More good news: Cigarette tax hike takes leap forward

First the smoking ban thing, now this…

A little bird just called to tell me that the Senate Finance Committee just voted, 14-11, to increase the state cigarette tax by 50 per pack, taking us to 57 cents (yes, currently it is only 7 cents, the lowest in the nation).

The vote followed three hours of debate, but the only person who actually seemed to be against the increase itself was Greg Ryberg. So what did they argue about all that time? Well, they argued about what lawmakers tend to really care about — how to spend the money. Of the $158 million the increase will raise per year, $5 million will go to smoking cessation efforts, the rest to Medicaid (which means getting a federal match). The spending decision was on a vote of 12-11.

Two important things to add:

  1. This is indexed to inflation (which the old tax wasn’t), so as cigarettes go up in price, so will the tax.
  2. The tax will also apply to those little "cigars," which are really just brown cigarettes. So no more loophole there.

If this gets full Senate approval, it will have to be reconciled with the 35-cent hike the House passed last year. The House plan was to spend the money on eliminating the sales tax on groceries, but that idea is now moot, since that happened last year anyway, without the cigarette tax increase.

You know, between this and the S.C. Supreme Court’s decision yesterday that it’s actually OK for local governments to respond to their citizens and pass smoking bans, it’s almost as though South Carolina leadership has suddenly made a consensus decision to behave in a rational manner toward tobacco. Two branches of gummint, that is — we have yet to hear from our governor. But let’s just pretend that first the full Senate, then the governor, will act like a sensible people about the health of South Carolinians, too. I’m not going to have my day ruined by thinking otherwise (even if Sen. Ryberg is a reliable indicator of the governor’s thinking, more often than not).

And no, this is not an elaborate April Fool’s Day gag. This good stuff is really happening.

53 thoughts on “More good news: Cigarette tax hike takes leap forward

  1. James D McCallister

    The tax should be increased to $2. Such a move would both increase revenue (allowing easement of other taxes), as well as give all the little sociopathic drug victims reason to seek treatment for their ruinous addiction.

  2. Yahoo

    Health and Human Services (that administers Medicaid) is the single most wasteful agency in SC.
    I agree with the tax. I agree with spending the money for the common good.
    But until the Senate and House move to reform HHS, this is dangerous. When the public realizes what is going on at HHS…there will be no more increases in the tax. And that will be a shame as the tax ought to be at or near the national average.

  3. mark g

    You thought the SC senate was getting rational? This just posted on The State online:
    A proposal to raise S.C.’s lowest-in-the-nation cigarette tax and spend the money on health insurance tax credits has failed in the Senate Finance committee.
    The proposal, which would have raised the tax by 50 cents a pack, failed 8 to 14.
    The committee is now debating other proposal to raise the tax, and how to spend the money.

  4. Angie Derrick

    Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in South Carolina, the United States, and worldwide. Nearly 160,000 Americans will die of this disease this year – more than the number of deaths from breast, prostate, and colon cancer combined.
    God forbid increase the cigarette tax and mark just 1% of the revenue for lung cancer advocacy and research. Our state of South Carolina does not have a hospital yet recognized by the National Cancer Institute, but Hollings Cancer Center is well on its way. I dream of the day when The Lung Cancer Center at Hollings Cancer Center sees its fruition.
    Lung Cancer in South Carolina…
    was diagnosed in 3,460 citizens in 2007.
    tragically took the lives of 2,750 lives, in 2007, as well.
    is grossly underfunded, unidentified, and stigmatized.
    is ravaging and must be cured.
    Raise the tax. With simply 1% of the revenue and 1% of the Master Tobacco Settlement South Carolina received – wherever it is, we could be well on our way to creating The Lung Cancer Center. If only my dream could come true.

  5. weldon VII

    So did the Senate Finance Committee vote to raise the tax (per Brad) or not (per Mark)? Inquiring minds want to know.
    And, analytical cuss than I am, I’m curious, Brad: If Ryberg was the only one against the tax, why did 11 people (per you) or 14 (per Mark) vote no?

  6. bud

    This entire discussion about cigarettes and cigarette taxes underscores, yet again, how screwed up our national priorities are. While we’re squandering valuable resources fighting phantom enemies in Iraq Americans are dying of many other causes, including a wide variety of tobacco-related ailments. It’s time to stop all this fear-mongering based on a threat that is, at worst, a minimal one towards the American people and focus on stuff that actually kills people. Brad is off to a good start with the cigarette posts. He should go the rest of the way and demand American troops be brought home from Iraq and, in general, cut military spending, immediately in order to re-focus our energy and resources where it belongs.
    Of course Brad won’t do that because he is utterly incapable of connecting the dots to understand how we simply cannot afford to do everything; we just do not have the resources. Everyone who writes on this blog understands that simple concept. We may have different priorities but the one thing we all seem to have in common is that we want to devote the nation’s scarce resources to accomplish specific goals. Why does Brad not get it?

