RUSH: Jerry in Scottsdale, Arizona, hello, sir.
CALLER: Morning, Rush. How are you doing?
RUSH: I’m fine.
CALLER: Let’s get straight to it. The source of the controversy in the Democrat Congress was proposing to raise a tax on cigars to $10 per cigar —
CALLER: — to raise $35 to $50 billion for state children’s health insurance.
CALLER: It’s ‘for the children.’
RUSH: It’s for the children. In the name of saving the children, big government has targeted yet another industry to destroy.
CALLER: So the Winston Churchill that I just started smoking cigars with is going to go from $10 to $20 each.
RUSH: Oh, I know. The maximum cigar tax will be $10 a cigar. It’s now at 5 cents. The cigar industry as a percentage of the whole tobacco industry is like 2%, if that. This cigar tax increase is sort of hidden in here. Well, it’s not hidden anymore, but the bill is written to make it look like it’s really a tax that’s targeted on cigarettes. The tax on cigarettes will go up a dollar a pack from what it is now — and the cigar thing is even worse, from 5¢ to $10 — to pay for kids’ health care. Cigars have long been ignored as a source of revenue because compared to cigarettes and other tobacco products, there aren’t that many of them sold. Somebody has figured out here that there’s a whole lot of money to be made. Children’s health care? I thought the tobacco settlements and all the taxes now were used and being directed to children’s health care programs. I guess this is children’s insurance. There’s also — and I’m not sure about this. The markup on this bill is still happening, but I think, in addition to the $10 a cigar tax, which is going to people these people out of business. It will be like the thing they did on the yachts, the luxury tax.
It’ll put these people out of business. People will go elsewhere to find cigars. They’ll find ’em. They’ll find a way to do ’em. They’ll find a way to get ’em to avoid paying this US tax. I’m still checking this out, but I think in addition to the per-stick tax, manufacturers as of January ’08 next year, if this thing becomes law, are going to have a 50% tax on their current inventory that’s all on the floor of the warehouse, before it gets to the retailers. I’m still checking this, but this is one of the bullet points that I got from somebody who analyzed the bill. So if a cigar company has a million dollars in inventory cigars, then before those cigars can leave for retail he has to pay $500,000 to the United States Treasury — and this is Democrats, folks. This is who they are. I was telling somebody about this last night. They said, ‘Why are they doing this?’
‘They’re Democrats! They raise taxes.’
This friend said, ‘No, this is aimed at you. You’re the best-known cigar smoker in the country. This is like the Limbaugh tax.’
It’s more than that. These people are trying to put the tobacco business out of business without doing it via legislation under the guise of doing it ‘for the children.’ This is what liberalism is. This is what Democrats do. They target businesses that they don’t like and they use government to harm ’em, maybe even destroy ’em.