A Bill of Goods

November 5, 2007 at 2:55 am (That's not funny...)

I wanted to call this piece Bullshit!, but that title is already taken. (Besides, Penn & Teller are so much better at this than I am.) While not outing any real secrets, I am delving into unfamiliar waters. I’m going to discuss political issues.

As Popeye would say, I’ve had all I can stand, and I can’t stands no more!

I’m referring to the ads urging Oregonians to vote no on Measure 50, the big, mean awful tobacco tax.

People get more involved when issues have a direct effect on them. Since I don’t smoke anymore, why should I care? It’s the goddamn commercials! As an avid TV watcher, I’m being repeatedly subjected to truckloads of bullshit.

Tobacco companies don’t want the tax, obviously. Why? It will cause people to smoke less. Financial reasons were a big part of why I quit. ($2 a pack was too much for my budget. A decent pack runs about $5 these days.) I can understand big tobacco fighting this, but if they’re so concerned about the high cost of cigarettes, why did they just raise the price of a pack fifty cents?

To pay for these insipid ads, of course. Big tobacco has spent something like $10 million fighting this tax, and to afford it they upped the price of their product. So they can make the bottom line. A fifty cent increase would never fly after the tax, so they raise the price now. Then they can blame the new tax for the increased price. A lot of folks think the tax has already taken effect.

I think people would be more sympathetic if Big Tobacco had donated $10 million to the Oregon Health Plan.

Why do the ads bug me? Besides being run every commercial break, they assume I’m dumb. You’ve got this guy who looks like Bishop from the Alien series worried about Oregon’s constitution, and some leathery looking broad who fears ‘politicians will waste money’. Ooh, the potential for misuse of funds!

Isn’t that always there?

With all due respect to my smoking friends, I can’t think of a bigger waste of money than cigarettes. When I smoked, I was always borderline broke. There was no surplus pocket change, and if there were, it was frequently raided for another pack of smokes. After quitting, I had an extra $20 or so each week of truly disposable income!

I’m not urging anyone to vote any way other than what their heart (and brain) tell them to. Just make these idiotic commercials go away!

There! I feel better now. If this topic interests you, I recommend watching the movie Thank You For Smoking.

Rant over.

1 Comment

  1. pril said,

    Start smoking again. It’ll be FOR THE CHILDREN! The more people smoke, the more money will be FOR THE CHILDREN! I intend to smoke MORE if the law passes, for the children and all. Measure 50 is stupid on its face, even without taking any other opinion into consideration- the state wants people to quit smoking. So yeah let’s tie cig taxes into a healthcare system as smoking will be declining, and has been declining. Its stupid.

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