South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan has a good blog post about why he, as a conservative, cannot support this cigarette tax hike. Here is a quit excerpt from the article:
We stand at a crossroads in South Carolina as we debate the Governor’s Veto of the Cigarette Tax. There are some things that the proponents of a cigarette tax are not telling you. While I firmly agree that reducing smoking is a good idea for the citizens of this state, I think a government using its power of taxation to change behaviors is a slippery slope to it using taxation to punish unpopular activities.
The argument that it will be a deterrence to underage smoking is a ruse used to gain support. If we want to be serious about underage smoking, then let us adopt policies in this state that really penalize youthful offenders.
I would recommend reading the rest.
Being a conservative, I tend to agree that taxes aren’t the way to go for things like this. The idea that this is a slippery slope is a very real idea. Back during the midterm elections in 2006, a proposition came up about whether or not to raise the cigarette tax in Missouri and I voted against it. This ended up being the only result I was happy about.
Anywho, the slippery slope idea means that the government might start with a tax on cigarettes, which everyone mostly agrees are bad for you, but then they will start taxing other things like fast food or carbon emissions (anthropological global warming is a bunch of junk science by the way).
So instead of taxation, there are other ways like education to get people to stop smoking. I’m not one for a complete ban though. I have faith that humans are pretty smart creatures. They should know that if you smoke 3 packs a day you are in fact addicted and that addiction might end up costing you your life. As long as you aren’t affecting anyone else (aka second hand smoke, etc.), I feel it is your right to smoke yourself into oblivion.
As long as the information is out there for people to know of the risks and there are age requirements (I don’t feel that 12 year olds have the reasoning or foresight to see the long term consequences), than I don’t think the government should be trying to make them stop.
Now does this idea extend the people who say it is there right to smoke marijuana? Hmmm…I don’t know. The side affects of pot seem to have more of a chance of affecting people other than just the smoker (driving while high?).
Anyways, this post wasn’t supposed to be this long. I just wanted to point out Rep. Duncan’s stance against raising the cigarette tax and I hope every conservative will stand behind his decision.