Friday, April 11, 2008

Another Great Idea From Your Massachusetts Legislature!

Want to raise taxes on the poorest citizens?

And drive up health care costs on all Massachusetts taxpayers?

While simultaneously sending more local dollars to New Hampshire?

Then I've got the perfect idea: Raise the cigarette tax to $2.51 a pack!

Jacob Sullum at Reason magazine explains the math that our legislators simply cannot grasp. However, even the dopiest Beacon Hill bonehead should be able to anticipate what's going to happen at New Hampshire convenience stores when the price of a carton of smokes in Massachusetts goes up to $65. When a smoker can save $30 a carton by driving 10 miles, he'll be loading up minivan with Marlboros--even if gas hits $4 a gallon.

UPDATE: Several listeners have called into to claim that the 1997 NEJM study cited by Sullum can't still be true. So here's another study from way back in...2008. Smokers die faster and cost less money.