Email letters, March 21, 2014
Look at tobacco tax history to grasp impact of pot taxes
Concerning Rick Wagner’s editorial on Colorado’s pot taxes last week, he didn’t mention tobacco taxes. So, I did some searching and found tobacco taxes (including the Master Settlement Agreement) brought in $319 million.
If retail and medial marijuana sales follow the same track, taxes will be about $42 million. Alcohol taxes will bring in around $32 million.
A portion of tobacco taxes goes to the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and a large part goes to different groups for educational cessation programs. Millions of dollars will forever go to these same groups, because that’s how Initiative 35 was written and passed in 2004.
I’m sure TV stations are happy with their cut of the pie. Big Pharma is happy selling nicotine replacement aids and developing new medications, ensuring a new generation of addicts.
When you include the entire U.S., for 2009 both federal and state tobacco taxes brought an astounding $24 billion. It’s a big shame that this money does not go for cancer or any other myriad of diseases.
It should have been the parents’ responsibility to teach their children in the first place. The past 30 years, more money has been spent on awareness campaigns than research.
Tea party Republicans sabotage national economic recovery and local job creation
Will Eidson’s letter (“Grant’s venomous opinion of Tipton is mind-boggling”) should prompt Sentinel subscribers to reread Bill Grant’s column (“ACA could be Tipton’s Achilles’ heel”) in search of anything remotely resembling “venomous . . . name–calling.”
Grant’s column was more about the growing and under-reported success (both locally and nationally) of the Affordable Care Act than about Tipton, who has voted some 51 times to repeal, replace, and/or defund the ACA – even as it benefits 5+ million previously uninsured Americans nationwide and hundreds locally.
Tipton has repeatedly proved himself to be an habitually dishonest extremist more willing to pander to his uninformed local supporters and cynical campaign contributors, rather than responsibly lead his constituency to rationally comprehend the real issues we face.
For example, as Gary Harmon chronicled last year (“Rep. Tipton takes hits right and left over shutdown, Obamacare”), at a “town meeting” in Grand Junction on Oct. 25, 2013, Tipton lied to attendees about having not voted to “shut down” the government – costing our economy some $28 billion – while admitting that his chosen tactic never had any chance of success anyway (albeit “planned” and orchestrated over six months)!
Moreover, at that meeting, Tipton distributed a “handout” which deceptively combined CBO 10-year budget projections with Republicans’ exaggerrated and unsubstantiated out-year projections to scare gullible locals into believing that the Reagan-Bush national debt remains so out-of-control that “spending is the problem” – when every objective analysis concludes that Republican-imposed austerity and “Teapublicans’” ignorant anti-government and anti-tax ideological constraints on federal revenues have created the real problem.
Meanwhile, Tipton’s weekly “update” disseminates partisan talking-points at taxpayers’ expense.
Sentinel readers should understand that un-American Republicans like Tipton have been deliberately sabotaging national economic recovery and local job creation for five years now – solely to gain electoral advantage in 2014 and 2016.
Let’s worry less about Crimea, more about domestic problems
If Texas had a referendum and the majority of the voters chose to secede from the United States and rejoin Mexico, would the European Union, Russia, China or any other country get involved?
The only country that might and probably would object would be Mexico. Let’s mind our own business and tend to our own troubles.
Wealthy class also buys votes
Regarding the March 21 letter about corrupt government and overspending, I can’t disagree that a lot of corruption is in government (even at our local governments). Yet Angie Many only lists things that help the poor and people having a difficult time as examples of overspending to buy votes.
She failed to list the spending or other ways the rich try to buy votes. Look at the farm bill, the corporate tax breaks for companies sending jobs overseas, the huge tax breaks to oil companies and the stimulus funds to give Wall Street executives outrageous bonus. This is another example of people only looking at this through one viewpoint.