Tags: Cigarettes | Esaw Garner | Eric Garner | New York City | Taxes

Eric Garner Widow's Candor on Race

Tuesday, 09 December 2014 04:06 PM Current | Bio | Archive

This week’s award for candor regardless of consequences, and in the face of a hostile media, goes to Esaw Garner. She’s the wife of the late sidewalk entrepreneur Eric Garner who died in New York City while resisting arrest.

During an appearance of NBC’s Meet the Press — one I hope President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder were streaming while on the links — she said that although she was unhappy about her husband’s untimely death, contrary to MSM–generated hysteria, the confrontation had nothing to do with race. “I feel that he was murdered unjustly. I don't even feel like it's a black-and-white thing, honestly, in my opinion,” Ms. Garner said. “I feel like it's just something that he continued to do. And the police knew.”

What Garner — who was known by police as “cigarette man" — did, was sell individual cigarettes in violation of New York City law. Not surprisingly you may be wondering why on earth anyone would buy a single cigarette? Easy. Because of confiscatory New York City taxes many smokers can’t afford an entire pack — to say nothing of a carton — or occasional smokers may not want to make a stock market sized investment in a habit enjoyed infrequently.

The per pack tax rate in New York City is $5.85; on a carton of ten packs the tax burden alone is $58.50. When you add federal tax and what the company charges for its product it brings the price for a pack to $12. A carton of ten is $120, almost as high as the co–pay on an Obamacare insurance policy.

The total price for cigarettes is so punishing that smuggling smokes from North Carolina, where the price for a pack is $5.45, has become a lucrative business.

Garner, on the low end of the illegality chain, selling loosies at 50 to 60 cents each was providing a relative bargain. And here’s what Rush Limbaugh describes as the real outrage, " . . . an American died while the state is enforcing tax collection on cigarettes. This is just absurd. And . . . you know, people talk about the left [wanting] a big state. They want a powerful state. Well, here it is. You've got to take all of it."

Of course, when it all goes bad it’s never the big government left’s fault. It is axiomatic of the left that they use lower status beings normally held in utter contempt, police for example, to enforce the rules they are too gutless to enforce themselves.

That way when blame is to be distributed it falls on individual members of the contemptible class — never the makers of the rules.

In this instance there are a number of questions regarding the incident. Why did a man his own wife describes as “[having] issues. Heavy guy. And he was very lazy,” Ms. Garner said. “He didn't like to do anything. He wasn't used to it,” decide to resist arrest that day?

And why couldn’t the police, who greatly outnumbered Garner, simply issue him a notice of violation requiring an appearance in court and tell him to move along?

There didn’t appear to be any time pressure. It certainly wasn’t a life–or–death situation like Ferguson, until the fight started. But what the incident was not was a racial incident or another instance of police brutality directed toward blacks.

And if you don’t believe me you can take Mrs. Garner’s word for it.

Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan. He is president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation and chairman of the League of American Voters. Mike is an in-demand speaker with Premiere. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.


© Mike Reagan

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What the incident was not was a racial incident or another instance of police brutality directed toward blacks. And if you don’t believe me you can take Mrs. Garner’s word for it.
Cigarettes, Esaw Garner, Eric Garner, New York City, Taxes
Tuesday, 09 December 2014 04:06 PM
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