Login
  • Username:

    Password:
  • Remember my login on this computer
  • Register
Users online
  • Users: 1 Guest
  • Most Users Ever Online Is On June 12, 2008 @ 11:50 pm

Tom Knapp Attacks The Fair Tax

March 29th, 2008

Tom Knapp (L) is running for United States House in Missouri’s 2nd district and he has already started to go after his Republican opponent, Todd Akin, for co-sponsoring Fair Tax legislation.

The following are concerns Tom Knapp has mentioned about the Fair Tax:

First and foremost, understand this: The “Fair Tax” is not a tax cut. Its proponents claim that it is “revenue neutral,” i.e. that Americans would pay just as much in taxes through the “Fair Tax” as they did through the taxes it replaced.

Secondly, the “Fair Tax” would put America on the dole. Every man, woman and child in the United States would receive a monthly check from the government. In theory, that check would represent an advance rebate (proponents call it a “prebate”) of part of the tax. In fact, eligibility for the check would be completely unconnected to actual payment of the tax.

Thirdly, while proponents claim that the “Fair Tax” would “eliminate the IRS,” exactly the opposite is true. A federal tax bureaucracy would still be required to administer the “prebate” program, and to police interstate tax fraud and “prebate” fraud … and fifty more bureaucracies would have to be created to assess and collect the tax at the state level.

Fourthly, proponents of the “Fair Tax” are deceptive in describing how large it would be. They characterize it as a 23% sales tax, when in fact it is a 30% tax.

He then goes on to give this opinion of what the Fair Tax could do to the American economy:

Finally, there’s a good chance that the “Fair Tax” would wreck the American economy in transition. The tax is assessed on new, but not used, goods. Care to guess what will happen to our nation’s automotive and homebuilding industries when the price of new cars and homes jumps by 30% and the price of used cars and homes doesn’t? Time and supply/demand will eventually bring the prices of used goods back into proportion with those of new goods … but until we get there, whole sectors of the economy will be, at best, on life support.

Click here to read Tom Knapp’s full post on the Fair Tax

Like Tom, I have many concerns about the Fair Tax. One concern is that those who have saved and invested their money are going to be taxed twice under a consumption tax. For example, if I have a Roth IRA I have already paid taxes on that money. When I spend the money I would once again have to pay taxes on that same money. In my opinion, we would greatly punish people who are being financially responsible.

While I would love to eliminate the IRS, I don’t think it is possible in the short term. I would prefer to cut spending, slowly cut taxes while at the same time paying down the national debt. The reason we cannot quickly cut taxes is that we have to cut spending first which is something the Bush administration failed to understand. The Bush administration and the Republican controlled Congress cut taxes, but refused to simultaneously cut spending and because of that we now have a huge deficit. Of course, many think a large surplus would be good, but that would result in less money going back into the economy which would not be good. When there is less money for the American people to spend there is less money to be invested in things such as new businesses which create employment. Instead, I prefer a small surplus each year to pay down the national debt. Until we cut spending and significantly lower taxes and the national debt I see no reason to give politicians any additional methods of collecting money.

Print This Post Print This Post
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

Social Insecurity

March 28th, 2008

The Associated Press is reporting the same thing that I heard United States Comptroller David Walker speaking about last year on his “Fiscal Wake-Up Tour” with the Concord Coalition.

From the Associated Press report:

The trustees, issuing their once-a-year analysis, said the resources in the Social Security trust fund will be depleted by 2041. The reserves in the Medicare trust fund that pays hospital benefits were projected to be wiped out by 2019.

Click here to read full article

David Walker and others have been discussing this issue for a long time. It is no secret that America is going to be in a fiscal crisis is steps are not taken now to solve the problem. Republicans blame the Democrats for pork-barrel spending and vice versa. Occasionally, the Democrats will change the subject to attack the Iraq war, but even if we eliminated the entire budget of the Pentagon (not something I advocate) we could not save Social Security and Medicare.

