Found one very odd sentence in a Lexington Herald Leader editorial urging a cigarette tax increase this weekend:
“Kentucky’s cheap cigarettes fuel an interstate black market.“
This is demonstrably false.
There is a vigorous interstate black market in cigarettes. People buy cigarettes in low-tax states and take them to high-tax states for illegal resale at a healthy profit.
Cigarettes in New York City are taxed $4.25 a pack. In Kentucky, it’s thirty cents. Do the math.
So, who is causing the problem? Think about this: if Kentucky and all other states raised their cigarette tax to $4.25, would the cigarette black market wither away or would it get a huge boost with the crime merely becoming more widespread?
On the other hand, let’s say every state eliminated cigarette taxes. What do you think would happen to the “black market?”
People buy cigarettes legally in low-tax states to sell illegally in high-tax states. How, exactly, is that the fault of the low-tax states?
The tax increase advocates are really getting desperate. They would expend far less energy torturing logic if they just admitted that we have overspent ourselves into a mess.
Smaller government is the better answer.