There's a lot going on in Madison lately... budget budget budget.
Instead of attending to the serious business of why America should be the only industrialized country in the world without responsible health care, Glenn lights up a doobie with the money we're spending to keep kids from smoking. This piece of opinion showed up in our local advertising rag a week or so ago as well.
This time, in the Tomah Journal's - Opinion section. One comment grabbed my attention:
Cigarette smoking in this country has been declining for the last 40 years. Oddly, smoking among high school kids went up until dropping the last few years. There’s no mystery as to the reasons for the decline -- studies in the 1960s confirmed smoking was bad for your health, the military stopped handing out free cigarettes, and cigarette taxes went up.
In reality, almost no one starts smoking after about age 18. Almost no one. And no 12 year old who starts smoking pays a damn bit of attention to the warning labels, scientific studies, or receives free cigarettes from the military. Well, not yet anyway.
Couldn't the legislature start thinking about net, instead of gross? If we spend the money when they're young, we save a ton of money (in our taxes and insurance premiums) fixing their heart disease, emphysema, and lung cancer later. We might also remember that in a billion dollar budget, 10 million is 1% of the budget.
Personally, I'm sick and tired of seeing the words "conservative" or "Republican" being used to camouflage a philosophy of "penny wise and pound foolish."