Monday, April 22, 2013

Now Here's A Kick In The Pants...

Report: Communities used federal stimulus money to lobby for higher taxes
At least seven U.S. communities that received stimulus money as part of a $373 million government program to educate Americans about obesity and tobacco use potentially violated federal law by using the funds to lobby for higher taxes and new local laws, according to a report by the nonpartisan group Cause of Action.

The findings are part of a 19-month investigation by the nonprofit group on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Communities Putting Prevention to Work Program.”
Hold on. Let me get my shocked face here. I know, I know; it's surprising that communities would misuse funds intended to help educate citizens about obesity and tobacco use. We only had a massive, multi-billion dollar settlement against the tobacco companies that saw massive misuse of funds - and again, CA is at the forefront, with only 6% of tobacco settlement money actually going to programs to help with stop smoking campaigns.

What's especially irritating is that we were told, back in the '90s, that the tobacco companies were being sued in part to recover the costs of medical bills incurred by smokers. Supporters of the lawsuit went on and on about the costs of smoking; the drain on health care; etc. - in short, they played on emotions while in reality they had no intention of doing anything to actually fix the problem.

Gee, where have we heard that before?

And now we've got states lining up for a hit at the Federal trough, taking money under stimulus auspices that they instead used for lobbying. Once again, they tugged on heartstrings, claiming to need the money to combat obesity and smoking, and they turned around and used the money however they pleased. How many more times are we going to play the fool, believing the lies about wanting to help smokers/obesity/etc.?

Don't answer that; it's rhetorical.

Just keep this in mind when they tell you they want gun owners to carry insurance to cover the costs incurred by "gun violence". What they really want - just like they did with smokers - is for the number of gun owners to plummet as the cost becomes prohibitive. If it's not insurance - and good luck finding an insurance company to provide a policy against unknowns - it will be a tax on ammunition - or on firearms themselves, like Chicago just did. $25 today; $100 next year; $1,000 five years from now. Once we've established that we'll stand for a tax on a Constitutionally enumerated right, what's next?

I mean, nothing crazy like requiring ID to vote or anything, of course...

That is all.

Another dispatch from...
(image courtesy of Robb Allen)


Phssthpok said...

"Once we've established that we'll stand for a tax on a Constitutionally enumerated right, what's next?"

But Jay...that horse is already out of the barn, ran the race, wore itself out, and yet is still being cheered on by a vast majority of Americans.

*COUGH* State Slave Number *COUGH*

John said...

Only in government does it make sense to tax tobacco to fund state children's health insurance programs (S-CHIP), then use other tax dollars to promote 'stop smoking' campaigns.

Does the FedGov still subsidize tobacco farmers?