This would be less interesting…
If you’re a smoker living in Minnesota near the North Dakota border, you’ve undoubtedly discovered that you can save a lot by driving a little. Since Minnesota’s cigarette tax jumped by around $1.50 a pack on July 1st, tobacco wholesalers have noticed a dramatic drop in sales.
…if it didn’t illustrate the fact that tax enthusiasts simply do not seem to understand that the linked American traits of casual physical mobility and nigh-genetic tendency to go look for loopholes reliably act as a potent counter to busybodies. I mean, I could have easily told you that a buck-fifty per pack price difference would be enough to encourage people to hop across the state border and buy their smokes there: this sort of thing happens everywhere that’s within half an hour of a state border. Cigarettes, booze, fireworks, gambling… I assume that if another state ever formally legalizes brothels the establishment will end up setting up shop as close to the state line (while being accessible via the interstate) as is humanly possible.
So what was the endgame here, anyway? Less smoking? Maybe a little. Less tax revenue? Hoo boy, yes. Does the former compensate fully for the latter? Almost certainly not. Will Minnesota learn from its fail? Of course it won’t; it’s run by the Democratic party, and their instinctive response to tax revenue not meeting expectations is to assume that they set the rates too low. Is this yet another reason why any prudent state should consider having significant numbers of Democratic legislators in office to be a somewhat dubious luxury? …Why, yes.
Here endeth the lesson.
Via Hot Air.