More F’n Taxes

Posted By on February 3, 2010

Six more weeks of winter predicted by that pudgy little quadraped from Pennsylvania known as PuxatonyPhil. (hey we Groundhog Dayhave a Phil in our group also) He poked his fuzzy little rodent head out of his burrow ( not our Phil, the other one) and cast a shadow on the ground which  emphatically means six more weeks of winter are still in store for us.  You can’t disprove pure scientific fact like basing potential global weather patterns on a groundhog.  Hey Al Gore, did you hear that? It isn’t human beings, my pick-up truck or my cigar that affect the worlds climate, it’s a fucking woodchuck that’s to blame.  I guess that a similar type of controlled study involving a marsupial and a pack of Malbaro Lights was the concrete science behind blaming second hand smoke for more deaths than, oh how about an earthquake in Haiti. Too soon?  I would estimate that the devastating quake killed more people in one afternoon than second has smoke could ever be blamed for.  I guess if we had only thought to tax or ban earthquakes, none on this would have happened.  Maybe in the hogwash Obama is pushing upon us as his new budget, they can find room to tax natural disasters to a point where they just decide to stop happening.

Last month I ranted about the statewide smoking ban that officially goes into effect on July 5th of this year.  We are also well aware of the tax increase that went into effect this past April on our beloved cigars.  The bright spotpipe-01 is that while constantly under assault from big brother, who claims to be looking out for our well being, cigar smokers are still enjoying their cigars at levels near the famed “Cigar Boom” of the 90’s.  I know that many of you guys also enjoy kicking back with a pipe and especially with the ever increasing cost of cigars, the pipe seems like a wonderful option.  Yeah, here comes the bad news part.  On January 13th a bill was introduced by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Rep. Llyod Dogget (D-TX) to amend the internal revenue code to increase the tax on pipe tobacco from $2.8133 per pound to an astonishing $24.78 per pound.  This increase would tax pipe tobacco at the same rate of roll your own cigarette tobacco. I’m sure those cigarette smokers we ignored are finally saying, “It’s about time you guys feel our pain”.

At what point will this madness end?  As cigar smokers we sat on our ass and watched our government shamelessly attack cigarette smokers thinking we would be safe from the onslaught of pseudo-science bullshit.  Well guys, S-Chip passed and we’re all feeling the sting of letting that happen as we pay more of our hard earned money for those precious sticks.  As cigar smokers cigarettesmoneywe stood in the distance watching cigarette smokers take the brunt of the public punishment as their rights were slowly stripped away by an anti-tobacco movement that continually gains momentum with each tax and ban.  We figured that we would safe from harm in our small group of cigar enthusiasts but they eventually came after us.  Next were pipe smokers who sat back and watched both cigarette and cigar smokers turned into second class citizens all the while thinking they were immune from the whims of this administration.  Pipe smokers also anticipated that by staying off the rader they could avoid the cold hard slap of increased taxes on their products.  They also guessed wrong!  We have allowed ourselves to be categorized into groups of tobacco users instead of standing unified against these insane tax hikes.  The anti-tobacco movement does not care what form of tobacco product you chose to enjoy, they want it all gone.  All of it, gone.  It’s time we stop thinking of ourselves in terms of groups but join forces before it’s too late and we no longer have any tobacco to enjoy.  Regardless of what form of tobacco product you chose to use or your feelings of which one is safer than the other, the anti crowd lumps us all together in their never ending effort to eradicate us all.  Since we’re all fighting the same war I think it’s time we all get on the same page.

 In uncertain economic times while skilled qualified workers throughout our country continue to lose their jobs and we face unemployment’s rates close to 10% nationwide, our government (local and federal) has spent more time increasing tobacco taxes and implementing smoking bans than on creating new jobs and securing our work force for the future.  The backwards agenda of smoking bans has actually created a reverse effect by eliminating many jobs in the tobacco industry and in bars and restaurants that can no longer cater to smokers.  We are coming to point where we will no longer even be able to smoke in our own homes!  If you can’t ban the product they will just keep pushing bans on where you can use it.  In the words of that psycho crazy fitness bitch Susan Powter, “Stop the insanity!”

