Opinion: Proposition 29 Likely to be a Close Race

A one dollar tax hike on each pack of cigarettes has a voter approval rate of just over 50%.

Written by JUSTIN LIN / Published June 1, 2012  

Proposition 29 is a one dollar tax hike on cigarettes that had a recent survey by the Public Policy Institute in California state that approval for the law has dropped to 53 percent, from 67 percent in March.

Those supporting the bill say that the drop in approval is due to the funding from companies that in opposition to this proposition.

It is still quite likely that this proposition will pass and will add on to the so called “sin taxes” that have been passed before.

Sin taxes are extremely interesting in that they do not function immediately. What they do is discourage future users from using the product. Proposition 29 reminded me of Prohibition and why the war on drugs and its prohibition is a controversial issue. As the use of drugs continues to rise, there is pressure for the drugs to be legalized on a national level. Often, when substances are banned or made illegal, it is difficult to regulate them, especially when such substances can be naturally grown.

The government is able to discourage use of certain substances that are harmful to the human condition through sin taxes. In addition, by making a substance legal, the government often eliminates the cartel immediately.

We no longer see tobacco or alcohol cartels. The rise of gangsters such as Al Capone in the 1920’s was at least partially due to prohibition and his bootlegging.

This sin tax will take a step to discourage smoking, which is definitely detrimental to one’s health. Even libertarians may find themselves supporting this proposition, especially those of the Chicago and the Public Choice Schools.

In the end, we will have to see, but it is likely to be close and heated.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s