February 13, 2013

Kentucky House Democrats Looking to Sin Tax to Fund Government Pensions

Kentucky lawmakers continue to ignore the real issue surrounding the unsustainable pensions being paid out to government workers, which is taxpayers can't afford the "generosity" given to them at our expense, and which the private sector doesn't come close to receiving.

So instead of making government workers pay more for their own pensions, House Democrats are going the "sin" tax route, starting with taxing cigarettes to raise retirement contributions.

While most of us don't like cigarettes, why should smokers be forced to pay for government workers? They're already paying more for them than they should have to already.

At this time the proposed tax would be a 40-cent increase over the already high tax imposed on cigarettes. That would raise about $110 million in the first year, although over time, the weakness of the proposal is it would be a short-term fix because expectations are there will be less cigarette sales going forward, which would lower the revenue stream in the years ahead.

Over the next 20 years or so, the tax would generate about $100 million annually before dropping in revenue.

None of this will matter or will work until the over-compensated government workers are made to pay more into their own plan. The refusal to do this is cowardly and irresponsible, but has been shown to work by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

Kentucky taxpayers shouldn't and won't put up with this outrage, where the government extracts from their wages in order to pay extravagant benefits to its own.

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