In the following video Judge Andrew Nepolitano discusses the constitution. At 9:58 he discusses libido dominandi (The will to power; the desire to dominate; the lust for government.) More on this lust for control later. I will paraphrase what he says at 17:58. Knock knock., you open the door to be greeted by men with guns saying give us your money because we want to give it to someone else. You call the police only to find that they are the police. Nowhere is this more apparent then when it comes to tobacco products. The war on tobacco and smokers is leading to smuggling similar to those of the days of the original TEA Party.
The original tea tax was aproximatly 25% and that led to the tea party. Today the draconian tax on tobacco and tobacco products is far more abusive. In 2009 Congress and President Obama passed SCHIP which increased the taxes on this product from $1.0969 per pound to $24.78 per pound, that’s a wopping 2,159% increase. If this bill was so popular with taxpayers the lawmakers would have no problem making the case for imposing a tax on everyone rather then inflict a minority of the population with this burden. But the tax insult does not end there. Wisconsin along with all states imposes it’s own tax and that is 71% of manufacturer’s established list price to distributors. Now I don’t know what the established list price is so I will figure just the tax on tax and that comes to $17.59 bringing the total for a pound to a wopping $42.37 for the original tax and the tax on the tax. But the insult does not end there Wisconsin as most states imposes a 5.5% sales tax so if you include the original tax, the tax on tax and the tax on tax on tax the total comes to $44.70.
This tax is imposed on mostly the poor as they are the majority of smokers.
Nationwide, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index reveals that 21% of Americans say they smoke. As the accompanying graph illustrates, the likelihood of smoking generally increases as annual incomes decrease. One exception to this pattern occurs among those making less than $6,000 per year, an income bracket often skewed because many in that bracket are students. Among those making $6,000 to $11,999 per year, 34% say they smoke, while only 13% in the top two income brackets (those with incomes of at least $90,000 per year) say the same — a 21 percentage-point gap.
For this study, Research Triangle Institute researchers surveyed more than 13,000 people (focused on New York, but with a national sample as well) to investigate the impact of high cigarette taxes on different income levels. They found that low-income smokers (individuals in families making less than $30,000 a year) spent an average of 23.6 percent of annual family income on cigarettes, way up from 11.6 percent in 2004.
This forced low income smokers to find alternitives. One such alternitive is little cigars. These low cost alternitives are of such poor quality that many add flavoring to cover the low quality of the tobacco and fillers in them. The other alternative was to roll their own using Pipe tobacco which is taxed at a much lower rate at the federal level. Along come some entrepreneurs to create rolling machines for rental to assist them in this task. These RYO shops get the bulk of their income from the use of these machines because as can be seen above it is only the government that profits from the sale of tobacco. Now many businesses provide equipment for customers to do it themselves. Hardware stores rent conduit benders yet they are not deemed electricians, grocery stores provide coffee grinders and yet they are not considered coffee manufactures, the list goes on and on. Yet “big tobacco”, “big parma” through anti-smoking groups and the convenience store owners all lobbied the federal government to end this practice. First through the TTB and then through congress. Just this year the senate slipped one paragraph in a 500+ page bill that accomplished this task. And of course they use questionable scientific methods to accomplish these tasks.
This is not unique to the RYO shops as John Stossel points out in “Illegal Everything. A lobster importer who imported seafood for decades served 8 years in prison for violating an obscure law in Honduras even though he has never been there as can be seen 5:40 into the video. 6 minutes in shows just how much it costs to fight these draconian laws and it goes into tens of millions of dollars. 17:40 into the video they talk about farmers going to jail for selling raw milk to people who want raw milk. Here in Wisconsin Vernon Hershberger faces up to 8 years in prison for doing exactly that.
The power to tax is the power to destroy.
|This quotation comes from the words of DANIEL WEBSTER and those of JOHN MARSHALL in the Supreme Court case, McCulloch v. Maryland.
Webster, in arguing the case, said: “An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy,” 17 U.S. 327 (1819).
Chief Justice John Marshall was at his axiomatic best in the Supreme Court opinion set forth in McCulloch v. Maryland. He propounded several interesting and profound axioms in that decision. The strange thing about these axioms is that they have been permitted to remain in the limited context in which he found use for them rather than being given general application. . . .
The implications of the axioms had already been laid down a few sentences earlier:
These are, 1. That a power to create implies a power to preserve. 2. That a power to destroy, if wielded by a different hand, is hostile to, and incompatible with, these powers to create and preserve. 3. That where this repugnancy exists, that authority which is supreme must control, not yield to that over which it is supreme….