The Corner

Put That in Your Pipe and Smoke It, Spitzer

Anyone who looks at the 1998 tobacco settlement agreement will realize what a dreadful abuse of power it is. It placed a whole new regulatory structure on the tobacco industry without the involvement of legislators. It imposed a new tax on tobacco consumers. It breaches the Constitution’s compact clause. And it even creates the perverse incentive that states, which now get a massive slug of funds from the tobacco industry, will not want people to stop smoking. In effect, the state attorneys general like Eliot Spitzer have forced the tobacco companies into a cartel with them. Recognizing this, the Competitive Enterprise Institute has filed suit on behalf of a variety of affected parties to challenge the legitimacy of this racket. You can find out more at controlabuseofpower.org.

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