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A panel recently convened by Secretary Thompson has recommended raising the federal tax on a pack of cigarettes by a whopping $2-- to be piled atop massive local and state taxes and the $246 billion Master Settlement Agreement. This regressive, discriminatory and bullying taxation has been endorsed by crusading legislators who long-ago forgot that smokers are citizens, ostensibly entitled to both equal protection and equal rights. The obvious and transparent reality is that government is at war with a quarter of its citizens, pulling out every heavy gun in its arsenal (punitive taxation, legislated banishment and official demonization) to bring them to their knees and force them to behave in a \"government-approved\" manner. We, the undersigned, urge that the government stop this relentless strong- arm crusade and start acting again like the government foreseen by the founding fathers-- not a government composed of wicked stepmothers and brass-knuckled nannies. We urge you to reject this newest proposal for another $2 tax on cigarettes, and further to reject any other proposal that advances this rank discrimination.


Petition sponsored by NYC C.L.A.S.H. (Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment), A hard copy of this petition will be mailed to President George W. Bush, HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson, and every US Senator.
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