Smoking killed my grandmother 15 years ago and more recently has wreaked havoc on the health of two of her children, my aunt and uncle.
With that family history, you might think I would support efforts like those in Kentucky to impose huge “sin” taxes on tobacco. But you would be wrong.
Sure, I’d rather have the government tax tobacco than, say, chocolate because watching my grandmother slowly die of emphysema during my youth scared me away from tobacco, while I consume far more chocolate than anyone should. But “sin” taxes just give the government a taste for revenue that is as addictive as the drugs they are targeting.
That means one thing: When the sin taxes achieve their desired goal — changing people’s behavior — the revenues will plummet and the bureaucrats will start looking for new ways to feed their tax addiction.
Guard your wallets. They’ll be trying to cleanse you of your sins next.