Tuesday, January 13, 2009

In Sanford's state, smoke gets in your eyes


South Carolina failed the latest American Lung Association State of Tobacco Control report card, ranking as one of eight states to get an F in all four measures.

States were graded on smoke-free air laws, cigarette taxes, tobacco prevention and control programs, and coverage of cessation treatments, according to the report released today. The Palmetto State was singled out for the lowest cigarette tax in the nation — 7 cents per pack — and for failing to raise that tax despite bills passing both houses last year.

So why hasn't the cig. tax been raised? Well, there's this guy named Mark Sanford, bedding down in the governor's mansion, and there's a dirty rumor going around Columbia that he doesn't like taxes.

Last year’s bill to raise the cigarette tax....was vetoed by Gov. Mark Sanford. Sanford spokesman Joel Sawyer said via email that was because the proceeds would have been used to expand Medicaid. That didn’t make sense, he said, given that costs will grow while revenues would stay the same at best.

(Ea.) A Governor that has the balls to say he's against a tax increase on cigarettes, because it would expand Medicaid. Someone start a cult now.

While you're at it, watch the pretty woman play South Carolina's state anthem.