Monday, May 09, 2005

You have got to be kidding me

Our wonderfully intelligent *ahem* governor Kathleen Blanco has decided to forgo her proposed tax hike on video poker and alcohol and focus on raising taxes on cigarettes to fund the teachers' pay raises.

Louisiana should add $1 per pack to its cigarette tax, Gov. Kathleen Blanco said Monday, doubling her original proposal for money to boost teachers' salaries.

Shortly after hearing this, I heard a commercial for The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living. And I thought, hmm, I wonder who exactly is part of this campaign? So I decided to investigate. Well, guess who is one of the partners in this - the Louisiana Department of Education. I wonder if they will continue to support this tobacco-free campaign now that teachers' pay raises rely on the revenue created by smoking.

So, what does our illustrious governor think?

"They need a raise. Louisiana needs fewer smokers," the governor told the committee.

Oh my gosh, this makes my head hurt. The sheer lack of foresight is astounding. Why would you raise taxes on an item that you are working to make obsolete? Are the teachers going to all of a sudden be able to live off of less money when there is less revenue from fewer smokers? Noooooooo. Of course, we all know what will happen when the number of smokers declines - the governor will raises taxes on something else.