Struggling to close a $4.4 billion state government budget gap caused by excessive spending -- as is usually the case, revenues continue to rise -- Democratic Gov, Eliot L Spitzer has proposed making New York's illicit drug dealers pay a tax on their stashes. The new tax would apply to cocaine, heroin and marijuana, and could be paid by buying and affixing "tax stamps" to bags of dope.
The proposal has brought a predictable wave of ridicule.
"I guess if it moves, he'll tax it," charged Republican state Sen.Martin J Golden who dubbed the proposal "the crack tax." Other opponents told The Washington Post that because cocaine and weed would be subject to the new levies, it should more aptly be called "the crack-pot tax."
"How do I explain to my 16-year-old son that we're giving a certain legitimacy to marijuana, cocaine and heroin?" asked Sen. Golden, a former New York city police officer who represents a Brooklyn district. "Is prostitution next?"