The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Monday, December 04, 2006

Not to worry-- the grandkids'll pick up the tab.

One of the worst things about Capitol Hill these days is the resurgence of legislation written by special interests. And one of the worst things about it is the way it represents another redistribution of wealth from America's poorest to America's wealthiest.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a former tobacco industry lobbyist, won a long battle in court to withdraw all funding for Mississippi's highly successful anti-smoking program, and last week the last dollar ran out.

"This is truly a case of one man, a longtime tobacco industry lobbyist, using his power to destroy a program that was reducing tobacco use among Mississippi's kids," said Matthew Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a national nonprofit organization.

In a report to be issued Wednesday, the group documents what it calls Barbour's "relentless attack" on what it said was the nation's most successful anti-smoking program.

Barbour's company raked in millions from the tobacco companies. The tobacco companies will make money from an increased number of smokers. The cost comes in on the healthcare side. And given that Mississippi is one of the poorest states in the nation, the high costs of caring for Mississippians dying of smoking-related illnesses will have to be passed on to the rest of us.