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Stogie News: SCHIP Cigar Tax Increase to be Unveiled Today

13 Jan 2009

[UPDATE: According to the IPCPR, the tax cap will be 40 cents per large cigar. Please click here for their full press release. The tax portions of the bill can be downloaded here (pdf) and the full bill can be downloaded here (285 page pdf).]

Well, it looks like today we’ll all finally learn just what the new federal tax will be on cigars. No more speculation and rumor. The facts will be laid out in the bill to reauthorize the 11-year-old State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), which is slated for a vote in the House of Representatives Wednesday or Thursday.

Federal budget crunchers were working the numbers Monday, trying to see if everything adds up. Apparently, the increased tax revenue—largely from a cigarette tax boost—isn’t now sufficient to expand and fund a five-year plan. So, there’s consideration of shortening the time frame and coming back again in a few years.

As I write this Monday night, the final SCHIP bill hasn’t been released. It’s anticipated this morning, and the first place you’re likely to find it is on the House Rules Committee site or on Thomas.gov. Groups involved with tobacco, such as the IPCPR and the National Association of Tobacco Outlets, will also be on top of it.

For most of you reading this, the heart of the issue is what happens with large cigars, the category that includes premium sticks. One provision that could have devastated small cigar shops, a floor tax on inventory, has been shelved. And the plan to boost the cap on individual cigars—currently about a nickel—appears also to have been scaled back.

When President Bush vetoed the previous SCHIP bill, the cap was $3. There has been intense lobbying to push it down more. A few weeks ago, a number of reports put the cap proposal at $1. Over the weekend, a couple of retail shop owners told me they’d heard the cap would be 40-45 cents. A GOP staffer on the Hill told Patrick S on Monday that he was hearing cap figures between 39 cents and $1.

Jeff Borysiewicz, an executive at the gigantic Corona Cigar Co. and executive vice president of Cigar Rights of America, said Monday night that even if the tax ends up at the lowest of those ranges, he won’t be satisfied.

“I don’t feel good about what’s happened,” he told me. The group was among those arguing for a percentage tax increase equivalent to the 156.4 percent boost for cigarettes. That would have put the cigar cap between 12 and 13 cents.

Borysiewicz said he’s convinced that a tax even in the 40-cent range will have significant negative repercussions on manufacturers, importers, retailers and customers as it ripples through the market.

As you read the figures in the new bill, bear this in mind: What you see today is almost certain to become law. SCHIP enjoys strong support from key GOP and Democratic lawmakers, and what the House approves is what the Senate will vote on. Though there has been a lot of talk about having the legislation ready for a Jan. 20 signing by President Obama on Inauguration Day, I’m told it’s highly unlikely the Senate will vote by then.

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Drew Estate

89 Responses to “Stogie News: SCHIP Cigar Tax Increase to be Unveiled Today”

  1. Rick Draeving Tuesday, January 27, 2009 at 12:51 am #

    I'm sick and tired of these politicians who attempt to make themselves look like caring people when they're actually robbing one or more sectors of the working population. The usual B.S. to smooth things over – and make it sound acceptable – is the term "Sin Tax".

    How about having these politicians take some of the money they line their pockets with and use it to pay for this S-CHIP

    idea? I'd bet we'd hear a unanimous "HELL NO" from them.

  2. Steve Friday, January 30, 2009 at 9:16 am #

    I don't understand why cigar smoker's (or cigarette) should have to pay for Children's healthcare. I don't have any children. There are already tax credits for people with kids. They should be reduced to pay for this.

  3. Al B. Saturday, January 31, 2009 at 10:37 pm #

    This entire topic can be summed up like this: Obama came in PROMISING he wasn't going to raise taxes on ANYONE making less than $250,000/year. Here it is ONE month into office and here it goes already! He's raising a tax (regardless of which one(s) ). So much for the "CHANGE".

  4. Jen L. Monday, February 2, 2009 at 10:58 am #

    I'm in kind of a unique position here – my husband and I both smoke RYO cigarettes, and this tax has significantly raised how much we pay for our tobacco. We'll be going from roughly $48 for 3 pounds, to $120 for 3 pounds (the usual amount we purchase at one time). We tend to smoke about 6 pounds a month, allowing for the tobacco "dust" that we don't use, so our costs went from about $100 to $240.

