All across the the Granite State Democrats have gathered in their secret underground lairs. The unthinkable has happened. Tobacco revenues were up last month. (Audible Gasp!). That’s right. Revenues beat estimates.
This is, of course, a double edged sword for the liberal left. When their grotesque estimates (overall) were forever coming in under target, how many times did they say, “it’s just one month, wait and see. Give it time, they’ll come around. We’re not that far off.” No such quarter for Republicans. ( Typical hypocrats.) At the ugly end of the 2007 to 2010 Democrat “experiment” they were off by about a billion dollars which might suggest they have no clue what they are doing.
But when the Republican’s estimated revenues for their budget the Democrats cried and whined anyway as if they were suddenly experts; the religious left even gathered to pray for more spending. I’m not kidding. They prayed for more spending. The left claimed repeatedly that Republican estimates were purposefully low to punish people. That is what the left said.
But the overall estimates are close. Very close. This means the Democrats were wrong about Republicans underestimating revenue on purpose, which means they were themselves wrong about estimates again (no surprise there). With revenue nearly in line with spending, bitching about it makes them look petty and just reminds everyone what wretched stewards they were of our tax dollars.
So left hanging without an economic axe to grind they have bet their rhetorical money on the cigarette tax cut. But they may have lost that bet as well.
In February tobacco revenue was reported to be $900,000.00 over projections. In April, it was above projection by close to a million. (That’s $1,000,000.00). In between tobacco revenues were down. Lottery, gaming, liquor and beer, over the entire budget cycle, are all below protections. Sales on all these items are down across the board. It’s not just tobacco. The message from the secret lair however is that the tobacco tax cut was irresponsible, but given the economic climate (created by Democrats, by the way), and the poor overall performance in the sin tax sector, tobacco revenue is actually doing fairly well.
Would the Democrats like to now argue that cheaper cigarettes are costing us tax revenue in beer, liquor, lottery and gambling receipts?
“Yes, we see a pattern where, during these economically depressed times, people are flocking to higher tax states to get as little for their dwindling dollars as they can.”
How about “they are doing what people always do when they have less money”–doing with less. Oh, sorry. We’re talking to Democrats. When they have less they always spend more, or tax more, and then more, and more, and more. But outside the liberal ghetto of the left wing mind real people have to make sacrifices and driving to New Hampshire to save a few bucks might not be cost effective right now. Why? How about gas prices? Perhaps our current energy policy and a weak dollar have made the cost of traveling to and from New Hampshire to save a few bucks untenable. (See, I told you we should have lowered the gas tax.)
Let me save you some time. Democrats don’t care. They’ve got talking points to talk about. Dwindling tobacco taxes are killing unwed mothers and fatherless children and old people with brain disorders. No answers, no past experience to run on, just scare tactics.
When was the last time a New Hampshire Democrat lowered a tax or spent less on government? How about never. To a Democrat balancing spending with revenue is the equivalent of fiscal hate speech. Government can never get smaller, those bureaucrats and their unions finance their campaigns and vote for them. They need that money and those votes, so screw you. And for four years they did. Hard. And no amount of Tobacco taxes (which they raised several times) would have ever covered up the gross fiction of left wing revenue estimation, a felonious event they continue to perpetrate even when out of power.
But undeniable truths will not be silenced. Democrats were wrong about revenue estimates when they were in power, Governor Lynch was wrong as usual with his budget, and if the Democrats were still in power now they’d be wrong to the tune of a few hundred million more, heaped onto the backs of people who clearly do not have extra money for liquor, beer and cigarettes, and would have even less under the yoke of the Democrats ever rising tax burden and grow government first agenda.
New Hampshire Republicans took a very bold and responsible approach to the budget, one that people are clamoring to see in Washington. They provided relief on a dead end tax that disproportionally hits lower income earners but at least presents an opportunity to stimulate other forms of commerce, something no tax increase will ever do. The Republicans estimated revenues in a way that avoided putting additional state tax pressures on small businesses and struggling citizens, while removing others. And then only spent what they thought they’d have. So far that’s worked out pretty well, and Democrats hate that.
We cant overcome the Democrats failed economic policy and disastrous energy policy agenda overnight. New Hampshire can’t drill for its own oil. So we have to do the best we can until we can do better. And we are doing better. And Democrats hate that.
And while the progressives would like to see gas prices come down for their buddy Obama, odds are very good that this price signal could encourage people from outside the state to use those savings to save even more on cross border sales of cigarette’s, beer, liquor, and lottery tickets, and Democrats don’t want to see Republicans proved right.
If the tobacco revenues eventually come it at or above projection, at the end of this fiscal experiment, all the left will have left is that $72,000.00 dollar taxpayer funded luxury remodel of the bathroom next to former Democrat House speaker Terie Norelli’s office (in the middle of the worst recession in history™ ), and another chapter in New Hampshire politics where they were completely wrong about the budget–again!
Let the New Hampshire Democrats scream at the darkness. Everyone else, feel free to ask for a light.
You are reading "Smokes and Mirrors - What's up with Tobacco Taxes?" by Steve Mac Donald originally posted at GraniteGrok.com.(Home)