  7. Lee Muller

    The tax has already been increased to $2.00. Just look at the price increase from before the Tobacco Settlement at $0.75 a pack to $3.55 now. The state is drawing over $150,000,000 a year in new tobacco taxes, gave nothing to the farmers as promised, and spends less than $3,000,000 on programs to discourage smoking and health programs for smokers.
    That tells me the state wants more smoking.

  8. mark g

    The bulletin I posted above, taken from The State web site, was confusing. What failed was a consensus on how to spend tax money, not the tax itself. A more complete story is in The State today.
    Cigarette tax | Senate panel OKs increase
    Central issue is how money from 50-cent hike would be spent
    A Senate committee has approved a 50-cent per-pack increase in South Carolina’s cigarette tax, using the money to expand health insurance programs for low-income families and children.
    While committee members generally agreed about raising the lowest-in-the-nation cigarette tax, members were split about how to use the estimated $159 million raised.
    A plan — in the works for months — to provide tax credits to purchase health insurance was scrapped. Lawmakers instead chose to expand Medicaid programs, which in many cases receive a 3-to-1 match of federal money.

  9. weldon VII

    Bud, Brad doesn’t get it because the tax on cigarettes and the Iraq war are completely unrelated.
    The tax is a state issue; the war is a national issue.
    Only you would bring up the cigarette tax and the war in the same sentence.
    And I think that’s a good thing. Your dogged determination to fight the war with your keyboard makes me scratch my head and smile. War needs an enemy.

  10. weldon VII

    This is a fine example of what’s wrong with government thinking. Instead of “we need some money for yadda, so let’s raise the tax on cigarettes,” it was “if we raise the tax on cigarettes, what can we spend it on?”
    That’s going at it backward. Here’s hoping Sanford vetoes it if it ever reaches him. Then Brad will have a three-week hissy fit about the governor that actually has a cause that’s not imaginary or imputed.

  11. bud

    Weldon, I thought my point was pretty clear. Although the Iraq war (and other federal spending for that matter) is a Federal spending priority and the cigarette tax a State issue the two are not entirely unrelated. Both are funded from the same source: the taxpayer. My point is simply that government, when all levels are considered, is not capable of addressing all issues that come up. Even if someone believes, as Brad apparently does, that all these spending issues are important it is critical to put priorities on things and choose those listed highest on the priority list. The bottom line to the taxpayer is that when more money goes out he has that much less to spend on rent, utilities, groceries and entertainment. Whether a given tax is raised at the Federal, state or local level is irrelevant to his net, available income.
    Consequently, the tax and spending priorities at the federal level should be considered when making tax and spending decisions down the food chain. If not, the hapless taxpayer will be unable to afford anything. My own personal priority would be for the federal government to eliminate spending on the Iraq war so that states will have more latitude to spend on state issues such as health care initiatives funded by a cigarette tax.

  12. budq

    Brad, here’s a great opportunity for you to prove me wrong. Why don’t you write a blog post, or better still, a newspaper editorial on some instance where you believe government has overstepped it’s authority. On practically every issue you either support the existing high level of government intervention (Iraq, government eavedropping, banning video poker, public schools, etc. etc. etc.) or suggest government should be more involved (healthcare, cigarettes, energy, etc. etc. etc.).
    So how about it? In the spirit of proving me wrong how writing about a nice article on how the government should dramatically cut it’s involvement in program X because it’s costing too much and accomplishing too little.

  13. Brad Warthen

    bud, that’s so easy. As I’ve written here before, here’s an item where I agree with civil libertarians (real ones, that is) completely:

    Hate Crime Laws — They should not exist, in any way, shape or form. Punish the crime, not the thought behind it, however abhorrent the thought. Leave that to Orwell.

    You only asked for one, but I just remembered a better one than that one, so here’s a bonus:

    The U.S. Department of Education — Eliminate it completely, and the useless "No Child Left Behind Act" with it. Public education is properly a state function, not a federal one.

