L. Neil Smith's
Number 308, February 27, 2005

"Too busy... to pick up a pitchfork and start the revolution."

[Letters to the editor are welcome on any and all subjects. To ensure their acceptance, please try to keep them under 500 words. Sign your letter in the text body with your name and e-mail address as you wish them to appear.]

Letter from Kevin S. Van Horn

Letter from Glenn Patton

Letter from Mike Blessing

Letter from Jim Davidson

Re: "The Tax Man Goeth", by Charles Stone, Jr. http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2005/tle307-20050220-05.html

In his article, "The Tax Man Goeth", Charles Stone sounds like just another Republican apologist rather than any sort of libertarian. Let's analyze what he's written:

"How would [a national sales tax] help? ... Because it's not an additional tax. It replaces the Federal income tax..."

Right... I suppose Mr. Stone still believes in Santa Claus, too. The people proposing this are the same who lied the country into an immoral and unnecessary war, telling so many whoppers that they make even Bill Clinton look like a paragon of honesty. They're the same people that have been wiping their asses with the Bill of Rights for over three years now. Only a fool or a knave would claim they can be trusted.

There will, of course, be a transition period in going from the income tax to a national sales tax, during which we will have both taxes.

How much do you want to bet that this transition period won't end during our lifetimes?

"Is it possible to get enough money to run the government through such a system?"

Why in the world would a libertarian want the Feds to have enough money to run their organization? Does Mr. Stone worry about the Mafia having enough income to run their organization?

"The underground economy that now pays no income taxes would suddenly be paying their share."

That Mr. Stone considers this a good thing is most telling. Another phrase for "the underground economy" is "the free economy," i.e., that portion of it which has managed to escape government control. Furthermore, the very notion that everyone should pay their "fair share" of the tax burden is a statist one; would Mr. Stone lament the fact that not all women suffer their "fair share" of the rape burden in this country?

"Every household would receive a stipend equal to the the sales tax the would pay on the necessities. Every household."

Whether or not they actually paid such taxes? This sounds like another income redistribution plan to me. And another monstrous bureaucracy.

And another way for the Feds to exert ever more control over the lives of Americans. There will, of course, be strings attached to this stipend. How long before it will be denied to divorced fathers accused (rightly or wrongly) of not paying child support, or to parents who don't follow a federally approved program of education for their children, or to parents found not to have federally approved trigger locks on their guns, etc.?

"Would there be cheaters?"

You mean, would there be patriotic Americans who would find the courage and means to avoid funding the most anti-American organization on the planet, one that robs from, defrauds, and enslaves Americans on a massive scale, and seems bent on destroying everything that ever was good and noble about this country?

I damn well hope so.

Kevin S. Van Horn

Re: "The Tax Man Goeth", by Charles Stone, Jr. http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2005/tle307-20050220-05.html

After reading Charles Stone, Jr.'s article, "The Tax Man Goeth," I have to wonder if Mr. Stone woke up next to a pod this morning.

OK, that was somewhat mean, but I find it painful to see such a respected member of the freedom movement endorsing this plan.

Some of what he says, I have no problem with. It may very well cause an economic boom, and it certainly will save preparation costs. What really set me off was this sentence:

"The underground economy that now pays no income taxes would suddenly be paying their share."

Excuse me??? What is this "share" thing you're talking about?? Do you mean to tell me that we're supposed to just hand over our wallets to the nice man with the gun? That when the collectors and sharers come around, we're not supposed to resist, even in a small way?


OK, I'm calm now.

Next, we get into the the bribe portion of the fair tax plan. You got it, as a victim of universal goverment robbery, you get a check back—supposedly to reimburse you for the tax on basic necessities, but the real effect will be to make most people dependent on that monthly government check. Hmmmm.... Sounds suspiciously like welfare to me...

Will goods be cheaper with the fair tax plan? Maybe not—after all, many of the goods we buy are not manufactured here, but overseas—no break on income tax, no price reduction.

What about sugar, dairy products and other government price controlled items? Since they are already inflated due to government interference, they aren't going to come down much, if at all.

Also, there is another point—the punitive tax. The fair tax plan makes it one step easier for the feds to put that 200%, 500%, or even 1000% tax on ammunition, guns, SUVs, fatty foods, and anything else that they feel you shouldn't have. Without it, they would have had to be far more blatant by making a special tax. Now, they can just go ahead and add it to a special schedule of items with increased taxation.

Oh, and by the way: Will the Fair Tax Plan eliminate income tax? Read the following paragraph:

"SEC. 905. (a) IN GENERAL— All persons, in whatever capacity acting (including lessees or mortgagors or real or personal property, fiduciaries, employers, and all officers and employees of the United States) having control, receipt, custody, disposal, or payment of any income to the extent such income constitutes gross income from sources within the United States of any nonresident alien individual, foreign partnership, or foreign corporation shall deduct and withhold from that income a tax equal to 23 percent thereof."

In other words, an Income Tax.

To recap:

1. The fair tax plan puts every American household on welfare.

2. Imported goods and price controlled goods will not be reduced in price.

3. Fair Tax plan makes it easier (and since we're dealing with government here, almost certain) to put a punitive tax on items that the feds don't like.