Time for some good news though fellas.  Our Membership dinner is scheduled for February 24th at The Vault so if you qualify, be sure  to let me know that you’ll be in attendance.  If you can’t make it, more steak for me!  It will be a great night of fine dining and cigars before the Tofu industry lobbyists gain momentum and the government over taxes red meat due to the heath issues associated with it’s consumption.  Ya never know.  Also on the calendar for this month is our Appleton/Fox Valley Cigar Night on February 17th at Appleton Souvenir & Cigar Company.  The one event I hope you guys can all make it out to is the One Year Celebration of The Vault.  Owner Jimmy C. is throwing a bash to commemorate a great first year and since he has always been a gracious host to the club and is also a Charter Member of The Brotherhood of the Leaf, come on down for live music by 12 Volt Band help make it a party to remember.

It’s going to be a long year so light em’ up boys.

The Cigar Soldier

About the author

The Cigar Soldier is the founding father and President of The Brotherhood of the Leaf, an internet community of cigar enthusiasts and Northeast Wisconsin’s only true membership based cigar club. As the main writer for Cigar Night, his rants can sting, stir or inspire your emotions, as he leaves no topic of enjoying the cigar lifestyle off his hit list.


One Response to “More F’n Taxes”

  1. Maximus says:

    The relevant quote often repeated is this:

    “When Hitler attacked the Jews I was not a Jew, therefore I was not concerned.
    When Hitler attacked the Catholics, I was not a Catholic, and therefore, I was not concerned. When Hitler attacked the unions and the industrialists, I was not a member of the unions or an industrialist and so I was not concerned. Then Hitler attacked me and the Protestant church — and there was nobody left to be concerned.” — Martin Niemoller, Congressional Record, October 14, 1968, page 31636

    To this today, we might add the experience of those who enjoy the consumption of the tobacco leaf in all its forms – cigarettes, cigars, and pipes.

    A common denominator of the Socialists (Hitler was a Socialist) and other statistists in all their forms including the modern-day Liberal and Progressive, is that they believe with almost religious fervency in the “perfectability” of man, through the mechanism of legislation, regulation, and omnipotent government control.

    A characteristic of the Progressives and Prohibitionists of the 1930’s and the purveyors of the “New Prohibition” of today (tobacco) is that like Obama, they are natural-born-and-bred community organizers.

    The tragic flaw among those who enjoy tobacco, is that by and large they are individualists who really want little more than to be left alone.

    They are overwhelmingly salt-of-the-earth type folks, working hard to support themselves and their families, often active in their churches and sometimes in their communities – as firemen and police officers and volunteer EMT’s and construction workers and factory workers.

    Because of this individualistic bent and overwhelming desire to be left alone to live their lives in peace, most are perhaps are characteristicly un-suited to the kind of organizing and interferance in the lives of others that the Progressives and their anti-tobacco brethren exult in.

    Those who enjoy tobacco in one or more of its forms are often un-suited to the kind of organizing necessary to confront the kind of creeping encroachment we have seen in the area of smoking and tobacco use over the past several decades.

    And organized the anti-tobacco Nazi’s are. They hold regular seminars in hotels and conference centers across the country, training in the refined methods and media tactics of pressure-group politics – and are often well-funded by individuals and other groups who’s underlying goal is not simply the eradication of tobacco in society, but the eradication of our freedoms and constitutionally limited system of republican government.

    Even if tobacco-lovers were as inclined to organize and push back on the level of magnitude as is now required, the situation has deteriorated to the point where direct success by supporters of personal liberty and the freedom to enjoy tobacco to turn back the tide may no longer be possible.

