As I hope you know, the U.S. Congress is engaged in a back and forth battle to fund SCHIP, a government children's health insurance program, with a 61 cents per pack increase in cigarette tax.
This is a double whammy representing everthing we gather here against: first, it is a disguised attempt to move America into socialized medicine; second, it is yet another effort to increase the tax burden on consumers of tobacco.
(FYI, you should know that congress' current public approval rating is currently 11%, the lowest in history. The president isn't doing too well either. His is about 26%. The media was quite eager to talk about approval ratings when Bush's was in the teens. They seem to be suddenly quiet on the subject as of late.)
The increased tax does not necessarily mean that you will see a 61 cent increase in the price of cigarettes. Big Tobacco sometimes makes internal adjustments to lower the product price to somewhat compensate for the tax increase.
Regardless of whether of how much the price of a pack goes up, when and if this tax goes into effect, I'll tell you now, I'm not paying it.
I have to admit that I'm a johnny-come-lately on this, because I've continued to buy pre-packaged big tobacco cigarettes while other tax increases came along to serve similar misguided principles.
This particular tax perhaps a final battleground in this country in a battle against encroaching socialism. To the public, it probably seems to be an issue of those damn smokers against the precious little children. In reality, what's at stake here has little to do with smoking or children. It's about winning a very important battle in moving our nation toward socialism.
(By the way, am I the only one who's noticed that all of the needy children in the news articles on this subject have, in particular, asthma. Never a broken arm, never the chicken pox, but asthma. Think about it.)
So, for me, I'm going to become a quick student in rolling my own. If that solution doesn't work out, then I just won't smoke anymore. I'm not feeding this beast, no way, no how. It's not about smoking, folks. You're not on this board because your so damn devoted to tobacco filled sticks; you're on this board because you recognized the greater danger involved when you were among the first victims of a force that has much more dangerous ramifications than the issue of smoking versus not smoking.
So, if it comes to be, will you pay this tax?