Made in the U.S.A.

Are you having as much trouble as I am locating the elusive ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ label?

I went shopping last night for a blow dryer. Against my better judgment we shopped at Walmart. Money is tight, right?

Well if what I found at Walmart last night is any indication, times are going to get a lot tougher. I found one blow dryer made in Costa Rica, every other one was made in China.

It’s not that I have a personal grudge against China. But let’s be honest, we all know that workers in China aren’t paid a living wage and that working conditions in China are horrid by American standards.

Imports flooding our market

Years ago Americans, fed up with a flood of cars being imported into this country, causing major layoffs in the automotive industry, staged a huge campaign: "Buy American." Whatever happened to that slogan?

Automakers survived and appear to be competing in a global market. I’d like to think that Americans still remember the ad campaign and are still checking labels. I know our family does.

Tobacco Fights Back

I’m happy to note that tobacco farms are finally fighting back. The film entitled, Tobacco Money Feeds My Family" Depicts the lives of several local tobacco farmers, who explain tobacco’s importance to the state’s economy as they continue to plant their crops, pray for rain during prolonged droughts, and adjust to recent changes in America’s smoking culture.

Filmmaker Cynthia Hill also recounts her own childhood memories of tobacco farming’s impact on Pink Hill, North Carolina, where she grew up learning to respect the vitality of tobacco farming culture. In the wake of recent bans on smoking in major American cities, Hill’s film moves the discussion from consumption to production, asking what the history of tobacco farming tells us all about race, class, urbanization, and health issues in contemporary American society. This will be an eye-opener for smokers and non-smokers alike.

Tobacco farming goes back to our roots, it’s as American as apple pie and baseball. U.S. farmers currently produce over 1.4 billion pounds of tobacco a year.

While our textile industries are being exported to China, our technology industry is being exported to India and finding the "Made in U.S.A." label is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. If you don’t believe me, take a stroll down your local department stores aisles. See how many you can find.

While I sit here smoking my Marlboro menthol cigarettes I can sleep easy tonight, knowing that I’m doing my part to help feed American families. Families who know what it’s like to put in an honest days work and contribute to our countries economic health, not to mention paying their fair share of taxes.

Virginia to Raise Taxes

Speaking of taxes… The state of Virginia has the lowest tax rate on cigarettes in the country. At 2.5-cents it has not changed since 1966.

Senator H. Russell Potts, Jr. (Virginia) hopes to change that, he has introduced legislation to raise the cigarette tax to $1.

What legislators in favor of raising taxes fail to realize is that smokers are not going to be forced into paying tax rates that are way out of line.

Our government has been in spending mode for so long, they don’t know how to stop. So, instead of cutting back, they think they can bail the state(s) out by increasing taxes. Cigarette smokers are as good a target as any to them. However, most cigarette smokers just drive over the border to their neighboring state to make their purchases, order them online or over the telephone.

Why pay $40.00 for a carton, when you can pay $25? It’s a no brainer. Smokers can purchase cigarettes from local Indian Tribes for very reasonable rates, considering the fact that they are exempt from sales tax.

Alcohol Flows Freely

The whole reason they aren’t raising taxes on alcohol is because none of our legislators want to take a bite in the wallet. Take a good look at all the red noses in Washington and it becomes apparent. Legislators can no longer smoke at their desks, so many have quit but the drinks still flow freely on the hill and at your state capital building.

If prohibition in the 1920’s didn’t work, what makes them think they can tax smoking out of existence? It’s not going to happen.

Just as the so-called "War on Drugs" has been an expensive endeavor, producing little effect on the flow of drugs around the country, the current war on smokers will prove to be just another way to spend taxpayer dollars, so that government leaders can give lip service to empty campaign promises.

Forces International

Forces International has been working hard to expose the truth about recent studies on second-hand smoke, the dangers of which have been severely over-estimated and misrepresented. These studies are being used to promote anti-smoking laws around the world.