    Previously, we smoked American Spirit Organics, and two cartons a week were $130 – so this is still a significant savings over what we were spending before.

    I'm also a mother of a child with a chronic and deadly illness – no private medical insurer anywhere in the country would ever cover him. We were not poor enough for medicaid. Risk Pools, should we need a surgery, wipe out every dime we have. We qualified for CHIP for only one year – when a surgery, costing $60,000, made us "poor" enough to qualify. My husband and I both owned small businesses, and we couldn't get anyone to cover our son.

    This tax will hit us the hardest, and yet I know what its like to be a beneficiary of this legislation. I know what its like to breathe, just for a year. I am ecstatic over its passage – you can not know what its like to be afraid of a disease when its punch is twofold – one, it harms your child and two, it devastates your finances.

    Tax credits are meaningless – MEANINGLESS – when insurance companies can refuse to cover a sick child, and until the health care system is overhauled in this country, they can do just that. They can put you in position where your only option is bankruptcy, so that you destroy everything you have worked for because then, at least poor, your child can get medical coverage.

    I hope that every, single person complaining about the tax lobbies for health care reform. Tobacco got screwed because they could get away with it, and it was easier than fixing the system where so many fall through the cracks or have to destroy themselves to get saved.

    I, for one, will pay it happily – and continue to shout at the top of my lungs that families should not have to close businesses, bankrupt themselves, drain college funds, and hock family heirlooms to keep their child alive.

    Being middle class should not be a risk.

  5. don Gregory Tarpon S Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 4:49 am #

    How dare you evil Conservatives QUIT smoking!

    …a poor childs' Health depends on YOU!!

  6. Gail Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 9:10 am #

    I know this bill was already signed by President Obama. However, when does it actually go into effect? I want to be able to stock up a bit …. funds pemitting….before all the tax increase happens.

  7. ksc Sunday, February 8, 2009 at 4:35 pm #

    You mean we can all smoke to our hearts content now; Knowing that each cigar we smoke is helping some poor impoverished child somewhere?

  8. Jeff Sunday, February 8, 2009 at 5:39 pm #

    KSC

    That's right! We all are smoking "for the children" now!

  9. jmnims Sunday, February 8, 2009 at 10:01 pm #

    You know as a smoker, a single mom, and a manager of a tobacco store, I love comment #55!

    You wouldn't believe how many nonsmokers come into my store and make a disgusted face and say,"Eww, it smells like smoke in here!" I cant wait to throw that at one of them!!! I cant wait to use it on anyone who says anything anywhere about smoking!!!! lol! that cracked me up!! Thank you! That was awesome!

  10. renodino Sunday, February 15, 2009 at 7:35 am #

    Fortunately, I just got a big 300 stick capacity humidor, and have been looking for goods to stash away, so I'll likely be dropping some serious coin in the next few weeks.

    But its a bit of a quandry…theres a 50/50 chance Comrade Obama will lift the embargo, and then we'll be able to get Cubans again…and my humidor will already be stuffed. Whats a herfer to do ?

  11. Michael J. McFadden Sunday, February 15, 2009 at 11:19 am #

    Renodino wrote, "But its a bit of a quandry…theres a 50/50 chance Comrade Obama will lift the embargo, and then we’ll be able to get Cubans again…and my humidor will already be stuffed. Whats a herfer to do ?"

    Even if that happens they'll probably be pretty expensive, particularly at first, so you might want to stock up about 4/5 of your space and leave that last fifth open!

    🙂

    Michael J. McFadden

    Author of 'Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"

    and now, the Kindle Edition of "TobakkoNacht! – The Story"

  12. Tim Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at 10:39 am #

    I enjoy sitting on my deck that is in the middle of my forty acres on the weekend, usually on Saturday night, and enjoy the smell and taste of a really good cigar coupled with a double shot of chilled, Tequila. I sit back and reflect on the day, week, the month and even the year. My thoughts drift to the future, will this be the year that Belinda and I get married? Is that tree going to get tall enough to shade the house, will I get the brush cleared out enough to build fences this year?

    But like every American my thoughts also cover politics. Taxes make me the maddest.

    I agree with taxing an unhealthy habit, however, what are you going to tax once that habit goes dry. My question to the current administration is this, what is next on your targeted tax list to pay for your programs? Whatever it is I’m not going to do it, I will not assist in funding programs that are unnecessary and not maintainable.

