4-19-2006 The Rutabaga tax or: Utah's starting to look pretty good right about now

The Times Leader‘s editorial board has finally gotten around to interviewing some of the folks hoping to replace Rep. Kevin Blaum down yonder there in Harrisburg. In actuality, this is a great service that the Times Leader has been providing for us and stands in stark contrast to what the Citizens’ Voice typically offers us come election time. You know, they always endorse the favored Democrat. Kudos to the Leader staff and a hearty ‘suck a dickcissel’ to the apparatchik dingleberries at the Voice. The smart money says they endorse the candidate with the well-recognized name and political linkage.

Today’s contestant on “Wheel of Electoral Fortune” is none other than our former city administrator, Jim Hayward. You can follow the provided link and read the entire story, or you can bang the gong right now.

Next contestant, please.

Hayward cooking up a food tax

Here’s the snippet that disqualifies our current contestant:

But if that’s not enough, he suggests broader sales tax.

The state imposes a 6 percent state sales tax, but exemptions include food, clothing, prescription drugs, textbooks, and residential heating fuels.

Hayward wants to remove the exemption for food and open up professional services to the sales tax. He declined to specify which professional services he would tax, saying he would take a look at all of them.

It may be possible to decrease the 6 percent tax if the scope of taxable items were expanded, he said.

He also proposed a low-income tax rebate to reduce the pinch lower-income household may feel from a new food tax.

Okay then. He wants to provide property tax relief by inventing an entirely new tax. (?) One more time. He wants to lower your property taxes by way of taxing your food. (?) Let’s try this again. We wants to ease your tax burden by taxing you. (?) Excuse me for being somewhat mentally disheveled today, but I haven’t had a beer in damn near ten days. Calories, you know. I gotta get all lean and mean for the summer.

This is so utterly convoluted it’s one part hogwash, one part poppycock, one part horse feathers and topped with a liberal sprinkling of tommyrot. Freshly ground, of course.

I thought the slots nonsense was Pennsylvania’s cure-all. Or was it the lottery sales? Or the increases of every other known tax in this state? Now, it’s “we’ll tax your food and lower your property taxes?” We’ll grow the government to reduce it’s burden on you? This here “meet the candidates” series, is this, like, a comedy bit? Why not tax food and lower the beer tax, Jim? Court the beer vote. Or how ‘bout if we tax grandma’s Geritol and reduce the prohibitively high sin taxes on cigarettes? Court the smoker vote.

Oops. I forgot. The first trick the up-and-coming cookie cutter candidates learn is to smooch the asses of the elderly at the expense of everyone else. Young folks need decent paying jobs, affordable housing, affordable education, affordable gasoline, affordable beer and affordable cigarettes. But the old folks’ needs cancel out the needs of the young and most importantly, the needs of young families. What about affordable health care? What about it instead of once-a-year shots at the free clinics for the poorest of our kids? We’ve got young families shopping at Family Dollar, but they tend not to vote, so they can just wallow in their poverty while we make sure grandma doesn’t lose the noticeably slipping homestead her long-since departed children have no interest in owning after she passes on.

How typical. Dump millions into every unionized bottomless money pit there is, but tax food to create a new revenue stream that’ll end up being wasted just as fast. Typical. The only “ideas” offered are those that would appeal to the older voters.

Austerity won’t work. Holding people accountable can’t work. Efficient accounting of tax dollars certainly won’t work. Getting that much desired bang for the buck only works in the private sector. Denying state representatives lucrative pensions and outrageous perks is definitely out of the question. How could we possibly lower property taxes and woo the senior vote at the same time? Invent new taxes!!! There we go!!! Hellllooooo!!!

Let’s hope the next contestant brings more to the table than that sort of antiquated “big, big and bigger govmint” jabberwocky.



Speaking of nonsense, the Times Leader also reported on the defacers, the despoilers and the plunderers of our urban landscape (otherwise known as graffiti “artists”) as they took turns standing in front of the judge in Central Court.

3 W-B graffiti vandals owe $7,500

In my mind, they should be lined-up on Public Square and pelted bloody by the county-supplied chestnuts we’d be heaving at them for a good hour or so, but nobody elected me judge just yet. Come to think of it, our county can ill-afford even a few dozen bags of harvested chestnuts, so I figure the fines and community service will have to do in this ridiculous case.

Even though it’d tickle me pink, I will not show up while these misguided folks are serving their community service and taunt them just for the fun of it. Although, I do want to watch them remove their peers’ “artistry” by hand and take a few pictures. Gosh, I hope it’s hotter than hell when they get to serving their sentences. And real, real sunny like. And maybe some locusts could visit by the millions that month. Ah, shucks. I guess they’ve been sentenced enough and don’t need the likes of me standing on their nuts. But I really do like the message these arrests and subsequent sentences have sent to the other potential misguided young folks: Take your Weapons of Mass Despoiling and toss ‘em into the commingled bin.

