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Do you usually support raising sin taxes to find money to pay for government programs?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on September 10, 2008

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Photo of Bonny Fugett

“Usually I do. I think that the products sin tax is charged on are unnecessary, and therefore if people want them, they can pay more for them. And a higher tax on them might discourage people from using them, which is usually better for their health.”

Photo of Zac Breedlove

“Yeah, I do. Like with cigarettes, it helps the state pay for what it needs and might get some people to quit. It’s a win-win.”

Photo of Amanda Finan

“I would support it on the cigarettes, but the alcohol - no.”

Photo of Jonathan Thomas

“I love sin tax, because it’s for things we don’t need but are going to buy anyway. So I don’t mind paying a little extra to help pay for real needs.”

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conservativepunker 9 years, 7 months ago

I think it's great that Kit-Kat is gonna try and do this. Gonna tee off a lot of blue collar smokers that voted for her.......

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 9 years, 7 months ago

Isn't sin already taxed... in the afterlife?( ... oh, evidently not, according to Jonas, but he's probablyspeaking from the belly of the beast, as usual. ),;-)

bombshell 9 years, 7 months ago

is the excess tax revenue supposed to go to healthcare? thats fine with me, but it seems kind of catch 22... you pay extra to get your cigs, the extra money you pay will go to health care, and with your cigs theres a higher chance you will need to utilize said health care...hmmm.... so are the days of our lives....

8ball 9 years, 7 months ago

this question is a sin and anybody who answers it should be taxed $100.00.where does it end?

jonas_opines 9 years, 7 months ago

bea: Would you then, support my army of genetically engineered tiny men wielding sticks on the backs of giant mutated lemurs with sharp pointy teeth? The government keeps denying my funding request.

beatrice 9 years, 7 months ago

Only if that government program is to continue research into cloning a zombie army -- our national defense depends on it. Otherwise, no.

beatrice 9 years, 7 months ago

jonas, zombies eat lemurs like popcorn -- they can't help themselves -- so we end up with conflicting military strategies. You may need to go with either ferrets or meerkats.

LeslieJeanne 9 years, 7 months ago

I am opposed to the government calling something a sin, separation of church and state, hello! The church I go to does not consider smoking and drinking alcolhol a sin, we reserve that for other issues like stealing, adultry, killing, which reminds me, Bush is pulling how many troops out of Iraq, when?

jonas_opines 9 years, 7 months ago

"Gonna tee off a lot of blue collar smokers that voted for her::."Do you think there were a lot of those?

PapaB 9 years, 7 months ago

But just think, people can develop a martyr complex as they slowly deteriorate their own health in order to pay for the healthcare of others.Personally, I have no problem with additional taxes for things I don't use

nobody1793 9 years, 7 months ago

Thou shall not steal unless you report it as taxable income and give us 35%.

labmonkey 9 years, 7 months ago

Damnit, my vanilla zingers are in trouble now.

jonas_opines 9 years, 7 months ago

"I would support it on the cigarettes, but the alcohol - no."- Amanda Finan, insurance agent, LawrenceTranslation: I drink alcohol, but I don't smoke cigarettes, and as long as it's other people that have to pay the tax to do what they enjoy, and not me, I have no problem with it.I think the concept of sin is fictitious, so I can't say I agree with the idea. Perhaps we should just make a general consumption tax? Consumption is certainly not fictitious, it's one of the key components of GDP.

KS 9 years, 7 months ago

Was not there a tobacco settlement a few years ago that gave the states a few billion dollars (and the lawyers too) that was supposed to be used for healthcare? What is Queen Kathy doing with that money?

Lowell Holmes 9 years, 7 months ago

I have a problem with the idea that because something is considered a "sin" you have to pay extra to support programs for non related projects. I mean if the tax on tobacco went to cancer research and health care for those with tobacco related illness, or a tax on booze went to education and abuse prevention programs fine. But to single out a group because of the legal things they buy are considered to be "sins" is too close to mixing church and state for me. I like Jonas' idea of a consumption tax, it would spread out the burden more evenly.

coolmom 9 years, 7 months ago

no not coffee tax...back away from the coffee. grrrr

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