You know, this is just stupid. This idea that we shouldn’t ban smoking in indoor public places because the State might lose some tax revenue is crass to the extreme. I’m not sure how anyone at this point can be sure of how the ban (by itself) is going to impact tax receipts on balance (taking into consideration savings on healthcare), but let’s stipulate that the State will lose $30 million a year on lost cigarette taxes. I say hurray! That’s $30 million well spent on the health and welfare of the people of Illinois. 30 mil for preventing deaths from second-hand smoke, and cleaner air, and not stinking like smoke – that’s a bargain.
By the way, the Patrick Fleener who is sooo concerned about the loss of tax revenue works for a right-wing anti-tax organization out of Washington DC called The Tax Foundation. Witness their anti-tax agenda here. So color me unimpressed with this guy’s objectivity on things.
Update: In comments, JP notes Fleener's background and lack of credability on the issue. Way to go Southern Illinoisian for not mentioning who Fleener realy is. Also, the Bloomington Pantagraph had an almost identical story, again featuring Fleener, but it's no longer up on their site.