Now that PACT has been signed the government has inserted even more control over who receives tobacco through the US snail mail. Guess how many teens are getting there smokes via the Internet? None right? Nah it just means people are paying higher prices for legal products via UPS or other modes of mail. Where there is a will there is always a way.
Notice cigars were exempt (for now)? I wonder why? Could it be our nice Senators and Congress Critters didn’t want their tobacco orders disrupted? Nah, not them? Would they really play with us like that? Nah… they work for us, right?
The Seneca Native American tribe fought the PACT Act for a while but recently lost their latest fight and were told they were not going to be able to use the US snail mail.
This seems more like a blow to the US mail service than to the Seneca Nation as according to PRNewswire, “In addition to wiping out more than 1,000 Western New York jobs, an end to U.S. Post Office shipments of Native American tobacco to phone and online purchasers, will result in significant revenue losses to the Postal Service. Seneca tobacco sellers estimate they spend more than $250 million a year to mail their products to buyers.”
That is just one tribe. There are or were seven to ten of these tribal shops around the country. So if you multiply that then add in the overseas tobacco shops loss of revenue and you begin to see how and where the US Postal Service is almost $2 billion in the hole.
Is this money that FedX and UPS could have picked up? Maybe, maybe not. I know a shipment of Snus via US mail cost us $12 to $15 in shipping before the PACT ACT went into effect. Now shipping cost and PACT Act compliance costs via UPS is almost as much if not more than the Snus we are ordering itself itself.
This means for us, maybe one order per year, in the spring when we get our tax return which is smaller in general compared to the several smaller orders we use to place throughout the year.
Like prohibition, all it succeeded in doing is making a larger and more lucrative black market.
This is what the anti-tobacco and tobacco free kids’ ads were claiming this prevented; stop the black market? Keep the kids from smoking? The government declared the war on drugs how many years ago? How many children have just said “No?”
Like the Ridge Runners in the hills of the Carolina’s and Georgia, there are already tobacco runners. Instead of running Marijuana, cocaine, or people across the Mexican border, the smuggle untaxed cigarettes and tobacco products into high tax States.
They think what is in tobacco products are bad now? How many people died of bath-tub gin during Prohibition? It is only a matter of time.
Already some of the commits in response to the many articles I read for the research for this rant was talk of “growing your own tobacco.” It’s not a bad idea, but trust me more of a pain than you would think. My husband did it last year as an experiment. The neighbors thought we were nuts too.
The other option for the future of tobacco products is not any prettier. Now that we are being forced into a “European” style health care system, (ObamaCare) it is not hard to think of how to afford it?
In Canada there is what is called a goods and services tax, this is above and beyond a flat tax, and the local, city, state and federal taxes. We have something here which is similar; it is called a sin tax. A sin tax is an incredibly old term put on any product which is considered a “sin,” such as, beer, wine, and tobacco products.
According to the Statehouse Report published by County Commissioners Association in September of 2010, the current sin tax on a pack of tobacco in Ohio is $2.75 per pack of tobacco, which is about 46.95492% of the cost of a pack of name brand cigarettes in Ohio. That is not counting state, federal and local taxes on the same pack of cigarettes.
Recently, many of our fine Senators and Congress Critters have been asked how we are going to pay for this new health care system which the government is so eager for us to buy and use, but not them. One of their brilliant solutions: A new flat tax on all goods and services. Ok let’s put this in a better light.
In Canada, if you walk into a bar, and order a $3.50 beer, the bartender opens that beer for you… ok there is a city tax of 7%, a sin tax of 12%, federal tax of 9%, and goods and services tax of 21%. (Percentage numbers based on taxes in Oakville, ON Canada in 1997).
Now let’s look at the math, 7+12+9+21=49% tax on that one $3.50 beer, $1.72 in just taxes and that one beer is now $5.22. Now that is if each tax is based the original $3.50. If they can do this on a beer… how long do you think it will be before a simple can of snus or a pack of smokes is carrying 49% tax on them on top of the current outrageous sin, state, federal and local taxes that are on them now?
In some states this tax can be as high as 90% of the retail cost as it is. Now add to that another 49% to 50% worth of taxes and you are looking at tobacco users footing the bill for a health care system that has already proved failed. That is if they spend the money where they say and as we have seen in the last article how well they manage the money they say they are using.
I know when I was growing up my father decided to quit smoking when a pack of cigarettes went to $1.25 a pack. He said it was outrageous and highway robbery. He smoked his last cigarette and quit cold turkey. Granted our family spent a few weeks walking on eggshells but he did it. He just laid them down and never bought another pack. I will be honest; I don’t think I could do it or tens of millions of current American tobacco users either.
A friend recently found money was really tight, like many of us have, and found himself debating on where he could cut corners in order to afford a can of snus. For me some days it is a choice between lunch and tobacco, and for everyone’s mental health… tobacco wins.
America, home of the regulated, where it's always 1984
But now that the government is soon to be in control of our health care, how long will it be before your health care is affected? “I am sorry Mr. Jones, according to a recent blood test, which shows nicotine in your system, we will not be able to treat you for your broken arm.” Or “Do to the recent blood tests, which show high levels of nicotine in your system, we find you are not a good candidate for the new life saving procedure.” Think it is not a possibility? Think again!
More and more US employers are refusing to hire anyone who not only tests positive for illegal drugs, but for the very legal nicotine. The alleged affect of cigarettes on the workplace is the excuse but nicotine is the disqualifier; not being a cigarette smoker.
It is funny how George Orwell’s book 1984 had so much insight into the future before it’s time. Think it is not funny? When is the last time you saw one of those red light cameras? Oh and how about the government telling a business owner sorry you are not allowed smoking in your place of business on your own property, that you own.
Big Brother is everywhere and not only watching and listening to you, but telling you what you can and cannot do as an adult. There is a group who is right now trying to make it illegal for you, as an adult, to smoke in your own car while you have, your own, kids in the car. Remember when your parents decided what was right and wrong in your house?
Maybe we should look at another literary piece of work for the future, Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.? In this short story several new amendments are added to the Constitution, making everyone equal. And who is in charge on judging who is equal? The Handicapper General of course… a government agent.
When did people in America become sheeple? Remember it is all for the safety of the “children.” You are a child from birth to death and cannot be allowed to make such decisions on your own. You are not smart enough to decide what is or is not good for you. That is the job of Big Brother, Mr. Government, The Handicapper General. Do you really want to give that much power over you, your family, and your home to someone who doesn't live there or have to play by any of the same rules?
A Proud American, Tobacco User, and Gun Owner
Reporting for SnusCENTRAL.org