Gov. Steve Beshear told reporter Pat Crowley:
"Obviously, if I reach that point where I feel we can’t do this whole thing by just cutting, (the cigarette tax) is one of the obvious areas I would turn to,” he said. "I think the vast majority of people support an increase in that tax anyway, it would give us substantial revenue and it would give us some great health benefits."Clearly, a "majority" of people prefer getting government checks rather than paying taxes, but that doesn't make it right or good. Further, to figure that a cigarette tax increase will raise "substantial revenue," one must ignore the lost retail activity from the people in five surrounding states who will no longer come to Kentucky for cheaper cigarettes. And how great are the revenues going to be if people either opt for the "health benefits" of not smoking or the alternative of black market or online cigarette purchases?
The big spenders in Frankfort will have Cheshire Cat grins for sure if we fall for this flimsy reasoning and open the door to tax hikes in a fake attempt at resolving our overspending problem.