Surcharges have become a material amount of our bill. Since Cox is allowed to pass along those charges to us, I don't see that changing. I wonder how much markup is applied to those pass through charges. The sums of broadcast and regional sports surcharges always seem to be convenient, round numbers.
Anyway, I don't mean to detract from the points you made, but the cigarette tax analogy got me curious. I realize it was probably a non-serious comment, but I did some research about it because of, you know, the curiosity thing. You might be interested in what I found out. It could surprise you. This may be a bit off topic, but a little Public Service Announcement never hurt anybody.
The following information was obtained from the website at the bottom.
For all states and DC:
(a) Cigarette taxes as a percentage of total cost = Taxes / Total Cost
The average tax as a percentage of total cost for a pack of cigarettes is 30.8%, the high is 50.5% (DC) and the low is 7.7% (Missouri).
Forty-three (43) states (including DC) have a cigarette tax percentage of the total cost of a pack of cigarettes that is more than 16%.
(b) Cigarette taxes as a percentage of cost before taxes = Taxes / (Total Cost - Taxes) This is the actual cigarette tax rate.
The average cigarette tax as a percentage of cost before taxes is 44.4%, the high is 101.8% (DC) and the low is 8.4% (Missouri).
Forty-eight (48) states (including DC) have a cigarette tax as a percentage of cost before taxes that is more than 16%.
The average price for a pack of cigarettes is $7.01. "Hey, buddy. Give me $7.01 every day and I'll make you stink all the time and cause health issues for you and others around you". I'm glad I don't smoke.
I can't attest to the accuracy of the website referenced below. However, a search of several sites gave similar state-to-state comparative results. Prices from the site below were generally the same or higher than another site. From that, I inferred the site below probably had more recent information.