Saturday, March 19, 2005

The New Drug War

This really gets my goat: Seems to me there wasn't a problem with illegal cigarette sales in this state, at least as far as a black market was concerned, until the government wanted to make more money off tobacco sales. Then, taxes are increased to the point where it makes smuggling quite profitable and yet some state legislators, our own Wes Chesbro included, want to increase the taxes even more. Some federal officials warn this will just increase black market traffic, the proceeds of which are increasingly funding terrorist groups, or so they say. But Senator Chesbro and our State Attorney General will have none of that. They decide to launch yet another front in the drug war and try even harder to go after tobacco smuggling operations rather than admit that it's the taxes they (and many of you) imposed that created the black market in the first place.

It would be interesting to see if the State is already receiving less in cigarette taxes than before the tax increases as often happens when people try to save their hard earned money and look for untaxed or less taxed sources for highly taxed items. I can't help but wonder at what point the state will be spending more money on suppressing the black market in tobacco than they're receiving in tobacco taxes? It's bound to happen.


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