Tobacco money at work at Congress

June 11, 2009 | By | 1 Reply More

When a product kills 450,000 Americans every year, don’t you think it deserves a high level of scrutiny and regulation?  I mean, aren’t you a bit surprised that it’s even illegal, given that marijuana, which kills nobody (except due to insanely reactionary law enforcement), is completely outlawed?

Consider that the bodies of the people killed by tobacco every year would stretch more than 500 miles, if laid end to end.    Every one of those dead people were using tobacco products exactly as anticipated by the manufacturers.  Those dead bodies could stretch from New York City to Charlotte, North Carolina (or pick your own 500 mile radius).  Can you imagine the tobacco executives walking along one of those 500 mile lines of dead bodies, justifying the carnage?  Walking, whistling and thinking, “Just look at all of those people who were dumb enough to buy that highly addictive product that I promoted and sold . . .”

And now consider the morals of some of our politicians.  Step forward, Senators who oppose the new law that subjects tobacco to FDA

Image by J.L. Trinh at Flickr (creative commons)

Image by J.L. Trinh at Flickr (creative commons)

regulation.  Thanks to McClatchy Newspapers, we know that many of you are tobacco whores:

Among the 17 senators who voted against allowing the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco are some of the top recipients of campaign contributions from the tobacco industry, which has donated millions of dollars to lawmakers in the past several campaign cycles.

If you want more details who which tobacco whore has received how much money, visit OpenSecrets.org.

Consider, too, that the corruption that exists with regard to tobacco, also exists with regard to any major industry.   For instance, consider health care, defense contracting, farming (including wasteful corn ethanol subsidies), and last but not least, the financial “services” industries.  Serving themselves to our tax-dollars.

Now I’m not for outlawing tobacco.  But I am for unleashing a torrent of high-profile prime-time advertising that would show the death and destruction caused by tobacco up close and in nauseating detail.   And I am for allowing the FDA to join in the war against smoking.  Why?  Consider this comment from Dick Durbin from a report by MSNBC:

“This is a bill that will protect children and will protect America,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., a leading supporter. “Every day that we don’t act, 3,500 American kids — children — will light up for the first time. That is enough to fill 70 school buses.”

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Category: Corruption, Fraud, Health, ignorance, Politics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (1)

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    Speaking of corruption, the health care industry is now working hard to disenfranchise the power of ordinary citizens though the use of massive amounts of money handed to members of Congress. Note this excerpt from Robert L. Borosage:

    [T]he 20 largest insurance and drug companies and their trade associations have pumped up their lobbying by 41% over last year — with reported spending over $75 million in the first quarter alone.

    This is the corruption of crony capitalism; a compromised congress using taxpayer's money to enrich entrenched interests.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-l-borosage/p

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