Thursday, February 5, 2009

I support providing health care for children. However, the tax provision in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) bill will have devastating, unintended consequences.

Our little family-owned, 115-year-old cigar factory will not be able to sell enough at the increased price to remain open, and our 59 employees, half over 50 years of age, will become unemployed. The brutal tax burdens from SCHIP will crush the small cigar businesses and the roll-your-own cigarette businesses. Thousands of American jobs in the myriad of support businesses such as tobacco growing, tobacco processing, package manufacturing, transportation and sales operations will be lost.

I am proud of our new president and his repeatedly proclaimed intent to preserve and create jobs in the United States. Someone in his group has failed to recognize the loss of thousands of jobs resulting from the tax provision in SCHIP.

We have seen a $700 billion bailout bill passed in the House so far and proposals for a bill of another $825 billion to $1 trillion stimulus package.

There has been no mention of new taxes to fund any of these. The SCHIP bill is the only spending bill I am aware of that has a tax, and it is a brutal one. The new administration could propose a suspension of the tax provision in the SCHIP bill and fund it the same way as the bailout and stimulus package and save thousands of American jobs.


San Antonio, Texas

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