“The Power to Tax is the Power to Destroy”

07.13.10 | Dr. Stephen Coleman | Comments[2]

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In 1819, then Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court John Marshall (in the case of McCulloch vs. Maryland) wrote, “The power to tax is the power to destroy.” That was true then and it is true today.

Take the State of New York. The tax on a pack of cigarettes in the Empire State has gone through the ceiling. On July 1st, the tax on a pack of cigarettes increased by $1.60. This was added to the existing tax of $2.75. Hence, smokers in New York now have to pay a whopping tax of $4.35 on each pack of cigarettes that they purchase.

You know, I don’t smoke. I think that smoking is a horrible habit, and I urge the young people who are listening to stay away from smoking. That said, I think that adults in a free society should have the right to smoke what my late dad used to call coffin nails. Ladies and gentlemen — through its outrageous taxation of cigarettes — the State of New York is interfering and threatening the right of people to smoke in a free society.

My goodness, the average price of a pack of cigarettes in the Empire State is now over $9. Thank you very much, but I don’t want a nanny state where politicians take away rights — or try to take away rights — though unjust taxation. Yes, the power to tax is the power to destroy and that is exactly what is happening to the right to smoke in New York and…for that matter…elsewhere.


cc-wetm - tv- Dr. Coleman also airs commentaries and a public affairs program on WETM 18 Elmira. For more information on these programs, go to wetmtv.com.

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Your Comments(please keep them on topic and polite)

on 07.13.10 Craig commented

I heartily agree with Dr. Coleman. Smoking is a horrible habit, and I would never want to have an addiction that, over a lifetime, costs so many thousands. However it is certainly not the government's place to tax what really comes down to an individual's personal right. There are those who site the goodness of a "sin tax", but we need to ask, Is it the government's responsility to do that? God has set up that "tax" in His marvelous design of our bodies. If a person chooses to damage that body with such a habit, the tax will be certainly paid.

on 07.15.10 Ted Hansen commented

Dr Coleman stated that:
"the State of New York is interfering and threatening the right of people to smoke in a free society." I challenge him to show me in State or federal law a "right to smoke"
As for myself I am glad the government has stepped in to put higher tax this terrible habit. Maybe less young people will be able to afford to get addicted. Our tax dollars are being spent on medical bills because of this habit. The best thing thay did in this regard was to outlaw smoking in restaurants and other public buildings. This protected those of us that had a choice to inhale their bad habit or vacate the area. They could do this because there is no "right to smoke" in our constituion. I would concern myself with more important issues than this. For instance the breakdown of the family and "rights" be afforded to the special interst groups whose "lifestayle directly oppose Gods laws.

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