Thursday, February 19, 2009

Your money up in smoke

The governor of Wisconsin wants to raise taxes on cigarettes once again. He wants to tack on another 75 cents on top of a hike a year or two ago to over $2.50 per pack. To be clear I am not a smoker but I don't believe they should be singling out one particular group to tax more and more. Especially when they get no benefit of the tax.

He also wants to push for a smoking ban in all public places, including bars which has always been the most ridiculous idea. It is common sense. People make choices in life and have to live with them. Smoking is a choice. Tobacco companies are not holding people down and forcing them to take a puff. Tavern owners are not putting seat belts on the bar stools and forcing non-smokers to take in second hand smoke. If I think a bar is too smoky, I leave and find a place that I can breathe in. I may go to a tavern I know is smoke free. Funny how that place is doing good business.

Worse yet is how this tax is going to hit the middle class and poor the hardest. Our governor, a Democrat, always claims they are helping the middle class and the poor. By taxing them? Same to you President Obama. You hike taxes on smokers in the SCHIP bill. Taxing the low and middle class even though you claimed you were going to lower taxes. Of course you have hidden that fact because you did not report this item. Transparency my ass!

Have to get back on topic. What scares me is that now they are wringing every dime out of smokers, taking away their rights. Next, it will be drinkers. They will begin to tax the hell out of it (even more) and tell us what we can drink. It is happening in New Hampshire. They are trying to pass a drink an hour law. It is a case of politicians gone amok telling us how to live our lives.

And if it isn't drink, it will be something else. They want to run your life no matter how clean you think you may be. It could be sports, internet use, driving. They will come up with something.

Our governor is no different. He is also proposing a law that would allow law enforcement to pull you over just to see if you are wearing a seat belt. Anything to boost revenue he says. I say bull. We need to stop our country from becoming a nanny state. The government is not here to tell us how to live our lives by banning fat, plastic bags, balloons, or cigarettes.

I think it is time for smokers to unite and go visit the Governor Doyle. Organize at the Capitol Building and take over his office. In the process, light up as they enter the building. Go fill the governor's office with smoke and send him a message that you will not be the target of his bullying and intrusion into your lives.

And back to Iron Maiden. I had this disc out and was listening to it in the truck. It made me think of the Clarks disc I had out weeks ago. I wondered why I had bought this disc in the first place. As I thought about it I decided it could be interesting to ask some questions. At the very least I would amuse myself.

Why did I buy this disc? When was the last time I listened to it? Would I buy it today? Will I listen to it again sometime soon? Would I recommend it to someone else?

Let's give it a shot: Iron Maiden-- A Real Dead One

Why did I buy this disc? I think I bought this disc because I didn't have much Maiden in my library at the time. It was a cure for a "greatest hits" kind of disc. Sure it is a live performance but it had a number of fantastic songs on it. The Trooper. The Number of the Beast. Hallowed be Thy Name. Essentials.

When was the last time I listened to it? Been at least 5 years, mainly because I have a studio greatest hits disc by Iron Maiden.

Would I buy it today? Most likely yes. Good live performances can be better that studio albums. Depends on how well it is mixed (IMO) and how well the show flows. The Metallica download I have from the Milwaukee show is a great example. The sound is phenomenal. All shows should sound like that on a disc.

Will I listen to it again sometime soon? Possible. Depends on the mood. Depends on whether I leave it in the truck and forget about it.

Would I recommend it to someone else? Definitely. Seeing Iron Maiden live in concert once again is something I need to do. Too bad they have been around Milwaukee in years. And no, Chicago doesn't count.


Anonymous said...

How is smoking defined as a "right"? While it is a choice, it is not a right.
The government has always chosen to regulate things that they either determine as harmful (smoking, drinking, drugs -- prescription or recreational) or that they can benefit from.
People will complain whether they ban smoking or not. As long as it is applied equally (not just in one community, etc.) we just need to deal with it

StB said...

I didn't actually say smoking was a right but in a roundabout way did I guess. You are taking away their freedom to make a choice. Their right to choose how to live their life.

But they are not applying it equally. They are targeting smokers to pay taxes that benefit others. Equal? Hardly.

Anonymous said...

Targeting just one group is not fair. In California they keep raising the tax on cigarettes. Californians seem very happy to vote for cigarette tax raises.