“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way–in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”
So begins A Tale of Two Cities, the Charles Dickens classic, which aptly describes what is occurring in New York State and in its neighbor New Hampshire.
As New York lawmakers argue about how to spend 124 billion (yes that’s billion with a “B”) taxpayer dollars making the budget late (it’s due April 1) again for the umpteenth time, pro-liberty activists continue to embrace, promote, and protect Libertarian values through The Free State Project.
From the website http://www.freestateproject.org/ “The Free State Project is an effort to recruit 20,000 liberty-loving people to move to New Hampshire. We are looking for neighborly, productive, tolerant folks from all walks of life, of all ages, creeds, and colors who agree to the political philosophy expressed in our Statement of Intent, that government exists at most to protect people’s rights, and should neither provide for people nor punish them for activities that interfere with no one else.”
Meanwhile New York State faces a 4.5 billion dollar budget deficit. Much like the federal government New York lawmakers have grown accustomed to spending more money than they steal through fees and taxes from New Yorkers.
Of course the mainstream media focuses almost exclusively on the fact that the budget is late not that the budget continues to expand New York’s gargantuan bureaucracy, stifle economic growth, and destroy the ability of New Yorkers to live free unfettered lives.
Reports say the budget cuts funding to homeless shelters, low-income childcare, and medication grants for the mentally ill, which, of course, the mainstream media will suggest is heartless. What is heartless is the state usurping control of the ability of individuals, families, and neighborhoods to help the less fortunate instead of the nameless, faceless, leviathan state.
The budget also increases the tax on cigarettes because smoking is “bad” and must be taxed. The freedom to smoke anywhere in New York State vanished a number of years ago only to be followed by a ban on trans fat.
Benjamin Sarlin writes for the New York Sun, “The proposed tax hike on cigarettes in the state budget would create a “black market gold mine” for smugglers and force New York smokers to pay the highest taxes in the nation, experts warn.”
Of course it would and why shouldn’t it? There’s no need for a “warning.” All those experts must be statists.
James T. Madore and Melissa Mansfield report in Newsday that “The state’s top leaders also appeared near agreement on $1 billion in tax and fee hikes, most notably on cigarettes, medical insurance, and purchases from Internet retailers such as Amazon.com that don’t have a physical presence in the state. Amazon executives promised a court fight to determine whether they could be compelled to collect New York sales tax.”
New York wants to get its hands on all those “lost” Internet sales tax dollars too. The state always wants to crush any Libertarian endeavor. It was only a matter of time before it began to wrap its claws around the technological bastion of Libertarianism, the World Wide Web.
Oh how I look upon my home state of New York with anger, disgust and, frustration and upon New Hampshire with envy. According to Wikipedia…” The state has no general sales tax no personal state income tax (the state does tax, at a 5 percent rate, income from dividends and interest) and the legislature has exercised fiscal restraint. Efforts to diversify the state’s general economy have been ongoing. Additionally, New Hampshire’s lack of a broad-based tax system (aside from the controversial state-wide property tax) has resulted in the state’s local communities having some of the nation’s highest property taxes. (But) Overall, New Hampshire remains ranked 49th among states in combined average state and local tax burden.”
How appropriate New Hampshire license plates proudly display Live Free or Die while New York State is known as the Empire State. New York State has built an empire on the back of its residents but like all empires it will eventually collapse under its own weight. I only hope enough New Yorkers are willing to wait that long and are willing to reconstruct the state based on Libertarian ideals. After all, we are the home of “Lady Liberty.”