Yeah, when very partisan Dem Hob Bryan agrees with a Republican (I once heard him blame every economic problem in this country on Ronald Reagan and tax cuts. Seriously) you know the issue is pretty simple. Agree with his politics or not, Hob Bryan knows tax code. And when he and the governor agree on something, it's news worthy (even if that newsworthy item is buried halfway down the page on the Daily Journal's website).
The reality is this: Hob Bryan is not stupid. He knows that a cigarette tax is a self-defeating one, and while it's an early short-term fix, sin taxes wear themselves out by financially discouraging the continuation of the habit. Meanwhile, there are still people on Medicaid who won't be going anywhere, cigarettes or not. While taxing hospitals isn't my favorite thing-I'm generally opposed to taxation at all-it is a stable source of funding. Senator Bryan surely knows this.
And let me interject this idea-since when did Democrats think taxes on a large business were a bad thing? Is this the first tax increase on a business that any Democrat in the state House has ever opposed?
The fact of the matter is that we have enough tax revenue in this state to cover $90 million in a given year. The problem is we've blown so much of that on $17,000 worth of mileage and sidewalks for Bogue Chitto (that the town never asked for!). It's easier for a legislator to ask for more money than it is to spend the money that is already there. Were that my employer would simply hand me more money at the end of the month if I didn't have enough.