Massive Cigarette Tax Totally Unfair

Those of you who read often know I’m philosophically opposed to all forms of taxation. That’s why I’m unhappy about the new tax hike on cigarettes. The government feels they can get away with taxing cigarettes because smokers have really become the pariahs of society.

They say all these taxes are necessary so we can shore up healthcare.

To me, this is all wrong. We’re taxing one small group of people and then using the money however we want. This is just as wrong as taxing rich people to pay for lazy people.

On the other hand, I believe that actions should have consequences.

That’s why I propose a new form of non-taxation.

Health insurance would be affordable if we follow this new and simple principle: Engaging in high-risk activities excludes you from being able to be treated for any disease related to your high-risk activity. So for smokers, that logically dictates that your health insurance would not cover lung cancer or emphysema. All unrelated illnesses would still be covered, but if you smoke and get lung cancer, you’ll either have to pay out of pocket for the treatment or you’ll die.

If you live on a diet of pure sugar and carbs and you get diabetes, you’ll be spending a lot of your hard-earned cash on insulin. If you have lots of random sex, you’ll be paying for your own AIDS treatment. If you skateboard and break your leg, you’ll be paying for your own cast.

If you consider the fact that a vast majority of diseases and healthcare issues are caused by idiotic behavior, it stands to reason that you’d save massive money. Why should those of us who DON’T engage in high-risk behavior have to take any of the burden of paying for the consequences?

I know what you’re saying – it’s cruel to make people pay for their own stupid decisions.

What. Ever.

It’s infinitely fair. Just as it’s fair for you to have a foreclosure if you bought more house than you can afford. Just as it’s fair that you get an F on your test that you didn’t study for.

Actions have consequences and they absolutely should. How many people do you think would keep smoking if they knew they would never get medical treatment for smoking-related sickness? I’m guessing not many.

It makes far more sense than taxing cigarettes or making them illegal. Prohibition never works. You have to hit people where it counts. The wallet.

  5 comments for “Massive Cigarette Tax Totally Unfair

  1. livieloo
    April 1, 2009 at 9:10 am

    Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. I wonder if Obama is going to get a tax break on his cigarettes…

  2. Dave
    April 1, 2009 at 9:31 am

    Probably won’t need it…he just bums them from his staff (like he did on the campaign, admittedly), or has Secret Service pick them up while Michelle isn’t looking…and pay for it out of government funds.

  3. MR. Carley
    April 1, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    I don’t care for tobacco either, but this seems crazy. We are teetering on the brink of some bad things happening (stating the obvious).

    BTW Incredipete, I ran across this commentary from Penn Jillette and I was reminded of your logic and writing style (read:rant).

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/04/01/jillette.skid/index.html

  4. April 1, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    It would work…until the smoker’s wife comes down with lung cancer from second-hand smoke. Would living with a smoker be considered risky? Would she still be covered? And what it the skateboarder broke his arm in an accident unrelated to skateboarding? Or in a car accident?

  5. April 2, 2009 at 8:28 am

    I would say living with a smoker counts as risky behavior if you let the smoker smoke inside.

    As for unrelated injuries – sure, if a skateboarder breaks his leg in a car accident it’s covered.

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