Taxpayer League: Smoking bans bad

I’d have a much easier time believing Strom’s pro-business libertarian talking points if he didn’t take money from Tobacco firms. He’s certainly not the healthiest guy on the block, so I can see how a smoking ban would mean little to him.

He can’t seem to figure out what the role of government should be. I’m sure he has no problem with government regulation of the food and drinks he’ll consume with or without an accompanying cigarette at Hennepin County bars.

On the tax issue, it seems like a libertarian would prefer the government use sin taxes to fund government since they’re some of the easiest taxes to avoid by people who believe in small government. I wonder why Strom would be against this? Where is he getting his money?

Taxpayer League: Smoking bans bad: “Strom dismissed any suggestion that the league is closely allied to tobacco companies. Although tobacco interests have donated money to the league, it amounts to less than 1 percent of its revenue, he said. The league’s advocacy this week was launched on behalf of smokers, bars and charitable-gambling beneficiaries, Strom said.

‘This is about a private-property right and an unfair, narrow tax with a phony ‘fee’ label,’ Strom said. ‘We’ve been accused before of being in the pocket of the tobacco companies, from people who question your motives before they pay any attention to the argument.’

Strom pointed out that the league has criticized the health fee strongly since it was proposed last spring by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and that the opposition has been primarily based on the group’s fundamental goals of ‘lower taxes, more responsive government and the freedoms dear to all Americans,’ he said. He acknowledged, however, that the league was ‘in contact’ with tobacco lobbyists working against the fee increase during the legislative session.

Strom says he is trying again to quit. ‘I know it’s not healthy,’ he said of smoking, ‘but it’s not the government’s role to tell me what to do or what not to do.”

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