The Instigator
Republican95
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
mongeese
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points

Tobacco taxes ought to be illeagelized

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
mongeese
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/12/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,289 times Debate No: 10776
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (3)

 

Republican95

Pro

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Resolution
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Special taxes put upon the sale of a tobacco product, outside of sales tax, ought to be illegalized by the government.

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Definitions
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Special taxes-any tax that is imposed on the purchase of a tobacco product, but not levied on other products. Sales tax is not a "special tax".

Tobacco Product-any product that was manafactured using tobacco. This includes, but is not limited too: cigarettes, cigars, "snuff", etc.

Illegalized by the government-the federal government ought to pass a law which makes it illegal for a state or local government to levy a tax on tobacco products

**Note: Definitions are rules, not contentions. Do not accept the debate if you do not agree with/don't like the definitions
**Note: I do not wish to argue semantics, I would like to argue at the issues at hand.

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Arguments
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1) Tobacco tax is unfair. Tobacco tax specifically targets one segment of the population (smokers) and charges them extra taxes. Also, most smokers are poorer than the average American, this puts extra financial strain on their already stretched budgets. This is quite unfair, what the government is essentialy saying is "we don't like you smoking, so we're gonna make it expensive". Which brings me to my next point:

2) Since when is it the government's job to make a citizen's personal health decisions? What's next? Is the government going to start mandating that everyone have at least 60 minutes of intensive exercise everyday? I understand that smoking is quite unhealthy, but that doesn't mean it should be subjected to a tax. Ice cream, french fries, and doughnuts are also unhealthy, but they are not taxed. Why not? The government ought to respect the citizens' right to make personal decisions for themsleves and the right to not be penalized with taxes for making a perfectly legal decision. The tobacco tax is almost like a fine.

3) Tobacco taxes stunt economic growth. This tax unfairly puts strain on tabacco sellers and manafacturers. Which is unfair. I understand that tobacco is quite unhealthy, but so are hamburgers, and I don't see McDonalds getting a tax hike anytime soon. The government cannot play favorites.

I thank whoever accepts this debate.
mongeese

Con

I would like to thank Republican95 for starting this debate.

Contention 1-: It would be unconstitutional for the federal government to illegalize special taxes on tobacco.

I would like to point to the United States Constitution, Article 1, Section 8 [1]. It lists all powers of Congress. Congress does not have the power to make local or state taxes illegal.

There is also Article 1, Section 10 [2]. This lists the powers forbidden from the states. Special taxes on specific products are not forbidden from the states.

Finally, there is Amendment 10 [3]:
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

The power to illegalize a tax is not delegated to the United States, nor is it prohibited to the states. Therefore, only the states have the power to illegalize special taxes as they see fit.

Congress lacks the power to illegalize special taxes. Therefore, it cannot and should not pass law to illegalize special taxes.

Contention 1+: Tobacco tax is unfair.

There is nothing illegal about discriminating against certain products by the state. The smokers do not have to pay the tax; by all means, they should quit, as it would help their health and their wallets. Additionally, this money going to the government then goes to programs to help people quit, which overall helps tobacco addicts.

Contention 2+: The government should not make citizens' health decisions.

The government is not making any health decisions for anybody. It is merely taxing a specific product that it finds worthy of more taxes. Plus, if people stop smoking, it's for their own good.

Contention 3+: Tobacco taxes stunt economic growth.

Healthier people can do more for the economy. Therefore, the people who quit smoking stop spending their money on cigarettes and start spending their money on other things. Essentially, my opponent's argument about the harm to the tobacco industry is the broken window fallacy, in which the money would instead be diverted to other things that former cigarette smokers originally forgot, like rent.
As for McDonalds, people need to eat. People do not need to smoke, and anybody who does needs help. This help can be provided by government.

In conclusion, my opponent's proposition is completely unconstitutional and violates the sovereign rights of the states, and therefore should not be put into action.

1. http://www.usconstitution.net...
2. http://www.usconstitution.net...
3. http://www.usconstitution.net...
Debate Round No. 1
Republican95

Pro

Republican95 forfeited this round.
mongeese

Con

Extend all arguments.

Banning tobacco taxes would be unconstitional.
Debate Round No. 2
Republican95

Pro

I am sorry that I was unable to respond last round, so this round I will try best to clarify and defend my points.

Contention 1-Constitutionality
While I appreciate my opponet's respect for the constitution, I believe that he is a little bit behind the times. Since when does the federal government follow the constitution? If they did, then why do we have such things as Guantanomo Bay, where terror suspects are held without a trial?

The point is, the constitution is a joke!

And since all power the states' have are simply the powers that the federal government has agreed to grant them, I don't see anything wrong with the Feds changing their minds.

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Fairness
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*My opponent still hasn't answered the question "if it is okay to tax cigarettes, can the government also tax ice cream, hamburges, and french fries?"* It wasn't retorical, It was suppose to be answered.

Whateva! I give up on this debate! Vote for CON!
mongeese

Con

My opponent has apparently conceded, so I will just end this with a final note on the Constitution.

My opponent claims that because the federal government DOES not follow the Constitution, it therefore SHOULD not follow the constitution. What the fed has corrupted itself into in no way reflects what the federal government should do.

My opponent calls the Constitution, a document of limited government written by some of the most brilliant men in the current era, a joke. The only joke about it is how the fed stopped following it, an act which should not have occured.

My opponent finally claims that the state only has the powers granted to them by the federal government, making the federal government appear to be some omnipotent entity that only lets states have rights. This is absurd. The fed dirives its powers from the states, not the other way around. The states got together to write a Constitution to grant limited power to a central government.

After that, my opponent concedes, so vote CON!
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Kleptin 7 years ago
Kleptin
Concession by PRO. RFD unnecessary.
Posted by Ore_Ele 7 years ago
Ore_Ele
I am greatly looking forward to this debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by cwbaker2 7 years ago
cwbaker2
Republican95mongeeseTied
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Vote Placed by Kleptin 7 years ago
Kleptin
Republican95mongeeseTied
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Vote Placed by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
Republican95mongeeseTied
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Total points awarded:07