Congress is Paving a Monopoly for Big Tobacco

Today’s Message: @YourLawmaker: Stop the #BigTobacco bailout in the highway bill S.1813. It’s a tax hike and will cost me my job.

Will members of Congress ever learn?

Once again, your powerful elected lawmakers are quietly trying to slip a special favor to Big Tobacco. Well, we found out about it and we plan to expose every dirty detail we can find. What I need you to do is spread the word. Tell your House Representative, your Senator, your milkman and everyone else you know: “TAKE THE BIG TOBACCO BAILOUT OUT OF THE HIGHWAY BILL!”

Hidden in the U.S. Senate’s two-year, $109 billion dollar transportation bill (S.1813) is a tiny little provision that is a BIG PAYOFF to BIG TOBACCO. It’s a provision that RAISES TAXES on small business, heaps new and NEEDLESS REGULATIONS on small smoke shops, and threatens to ELIMINATE HUNDREDS of American jobs.

If you’ve not read my other posts, here’s the low down: This provision is Big Tobacco’s way of attacking people like me who like to roll their own smokes. I still remember rolling my own with a Zig Zag wrapper when I was in high school. Now, I have matured (a little). I’ve created my own flavorful tobacco blend, I use a smoothing filter, and I rent a rolling machine at my local head shop. Presto-chango and I’ve made my own smokes! BUT, when I roll my own smoke, that’s one fewer cigarette Big Tobacco can’t sell me. No Big Tobacco sale, no Big Tobacco profit. No profit for Big Tobacco means no private jets, no luxury yachts, no huge mansions, and no big bonuses for Big Tobacco executives. Big Tobacco thinks that’s a problem, and that’s where Congress comes in.

Big Tobacco has hired a few senators to do their bidding. The legislative staff for Montana Senator Max Baucus convinced a handful of his colleagues working on the nation’s highway bill to slide in language essentially shutting down small, family owned smoke shops where people can craft their own cigarettes. If Big Tobacco succeeds, we will ALL be forced back into buying Big Tobacco’s tasteless, crappy, chemical-treated, foreign-grown products. Yuck.

Who benefits if small smoke shops are driven out of business? That’s right, Big Tobacco.

Who loses if Congress slips this tax increase into the final version of the transportation bill? We do. The days of rolling your own smoke immediately evaporate.

What can we do? Make as much noise as possible. Call your U.S. House member. Call your U.S. Senators. Tell them STOP THE BIG TOBACCO BAILOUT. Tell them  DON’T SELL OUT TO BIG TOBACCO. Tell them to STOP THE MONOPOLY FOR BIG TOBACCO. And tell them WE WILL REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER.

Phone directory for the U.S. House: http://www.house.gov/representatives/

Phone directory for the U.S. Senate: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Call. Tweet. Facebook. Write letters. Anything and everything and now is the time, because we are under siege and they’re about to take away yet another one of our freedoms.

Stay tuned for updates and please follow me on Twitter. Retweet to your friends and let’s make this a BIG BUST for BIG TOBACCO.

– GR

On Twitter: @GeorgeRenome

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