Without much fanfare the Congress has voted on legislation to raise cigarette taxes by 61 cents. President Bush has vowed to veto the legislation.
The huge tax hike, raising the federal cigarette tax to a total of one dollar a pack, would provide financing for expanding health coverage for children. It’s hardly cynical to note that most nasty actions against the United States taxpayer are proposed in the name of the children. Couching tax hikes and regulatory burdens as somehow "for the children" is an ugly and deceptive ploy all factions in government use. Norman Kjono explains how the latest scam to pick smokers’ pockets came into being, who it will benefit (hint, it’s not the children), and why Bush is correct in vetoing it.