The problem with Social Security is that Americans are on average living much longer than they were just a few years ago. In fact, a CDC report shows that life expectancy increased from 47.3 years in 1900 to 77.8 years in 2004. Obviously, if people are living longer once they retire it will cost more money to pay for them to live once they retire. So when Dennis Kucinich proposes lowering the retirement age I question how he thinks the American people can pay for it without in the end paying all our money in taxes and then not being able to afford things such as roads or a military. In the short term such ideas may sound good, but they are the ideas that have sold our country into debt slavery.

Of course, with Roth IRA’s and other retirement and investment opportunities Social Security could be phased out if steps are taken now. When Hillary Clinton says that it would be just terrible for Americans to put their money in the stock market I wonder if she realizes that the stock market is much safer than to be forced to invest your money into Social Security which is ran by the government and is running out of money faster than a governor in a brothel. When you encourage people not to save and invest by telling them the government will manage your retirement for you they become unlikely to plan their own retirement. When you encourage people to take the initiative and save and invest and care about their future they will be more likely to do so.

The following is a video of United State Comptroller David Walker on Glenn Beck:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-16u9×3tfE&hl=en]

Sources:

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus06.pdf#027

Print This Post Print This Post
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

Murray Sabrin - Worthy of support?

February 12th, 2008

Of the numerous individuals running for Congress as “Ron Paul Republicans,” only one has earned the Good Doctor’s official endorsement. Murray Sabrin, who as a Libertarian candidate for New Jersey governor achieved 5% of the vote (and accepted “matching funds”), is that one lucky candidate. And now Trevor Lyman, organizer of the first Ron Paul money bomb; and Larry Lepard, who paid for the full-page USA Today ad; have gotten behind Dr. Sabrin. In fact, there is an effort to have a money bomb for Sabrin’s senatorial campaign, and with the Paul campaign winding down, those inclined toward “Ron Paul Republicanism” should take a closer look at Sabrin.

A closer look, indeed. I was at first excited to hear about Sabrin running for U.S. Senate, but troubled by his lack of an “on the issues” section to his Web site. Other than being for the gold standard and Ron Paul, it was unclear what Dr. Sabrin stood for. Now the “on the issues” page is up at his site, and there are some troubling anti-libertarian and even anti-Paulian positions Sabrin champions.

First, Sabrin says he supports the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, “rolling back federal government,” and implicitly abolishing the Department of Education. But later, he advocates big-government, unconstitutional programs such as “education savings accounts” and, worse yet, vouchers. Where in the Constitution are these things authorized?

Disregard for the Constitution extends into Sabrin’s anti-abortion stances. Instead of merely stating a personal opposition to abortion and advocating decentralism, Sabrin supports the unconstitutional federal partial-birth abortion ban and chides his opponent for not cheering on this exercise in federal power-mongering. Then he goes further by advocating a federal law to “criminalize” harming an “unborn fetus during the commission of a crime.” Again, where in the Constitution are these powers delegated to Congress?

And of course, Sabrin takes the Know-Nothing approach to immigration, greatly outdoing Ron Paul here. Unlike Paul, he advocates using confiscated tax dollars and eminent domain to build a socialist wall keeping Mexicans out and Americans in. And worse yet, his cultural protectionism extends to a demand for English as a “national language.” Libertarians aren’t, or at least shouldn’t be, for national anything.

In fact, out of thirteen issues Sabrin chooses to focus on, at least nine are anti-libertarian, wishy-washy, or contradicted by his other issue stances. For example, what the heck does “paying down debt by rating programs’ effectiveness mean”? Should we only eliminate socialist schemes that are “ineffective”? And do we really need a Balanced-Budget Amendment to the Constitution? If we were to summon the political will to achieve that, wouldn’t it be better to pass an amendment abolishing the income tax and/or Federal Reserve? A little debt is not the worst thing in the world — the means by which debt is monetized and what the government does with the money it borrows are far bigger concerns.

If he were elected, I’m sure Murray Sabrin would be the most libertarian member of the Senate. But before deciding to support his candidacy, one must take his anti-libertarian positions into account. In contrast to Ron Paul’s presidential bid, the only real good of a Sabrin candidacy would come from actual electoral victory. From a “movement” perspective, nothing is to be gained by a candidate who not only fails the purity test, but seems to be ignorant of the Constitution’s limits on government and hostile to the notions of cultural freedom and free-market pluralism.

