Vinny DeMarco’s Self-Defeating Logic
Vinny DeMarco really is a piece of work.
Arguing against reality–he is a progressive–in an attempt to prove that Marylanders don’t go to neighboring states to buy cigarettes, DeMarco writes this:
Some have argued that more people just bought their cigarettes in neighboring states with lower cigarette taxes. Not so. During 2008, total cigarette sales dropped by 103 million in Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia, all of which raised their cigarette taxes that year. At the same time, in the three neighboring states that did not raise their cigarette taxes, Virginia, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, cigarette sales went up by 37 million packs. Therefore, the vast majority of the net drop in cigarette sales in Maryland, Delaware and D.C. was from people smoking less, which saved thousands of lives and hundreds of millions of dollars from tobacco-caused illness and death.
Say what? DeMarco would have us believe that the entire 37 million pack increase in VA, WV, and PA was just from their own citizens and not the thousands Marylanders who are a short drive from the border.
Someone needs to inform Vinny that the adverb “therefore” is not an abracadabra word that magically transmogrifies fashionable fallacy and sloppy logic into truth.
Hypothetically, even if we take DeMarco’s claim at face value, it still proves the law of diminishing returns, i.e., the more you tax something the less you get from it. I have no idea if those three states tie their cigarette taxes to health care coverage but that’s 37 million extra packs worth of tax money going to it if they did. So DeMarco’s claims to the value of a higher cigarette tax are pure fantasy.
In fact, DeMarco’s push for a new cigarette tax increase proves the point because he knows the 2008 increase reduced the size of the pie and now he needs a larger piece of the pie to further expand his beloved program.
If DeMarco and his merry band are so concerned with the deleterious health effects of smoking they would have the testicular fortitude to call for a total ban on cigarettes cigars. But they won’t do that because it would shut off the spigot of taxpayer money they want directed to their goal of further expanding government health care.