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Death & taxes: What’s so American about plunder?

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We’ve all heard the old line about the certitude of death and taxes. It’s a bit telling about the nature of human beings and how they will use power, even if just a little, to try and extract the fruits of their neighbor’s labor for their own gain that we consider taxation as just another inevitable aspect of life. However, are taxes something that we should so readily come to expect?

Yesterday was the 4th of July, where we celebrated our forefathers’ decision to extricate themselves from British rule because of the many abuses by the crown, foremost among them, what the colonials considered excessive and unjust taxes. When independence was won, so loathe of taxes were the Founders that, under the Articles of Confederation, there were no national taxes; Congress had to scrounge what it could thru voluntarily contributions -contributions that were unsurprisingly lacking. Veterans of the War could not collect their pensions, and the infant nation could do nothing to keep British merchants from harboring in its bays and running roughshod over American vendors. The ensuing chaos from such a government resulted in the Constitution being ratified, creating a new, strong but limited central government whose powers included the ability to levy taxes nationally.

Presently in American politics there are two prevailing perceptions on taxation: on the Left, there is the misguided belief that taxes are the “price we pay for living in a free(?) and just society”. Per this narrative, we all pay taxes because we all benefit from living in a democratic society and thus must all share in the burden. This wouldn’t be a half-bad sell for taxes if half the people in American didn’t pay effectively zero taxes. (The Left’s reasoning also has the unfortunate trait of being utter bullshit.) It’s interesting to note: the people most attached to this narrative also hold the honorary title of “tight-fisted jerkwads who refuse to pay more to Uncle Sam than what the law requires.” If taxes are such an honorary patriotic duty, why don’t those on the Left pay more?

On the Right, we have the “taxation is theft” mantra. While truer to the nature of taxation -which is, money taken by force from unwilling payers- it has a major glaring weakness: if taxation is theft, why do we let the government “steal” from us while punishing individuals for doing the same thing? Why is theft illegal in most cases but not some, and if we allow theft to occur at some levels, why not others? Moral and reasonable people can agree: immoral acts do not become moral simply because the majority agree to engage in the act; government is an extension of the individual -of the People…what a person has right to do, the government may do also and nothing more. The problem with “taxation is theft” is that it implies that all taxes are inherently bad, and thus should be eliminated. Ask the Founders how easily a time they had funding even a small basic government with a Congress and an army under the Articles of Confederation.

The reality is taxes, when done properly and equitably, are somewhere in the middle. They are a necessary evil that funds government -government which is necessary and vital to secure and protect our rights from those who would take them from us. To call them theft is disingenuous, to call them “the price we pay to live in a free(?) or just society” is a lie. Taxes are the price we as citizens pay -in theory equally- for goods and services that only the government can provide, such as national defense or trade infrastructure and courts, that we all benefit from. Taxes pay for those services both necessary for the preservation of liberty and our rights and inadequately provided for by free markets because of market weaknesses like externalities or the free rider issue. And the American default is -or at least ought to be- to err on the side of letting free markets handle the care and provision of the goods and services necessary to preserve the public good and peaceful order.

To do more or less than this is tyranny, slavery, & theft. To tax one group to service another group is legalized looting, it is plunder on a national scale on behalf of the politically favored. For taxes to be fair, they must apply equally in cost and benefit. All must pay “their fair share” -i.e. equally burdened, and all must benefit equally and have equal access to the fruits of tax spending. That is what is meant by “the common good” and the “general welfare”.

As Jefferson so eloquently stated, “Whether property alone, and the whole of what each citizen possesses, shall be subject to contribution, or only its surplus after satisfying his first wants, or whether the faculties of body and mind shall contribute also from their annual earnings, is a question to be decided. But, when decided, and the principle settled, it is to be equally and fairly applied to all. To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, ‘the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it.’”

Let us remember that overly burdensome taxes are why the Founders rejected British rule and sought independence and self-governance. Let us also remember that what they considered heavy and burdensome are peanuts in comparison to the taxes we pay today…those of us who pay taxes anyways. Liberty cannot exist where one man is taxed so that another may eat of his labor, or where one group is shouldered with a greater burden because of political favors bestowed upon another group.

And without liberty, there can be no justice. Without justice, there can be no peace. Without peace, life is little more than waiting around for death and taxes.

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Education

Whoopi is right about the behavior of UCLA Basketball players in China

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Whoopi Goldberg

I’m not a big fan of Whoopi Goldberg, okay but I have to tell you that I agree with her regarding the following statement.  This is in regards to a couple of UCLA basketball players who thought they could take something from a store in China and not pay for it.

You embarrassed your families, you embarrassed the country, and you embarrassed the president. Now I’m not a big fan of the president, but the fact that he had to call and get your asses out of there is not anything to be proud of or think is cool.  If this isn’t the stupidest thing a young person has done, particularly if you’re over six-feet tall, and black… is this just the ridiculous stupidity of youth?

