by Sam Hieb
A friend passes along this interesting Pro Publica article on the fallout from the historic 1998 tobacco settlement to help states pay for the health care costs of smoking.
Long article, lots going on —- Wall Street greed, high-risk debt, overly optimistic predictions of how much people would continue to smoke to support the settlement, etc.
But here’s what jumped out at me:
Critics have repeatedly lambasted the states and other jurisdictions for violating the intent of the tobacco settlement by spending the money on uses other than anti-smoking programs and health care.
States wouldn’t do that, would they—any more than a county—like, I don’t know, Guilford— would say that proceeds from a quarter-cent sales hike would go toward schools and then spend the money toward other purposes?