Thursday, August 27, 2015

Brilliant, California. Brilliant

Gotta love Californians. The Sacramento Bee reports on efforts to raise the tax on tobacco. Proponents say if the legislature doesn't act, they'll do it through a ballot initiative. As I wrote before, this reminds me of the scene in The Magic Christian (thanks, MOLA) where Ringo Starr throws a bunch of money over some cesspool type thing and everyone jumps in after it. 

But the logic of this astounds me, although it should be no surprise in this state. They even play both sides in the same sentence:

“This bill really is about not just funding the Medi-Cal program but also to try and reduce smoking overall,..."

They want to fund a program they're trying to increase participation in- Medi-Cal- yet target an already shrinking source of revenue to do it. Brilliant!

A recent Field Poll shows 2/3 of Californians currently support this tax increase. Why? Because it wouldn't affect them. That, and because they can attack someone without risk- smokers being a steadily declining minority that can't defend themselves. The other 1/3 are obviously a little more principled.

Addendum: I just sent a condensed version of this post as a letter to the editor to the Sacramento Bee. Let's see if they publish it.

Read more here:


At 9:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a PR stunt, propaganda piece, trying to convince voters that "everyone" wants this tax. It couldn't be further from the truth.
Also of note, is how they are simultaneously classifying the Act of Quitting Smoking with literal smoking, so they can tax, fine, fee, and "control". Of course, all Pharma products are ok to use.
Hundreds & hundreds of ex-smokers rallied at the capital in opposition, yet their testimonies were shrugged aside. The bills now head to the next phase.
Join NOT BLOWING SMOKE at and if you're interested in trying to protect what's left of your voice. (Both free, both accept donations).
Those who use the Mmj in the Act of Healing, might be interested to know they are also being trampled via over taxation & regulations. They will not be able to take their medicine if anyone under the age of 21 is around them, etc..
Here's the language.

At 9:08 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

It is interesting there would be that many supposedly in support of increasing the tobacco tax when the last one, Prop 10(?), barely squeeked by. It might have something to do with the way the questions were asked, or even the groups they chose to poll.

At 9:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vapor products (all components) will be classified as cigarettes, taxed like cigarettes, and treated like cigarettes, if these bills pass. This means that even if you choose to quit smoking real cigarettes, it will not be affordable to do so, using the 75% avg proven method, of vaping. You will be stuck cold turkey or with Pharma products with their 5-10% proven results.
Those who use vaporizers for their pain or healing Meds, Mmj, will not be able to afford to purchase their gear, replace their gear, use their gear...
Remember the MSA video? The truth about vaping. Combine that with the calif blunders with medi-cal, and you'll get a good picture why it's all about the money, nothing about the health. The health groups who profit from these taxes, are of course backing them to the extreme.

At 9:17 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Yep. I featured that video here a while back.

At 9:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, by attacking smokers, they avoid the illegal alien controversy talk. There are over 2.8 million undocumented workers who need to be on the medi-cal program or else Jerry is in trouble with the Feds, for the medi-cal funds he used on other things besides medi.
Because most ex-smokers & smokers are working class poor, ethic minorities, they are easy prey.

At 9:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

By attacking the vaporizers, ex-smokers will go back to smoking, despite the tax increase. The politicians are addicted to nicotine taxes.

At 10:01 AM, Blogger Julie Timmons said...

AS far as I'm concerned, they can triple the tobacco tax and it still wouldn't be high enough.

At 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got ahead of myself. I meant "in trouble with the dems". Jerry had to make cutbacks to medi-cal in order to "fix" the budget. Since that time, the border floodgates opened. Now we have all the legals & illegals, going without. Despite the fact that people do have inalienable rights to healthcare, it is NOT an inalienable right to force others to pay for it. You have a right to seek medical attention, and a right to pick up a shovel to dig those ditches and pay for it. Nobody has the right to force others to pay.
The anti-smoking groups brag that blacks, native Americans, homeless, working class, poor, are the major contributors of smoke taxes. By raising their taxes, (supposedly to force them to quit), they will be able to pay for medi-cal with the NON money coming in. They've all quit, bought contraband, have stocked up on vapor products, grow their own....
It doesn't make sense? Vaporizers allow the consumer to regulate their own nicotine allotments. Most start at 18-24mg strength, then wean to 0-6% easily. Smokers, on the other hand, can't wean, except by willpower. By deleting the vaporizer from the equation, the smokers who can't quit by any other method besides vaping, will be the hardest hit. The dems are counting on the smoke addiction. Nicotine, as proven by Pharma, is NOT addictive when not inside a cocktail of chemicals like the boosted real cigarette. This assures a steady tax flow in the future. Without the mediator, there will only be smoking or not smoking. No act of quitting smoking.

