First 5 funding up in smoke

John Seiler:

Back in 1998, actor Rob “Meathead” Reiner tricked voters into passing Prop. 10, the California First 5 initiative, which jacked up cigarette taxes 50 cents a pack to pay for programs that took over from parents the privilege of raising young children. Of course, it was sold as a way to improve kids’ health, education and welfare.

Ironically, poor folks smoke more than others. So Prop. 10 effectively forced the poor to work longer, keeping them away from their kids longer, so the government could barge in and run their kids’ lives.

But people have been smoking less. And when the Federal government doubled its cig taxes last year, part of President Obama’s intricate plan to wreck the economy even more than Bush did and make even more of us miserable, why, more people quit smoking — or bought smokes on the black market.

The result: a sharp drop in funding for the Meathead’s child-control programs.

Meanwhile, a couple of years ago Reiner had to leave as head of the program because of a scandal. As Archie said, The pied piper ain’t pickin’ up no more rollin’ moss.

And down here in Orange County, a couple of our “small-government” Republicans, Hugh Hewitt and Matt Cunningham, were discovered helping themselves to some of the tobacco-tax loot pried from the poor who are smokers.

First 5 was, is, and always will be a typical modern government scam. But at least it’s a little bit less of a scam than it was.

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  1. Tylerle13
    Tylerle13 7 July, 2010, 19:20

    Is anyone taking bets on how long its going to be before the government unveils the “We were wrong, smoking is great!” campaign?

    All of this anti-tobacco advertising has really cut into their tax revenue. Once they are stuck with the medical bills of all of us skinny non-smoker Americans that are living to be 100, they are going to start pushing us back towards lung cancer and big macs to get rid of us sooner.

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  2. Peyton Farquhar
    Peyton Farquhar 12 July, 2010, 08:57

    They won’t have to push a nicotine is good for you meme, all counties such as Orange will do is exponentially ramp up what they know is a veritable vertical monopoly guaranteeing revenue.

    Revenue generation by bullshit speeding tickets, etc. You’d be surprised (or maybe not) how much of a racket it really is even IF you head to trial to contest it and even IF you know what you are doing and even IF you present the same arguments a traffic atty would have. The judge is going to find you guilty no matter what procedures weren’t followed by the issuing officer. Due process does not exist for anyone without a J.D. despite making the exact same arguments an atty would in court.

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  3. Tony Serra
    Tony Serra 7 April, 2011, 20:02

    I can’t get over the lack of scrutiny that Hewitt and Cunningham have garnered. Aside from the link you provide, the hypocrisy has gone large unnoticed, certainly unreported.

    Stopping government waste maybe a laudable mantra of todays “right” or Tea Party, but when people roast the left, allthewhile letting thier own skate by while cashing in.

    It’s high time the GOP get serious and clean house.

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