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Where’s Her Bailout?


Carol Joynt has operated Nathans restaurant in Washington’s Georgetown neighborhood since inheriting the place from her late husband in 1997. After years of struggling to keep the business afloat in one of the world’s most rabidly anti-wealth producing regimes, Nathans will close on Sunday after 40 years. Sadly, Joynt reports that Nathans won’t be allowed to rest in peace by the state and its minions of wealth destruction:

…[T]he city called and said they’d read we were closing – which is why restaurants usually wait until the last second to slip out of town at midnight – and that if Nathans doesn’t pay $22,000 in additional taxes by tomorrow they will put liens on my house, my bank accounts and on Nathans. Can it get scarier?

Why is it that only the big guys can get bailouts, but when its a little guy, on the ropes, with no options, there’s absolutely no mercy? I’m sobbing.

This is crushing. I do not have the money. I maxed out my home equity on bailing the building out of past due property tax. I can’t get anymore. I could rob a bank, I guess, but really – my skills are rusty. What else is there to do but joke because it is so awful. I have thrown myself at the mercy of the city. They bail out big developers often, and usually to the tune of many more thousands than 22K, and while I don’t think Nathans is a special case, I think Nathans is a case with merit. Think of all the many thousands of dollars of tax we’ve paid over 40 years. This is the first time I’ve come up short, and that’s because of so many factors out of our control. We’ve tried everything we effing could to make the place work. I’m out of options. That’s why Nathans is closing.

I have a choice, pay the city and avoid the liens, or use the rent money we’ve saved up, and then default on the rent on July 15 and get tossed into landlord-tenant court to face God knows what hell there.

It’s worth remembering that Joynt’s attackers belong to the same gang that gave a $611 million stadium to a baseball team owned by one the city’s largest real estate developers. And just recently, one of these same parasites admitted diverting $48 million in taxpayer dollars for their personal use.

Skip Oliva is a writer and paralegal in Virginia (skip@skipoliva.com).

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.
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