Let me add one more thing. You’re an embarrassment to UCLA itself, and their athletic department as well.  Now I am not a big fan of those who run academia, but if these jerks are given the right punishment, I shall give the university credit and praise for doing it.  All right UCLA, the ball is in your court.  Do something right for once.

Further Reading

Whoopi Goldberg to ‘Stupid’ UCLA Players: You’re Fortunate Trump Could ‘Get Your A**es Out’ of China

http://freebeacon.com/issues/whoopi-goldberg-ucla-players-fortunate-trump-get-out-china/“Now, you’re in China—you’re this big!” she said, reaching high into the air to indicate the players’ height. “It’s not like you’re gonna blend, you’re not going to blend in, run out.”

Goldberg said their families and mentors had no doubt told them numerous times not to do things like this, and she said the foolishness of youth is the only explanation for something so dumb.

President Trump says ‘You’re welcome’ after UCLA Bruins players thank him for help with China incident

http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/21432885/president-trump-says-welcome-ucla-bruins-players-thank-help-china-incidentUCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero said freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill stole from three stores, were arrested and surrendered their passports. Trump, who was already on an Asia trip, spoke to President Xi Jinping of China about the incident, and the players were allowed to return to the United States on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, all three read prepared statements at a news conference in which it was revealed that they have been suspended from the team indefinitely. They thanked the Chinese government and police for how they were treated and United States officials for helping secure their release.

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Entertainment and Sports

Jerry Jones to Roger Goodell: “I’m gonna come after you with everything I have”

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Jerry Jones to Roger Goodell Im gonna come after you with everything I have

The NFL has problems, and I’m not talking about their lack of star power at the quarterback position. From dwindling attendance to the public relations nightmare of players kneeling, the NFL under Commissioner Roger Goodell has been in a state of a decline for a while.

Jerry Jones agrees. The Dallas Cowboy’s owner had some harsh words for the commissioner.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in bitter battle few saw coming led by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones

http://www.espn.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/21441056/nfl-commissioner-roger-goodell-bitter-battle-saw-coming-led-dallas-cowboys-owner-jerry-jones“I’m gonna come after you with everything I have,” Jones said. Then he mentioned Deflategate. “If you think Bob Kraft came after you hard, Bob Kraft is a p—y compared to what I’m going to do.”

Nobody knows what Jones is going to do. But at the age of 58, Goodell is fighting to keep his job. In public, he looks fresh and energetic, and he is more resolute than ever to leave with a legacy of having come close to fixing football’s long-standing issues. Up close, though, his face has changed due to relentless stress; it is now sallow and lined and tired. Roger Goodell is in a battle few saw coming, with the league’s membership teetering on an all-out, unprecedented civil war.

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Federalists

The Obamacare Debacle: Why we need a second political party

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Sometimes you simply hope that your predictions will be wrong and that events will miraculously turn out differently; unfortunately, this is not one of those times. Most people with a modicum of common sense anticipated that the Republicans would now take the blame for the troubles of Obamacare, and that has come to pass.  The aphorism ‘You broke it, you bought it’ comes to mind, and while somewhat unfair to the situation, perception is reality in the world of politics.

Tear it down and start over.

While not endeavoring to reign blows upon a deceased equine, this is why the Republican party needed to keep its promise on Obamacare. It’s also the reason why it’s time to sweep away the old and begin anew with a brand new second major political party. That phrase was deliberately used because it has become quite evident that the Republican and Democratic parties have started to merge in far too many ways.

The Obamacare debacle is a prime illustration of this unfortunate merging. O’Sullivan’s First Law explains this to a fair degree since the denizens of a certain party will – over time – want to keep the bureaucratic levers of power with the false idea that they can have it run more efficiently. Besides the simple expedient of term limits, a new party could start anew with a mandate to avoid this political trap.

An illustration from the world of engineering seems more than appropriate in this instance. There are times when a machine or structure has become so riddled with worn out or failed components that it is far better to simply scrap or tear it down and build something from scratch. The aphorism is to start with a clean sheet of paper such that the old assumptions and constructs are swept away in favor of something entirely new and innovative. “We’ve always done it this way” is replaced with questioning skepticism with regard to what works, and what doesn’t.

Existing components that have proven to be of service can be utilized in the new construct but only if they meet certain criteria, not simply because they are carried along with everything else of the old. By the same token, members of the old party can become a vital part of the new but only if they are up to the task.

The final word on the Republican party.

It is more than likely that the people responsible for that bureaucratic mess will use it to good political advantage against those who opposed it in the first place. We should be getting rid of governmental interference in the free market, but instead will see a complete control with national socialist healthcare [i.e., the ‘single payer’ deception].

There is no other choice than to limit the damage now with a new party that will stay true to conservative principles. The results of the alternative are too horrible to contemplate.

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