More financial problems for USPS

The feds passed the PACT Act.  PACT is short for Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking.  It was named to get popular support and it did.  But it doesn’t just concern cigarettes but a significant portion of tobacco products.  However, it does NOT include all tobacco products.  It’s still OK to mail cigars.  Guess those must be popular in Washington, huh?

Trafficking?  Seriously?  Yes, use a loaded term and you’re sure to get support!  Grown ass adults want to smoke and are fed up with being charged taxes to cover every pet project on the planet so they turn to buying over the internet to avoid SOME of the taxes and SOME of the local price inflation from convenience stores.  The fed reacts by prohibiting the mailing of cigarettes and some (but not all) tobacco products.

Of course, this is primarily a protectionist bill targeted at crushing Native American business.  There’s a long history of doing that with the US Congress just hell bent on keeping Native Americans destitute.  This bill actually does something very traditional.  It proclaims to protect their business while actually doing the exact opposite.  It’s just plain offensive and outrageous.  I’m partly Native American.  Someone tell me why I should have be effectively prohibited from buying products from my tribal businesses because they can’t be shipped via USPS!

Yeah, OK, you’re not Native American and you don’t smoke (and don’t approve of smoking) so why should you care?  Here’s why…

If there’s any where near as much tobacco being shipped as the feds allege, the cessation of that shipping is going to cost YOU even if you don’t smoke.  The USPS is already in financial trouble with dropping use, due primarily to the increased use of electronic communications from facsimiles to email/internet.  They’re already planning to cut corners, do away with service on some days; close facilities and limit hours and other services.  And increase fees for services, again, of course.  All of that before the PACT Act passed.  Now they’ll be losing the business of shipping tobacco products and, oh, yeah, all the other little goodies from the same companies that smokers tag onto their orders.

You can bet money that the Seneca and other tribes and the smokers will find a way around this, as they have done before (and yippee for them for not just giving in as we usually do).  But now the shipping costs won’t benefit YOU.

Tax money, hooey.  Smokers shouldn’t be getting taxed to support every pet project governments can find anyway.

Who will really benefit?  Mostly, all those convenience stores that are already gouging us for gas prices.  Yeah, the places that ALWAYS jack the price up when oil prices go up but NEVER bring them all the way back down when those oil prices come down.  Yes, the people who started out by using gas as a loss leader to put service stations out of business and make getting vehicle repairs more expensive for all of us but who now gouge on gas prices.  Goody, more money going to the convenience stores and, well, I keep wondering how much of that money heads off overseas – and to what ends.

And, of course, the big American cigarette producers will benefit too.  They who have willingly put toxins in cigarettes so had no problems with the federally mandated chemicals that allegedly reduce the possibility of accidental fires but also are more chemicals burned and smoked into the environment; yes, they will be back to having a stranglehold monopoly on smokers.

Well, I guess I’ll have to take a good look at the PACT Act to see if it covers seeds and papers.  Might be time to plant some tobacco around the perimeter of my new lawn (hear it’s good for keeping snakes out anyway) and drag out the old rolling machine!  Smoking amongst the young is on the increase again so maybe it’s time to teach them how we used to do it way back when…

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