Wednesday, January 14, 2009

SCHIP of fools returns

In December 2007, I wrote that and the GOP minority in Congress succeeded in defeating House Speaker 's attempt to  $35B expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program ().    I noted that the plan received an extension that had it run through March 2009.

Not surprisingly it's back, and with the bigger majorities and the new President about to take the oath of office, SCHIP is bigger and badder than ever.  Michelle Malkin writes:
Every legal tobacco product from premanufactured cigarettes and cigarette papers to cigars to roll-your-cigarettes, pipe tobacco, and smokeless tobacco will be taxed out the wazoo. Take roll-your-own tobacco. It’s currently taxed at $1.09/lb. The Obama/Democrat S-CHIP plan would hike that to $24.62/lb. Cigarette taxes would rise from $19.50 per thousand to $50 per thousand for small cigarettes and from $40.95 per thousand to $105 per thousand for large cigarettes.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refuses to have an open debate on the bill. House GOP leaders lodged a protest. (But remember that 42 Republicans sided with Pelosi last January in failed attempt to override President Bush’s veto.)

So much for transparency and openness. And so much for those promises to provide tax relief to “ordinary Americans.” As usual, {President-elect Barack Obama} was just blowin’ smoke.
Ms. Malkin also links to the PDFs of the bill, which I've read, and other supporting documentation that well worth your time to read. 

Now for the record: I don't smoke, so the price of tobacco means little to me.  The abject unfairness is what I am appalled at in this proposal (Conservatives do care about fairness for all in all matters).  Furthermore, every few years we're told we have to raise the taxes on tobacco in order to help deter people from smoking.  If that plan worked, then each increase would result in less smokers (or so the argument goes).  So it only follows that this increase in taxes - designed to pay for the increase in SCHIP - will net less than the desired funds as people quit smoking.

If you can believe the ratio of taxes to smokers.

Clearly, however, smoking is largely a vice of the lower income brackets in our country.  So for all those poor in the nation who cannot quit smoking, they will bear the unfair burden of this tax hike.

Gee, aren't you glad we have a Democrat majority in Washington, DC?

My other posts on SCHIP:

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