THE Bible tells us, "Go ye, and sin no more."Many state...

salmagundi

March 04, 1993

THE Bible tells us, "Go ye, and sin no more."

Many state and local governments, however, might want to preach a different sermon these days. According to the New York Times, so-called "sin taxes" on cigarettes and alcohol are producing far less income for the states and the locals because people are living more healthy, more conservative lives. (Or is that "lifestyles"?)

In New Jersey, the estimated amount of sin tax income was recently adjusted down by $24 million. In New York state, the "sincome" (to coin a phrase) will be nearly $40 million lower than expected. A drop of only around $3 million is anticipated in Connecticut, a state where sinning seems to be holding its own.

"The golden goose of sin taxes is just about cooked," a Washington tax researcher told the Times. He added, "Excise taxes [on alcohol, tobacco, gasoline, telephone calls, heating, electricity and other items] fell from providing 26 percent of budget revenue for the states in 1972 to 16 percent in 1991."

And yet, President Clinton has suggested raising taxes on cigarettes to help pay for his health-care program. The symbolism of the idea might be good, but the evidence indicates it won't produce the kind of income the president is banking on.

There's really only one conclusion to be drawn from all this, folks: For the sakes of our local, state and federal governments, we have to start sinning a whole lot more!

You say you quit smoking recently? Be a patriot and get back on the five-pack-a-day habit!

On the wagon, are you? Well, jump off and raise a toast or two or 12 to good old Uncle Sam!

You put the Buick in the garage and started riding the bus to work? Fill 'er up, Bub, and hit the road for the good of your government!

Let's dig up those old WIN buttons from the Ford administration and change the W to an S! Go ye, red-blooded citizens, and sin till the cash cows come home!

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.