As a smoker, it does anger me that a new tax to pay for the SCHIP program is being born by me as well as others who us this legal product. Some may ridicule me for my habit, but, I am still a contributing member of this society and obey its laws.
In this Newsday piece, I want all to pay close attention to a campaign promise by then candidate Senator Barack Obama who said this on, September 12th, 2008, “I can make a firm pledge…Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes."
Well, starting today, now President Barack Obama broke his campaign promise to me and many like me. A group of citizens should never be targeted in a punitive measure and I would hazard a guess that this taxation is unconstitutional since the increase of those now covered under this health insurance program is not being born by all Americans.
As cited by Newsday, "Obama said in the campaign that Americans could have both — a broad boost in affordable health insurance for the nation without raising taxes on anyone but the rich." Well, I am not rich and yes, he just raised my taxes.
Newsday even reported, “No one making less than $250,000 under Barack Obama's plan will see one single penny of their tax raised," Joe Biden said, "whether it's their capital gains tax, their income tax, investment tax, any tax." To Vice President, Joe Biden, try saying that to me now. To VP, Joe Biden, he just increased my taxes one hundred pennies per-pack.
A few weeks ago, the House sought to tax the bonuses of those on Wall Street namely AIG by 90% and many saw this as a punitive tax as well as being unconstitutional. Will the president sign this into law and will the senate even take up this house bill to vote on it?
Right now with companies finding it harder and harder to operate due to the duress of this economy, this harsh taxation of this legal product will be met with economic hardships of its manufacturers. Yes, those who make cigarettes and other tobacco products also have families to feed. How many of them will be laid off?
Presently this nation has an increase in obesity and juvenile diabetes. How about a fat tax be imposed to help pay for this SCHIP program? I do suspect that there are many on these roles who are obese, have juvenile diabetes and where a growing number are becoming morbidly obese. Why only seek to punish smokers?
A Burger King ‘Whopper’ and a McDonald’s ‘Big Mac’ are just as dangerous to our population than any pack of cigarettes. Yet, you do not see this administration, federal government of state governments touching those corporations.
Back on November 15, 2007, I wrote a piece, The debasement of food: Do you still feel like saying, ‘Super-size’ me? and below is part of what I wrote within it as it pertains to the fast-food industry.
In 2005 a documentary was made called Super Size Me in which a man by the name of Morgan Spurlock ate nothing but McDonalds for a month. Having seen the piece, it truly disgusted me. But, this is what the doctor monitoring him had to say: “Prior to his experiment, Morgan Spurlock was highly fit and athletic, weighing 185 pounds. After going on a McDonald's "diet," Spurlock gained 25 pounds and looked absolutely terrible. In fact, he appeared to be suffering from many of the same health complaints I see in my patients: fatigue, headaches and indigestion. And, his cholesterol levels were high and he suffered from uric acid and mild chemical hepatitis.” While no one can force us to eat fast food, the choice is up to us.
When that choice is made by millions upon millions to consume these fast foods, it does have a resounding affect on all of us, yet those who choose to over indulge are not being hit with any punitive tax.
One of the fastest growing health problems is morbid obesity especially in our children. According to a report published by the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry they cited, “Unhealthy weight gain due to poor diet and lack of exercise is responsible for over 300,000 deaths each year. The annual cost to society for obesity is estimated at nearly $100 billion. Overweight children are much more likely to become overweight adults unless they adopt and maintain healthier patterns of eating and exercise.”
So, why not impose a fat tax to help recoup those loses? I just do not have any explanation at this point, but it angers me that my habit is targeted where habits of those who just love their fast food is not.
To President Barack Obama, you broke your solemn promise to me NOT to raise my taxes. It does infuriate me that you could not pass on the cost of this program to a broader spectrum of this society and that me and many others like me are forced to bear the burden. I do hope that other smokers are just as fired up as I am and let you have it.