Smokin' with the Governor

I do not know what it is that smokers did to Governor Jim Doyle.  But apparently they must've done something pretty bad.  It seems like the governor has had it out for smokers for some time.

I will begin with the obligatory I am not a smoker, but what I see the government doing to smokers is laughable.  It's unfortunate that smokers do not form a social subculture to unite and fight back for whatever rights they may have left.  Smokers have become an easy target to push unfavorable regulation upon them and they just accept it. One day they will rise up and march to Madison, but until then they will sit down and wheeze.

As of January 1, the state has imposed an increase of one dollar per pack of cigarettes.  Of course this is not the first time that you've heard of this increase.  But also last year, the Legislature proposed a budget of increased spending and increase taxes with the bulk of the burden coming from cigarette smokers.  New proposals coming from the Legislature will reduce the number of places people will be able to smoke.  This would be a good idea if cigarette smoke were the only pollutant in the air.  They even want to extend it so far as to not to be able to smoke in your car when children are present.  You can't smoke out in the open.  Bar rooms have long been a haven for people who smoke cigarettes.  Now, long time bar patrons become choleric when the aroma of tobacco converges with the olfactory nerves.

To go even further, the Legislature is producing more inutile legislation concerning smokers.  The Legislature now wants to make it mandatory that all cigarettes purchased in Wisconsin are the type that will go out if not smoked.  Sounds like a good idea, right?  One person who has tried them (not me) has said that they taste terrible.  The paper used in them also has more carbon monoxide than regular cigarette papers.  It appears that the state wants to make smoking the most unpleasant experience ever.  But they want their tax money.

So if I over think the strategy, the State of Wisconsin wants people to buy cigarettes but not smoke them.  From a health standpoint that would be best.  From a tax stand point even better.  Then, at the end of the fiscal year, when we find ourselves in deficits again, we can all stand on the side of our governor.  We will know that the budget will be out of balance not because all of wrongful spending, but because smokers did not buy enough cigarettes.  Let's blame the smokers.

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