The “pay for play” culture of corrupt cronyism is alive and well in Washington, DC.
Senator Max Baucus, (D) Montana, has just taken out an entire industry, its small business owners, and their employees with the stroke of a pen. By hiding a small amendment in the transportation bill that passed last week, Baucus ensured that every small “roll your own” tobacco company in the US will go “up in smoke”.
The roll-your-own cigarette companies sell papers and loose tobacco through retail outlets and vending machines. The market advantage of roll-your-own cigarettes is lower price and the pureness of the tobacco – the RYO companies do not add chemicals to the product like the big guys do.
Before Baucus’ amendment, the loose tobacco companies were exempt from the big sin taxes which afflict the finished cigarette manufacturers. His amendment eliminates this exemption, and the crushing cost of these taxes will snuff out the small companies, according to Robert Weissen, owner of nine Sin City Cigarette Factory outlets in Las Vegas.
These entrepreneurs are just trying to make an honest buck and are barely a blip on the big tobacco radar. The additional tax revenue will certainly not make a dent in the $16 trillion debt Baucus has helped create. Montana does not have any roll-your-own companies. So why does Baucus care about this tiny band of entrepreneurs? Well, among Baucus’ campaign contributors is Altria, aka Phillip Morris. Connect the dots.
Baucus has become the prototypical corrupt, sold-out, big-money, big-government, purely partisan, inside-the-beltway, showing-off-his-new-girlfriend cartoon character at its worst. He embodies everything a thinking citizen should abhor. Max does NOT represent Montana and seldom even SEES our beautiful state or its people. He has become an embarrassment to the citizens of the Big Sky state.
Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side
I got one hand in my pocket –
And the other one is flickin’ a cigarette
Alanis Morissette – Hand In My Pocket