Thursday, February 11, 2016

No cig tax? Good!

Let the politicians find a real solution

No cig tax? Good!

House Bill 1177, which included the Philly cigarette tax, needed final approval from the Senate.
House Bill 1177, which included the Philly cigarette tax, needed final approval from the Senate.


OK, I’m going to say it: I’m glad the House didn’t enact (yet) a $2-a-pack tax on cigarettes. I am happy not just because I am a smoker (I am, yeah, I said that too) but because I have a moral objection, yes, moral, to piling the extra tax burden on those on the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder. That’s where most smokers hang out.


The tax is not enough to fill the gap, it is self-defeating and self-diminishing. The more the city pushes against smokers, for their own good, the more it hurts school funding. If people smoke less in the park, it hurts the kids!!!


Another group of “sinners” bore the brunt of the stiff, 10 percent-a-drink tax launched in 1995. That was “only” 10 percent, not $2 per drink, which might have driven a lot of businesses out of business.


But wait! The number of restaurants with active liquor licenses dropped to 1,458 from 2,148.


Hmm. Not a good thing.


I guess I’m fed up with politicians bopping drinkers and smokers to make up for their inability to fund good, safe schools that educate. That sounds like multiple choice. Would you like schools that are a) good, b) safe or c) that educate? Seems like we can’t have all three.


I already pay annual taxes that are directed to the School District. I pay 10 percent more for my drinks and now they are after the smokers. (Yes, I know 54.7 percent of you hate smokers, so anything done to them is just peachy.)


The most fair thing would be to tax the actual users of the schools, the children. Since most of them don’t work, tax their parents.


You don’t tax smokers to use the Walt Whitman bridge, you tax the users. Same with gasoline tax.


What’s that? I have to be real. Most of those who have kids in the public schools aren’t top income earners (who send their kids to public schools).


Let’s tax lawyers. They have a lot of money and, really, don’t they get to use the court system we pay for, for free? Hit them with an added tax.


Lobbyists, too, and that requires no further explanation.


Ditto bankers.


Let’s really tax politicians, because they are the ones who lack the courage to solve the problem and keep looking for little guys to kick around.


One of these days, they’ll run out of little guys.

Daily News Columnist
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About this blog
Stu Bykofsky has been a columnist with the Philadelphia Daily News since 1987. Prior to the column, his assignments included theater critic, TV critic, copy editor, general assignment features reporter. He supports civil-rights and animal causes, he opposes political correctness, bicycles on the sidewalk and most other forms of selfishness and stupidity.
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