    As the creator and editor of a website dedicated to liberty studies (, I have been interested that the single most searched-for topic bringing people to the site has been on the issue of property rights.

    This fact suggests both an opportunity and a method that holds promise for the long-beleagered and vilified cigar, pipe, and cigarette smoker.

    We are a cause largely isolated from our philosophical brothers by our limited focus. It is time to broaden the fight.

    Republicans and conservatives (and that includes many Democrats) are isolated by their often narrow focus on the latest outrage perpetrated by the statist liberals and Progressives. Libertarians are isolated by their seemingly myopic obsession with the de-criminalization of marijuana.

    Imagine the power if all of these diparate groups joined forces on an issue with broad potential appeal that affects most of us — the restoration of a general understanding and respect for individual liberty and property rights.

    Eminent Domain abuse is a serious problem in most jurisdictions, as politicians seek and courts uphold the taking of private property and the encroachment of private property rights.

    We see this trend clearly illustrated with the sweeping prevalence of public smoking bans, which increasingly prevent and criminalize private businesses from choosing to provide a smoking-friendly environment for their patrons who smoke – restaurants, bars, taverns, and even smoke shops!

    To be sure, there is also a serious issue with politicians using decades of vilification of tobacco smoking to enable the passage of confiscatory and predatorial taxes on tobacco products – taxes which in an increasing number of places, now exceed the cost or value of the product itself!

    Of course, it’s all “for the children” – as if the higher price of a proscribed product will prevent those who want it from doing what they need to in order to acquire it. High prices of illegal substances has done little to stop the trade in them – and in fact has done much to ramp up the violence and criminal activities surrounding it.

    Strict laws against marijuana and other “natural” forms of narcotics (opium, etc) has led directly to much more addictive and dangerous substances, that can be cooked up in a kitchen using commonly available household products.

    What finally broke the back of 1930’s Prohbition was not the sudden realization that individuals ought to have the inherent right to consume alcohol, but general public awareness that the “cure” of banning or severely proscribing alcohol consumption had led to unforeseen and unintended consequences in increased violence and crime.

    We are already seeing this phenomena repeat itself with tobacco. Smuggling between low-tax states and high-tax states has become commonplace. Trucks hauling cigarettes (especially) are routinely hijacked by highly sophisticated and organized criminal gangs.

    It should never have gotten to this point, but it has. It is more than high time to stop the insanity of this New Prohibition!

    It is amazing that more and more people who will sit enveloped by barbeque smoke or the smoke of a campfire, sit in traffic behind gasoline exhaust, or who fill their houses with various burning incenses and air freshener chemicals, will go absolutely berserk at the slightest whiff of someone lighting up a cigarette, cigar, or pipe – accusing the poor sap of trying to kill them or their children with second-hand (and now third-hand) smoke!

    Many of those who campaign hardest to prohibit smoking in bars and taverns seem deaf to the reality that they are far more likely to die (or kill someone) after imbibing three or four drinks and then stepping behind the wheel of their car, than they are to die from the wafting smoke of a nearby cigar or pipe.

    Alcohol will kill in seconds (if it results in a crash or an act of drunken violence) yet smoking-related illnesses will take decades to appear, if they appear at all.

    It is counter-productive however to point fingers at each other and to use as our defense the idea that the other fellow should be regulated first. The statists divide and conquer us with such arguments.

    We need to return to the civic ideal that we protect the other person’s liberty, in the ultimate interest of protecting our own.

    Like our brothers of the old world from which our forefathers fled, we have sadly re-learned the peasant quality of speaking softly in the presence of authority, bowing and smiling and filling out the printed forms with scarcely a whisper of dissent.

    We’re better than that. Unlike our current perpetrator-in-chief, we ought bow to NO one! We are citizens, not subjects.

    Freedom is hard, which is apparently why most people seem frequently so afraid of it.

    Don’t wait until they come for you. They’re already at the door.

    — Maximus

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