8 Nov 2006
Whether you’re an elated Democrat or a somber Republican this morning, Election Day yielded mixed results for America’s smokers (and others who are concerned about individual rights and limited government). Below is a rundown of the good, the bad, and the ugly results from yesterday’s anti-tobacco initiatives. While StogieGuys.com is now calling all of these propositions, you can still get live coverage here.
California’s Proposition 86, which would have placed a 135 percent tax on tobacco products in the Golden State, failed by a vote of 52.2 percent to 47.8 (with 99.6 percent of the precincts reporting). I guess this extreme tax hike was a bit much – even for the militant tax-and-spend, anti-smoking zealots that make up America’s Left Coast.
Meanwhile, Missouri’s Amendment 3, which would have increased the excise tax on tobacco to 30 percent, failed by a vote of 51.7 percent to 48.3 (with 95.6 percent of the precincts reporting). Way to go, Show Me State!
Arizona passed Proposition 201 by a vote of 54.2 percent to 45.8 (with 100 percent of the precincts reporting). The new law will ban smoking in all bars and restaurants statewide, except for patios (how generous). A similar proposition that would have exempted bars did not pass.
South Dakota (the rectangle below North Dakota) also passed a tobacco tax hike by a vote of 55 percent to 45 (with 100 percent of the precincts reporting). Mount Rushmore State citizens now have a 35 percent tax on all tobacco products – including a new $1-per-pack cigarette tax – to look forward to.
Nevada’s Question 5, a ban on smoking in all bars that serve food and other public places, carried by a vote of 53.8 percent to 46.1 (with 99 percent of the precincts reporting). Don’t worry; politicians were kind enough to throw in an exemption for tax-generating casinos. A similar proposition that would have included an exemption for bars failed.
Meanwhile, Ohio’s State Issue 5 passed by a resounding vote of 58.2 to 41.7 percent (with 99 percent of the precincts reporting). The new law will ban smoking in public places and most private businesses, excluding tobacco shops already in operation. A similar proposition with more exemptions failed miserably.
Well, there you have it. While voters in California and Missouri fortunately turned down attempts to increase their taxes, South Dakotans welcomed a tobacco tax hike with open arms. Most disturbingly, every single fascist smoking ban passed.
In a country that was founded on individual liberty, personal responsibility, and limited government, can someone please explain why these propositions were on ballots in the first place?
I need a stiff drink and a strong cigar. Too bad the number of locales where I can partake in said activities is shrinking rapidly.