Around the net

As I was looking around for information regarding the Unkechaug Tribe I came across this insightful comment at New York Magazine.  Read the full article and commentary here :

When are the politicians going to wake up and realize that this is a “problem” they created with excessive, confiscatory taxes? There’s an excellent paper by the Cato Institute on what happened in the 1960’s. In the wake of the Surgeon General’s report, both NYS and NYC tried to use the health hazards of smoking as an excuse to levy absurd taxes, when a much larger percentage of the population still smoked. What they got was a black market run by the mob, and a horrifying level of violence. They had to back down and reduce taxes. So if they now succeed in closing down the Native American smoke shops, they’re going to get much worse – truly bad black market characters. Bloomberg needs to WAKE UP and LOWER or ELIMINATE the separate NYC tax because if nothing else, NYC has to be equal to the rest of NYS. Otherwise, people can just go over the border to Westchester or LI or NJ and buy their smokes for much less. How could any pol not realize that people will buy their smokes anywhere and everywhere, but not at NYC bodegas and newsstands at $10 a pack? And yet, he just keeps pursuing the same self-defeating policies that drive sales away from our local vendors! How much taxpayer money is being wasted pursuing these lawsuits against the Native Americans? How much, in terms of trying to catch and bust the buttleggers who are bringing big tractor trailers of cigarettes up from the tobacco states? The tabloids were writing about drug dealers switching to bootleg cigs for greater profits back in ’02 and ’03! This has been going on for YEARS, and for every one they catch, how many get through? How many counterfeit cartons are coming in through the ports? Picking on a small Native American tribe is not the solution. The solution is to lower taxes to a more reasonable level so people can once again afford to buy their smokes at their local newsstands and bodegas!



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