Sweet Haven Hawaii

To head off a potential $50 million shortfall, Mayor Mufi Hannemann’s budget for Honolulu includes higher property taxes, higher bus fares, higher golf course fees, higher Honolulu Zoo fees, higher vehicle weight taxes, higher highway beautification fees, higher alarm permit fees, higher special duty fees, higher admission fees for tourists to Hanauma Bay (hat tip The Honolulu Advertiser).

Honolulu is starting to remind me of poor Sweet Haven, the grim, exhausted seaside-town from the 1980 movie, Popeye. Anyone remember that film? Robin Williams starred as the squinty-eyed sailor, Shelley Duvall as Olive Oyl. Robert Altman directed—yes, the famed director of MASH and Short Cuts directed a live-action movie based on a comic book.

What had Sweet Haven so beat down, despite it’s beautiful beachfront location? Brutal taxation, organized by Bluto and collected by an officious, invasive, ubiquitous Tax Man. Here’s Popeye’s arrival in Sweet Haven, quotes found at imdb.com:

     The Tax Man: You just docked?
     Popeye: I has.
     The Tax Man: Ah ha, let’s see here, that’ll be 25¢ docking tax.
     Popeye: What for?
     The Tax Man: Where’s your sea craft?
     Popeye: It ain’t no sea craft, it’s me dinghy and it’s under the wharf.
     The Tax Man: Ah ha. Ahh-ha. This your goods?
     Popeye: They is.
     The Tax Man: Yeah. You’re new in town right?
     Popeye: If you call this a town, yes.
     The Tax Man: Well, first of all, there’s 17¢ new-in-town tax, and there’s 45¢ rowboat-under-the-wharf tax, and
     one dollar leaving-your-junk-lying-around-the-wharf tax, so all together, you owe the Commodore $1.87.
     Popeye: Uh, who’s this Commodore?
     The Tax Man: Is that [in] the nature of [a] question? There’s a nickel question tax.

OK, so government hasn’t found a way to tax questions. Give it time. Meanwhile, stock up on spinach, Sweet Haveners.