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March 5, 2009 / JV

Obama against cigarettes, against poor people.


The Fox Forum posted a blog about “Obama’s Top Five Broken Promises” a couple of days ago. According to the writer, Phil Kerpen, one of the five notable promises that the president has broken is the one pledging “no tax hikes against the poor”. The argument is that Obama promised not to increase taxes on families making less than $250, 000 a year, yet he signed a bill in February that will increase the federal tobacco tax… and most people who smoke are poor so he broke his promise. Kerpen writes:

By signing H.R. 2 into law, Obama happily signed onto the idea that smokers should pay for a $35 billion expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Plan (SCHIP). Cigarette taxes are going up 61 cents a pack starting April 1. Obama signed this bill knowing that the majority of smokers in the United States are working poor, and one in four lives below the federal poverty line.

how dare obama make smokers pay for children’s health care. that’s clearly an attack on the poor. can’t he just legalize coke and tax that, or something?

i might be biased because i don’t smoke but i think this argument is really wack. am i missing something?



Leave a Comment
  1. Ann / Mar 5 2009 8:43 pm

    I am 68 years old and have been addicted to cigarettes since I was
    13 years old. I have tried hundreds of times to quit but none successful
    and gaining 100 lbs isn’t good for my heart either. Doesn’t Obama know that the only comfort in hard times for poor people is coffee and cigarettes? We can’t afford Prozac and Alchol. Why aren’t the alcholics made to pay for Health Care? Why don’t they go up $1 a beer and every mixed drink and bottle of booze equally. They spend millions on healthcare and rehab for illegal drug addicts but not a cent to help smokers. We are the scourage of the earth but yet we are the ones paying all the taxes. The big Tobacco Settlement wasn’t given to Smokers. Not a penny unless you count a few no smoking ads on tv.
    Yet they blame all cancer on smoking and if that is so then who better to
    have the money. The states were so greedy they sold the settlements for
    pennies on a dollar just to get their greedy hands on it and then continue to tax us till we have to cut into food money to pay for them. Don’t they know that the crime of stealing cigarettes is gonna go way up. They will be killing people for them. Guess the only alternative for smokers is to find a marijuana source on the corner in the dead of night. With all or savings and retirement plans going down the toilet, how are we suppose to cope without cigarettes. Course those crooks in DC don’t care as they
    have tons of money to pay for theirs. I just hope I don’t live much longer as this world has come to the point that I am looking forward to leaving it. Maybe I will get the courage to jump off the highest building in town as life is no longer worth living.

  2. nails / Mar 7 2009 1:29 am

    All the studies about smokers shows that they pay into healthcare systems way more than they get back via existing taxes, and dying quicker. They die younger and a lot faster, so they do not rack up the huge healthcare bills most elderly people do by living for ever and dying really slowly of a variety of chronic conditions. It is a tax on the poor, completely. Depression, PTSD, and other mental illnesses increase the chances that any one person will begin smoking quite a bit, so it is also a tax on the mentally ill if you ask me.

  3. "J" / Mar 9 2009 3:28 pm

    First off, I smoke and am working on stopping.

    Secondly, if your that poor, you shouldn’t be spending 4$ a day on a pack of cigs to begin with, if anything raising the cost will influence people to stop smoking to save $.

    Thridly, with less smokers more children will be safe from secondhand smoke and the effects of it(cancer, lung diseases, heart problems).

    Lastly, poor people are not the only ones who smoke, it is common by all social classes. Knowing how expensive it is already, 61cents is not going to be a big difference.

    Quit smoking, save 4+ dollars a day and save up for something you could really use, like food and water if your poor.

  4. wcsheriff / Mar 9 2009 5:06 pm

    I agree with both added comments. Yes I am a smoker, but leave us alone for heavens sake!

    Forget the stigma against cigarettes & smokers for a minute… Almost by definition, any sales tax hurts the poor more than the wealthy. And by sales tax, included would be the typical 5-6% State & Local added at retail stores, as well as excise taxes added to specific products. (Aka “Sin taxes.)

    So I don’t agree with Ann about moving the tax from cigarettes to beer, or wine, or any other product. Without getting too far off base – if the programs they want to fund are for the “general good” then fund them with general (income) taxes. (But like FoxNews was alluding to – what’s the rush getting all this stuff through?)

  5. Big Tobacco Company / Mar 10 2009 11:26 am

    Hi e’rybody, I’m Big Tobacco Company!

    I sell and get you addicted to cigarettes. I target everyone: kids, those with PTSD, mothers, rebelling teens, the poor, you get the idea…

    My product has contributed to the sickness and death of millions of people!

    And here’s the kicker: I’ve created an addiction that has led many of my victims to side with me! I mean, they’re inhaling smoke into their lungs, and will still argue that it might not be unhealthy. It’s smoke and chemicals…in their lungs! Who woulda thought I could have achieved this? well, i did.

    And here’s the greatest part of it all: I’m a big private corporation in a free market economy, so no one will do anything about it! The peons will just bicker among themselves over the taxing of my product and other pettiness. Life is good.

  6. Mr Bill / Jul 2 2009 12:04 am

    Could there be some legal way to start a cigarette club. where you have other club members grow and make your cigarettes, you pay for land rights and upkeep etc and make it non – profit. There must be someway arround this harrasing tax on tax on tax. Mabe even a Cigarette Religion,”Holly Smoke” and smoking is part of my religion and not taxable. Was even looking up seeds today on one site 6.95 for 200 seeds and how to grow around my home, perfectlly legal along with wine making, but the ageing and making them would be a real pain. Wine’s alot easyer. I’ve been smoking since I was 14 and I’m 60 now, my parents smoked and lived to be over 80, this tax is just going to have people turn to cheep, harsh, really bad cigarettes. First autos, then gas now cigarettes, I’m being priced out of living.

    • the black scientist / Jul 4 2009 5:38 pm

      holy smoke lol that’s a good one. i think if people turned to independent/local production in general for their needs (although i’m not sure cigarettes qualify), things would be healthier and self-sustainable. albeit not necessarily cheap… independent anything in the US isnt generally affordable, but i wonder if it’d be different for tobacco.

  7. kentricia johnson / Nov 25 2009 8:47 pm

    why would u lie obama we poor pepole need help in u want to go up all that u can in me being a us citen i need help i am a singl mother of for who needs a lot of help n i thought that it was great to have a black president but i guest i waswrong please let him read this if u can thanks signed a mad blak woman

  8. kentricia johnson / Nov 25 2009 8:51 pm

    to whom it may concern i thought that obama was a gret presedint to he told us lies in then he broke my heart in i dont like that at all in ineed help cauz i am a single black woman who needs help n u wanna go up on stuff i dont think thas right cuz i dont have monry i am struguling to make i have 4 great kids who i love very much u broke my hert obama in please let him read this signed a mad black woman

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