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January 26, 2010

Your Government at What It Calls Work

Posted by Gregory of Yardale at January 26, 2010 5:32 AM

From The Blogmacracy:

Undercover ATF agents in Virginia have funneled more than 250 million cigarettes onto the nation's streets in the past three years through black market sales targeting smugglers, an Associated Press review has found.

If you read the article, you learn that...

1. The Government is using a huge array of law enforcement and counter-terrorism resources to crack down on sales of a legal... if admittedly harmful... product, because states and cities are losing tax revenue to the ... black underground market.

2. The "crime" that these resources are turned on was created when the Government jacked up the taxes on a legal... if admittedly harmful... product to levels that were unsustainable.

3. As a side effect, the Government is complicit in sales of tobacco to minors, but anti-tobacco activists are okay with that.

4. Tobacco companies make profits on it because the Government pays them for the ciggies used in the sting operations.

I'm not pro-tobacco, I think smoking is a disgusting habit. But I think the anti-tobacco movement has traveled the classic slippery slope that began with commonsense reforms and has evolved into mindless zealotry. (See also: The Civil Rights movement). And this whole scheme just seems like a misplaced use of money and resources made possible by zeal-driven activists and voracious government appetites for power and taxes.