The Sins Of The Sin Tax

    Economist Paul Samuelson was once asked to explain how sin taxes worked. He offered up the following commentary.

    “Sin Taxes” are so called because they are levied on those commodities, such as tobacco and alcohol, which are the objects of widespread disapproval. “Such taxes,” Paul Samuelson says, “are often tolerated because most people–including many cigarette smokers and moderate drinkers–feel that there is something vaguely immoral about tobacco and alcohol. They think these ”sin taxes“ stun two birds with one stone: the state gets revenue, and vice is made more expensive.”

    (HT: Acton Institute)

    This is absolutely what has not happened in New York since Mein Obama and Gropenfurher Bloomberg have decided they would levy exorbitant sin taxes on tobacco products in New York City. Newsday.com describes the destructively regressive nature of the sin taxes on tobacco below.

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    Maryland planning more stealth tax hikes on poor?

    In a socially-acceptable way, of course: ie, via another hike in the tax on tobacco. The “Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative” – a name whose hint of subtle menace should make small-government types involuntarily shiver – looking to raise it by a buck a pack, because… well, pretty much because they want people to quit smoking, and taxing it through the ceiling is supposed to accomplish | Read More »

    Maryland planning more stealth tax hikes on poor?

    In a socially-acceptable way, of course: ie, via another hike in the tax on tobacco. The “Maryland Citizens’ Health Initiative” – a name whose hint of subtle menace should make small-government types involuntarily shiver – looking to raise it by a buck a pack, because… well, pretty much because they want people to quit smoking, and taxing it through the ceiling is supposed to accomplish | Read More »

    Sin Tax Schadenfreude

    The Reason Foundation published an article back in February ’09 looking at the failed logic of State (and Federal) Government placing such a huge reliance on Tobacco taxes as the means by which they hope to offset some of their budgetary woes in the “lean times.” They likened this broken record of failed tax policy to that of an “old vaudeville troop that can’t let | Read More »

    Sin Tax Schadenfreude

    The Reason Foundation published an article back in February ’09 looking at the failed logic of State (and Federal) Government placing such a huge reliance on Tobacco taxes as the means by which they hope to offset some of their budgetary woes in the “lean times.” They likened this broken record of failed tax policy to that of an “old vaudeville troop that can’t let | Read More »