At 10:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Julie, I feel that way about ... dems.

At 10:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Outstanding comment, Fred, at Sacbee. Excellent!

At 10:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's the smoking cancer patients, the obese fast food eating soda guzzling people that significantly affect my health care costs. Agree with Julie, the tax should be tripled.

At 11:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny thing is, comparing couch potato, junk food addict non-smokers to active, common sense diet, smokers shows that the smokers are healthier than the non.

As for the cancer patients who can't eat their Meds (oral disease, nausea, etc), they will be restricted on their safer alternative products, aka vaporizers. There will be more red tape admin, to "roster" only tested & approved to date (at a high fee, passed on to the patients), and all new & improved products will be non affordable to test & roster.
They will not be able to build their own coils, change out batteries, ... save money. They will pay dearly for half assed products. Any product that CAN be used for cutting back smoking addiction, will not be allowed.
Tobacco helps the Mmj user retain memory. Tobacco is known for cognitive skills enhancing, as well as many other benefits. Nicotine is NOT evil, dems are.

(c) “Smoking” means inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted or heated cigar, cigarette, or pipe, or any other lighted or heated tobacco or plant product intended for inhalation, whether natural or synthetic, in any manner or in any form. “Smoking” includes the use of an electronic smoking device that creates an aerosol or vapor, in any manner or in any form, or the use of any oral smoking device for the purpose of circumventing the prohibition of smoking.
(d) (1) “Tobacco product” means any of the following:
(A) A product containing, made, or derived from tobacco or nicotine that is intended for human consumption, whether smoked, heated, chewed, absorbed, dissolved, inhaled, snorted, sniffed, or ingested by any other means, including, but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, little cigars, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, or snuff.
(B) An electronic device that delivers nicotine or other vaporized liquids to the person inhaling from the device, including, but not limited to, an electronic cigarette, cigar, pipe, or hookah.
(C) Any component, part, or accessory of a tobacco product, whether or not sold separately.
(2) “Tobacco product” does not include a product that has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for sale as a tobacco cessation product or for other therapeutic purposes where the product is marketed and sold solely for such an approved purpose.

At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The benefits of nicotine.
The benefits of menthol.
The smokers paradox.
All interfere with the progressives main agenda.

At 12:22 PM, Blogger MOLA:42 said...

My Dad smoked over 2 packs of cigarettes a day all his adult life (he's gone now, died of lung cancer).

When the taxes started to rise on cigarettes he switched to cheaper cigarettes. When the taxes continued to rise he cut down on other things so he could continue to smoke.

My point is taxes on such items do two things when they become excessive:

One: They have little effect on the hard core user. We could have doubled and redoubled the taxes and they still would buy more cigarettes... the money just comes from somewhere else in their budgets (you know, food, clothing, medical care... that kind of stuff).

Two: If the taxes get past the hardcore user's budget, they will still find a way to get them. Excessive taxation is just another form of Prohibition that promotes both hardship for the victims meant to be "saved" and encourages illegal activities to get around those taxes.

I'm not sure where the tipping point is when smuggling becomes worthwhile, but I would not be surprised if we have already passed it. I don't think we need yet another underground economy.

Sorry Julie, I can't go with you on let's "triple the taxes."

I hope we learn the lesson quickly: Because if we go the same taxation route when MJ is legal we'll just wind up back to where we started.

At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes!! See local progressives! Smoking is actually GOOD FOR YOU!

You gotta love the Teabaggers, they have science on their side.

At 2:18 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Julie wrote, "... they can triple the tobacco tax and it still wouldn't be high enough."

Underlines a fundamental difference between us nice folk, and those like Julie. She has no problem attacking others through the ballot box for things she doesn't like when she feels there's no risk to her in doing so.

I would never do that to her.

At 3:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't help but wonder if Julie was on the board when business & property owners rights were unconstitutionally nullified. The county used to be hopping with dance clubs, outdoor concerts, cafés & more. Now all we see are homeless people.

At 6:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Julie Timmons, you really need to grow up.
Dear sweet lord can you not see the road we are going down? How old are you?

At 7:39 PM, Blogger MOLA:42 said...

Dog Pile on Julie Timmons! Wheeeeee!

She's a whole lot more mentally mature than most commenters here.

Hopefully I didn't get the ball rolling with my comment. We disagree. So what?

I mean really... So What?

At 8:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I can't help but wonder if Julie was on the board when business & property owners rights were unconstitutionally nullified"

More teabagger nonsense-

At 10:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mola, while your post was thoughtful and compassionate, standing for common sense & decency, I wouldn't flatter yourself into thinking it was your post instead of Julie's own callous words that brought the "bad" commenters out to play. I'm sorry about your Dad, btw.

