The Sandwich Tax.

 

Right near the Atlantic City Hilton on the boardwalk is a casino called the Tropicana.  It’s clearly a multiuse casino with many shops, hotel, restaurants, etc. This is unlike some of the other casinos in AC like Bally’s and Caesar’s Palace, that more or less feature gaming as the primary reason to visit the casino.

But my favorite part of the Tropicana is a place called Red Square. It’s in an area that resembles Havana with the palm trees, music and a 1957 Chevy. The Red Square is a bar that represents the governance of Cuba and features everything Communist including a large statue of Vlad himself. I asked one of the employees there if he was a real Vlad or a reproduction they told me he is real having been rescued from a scrap yard in Poland and brought to Atlantic City. At the time I had just busted out of a two hour NLH Tournament next door at the AC Hilton I’m starving and remember thinking that in this world there won’t be many homes for old Vlad except in places like the scrap yards in Poland and the socialistic democracy in Burlington, Vermont.

Now for the sandwich part.

The statue of Vladimir Lenin is starring directly across from a café whose name I can’t remember and they have everything in this café and I mean everything. From a complete salad bar to homemade waffles to granola cereal so I figured I’d be all set. That was until I started looking at the prices of the food itself. Examples included: One trip to the salad bar $17.50 plus tax. One bottled water $3.50. a premade ham and cheese sandwich in cellophane $11.50 plus tax. I’m now looking at Vlad and his arm extending out wondering if this is what he envisioned would happen in this century. Plenty of food and yet too expensive for the masses.  

New Hampshire could be headed down this road.  Yesterday, the State Senate voted 14-10 to allow casinos in New Hampshire. The Concord Monitor newspaper reported it the article was more of the same of why something should happen and then they closed it out with a surprise. Casino opponent and former Senator Rubens stating that taxation should be used “Jim Rubens of the Granite State Coalition Against Expanded Gambling said, "We will work our tails off to inform the members of the House about the serious defects of the bill." Rubens said the Legislature had other revenue options - such as a nuclear tax, carbon tax or capital gains tax - that would not "create new gambling addicts and destroys the lives of families." A nuclear tax, carbon tax or a capital gains tax in New Hampshire to do what? Balance the budget?  If further taxation is the answer to New Hampshire’s financial issues then why not just increase the tax on the sandwiches, all of them. This would be a revenue source the tax rate would likely be lower than New Jersey, yet some citizens would still be losing weight by the increased taxes staving off the hunger. Meanwhile, two important NH policy issues solved: revenue and obesity.

Vlad is smiling.