    Are you going to put a meter on my water well and tax me on every gallon I use because I am not drinking it from a bottled? Are you going to tax the view I have off my back deck, and if so is that tax going to be by the mile, or for each tree that I can see? Maybe you’ll want to tax me for growing my own garden because each head of lettuce, each tomato is one less that a migrant work will not be picking, and don’t forget about the truck driver that will not be hauling it to the local grocery store for me to pick it up.

    So, when I put out my the last cigar that I’ll be smoking, I dry up a source of revenue for you dear uncle Obama, and regrettably the life support for the many people that harvested, made and transported it to me. I would like to thank them for the years of service and their dedication to my weekend relaxation ritual.

    PS thank you to several cigar makers, I’m stocked up until the end of 2009 at current rate of consumption.

  13. Dorris S. Stone Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 3:35 pm #

    An answer to:

    comment number 3 by: Liberty and Cigars or Death

    January 13th, 2009 at 9:48 am

    It will help "American" children. It was not to help foreign children, men, or women, except the illegal ones in the U.S. Respect??? BS is more like it. "will devastate——in the cigar-producing region". You meant foreign countries, right?? You don't care about U.S. citizens that live from tobacco do you?

    Screw Nicagagua. The less they produce, the more opportunity for US producers. It's time our money helped U.S. people first and foeigners, maybe?? Screw the Dominican(Republic) and Honduras also and that would help the U.S. growers, wholesalers, retailers, and all related tobacco industries and workers.

    Has there ever been a well intended government mandate? Has there ever been an action taken by the government before the politicians have found a way to profit from it?

    Wealth will never be re-distributed if all do not have it in the first place. What happens is that the ones taking the actions will profit and others, (common, lowly, taxpayers), will pay.

  14. Dorris S. Stone Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 4:05 pm #

    Reply to:

    comment number 5 by: jonsiddle

    January 13th, 2009 at 10:10 am

    "child is defined until the age of 30" I can't imagine an intelligent person saying such a stupid thing. I don't agree with that either because the law says "adult" at age 18, in most states.

    You bet it will expand and it will not be good for the non politicians simply because politicians wrote it. They never get everything right the first time. They can't. And it will be rivised until their palms get greased in some way from it.

    There is no such thing as "redistribution of wealth" but plenty of "increased government control over the people" and politicians don't "serve the people". First they act to ensure their careers and then they serve themselves and then, and then, and then, they do something for "those they serve". If they served the people first this country would be in an outstanding condition. Everyone would have a job, medical/health/dental coverage, a home, a secure future, college degrees, etc., etc.. This nation's citizens have the abilities in all catagories in order to make theirs a Super Nation. But alas, we also have politicians in control, not people that care about the citizens or this country. Otherwise we would not be giving away trillions of dollars a year of taxmonies to foreigners for nothing in return. We would not have deadbeats on handout programs. We would be taking care of U.S.A. and citizens first. The government has no money of its own. It has our (taxpayers) money. Politicians spend it and give it away as they please. Especially so if it will enhance their careers or they get a "piece of the pie".

    I don't like the SCHIP either. WHY?? Because maybe 10% will be used for the intended purpose and 90% wil be used for administration and to fill administrators and politicians billfolds.

  15. Dorris S. Stone Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 5:03 pm #

    to:

    comment number 7 by: Jerry @ The Stogie Review

    January 13th, 2009 at 11:58 am

    "in a perfect world the Government would cut back and balance the budget but we all know that place is no where to be found" Wrong, it could be found here. But will probably never happen because we can't get enough honest people into the top positions of our government. It's set up so that the politicians will always collectively rule as king of the country.

    "Let children go without preventative care so when they get older they are a bigger burden and turn around and say we should’ve had a program for early screening?" WHAT have we had for the children up to now? Did I say that? Did you say that? Did your parents say that?

