Sunday, March 20, 2005

Rant #3: Hey Buddy, Can I Bum a Smoke? I’ll Pay You Back When I Get My Tax Refund.

Does your state need some quick cash? Well, everybody knows that the most reliable way to squeeze more money out of the populace is to raise sales taxes on the addicted. Because really, what the hell are they going to do about it?

I know what you’re thinking. What about the state government’s smoking cessation program? Isn’t the government’s official stance on smoking supposed to be that it’s bad for you and they want to help you quit? Well that wouldn’t be very fucking smart now would it?

“Hell no we don’t want people to quit.” said state representative Kenneth Tucky. “We’ve done the math on this and all the money we’re going to raise has already been earmarked for other programs. If even one of these bastards quits smoking it’s gonna throw a monkey wrench in the whole goddamn plan. But don’t worry. Nobody in this state is going to quit. I’m even working on a plan to get back some of the people who somehow managed to quit years ago. This is going to be the most money this state has ever seen!” he said. When asked about the growing trend to ban smoking in public places he replied, “That’s just gravy in my opinion. We could ban smoking in every place except your own private bathroom and these people will still light up. We have not seen a significant drop in cigarette sales after bans were put in place so we know they’re still at it. I do have to admit that I get a chuckle every time I see one of those poor bastards puffing away outside in the freezing cold. It just reiterates for me that this is a good financial plan for the state. These people just won’t quit, it kills me! Cha-ching! Besides, all of these new programs are really going to benefit the children of our great commonwealth and nothing is more important than the children, am I right people?”

When asked about the state’s smoking cessation program and the potential conflict of interest that could arise, representative Tucky replied, “Yeah, those liberal pansies working down there are a thorn in my ass but we’ve got to keep the program because it’s the only thing that keeps those little pricks off our case.”

The next question posed to Mr. Tucky was one concerning other types of so called “sin taxes” on things such as fast food and other unhealthy products. “We looked into that.” he said. “What we discovered is that if you start taxing the hell out of sliders and things like that, people will just start eating at places like Subway more often. We just couldn’t be confident that the tax proceeds would be there. You really have to target those consumers who are physically and psychologically (at this point he made air quotes with his fingers) ‘dedicated’ to their product.” The final question was regarding the enormous health care cost burden that smoking related illnesses place on the state and how that could also be an area of conflict. Representative Tucky replied, “Thank you, that’s all the time I have today.”

It was also discovered that this method works especially well in red states because you don’t have as many bleeding heart pussies running around trying to save the world all the time. Many blue states have also raised taxes on cigarettes to unbelievable levels as an encouragement for smokers to quit. They started robust social programs that actually helped thousands, if not millions of people become ex-smokers. What a bunch of dumb-asses! They could have made millions if they just let those people continue to light up. So there you have it, the perfect solution to your state’s budgetary difficulties. But remember kids. Smoking is bad, unless of course your state just really needs the money.

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