A Politician Who Makes Sense? Nooooooo!

New Hampshire House representative, Kevin Waterhouse has made a bold move with an open letter to the people of his state in support of dropping the tax on tobacco products by as much as 17%. New Hampshire is currently considering bill HB 156, which will do just that, and the Smoke Nazi fascists are absolutely losing their minds over it.

nh_license_plate2Waterhouse owns a convenience store and claims that the sale of tobacco (adult) products actually help small business flourish and creates job growth. He claims that: New Hampshire has more than 1,300 retail stores, 859 are convenience stores, and 607 are mom and pop operations. It is estimated that nearly 1,600 New Hampshire retailer and wholesaler jobs are supported by in-state tobacco sales. In 2010 New Hampshire stores sold 128.6 million packs of cigarettes. This translates to gross retail revenue of nearly $755.8 million for local retailers. Simply put, tobacco products are an important product for Granite State retailers.

That number is astounding, close to $800 million in sales and 1,600 jobs supported by tobacco sales in the small state of New Hampshire. It seems that Waterhouse feels that with the continual bombardment of new taxes, people will buy their smokes out of state and on the internet, an action that will cripple small businesses and the state’s economy – and he’s right.

When people stop at their local bodega, deli, or convenience store for a cigar, pipe tobacco, or what have you, 90% of the time they purchase ancillary products like soda, coffee, sandwiches, newspapers, magazines and lottery. Waterhouse says, “As the tax on tobacco has increased over the last five years, I have seen the economic effects ripple up and down each of the aisles in my store. HB 156 is an important vehicle to return this business to local retailers, and allow them to recoup revenue lost over the past five years.

It’s safe to say that tobacco and ancillary products sold in convenience stores in New Hampshire create over a billion dollars in sales and God knows how much in tax revenue for the state. The way I see it is that Waterhouse isn’t promoting smoking, because face it – people are going to smoke no matter what. If taxes continue to put a dent in their wallets they will simply buy their tobacco products “somewhere else”, and if they choose to go outside state lines to do so, the loss of income for the state would be disastrous. This makes a hell of a lot of sense to me, but like I said, the anti-smoking zealots are up in arms over this bill and are calling for their state representative’s head on platter.

On the website, union leader,  where his open letter was posted, the vile and belligerent attacks on Waterhouse in the comments section (below the article) is simply out of control. The knee-jerk comments filled with venom and hate accuse the state rep of supporting cancer while lining his own pockets, which is asinine and outright ludicrous…

“What an idiot. Yeah lets lower the tax so you can make more profit on giving people lung cancer….” “Only in America can you make a law that benefits you and preys on the ignorant….”Okay, I’m sold! Everyone start smoking and the state’s unemployment rate will be the best in the country. Doctors and nurses will have job security and we can build hundreds of hospice houses. The unemployed carpenters can build caskets and Wal-Mart can branch out into the funeral business…” “You are clearly a self serving moron along with the rest of your politicial confederecy of certifiable dunces who champion the tax break for smokers as a boom to liquor and lottery sales as well…gambling,alcoholism and cancer costs all assigned to we, the last of the surviving “wage slaves”.”

Okay…answer me this… if people continue to smoke – a legal act in this country that is freedom of choice done by responsible adults – but they go out of state to purchase those products – please tell me how you are going to replace a billion dollars in New Hampshire’s revenue? What kinds of horrendous taxes will your government invent to replace those monies? Will they raise the gas tax even more so you are paying $8 – $10 a gallon? Where is the revenue going to come from? Trust me, you simply DO NOT want to find out. You’ll all be up in arms, screaming and swearing at local officials who will throw their hands to the sky while shrugging their shoulders.

While I don’t live in New Hampshire, I am in full support of Rep. Waterhouse and this bill, because it makes incredible economic sense. He is NOT trying to get more people in his state to smoke – that accusation is absurd and moronic. Listen… I LOVE my cigars and if it’s becomes cost prohibitive to purchase them in my state then I will find somewhere else to buy them and thousands upon thousands of others will no doubt follow suit.

Like the license plate reads… Live Free or Die. And that’s all I have to say about that.


Tommy Z . JR Cigars Blog With the Zman

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