    But… and you’ll find this reassuring, since you like to think of me this way … there are few things (and probably nothing of any size) that need to be reduced or eliminated on the state level in South Carolina. Sure, you can cut plenty of one-time pork items that have no place in the state budget — local festivals and such — but when it comes to ongoing programs, this state mostly suffers from a lack of the sorts of fundamental services that other states take for granted. And the lack of adequate funding for such functions (roads, public safety, mental health care, etc.) is a major impediment to economic development.

    The reason you hear me rail against radical libertarianism is that it is a particular problem in this state, and it’s holding us back. You wouldn’t hear me complaining about it so much in most of the other states. But I happen to be a South Carolinian, and somebody’s got to fight against this self-defeating mentality we have.

    That said, are there significant programs on the state level I would cut? Of course there are, and there’s nothing new about that. For instance, I’d eliminate almost half the school districts in the state, and some of the higher ed institutions. I might go for taking Santee Cooper private — but I’m not sure about that one, since the business of big utilities is not a forte for me.

    But in this state, failure to adequately fund essential services is a MUCH bigger problem than waste or inefficiency, or doing things the state doesn’t need to do. And it’s a much harder point to get across to people, which is why I push on it as hard as I do.

    Now can I ask you a question? How come you called yourself "budq" just then?

  14. bud

    budq was just a typo.
    Ok. This is a start. I can agree on those points. Certainly eliminating the US Dept of Ed is pretty obvious and could save a bit of money. The hate crime laws are not really necessary but probably don’t amount to much financially speaking.
    But in general I probably agree with the central tenant of most of my conservative friends who write on this blog that government at all levels spends too much, not too little. Where we generally disagree is where to cut. With all due respect I think you’re pretty much alone in championing the “need to spend more” philosophy. It serves everyone best to move toward allowing more decisions at progressively more localized levels. The ultimate goal is to allow the most decisions by individuals. The federal government should make the fewest decisions.

  15. Brad Warthen

    Don’t misunderstand me — I don’t think we need to spend more on the federal level — unless it’s to provide universal health care. I believe that would give a huge shot in the arm to our economy, not only eliminating a headache for businesses, but making individuals free to take entrepreneurial risks, once they aren’t held hostage by their benefits-providing jobs. It’s one of the few things Dennis Kucinich is right about — an effective national health plan covering everyone would almost certainly require a smaller cut of our economy than our current mess does.

    But if you don’t ADD a huge new service such as that, I’m confident we can trim a lot out of the nonmilitary discretionary budgets. (The military is another matter; we need to stop running the war off the books.) Of course, as Fritz Hollings has told us for decades, the discretionary budget is just the tail on the dog, the big item is entitlements.

    It’s on the state level where I see fundamental services and infrastructure investment neglected.

    And as readers of this blog and the editorial page should be able to attest, I’m very big on the concept of subsidiarity. You won’t see me use the word much because not that many readers would understand it; it’s almost unheard-of in this country. But basically, it’s the notion that anything that must be done by government should be handled at the smallest, most local level at which it can be done effectively. Larger governmental units should only come into the picture in the case of functions that the smaller levels can’t handle (national security, for instance).

    Most urgently (in subsidiarity terms), we need to realize the promise of Home Rule here in South Carolina, and get the state out of local business. The execrable state pre-emption of local anti-smoking ordinances is but one dramatic example of the problem. A bigger achievement would be eliminating 500 special purpose districts — yes, 500 separate little governments — that the Legislature created, and which duplicate or supplant more conventional local governments (county and city councils) in providing basic local service, such as sewerage or fire protection.

    That’s one we’ve written about a good bit over the years, too — along with consolidating school districts.

  16. Richard L. Wolfe

    What a bunch of losers! Raise the tax to a million dollars a pack. That will end legalized smoking. But, since this has absolutely nothing to do with health care and everything to do with raping the people who smoke that wouldn’t work would it?
    Taxem to death and when the smokers are gone who will be your next victim?

  17. Brad Warthen

    Nice idea, Richard — except the “raping” them part. I’ll let you handle that; I’ll just tax them.
    And you seem to be confused on a crucial point. If you raise the tax beyond their ability to pay, then you are most likely going to SAVE their lives — not “taxem to death.”
    But raising it by, say, a dollar will do plenty to save young people by pricing them out of the cigarette market, thereby preventing them from getting hooked at the age when most lifelong smokers start.
    Even this measly 50-cent increase will help in that regard. This has been demonstrated in state after state.

