The recently announced cigar regulation and tax policy tells a lot about the depravity of our government's manipulation of its people.
The president's proposed tax hike on cigars, with the Food and Drug Administration issuing a 69-page regulation, exquisitely highlights the deep conflict between the administration and the American people.
The administration's claims are straightforward enough — stop people from smoking cigars, health costs will plunge and new taxes will raise billions of dollars to fund more already-discredited entitlements.
Let's take a moment, smoke a cigar and think this through.
Throughout our history, and now that of most of the civilized world, smoking of cigar, along with suitable libations, typically makes for the proper environment for good conversation or celebration . . . or just gather our own thoughts.
But the administration has the belief that people are irrational and that it is the government's job to nudge people to more rational behavior.
Those who occupy high public office see the rest of us as nothing more than befuddled masses, which, as one commentator observed, are "bedeviled by impulses and sentiments, overwhelmed by choice."
Oh yes, they know what is better for us because they are doing such a great job running their own lives.
The government figures we need some help with our self-control. The preferred method is, of course, to tax us.
A truly amazing explanation of this was given by one of those alter-ego organizations for the administration, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
"Decisions about smoking are similar to those about retirement saving. People want to save, but it is hard because spending provides instant gratification; mechanisms such as automatic deductions from people's paychecks can help people avoid the spending temptation," the Center wrote in a recent report.
"Similarly, the tobacco tax reduces the instant gratification of smoking and leads some smokers to put more weight on its long-term risks."
What's wrong with this picture?
The government takes out payroll taxes because it wants to spend my money instead of letting me spend it
Why? Because those running the government want the instant gratification of spending your money instead of you spending your money.
They are addicted to taking our money from us. They can't stop.
Using tax as punishment is the critical factor in dictating behavior. Tax does cause people to alter behavior.
But what happens when the government wants people to pay more taxes but not change behavior?
Like corporations, they decide to respond to increasing taxes— and reduced cash flow — by leaving the U.S. tax system altogether.
Those taxpayers are called unpatriotic.
It's all so Orwellian, isn't it?
It may be irrational, a matter of sentimentality, and even impulsive, but having the right to choose to smoke a cigar is what personal freedom is all about.
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