In recent years Congress has done all sorts of things against the tobacco industry. And yet they’re also subsidizing the tobacco industry. I am sure that many of the same congressmen who vote to clobber tobacco also vote to give tobacco a handout. That’s the way the tangled web works in Washington. It’s deals and special interests and more deals and more special interests. It’s not the congressman’s money, after all. Just yours and mine. And we’ve got money to burn, apparently.
A few years ago there were droughts in one state and floods in another that spoiled the tobacco crop. This was bad news for the tobacco farmers of those states. So the government bailed them out by buying up the useless tobacco crop. Well, that’s one way to solve your financial problems, I guess. Just get the government to send you a check.
Honey, can you get the government on the phone? That particular bailout cost the government $661 million. It was illegal for the government to even try to find domestic buyers for the useless crop, and it couldn’t find foreign buyers either. So the tobacco has just been moldering in warehouses for four years. And now the bureaucrats have finally decided to burn it all.
The moral of the story is, government, get out of the tobacco-industry harassment business, and get out of the tobacco-industry subsidy business. And get out of the very expensive business of chronically catering to special interests at the expense of the common good. I guess that’s three morals.
This is Common Sense.Â I’m Paul Jacob.