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Thread: Cigarette taxes are a boon to organized crime

  1. #1

    Cigarette taxes are a boon to organized crime

    Higher taxes aren't generally a path to economic growth and job creation. Higher cigarette taxes, however, are increasingly boosting at least one sector of the economy, organized crime.

    'Smuggled cigarettes have become the new currency of organized crime, and a lot of these criminal organizations are finding that it’s more profitable than illegal narcotics,' Rich Marianos, the retired Assistant Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, recently noted.

    Marianos said that black market tobacco smuggling has become "a high-profit, low-risk criminal enterprise. Compared to drug offenses where there’s a mandatory minimum sentence, there’s no penalties out there for the cigarette trafficker."
    'They’re being sold in the bodegas, in the convenience stores, they’re being sold on the street, they’re being sold in the housing projects,” Marianos said, “by street gangs like the Latin Kings, terrorist organizations, the Russian Mafia.'"
    Politicians love raising tobacco taxes. With the number of smokers continuing to fall, fewer voters feel the pain of the higher taxes directly. Last year, three states raised their cigarette taxes, even though the states were enjoying higher tax revenue.

    The political addiction to higher cigarette taxes is creating a boon for organized crime. Last month, the Tax Foundation, in testimony before the US Senate, noted that over 56% of the cigarettes sold in New York State were smuggled in from other states. New York has the highest tax on cigarettes in the country.

    Many smokers are avoiding these higher taxes, though. They are simply buying their smokes, usually unwittingly, from criminal syndicates.

    As documented back in 2009, New Jersey has had the unfortunate experience of seeing total revenue from cigarette taxes drop after pushing through a cigarette tax increase.

    But it is also a nationwide problem. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy estimates that nearly $3.5 billion in revenue has been lost year-to-date as a result of cigarette smuggling (Mackinac's figures are available at this site). A more revealing way to look at this, though, is not in tax revenue lost to the government, but rather that money being used to grease a criminal network.

    This is another useful reminder of why cigarette taxes are bad news: Unstable revenue bases. Regressive taxes. But perhaps now most worryingly, incentivizing and stimulating organized crime.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Governm...rganized-Crime

  2. #2

    Re: Cigarette taxes are a boon to organized crime

    Drop sales taxes and make smokers pay higher insurance premiums and taxes/fees associated with public health.

  3. #3

    Re: Cigarette taxes are a boon to organized crime

    Quote Originally Posted by Brooklyn Nole
    Drop sales taxes and make smokers pay higher insurance premiums and taxes/fees associated with public health.
    No... you didn't....

    OK, wait for it.

  4. #4

    Re: Cigarette taxes are a boon to organized crime

    Hey - don't make fun of my personal responsibility positions. I think any healthy and sane adult receiving entitlements should have to volunteer their time to public needs in order to keep receiving them.

  5. #5

    Re: Cigarette taxes are a boon to organized crime

    Actuarially sound increases in insurance premiums for smokers? Fine.

    Taxes/fees on smokers for some nebulous "public health" reason? Niet, comrade.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Re: Cigarette taxes are a boon to organized crime

    I read somewhere that 100% of cigarette butts found on the ground are dropped by smokers. While we're assessing fees here, how about a littering fine?

  7. #7

    Re: Cigarette taxes are a boon to organized crime

    Littering is already a crime virtually everywhere, I'd imagine.

  8. #8

    Re: Cigarette taxes are a boon to organized crime

    Quote Originally Posted by Brooklyn Nole
    Drop sales taxes and make smokers pay higher insurance premiums and taxes/fees associated with public health.
    Your premise is flawed.
    Smokers actually reduces the burdens of socialized costs:

    smokers die some 10 years earlier than nonsmokers, according to the CDC, and those premature deaths provide a savings to Medicare, Social Security, private pensions and other programs.

    Vanderbilt University economist Kip Viscusi studied the net costs of smoking-related spending and savings and found that for every pack of cigarettes smoked, the country reaps a net cost savings of 32 cents.

    "It looks unpleasant or ghoulish to look at the cost savings as well as the cost increases and it's not a good thing that smoking kills people," Viscusi said in an interview. "But if you're going to follow this health-cost train all the way, you have to take into account all the effects, not just the ones you like in terms of getting your bill passed."

    Viscusi worked as a litigation expert for the tobacco industry in lawsuits by states but said that his research, which has been published in peer-reviewed journals, has never been funded by industry.

    Other researchers have reached similar conclusions.

