Despite having the second lowest smoking rate in the country, voters in California appear to have rejected Proposition 29, which would have more than doubled the tobacco excise tax.
Proposition 29’s supporters purported that the measure would raise $775 million in funds for cancer research, but the results from California show that smokers and non-smokers alike saw that Prop. 29 would’ve funneled taxpayers dollars to an unaccountable bureaucracy.
It's clear that because of this, Proposition 29 was never really about smoking at all.
These results come at a crucial time in California. With a budget deficit of over $16 billion accrued through years of profligate spending, voters sent a clear message to the politicians and special interests in Sacramento: stop adding more layers of bureaucracy that don’t fulfill their mission, stop taking money from the taxpayer’s wallet to send out of state, and stop killing job-creating activity in the Golden State.
At 10.9 percent, California’s unemployment rate is painfully above the national average. Jobs are without doubt at a premium during this failing recovery, yet Proposition 29 would have driven shop owners out of business or simply out of California. Worse still, Proposition 29 would have duplicated the bureaucratic agencies already tasked with reducing cancer prevalence in the state and through the nation. This is evidenced by the federal government’s spending $6 billion per year on cancer research and California’s spending $70 million on tobacco prevention programs.
Though Mayor Bloomberg is busy restricting the size of the soft drinks you can purchase and Illinois is preoccupied with raising tobacco taxes as well, voters in California have demonstrated a recognition that when it comes to taxation and waste doled out from Sacramento, enough is enough.