New York knows how to kick people when they're down

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There's nothing new about the bagel tax in New York, except that nobody has been enforcing it for ages. Now that times are tough, New York State, facing a budget deficit of over $9 billion, has decided to hit people where it hurts - by enforcing a tax on sliced bagels. "Sliced" is key - if you can find a way to stuff your bagel with the requisite lox and cream cheese and onion and tomato (my mouth is watering as I write), without actually slicing the bagel in half, and then scurry out of the store and eat said stuffed bagel on the sidewalk (because the tax applies to any bagel, sliced or otherwise, that is consumed on the premises from which it was purchased), then maybe you can circumvent the tax, but good luck with that.

Taxing bagels in Wyoming probably wouldn't raise much of a stink (or much tax money, for that matter), but taxing bagels in New York is like taxing cheese in Wisconsin or barbecue in the Carolinas. You might as well start taxing mothers' milk. This whole redistribution of money has me befuddled. A national sales tax (on everything but essentials, like medicine, clothing, and food, including bagels), seems so sensible and fair. But fair is not what taxes are about.
Gail Perry,
Managing Editor

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