Just a Couple Questions

Why are you attempting to impose your state taxes on a sovereign nation, New York?

The latest flack over cigarettes sold in Indian owned stores to non-Indian customers holds that New York state has the "right" to force Native Americans to collect state taxes on cancer stick sales. Why is that? This was their nation long before Christopher Columbus and his crew invaded the land, plundered the natural resources, attempted to enslave the Native Peoples, kidnapped their kids and forced them to attend abusive re-education camps disguised as "schools," and banished the rest into concentrations camps known as reservations.

A lot of time has passed since those first European invaders landed. Native Americans have taken truck loads of lemons and made lemonade. They have built casinos that employ a lot of non native Americans. Those wages are spent throughout the state. Income taxes are paid on those wages, and social security taxes. The new found wealth created by the resourceful First Americans thus finds its way into all segments of America. The extra miles cigarette addicts are willing to drive to buy those untaxed cigarettes pumps money into the state economy. Still, the state wants more.

Be careful: as Wall Street can tell ya, greed sometimes backfires.

Want to raise money, New York? Here's a suggestion. Start fining all the business and home owners who fail to keep the sidewalk in front of their properties clear of snow and ice. Especially in upstate New York.

New York City gets less snowfall, and is a lot more diligent about removing it when it does fall.

Yesterday I saw a man in a wheelchair attempt to get to a bus stop in beautiful boarded up downtown Utica. This main street intersection, with its two pawn shops, a food bank, and a call center is a major commercial hub. The entire block in front of the bus stop there was lined with a bank of dirty snow approximately six inches high, including at the corner crosswalks. The man was forced to go across the street to a different bus stop, sit in the street in his wheelchair, and flag down the bus as it rounded the corner by waving his arms. It was not a designated bus stop for this particular bus, but the driver was kind enough to stop and let the guy in the wheelchair get on. It shouldn't have been necessary for the man to go through this obstacle course to ride a city bus.

So, New York (and probably other states), instead of shaking down a sovereign nation that's already contributing to immigrant America via jobs, why don't you raise money this way:

Fine the scofflaws whose failure to remove snow and ice from sidewalks fronting their property creates hazardous conditions for all our citizens.

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