To The Editor:
Proposition B is an unfair bilking of a minority group for the supposed good of society as a whole. I, myself, haven’t heard of any of the tremendous good that the Fed tax of one dollar a pack on cigarettes has done for underprivileged children. As far as deterring teens or anyone else from starting to use tobacco, the more you demonize something, the more some people will want to try it and get by with it. I call it the forbidden fruit syndrome.
Education is a complicated subject and problem. People of good intention can throw fistfuls of money at education and its problems and it’s not going to help. The problem is much more complicated than just a lack of funds. If it works as they say, more people will quit using tobacco and less people will start. This scenario will cause a growing problem to be funded in part by a shrinking revenue. The government and schools will then have to recoup the funds that are lost. That will possibly come from having to tax other things such as sugar, junk food, fast food, alcohol, or other luxuries or freedoms.
The cost to society from overconsumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates far surpasses the supposed $2 billion in health care costs. It causes diabetes, heart problems, hormone imbalances, and all the problems associated with all of these. Other states and areas have already been working on taxing “non-nutrient dense food.”
Are we in Missouri to be jealous of the extra revenue that this would produce for good causes? Being jealous of the revenue that someone else gets from taxing freedoms of choice and lifestyle is a very childish form of jealousy.
Tea and other things that are not a necessity for life were being taxed excessively by England. That among other things is why we left that country’s rule. Lower taxes on “anything” is not something to be ashamed of. It is something to be proud of.
To some folks, one person smoking is too many. To me, one person wearing a loud or toxic smelling cologne or perfume is too many. I have no right to make them stop using the odor that I find so offensive and that they evidently find appealing. I just move upwind and we can remain good friends.