There’s a debate among economists over Obama’s rosy assumptions – that taxpayers will maintain status quo spending patterns under a crushing $25K/person taxpayer burden – are wildly inaccurate or merely kind of off. I think it’s irrelevant now that the stock market is in freefall and the economy shrank a gut-wrenching 6.2%, but whatever. These are the same people who can’t decide whether the stimulus will miraculously save or spectacularly detonate the global economy. So there are probably more fundamental assumptions at issue.
But can’t we all admit that this is blisteringly stupid:
Congressional Democrats have chosen an unlikely source to pay for the bulk of their proposed $35 billion increase in children’s health coverage: people with relatively little money and education. The program expansion passed by the House and Senate last week would be financed with a 156 percent increase in the federal cigarette tax, taking it to $1 per pack from the current 39 cents. Low-income people smoke more heavily than do wealthier people in the United States, making cigarette taxes a regressive form of revenue… They do not dispute that the tax plan would hit poor communities disproportionately, but they say it is worth it to provide health insurance to millions of modest-income children. All the better, they say, if higher cigarette taxes discourage smoking.
The nanny-statism aside: the plan is literally to finance children’s health care by discouraging the purchases that are going to finance children’s health care. And it’s not like that detail is getting overlooked. It’s a feature! Does the thought process even get as far as “wait, if no one buys cigarettes any more…” ? Or is it just “taxes good, children good, cigarettes bad”? Is anybody in charge over there?
Or is it more “Obama’s already quadrupling the deficit this year so who cares”? Anyone remember when Obama was going to “shift focus to the budget deficit.” It was right before his budget director gave up and said that “elevated deficits are beneficial”? Last week.
References and previously after the jump…
* Obama’s Rosy Assumptions [Ace]
* $25, 573.48 – what Barack Obama’s budget will cost each taxpayer [Telegraph]
* Thanks Dems… Stock Market Has Worst January Since 1896 Followed By Worst February Since 1933 [Gateway Pundit]
* Economy shrinks at fastest pace in 26 years [AP]
* Congressional Democrats Propose Cigarette Tax Hike to Pay for Children’s Health Coverage [Fox News]
* Obama Will Nearly Quadruple Deficit This Year [Gateway Pundit]
* Obama to Shift Focus to Budget Deficit [WSJ]
* White House Budget Director Orszag: "Elevated Deficits Are Beneficial" (Video) [Gateway Pundit]
* Great News: Global Economy In Full Meltdown, Obama Transition Team Panicking
* Watcher’s Council Nominations: Incompetence On Iran, The Economy, Education, And Admissions Of Incompetence
* Impending Obama Victory Already Trashing US Trade, Economy