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The Government Wants You to Smoke
Well ... maybe not the Department of health and Human Services, but the Government as a whole, they do pretty well off of tobacco.
On the average, every smoker saves the government twenty thousand dollars per head on costs saved. Thatís because cigarette smokers die early and donít collect so much retirement money. You might think they make up for it in added health care expenses, but that twenty thousand is after those are deducted.
Also, the Government makes a ton off of the taxes they charge to addicts. When the Clinton administration was trying to achieve universal coverage for Americans (like every other civilized nation) one of the ways they wanted to raise money was by increasing cigarette taxes but they had calculated that if they raised those taxes too high people would actually start to quit smoking and the revenue would decrease at that point. There was a real careful calculation about how high they could go before that horrible thing happened. (And America still doesnít have universal health care and our life span ranks twenty sixth in the World and forty five million Americans donít have any coverage at all).
If you ask me thereís the real secret to saving social security. Itís not private accounts, itís smoking. Everybody in the U.S. should be required to smoke, the system would become solvent again with everybody dying off and not using up their benefits, plus - and hereís the real beauty of the plan - everyone would be cool. (As we all know from highschool, cool people smoke). Finally, the Government, both state and Federal, has made billions off of tobacco settlement money which was supposed to be earmarked to get people to quick smoking and cover medical costs related to smoking, but ... not all of it has. At a guess, Iíd say not much.
Is it any wonder that the U.S. still pays farmers to grow this stuff when they make so much off of it?
About the Author: Steve Sommers new book, Evil Super-Villains Need Love, Too ... and other important wisdom, is available at http://www.lulu.com/content/317958.
His novel, REXROI, is available at http://www.lulu.com/content/306670