The failure to collect the Indian cigarette taxes has devastated NY State's legitimate retailers and wholesalers-as we have incessantly pointed out. Not to mention its impact on an already out of whack state budget. But the folks responsible for all of these losses, instead of being made to pay restitution after serving a long prison sentence, are actually able to go around crying about the loss of their ill-gotten gains.
As the Buffalo News reports: "Mail-order cigarette sellers from the Seneca Nation and elsewhere were handed another setback Thursday in federal court. U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara refused to delay the enforcement of a new federal law that prevents businesses from selling cigarettes through the mail. Seneca Nation businesses oppose the law, saying it will decimate the tribe's lucrative mail-order tobacco industry, which has provided jobs to thousands of Senecas while turning a few into millionaires."
Oh the horror-and lucrative it has been, with an emphasis on filthy lucre. And the lachrymose response of the Indians is music to our ears: "News of the ruling distressed Rick Jemison, chairman of the Seneca Free Trade Association, which represents about 140 tobacco companies owned by members of the Seneca tribe. "Thousands of people are going to be out of work ... they already are out of work," Jemison, a former member of the Senecas' Tribal Council, said. "This law is just wrong. It's a law promulgated by big tobacco companies and Congress to prevent competition. They're in bed together."
Where is Jon Stewart and Comedy Central when you need them. Is this guy Jemison kidding? He's helping to run a criminal enterprise whose ability to, "compete," is predicated on the ability of his businesses to avoid paying the state and city taxes-a huge proportion of the price of a carton of cigarettes. Now if the guy wants to really compete, no one is stopping him from doing what anyone else does-competing on a level, tax paying, playing field. If he's unable to do that, he should be gracious enough to simply shut up.
The arrogance of these people-an attitude that has been fostered by years of government forbearance-apparently knows no bounds. When faced with the postal ban, the response is mindboggling: "Businesses have stopped operating, and people have lost jobs," said Lisa A. Coppola, an attorney for a tobacco business owned by Seneca Nation member Aaron Pierce. She said Pierce is trying to develop methods of delivering cigarettes to customers, without using the U.S. Postal Service."
In other words, trying to find new ways to successfully practice tax evasion. All these folks should be shut down and locked up-if only for their arrogant disregard for the laws of the land.