I have no problem using taxes as a way to get rid of certain, discrete negative externalities, but anything beyond that is asking for trouble. So it is more than a little bizarre to find out that there are Florida Republicans behind a $1 per pack increase in cigarette taxes. Cigarettes are nasty things, but if you are trying–as these Florida Republicans are–to raise revenues via cigarette taxes, then you are bound to be disappointed in a big way.
The policy failures inherent in this approach are bad enough. The political failure is that we have Republicans acting like Democrats. I thought that the past two election cycles were sufficient to show that when Republicans run as Democrats, they lose. Evidently not.