  18. Richard L. Wolfe

    So nonsmokers are immortal? Now who is confused? A piece of rock cocaine is $20 has that stopped young people from doing it? If it is about health care then why not abolish all facets of tobacco use?
    This is the same old saw money and control. Hitler would have been proud of the S.C. legislature. What’s next guns and books?

  19. Richard L. Wolfe

    I don’t drink not because I have anything against it but I just can’t stomach it. But, I would never advocate charging people more money or trying to destroy what they enjoy. Don’t even try to tell me that drinking is harmless because I know better.
    The problem with the liberals is they don’t know the difference between capitalism and socialism. Study that in your ivory halls and then get back to me.

  20. weldon VII

    Gee, Bud, I paid you a compliment and you argued with me. Of course the war and the tax are related in that they both involve public money. But South Carolina’s annual revenue from its puny little cigarette tax, even if raised 50 cents, probably wouldn’t fund our troops in Iraq for one day. The cigarette tax is inconsequential in the face of the war. That’s what I meant by unrelated.
    And it’s “tenet,” not “tenant.”
    Did you hear about the dyslexic who walked into a bra?

  21. david

    When tobacco tax revenues dwindle, where will the money come from to support the government pork tobacco now supports? david

  22. Lee Muller

    By then, the statists will have let the moralists demonize some more people for drinking “too much”, eating “junk food”, driving cars that are “too big”,… and all those will be taxed – not because the politicians want our money, you understand, but for our own good. We have too much money, and spend it the wrong way. They know better how to manage our lives.

  23. bud

    Lee actually makes a good point here but he doesn’t go far enough. If government intervention into the sins of smoking, eating and drinking is bad then certainly intervention into the lives of people thousands of miles away must also be bad. If you accept the fact that it’s bad to ban smoking in public places you must certainly reach the logical conclusion that it’s bad to drop bombs on people for their own good.

  24. bud

    But if you don’t ADD a huge new service such as that, I’m confident we can trim a lot out of the nonmilitary discretionary budgets.
    Why exclude the military? That is by far the most wasteful, out of control part of our budget. To exclude something that costs a half-trillion dollars per year is fiscally irresponsible.

  25. david

    Bud, there is a term that perfectly describes your mental state:
    Monomaniacal Fixation.
    For you, everything from sex to shampoo is somehow linked to the war against terror. You apparently must, in the deep and twisted recesses of your mind, link every single thing that anyone you disagree with says to what you see as “dropping bombs on people for their good.”
    My what a shameful and gross mischaracterization of what we’re doing this is!
    I think there is medicine to help you bud…might be worth looking in to. David

  26. Lee Muller

    People like “bud” are not bothered at all by the “second-hand smoke” from the highjacked airliners being used as guided missiles to incinerate 3,000 people in the World Trade Center.

  27. Richard L. Wolfe

    –Alcohol is the most commonly used and widely abused psycoactive drug in the world.
    –Over 100,000 U.S. deaths are caused by excessive alcohol consumption each year.
    –Youths who drink alcohol are 50 times more likely to use cocaine than those who never drink alcohol.
    –Traffic crashes are the greatest single cause of death for persons aged 6-33. About 45 percent of these fatalities are in alcohol related crashes.
    –In 2002, U.S. alcoholism statistics reported that 2.6 million binge drinkers were between the ages of 12 and 17.
    –Problem drinkers average four times as many days in the hospital as non-drinkers, mostly because of drinking related injuries.
    –Drunk drivers are responsible for 50 percent of highway fatalities.
    –Ninety-five percent of alcoholics die from the disease and die approximately 26 years earlier than their normal life expectancy.
    –An estimated 6.6 million children under 18 live in households with at least one alcoholic parent.
    –Nearly 14 million Americans meet diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorders.

  28. Brad Warthen

    Nice try on changing the subject there, Richard. But it’s a very old and tired ruse, and there’s no ignoring the glaring difference:

    A smoker harms the people around him from the very second he lights up. A drinker does NOT harm the people around him by the mere act of taking a drink.

    That’s why our laws are all aimed at enforcing moderation in alcohol use, as opposed to a ban. Moderation doesn’t work with smoking, because there’s no amount of smoke in the air that does not cause harm.

    There is no one in the state of South Carolina that has taken a stronger position than this newspaper on making our laws governing alcohol stronger, stricter and more effective. So basically, you think you have a point, but you don’t.

    You remind me of the people who argue against a higher tax on cigarettes, saying we should raise taxes on alcohol first. Such people ignore the glaring fact that we have some of the highest alcohol taxes in the nation already, and the very lowest cigarette tax.

