Obama's First Tax Hike (and it's on the poor)

I wonder what my fellow North Carolinians will think about Obama’s first tax increase (of his presidency, that is). From Amanda Carpenter at Townhall:

President Obama approved his first tax hike today.

The bill he signed to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program contains a provision to increase taxes on tobacco by a whopping 155 percent. That means the federal taxes on cigarettes have gone up an additional 61 cents a pack. This brings federal taxes on a pack of cigarettes to $1 per pack total.

(It also means the nation will need to maintain a steady level of smokers to subsidize kids health care, an unlikely outcome in light of a fledgling economy and increased taxes on the tobacco.)

Despite his pledges not to tax low-income Americans, Obama’s tax increase on tobacco will disproportionately punish the poor, who are more likely to become addicted to cigarettes.

55 percent of smokers are considered “working poor” and one in four live below the poverty line.

Update: I don’t know what my fellow North Carolinians here in tobacco country think yet, but the people at DU are even upset about this one.

Update II: Most amusing comment on this post so far:

Psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Feldman sez:

‘The irrational lashing out at President Obama since his inauguration is best explained as a manifestation of frustration felt by supporters of George Bush and his administration. Followers were strongly discouraged (both literally and subconsciously) from expressing any criticism of Mr. Bush, his policies, and actions for fear of being labelled insufficiently unpatriotic or not being a team player. The floodgates were opened when Mr. Obama took office.’

— Adrian BrowneSorry Adrian/Dr. Feldman, but the criticism of Obama is far from “irrational.” Unless you consider it irrational to oppose adding a trillion dollars to the national debt during a recession, or oppose a tax evader as treasury secretary, or oppose an administration full of lobbyists.

Feldman’s comment doesn’t explain why all the DU commenters are against the new Obama tax hike to fund children’s healthcare. Those at DU are definitely not people who were afraid to criticize Bush for eight years for fear of being thought unpatriotic. This smacks of hysterical desperation. It is an unsuccessful effort to smoke screen the true reasons for criticism of The One. It isn’t some deep pent up frustration that is causing criticism of Obama — it’s the policies stupid. And the nominations. And the already broken promises. And regressive taxes. And honey bee insurance. And on and on. It isn’t really all that complicated or difficult to understand unless you are still in blame Bush mode. That tends to blind people to what is right in front of their eyes.

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