Monday, May 28, 2012

June 2012: Vote NO on California Proposition 29!

Proposition 29 is on the June 5th, 2012 ballot in California. Proposition 29 adds a new $1.00 tax to each pack of cigarettes sold in the state, on top of the existing $0.87 tax that is currently in place.

The California Legislative Analyst's Office projects that the tax will raise $735 million in new revenue.

Proposition 29 creates a massive, new bureaucracy to administer these funds. The bureaucracy will be run by a 9-member governing committee made up of 3 University of California chancellors, 4 individuals appointed by the Governor, and 2 individuals appointed by the Director of the California Department of Public Health.

Approximately $16 million will be used to administer this new bureaucracy (collecting, auditing and distributing the revenue). Approximately $23 million will be diverted to law enforcement agencies to fund their anti-tobacco efforts. Approximately $30 million will be diverted to the California Department of Education to fund their anti-tobacco education efforts. Approximately $585 million, by far the biggest chunk of the revenues, will be used to subsidize the medical sector of the economy through government loans and grants to the private sector along with government funding of capital expenditures like building and facilities construction.

California faces a $16 billion deficit right now, in the midst of a deep recession in the real economy. Proposition 29 would raise taxes, create a new state bureaucracy, and increase subsidies to the private sector medical industry that is already massively subsidized in California through Medi-Cal and previous anti-tobacco tax funds.

So who is pushing this initiative? Michael Bloomberg (Mayor of New York City), who does not even live in California, is a major bank-roller of the initiative. However, the main bank-rollers of the initiative are many of the same entities that are likely to benefit from the government loans and grants that Proposition 29 will create: the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, Volunteers Organized for Community Empowerment, Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund and others.

Vote NO on California Proposition 29!

Even the liberal Los Angeles Times, which has a track record of supporting anti-tobacco initiatives, does not support Proposition 29.

Vote NO on California Proposition 29!

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