by Worthington Daily Globe
July 1, 2013 at 7:00 pm in Worthington Daily Globe
We all know smoking is bad for you. I’m quitting now for the third or fourth time, but I can’t fully understand the new tax on cigarettes. Continue Reading
Tags: Legislature, letters, Minnesota, Opinion, Politics, taxes 4 Comments »
Its not too hard to realize why the tax is going up…smoking costs tax payers millions in healthcare and lost productivity due to poor health on an item that serves no other function than as a completely harmful drug. The tax isnt high enough if tobacco wont be made illegal.
Hot debate. What do you think? 26 30
Click Red, smoking certainly does have societal costs including increased healthcare and lost productivity. Smoking is however a distant third to the increased healthcare cost and loss of productivity caused by obesity and alcohol. To be consistent the same logic should apply to those voluntary behaviors by requiring people who choose to consume alcohol or who are obese to contribute sufficient taxes to cover the extra burden placed on society. The average recipient of Medicare will receive benefits of $250,000 to $350,000 more than they ever paid into the system. Much of that cost is associated with voluntary behaviors such as smoking, alcohol and obesity. I’m in favor of taxing the snot out of smoking because it is a fair exchange for the excess medical expense that the average smoker will require, and the same theory should apply to alcohol and obesity. Alternatively, I am in favor of set amounts being allocated to every participant in the Medicare program. After those limits are exhausted the recipient should be required to use their own assets with benefits being restored after use of their own funds; I see no rationale for a system that allows someone to engage in unhealthy behaviors, incur increased medical expenses because of those behaviors and still be allowed to retain their personal assets. Certainly there should be some “hardship” exceptions, but a program structured in this manner would reward those who exercise responsible behavior.
Hot debate. What do you think? 16 21
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Why not legalize pot, tax it, and you could take care of a good deal of the stadium funding, and then some!!
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 18 32
Joe, I would simply like tobacco placed where it belongs in the current drug scheduling under the law. Alcohol has been show to have some health benefits in moderation, abuse and misuse are the cause of costs to society and not the drug itself as tobacco is. Obesity is a multifactoral issue, nearly impossible to target one taxable cause. Both would need new laws to have them taxed, where tobacco should be a schedule 1 under current laws, thus deemed illegal.
Hot debate. What do you think? 14 20
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