    "What if you were a family depending on SCHIP"– What, "depending on SCHIP"?? How? Is this to be a program like welfare? Welfare was never meant to support families through 6 and 7 generations as it has. It was to be a temporary assistance program to help people get back onto their feet. It was not meant for the Jones, the Smiths, and the illegals to make careers, generation after generation, of living on welfare as they have. "What do you do when there is a strong demand for what some call an essential program but no money to pay for it"? "where does the money come from"? There is money. No more taxes needed. Just take a few trillion dollars a year of U.S. taxpayers monies from Uncle Sam's worldwide welfare programs to foreigners and the money from illegals and several programs could be added and paid for very easily. Do you know the U.S. completely supports millions of foreigners? The twelve million known illegals in the U.S. are a very small part of U.S. welfare programs. "you tax the “unhealthiest” habit till its dry and then move on to the next" When are they going to get to tax alcohol as it should be taxed? If they taxed it heavily only well to do adults would have money to buy it. Therefore the amount of teens drinking would plummet and a tremendous number of lives would be saved, both young and old. Wouldn't that be as much as or even more than an achievement as the SCHIP can be. But, politician's associates, relatives, friends and business partners like their alcohol so that's not going to happen because it would cost them more to drink. Ask Ted Kennedy if he would support such an actin.

    "I see both sides and I understand that people in other countries will suffer but in the end, as always, in every industry, the final buck gets passed to the customer and I’m okay with that".

    Yes people in foreigh countries will suffer because of SCHIP. HEY dammit, let's get into a realistic mindset, U.S. and it's citizens first, all others last. That's the predominate way most countries operate. They don't send welfare checks and food stamps to foreigners in the foreigners' country allowing them to live better than their neighbors and not have to earn a single penny. Stupid old Uncle Sam does. He is an easy touch. Be born in the U.S. and taken to a third world nation and you have a life of luxury ahead of you provided by the stupid taxpayers of the U.S.A. That should be stopped but it is not something the politicians will address. Maybe we, taxpayers each donate a dollar to them so it would be profitable to change the Constitution. If the bleeding hearts raise an outcry give them twenty foreigners or welfare careerists to care for for life without any assistance from any program supported by taxpayers. T

    Thank you for staying with me if you have. If you would like to respond with a few choice names feel free to do so. I spent 30 years in service to my country in the military and feel the efforts I made and the efforts of like people spent to keep our country free, safe and strong is being severely erroded by outdated and ridiculous laws and strongly needed constitutional changes. But mostly by the ignorance of the backboneless politicians who are not looking out for our best interests. There may be a small number of "good politicians" but finding them is harder than finding that one good apple in a truckfull of rotten aplles.

  16. Dorris S. Stone Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 5:04 pm #

    TRUCK FULL ROTTEN APPLES.

  17. Michael J. McFadden Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 5:25 pm #

    Is it true that smokers are the only ones in America who love children? Nonsmokers should be ashamed of themselves for their wanton neglect of our next generation. In the future we will see laws passed requiring any who are not smoking to stand outside in the rain and the cold as punishment for their refusal to care for our young.

    Quite aside from all that though, there is the issue of a 2,000% tax increase upon the poorest of the poor, those too destitute to even be able to buy ready-made cigarettes but are forced to roll their own from shreds of loose tobacco and scraps of paper. This group is arguably the single poorest well defined substantial demographic in the entire country and Obama’s SCHIP tax is going to hit them with OVER a 2,000% tax increase. Those who've been trying to save money without rolling their own have been smoking "little cigars." THAT group will get hit with a 2,400% tax increase.

    This goes beyond unjust and enters into the realm of criminal.

    And, speaking of criminal, The black market after April 1st will be HUGE. We've already seen killings in cigarette turf wars and police car chases and those will multiply. Convenience stores will become better robbery targets than banks as a garbage bag of 100 cartons will be worth $7,000 to $10,000. We will **ALL** end up paying for increased security at those stores and for the trials and prisons, and we will **ALL** end up paying when that black market funds the next 9-11.

    Michael J. McFadden,

    Author of "Dissecting Antismokers' Brains"

  18. Dorris S. Stone Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 6:33 pm #

    I smoked for more than 40 years. I liked a good cigar. My last normally enjoyed "smokes" were Captain Blacks Little Cherry Cigars. I really, really liked them. But when I had time I would enjoy a mid level priced cigar. Not a premium, but not a rag either. Usual cost of 1 to 2 dollars. Many were foreign made because I liked to experiment. I also bought tons of cigars as presents for smoking buddies and still often buy a premium cigar for someone.

