After enjoying smoking for over 3 decades, I am now forced to make a decision to either quit or pay much much higher taxes. A few years ago I was forced into the same decision when Governor Granholm of Michigan imposed a $20 per carton tax on cigarettes.
At that time, I had a third option... roll your own. We looked into it, tried it and found the tobacco much more pleasant. And cheaper, since bagged tobacco wasn't taxed like manufactured cigarettes. We were paying $15.99 per pound of tobacco, which would make about two cartons of cigarettes. The recent increase in price of tobacco, which the companies have made in order to gain some profits before millions quit smoking, brought the price up to $17.99 per pound at my local store.
Starting April 1st, 2009, the Obama/S-CHIPS tax of about $24.60 will be added per pound of tobacco, making the cost of my tobacco skyrocket to somewhere between $40 to $43! A 270% increase!
My third choice is still cheaper than manufactured cigarettes, but am I willing to embrace a flawed political policy by paying 270% more in taxes? HELL NO! The wife and I have decided we will not support this unfair tax increase and will be quitting smoking. We just can not see paying taxes that goes towards medical insurance for middle-class (who already have private insurance) and illegal immigrants.
For those that say "Great, make the smokers quit or pay!" I have a little secret for you... guess who gets to pay for S-CHIPS when millions quit smoking? YOU! That's right, YOU! When the bill was signed, there was already a shortage of 22 MILLION smokers needed to pay the cost of this bill. You got that right, that means already 22 million NON-smokers (YOU) have to pick up the tab. No sweat today, Obama is simply printing more money to cover the cost, but some day soon he's going to tell you that you need to feel sorry for kids and help pay for their medical insurance.
Here's a novel idea.. since you know now that you will be paying for S-CHIPS, why not just send me $25? For every $25 I will buy a bag of tobacco. This way you will feel good knowing that your money is going to help some poor illegal immigrant children and I will continue to enjoy rolling my own cigarettes.
Now to look into growing my own...