I am a cigar smoker. So what I am about to say could be written off as greed my part but I really don't believe that is the case. I haven't bought a box of "premium" cigars in so long that I can't remember the last box I bought. I don't smoke Dutch Masters to be sure but I have learned to make good with the house brands of various tobacco establishments.
Back in the mid 90's there was a cigar boom fueled in large part by Hollywood. Everybody in Hollywood from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Vanessa Williams was smoking cigars and America followed suit. Cigar shops begun popping up everywhere Smoking Cigars was the thing to do! The boom lasted about three weeks. Now when a tobacco shop pops up I go in Buy a box and then wish the guy best of luck in his next business because I know that next week when I go by his shop he'll be out of business. It's gotten so bad that even the long standing shops are now shutting down. David Brier Shoppe which stayed a live off of selling ceramic statues as much they did selling cigars closed up last year. The revenue to be made from the cigar industry is drying up to drip. Cigarettes, in case you haven't noticed, aren't doing much better. And yet this is exactly where the money that the Democrats hope to raise to fund their increase in SCHIP comes from.
SCHIP is the States Children Health Insurance Program. You can read about it on 538. The Democrats want to raise the funding of the program by raising Taxes on Tobacco products. they tried three times with Bush in office to get this passed Bush vetoed it every time. Now with Obama in office it will pass and smokers will again be hit in the pocketbook. Tobacco companies to be sure are bracing for it's passing and as you might guess are peddling as much bullshit against it as Democrats (which if you haven't guessed I very much am one) have for it. I received an "SCHIP" catalog from JR Cigars in which they claimed SCHIP was going to kill them and they had to sell off what was in the Catalog. In truth the Catalog was full of product they couldn't give away and they admitted as much. I'll repeat this: my disagreement with how this suppose to be funded is not greed, If I thought there were enough of us to do what the government wanted us to do I would be all for it. There just isn't. My disagreement with the Democrats on this is two fold:
1. You are trying to fund a government program on the backs of Tobacco smokers of which there is no longer enough to fund such a program. And the numbers of us dwindle smaller everyday. This is of course your fault. It was you who made smokers pariahs. We now live in a society where smoking a cigarette in a movie is grounds for an R rating. In one sense you have achieved your goals there are less of us than ever before smoking but that also means we just can't keep funding spending projects because there is also less tax revenue.
2. Let me get this straight you want to fund a health project on the backs of people who are doing something totally unhealthy? So I guess that means we should do the right thing to help these kids get the health care they deserve and start smoking more right? Now it seems to me that if you were going to single out a group to pay for everything you wouldn't be spending all of your free time trying kill the group. Of course women's groups have been trying to kill Football in the name of women's athletics for years and it's football that pays for women's athletics so...what do I know? I really am having a hard time following the logic here. We want everybody to quit smoking BUT we want to fund important government spending projects with the tax dollars from smoking. WHAT?
Since we are footing the bill for SCHIP does this mean the government and the do-gooders will leave us alone? We will no longer be bombarded with attacks every 5 minutes on the news, in the movies and in commercials about how awful of human beings we are because we smoke? He'll we're doing a great thing by smoking. We are paying for the health care for Children who are too rich for Medicaid and too poor to pay for it on their own. Will idiots now no longer be able to sue tobacco companies for millions of dollars in Frivolous law suits on the bullshit excuses that either they didn't know smoking was dangerous or RJ Reynolds made them smoke? I do not smoke in other peoples houses or large gatherings in fact I don't smoke around my wife or even my pets but maybe when, if it ever does, gets warm I should go to the park and light up around some kids and when their mother complains about the health risks to their Children I should just say don't sweat it I am paying for their health care anyway.
I like a lot of you believe in universal health care for everybody. And I know it's something that we are all going to have to pay for. But to expect smokers in a society that treats them like lepers to foot the bill entirely for projects like this is wrong, stupid and fundamentally flawed.