I am not a manufacturer. Don’t tax me like one. Stop the Big Tobacco bailout in the federal highway bill.

TODAY’S BOTTOM LINE: I am not a manufacturer. Don’t tax or treat me like one. Don’t use the federal highway bill to SELL OUT to BIG TOBACCO.

Right now in the U.S. Capitol, lawmakers are working out their differences between the competing House and Senate versions of a federal highway bill. Technically, it’s called the Surface Transportation Reauthorization bill and it’s supposed to invest our gas tax dollars in roads, bridges, mass transit, etc. EXCEPT the bill has now become a dangerous SELL OUT to BIG TOBACCO.

As I’ve mentioned before, Senator Max Baucus (D-Montana) corrupted the highway bill by attaching a shady provision that reclassifies tobacco stores where you can roll your own cigarettes as “tobacco manufacturing facilities.” Both Democrats and Republicans are selling out to Big Tobacco on this one, and we assume it’s because vast numbers of Big Tobacco lobbyists are swooping down on Congress with big campaign contributions.

Fortunately for people like you and me, this rat stinks to high heaven. And the more we ask our members about the Big Tobacco sellout, the more they’re going to want to wash this stinky rat off themselves.

REALITY CHECK: Should the Federal government REALLY view and treat mom and pop smoke shops the same as they treat Big Tobacco’s two-million square foot facilities?

Really? This cigarette making factory…

…and this store where you can roll your own blend of smokes deserve the SAME taxes and regulations?!!  Outrageous and wrong!!! 

We have to fight this provision and hold lawmakers to account for their position. We have to win because this reclassification will mean HIGHER TAXES and NEEDLESS REGULATION for small business owners. If allowed to succeed, this reclassification will drive small operators OUT OF BUSINESS. That means loss of community establishments, loss of local economic activity, and a big loss in JOBS!

But Big Tobacco doesn’t care about that. They just care about their profits. If they can use Congress and the Federal Government to shut down small mom and pop tobacco stores, then everyone will be forced to buy their crappy, industrial, tasteless smokes. Blah.

Join the fight. Follow me on Twitter @GeorgeRenome. Facebook and Tweet to your members of Congress and tell them NOT to sellout to Big Tobacco.

Your feedback is appreciated!

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