I'm puzzled by certain arguments put forward by some members of the limited number of readers of this forum that mild criticism of a certain lifestyle like homosexuality, equates to 'hate' or 'intolerance'. If that were the case and I actually am a closeted bigot, then why do I link (and always have since this blog began, BTW) to the archive of one, Mr. Deroy Murdock? In addition to being black, Murdock also happens to be gay. None of this detracts form Murdock's writing ability as Mr. Murdock is a prolific writer and one of the best columnists in the English speaking world IMHO. Today's article from him regarding the liberal proclivity to tax, tax, tax without thinking of possible, undesirable outcomes only serves to bolster any critical acclaim that Murdock so richly deserves.
Consider the first Twin Towers attack, which killed six and injured 1,040. As Patrick Fleenor recalled in a Cato Institute study, "Counterfeit cigarette-tax stamps were found in an apartment used by members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad cell that carried out the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center."
Smugglers buy cigarettes in low-tax states, disguise them with bogus tax stamps, sell them in high-tax locales and pocket the difference. A $2.70 spread separates Virginia's 30-cent-per-pack cigarette tax and Connecticut's at $3.00. Driving 1,500 cartons from Arlington to Hartford yields $40,500 a trip.
Terrorists move cigarettes because they are light, portable, otherwise legal and produce cash. "Law-enforcement officials in New York state estimate that well-organized cigarette smuggling networks generate between $200,000 and $300,000 per week," a 2008 House Homeland Security Committee staff report concluded. "A large percentage of the money is believed to be sent back to the Middle East, where it directly or indirectly finances groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas and al Qaeda."
I believe that the law of unintended consequences applies here and although I'm sure that state and local governments do not intend to support Hamas or Al-Qaeda, that is the unfortunate, end result. Greater vigilance by the authorities concerning coupon clipping scams is also needed...
"Currently, U.S. authorities are investigating a number of small retailers for "coupon-clipping" scams. The fraudsters clip literally thousands of coupons from every source available to them. These in turn are provided to a retailer-accomplice who forwards them to the issuer and gets reimbursed, when no products were ever purchased by a consumer."
Think about that the next time you pass by the small local Halal food store that you wondered how they stay open for business when so few people are actually seen shopping there.