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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Pony up

I always thought "a good blend" was, oh, a Johnnie Walker or Seagram's Seven Crown in which the cheap fillers don't overwhelm the malted grain. But, no, it refers to the mix of the fix for Indianapolis' beleagured sports stadiums:

Indiana's alcohol tax would be doubled and hospitality taxes would be raised again under a Statehouse plan designed to bail out the financially struggling group that runs the professional sports stadiums in Indianapolis.

Sen. Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) wants to add about 2 cents to the price of a shot of liquor and a penny to the price of a 12-ounce beer, starting July 1. Kenley's plan would also provide money from sports fans, the city of Indianapolis, the NFL Indianapolis Colts and NBA Indiana Pacers.

"I feel like it's a good blend," said Kenley, who planned to announce his proposal at a legislative hearing this morning.

The Indianapolis Capital Improvement Board expects to be $47 million short in its operation of Lucas Oil Stadium, the home of the Colts; Conseco Fieldhouse, home of the Pacers; Victory Field, home of the Indianapolis Indians; and the Indiana Convention Center. The board plans to cut expenses about $10 million, and Kenley wants the Pacers and Colts to each pitch in $5 million a year.

That means every time you have a shot and a beer, you would be helping make it possible for Peyton Manning and Danny Granger to continute the lifestyles they've grown accustomed to. That's not quite as heroic as minimum-wage or even unemployed smokers contributing to the health insurance of children from families at three times the poverty level every time they light up, but you're still being made a part of the whole. You belong, you contribute, you matter. So quit yer whinin'.


Bob G.
Thu, 04/02/2009 - 9:00am

Whatever happened to the days when smoking and drinking meant a personal choice of ONE'S OWN demise, as opposed to another's idea of someone else's UPKEEP?

I miss that.

tim zank
Thu, 04/02/2009 - 6:01pm

Get used to it boys. I just paid $60 for a carton of smokes and that is before the new Fed tax kicks in. The irony is, when I quit (along with the scads of others that won't pay that much) I'll then live long enough to laugh my arse off as the nanny do-gooders that can't understand simple math will suddenly realize the billions of dollars of revenue they were getting from us, will then come from them.

Let's say there are 50 million smokers in the U.S. (probably a conservative figure) smoking a pack a day. Say the average cost is about $60 a week (a little over a pack a day roughly) of which half is taxes (local,state,federal) which is $30 a week in tax revenue.
$30 x 50 million smokers = $1.5 BILLION DOLLARS A WEEK IN REVENUE. That's gonna be hard to replace without making a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread about $10 a whack.

The general public has NO IDEA how this is going to effect them economically, all they hear and see are inflated and exaggerated statistics, scary commercials, and pompous politicians pandering to constituents about the evils of tobacco.

Take into consideration the lost revenues by the manufacturers, the delivery systems, the retailers and so on and you'll arrive at some more astounding numbers. Add to that we'll all live longer and add billions in costs to social security, medicare & medicaid (or plain old socialized medicine) and whatever else is available.

Every action has a reaction. I just hope the rest of you are ready to pick up the tab because they're gonna tax it and regulate it out of existence for our own good (bless their mathematically challenged hearts) all the while killing the goose that has been laying one hell of a golden egg for a lot of Americans. Be careful what you wish for, because you might just get it, and in this case you WILL get it.

Bob G.
Fri, 04/03/2009 - 8:36am

I just worry about the price of VASELINE...I mean if We're all going to "get it", don'cha think it might HURT...just a tad?
Check out the online ciggie suppliers.
They've got good prices in comparison with local stores.

Or...maybe, we could start GROWING tobacco?
One HELLUVA "Victory Garden" there, eh?

BTW...I did NOT WISH for ANY of this...just so we're clear on that.