    Then or now I would not hesitate to increase my costs of a non-essential such as smoking if it would help children. Smoking is non-essential to life, as is drinking alcohol or doing cocaine, the rich mans drug. I am however very reluctunt to favor programs drafted, rewritten, argued over, finalized, voted on and into law by people sitting in my government's positions of power. Don't I trust them, yes, even farther than a tank can be thrown. I don't know of one I would trust with my life.

    I can't understand why they can't work at a normal pace, as a normal people do. But not as quickly as a congressional pay raise is passed, when they want to vote themselves one, even during a nationwide freeze on raises, remember? Some received up to 40% raises while my lowly military pay was frozen.

    In this case, SCHIP, it has taken 12 or more years to get close to conclusion. If an administration does not want to be associated with passing a unfavorable upon themselves law, it gets shelved for a future adminstartion. That is no way to operate a government. Face the good and bad parts of your job and do something about them. Otherwise you have not completely accomplished your duties, you've slacked off. Need I assimilate anything more with politicial job performance?

    Why, in the 9 months or so of their annual jobs activities, (I really don't like to use the word "job" in association with politicians. Have aother word that better describs what they do?), can't they get more done? A lot of what they do is simple. Do they have to "make a federal CASE" of everything?. If they didn't have to commisssion several panels, to be headed by relatives, friends and associates, to study for years how to open a childproof bottle, write a book about it, debate it, rewrite, and beat it to death over years and years it could be done in one day. Am I kidding, yes. That's not politics, that is efficiency, effectiveness and accomplishment in a timely and reasonable manner. They could also show up for work on time. Watch them in action on TV and they are very often waiting for someone to show up and they play the elevator music as if it is placating the audience.

    Most politicians were never a real, dedicated, Non-Commisioned Officer in the Army. If they had of been they would be more task accomplishment oriented than job security oriented and "how can I make a buck out of this busy"? I believe most were never ever really in possession of the abilities or knowledge in order to be a productive worker of any sort. They certainly cannot work with the other party very well at all and the Democrats now think they are the only party.

    Back to the subject. Instead of SCHIP how about NMMMDJFPIFC? No More MultiMillion Dollar Jobs For

    Politicians Insurance For Children. Or, NMETOHPOPRFPWLTBFAFMI? No More Eighty To One Hundred Percent Of Pay Retirements For Politicians With Lifetime Total Benifits For All Family Members Included. They should retire with no better package than the military retirees get. They absoutely, most certainly don't do anywhere near as much for their country.

    How about, ITOLIFTCIP? Increased Tax On Luxury Items For The Childrens Insurance Program. Talk about an outcry. The really influencial rich would be demanding of and threatning their congressmen and women and senators alike in order to get that killed, maybe in the interest of National Security. Why not that, anyting would suffice to make it go away and it would.

    How about UATMFTCIA? Use America's Taxpayers Monies For The Childrens Insurance Act? Better than paying for childrens care in foreign countries.

    Dull, bored, emough already? Get the point???

  19. Dorris S. Stone Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 6:51 pm #

    On a lighter side, respnse to:

    comment number 67 by: The Reason We Don’t Get Stoners Write Laws | The Sundries Shack

    February 24th, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    […] The day that pot becomes legal in California, it’s going to double in price, at least. POT IS LEGAL IN 2 OR 3 CA CONTIES, OR SO THEY THINK. THEY GROW AND SELL IT OPENLY AS A MEDICAL ITEM. BUT THE FEDS, (DEA, FBI, ATFE), WILL INFORM YOU THAT IT IS A FEDERAL CRIMINAL OFFENSE TO GROW, SELL OR SMOKE POT SO THEY RAID THE "MEDICAL SHOPS" AND THE "LEGAL GROWERS" AND CHARGE THE PEOPLE WITH COMMITTING CRIMINAL ACTS. GOOD. HOPE THEY JAIL ALL OF THEM. MEXICANS COME TO THOSE COUNTIES JUST TO GROW AND SELL POT. MINOR TRANSPORTATION NEEDED, LARGE BUYER BASE NEARBY, AND NOT ENOUGH FEDS TO WORRY ABOUT MUCH. IF THEY GET CAUGHT, THEY POST BAIL AND GO HOME TO MEXICO. THEIR BROTHER, COUSIN, UNCLE OR FRIEND TAKES OVER. "Mark my words. That what our government recently did to smokers with the S-CHIP legislation. The tax on loose tobacco – the kind that folks who roll their own smokes buy – went from a little over a buck a pound to $24.62 per pound". WOW, THAT'S INCREDIBLE. WHY DOES THE GOVERNMENT WANT TO PUNISH THE POOR MAN'S SMOKES SO UNFAIRLY? MAKES NO SENSE, BUT IT DOES NOT HAVE TO, IT'S A GOVERNMENT ACTION.

