Hilary Clinton may not need to be elected President to ensure socialized health care here in Indiana. Republican Governor Mitch Daniels may just beat her to the punch.
Daniels has twice used a State of the State address to promote a 25 cent/pack hike in the cigarette tax. This latest push was a little more specific than the first, with the suggestion that all the money raised should go towards smoking cessation programs, and more fascinatingly, towards paying for uninsured Hoosiers' health care.
I've long noted that persistence with political ideas wins the day. The idea scarcely could get a sponsor last year. This year it seems to be on every Indiana lawmaker's radar. I noted in the Hamilton County Libertarian blog that my own House Rep Kathy Richardson (R-Noblesville) circulated a questionaire that included this question:
Would you support a 40-cents per pack cigarette tax increase if the funds were only used to provide health insurance for Indiana's uninsured, as well as anti-smoking campaigns?
Now, polling info has been released showing that 62% of Hoosiers support a dollar/pack tax - not a quarter - so long as the money goes to socialized health care. From an Indy Star report:
Support for the tax increase crosses partisan lines, the poll showed, with 61 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of Republicans and independents favoring a $1 tax increase on cigarettes.
"It's clear that a majority of Hoosiers support increasing the tobacco tax, and we are going to work this session to make sure legislators vote (to do that.) We are committed to this. It is the right thing to do for our youth. It is the right thing to do for Indiana," said Patricia Richards Ells, a spokeswoman for the American Cancer Society.
So, consider it done. The fingers have been stuck into the air and the winds blow for this tax. More Republicans support it than Democrats. Should Libertarians perhaps just give up now? Is it too overwhelmingly clear that Hoosiers, heck Americans, reject the principles that founded this country? Individual responsibility? No thank you. Please, let's have the state look after every aspect of our lives. Please give me minimal comfort and remove the burden of any need to think or plan on my own.
The steady drumbeat of increasing socialism is really depressing to me. The feeling of political helplessness and hopelessness is very great. Thank goodness Ame & I make a decent living that outstrips our tax burden and a good pot of soup. I fled Ohio, giving myself an 8% raise in taxes saved. I fled Marion County and gave myself a huge savings on insurance and COIT taxes. Why must I always look to greener pastures elsewhere?