Tax Revenue Up in Smoke...

Let's see, here. A bunch of people pushed a new cigarette tax in order to reduce smoking. Instead of reducing smoking, it had the effect of forcing smokers to get their cigarettes elsewhere.

First of all, what did you expect? If you impose a punitive tax, people will change their behavior to avoid it. (Hmmm....wonder if this has anything to do with the level of economic activity in this state? Nah...)

Second, the whole point of the tax was to reduce smoking. If smoking is reduced so, therefore, will be the tax revenue. I think we should thank those smokers for buying out of state now. Why?

Think about it. Let's say they just paid the tax. What do you think our government would do with all that newfound revenue? Save it? Yeah, right. Nope, there would be a spending spree. Then, when smoking was reduced (assuming the sponsors of the tax were right and it wasn't just snake oil designed to get more tax revenue), we'd have all these programs in place but no smoking tax revenue to fund them. Can't you just see all those legislators pointing out how we just couldn't pay for these programs anymore and they would have to be eliminated?

Me too.

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