Taxing the Poor — Again

Although leftwing politicians often campaign on promises to tax the rich, once in office they often tax the poor instead. An NCPA study reports on the general phenomenon. We have reported on attempts to tax the poor to fund the State Children's Health Insurance Plan (SCHIP) program here and here. A Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) reenactment of the tobacco settlement is here. This is from today's Wall Street Journal:

To finance this $73 billion [children's health-care] expansion, the bill imposes an additional federal tax of 61 cents per cigarette pack, from 39 cents today. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, 96% of America's 25 million smokers make less than $150,000 a year. The Tax Foundation estimates that 99% of the smokers who will pay the new tax make less than $250,000, which is the income below which President Obama promised would see no tax increase. [link]

Comments (4)

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  1. Tom H. says:

    Question is: What does the left have against poor people? When they are not proposing to tax them to death, they are trying to regulate them out of the markets for housing, medical care, education, transportation — you name it — leaving them with no other choice but to turn to the state for the bare necessities of life.

  2. Larry C. says:

    Tom, I don’t think the left has any special desire to punish the poor. They would tax us all to death if they could. The poor get screwed because they are the most politically vulnerable.

  3. Bret says:

    It’s the hypocracy of the whole thing that is truly mindboggling.

  4. Bruce says:

    They will argue that they want to encourage people to quit smoking. Of course if people actually did quit smoking, there would be no revenue to fund the program. Or to put it differently, government has no incentive to price people out of the cigarette market. It’s incentive is to maximize the tax revenue from that market.