Sin tax cigarettes
A sin tax is an excise tax levied on a product deemed harmful to society. A pack of cigarettes in my home state is around $10.
The strategy was to deter people from starting to smoke. All tax money went toward stop-smoking advertising, campaigns and education as well as smoking-cessation-required coverage through health insurance and incentives given to employers to help employees stop.
The strategy worked, and we did not realize how well until we moved to Missouri 10 years ago. Smoking here occurred in and outside restaurants and during breaks at work.
Most concerning at the time was that most of our 14-year-old son’s new friends smoked, chewed or did both. Non-smokers should not have to subsidize smoking through high health-insurance premiums or related social benefits.
One hundred percent of any tax money should be applied to programs that will deter people from starting and help people stop. Let the people vote, and keep the politicians and tobacco lobbyists out.
The tax can do something positive for society if used appropriately, which is basically how the sin tax is defined.
Study of KCI
I picked up an old friend at Kansas City International Airport a few days ago. When he raved about KCI, I mentioned that a lot of local folks loved its convenience.
“Perhaps,” he said. “But it’s just a treasure trove for my studies of new millennial archaeology.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
He said that instead of studying fossilized bones, he analyzes modern detritus.
“So what does that have to do with KCI?” I queried.
He pointed to his travel analysis kit and said:
“I found 10-year-old gum in the carpet. You see, most airports are so well lighted and pristine that you can hardly find anything.
“In one corner, I found mushrooms growing among the rich dirt. My only disappointment was that I couldn’t get into the restrooms because of the long lines. It’s too bad because the odor outside the door meant a real bonanza inside.”
I keep hearing and reading numerous references to fascism and fascists, and I thought I understood the terms. Well, I did partly.
So, having not much else to do on a Sunday morning, I went to the center of all knowledge — the Internet — and found several definitions. Huh?
It sure reads like the modern Republican Party. Where is Dwight Eisenhower when you need him?
Seems to me that we should think of the electric automobile charging stations being installed around our city as power-plant smoke stacks, emitting hydro carbon pollutants when they are used. After all, that’s truly what they are.
Hugh J. Taylor
Holiday for guns
State Rep. Jered Taylor of Nixa, Mo., last week proposed an annual sales-tax holiday on firearms. Guns are expensive, and some people need help getting them.
Shall we assume that Mr. Taylor also wants to help people who need help buying groceries and medical care?
Rose Mary Beuthien
Glance at past
He watched the crystal ball begin
To drop, traditionally
Wondering, as the old year ended,
How the brand new one might be.
The old man hadn’t much at all
Yet he was rich in ways
That people rarely understood,
If at all, these latter days.
He remembered well the days
Back at the general store
When folks filled up their feed sacks to
Distribute bulk food to the poor.
Integrity and values were most always
Practiced, with respect.
Courtesies for others
Were gladly shown; and to expect
A hand shake would be quite enough
To keep a good man’s word.
Walking in the park was safe
Prayers were more than often heard.
The old man reconciled as he
Remembered days of old.
Some things that are sacred
Simply can’t be bought or sold.
Happy new year, 2016!