Thursday, December 18, 2008

Biggest issue in Kentucky right now

Kentucky's two biggest newspapers have been relentless in their pursuit of a seventy cent per pack cigarette tax increase. There is no bigger issue in the state and it has nothing to do with whether you smoke or not.

It's all about making government bigger.

The huge revenue projections for the tax increase ignore the entrepreneurs who currently pick up low-tax cigarettes in Kentucky and deliver them to other, higher-tax states. When the cigarette tax goes up in Kentucky, that inflow of cash will reverse course.

So the spending projections related to passage of the cigarette tax are bogus. But that isn't the point.

The point of this exercise is getting state legislators on the record voting for a tax increase to "solve" a fiscal problem. Tax increases don't solve fiscal problems.

Prove me wrong.