    Of course, people who make these arguments are generally ignorant of the facts.

  29. Richard L. Wolfe

    Since you are concerned about innocent people being harmed you would have no objection to SMOKERS ONLY clubs were the employees and customers all smoked. Any other answered would indicate that you believe the government should be in charge of an individual’s health rather than the individual.

  30. bud

    For you, everything from sex to shampoo is somehow linked to the war against terror.
    I don’t think shampoo is linked to the OCCUPATION OF IRAQ. It’s not a war against terror at all. It’s actually not even a war. That is a term coined by the neo-cons in their never-ending campaign to frame the language of the dabate.
    As for sex. Clearly if we didn’t have troops in Iraq sex would be a whole lot better.

  31. david

    Richard, it is only a matter of time.
    People like Brad will not stop until all behaviours they disapprove of are either eliminated or converted into ATMs for government.

  32. weldon VII

    All right, Bud. I’m going to try and lay it out for you again.
    Onw hundred years from now, as John McCain said, if we’re still in Iraq, we will have won. We won’t be fighting a war, as in Obama’s mischaracterization of McCain’s remarks. We’ll simply be maintaining a presence in the best interest of everyone involved there, ourselves included.
    If we pull out per Clinton or Obama, we will be throwing away all those lives and all that money for nothing but losing face around the globe. Worse, our terrorist enemies would think we’re showing fear and act accordingly.
    Which is better, stabilizing the Middle East our way or leaving it to our enemies to muck up?
    Which is better, freedom of religion or radical Islamic rule?
    Which is better, fighting the good fight or quitting?

  33. bud

    One hundred years from now, as John McCain said, if we’re still in Iraq, we will have won.
    The concept of winning is not relevant to Iraq. We cannot achieve the goals that Bush established before we invaded. That is a certainty. We’re regarded as an invader, not a liberator and always will. Now that our status in that regard is firmly established we can never create this island of democracy and western captalism envisioned by the neo-cons. So by that definition we have already lost. That needs to be recogized so we can come up with a “best result” strategy that falls short of the unatainable “win”.
    If we pull out per Clinton or Obama, we will be throwing away all those lives and all that money for nothing but losing face around the globe.
    Again, those lives and money have already been lost in vain. We’ve already lost face and respect. There is nothing we can do to change that, nothing. All we can do is limit the number of lives and money that will be lost in the future.
    Which is better, stabilizing the Middle East our way or leaving it to our enemies to muck up?
    Ok, now you’re starting to express a sensible goal. We obviously can’t stabilize the Middle East by force of arms. That’s pretty clear now. We need good diplomacy and help, probably from Iran, to achieve this goal. As soon as we stop all this nonsense regarding Iran as an enemy the faster we can achieve some sort of reasonable stability in the region.
    Which is better, fighting the good fight or quitting?
    Irrelevant question. I would suggest that descretion is the better part of valor. To continue with the failed stay-the-course policy is a fool’s errand that will only continue to cost money and lives. Sadly, John McCain believes 100 years of death and wasted money is a good thing.

  34. Lee Muller

    Do you want to have a formal ceremony for the surrender of civilization to the Muslim terrorists, or just wait for it in from of your television?

  35. weldon VII

    You answered my last question, Bud, and you told a lie doing it. McCain said 100 years, if there are no casualties or deaths then. He never said we should fight for 100 years in Iraq. Look it up. Watch the video. Your party’s candidates are blatant liars.
    Given the chance to fight the good fight, you choose quitting, and they do, too, even though there are some times when you can’t back down, and this is certainly one of them.

  36. bud

    Weldon, I did watch the tape and I was horrified. A young man asked McCain if he thought it would be a good idea to stay in Iraq for 50 years. His response: “How about a hundred”. And just like with the “How are you going to beat the bitch” question McCain fumbled around until he came up with the politically correct wording to suggest a hundred years of peaceful occupation would be OK by him. But within the context of our ongoing occupation of Iraq that line of reasoning makes no sense. To stay in Iraq unequivacally means spending tons of money and losing many lives. PERIOD. So when he said “how about a hundred” he was giving an honest answer to the implied question that he would stay in Iraq waging war, with all its costs, for 100 years.
    So don’t call my guy a liar simply because your guy is a senile old fool who is willing to sacrifice endless blood and treasure for a cause that your other guy lied us into. Obama is telling the American people the truth and you know it.

