I don’t smoke and I’m betting you don’t either. Even if you do, you probably know it’s not healthy and have tried or are trying to quit. Despite the fact that I don’t smoke I firmly oppose the proposed new additional $1 a pack tax. Why would I oppose it? Here’s a short list of reasons:
- Chicago, Cook County and Illinois already have the highest taxes in the country. Higher taxes just send consumers across borders and we lose revenue. All the projected gains never appear.
- In the meantime politicians use this ruse as an excuse to avoid the spending cuts that are desperately needed.
- Studies show that states that relentlessly pursue these sin taxes also tax everything else at higher rates. We do not want to encourage any of this.
- You may not smoke but if you encourage this your vice or hobby may be next. Taxes on beer, golf or pizza will follow.
- This is not the role of government or the purpose of taxes. Taxes are our shared financial support of shared government services. Support of sin taxes is quick way to relinquish your own individual right to do what you want to your own body.
We are currently witnessing the negative effects of this slippery slope as a bunch of self-appointed busy bodies are now trying to ban salt in restaurants. That is not the kind of country I want to live in. How about you?