From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
A tiny amendment buried in the federal transportation bill to be signed today by President Barack Obama will put operators of roll-your-own cigarette operations in Las Vegas and nationwide out of business at midnight…
I had only heard of these types of operations about two months ago – a friend of mine pointed out that you can get a carton of cigarettes a lot cheaper at these places where you buy loose tobacco and cigarette papers and then “rent” the rolling machine to turn out the finished cigarettes. As a smoker, I was thinking about trying it out. Now I won’t be able to – something slipped in to a bill (and what does a highway bill have to do with tobacco) has killed it off. Businesses will be shut down, people lose their jobs…why? Well the linked article notes that Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) got the item inserted in to the bill and that Senator Baucus is a major recipient of tobacco-industry donations.
But don’t any of you out there get all “darn Democrats” about this – while Democrats do this sort of skullduggery more often than GOPers, Republicans do engage in it. What Baucus did was a two-fold item in favor of both Big Government and Big Corporation. Part of the reason for the cheaper price is that loose tobacco is taxed at a lower rate than tobacco in cigarettes. The other part of the reason is that the major cigarette makers were starting to feel a pinch from the competition (and that, of course also jeopardizes the government revenues from the ill-famed tobacco lawsuit settlement). Essentially, Big Government and Big Corporation go together and legislated out of existence the people and their small businesses because Big Government needs revenues and Big Corporation doesn’t like competition.
And this is what is wrong with America: it is no longer governed in any way, shape or form in the interests of the people. It is actions just like this which ensured that instead of having 50 different car makers, we only had three miserably incompetent car makers, two of which needed a taxpayer bailout. It is actions like this which ensure that only a few behemoth banks run our financial system (and run it in to the ground, and then demand taxpayer bailouts). It is actions like this which shut down things like the Keystone pipeline but shovel taxpayer money at Solyndra. This is why our economy doesn’t grow; why our factories are in China, our mines are in Chile and our farms are in Mexico…because Big Government and Big Corporation like it that way; it works out best for them…they see it as maximizing government revenues and Big Corporation profits.
The reason our economy doesn’t work is because of nonsense like this – the people are hamstrung and essentially forbidden to do anything which might lessen government revenues or harm the profits of the corporations which currently rule the market (and donate to the office holders – Baucus has been in the Senate since 1978; and he’s just dancing to his master’s tune). Do we want jobs in this country? Do we want to restore the middle class? Do we want an America which makes, mines and grows most of its own things? Then we need an America where the government is prohibited from legislating out of existence legal businesses and where corporations can’t buy legislation to restrict competition. An end to Crony Capitalism is necessary for the revival of America – and that means an end to Big Government, as well.