After forty years of smoking cigarettes and cigars; chewing and dipping, quitting for days, weeks or months every few years but always picking the habit back up; I’ve finally found the weapon that even my deeply entrenched habit cannot withstand: anger.
Going on about a week now, and no tobacco. The chewing gum, patch, and the packages for every other crutch available to the nicotine addict litters my lavatory drawer – ALL ineffective. My most recent quitting aid was recommended by our new President: the tobacco tax increase and its resultant negative emotion: disgust. Couple that with GA’s $.37/pack, the federal tax increase brings the total tax to nearly $1.55/pack with sales tax (which compounds on top of the other tobacco taxes,) how nice. I know you Northerners classify any cig tax under $2/pack as lightweight, but that’s big in the South, where SC is still running 7c/pack for now.
The elation over the ever-improving smell in my pickup truck, house, and office; the slow whitening of my teeth that is sure to please my dental hygienist; and my wife’s (an RN) and my physician’s accolades will pale as positive recognition compared to my personal satisfaction of finally controlling some portion of my tax liability. There is so little I can do to control the impending energy taxes, carbon offsets and other eco guilt-trips that have and will be laid upon us as necessary atonement for our “monstrous” Capitalist appetite. Curly light bulbs can offer only a temporary reprieve before they will be determined to just not be enough and an insatiable taxetite will growl for more. But as for those tobacco taxes? THAT, I can control.
I now know how a high-school dropout must feel when buying Georgia lottery tickets, the proceeds of which enriches some college kids’ lives as it impoverishes the already poor lottery player’s life even further. Now, the extra federal tobacco tax funds the health insurance of other families, some of which with greater incomes than my own, and my family pays it’s own health insurance, thank you.
Tobacco has been cast as the scourge of mankind. Heroin addicts, alcoholics, and even career criminals are all considered victims, but not the smoker. The smoker is made to weather any condition to smoke in a designated area, no matter how remote or inhospitable. Smokers are to bear any financial burden for their addiction and endure any amount of ridicule to sneak a puff. Smokers have no feelings and are even considered bums by actual non-smoking bums. Smokers are the politically correct “can” that can be kicked around by anyone. Yes, anyone! The product of decades of conditioning, the reduced self-esteem of the “common” smoker is now at a level formerly occupied by only lice and dysentery.
Well sir, there is a level to which even this ardent puffer will not stoop, and it has been reached. I have little affect on the disbursement of tax monies, beyond what conservation alone may save through reduced consumption. But when our President defines so precisely the use of revenue derived from a tariff on a specific item of joy, we may make the outright moral determination as to whether or not we wish to impoverish the life of our own family while directly enriching the family of another, I say thanks Obama. Thanks for the easy decision, and thanks for the line-item veto.
Though the price alone would not have itself been great enough to push me over the edge and quit my filthy habit, the choice of funding a Socialist agenda through the exploitation of the frailties of my countrymen does so disgust me by its pure diabolical meanness, that I’m moved to deny this administration the satisfaction of using me in the fulfillment of that goal. And thanks also President Obama, for the creation of an even lower life form than smoker, namely, human livestock, with its collective snout in the feed trough, shedding what little may be left of American pride, individualism, and liberty. The new administration is gearing up to efficiently transport, feed, house, and care for even greater numbers of plebes into the new national army of proletariats yearning over generations for a chance to perform a useful purpose.
I know that my individual statement of abstinence is of little consequence beyond my personal relishing of victory over a pact with the Devil. But if through large numbers of objections, a measurable reduction in revenue were felt, would it be an “unpatriotic” thing as Joe Biden has said or would it expose a government hell-bent on controlling its flock’s behavior with oppressive taxation on tobacco, alcohol, French fries, soft drinks, or cholesterol content.
The general health of the herd would dictate that government would, of course, have to control the habits and activities of its population so get ready for more and more action already evidenced by government removal of soft drink machines from schools; the removal of animal fat and all flavor from deep frying; or criminalizing the use of saturated and hydrolyzed fats in NYC.
Don’t be alarmed when at some future date that a nearly immeasurable mortality decline will be discovered due to chocolate consumption. It will be deemed useful for the State to place chocolate on the tax hit list because of the obvious high cost in maintaining a government-sustaining population with the expense of such an extravagant habit. You see, government can be sustained more efficiently if the wasteful expenditures devoted purely to the joy of the workers are kept at a minimum or even better, banned, so that a better revenue/calorie ratio may be achieved. A happier government will be the product of such minor sacrifices. A result that I’m sure we would all be proud of.
Oh, and don’t be alarmed if I don’t “remember” to be outraged at the State for poopooing your chocolate habit. I can think of few things better than removing one more tie-staining weapon from a child’s grubby little fingers and turning it into a revenue generator for the State. I know you don’t smoke, but it would serve you right since you have said nothing as the government incrementally removes all of the joy from a cigar and brandy.
So, to go along with that new chocolate tax, what do you think about examining the carbon footprint of that obnoxious little dog of yours more closely? Hmmmmm?