…to paraphrase Albert Einstein, is to keep trying to use taxes to engineer society even when you know it doesn’t work.
Last month, we talked about Governor
Messinger’s Dayton’s plan to jack up cigarette taxes by a buck a pack. Raising cigarette taxes never works; revenues plummet because people avoid the taxes the best they can, and if taxes get high enough they switch to the inevitable black market, and even the purported health benefits tend to stall once the casual smokers get priced out of the market. And, for all the DFL’s palaver about progressivism, cigarette taxes are the most regressive tax there is.
So what could be better than Governor
Messinger’s Dayton’s $.94/pack hike?
Ann Lenczewski’s proposed $2.83 per pack – up $1.60 from the current $1.23 in total state taxes – is like
Messinger’s Dayton’s proposed hike, only more so.
Kim Crockett from the Center of the American Experiment, quoted in the left-leaning Daily Planet:
But the taxes are seen as regressive — meaning they affect a larger share from those least able to pay, and, according Kim Crockett, chief operating officer for the Center of the American Experiment, the goals of decreasing smoking and increasing revenue can sometimes conflict.
She cautioned against raising the price of cigarettes to the point where there are unintended consequences. She said the state could expect to see more smuggling of the product — casual smuggling by those who cross state lines to purchase the product if it is cheaper, but also commercial smuggling by large-scale operators bringing the product to the state for sale.
“This undermines both the revenue goals and the health goals of higher cigarette taxes,” she said. Additionally, she questioned the anticipated revenue projections.
The DFL are acting like spoiled teenagers who got the car taken away from them for misbehaving with it – and finally got it back, and are acting like now they’re really gonna stick it to Mom and Dad.