The Militant Libertarian

I'm pissed off and I'm a libertarian. What else you wanna know?

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Congressional Sadists

by Sheldon Richman

Even though April 15 is more than a month and a half away, this is the time of year when people are thinking about and preparing their income-tax returns. So it’s a good time to contemplate this particular bit of oppression under which half the adult population labors.

Many people act as though the income tax and the demands it makes on us are facts of nature. Benjamin Franklin said, “In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes,” but we ought to acknowledge that these are two quite different phenomena. Taxes are an act of will. Death eventually comes despite any preference to the contrary.

As you sweat out the tax season, bear in mind that identifiable men and women — the members of Congress — inflict this pain on you. They know what you go through. They know the hours you put in and the money you spend. They know that you look frantically for missing receipts just to keep a few more dollars that, after all, belong to you anyway. They know that you fear the hell of an IRS audit. Yet they refuse to stop the torture. They could do it. But they don’t — because you only matter around election time, which is long after tax day.

This suggests a modest, short-run approach to tax reform: Move tax day to the day before election day. And for good measure, abolish withholding. Imagine if people trudged to the polls the day after sending fat checks to the IRS. That might bring the incumbents down a notch.

You have to wonder how such a sadistic group of people can call themselves our leaders. Why won’t they relieve us from the dastardly income tax? The answer is obvious. They want the large amount of money and the social-engineering powers that only an income tax can provide. Whenever you hear a politician talk about compassion and wanting to make a difference, think of the IRS.

The 19th-century political philosopher Lysander Spooner saw through the pretense as no one has since. He compared the tax authority to a highwayman. But he saw a profound difference between the two. As he wrote in his publication No Treason:

"The highwayman ... does not pretend that he has any rightful claim to your money, or that he intends to use it for your own benefit. He does not pretend to be anything but a robber. He has not acquired impudence enough to profess to be merely a ‘protector,’ and that he takes men’s money against their will, merely to enable him to ‘protect’ those infatuated travellers, who feel perfectly able to protect themselves, or do not appreciate his peculiar system of protection.... Furthermore, having taken your money, he leaves you, as you wish him to do. He does not persist in following you on the road, against your will; assuming to be your rightful ‘sovereign,’ on account of the ‘protection’ he affords you. He does not keep ‘protecting’ you, by commanding you to bow down and serve him; by requiring you to do this, and forbidding you to do that; by robbing you of more money as often as he finds it for his interest or pleasure to do so; and by branding you as a rebel, a traitor, and an enemy to your country, and shooting you down without mercy, if you dispute his authority, or resist his demands. He is too much of a gentleman to be guilty of such impostures, and insults, and villanies as these. In short, he does not, in addition to robbing you, attempt to make you either his dupe or his slave."

We can only hope that our politicians one day elevate themselves to the level of a common robber.

Sheldon Richman is senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation, author of Tethered Citizens: Time to Repeal the Welfare State, and editor of The Freeman magazine. Send him email.

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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Cartoons of Truth

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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

FBI Warns Computer Virus Spreading in its Name

The FBI warned Tuesday that a computer virus is being spread through unsolicited e-mails that purport to come from the FBI.

The e-mails appear to come from an address. They tell recipients that they have accessed illegal Web sites and that their Internet use has been monitored by the FBI's "Internet Fraud Complaint Center," the FBI said.

The messages then direct recipients to open an attachment and answer questions. The computer virus is in the attachment.

"Recipients of this or similar solicitations should know that the FBI does not engage in the practice of sending unsolicited e-mails to the public in this manner," the FBI said in a statement.

The bureau is investigating the phony e-mails.

HAHAHAHA!! Someone's got some balls here!

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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Dubya Admits Smoking Grass

Dubya Admits Smoking Grass, Lying to Public About Drug Use

President Bush admitted in interviews secretly taped by a friend before he became president that he had used marijuana but laughed about lying to the public about his drug use.

Portions of the tapes, recorded from 1998 to 2000 by author Doug Wead without Bush's knowledge, were aired on ABC News on Sunday and published by The New York Times. Their authenticity was verified by the media outlets.

"I wouldn't answer the marijuana question. You know why? Because I don't want some little kid doing what I tried," Bush purportedly says on the tape.

He added: "But you got to understand, I want to be president. I want to lead. I want to set -- Do you want your little kid say, 'Hey, Daddy, President Bush tried marijuana, I think I will?"'

Bush mocked former Vice President Al Gore -- who fought him for the presidency in 2000 -- for admitting he smoked marijuana, saying the admision was "a foolish move."

White House officials did not dispute the tapes' veracity and indicated the president was disappointed by their release.

"These were casual conversations that then Gov. Bush was having with someone he thought was a friend, and that's what they are," White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters traveling with Bush to Europe aboard Air Force One.

McClellan said Bush, who was governor of Texas when the tapes were made, was not aware he was being recorded and the White House found out only when contacted by the New York Times for comment.

"Look, I think that, one, the comments in the tapes speak for themselves. And two, I think that what I just said pretty much speaks for itself," McClellan said when pressed about the details.

"Those were issues that were addressed ad nauseam four years ago and they were conversations that took place more than four years ago," he said, adding that Bush had not been in contact with Wead for several years.

Wead, a former aide to Bush's father President George H.W. Bush, released portions of the tapes to coincide with the publication of his new book and told ABC he made the tapes because he believed the president was an historic figure.

"If I'd had a chance to tape record Gandhi or had conversations with Churchill, I probably would have recorded them too," he said.

He also insisted his goal was not to hurt the president's credibility and said if this were the case he would have released the tapes during the 2004 election campaign.

Asked about the tapes in an interview with CNN, the president's father said he was not aware of them and declined comment.

Sitting next to Bush was ex-President Bill Clinton, who admitted to smoking marijuana when he campaigned for the White House but said he never inhaled the illegal drug.

The two former presidents are touring areas affected by the Dec. 26 Indian Ocean tsunami.

© Copyright 2004 by Capitol Hill Blue
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Monday, February 21, 2005

New Store

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