(Think Progress) -- President Obama unveiled his budget proposal on Tuesday morning, confirming early reports that his initiatives include an expansion of universal preschool programs by raising revenue from additional tobacco taxes. Obama’s preschool plan is winning praise from both anti-smoking advocates and early childhood education proponents, but it isn’t popular with everyone. Even before the specific details were made available on Tuesday, the proposed tax increase garnered criticism from the powerful companies that comprise Big Tobacco.
The current federal tax on cigarettes is about $1 a pack, and President Obama’s proposal would increase that by an additional 94 cents. That hike would raise $75 billion to help subsidize preschool for children whose families who earn up to 200 percent of the federal poverty line, in a national effort to encourage more four-year-olds to enroll in pre-K programs. The tax increase would also raise $1.6 billion for the Early Head Start program and $15 billion for other programs.