As everyone knows by now, the Republican-held PA State Senate passed the budget and Rendell's 30% Tobacco tax was quashed. But there are comments, of course, from both sides.
First the sore losers (the SORRY ABOUT YOUR LUCK bunch!) From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "Pennsylvania remains the only state in the nation without a tax on smokeless tobacco. It and Florida don't tax cigars. That makes public health a loser under the budget, said Melinda Little, a regional director for Washington D.C.-based Tobacco Free Kids. '"We know that higher taxes on these products prevent usage, especially with kids," Little said. The organization's figures show 12.9 percent of high school boys in Pennsylvania use snuff, 17.7 percent smoke cigars and 18 percent smoke cigarettes.' " (And just forget the fact that you'd be putting how many business out and jobs erased. Typical liberalspeak)
and from pennlive.com: "Deborah Brown, acting CEO of the American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic, was astounded that Pennsylvania would remain the only state in the nation that doesn't tax smokeless tobacco and one of only two that don't tax cigars. She said if those products were taxed at the same rate as cigarettes, it could have produced $90 million to $100 million.
“I can't believe they left this money on the table and they'd rather see people laid off from their jobs than to tax these products,” Brown said." (read my say above)
The winners (republicans)Tribune-Review: "But Sen. Patrick Brown, R-Allentown, who represents two cigar retailers in the Lehigh Valley, said taxing the companies could force them to relocate and cost the region and state more than 1,500 jobs." (I read from stogieguys.com that if this passed, Cigars International would have joined Kingston, NY's Uptown Cigars by also moving to Florida!)
"I'm not willing to play a game of chicken with hundreds of jobs," said Senate Appropriations Chairman Jake Corman, R-Centre County."
I contacted my state rep, Carl Metzgar (R 69th District of PA), and here's part of his letter:
"I can assure you that I am not in favor of further tobacco taxation in PA. Constituents of the Commonwealth are already over taxed and this attempt to impose additional taxes on tobacco products will only hurt our local businesses and their contractors, and is completely unnecessary. Fiscal commom sense is needed to balance our state's budget, not taxing tobacco."
The Laffer Curve means nothing to these people. Representative Delahunt (D) from MA is submitting a bill this coming Tuesday calling for taxes on internet sales. In the present economic climate it probably has a good chance of passage. The states are so desperate for cash to keep the doors open that they will jump on the bandwagon too. Such a bill will result in massive unintended consequences, all to the detriment of the man on the street.
IMO the local and federal governments are still under the idea that if they run out of money they will tax the s**t out of something to generate more funds or borrow it. The down side is the American people have already felt the budget crunch with home loans and credit card interest rates, and the availability of both. While we are being held to live more within our means, the government is still chugging along spending the $ faster than they get it. They want us to spend to stimulate the economy, but some live from paycheck to paycheck and juggle their bills to make ends meet if they even can.
Thankfully, within the next month or so, I will be in a position where the only person I owe is the mortgage company on my condo, and unlike many am not upside down in it. My last major purchase was a 52 inch TV, and a wireless blue ray player. They looked at me funny when I asked if they took cash and started counting bills
I agree with the last 2 replies. One problem is that the legisators want to take the easy way to balance their budgets by raising taxes, either not knowing, or worse, not caring that taxes like this take money away from the businesses that can use it to run and better their businesses from the profits made, but now have to use it to pay off a government's deficit that is a result of wreckless spending. Trimming excess waste is not easy but overtaxing a people is not wise.
With that, I also agree with those like Cigar Dave who are state that the taxes and useless smoking ban regulations are being used to control the populace. A current article from the Cato Institiute talks about the idea that was put forward as a question to Supreme Court candidate Elena Kagan. The article is here: http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=11948 So before another anti-tobacco type starts extolling how bad tobacco is and that these bans and taxes are a great thing to stop smoking and tobacco use all around, just aim them to this article to show them that they are falling for a sucker play that will affect all Americans eventually.
Which is why P.T. Barnum coined the phrase; "There's a sucker born every minute."
YUP! And I can write my own name with no help and even do a little cipherin' too! That was helpful when I got my MBA in 1978!
I forgot . . . you used to live in Northern California. Did you get your MBA at St. Mary's, by chance?
I was At Travis AFB for a couple of years, if you count that as Northern CA. I got my MBA at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, TX. You've probably never heard of Sul Ross but they have the best college rodeo team in the US...and a pretty fair academic program as well. GO LOBOS!
I earned the degree through their Uvalde Study Center while I was stationed at Laughlin AFB in Del Rio. The degree certainly isn't as prestigious as one from Wharton School of Bidness but it was the ticket I needed to advance in the USAF. It allowed me to trade my SSGT stripes for the gold bars of a 2 LT...and much more money. However, my prestige took a hit in the transition.
"Public Health" When did the Government ever start caring about us?I don't believe in the Boogyman-Terrorist,Global Warming and i surely don't believe in second hand smoke.Now there trying to say there is "Third hand smoke"Next they will tell us it's bad for us to come outside are Holmes or breath
Second, has anyone heard Cigar Dave's show today and what if anything did he have to say about the PA cigar tax defeat?
It's a theoretical construct illustrating taxable income elasticity. Simply stated, the more the gubmint taxes you the less incentive you have to earn money so the gubmint's tax revenue actually decreases the higher they raise the taxes.
The perspective of the Laffer Curve is that a maximum tax rate can (or even should) be calculated and exploited. Perhaps it would be better if government went about the task of upholding the constitution and protecting its people, and leave business and enterprise to go about creating and distributing wealth. In my view, taxation, as it is practiced in the western world today is nothing less than theft. Any money government receives should be viewed as a gift from the people, and respected as such.
Way to go, PA! I'm afraid this is but a small victory in a long line of battles, especially at the federal level. Obama's signing of the SChip ran Altadis' Hav-A-Tampa out of Tampa, costing the Tampa area around 500 jobs. JC Newman is the only major cigar maker left in Tampa.