Focus Point - Tobacco Money

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. Today, the latest evidence the God of politics has a sense of humor, and he's laughing at us.

Remember all the states that sued the tobacco companies, self-righteously claiming that the bounty paid by the cigarette makers would go to anti-smoking campaigns?

Since the cash started rolling in, a grand total of eight states have used it to fund anti-smoking campaigns. The others? General fund spending, pork barrel, politics as usual. Six states, according to the campaign for tobacco-free kids, haven't even made a pretense of using the money for tobacco control. Meanwhile, lawyers in a dozen states have filed new suits for their share of the Medicare tobacco settlements.

So much for the politics of virtue.

My question is: were the state governments who made those promises about how they'd use the money merely gullible or were they actually lying outright. If you live in one of those states, you might want to ask.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, the misery index.