That was the headline in the NY Times print edition, but later, on-line, it became:
Cost of Cigarette Litter May Fall on San Francisco’s Smokers
Quite a difference. I was disappointed. But either way, somebody explain to me why today we provide billions in support to tobacco growers, and allow states to penalize those who consume the product.
Here in Florida, the lege passed punitive taxes on cigarettes using the premise that additional revenues generated would underwrite health care and education. This suggests to me that the appropriate next step would be to encourage smoking, or at least the purchase of cigarettes, to maximize the revenue stream. I’m wrong, of course.
I don’t like where this points, and it strikes me as manifestly unfair. Why aren’t we surcharging red meat, for example, given the links (pun) between its consumption and heart disease and stroke, and using those added revenues to support hospitals and health insurance? Or suntan lotion? Or sugared soda and energy drinks? After which the state sponsors a campaign to get people to the beaches on maximum UV days where cheeseburgers and Pepsi products are pushed on consumers?
Don’t even start on alcohol. Applying this reasoning leads everybody off to a Fanatical Health Nazi Universe I wouldn’t be caught dead in. If you’ll pardon the expression.
Compared to this governmental approach, butt clean-up is a lot more respectable. Bring on the bidets.
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Late Note: Hey look! I’m psychic!
[O]ne of the nation’s top public health officials is now a fierce proponent of a soda tax. Meanwhile, other Obama advisers and some Senate staff members have been talking about such a tax — which wouldn’t apply to diet soda or real juice — as a way to help pay for expanded health insurance. Among 15 options for paying for health care reform, a new Senate Finance Committee analysis lists a “sugar-sweetened beverage excise tax.” — NY Times
*sigh* Y’know, if only we could figure out how to tax sanctimonious hypocrisy, nobody would ever have to work again.