Where’s Colonel Custer When the Government Needs Him?

The intolerable greed of Big Government is finally starting to elicit resistance. In New York, the natives are getting restless:

State Police have speculated that any government effort to block the flow of tax-free cigarettes onto New York’s Indian reservations will lead to violence and could possibly escalate into a “military problem,” an adviser to Gov. David Paterson said Tuesday.

The governor’s chief legal counsel, Peter Kiernan, told a state senate committee that a police “threat assessment” predicted that tribes based in western New York would fiercely resist any attempt to interfere with their multimillion dollar cigarette business.

The cost of enforcing order, he said, could run as much as $2 million per day – a figure based on the state’s experiences when it tried to impose cigarette taxes on the reservations in 1992 and 1997.

Both of those efforts ended after members of the Seneca tribe blockaded state highways, set fires and in some cases brawled with troopers.

There is already a law in New York that only members of a tribe can buy tax-free cigarettes, but it hasn’t been enforced for fear of rebellion. As a result, Indians make big money selling cigarettes for what they are actually worth. Now state bureaucrats are insisting on their grotesquely greedy cut, treaties exempting Indian reservations from state taxes be damned.

Wonders Sally Snow, chairwoman of the Seneca Free Trade Association:

It’s just taking our land all over again. How much do they want from us?

The answer: every bit they can get.

On a tip from Wiggins. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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