Here's where Democrats piss me off:
In order to fund the S-CHIP program, Democrats will increase the tax
on the "pariah class" of citizens who smoke cigarettes.
This will impact 45 million smokers and it's a tax that is very visible - noticed every time a (frequent) purchase is made. The tax is extremely regressive given the demographics of smokers and it isn't for smoking-related healh costs
(which the current federal+state taxes already cover).
It's a pure moralist pose. And I don't like it.
Reminds me of a (failed) proposal by a California state legislator who wanted to increase taxes on beer and pornography. This taxing of the reprobrate is a coward's move. No guts to tax wealth (e.g. property) or income. Screw that.
How is Democrats targeting cigarette smokers for moral reasons any different than Republicans opposing gay-marriage for moral reasons?
The democrats are doing it for the money. Smokers are a defenseless target because they have to have their cigarettes to avoid physical suffering. It's nothing but raw, aggressive power.
IIRC raising taxes on cigarettes is somewhat effective at discouraging younger people (who have less cash on hand) from becoming addicted.