As the U.S. government throws tax money on the banking bonfire, you have to wonder how many billion-dollar notes are left in the Washington ATM machine for health-care reform. If an income-tax hike isn’t in the cards for 95% of Americans, there will surely be a revenue hunt elsewhere.
The last time a president was looking for major health-reform dollars, it was Bill Clinton, and he targeted tobacco. The reform didn’t happen, but federal, state, and municipal taxes on cigarettes soared from about 52 cents a pack in 1994 to $2.22 per pack in 2007.
Despite that rise, tobacco tax revenue falls far short of the health-care bill associated with tobacco-related disease. Read More