At a Thursday public forum in Louisville, Gov. Steve Beshear’s Chief of Staff Adam Edelen elevated the government hysteria for higher taxes by saying this:
“What is it you value? Is it your future? Is it your children’s future? Or is it cheap cigarettes?”
What kind of sane person would continue to oppose a cigarette tax increase if it truly involved improving our future and that of our children?
The problem is that this overblown rhetoric simply has nothing to back it up. If the political class in Frankfort valued our future and that of our children more than they did their ability to win the next election, we wouldn’t have the public debt and unfunded pension liabilities that put us at real risk of insolvency. So why would we even consider taking advice from them about our values?
Cigarette tax hikers talk about changing smokers’ behavior by incentivizing them to smoke less, but write budgets heavily dependent on them smoking even more. The clarity our politicians would gain by scaling back entitlements like Medicaid and corporate welfare and ruinous labor policies might lead them to conclude that government best plays no role in citizen behavior modification.
Then they could focus on little things like not bankrupting us or our children.