Tobacco subsidies support smoking

February 5, 2011

I am usually amused and even sometimes intellectually stimulated by Bruce Hetrick’s opinion pieces. However, his piece (Jan. 24) drawing parallels between the tragic shootings in Tucson and tobacco related deaths is over the top.

Hetrick’s assertion that tobacco money lines campaign coffers made me laugh out loud. Trial lawyers line the pockets of members of one political party so that they can target the industry for massive legal settlements. Growers line the pockets of members of both parties in growing states to ensure that the taxpayer continues to subsidize the product.

The real tragedy is the way that tobacco illustrates government waste. Taxpayer subsidies to growers of tobacco makes about as much sense as paying people to turn food into ethanol.

If you don’t want tobacco, write to your congressman and insist on eliminating subsidies to growers. While you’re at it, tell them to stop subsidizing ethanol, mohair, sugar, pineapple, wind, solar … .

Craig Gigax

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