March 1, 2005

Who Needs Tuna Helper?

I occasionally rave about the lunches that Earl makes for me. And today is no exception. Yesterday I mentioned that he would be out of town this week, but courtesy of the snowstorms here in the Northeast, his plans were thwarted and he got to spend last night and tonight at home.

So this morning he whipped up a nice lunch for me. Now to ordinary mortals, it would appear that I had a tuna salad sandwich on wheat for lunch today, with a few carrots on the side.

But if you’ve been following along over the years, you’ll note that I am nowhere near ordinary.

Earl made for me tuna salad using his mother’s recipe. God rest her soul, I have another reason that I wish that I could have met the woman. For not only have I been entertained over the years with stories about Earl’s mom, and pictures as well, I have now also experienced Clare’s tuna salad.

Pure genius.

Now I’m not knocking any other incarnations I’ve had of tuna salad, but today’s version hit the spot completely; with a little bit of egg, celery, olives, onion and Hellmann’s (because we’re east of the Rockies, after all) accompanying the tuna fish for a cacophony of flavor.

Oh, there was a lot of love in there too.

Screwed by Oneida County.

Today marks a historical record of sorts for Oneida County, where we live. Our sales tax is now 9.75% on everything except uncooked foods and medical products. I believe it’s the high sales tax rate in the United States. Yep, unlike most states in the union, this includes clothing and footwear, and necessities such as toilet paper and soap.

I often ask Earl why we live here. He replies its because its where his job is and to basically “toughen up cupcake.” I guess I complain too much. But I don’t feel that paying 9.75% in sales tax is fair to the citizens of Oneida County. Surrounding counties have a 7.25 or 8.25% sales tax. In the nationwide scheme of things, that’s still very high. I remember paying 4% sales tax as recently as 1990. Pennsylavnia residents pay 6% sales tax.

I think what ticks me off the most is that county officials made no attempt to curb spending. They wouldn’t consider cutting down staffing, lay offs or anything like that. They didn’t give voters a choice. They just said it was either a higher sales tax or a higher property tax (48% increase!). This is all to cover the increasing cost of Medicaid.

Small wonder people are leaving this area in droves. It’s too expensive to live here! And this sales tax increase hurts EVERYONE, no matter their financial standing. And we’ve just added another reason for new business to look Oneida County over and locate somewhere else.

New York State is a corrupt state and will continue to be. NYS spends tons of money on trivial, unnecessary things. Upstate residents continue to be caught up in one of the worst economies in the nation. I guess I’ll have to “toughen up cupcake” and take my business outside of Oneida County until we find a better solution.

I was once “Empire State Proud”. Sadly, that is no longer the case.