Wednesday, September 1, 2010

We The (Native) People

Much ado has been made about New York State's attempt to collect taxes on cigarettes from Native American nations, including the newest scheme, taking effect today: Requiring cigarette distributors to collect the tax prior to delivery to Native American retailers.


“The continued aggression from the state has to be met and dealt with by our people, by the Six Nations leadership. So if we are going to have a future we need to be able to come together, to build that foundation once again and to work together toward that common goal”.

Does this sound familiar to you?

"For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world"

"For imposing taxes on us without our consent"

"He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us."

"In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury."
The State of New York is badly in debt, paying out large sums of money for social welfare programs, six-figure salaries and unsustainable pension schemes for state employees, and the like. Rather than making reasonable cuts to state spending, Governor Paterson has engaged in underhanded tactics to "balance the budget" on paper. These measures include withholding tax incentives due to small businesses, cutting road construction funds (which, in fact, will be fully paid with federal stimulus funds), and, of course, increasing the cigarette tax and attempting to unlawfully force Native American nations to pay said tax.

If we fall into the trap of believing the taxation issue to be a social concern- "public health", "encouragement to quit smoking", etc.- we succumb to the trap. This is about the State's crack-addict spending.

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