keep an eye on the President and any other high-profile smokers in the government. Are they getting their cigarettes locally in DC, or having them shipped in from a low tax/no tax zone like an Indian reservation?

BTW, the state of New York is trying to tax cigarettes sold on Indian reservations to "non-Indians," but a state Supreme Court judge has blocked the law, stating that it violates tribal sovereignty.

Psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Fel... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Feldman sez:

'The irrational lashing out at President Obama since his inauguration is best explained as a manifestation of frustration felt by supporters of George Bush and his administration. Followers were strongly discouraged (both literally and subconsciously) from expressing any criticism of Mr. Bush, his policies, and actions for fear of being labelled insufficiently unpatriotic or not being a team player. The floodgates were opened when Mr. Obama took office.'

..I live in Canada, and ... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

..I live in Canada, and health care is free (sometimes low-quality, with long waits, but free)...

Free? Really? You mean the doctors and hospitals donate their time and resourses and don't get paid? You mean they don't get any money from the Canadian gov't? You mean no one in Canada pays for or is taxed for health care?

Is that what you mean by 'free'?

Has Brocko even made a spee... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Has Brocko even made a speech about the horrible plight of people in Kentucky or flew in a helicopter over the disaster zone? No? You mean he was feasting on a lavish Superbowl party while people froze to death? You mean he and Michele snuck out of the White House to read 'My Pet Gloat' to 2nd-graders after just two weeks on the job?

Heckuva job, Baracky!

LOL AB. Great satirical po... (Below threshold)
epador:

LOL AB. Great satirical post. It was tongue in cheek, right?

I love it when the non-smok... (Below threshold)
SillyPuddy:

I love it when the non-smokers say "I don't smoke so I don't care", that's exactly the mentality these jokers are counting on. Something tells me those people will care when the smokers run out and they come for your money next.

Obama lied and raised taxes on the poor.


Hilarious comment from Adri... (Below threshold)

Hilarious comment from Adrian Brown. First, the criticism of Obama is far from "irrational." Unless you consider it irrational to oppose adding a trillion dollars to the national debt during a recession, or oppose a tax evader as treasury secretary or oppose an administration full of lobbyists.

What makes it even more laughable is that the shrink's comment doesn't explain why all the DUmmies are against the new Obama tax hike to fund children's healthcare. Those at DU are definitely not people who were afraid to criticize Bush for eight years for fear of being thought unpatriotic.

Sounds to me like extreme desperation and an effort to smoke screen the true reasons for criticism of The One. Hint: it isn't some deep pent up frustration resulting in the need to criticize a president -- it's the policies stupid. And the nominations. And the already broken promises. It isn't really all that complicated or difficult to understand.

"The irrational lashing out... (Below threshold)
JB:

"The irrational lashing out at President Obama since his inauguration [snip]'

First journalists, then climatologists, now psychologists -- nothing but partisan hacks.

Adrian Browne,In o... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Adrian Browne,

In other words any criticism of Obama is all Bush's fault. It seems the liberal mind needs many layers of defense to keep reality from crashing in. In this case, the reality that Obama is just a man with little experience and few new ideas.

"Unless you consider it irr... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

"Unless you consider it irrational to oppose adding a trillion dollars to the national debt during a recession."

That's just the deer-in-the-headlights-thing.

The irrational lashing out ... (Below threshold)
Haumea:

The irrational lashing out at Sarah Palin since President Obama's inauguration is best explained as a manifestation of frustration felt by supporters of Barack Obama and his administration. Followers were strongly encouraged (both literally and subconsciously) from expressing hatred of Mr. Bush, his policies, and actions. The end of his presidency has created a void for the expression of such emotions which must now be redirected onto another Republican.

There, Adrian, fixed it for ya. See how much fun it is?

"from expressing" = "to exp... (Below threshold)
Haumea:

"from expressing" = "to express"

"See how much fun it is?"</... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

"See how much fun it is?"

It's even more fun when you think of it first!

There's no such thing as "i... (Below threshold)
JFO:

There's no such thing as "irrational" lashing out at Palin. A first class dopey opportunist is a first class dopey opportunist. She does have one redeeming asset though. She watches Russia for us just in case they invade to snatch some moose from the USA.

At least Obamalala says he... (Below threshold)
MPR:

At least Obamalala says he doesn't smoke on the "grounds" of the W.H. So that must mean that he smokes every where else. Or does it? The press did a good job hiding the fact that he is a chain smoker during the campaign. Does he get an allowance for his cigarettes? Does the S.S inspect every cigarette before he smokes it? Does a S.S agent light up and take a puff to see if he falls over or not like a food tester does? Inquiring minds want to know.

" Followers were strongl... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

" Followers were strongly discouraged (both literally and subconsciously) from expressing any criticism of Mr. Bush, his policies, and actions for fear of being labelled insufficiently unpatriotic or not being a team player"

Adrian,

Can you give one actual, substanciated example of this ever happening?

I mean, other than in the minds of Marxists like Dr. Feldman and yourself?

One single example?

Mr. Bunyan:if you ... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Mr. Bunyan:

if you put the google the phrase "If you're not with us you're against us bush" you come up with over 22,000 references.