Print This Post Print This Post
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

Another blow to the ‘Paul Congress’ - Terbolizard arrested for DUI

February 13th, 2008

Theodore Terbolizard (not his Christian name) was among the first and most vociferous of “Ron Paul Republicans” running for Congress. Well, here is what we get for taking the guy seriously:

Theodore Terbolizard, a little known GOP congressional candidate, is facing possible charges of driving under the influence after Grass Valley police pulled him over for speeding.

Terbolizard was stopped at 1:43 a.m. Sunday for what officers described as excessive speed as he was on his way home from a bar in Nevada City, according to police records.

Police Capt. Rex Marks told The Associated Press that officers arrested Terbolizard on suspicion of a DUI after administering a breathalyzer test. They are waiting for results of a blood-alcohol test, Marks said.

Terbolizard, from Cedar Ridge, is running for the seat being vacated by Republican Rep. John Doolittle, who has announced he will not seek another term.

The candidate told The Union newspaper that is arrest will not affect his campaign — other than to give him publicity.

If you want to take the Ron Paul mantle, you shouldn’t even be coming home from a bar at 1:45 A.M., let alone be drunk driving. And how did Terbolizard respond? By acting as if this would be a publicity boost to his campaign. Disgusting.

Print This Post Print This Post
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

In Defense of Christine Smith

December 11th, 2007

This will not be an all-out defense of every aspect of Ms. Smith’s campaign.  Rather, my objective is to first address concerns that have been addressed recently by others, acknowledging the apparently good and the apparently bad, and then presenting a comparison between her and the other candidates up against whom she is.  (Sometimes I wonder if it would just be better to end a sentence with a preposition.)

To state my bias up front, as far as the competing candidates for the Libertarian presidential nomination, Ms. Christine Smith has the best political positions as explained on a candidate site.  Mr. Steve Kubby seems to me to be the best public speaker of the bunch.  Finally, Mr. Michael Jingozian and Ms. Smith are tied as the most photogenic candidates.

Controversey started recently when Ms. Smith posted on her website a long essay titled “I Will Not Compromise - An Open Letter to libertarians.”  My main complaint is that this letter is far too long and repititious.  Make the point more succinct and it will reach more people.

Read the rest of this entry »

Print This Post Print This Post
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

Live Blogging: Radicals for Capitalism: Introduction: Reviving an American Radical Tradition

December 15th, 2007

Having recently finished the Tannehills’ The Market for Liberty, I am currently reading Brian Doherty’s Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement.  The book deals with the many facets of the libertarian movement this century, as well as some details about classical liberal and proto-libertarian activists in centuries prior.  As I read the book chapter by chapter, I’ll write a little bit about it here for your pleasure.

Prior to reading this book, I had read one review of it: a poorly-reseached review from The New York Times by David Leonhardt.  The review had motivated me to write this reply.  David Boaz, too, couldn’t resist making mincemeat of Mr. Leonhardt’s review.

Mr. Doherty explains the title of his book on page fifteen.  It is true, as Mr. Doherty points out, that libertarians are radicals for liberty and for choice.  However the phrase “radical for capitalism” comes from Ayn Rand.  Mr. Doherty contends that this phrase “characterizes the movement’s prickliness, its willingness to take on terms from their enemies and turn them to their own advantage” (p. 15).  Although the term “capitalist” was used by Karl Marx to be a term of derision, many libertarians like the notion of “re-claiming” the term.  The GLBT community has since done the same thing with the term “queer.”

The introduction is where Mr. Doherty introduces us, broadly, to this whole “libertarian” thing.  Many have heard the term, perhaps linked to the Cato Institute or to the Libertarian Party, to blogs or to syndicated radio shows (p. 2-3).  Nevertheless, not everyone knows exactly what the term means.  Mr. Doherty sums up the libertarian belief as follows: “Government, if it has any purpose at all (and many libertarians doubt it does), should be restricted to the protection of its citizens’ persons and property against direct violence and theft” (p. 3).

