Cut the crap. Pass the cigarette tax or shut the hell up about how you care about kids, health care, working families and small businesses.
Yesterday, the Senate Finance Committee tried to pass an increase on South Carolina’s lowest-in-the-nation cigarette tax. GOP Senator Alexander, upon realization that he did not have the votes to pass, adjourned debate on the bill.
That’s because Senate Democrats, led by John Land, attacked the bill’s health care insurance subsidies for small business owners with employees whose family incomes are below 200% of poverty level. (Don’t let the 200% scare you: for a family of four, that’s around $40,000 per year, not exactly Warren Buffet territory.)
Now why would Land suggest such a thing? He says that he can’t support the bill, because it would be better to expand Medicaid instead. While that might be preferable, that’s not going to happen, and John Land knows it. Not this year, not in this economy, not in this state.
Could it be that the Democrats have been influenced by prominent Democratic player and Altria lobbyist Dwight Drake? Could it be that they pretend to take the high road, calling for a needed program expansion that they know has no chance of passage and killing a perfectly good bill, all in hopes of scoring some of that Altria smack?
If the bill doesn’t get out of the Committee tomorrow, odds are it’s dead again. Last year the GOP killed it. This year, the Dems will have done it.
Funny how that keeps happening, isn’t it?