Here in Maine, our democrat... (Below threshold)
AJ:

Here in Maine, our democratic-controlled gov't has continually raised cigarette taxes to fund things (most notably the Dirigo healthcare program, which by the way, has a million things wrong with it.) Each time, people have either quit or gone to NH for their smokes. Revenue has fallen considerably short, so they raise taxes again. Maine's economy has been ruined by the democrats... it's a pathetic place to live now (unless you're on welfare... we have great welfare benefits, heh...) Anyway, the same will happen federally-- people will stop smoking and funding will run well short. Then what? Oh, wait, higher taxes agin... brilliant.

That's an actual, and rathe... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

That's an actual, and rather famous, quote by Presdient Bush Adrian. He was referring to other countries not to his alleged "followers".

Can you explain how this is "Followers were strongly discouraged (both literally and subconsciously) from expressing any criticism..."? Can you even remotely tie the two entirely differnt things together?

No I didn't think so. You loose this point and have yet to demonstrate that you and Feldman are not morons.

I think Dr. Feldman must ha... (Below threshold)
Kev:

I think Dr. Feldman must have a narcisstic personality disorder, as he seems to think anyone who criticizes Obama has some sort of mental problem... because how could any rational being POSSIBLY think anything Obama stands for is bad??

Adrian,At least it... (Below threshold)

Adrian,

At least it's nice to know that your psychiatrist buddy doesn't believe that Obama's critics are steeped in psychotic, unhinged personal hatred of the man himself.

Bush-bashers didn't just criticize his policies; they continually compared him to Hitler and Satan, and openly fantasized about his assassination.

Apparently, Dr. Feld... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:


Apparently, Dr. Feldman has touched a raw nerve.

It wasn't that long ago in ... (Below threshold)
MPR:

It wasn't that long ago in the Soviet Union if you criticized the government you must have been mentally ill. And then, you were committed to mental institution until you were healed.

Time to get into the smuggl... (Below threshold)
mojo:

Time to get into the smuggling racket, sounds like.

Ah JFO, so predictable. Of ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Ah JFO, so predictable. Of course when Caroline Kennedy demanded to be appointed senator, you lefties were all giddy with excitement regardless of absolutely NO experience in legislative bodies. Just another priviledged democrat making irrational demands. But you site Palin as an opportunist. (snicker) Do you see the breadth of your hypocrisy? No, didn't think so. ww

"It's even more fun when yo... (Below threshold)
JB:

"It's even more fun when you think of it first!"

Touche; however, I'll gladly exchange originality for truthfulness.

"There's no such thing as "irrational" lashing out at Palin. A first class dopey opportunist is a first class dopey opportunist."

And precisely why is it "rational" to care whether someone who does not direct national policy (like, oh say, THE F-ING PRESIDENT, YOU MORON) is an opportunist or not?

The answer: it isn't, of course. You're simply too deranged to recognize your derangement.

Bush Derangement Syndrome -... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

Bush Derangement Syndrome - the delusion that no matter what good thing President Bush had done, it was stupid, evil, and made for the worst reasons.

Obama Derangement Syndrome - the delusions that no matter what mistake President Obama has made, it's sweetness, light, and changeful.

Adrian Browne suffers from both.

MPRA simple answer... (Below threshold)
JFO:

MPR

A simple answer to your question: why should I care about Palin? Because she's a nitwit who wants to be president and we just funished 8 years with a nitwit.

There's your "rational" answer to a pretty stupid question.

In the above I meant JB at ... (Below threshold)
JFO:

In the above I meant JB at #35. Sorry MPR.

It wasn't that long ago ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

It wasn't that long ago in the Soviet Union if you criticized the government you must have been mentally ill. And then, you were committed to mental institution until you were healed.

Hmm, interesting. So classifying criticism of Bush as a "derangement syndrome", publishing books such as "Liberalism is a Mental Disorder", Fred Thompson telling Michael Moore to check into a mental health institution... are you saying that these are the right-wing of America trying to be more like the Soviet Union?

You should let Hussein Obamalala know your theory.

From JFO..."A simple... (Below threshold)
Hank:

From JFO...
"A simple answer to your question: why should I care about Palin? Because she's a nitwit who wants to be president and we just funished 8 years with a nitwit."

This from a supporter of the party that gave us 500 million a month unemployed Pelosi, 57 states Obama and that mental giant Joe Biden, let alone the too many to count tax cheats.

No wonder you're fixated on Palin. You desperately need to change the subject.

jeff kee - "I live in C... (Below threshold)
Marc:

jeff kee - "I live in Canada, and health care is free"

"Free" huh?

Well, let's see.

Damn, if my eyes don't deceive me, but there sure are a lot of rates at the 40% level and above in those tax tables.

I call that not so "Free."

Obama's got the job now - a... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Obama's got the job now - and he's not doing so hot. I'm hoping he'll get his feet under him soon, but as it is now he's looking increasingly disorganized and weak. Iran's pushing, North Korea is pushing, his own PARTY is seeing just how far they can push him.

Biden said Obama would be tested in the first 6 months. Well, he's being tested all right.

Passing a tax that'll take money off the folks who can least afford it... well, it's clear they need to get more people (of a higher income!) smoking so there will be more tax revenue to play with!

Adrian: "Apparently, Dr.... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Adrian: "Apparently, Dr. Feldman has touched a raw nerve."

Translation: No, I can't come up with one single example to substanciate this purile theory. I guess I just reeeeealy want to believe it no matter how childish and moronic it is.

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