Gov. Crist Spouting Nonsense on Cigarette Tax Issue

June 3, 2009

As Attorney General, Gov. Crist spouted nonsense about price gouging. Last year as governor, he spouted nonsense about property taxes in the state. And now, he’s spouting nonsense about cigarette taxation. Here’s what he said on Tuesday after signing into law a $1 cigarette tax increase in the Sunshine State.

“I view it more as a health issue than a tax issue,” said Crist, a Republican who broke with a career-long opposition to tax increases. ” Ronald Reagan used to say if you want to kill something, tax it. It wouldn’t be bad if we killed smoking. It would save a lot of lives.”

The obvious question for Crist is why stop at $1? If it’s so bad and government should try to kill it, why not make the tax $1,000 per pack? But this shows that his seeing it as a health issue is ridiculous. If that was the case, he would indeed make it $1,000 per pack, but that would lower revenue (you’d be in the rare case of being on the right side of the Laffer Curve). This is more about Crist trying to recover some of the money lost from his irresponsible property tax “reform” last year than about reducing smoking rates.

I guess we can expect U.S. Senator Nanny Crist (which Crist is running for) to support the proposed soda taxes since that could be considered a health issue too.


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