March 7, 2007

Once a tobacco lobbyist, Always a tobacco lobbyist.

Republican tobacco-lobbyist-turned-Mississippi-governor Haley Barbour continues to work for tobacco industry.
The shoppers at the no-frills Brookshire’s supermarket — plate lunches $4.49, food stamps gladly accepted — have no doubt: swapping the nation’s highest state grocery tax for one of its lowest cigarette taxes is an excellent idea, and fie on the governor who opposes it. [..]

Up at the stately domed Mississippi Capitol, Gov. Haley Barbour, a former tobacco lobbyist, has other ideas. Studies, polls, protests at the Capitol, legislative sentiment and America’s highest cardiovascular disease rate notwithstanding, the governor of the poorest state is not budging, for the second year in a row: no cut in the 7 percent grocery tax and no increase in the 18-cents-a-pack third-lowest-in-the-nation, cigarette tax. [..]

And so it is that a bill to increase the cigarette tax to $1 a pack and cut the grocery tax in half overwhelmingly passed in the Mississippi House last month, remains bottled up in the State Senate Finance Committee, which is friendly to Mr. Barbour. Other poor states — Arkansas, South Carolina and Utah — have moved to cut their sales taxes on groceries. Not Mississippi.
Haley Barbour is another ‘family value’ Republican looking out for this client rather than for working families. This is a pattern. Conservatives will only choose their economic ideology over working people.


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