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Letter to editor icon 3

To the good people of Montana, thank you for rejecting the tobacco tax increase. I got up this morning and had a cigarette, then a bowl of gluten and another cigarette. To the smug, money-grubbing social engineers out there: Guess what? That is none of your business.

Gov. Bullock seems unwilling to let it go. Apparently, when it comes to smokers, he is a hater, and anxious to discriminate against us. If he succeeds, the question becomes: Who is next? Alcohol is the obvious target, but like tobacco, the tax on alcohol is already pretty high.

Possibly obesity is next on the list. All the reasoning behind the tobacco tax applies. Being obese has at least as many potential health consequences as smokers have. Application of a fat tax could be cheap, targeted and easy. A camera connected to a computer could calculate a customer’s BMI and add $2 tax to every happy meal for the overweight customer. Is this really how things are done in America?

Maybe, if there is an unfulfilled need, government could make the case in the public arena. Maybe government could determine how much money is required and come up with a tax plan to it that is fair and non-discriminatory. Then, just maybe, if it is something the people want, our representatives could vote on it and pass it or not. Maybe government could even eliminate something else that does not work well or is redundant and use that money for the new need.

Richard Roberts, Helena

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