  20. Dorris S. Stone Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 7:54 pm #

    TO:

    comment number 68 by: Stogie Commentary: Saving a Few Bucks

    March 9th, 2009 at 12:24 am

    […] with rising cigar prices, rising cigar taxes and rising economic anxiety, most of us are looking for ways to save money. With that in mind, here […]

    HERE WHAT???

    WANT TO SAVE SOME MONEY, QUIT. I DID AND IMMEDIATELY HAD $20.00 MORE A WEEK. THAT'S $1,040 A YEAR. LIKE GETTING NEARLY $.50 AN HOUR RAISE.

    I REALLY GET DOWN ON POLITICIANS AS EVERYBODY CAN SEE. WELL, HERES MORE.

    THINK OF THIS: NOT A SINGLE POLITICIAN OR A SINGLE ONE OF THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS, WILL LOSE A JOB, A H0ME, A CAR, A COLLEGE EDUCATION, MEDICAL COVERAGE, INSURANCE, FOOD, HEALTH NEEDS, LIFE ESSENTIALS OR ANYTHING ELSE WHATSOEVER DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS IN AMERICA. THEY WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE AN ABUNDANCE OF EVERYTHING THEY NEED OR SIMPLY WANT. THEY WILL CONTINUE TO SPEND AS MUCH AS ALWAYS. THEY WILL CONTINUE TO TRAVEL AND OR VACATION EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD. (THAT'S VERY OFTEN AT TAXPAYERS EXPENSE.) THEY WILL NOT SUFFER ONE BIT, BUT WILL ACTUALLY PROSPER. POLIITICANS ALWAYS HAVE AND ALWAYS WILL PROSPER IN GOOD AND BAD TIMES. THEY ARE INSULATED FROM PROBLEMS CAUSED BY FINANCES BECAUSE THEY ARE POLITICIANS.

    CURRENTLY, I BELIEVE THEY ARE OR ARE GETTING READY TO BUY TREMENDOUS CHUNKS OF AMERICA. AT THE RIGHT TIME THEY WILL FOLLOW THE LEAD OF EXPERIENCED AND PROVEN MULTI MILLIONAIRS AND MULTI BILLIONAIRS AND DO JUST THAT. BUT IT WILL NEVER BE KNOWN FOR IT WILL BE HIDDEN IN OTHERS NAMES OR FAKE NAMES AND STORED IN OFF SHORE ACCOUNTS. "BELIEVE IT OR NOT" THEY ARE NOT FOOLS BUT MOST ARE EXTREMELY GREEDY. THAT'S WHY THEY USE TAXPAYERS MONEY INSTEAD OF THEIR OWN. LOOK AT POLOSI. SHE DEMANDED A 757 TO TAKE HER BACK AND FORTH FROM CA TO DC. COMMERICAL FLIGHTS ARE WHAT SHE AND ALL OTHER POLITICIANS, EXCEPT THE TWO PRESIDENTS, SHOULD BE USING. NOBODY WANTS TO HARM THE OLD LADY SO SHE WOULD BE SAFE ON COMMERICAL, SO WOULD THE OTHERS. (AS MILITARY MEMBERS MUST DO, SHE SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO LIVE WHERE SHE WORKS OR WORK WHERE SHE LIVES, ALONG WITH FAMILY, OR LEAVE FAMILY IN CA AND VISIT A COUPLE TIMES A YEAR, OR WORSE YET ONCE IN 15 MTHS.) SAVE THE COUNTRY SOME MONEY WITH COMMERICAL FLIGHTS. NO, NO, NO, WITH COMMERICAL SHE COULD NOT FLY HER FAMILY AND FREINDS AROUND. AND AFER TAKING OFFICE SHE SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN ALLOWED TO TOUR THE WORLD AND MEET WITH LESS THAN FRIENDLY TO THE U.S. COUNTRIES LEADERS EXPRESSING TO THEM AND AGREEING WITH THEM THAT THE U.S. WAS WRONG ON MANY ITEMS OF INTERNATIONAL ISSUE. I CONSIDER THAT ACT AS ONE OF A TRAITOR.

