Less than three months into the Obama administration and his first tax hike has taken affect. Remember – back on September 12, 2008 Obama said “Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of a tax increase, not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains tax, not any of your taxes”.
His first tax hike will affect the poor the most. The Federal taxes on cigarettes was just raised to $1.01 per pack, up from $.39. The money will be spent for the S-Chip program (State Children’s Health Insurance Program – a program in place for several years under President Bush).
Who smokes cigarettes anyway? According to the American Cancer Society – 19% do, with the largest users American Indian/Alaska Natives (36%). 20% of high school student smoke. Ick.
Here’s the biggest rub: after signing this in early February, one week later, Obama quietly lifted some of the restrictions Bush had placed on who could qualify for S-Chip benefits. Bush had restricted benefits to families who make more than $50,000 a year, so the benefit could go to families who earn less and really need the coverage. Interestingly, Obama removed that restriction, so now families making more than $50,000 can get S-Chip benefits.
I wonder how many American Indian families make more than $50,000 a year will benefit from the expansion they are primarily paying for.
I’m no cigarette fan and a higher tax is fine with me, but after reading that the money will be used to expand a government program for families making more than $50,000 …I’d say that stinks.
REPEATABLE: Obama continues to break his promises and has started his first of many tax increases. His tax is going to pay for a program he just made harder for poor American’s to get.