4. The Fair Tax plan has a mechanism in place to implement an income tax.

Glenn Patton

Oh, and should anyone think that I should come up with a better idea, here it is: Abolish witholding, pay everything in full on tax day with no partial payments allowed, and move tax day to the last week in October. I want taxpayers to go into the voting booth with blood in their eye. <evil grin>

Neil / Editor —

Good article as always. And timely to recent events here in the LPNM—just recently, I ran off another such clown who kept insisting that the ZAP "doesn't apply" to the issues of the day.

At first, I tried playing nice, but no dice. So then I let loose. The first time this clown left us was on 13 Dec 2004. He was apparently "talked back" by a county chair, only to leave in another snit 60 days later (12 Feb 2005).

Go to the LPNM Forum [ http://www.lpnm.org/forum ] and look for posts by "nosweets54" and you'll see exactly what I'm talking about.

Shades of Eric "the Shake" Dondero.

And concerning the bill written by "Mike" that would re-legalize select-fire rifles as long as they were manufactured in-state —

So What?

This was (and still is) a feel-good measure on the part of the proponent. First, full-auto isn't really a good thing on such a rifle as full-auto isn't as accurate as semi-auto, and tends to waste ammo—I'd rather have a detachable sound suppressor at the least, and maybe a 40-mm grenade launcher.

Second, and more important, building your own "ugly black"* military- pattern semi-auto rifle was pretty easy, even under Waco Willie's 1994 ban. I should know—I put together a semi-auto CAR-15 / M-4 in 1997, with flash-hider and telescoping stock, from new parts. Now that the 1994 ban has expired, it's even easier to make your own.

* I happen to think that such rifles are quite attractive, thank you!

Mike Blessing

Dear Ken,

Re: "On Handcuffed and Felonious Children", by Wendy McElroy http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2005/tle306-20050213-09.html

Hi. I take what I'm hoping my friend Wendy will interpret as good-natured exception to her characterization of the butter knife incident as "an innocent mistake," in her thought-provoking essay on the handcuffed and felonious children.

Wendy notes, "Zero tolerance has spread through society largely due to the reasonable fear with which people have responded to the school shootings at Columbine and the still-stunning tragedy of Sept. 11. The fear is reasonable."

I disagree. I think the fear is unreasonable. Why fear a butter knife? Why is it any sort of mistake for a child to carry a butter knife to school? Why is it any sort of a mistake for a child to have scissors at school, or allergy medicine, or lemon drops, as some "zero tolerance" victims have been punished for possessing? There is no reason for an armed people to be afraid. Only the slave, disarmed because she is feared by her masters, needs to be afraid of what she cannot easily defend herself against. Fear arises not from reasoning, but from being denied the tools that thinking people have created for addressing sources of danger.

There is another term for "zero tolerance." Intolerance. It is also called "bigotry." Why should hoplophobia be tolerated?

The proper response to the school shootings at Columbine and elsewhere is the closure of all public schools, the end of all property taxes, the default on all related bond issues, and the private or home schooling of children as the children themselves or, in the unlikely event of incapacity on the part of the child, the parents feel is the best way for learning to take place. It is high time we separate school from state, as Marshall Fritz has been telling us (http://www.sepschool.org/). It is high time we take children seriously, as Sarah Fitz-Claridge has been telling us (http://www.takingchildrenseriously.com/).

But, failing the closing of all propaganda mills and the outlawing of publicly funded education, along with all forms of theft associated with it, schools should return to basic American traditions of liberty. Children and teachers should keep and bear arms. There is nothing wrong with having a butter knife in one's dinner pail or lunch box, nothing mistaken about scissors, or medications, or guns. When I was a student children brought guns to school for show and tell, sometimes with a parent for further elaborations on gun safety and sometimes not.

Armed teachers at Columbine would have been in a position to defend the children on campus without having to wait for the SWAT team to come to grips with its duties. Armed students at Columbine would not have been easy targets for murder, and would likely not have put up with the kind of aggravation that jocks seem to have an endless appetite for meting out against others. An armed society is a polite society, as Robert Heinlein taught. What is a school if it is not a society? And why shouldn't its members be armed?

It is a mistake to yield any ground on this issue. Children are the future. Children should choose how their lives are run. Coercing children leads to more coercion in the future. These are fairly obvious matters. Even a child can see them.

Bigotry and fear of weapons is the problem with zero tolerance. Taking a butter knife to school to cut up fruit and avoid problems with braces is not a mistake, innocent or otherwise. Once we yield the ground on which the Bill of Rights was written, the bloody ground of places like Lexington and Concord, we can expect to be handed a generation of ignorant slaves by the public school teachers.

Freedom, as our glorious leader L. Neil Smith points out, is under attack because we haven't been fighting the culture war. Columbine was caused by a culture which calls for medicating creative children with psychosis-inducing drugs, disarming parents, teachers, and children alike, and forcing everyone through an indoctrination camp for twelve long, boring years. It is in the nature of some jocks to make life miserable for some geeks, and in the nature of some geeks to be vengeful about it. Forcing these disparate groups together, forcing non-parents to pay for the school athletic programs through taxes, and generally allowing our freedom to be diminished through cultural retardation are not irreversible problems.

Recognizing these problems, though, is the first step in redressing them.


Jim Davidson

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