Tobacco Taxes Burn Me Up
Another blow to us evil smokers
These new tobacco taxes are really burning me up. I know there are those of you that engage in fist pumps and victory dances every time a new tax is slapped on us evil smokers, but enough-is-enough. I wonder if you would feel the same way if taxes, comparable to those levied on smokers, were tacked onto red meat (high in cholesterol), chocolate (diabetes and obesity) and any car that does better than 35 mph (you could always take the bus); all in the name of a national health initiative.
Let me put this in (my) perspective. I have worked, and paid my way in society since the age of 16; about 30 years. I have contributed my share to healthcare, Social Security, and taxes in general. I am not a criminal. I don’t do drugs, abuse children or drive drunk. I have been a teacher most of my career, and I give back to society by sharing my knowledge with those that choose to listen. I try to be the best friend I can, to help those I can, and to be as understanding as I can. I have never (knock-on-wood) broken a bone, had a major surgery, or even spent a night in the hospital. As I see it, I have caused noone’s healthcare to increase. As a matter of fact, I have probably spent more on health insurance than I have recieved in benefits. I am also a smoker. I have chosen to smoke for 25 years on-and-off. So why should I be punished with exhorbitant taxes? Is it because smoking is a choice?
The Cost of Smoking?
Here’s a news flash. Smokers are not the only people that choose to drive up the cost of healthcare. We all pay higher healthcare costs for those people that contract AIDS due to promiscuous behavior. Isn’t unprotected promiscuity a choice? They willingly participate in activities that could result in contracting a fatal disease. They are not victims (except in rare instances). So why aren’t promiscuous people forced to pay higher taxes to continue their behavior? I’ll wager I become very unpopluar by making that statement. I’ll be accused of bigotry and homophobia well before someone will come up with a legitimate argument as to why that isn’t a valid comparison.
I am not about to engage in the statistics surrounding the amount of money it costs to keep someone on an iron lung because they chose to smoke all their life. I am not completely unsympathetic to the idea that taxpayers, in some cases, get stuck with the bill for keeping someone alive with an illness linked to tobacco usage. I would be intelectually dishonest to think otherwise. But why are smokers the only group of consumers that are repeatedly targeted with the chore of lowering healthcare costs for everyone else?
If you ask me, we all need to be responsible for our behavior. That means both sides of an action; forethought and aftermath. If everyone would just take care of their own business, Uncle Sam wouldn’t have to make it his.