Why a True Republican Can't Vote for Governor Beebe's Cigarette Tax


  • Governor Beebee's Cigarette Tax is approximately a $100 million tax increase.  It is really a $178 million tax increase because with matching medicaid funds, health officials in Arkansas reported that the total amount would come to about  $178 million.


  • This tax increase will take about $200.00 out of the income of some 22% to 25% of the adults in Arkansas (22% to25% of the adult population smoke) that could be spent in the private sector on other merchandise. Add to that the other $75 to $100 million taxes that citizens pay in federal taxes for the Medicaid program.


  • The capital from the taxes on cigarettes will be taken out of the private sector and run through government programs [which always tend to be more costly], increasing government control and government employees.  


  • The tax money ( $178 million) will be taken from families who are already hard pressed financially and used to expand welfare type programs (redistribution of wealth).


  • Many of these programs will be expanding the amount of money paid to illegal aliens through health care since the health programs are designed for people with low incomes. It is evident from reports that the Arkansas Health Department doesn't even keep records indicating how many illegals they serve. They say they don't even ask for documentation.  See this link for that information.  http://www.nwanews.com/adg/National/201842/


  • The programs that will be funded by the cigarette tax (trauma center and 20 other health-related programs) will grow the needs of government and health programs


  • Since health care is in the fastest cost rising sector of all, the initial cost of the programs will increase drastically from year to year and will require more taxes to maintain the programs.   And no program is ever cut or reduced and no waste is ever cut.


  • The Governor made the reduction of the $30 million grocery tax reduction a priority saying it has to be taken care of first before the state  can ever look at the kind of taxes in the state.  But from the same pool of money (from consumers) he is now going to tax the people  $100 million.  So $30 million could help stimulate the economy; but now $70 million will be taken out of the economy, blunting any stimulus the grocery tax reduction could provide. 


  • The state of Arkansas consistently over- taxes the people and consistently winds up with surpluses which they then spend where they want to rather than giving it back to the taxpayers.  The state is now sitting on a $300 million surplus.  They could use $100 million of this money for the initial start up fund and increase the budget in those departments, that they are expanding with this proposed cigarette tax, for the coming year and not have to raise any new taxes.  They would still have $200 million surplus.


  • No one knows where the money will actually be spent.  Proponents say it is for the trauma center and 20 other health related programs.  But the bill itself  (http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2009/R/Bills/HB1204.pdf) doesn't name any of these programs but only says the money will go into the general fund. Although appropriations bills have to be voted on for these expenditures, those bills go through as fast as popcorn pops and get very little scrutiny. The money can be switched around from one department to another without Arkansans ever knowing it.


  •  The federal government is now  pushing the use of federal funds for  "family planning," a euphemism for contraceptives and  abortion.  Since the federal government  will be providing matching funds for the states in the form of Medicaid, the government will set the rules for how the money is spent. 


  •  Arkansas tax could very well be used to fund abortion counseling and abortions in the near future (see following links for the article explaining how this will likely happen.  States that have waivers to receive Medicaid money for "family planning" (Arkansas is one of 27 states that have these waivers) are required to pay for abortions for mothers whose lives are in danger. In the future other abortions are likely to be required with the Washington Democrats in control. http://www.wpaag.org/Leg%2009%20-%20Connecting%20the%20dots-cigarett%20tax%20to%20abortion.htm

          http://www.wpaag.org/Leg%2009%20-%20Cigarette%20tax%20will%20it%20fund%20abortions.htm ).


Information presented by Representative Ed Garner in his debate with Rep Greg Reep, sponsor of the Governor's cigarette tax,  with Steve Barnes helped me formulate these points (although I added some points and did not include all of his points).   Representative Garner did an excellent job in that debate and made many conservatives and Republicans proud! The link to that debate is found at this link:  http://www.aetn.org:80/programs/legislativeupdate/archives/posts/january_30,_2009


This article can be read online at this link: http://www.wpaag.org/Leg%2009%20-


 and can be commented on at this link: http://arkansaswatch.blogspot.com/2009/02/why-true-republican-cant-vote-for.html