  37. slugger

    The tobacco industry made a settlement with our government in a lawsuit that the tobacco industry paid to each state X amount of money (Millions to each state) to be used apparently for the health problems of the tobacco users. This tobacco grant money was not a one time payment to my understanding of the lawsuit.
    The states used this money for infrastructure. Not for the health problems caused by the nicotine causing cancer and lung problems.
    Each county that qualified in each state applied for this tobacco settlement money. Each county was allowed X amount of money for each program due to the states allowing an equal amount money to each country that qualified for the program.
    Some of the counties that received these tobacco grant monies never completed the programs that they were granted the money to complete. As far as I have been able to ascertain, the counties that did not complete the program awarded with the tobacco grant money never had to pay back the money for the grant. Is there something wrong with this picture? Do we know where the tobacco tax money in SC will eventually be awarded? Even if it is in writing in the passed tobacco tax bill?

  38. slugger

    PS. About tobacco tax. If you do not believe me about the tobacco grant money, call SC Department of Commerce.

  39. weldon VII

    Bud, I called your party’s candidates liars because they are. A peaceful presence such as ours in Germany or Japan, what McCain described, isn’t what Obama’s accusing McCain of proposing. And the sniper fire Clinton “remembers” never happened.
    Think what you want about McCain. Iraq has nothing to do with the cigarette tax, but if you want to think it does, fine. I’ll think what I think about Obama and Clinton, too, even after McCain’s elected.

  40. bud

    Older than Reagan, dumber than Bush. McCain 2008
    George W. Bush is on course to have the lowest job creation numbers since Herbert Hoover. He failed to protect us from terrorist attacks after repeated warnings and then failed to leave a classroom reading session for an agonizing 7 minutes after being told of the SECOND plane hitting the WTC. Then he lied us into war. Lied about spying. Failed to show any leadership when Katrina struck. His presidency has, by all accounts, been the worst in history.
    Now we have a chance to undo the failures of the Bush administration and their GOP lackeys in congress including one senile flip-flopping senator from Arizona. As the presumptive GOP candidate for president McCain has promised us 100 years of war and admits he knows little about economics. He now supports continued tax cuts for the wealthy in what everyone regards as a misguided and failed policy to stimulate the economy. Of late he attempts to pander to black voters by saying it was a mistake not to support a King holiday. Good luck on that one Senator.
    We have a clear choice in November between the pandering, flip-flopping senile old foggy from Arizona who will lead our nation into ruin. Or, we can wisely choose a candidate who will restore dignity, hope, peace and prosperity to America and to the world. I choose the later.

  41. weldon VII

    Here’s hoping the American people are still educated enough to distinguish between an “old foggy” and an “old fogy” and between “later” and “latter”.
    Then they might understand that the blame for 9-11 fits Bill Clinton and Al Gore much more appropriately than George Bush and Dick Cheney.
    They might also understand that calling John McCain a “pandering, flip-flopping, senile old foggy from Arizona who will lead our nation into ruin” doesn’t have much, if any, basis in the facts.
    Of course, neither does imagining that Barack Obama will restore dignity, hope, peace and prosperity to America, partly because hope and prosperity haven’t disappeared, but more because there’s nothing in the record to suggest Barack Obama can actually accomplish anything.

  42. Lee Muller

    Obama and Hillary released tax returns showing how much both of them are in the pockets of big real estate and stock manipulators – making millions in payola while telling blue collar voters to fell victimized and wallow in self-pity, waiting on a handout.

  43. Lee Muller

    What would Obama or Hillary know about discretion or valor?
    Look at the sorry company they keep, and the constant scandals which follow them.
    Valor? Neither one of them has ever risked themselves for another person, much less for their country.

  44. Ron Paul

    The Congressional Research Service and the Journal of the American Medical Association published that cigarettes were over-taxed, namely because healthy, non-smoking Americans rot away in nursing homes on Social Security and Medicare.
    Cigarettes are unfair and regressive. The only reason people promote taxation on cigarettes is out of hate and greed.
    I hope you nazis die a painful death for your deadly sins.
    The only thing that should be taxed should be health foods, drugs that lead to a longer life, healthcare, healthclubs, and exercise equipment, because they lead to excessive use of Social Security, Medicare, and nursing homes.

  45. Ron Paul

    I vow to never vote Democrat until they stop with their delusions that go against fact and discriminatory hate of people different of themselves.

  46. Ron Paul

    Fat people are next. Democrats hate smokers and fat people. You can beat a Democrat will steal from fat people like they steal from smokers. Democrats are a bunch of pigs.

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