Did You Know? An Enormous German study, published April, 2003 on passive smoke, cancer and cardiovascular disease says: No Connection exists. Dating back one year, this milestone study published by the American Journal of Epidemiology has been so thoroughly ignored by the public health officials and its media servants – it has escaped even our attention! The enormous study covers 37 years, during which thousands of flight attendants have been followed and monitored for cancer. Furthermore, this is not a study based on questionnaires asking whether uncle Jack smoked more or less in 1956, as it’s the case for most antismoking junk science — nor it is something started and finished in a few months. Finally, it is neither financed by the tobacco industry, the pharmaceutical industry, nor is it supported by "public health" funds allocated to produce scientific ammunition in support of public health’s fraudulent data on smoking. Download the study Here is an excerpt that says it all:

"We found a rather remarkably low SMR [standardized incidence ratio] for lung cancer among female cabin attendants and no increase for male cabin attendants, indicating that smoking and exposure to passive smoking may not play an important role in mortality in this group. Smoking during airplane flights was permitted in Germany until the mid-1990s, and smoking is still not banned on all charter flights. The risk of cardiovascular disease mortality for male and female air crew was surprisingly low (reaching statistical significance among women)."

Smoking Banned

An editorial in the December 6 issue of The Lancet calls for a national ban on tobacco use in the United Kingdom. According to the poll 67% voted in favor of a ban.

Currently California, Connecticut, Florida, and New York State have enacted legislation banning smoking in public places. In addition, parts of Canada, Thailand, and south Australia, have already introduced legislation. Governments of Ireland, Norway, and the Netherlands are introducing bans on smoking in workplaces or inside all public places in 2004, and a European Directive is under consideration.

Planned Tax Hikes

  • Oklahoma State Tobacco Tax Hike Takes Effect
  • January 5, 2005 – While Indian smoke shops across the county and state were immune to charging sales tax in the past, the new state cigarette and tobacco tax that went into effect Saturday doesn’t discriminate. State Question 713 raised the tax on cigarettes a net 55 cents per pack to fund health programs.

  • Lung Association calls for increase in Iowa cigarette tax
  • January 6, 2005 – The American Lung Association of Iowa today called for a buck a pack increase in the state cigarette tax, but a key republican lawmaker is throwing doubt on such a move. Dan Ramsey of the Central Iowa Tobacco Free Partnership says the state is spending less than one-third as much as it should on smoking cessation and tobacco control programs. He says it’s time to boost the cigarette tax to find more money.

  • Governor Fletcher Asks for Cigarette Tax Increase

    January 6, 2005 – The Governor says the tax increase will help generate extra revenue for the state. Smokers in Lexington say the increase will not keep them from lighting up.
  • $2-a-pack cigarette tax urged

    February 3, 2004 – Four former surgeons general on Tuesday unveiled a plan to reduce smoking that included a $2-per-pack tax they predicted would prompt at least 5 million smokers to quit.
  • FACT Alliance battles over cigarette tax in Syracuse

    February 3, 2004 – If one group gets their way and Governor Pataki follows through on the order, smokers may be paying taxes no matter where they buy cigarettes – including on Indian Nations.
  • Would Cigarette Tax Hike Damage Sales?

    February 3, 2004 – Retailers say Nebraska smokers have come to Iowa to buy smokes since that state raised its tax on cigarettes in 2002.
  • Taxing Tobacco

    February 3, 2004 – Warner’s proposal would impose a 25-cent state cigarette tax and allow localities to tax up to 50 cents. Monies gained from the tax would be designated for healthcare initiatives.
  • Internet Cigarette Tax

    January 23, 2004 – The tribes sell cigarettes but pay no taxes to New York even when they sell them over the Internet. The last time the state tried to collect taxes violence resulted. Native American leaders say it could happen again.

Get Involved

If you are interested in getting involved in stopping the anti-smoking craze and protecting your rights as an American. Together we can fight unfair tax laws. Why should non-smokers have the right to imposed exorbitant taxes on the rest of us? Whatever happened to "no-taxation without representation"? Isn’t that what the founders of this nation fought Britain over? Maybe it’s time for our own Boston Tea Party!

Visit Annette’s Favorites for more information.

Updated January 22, 2006