Thursday, April 21, 2011

Moral Compass

Okay, okay. I have heard from my Republican delegates who say  I have refused to hear them on this cigarette tax thing.

All they are saying, they say, is selling cigarettes is legal and if we want to live within our means in the state of New Hampshire, we have to generate what income we can and one very legitimate way of doing this is by taxing commerce, legal commerce. 

If you object to taxing cigarettes, they say, then make them illegal. 

I have tried to tease out an analysis of this argument, elsewhere, but allow me to set forth the argument as simply as I can, because apparently my Republican colleagues get lost in the complexities:
1/ Cigarettes:  Bad
2/ Government: Good,(or wants to be good.)
3/ Ipso Facto, therefore it follows: Government should not promote selling cigarettes. That is-- Bad.

Is there a problem with seeking a good end (balanced budget) through bad means (trying to figure out how we can sell cigarettes in the most profitable way)?

Yes, there is a problem with this. You can put on your most reasonable face, and use your most reasonable voice, and you still have a problem.

If you want to reach the good end (balanced budget), try good means (fair tax, i.e., tax paid by people who won't miss the money so much.)

What is a fair tax? 

Well, let's look at the current tax burden on the citizens of New Hampshire: The richest 10% pay about 2% of their income in taxes; the poorest 20% pay 8% of their income in taxes.


Rich guy, not hurt by taxes: Good.
 Poor guy getting hurt by taxes: Bad.

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