I know, right? A government program running out of money? Who-da-thunk-it? I’m sure they’ll think of something else to tax when it’s abundantly clear to the powers that be that the program will bankrupt itself. I mean, look how they were able to salvage Social Security. OK, bad example.
Politically, Obama was trying to kill two birds with one stone. His budget called for a universal pre-k program that was going to be funded with tobacco taxes. How could any decent American say no to “free” daycare education for 4-year-olds? And how could any equally decent American object to using taxes generated by evil smokers to pay for it? “Take that, smokers! We’re going use your bad habit to fund our babysitting education program for little kids. How about that?”
Of course, Obama’s a smoker himself. So, anytime he’d go down to his favorite corner store near his house and get his usual carton of Virginia Slims Menthol Lights (I’m just kidding; he doesn’t smoke those…he smokes Marlboro Reds), a portion of that purchase would go into the “Universal Pre-K Fund.” So, are smokers bad or good? After all, without them, there wouldn’t be this universal pre-K program proposal. (“Paid for by smokers like you.”)
Also, Isn’t it a little disingenuous for the Obama administration to pretend to be so opposed to cigarette smokers while tobacco is still a heavily subsidized crop? And they’ll even bank this entire pre-K program on smokers. They’ll need smokers in order to carry out their plan.
Trouble is, there aren’t enough smokers anymore to fund what Obama wanted with his universal daycare program. Over the next ten years, his proposed program would need about $80 billion (I’m sure that’s lowballing it). And his plan was to cover that with a 98% increase in cigarette taxes.
“But after the first ten years, tobacco taxes will no longer generate enough revenue to pay universal pre-K’s annual $8 billion price tag, experts estimate. The issue is that U.S. smoking rates have steadily declined over the last 50 years–making tobacco taxes an unsustainable funding source for the president’s pet programs, according to Scott Drenkard, a research fellow at the Tax Foundation’s Center for State Tax Policy. ‘Outside the ten year window, its predicted the revenue source will be much smaller than what the spending needs to be to keep this program running,’ said Drenkard in an interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation. ‘In a general sense, this is a budget trick.’”
They’ll probably end up raiding the general fund. That’s what they’ll do when they find some other pet project to pay for with the cigarette “sin” taxes. Maybe they should instead use gun and ammo taxes to cover universal pre-K. You know, the other “sin” taxes. That’ll really show those gun owners.