By Ray Dunaway

Connecticut collects hundreds of millions of dollars yearly thanks to taxes on cigarettes, not to mention the hundreds of millions collected from Big Tobacco due to the settlement agreed to years ago, which was to intended to reimburse the state for expenses incurred from treating smoking-related illnesses.

Oh yes- and to fund anti-smoking programs.

But as is usually the case, the Legislature spent, and is spending, the bulk of the settlement and tax revenues on other needs. What needs, you ask?  Never mind- it’s none of your business.

The federal portion of the tax bite is used to fund S-CHIP, which is supposed to provide children’s healthcare through Medicaid (e.g. The Husky Plan).  But lately, delayed or reduced Medicaid reimbursement to Connecticut is playing a significant part in the current state budget deficit .

So my question is, if a smoker should drop the habit, further reducing the amount of tax money flowing into government, isn’t that a form of tax evasion?  O.K. that’s a silly observation.  Or is it?

A recent article appearing in the official “Journal of Trust-Funders”, better known as The Nation, accused parents who choose to have one parent stay-at-home and raise the kids while the other partner works of just that.  This charge is inspired by a proposal from President Obama in his latest State of the Union which would expand tax credits for working parents.

Some conservatives objected, charging that this tax break would discriminate against parents who prefer taking care of their own offspring instead of dropping them off at a daycare, staffed by highly- skilled unionized childcare professionals. The most important part of that job description is “unionized”.

The article refers to NYT blogger, Josh Barro, who suggests:
“single-earner households are getting a bonus another way: the labor a mother or father performs in the home caring for a kid or wiping down a counter is unpaid and therefore goes untaxed. When two parents work outside the home and pay someone to watch their children, both those incomes are taxed.”

And those lost revenues hurt…..children.  Not to mention the village, since it takes a village to raise a child, according to the oft-cited African proverb. Oddly enough, no one has been able to find the source of that saying.

P.J. O’Rourke thinks the country of origin may be Hallmarkia.  Sounds about right.


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