A letter writer on April 25 railed against President Barack Obama’s budget, requesting to raise the cigarette tax “from $1.01 per pack to $1.95” further noting, “The state of Maine already charges $2 state tax per pack.”

I was reminded of a day, several weeks back, whereby I was checking out at the expeditious tobacco window at Sam’s — having only a snazzy Hawaiian shirt and a book to pay for. I was thinking about a Sam’s Club sausage n’ peppers sandwich and a drink — the best $4 lunch bargain in town.

The woman in front of me had two cartons of cigarettes on the counter. Her total bill was about $125. She was accompanied by an older woman in a wheelchair, notably tethered to an oxygen bottle.

I thought perhaps the woman had purchased other items I couldn’t see. Nope, each carton was almost $60. I thought, “Wow.”

This was right about the time I’d learned that the fee to enable a youngster to play baseball this season was raised to $70.

I thought how, for just a bit more than one carton of cigarettes — well — you get the idea.

I wondered, while trying to enjoy my sandwich, how many parents were smoking when they told their child that baseball was out of the question this year.

The letter writer also noted that “Obama continues to say he cares about the poor in America, but I think this would be his second increase on cigarettes since he took office.” Now, I’m thinking again, “Wow.”

Buddy Doyle

Gardiner

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