The Sun Herald Editorial, 2/24/8

Remember last year and the year before how raising taxes on cigarettes and cutting them on groceries was just the bees’ knees in the Legislature?

It had bipartisan support. It had a bandwagon full of do-gooder groups on board. It had rallies and press conferences. It was, by God, “The Right Thing To Do,” morally and fiscally.

But then, re-electiontime came and went, and now, for some reason, poof – the by-God right thing to do suddenly isn’t that big a deal. A bill to raise cigarette taxes $1 a pack, without the grocery tax cut, barely squeaked through the House last week, and is considered DOA in the Senate, and nobody’s saying much about it.

What happened? Could it be, possibly, that the whole cigarette/grocery tax deal was just, gasp, a bunch of politics? Say it isn’t so. Our Legislature would never base tax policy on political strategery instead of sound economics, would it?