When Scott Walker ran one of the promises that he made was to repeal the smoking ban. Not only did this ban violate the Constitution namely the takings clause of the fifth and 14th amendment. ” nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
Mr Walker not only reneged on that promise, it appears that he is expanding the attack on smokers using the exact same methods that Comrade Doyle used to enact the ban. The state budget. First here is Scott in his own words on the smoking ban.
Mr Walker has a multi-pronged attack on smokers in the budget.
The first is an attack on the owners of the RYO machines on page 435
17. Cigarette Regulation Updates
The Governor recommends defining organizations that operate roll-your-own cigarette rolling machines for public use as cigarette manufacturers. The Governor also recommends studying the use of additional cigarette stamping methods. The fiscal impact from the change in regulation of roll-your-own tobacco machines is an estimated increase in tax revenue of $1.4 million in FY14 and FY15.
Ignoring the fact that there will be no increase in revenue, actually revenue will go down as a result of smuggling, it is a matter of justice. Should the books be balanced on the backs of smokers?
On the Freedom index Wisconsin rates towards the bottom we are the 12th worst, down two points from 2009.
Wisconsin performs below average in a number of personal freedom categories. The state has high victimless crimes arrest rates, though its drug enforcement rate is below average. It has the worst gaming laws in the country (social gambling is not allowed) and almost the strictest campaign finance laws. The state also performs below average on gun freedom and travel freedom. Home schools are regulated with some onerous notification requirements. Wisconsin has some of the best alcohol laws in the country, with taxes fairly low across the board. However, its cigarette taxes are very high and smoking bans are extensive. Wisconsin recently enacted a domestic partnership law. Its asset forfeiture laws score well (over one standard deviation better than average).
- Reduce the income tax burden while continuing to cut back spending through cuts in government employment and public employee benefits.
- Pass a right-to-work law, whenever political conditions so allow.
- Reform tobacco and marijuana regulations, using the state’s alcohol-friendly beer, wine, and spirits regulations as a model.
The second assault is on Government employees. On Page 167
The Governor recommends that the Group Insurance Board expand the current wellness program and implement a tobacco use surcharge for state employees beginning in calendar year 2014. The Governor also recommends increasing expenditure authority for supplies and services related to these wellness initiatives.
4. Modifications to Group Insurance by the Group Insurance Board
The Governor recommends a statutory modification that will allow expansions of group insurance coverage only if deemed cost-effective by the Group Insurance Board.
Employee Trust Funds 155
Of course it has been proven time and again that smokers cost society less not more so any surcharge is punitive and more “Nanny Statism” and not good policy.
The last is the funding of the very groups that lobby against smokers. They do it under the guise of Quit lines but these lines are the very groups that lobby against smokers so any funding to them is direct funding to their lobbying efforts since it frees up their other money. Page 220
To support economic prosperity and quality of life, the department exercises multiple roles in the protection and promotion of the health and safety of the people of Wisconsin.
PROGRAMS, GOALS, OBJECTIVES AND ACTIVITIES
Note: Programs, goals, objectives and activities have been modified.
Program 1: Public Health Services Planning, Regulation and Delivery
Goal: Provide QuitLine tobacco cessation services for up to 8,000 BadgerCare Plus adults and First Breath face-to-face cessation counseling for up to 3,000 pregnant BadgerCare Plus members using financial incentives as a tool for increasing engagement in treatment and increasing quit rates.
Objective/Activity: Create structure and process to link BadgerCare Plus members in South Central and Northeastern Wisconsin to the QuitLine by January 2012.
Objective/Activity: Create structure and process to link BadgerCare Plus pregnant women in Southeastern Wisconsin to First Breath by January 2012.
Objective/Activity: Implement protocols for evaluation by March 2012. Evaluate effectiveness and return on investment of individual incentives on tobacco cessation by December 2015.
Of course the above is pushed by those who work in tobacco control and lobby for these laws. What it does not show that the big pharma solutions that they push are not only ineffective but they fail to show their ties to the big pharmaceutical companies pushing them.
Again Nanny Statism is not a legitimate function in a constitutional government.
The tactics used by Scott Walker are identical to those of Comrade Doyle and one can only wonder how much this has to do with his wife’s ties to the American Lung Association. From her bio page.
First Lady Tonette Walker
First Lady Tonette Walker was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wis. She spent more than 20 years employed in the insurance industry before working for the American Diabetes Association. Currently, the first lady works in the development department for the American Lung Association.