I forgot to ask my smoking friends at the bar if the tax increase on cigarettes would have an effect on them. The politicians that enjoy stealing money from smokers by raising taxes like to claim it will make them stop but it doesn’t. So what effect does did the 75 cent tax raise have for the State of Wisconsin?
Yes, you read it right. They look to be losing money. Not because people are smoking but because people can go to Michigan or Illinois or Iowa or Minnesota to avoid paying these taxes. While there, they are buying other goods they would normally buy at a Wisconsin store. Whether it be gas, soda, or snacks, that revenue is being lost by Wisconsin store owners which means less revenue for the state.
But it will only get worse for the state next year when the smoking ban in bars take place. The potential for fewer people going out to drink will shrink revenues further, even potentially putting companies out of business.
When will people understand that raising taxes usually leads to smaller revenue streams?
While I am bitching about government, let me make a comment or two about healthcare. Does it make sense to screw about 290 million Americans who are happy with their healthcare situation just to appease around the 10-14 million who have nothing? Liberals like to toss around a number between 40 and 50 million (or more because big numbers sound good) but the reality is there are around 10 million without healthcare. Many people choose not to buy insurance while another chunk is eligible for current government programs but just haven't signed up for them.
I know some people that do not have healthcare. They want the government to step in. But I wonder if they realize that means they are going to be taxed to pay for it. Everyone's situation is different. What is affordable to one person isn't affordable to another. But what one is willing to pay doesn't mean it isn't affordable. They could afford a plan if they gave up other things in life. Whether it be cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, soda, snacks, etc., one could afford healthcare if they chose to do so.
That is the beauty of this. Lots of people have chosen not to have healthcare insurance. Now the government will take that choice away. And make you pay for it. Pay more for a system that would not be better than it is today. Is that what you want?