Libertarians tend to have a fond view of America’s founding, but as Mr. Doherty explains, it is not a backward or reactionary ideology.  “By extending individual liberty into radical areas of sex, drugs, and science (no restrictions on stem cell research, cloning, or nanotech), libertarianism is the most future looking of American ideologies.  It sells the promise of a world mankind hasn’t yet fully known, one with personal liberty limited only by preventing damage to other people or their property” (p. 3-4).

One can arrive at libertarian views by a variety of avenues, including natural law theory and utilitarianism, sometimes both (p. 4-5).  But despite libertarianism’s radical individualism, it is not an atomistic philosophy.  Mr. Boaz’s father’s “good reputation didn’t extend much beyond the small town where [they] lived, and he would have had trouble borrowing money in a hurry even a few towns over.  [Conversely, Mr. Boaz has] instant access to cash and credit virtually anywhere…because the free market has developed credit institutions that extend around the world.  …  The network of trust and credit relies on all the institutions of a free society: individual rights and responsibility, secure property rights, freedom of contract, free markets, and the rule of law.  A complex order rests on a simple but secure foundation” (p. 7).  Despite the radical individualism advocated by libertarianism, it would yield a highly interconnected society.

The introduction states that the book will deal with five intellectuals in particular, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich A. Hayek, Ayn Rand, Murray Rothbard, and Milton Friedman.  He goes on to, in a section I love, note simularities and differences between these five (p. 8-9).  The book then briefly discusses these figures over the next few pages to provide the reader with some basic information.

Despite the libertarian’s association with the term “capitalism,” it would be a mistake to assume that libertarianism is simply apologia for privilege.  Whereas Big Business often petitions Big Government to enact protectionist measures, such as Roger Milliken agitating for tariffs, it would receive no such advantages from libertarians.  Those who advocate libertarianism do so therefore because of a personal conviction for liberty, not simpply out of pecuniary interest (p. 16).

Because libertarians are an eclectic bunch, arriving at their views from many different avenues, there tends to be a great deal of infighting within this movement.  To exemplify this, Mr. Doherty quotes one Fred Smith: “When two libertarians find themselves agreeing on something, each knows the other has sold out” (p. 19).

Although the in-fighting is quite annoying to those of us living through it, I suspect that the in-fighting depicted in this retrospective will make this an very interesting story indeed.  I look forward to it.

Print This Post Print This Post
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

A Report from the 1770s by the Modern American Mainstream Media

December 13th, 2007

BOSTON – Calls have been recently made by fringe elements in these colonies to secede from Great Britain, which they call an “empire.”

The movement for breaking our bonds with our king has the appearance of being large.  Indeed, some are calling this a ”revolution.”

In reality, only a small band of quixotic yet well-organised pamphleteers are behind this effort.  Many mail-boxes, including ours here at the New York Province Times, have been spammed with pamphlets and letters in support for this radical measure.

Donations by these out-of-touch yet apparently-wealthy radicals toward secessionary forces have been surprisingly large.  This cause has had more money directed to it than have been directed to our king–even considering his power to tax–nevertheless secession remains a long-shot cause.

Leaders of this cause, such as dark horse Patrick Henry, have given a few speeches in support for this cause.  Supporters have called these speeches “stirring,” but King George III dismisses them, noting that he is our rightful sovereign and that secession is an isolationist cause.

“These nutty rebels cannot succeed,” explained George yesterday.  “They lack the resources and the momentum.  Moreover, most of our subjects in America oppose these anti-British radicals.”

When told that some of these fringe activists actually believe our colonies can survive without British leadership, George said, “That’s really an extraordinary statement.  That’s an extraordinary statement, as someone who lived through many European wars, that the colonies can govern themselves without a government.  I don’t think I’ve heard that before, and I’ve heard some pretty absurd explanations for cutting and running from Great Britain.”

Experts say this quixotic effort will not be able to muster anything other than destructive acts like we say two years ago in the Harbour of Boston.  This cause will fizzle away any day now.

Print This Post Print This Post
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

Remember, Remember the 16th of December

December 16th, 2007

234 years ago today, American rebels protested oppressive taxes by throwing tea into the Boston Harbour.

