And then today I find out that this tortured logic actually has some legs.
Now, whatever you think of the Garner case, I should hope we can all agree that it wasn't cigarette taxes that were responsible for this poor man's death, any more than it was the public sidewalk he was standing on at the time.
As Danny Vinik put it in The New Republic:
Eric Garner is not dead because New York City imposes high cigarette taxes. He’s dead because a cop put him in a chokehold.
As a former libertarian, I can attest that this is where the ideology takes you sometimes: every bad thing that happens is ultimately caused by the government. People like Sen. Paul start there and work their way backwards. In other words, he already knew what caused Mr. Garner's death before it even happened! Libertarians like to pride themselves on relying on reason rather than emotion, but it's actually very lazy intellectually. Imagine: Ask me a question, any question, and I'll automatically give you the answer, It's the government's fault. Convenient, isn't it?
It's not only lazy but also devoid of all human emotion. A man died for crying out loud -- that's what's important here. We can talk about what happened -- and why -- all night long, but let's not get sidetracked by cigarette taxes.