A Tragedy Caused by the Leviathan
The decision by a grand jury not to indict the police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, for the death of Eric Garner has brought out the race pimps and their useful idiots. I do not know what facts were presented to the grand jury nor am I privy to the testimony of Pantaleo, the other police officers on the scene, or the eyewitnesses, so I’m not sure why the grand jury arrived at its decision. I do know that racism is not responsible for Eric Garner’s death.
I have grown tired of listening to Obama, Holder, and various other race pimps spew their venom in order to divide Americans. America does have a race problem, but it is not because law enforcement unfairly targets and abuses black people. The race problem in America has been created by government bureaucrats and Marxist politicians hell bent on dividing Americans in order to conquer them to gain more and more power and their money.
The fact of the case that the race pimps would rather you not know is that the reason Garner was confronted by the police the day he died was because he was under suspicion for selling unlicensed cigarettes (“loosies”). That’s right, it is a huge point of emphasis of the State of New York and New York City (NYC) to crack down on retailers and individuals who illegally sell cigarettes. Garner had previously been arrested for selling unlicensed cigarettes and on the day of his death was under suspicion for doing the same.
Excise taxes on cigarettes are big business, well, not business because government doesn’t produce anything, it regulates and takes, for the federal government, state governments, and local governments. The federal government imposes a $1.01 excise tax per pack on “small cigarettes” and a $2.11 excise tax per pack on “large cigarettes.” The State of New York imposes an excise tax of $4.35, and NYC imposes an excise tax of $1.50 per pack. The tax total included in the price of a pack of cigarettes in New York (NY) is approximately $6.86.
It is no secret that the State of New York and NYC are broke. The State of New York has a $9.2 billion deficit. NYC has a deficit of $2 billion, and $105 billion in debt, so it needs every tax dollar from cigarettes and everything else it taxes. The reason NY and NYC have the highest cigarette taxes in America is because they are financially unstable due to politicians, public unions, and government, which is why a pack of cigarettes cost anywhere from $11 to $15 a pack in New York State. A lot of money is at stake, and politicians and bureaucrats get really upset and send their enforcers like the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), or in the case of Eric Garner, local law enforcement, to confront anyone who might be guilty of the heinous crime of selling unlicensed cigarettes.
The federal government collects approximately $31 billion annually from cigarette taxes. The State of New York is collecting approximately $15 billion from taxing cigarettes. It is NYC’s focus on catching those who sell unlicensed cigarettes that led to the confrontation between Garner and law enforcement.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms has declared that cigarettes are the number one black market commodity in the world. The federal government estimates that sales of unlicensed cigarettes prevent government from collecting $5 billion in taxes. The State of New York estimates that “loosies” are part of a “problem” that has deprived it of $1.8 billion in cigarette taxes. The World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control estimates that the global impact of cigarette smuggling is between $40 and $50 billion each year.
Outrageously high cigarette taxes have created a black market for cigarettes, and they are the reason Eric Garner was selling “loosies” in NY. New York has the highest cigarette taxes in the U.S., hence the black market for cigarettes in NY. The Tax Foundation reports that 60.9 percent of cigarettes sold in New York State are smuggled in from other states. In March of this year, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) created a 13-agency task force designed to stop the sale of illegal cigarettes in NY. In Cuomo’s remarks regarding the task force he said, “This new law-enforcement strategy will help to crack down on these illegal cigarette sales and capture those smugglers who seek to evade the law and rob the state of the revenue it is rightly owed.” Cuomo and other politicians of his ilk choose to spend your tax dollars to stop unlicensed cigarettes from being sold in NY rather than reduce spending.
The inconvenient truth about Garner’s death is that unlicensed cigarettes was the reason police officers approached him in the first place. Marxist politicians need money to fund their agenda, and cigarette taxes are an important source of funding to buy votes and reward their campaign donors and bundlers. Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio have to sell racism to cover up the root causes of Garner’s death. Simply put, Garner is a casualty of NY’s war on cigarette smugglers, a war that is being waged to recapture funds NY and NYC desperately need.