Nov 17, 2009

Loopy Holes on Potomac

You're the President. You want to tighten your control over undesirable persons. One easy way to do it is to write a bill "for the kids." As a nation, we love kids, although for the life of me I can not figure out why.

In the issue at hand, His Obamaness persuaded his captive parliament to tax Holy Hell out of tobacco to fund his new "child health" programs. The One is especially anxious to control the undesirable element known as smokers, especially those with little money and less clout. So he kicked the tax on roll-your-own tobacco from $1.10 a pound to $24.75. Smokers and the tobacco barons called that bunch of bull durham, and the latter promptly relabeled it as pipe tobacco, taxed at $2.83 a pound.

My moral betters are outraged. "This is a direct challenge to the federal government," said Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids."

No kidding. Matt? Thanks for sharing the good news.

It won't last, of course. Even as we speak, Obama's Washington word processors are full-bore bent on closing this loophole*. But at least private, tax-paying business has annoyed the masters again, and that's worth something.


Disclaimer: Your humble scribe is a recovering two-pack-a-day smoker, clean for close to nine months. He has no special respect for the tobacco industry except in narrow cases when it faces official repression for its very existence.


* A word too often misused and overused. In the statist mindset, any dollar in your private pocket reflects a tax loophole on one kind or another.

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