Monday, March 24, 2008

Business, Not Smoke, Rising At Smoke-Free Restaurants

Larry Sussman of the Journal Sentinel finds that business is good at two suburban restaurants that recently went smoke-free.

Of course, you wouldn't want the government, which establishes health codes throughout the culture, to do anything pro-active with this matter.


Anonymous said...


Would you support the out right ban of cigarette sales in Wisconsin? If this is for the public health, why not just make them illegal? What would Doyle do about the lost reveune then?

James Rowen said...

Good question. A few comments.

First. It's not about Doyle. He and several other governors and legislatures have instituted and raised cigarette taxes throughout the years.

Secondly: Personally, I do think cigarette sales should be outlawed, not nationally. Outlawing them in Wisconsin would create many many enforcement problems.

And I think the political process recognizes that, so it taxes them as a way to control them, and, ideally, as a way to minimize health-care costs and provide dollars for treatment programs.

Anonymous said...

So 100% of cigarette tax revenue goes to health care? I will bet you that does not happen. Like 100% of gas tax goes to roads.

Our great Governor loves to steal from peter to pay paul

James Rowen said...

Like I said, "ideally."

And get real: state revenues get moved around to meet problems. It happened before and it'll happen again.

Are you mad at Doyle, or cigarette taxes, or the way they are used?

Anonymous said...

I am not a smoker, but I do not agree with sin taxes. I cannot stand Doyle. He steals from one fund to pay off something else. I cannot wait until the State of Wisconsin loses in Court regarding the theft of the $200 million patient compensation fund theft. As a payer of the gas tax, that money should be used for roads, if you want to take the leap and use it for public transportation, I am okay with that too. I do not agree with using the money to fix a short fall in the general fund. That is wrong for him to do it. I do not care if it is Jim Doyle or Tommy Thompson. If the money is not that there, either cut spending or suggest a tax increase and justify it. Do not just raid surplus funds.

James Rowen said...

I like a little literary license as much as the next person, but "theft" and "stealing" are really inaccurate.

Money comes into the state, and it can be transferred around as the legislature sees fit when it votes.

Sin taxes are a form of social control because the behaviors under the influence of the behavior have consequences far and beyond the primary user.

Alcohol? Drunk-driving wrecks, lost lives lost wages, traffic enforcement, court costs, and so forth.

Tobacco? Cancer, second-hand smoke, etc.

And if the greater good says use that money elsewhere, fine.

If you don't like, vote out the legislators who agreed to it.

Anonymous said...


If you do not think that raiding $200 million of the patient compensation fund is not theft, you are not as smart as I thought you were. Maybe you should review the words irrevocable trust.

I plan on voting against any democrat or republican who agrees to these transfers.

James Rowen said...

Well, call me stupid, but if the Legislature in plain daylight transfers the money, I don't think it's stealing.