The WBPD sure kicked some serious ass in this case. The MySpace Gang is no more.

Today’s dishonor roll:

Here are the results of Tuesday’s hearings:

• Dallas native Keith Garcia, 29, now of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of criminal mischief and was asked to pay just more than $1,800 in restitution. He was also sentenced to 150 hours of community service and one year probation. Police had said he was responsible for $10,000 in damages.

• John Slaby, 22, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors of criminal mischief. Two felony charges were withdrawn. He will pay more than $3,000 in restitution, spend a year on probation and serve 150 hours of community service.

Police had said Slaby, who used the tag “Troph” was responsible for $20,000 in damages. • Samuel Wolfe IV, 28, pleaded guilty to criminal mischief and was ordered to pay more than $2,700 in restitution. He will also serve 150 hours of community service and one year probation.

• Maureen Forester, 21, who had written on her Myspace page “I will destroy Wilkes-Barre,” appeared before the judge in a black skirt and three-inch heels with her peroxide blond hair wrapped up in a bun.

Her two counts of criminal mischief were forwarded to a higher court and all other charges were dropped. Prosecuting attorneys will seek $4,700 in restitution, a sum much lower than the $14,000 originally cited by officials.

The following people also had misdemeanor charges of criminal mischief forwarded to Luzerne County court: Edward Brady, 19; Thomas Bright, 26; Patrick Forester, 23, and Zachary Meade, 22.


Further proof that Ritalin is no substitute for responsible parenting.

Sez me.

It‘s getting there

What‘s the name of that softball field that was bestowed upon the city forever more only to be ruined by Tom McGroarty as part of his disastrous call center project? For the life of me, I cannot remember the name of that field. It sits at the intersection of the Boulevard and Scott Street. Well, what remains of it does. Seems McGroarty gave away right field so Chacko’s could relocate to Wilkes-Barre Boulevard and it ceased to be a usable softball field.

Remember when we called a hit to right field an out when we were short players? Well, on this field a hit to right field would put a car windshield out, among other things. So, now that the city and school district have handed away all of the available practice fields to the soccer outfits, this particular field would have come in handy so as to practice baseball’s next generation. No right field? Okay, we’ll practice the minor leaguers, or the T-ballers, right?

We could if the folks that reside in East End would resist the temptation to roll all of their unwanted automobile tires down the bank and onto what remains of the field. Have you noticed that growing tire pile right on the very edge of the city’s most heavily traveled thoroughfare? It’s unsightly.

Now, we can all yammer on cue about how the city needs to clean this, that and the other thing. And we can whine on cue about what they need to fix, what’s been neglected and who ought to be tossed into a burning pit of expensive oil as a result. And then we go and create a growing landfill right on Wilkes-Barre Boulevard. How’ s that for civic pride coming from the East End of the city?

Now, I could sit here and babble at length about how the city had better dispatch a crew up there to remove what the East End folks no longer find usable or desired, but I think I’d rather have a city detective sit in the woods there for a few nights and arrest the next sorry asshole who launches a threadbare Goodyear down the bank.

C’mon East End. Y’all gotta do better then this. People are going to volunteer their precious time this Saturday as part of a statewide cleanup project, and you folks are adding to the list of locations needing the services of the volunteers?

Do we have a Crime Watch group over there? If so, it’s time to patrol the woods.

More funking idiocy!

Guess who has to register for kindergarten come next Monday. Go ahead, guess. Yepper. Gage Andrew has to report and show proof that he’s been immunized, fed and not beaten with a coat hanger.

Ever since he started talking, he always dreamed of doing stuff still well beyond his reach and summarized things by saying “When I get bigger.” And one of the rights of passage in his mind was going to school. So, now that he’s going to be attending school, I guess he’s suddenly “bigger.” And as such, he has now graduated from being a lowly rodent and will be accredited with toad status. In conclusion, I now have 3 grandrodents and 1 grandtoad.

According to his mom, the folks at the school are saying Gage should know his numbers up to twenty, the alphabet, shapes, colors, his name, his address and his home phone number before he steps foot on school property come September. That has already been addressed, but I’m wondering what’s left to teach a kid in kindergarten. Seriously, with that list covered, what the hell are they going to teach him?

How global warming has the sissies all tied in a knot? How George W. Bush caused degenerative heart disease all by his lonesome? Why “Heather Has Two Mommies” is a must-read and certainly worthy of a Pulitzer? Or why not how to put a microscopic-looking condom on a thoroughly aroused wax bean?

All I know is, if he does like I did before him and ignores the lot of those education “professionals,” he’ll end up a helluva lot more learned in the end. Schools don’t teach, but public libraries do. And where does all of the funding go to?