234 years later, American rebels are still protesting oppressive taxes. However, instead of thowing tea, these modern-day rebels are throwing dollars to the only fiscally-conservative presidential candidate running in either of the two Establishment parties. That candidate is Dr. Ron Paul, a congressman from Texas.

Today’s the day. Help Ron out by making a donation here.

UPDATE by paulie








paulcash thumbnail

Ron Paul’s Realtime Donation Graphs and Statistics for Q4


Print This Post Print This Post
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

An Open Letter to Students

December 14th, 2007

Students across America are excited about politics.

Wait a minute, politics?  Politics!?  Where did the youth apathy suddenly go?

A sense of optimism floats today across our nation’s college campuses.  Dr. Ron Paul, a 10-term Congressman from Texas, is running for President.  And, unlike most candidates, he’s responding to the concerns of young Americans.

Read the rest of this LewRockwell.com article »

Print This Post Print This Post
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

Who is Alex Peak?

December 11th, 2007

Before I say anything else, I should probably say hi. I was apparently added to the gang back in early August, but didn’t realise it until just recently.

I considered for a while whether I should simply give an introduction to myself, or jump right in with a post about something political. If I simply jump in with no introduction, I’d likely incur some confusion from the readers. “Who is this?” But if I solely use this post to introduce myself, might that not seem conceited?

As you noticed with the title of this post, I went with the potentially conceited route.

For the past few years, I’ve been heavily involved in campus politics at Towson University. I’ve served as President (2004-2006), Vice President (2007), and Membership Chair (2006-2007) of the College Libertarians. I also helped to co-found the Gun Rights Advocates of Towson and the Students for Sensible Drug Policy, serving as Vice President of each in 2007. Finally, I also founded and served as President of Towson Students for Ron Paul this year.

My interest in politics began back in Middle School. I recall not knowing what NATO was, or what the deal was with Kosovo and Serbia. Nor did I have any understanding what we had to do with it all. But I wanted to know.

I considered myself a liberal going into high school, which I saw at the time to be the small-government side. My first introduction to economics was an ABC special with John Stossel which argued against over-regulation and in favour of privatisation. It made sense, but when I discussed this with a teacher, he commented that it seemed I was turning conservative. This struck me as extremely perculiar, as the only thing I knew about conservatism was that it was big-government on speech, marriage, and a litany of other things.

I was introduced to the word “libertarian” twice before looking into it. The first time, it was after telling a co-worker that I was a liberal. She approved, then paused, asking, “You’re not a libertarian, are you?”

Not knowing what that was, I cautiously said no, asking, “What’s a libertarian?”

“Oh, something really extreme. You don’t want to be that.” Alas, I did.

The other reference to libertarianism was brought to me from Bill Maher, who was at the time the host of Politically Incorrect. It was after watching this show that I decided to check out the Libertarian Party’s website. And, of course, what I checked was the LP’s wonderful platform.

Since my biggest issues at the time were anti-censorship and anti-racism, I particularly checked out what the platform had to say about free speech and immigration. Needless to say, I approved. I also liked how it took what I had seen as a liberal position on gun rights. I searched through the document, focusing on those issues that were of particular interest to me–I can only imagine how turned-off to the party I would have been if all I had to go by was the 2006 rendition!

I wasn’t, at the time, as radical as the LP on certain issues, particularly economic issues. But that was okay, and over time, they grew on me. Particularly important to my intellectual development were Harry Browne and Murray N. Rothbard.

It was Browne, through his articles and his archived radio-show, that I went from libertarian/liberal hybrid to classical-liberal libertarian minarchist.

After Browne’s unfortunate death, I began reading a lot more on the Ludwig von Mises Institute website. I had previously only been slightly familiar with Rothbard, although I soon fell in love with his prose and logic.

Rothbard, at first, merely turned me into a radical, anti-tax minarchist–but a minarchist all the same. In fact, it wasn’t until this summer (2007) that I took that small yet scary leap into anarchism. (I still consider minarchists extremely important to the movement, mind you.)

And here I am today, still very much on an intellectual journey.

I hope you will accept me with loving arms.

And in case I haven’t made myself appear conceited enough as it is, here’s my website!

Print This Post Print This Post
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...