    SAVING MONEY: THAT IS NOT DONE WHEN THE U.S. BUILDS A 50 TO 100 MILLION DOLLAR HOTEL IN IRAQ FJOR VISITING POLITICIANS, U.S. AND OTHERS. AND IT ISN'T SAVING U.S. ANY MONEY WHEN POLITICIANS SPEND BILLIONS A YEAR GALLAVANTING AROND THE GLOBE UNDER THE THINLY VEILED DISGUISE OF "WORK". GOING TO IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN TO "VISIT THE TROOPS". CAN'T STACK THAT BS ANY HIGHER, IT REACHED ITS ZENITH DECADES AGO, JUST AFTER THE AIRPLANE WAS INVENTED. WHEN THEY SPEND 8HRS VISITING WITH COACHED REAR ECHELON TROOPS AND FOUR DAYS IN COUNTRY WITH THE GENERALS ITS PRUE AND SIMPLE BS. A VACATION AND THEY CAN BRAG THAT THEY VISITED THE TROOPS. THEY DON'T HAVE A DAY WITHOUT A SHOWER, A SOFT BED OR GREAT FOOD. THOUSANDS OF TROOPS ARE TAKEN FROM NORMAL DUTIES TO PROVIDE GROUND TRANSPORTATION AND SECURITY. TWENTY FOUR SEVEN THERE ARE AT LEAST TWO JETS HIGH AND TWO OR THREE HELICOPTERS LOW IN THE AIR AT ALL TIMES THEY ARE IN COUNTRY. I SUGGEST THIS, WHEN THEY ARRIVE IN COUNTRY GIVE THEM A FULL LOAD OF COMBAT GEAR WITH RIFLE AND KEEP THEM AT A FORWARD OPERATIONS BASE FOR A WEEK AND SEE IF THEY EVER WANT TO DO IT AGAIN OR DO IT THE FIRST TIME. "EITHER THAT OR STAY THE HELL HOME".

    TRY TO KEEP YOUR JOB AND PAYING TAXES. WE HAVE OUR ESTEMEED POLITICIANS TO CARE FOR AND SUPPORT AND ALSO WE HAVE TO PROTECT AND SUPPORT HALF THE WORLD. WE EVEN SEND A LOT OF MONEY EACH YEAR TO RUSSIA AND NORTH KOREA.

  21. DJ Maduro Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 5:16 am #

    Have any of the "so-called" cigar smokers above who insist they are ambivalent to paying a little more to "help the children" seen what has happened to the cigarette industry in the past 20 years? The boobs in Washington and most state houses will come back to the well time and time again because it is people like those above who lack the intellect and backbone to recognize that one of their true pleasures in life represents a revenue stream ripe for the sucking. Smoke 'em while you got 'em, boys!

  22. coolerking Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 10:22 am #

    This is a regressive tax on lower incomes. 40 cents on a $2 cigar is a 20% tax. 40 cents on a $10 cigar is only a 4% tax. So the rich feel nothing while the middle class feels the bite. Thanks a lot Democrats! The working class needs to figure out these people are not your friends.

  23. sport Friday, March 25, 2011 at 2:18 am #

    i like smoke, but i affraid about my heath

  24. 522888 Tuesday, April 5, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

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  26. Cantiloper Friday, July 15, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

    As some of you know, the FDA may soon declare cigars to be a "tobacco product" or somesuch nonsense and if you think you're already being taxed you should realize that the fundamental nature of the word "tax" may change for you. See this 30second TodayShow clip as Obama discusses taxes after his 2,000% tax increase on RYO tobacco:
    http://pro-choicesmokingdoctor.blogspot.com/2009/

    Now he got away with that because RYO folks are even more of a minority than regular cigarette smokers (They got hit with just a 150% tax increase.) Note how neither group was actually considered to be human (or "people" as Obama expressed it..)

    Now what do you think the future holds for cigar smokers? I'd strongly suggest to the smokers here that you spend as much time on the political boards as you do on the various "types of cigar" sort of boards… unfortunately your time may be coming and I don't get a strong sense of preparedness among the cigar community sometimes. (Of course if I'm just missing it somehow please feel free to let me know!)

    – MJM

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