At 11:18 PM, Blogger MOLA:42 said...

10:10 PM Anonymous:

I flatter myself all the time. If I don't do it, who will?

Perhaps it was Fred's fault.

I think there is a legitimate point of view behind Julie Timmons' post. Taxation is used all the time to try to limit activities or products considered to be detrimental to society.

Silly Example Time: Let's say society consider's the sudden influx of Pink Golf Balls into the United States to be destroying our precious way of life.

Those Pink Golf Balls are coming from that place of godless hedonism known as Scotland. The Congress raises a tariff (a form of tax if you will on imports) to make the Pink Golf Balls less desirable to own because of the expense.

Yes, I know it's silly to think of the Congress doing anything, but work with me here.

The demand falls-off sharply for Pink Golf Balls. The heathen godless Scots realize the error of their ways and cease exporting Pink Golf Balls into our Nation. Victory for Truth, Justice and the American Way.

The example is silly, the practice is not. Predatory Taxation (my name for it, I'm sure economists use a different name) is done locally, nationally and internationally all the time everywhere. This is what we did with cigarettes and it has worked... a lot of people have quit smoking primarily because of the expense.

Ms. Timmons simply applied the logic past what I consider to be its breaking point, that's all. I don't think (I've never met her but she seems nice) she meant to be anything like callous. Nor do I think she was.

Although she really cheeses me off when she talks like that about Vaping (ecigs).

Thank you for your thoughts concerning my Dad. He got to live the life he wanted to live... cigarettes and all... and he accepted the consequences with grace and courage.

I hope when I shuffle off this mortal coil I can do it at least half as well as he did.

At 8:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mola, your father was lucky to have had a child as wonderful as you. Had coils been invented in his youth, perhaps he would have skipped the 2pad habit he otherwise picked up during his curiosity years. The same with my beloved mother, whom I'll always miss dearly, especially her southern fried chicken, country fried breakfast potatoes and biscuits with sausage gravy.

The pink golf balls are a prime example why our founding fathers limited the government to 4 defined jobs & those jobs only. None of which are define the act of protecting us from our selves. It is up to each individual to live his life in the way that he knows is right for him, as long as he is not forcing his will or harm upon others.
When congress tricked the public into raising taxes on the pink golf balls, by providing funds to scientists to spin the conclusions in favor of taxing, people were stunned. It didn't make sense. Nobody was dying in the streets from toxic pink golf balls. Congress had to beef up their campaign to raise taxes, so they hired more "junk" scientists & spin doctors, as well as all main media, to get the word out that pink golf balls are so toxic that even future unborn children (if they're not aborted, that is, on the gov dollar) will turn into radioactive mutants. The gullible masses gasped and gave in.
Then along came a man who created an alternative to pink golf balls. The crowds cheered. Congress, who liked their tax money from the pink golf balls, cried. The junk scientists and spin doctors cried. Something had to be done! So they began a new campaign, to scare the masses away from the new modern technology. The paid media loved it, ate every word.
The masses knew the scare stories were just that. Stories. Propaganda. So they fought. The more they researched, the harder they fought. Their research took them back through history, to the beginning of the pink golf ball. Come to find out, they were right about their distrust of the "toxic pink golf balls" tax raising campaign. But, they didn't care, because, the new improved safer alternative actually tasted better, smelled better, was totally affordable, and people could create their own called DIY. They let Congress collect their corrupt pink golf ball funds, while they sat back and enjoyed their new alternative.
Congress got pissed. Their funds were drying up. Too many people, including the future addicted, were no longer addicted to pink golf balls! They were all making their own, buying from their neighbors who made them, stirring up the economy instead of severe taxing.
So, congress hit harder, ignored the public who opposed their taxing. Congress voted to tax and there wasn't a thing anybody could do, besides pay up for not enjoying life, liberty, and happiness. They no longer own their own bodies, congress does. They no longer own their own thoughts, congress does.

At 2:58 PM, Blogger MOLA:42 said...

Anonymous 8:38:

Good improvisation on a Pink Golf Ball themed subject.


At 4:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mola, it was easy, I just stuck to facts. (only the product was changed).

At 5:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In addition, here is a bit of news that most voters aren't aware of. "Also in 1989, C. Everett Koop as Surgeon General of the United States changed the definition of "addiction" to include
smoking, thereby also including things such as TV watching, video games, chocolate, sex, etc. ".
There's going to be a whole lot of karma coming back around. Anybody who's been paying attention at all, has seen the "new study!" to add to the long list of goodies to tax. Even insomnia. You think spy cameras are bad now, just wait until we're all vaccinated with those fancy chips for the dips.


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