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NEEDCOM:
 
Have you heard of any other reasons people don't give to panhandlers?
 
 
STEVE:
 
It's tax-free money.
 
 
NEEDCOM:
 
Because you shouldn't be working and not paying taxes?
 
 
STEVE:
 
That's right— tax-free money. Giuliani made that law. It's tax-free money. A Panhandler COULD make thirty to forty thousand dollars a year, tax-free money. It's business.
 
If you got a nice bank like this, in a nice zone, you do business all the time, you can collect like two to three hundred dollars. But you gotta be here for like twelve, eight hours. But that's in the morning time, you got to get real with the bank to do that.
 
..........

 
NEEDCOM:
 
Would it be possible for panhandlers to pay taxes on their panhandling income?
 
 
GARY:
 
If a person doesn't have any mental problems, or any emotional or psychiatric problems, or any drug addictions—then yeah, I could consider it possible. It's going to be kind of hard to do it, but it'd be possible. All they'd have to do is get a little account book, and at the end of each day, try and figure out how they spent for the day, and add up each day's total. So they could do it, yeah. But a lot people out here too, a lot of people out here have drug addictions, they have alcohol problems, and if you're half drunk you're not going to remember if somebody gave you a ten last night.
 
 
NEEDCOM:
 
Is it a reasonable thing for the city government to expect?
 
 
GARY:
 
Yeah, I'd expect it. Yeah.
 
..........

 
NEEDCOM:
 
Do you think it would be possible for panhandlers to pay taxes?
 
 
EASY:
 
Yeah, we could pay taxes, but who's going to regulate this, man? If you want me to pay taxes, you want to give me a home? What is this sh** you talking about? If this is a job, I want to get a set amount of money that people are going to pay me in my cup every time they put in a dollar. Everybody who puts a dollar in the panhandler's cup—
 
 
NEEDCOM:
 
Puts eight cents on the dollar, in the other cup, for the government.
 
 
EASY:
 
Think about it. If you going to do this, then you got to tell them to put a dollar and something in this cup. You ain't gonna put a quarter, 'cause how much you gonna tax off a quarter? They don't tax unless it's a dollar. You gotta have a dollar in order to tax eight percent! You good at math? No, I bet you're not.
 
 
NEEDCOM:
 
Well I was good at Algebra, but not Arithmetic. What does it matter now? I'm an artist!
 
 
EASY:
 
That's what you do?
 
 
NEEDCOM:
 
Yeah, this is an art project, actually.
 
 
EASY:
 
How the heck is this an art project?
 


 
Panhandlers: for the system or against it?

 
ATMs

Capitalism

Jobs

Law



How would you feel about a panhandler spending money you gave him on alcohol or cigarettes?
It would upset meIt wouldn't bother me

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All content copyright 1999, Cathy Davies.
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