    A Dutch study published last year in the Public Library of Science Medicine journal said that health care costs for smokers were about $326,000 from age 20 on, compared to about $417,000 for thin and healthy people.

    The reason: The thin, healthy people lived much longer.
    link

  9. #9
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    Re: Cigarette taxes are a boon to organized crime

    Once again our board Communist get OWNED

  10. #10

    Re: Cigarette taxes are a boon to organized crime

    Yeah, except Mr. Brainiac didn't account for 2nd hand smoke and its health costs.

  11. #11

    Re: Cigarette taxes are a boon to organized crime

    Quote Originally Posted by Brooklyn Nole
    Yeah, except Mr. Brainiac didn't account for 2nd hand smoke and its health costs.
    Secondhand smoke is the second-greatest fraud ever pulled on the public (second only to global warming).

  12. #12

    Re: Cigarette taxes are a boon to organized crime

    You can bury your head in the sand if you want - but don't expect anyone to care.

    http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statist ... h_effects/

    "Secondhand smoke is the combination of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette and the smoke breathed out by smokers. Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals. Hundreds are toxic and about 70 can cause cancer.1,2,3,4

    Since the 1964 Surgeon General’s Report, 2.5 million adults who were nonsmokers died because they breathed secondhand smoke.1"

  13. #13

    Re: Cigarette taxes are a boon to organized crime

    Quote Originally Posted by Brooklyn Nole
    You can bury your head in the sand if you want - but don't expect anyone to care.

    http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statist ... h_effects/

    "Secondhand smoke is the combination of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette and the smoke breathed out by smokers. Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals. Hundreds are toxic and about 70 can cause cancer.1,2,3,4

    Since the 1964 Surgeon General’s Report, 2.5 million adults who were nonsmokers died because they breathed secondhand smoke.1"

    You must enjoy being lied to by your government.

    Oh, wait... you're an Obama supporter. Should've known that about you already by now.

  14. #14

    Re: Cigarette taxes are a boon to organized crime

    Quote Originally Posted by Brooklyn Nole
    Hey - don't make fun of my personal responsibility positions. I think any healthy and sane adult receiving entitlements should have to volunteer their time to public needs in order to keep receiving them.
    I told you what was about to happen.

  15. #15

    Re: Cigarette taxes are a boon to organized crime

    All you got is spittle instead of faces.

    Oh, and your smokers agenda where you lie to yourself about giving other people cancer.

    Must be nice going through life congenitally lying to yourself.

  16. #16

    Re: Cigarette taxes are a boon to organized crime

    The liars have even tried to say that secondhand smoke is actually MORE dangerous than actively smoking! They know that no one is going to challenge their propaganda, so they spew the BS with impunity.

    Read this if you have an open mind.

    http://www.smokescam.com/fight.htm

  17. #17

    Re: Cigarette taxes are a boon to organized crime

    Smokecam has less credibility than my anus.

    The CDC results are well documented and uncontroversial.

    You must think the world is still flat too.

  18. #18

    Re: Cigarette taxes are a boon to organized crime

    Quote Originally Posted by Brooklyn Nole
    Smokecam has less credibility than my anus.

    The CDC results are well documented and uncontroversial.

    You must think the world is still flat too.
    No, I think the CDC has an agenda. Just like the EPA has an agenda.

  19. #19

    Re: Cigarette taxes are a boon to organized crime

    It's so so horrible to have the public health as an agenda.

    See Trad - folks like you who suffer hysterical blindness and knee jerk because you simply hate government make it easy for the socialists to control the country.

    Folks like you show Americas how nuts it is to avoid science - and so the GOP gets branded as flaky ideological science haters.

    In the end it won't be the socialists who took over the country - it will be conservatives who handed it over because they hate government so much they lose their mental faculties.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
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    Re: Cigarette taxes are a boon to organized crime

    Quote Originally Posted by Brooklyn Nole
    It's so so horrible to have the public health as an agenda.

    See Trad - folks like you who suffer hysterical blindness and knee jerk because you simply hate government make it easy for the socialists to control the country.

    Folks like you show Americas how nuts it is to avoid science - and so the GOP gets branded as flaky ideological science haters.

    In the end it won't be the socialists who took over the country - it will be conservatives who handed it over because they hate government so much they lose their mental faculties.
    Your correlations are crazy. Being conservative/republican does not mean you avoid science. The gov't lies to advance their agenda (I think you call that "free market").

    I hate cigarette smoke. Disgusting habit that affects everyone around them. Smoke going into your lungs and those around you can't possibly be good for your health.

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