Only in New York will a pack of smokes set you back a whopping $12.00!
I've said for the longest time that the reason behind the increasing taxes on cigarettes was to make every New Yorker want to turn to drugs so that our elected douchebags can continue to pick our pockets, only by then none of us will notice.
It's the same song every year: the cost of healthcare is breaking the bank. The State needs more money, or the hospitals will all close, and we'll all die of ingrown hemorrhoids or something. Smokers, because they engage in a habit that leads to serious health problems that tends to require expensive courses of treatments, should be expected to shoulder this burden, because it's because of THEM that the State has to spend these outrageous sums.
The reasons why New York State has to devote so much money to pay for healthcare, are;
a) it's paying for the care for those who don't pay for it themselves, like the welfare queens, illegal immigrants, the"poor" (who all seem to have Bluetooth and Patent-leather Air Jordans, while I don't; "The Poor are the Rich That Jesus Warned You About" -- Kathy Shaidle),
b) is paying for the care of people who engage in even riskier behavior, which require even more expensive treatments, but who are also politically-protected (or cossetted) classes, especially AIDS victims, blacks, IV Drug users, and crack addicts,
c) The asswipes in Albany have never heard, apparently, of an effective cost-containment strategy known as "tightening one's belt" or "economizing", or even -- dare I say it? -- privatization,
d) The State government continues to mandate payments for conditions and procedures that have nothing to do with people's basic healthcare needs (like...ahem..."Family Planning", sex-change procedures, needle exchange programs).
e) The State mandates that insurance companies also pay for these non-basic healthcare requirements, and then add a laundry list of even more ridiculous procedures and treatments (like penile implants and vasectomies),
f) The State allows illegal immigrants to use our emergency rooms for every need from a case of the sniffles to multiple gunshot wounds without even making an attempt to 1) collect a dime from these people, and 2) deport their fucking asses after they've been treated,
g) The Fed'ral Gubmint mandates coverages and treatments, and then leaves the responsibility of paying for them to the States,
h) We have a bunch of pig-ignorant political ticket-punchers in both Albany and Washington, D.C.. For some of them, ticket-puncher might actually describe more work than they actually do,
i) The healthcare unions in this state goon strike every fifteen minutes, until the guy who wheels you to-and-from the hospital door gets paid six-figures and has nine weeks of paid vacation, can retire at 59-1/2 with a fat pension, and can't get fired short of committing multiple child rape, and the dismemberment-murder of a miniature poodle in front of 12 witnesses and a video camera,
j) The Lawyers treat the medical malpractice system like a personal feeding trough where it's somehow a doctor's fault if your child was born with Cerebral Palsy, harelip or Forked tongue, prehensile tail and other GENETIC defects, and you can sue his ass into another galaxy for it.
k) Medical science is making it possible for people to live longer (or is it really just linger longer?) with health issues that once would have killed them off relatively young. Many of these people are elderly, and rely heavily on city health services to supplement what State and Federal Medicare won't cover or provide.
Okay, I can see the point of encouraging people not to smoke by making it prohibitively expensive. But then what happens when enough smokers actually quit because of the high price? Why, then the expected tax revenue which justified the tax increase in the first place just might dry up faster than Hillary Clinton's teat at a Sahara Desert Shamwow convention! And then, of course, the "solution" will be to raise cig taxes again, naturally! The concept that smokers tend to die younger (thus consuming fewer healthcare resources!) is never even seriously entertained. Cutting the fat from the system is a laughable suggestion. Saying "No" to the unions, the lawyers, the deadbeats and the druggies gets you a queer look, as if you've just landed from Mars and have asked for a Sarsaparilla and a blowjob.
Soon, some clueless douchebag of a City Councilman will wonder where the hell the smokers all went, while lamenting the closure of yet another city-run hospital, the predictable result of the very policies he's advocated for years! New York politicians are dumber and denser -- and less in-touch with reality --than the national norm, you know.
But then again, this is New York City/State, and if someone suggested to the Mayor, Governor and Assembly Speaker there was a buck to be made by recycling the undigested corn in your stool, they'd find a way to tax you per cob. Those Regal personages can't be expected to engage in common-sense solutions to these problems -- or even make tough decisions on them -- because they're too busy addressing the really vital issues of the day: making sure you don't get too much sugar in your doughnut, too much salt in your street meat -- or have too much cash in your wallet.
Or something similarly Earth-shatteringly important, like this.
I say that instead of lighting up a Marlboro, perhaps it's high time to light up the statehouse in Albany, and Gracie Mansion. Of course, even saying that here facetiously will probably earn me a visit from the NYPD. Judging from the whopping 1-hour-and-16-minutes it took them to respond to a a two-car accident in front of my house two days ago --- when the Precinct House is but a mere 11blocks away -- I can probably expect the SWAT team to arrive on-or-about Columbus Day.
I expect that within a month's time, we'll be hearing that the "Loosey" will become the new underground currency of choice-- replacing the overinflated, Chinese-financed, ObamaDollar Monopoly money we use now -- and enterprising drug dealers will soon be dealing in Lucky Strikes instead of heroin because of the higher profit margin.