Thursday, August 04, 2005

Boortz Commentary

The Kelo backlash and the Fair Tax dovetail nicely. They aren't perfect libertarian solutions. If they were, they would eliminate virtually all eminent domain and would eliminate most federal taxes. Again, these are steps in the right direction, which I support.

Boortz identifies the one thing that is especially appealing about these remedies, in today's edition of Neal's Nuze:
With the implementation of the FairTax politicians would lose power.

This is what political solutions to perceived problems invariably do: build personal power in politicians. I'm 100% in favor of policies that serve to strip away this power. More from Boortz:
During the fully expected delays at LaGuardia airport last night I was looking at a USA Today story on eminent domain. Politicians across the country and in Washington are working to pass laws to protect private property rights in light of that hideous Kelo vs. New London Supreme Court decision. Now just why are politicians suddenly so worried about private property rights? The Supreme's decision on eminent domain was a boon to politicians! It increased their power! Now they're trying to give that power back to the people? When is the last time you saw politicians act on their own, without any provocation, to surrender power? Answer ... probably never. So why now? Voters, that's why. The people were so outraged over the Supreme Court decision that the political class new they had to act, or risk losing support.

And so it is with the FairTax. With the implementation of the FairTax politicians would lose power. They would no longer have the ability to easily manipulate the tax code to curry favor with one class of voters over another. The class war aspects of tax policy would be over since the poor would essentially be relieved of the obligation to pay any federal taxes at all. Under the FairTax there really is no way for any politician to manipulate federal tax policy for votes or to elicit huge campaign contributions from favored business or individual taxpayers.


debbie said...

Does the Fair Tax decrease spending? If not, then the politicians still have all the power they need because they will still have lots and lots of money to "give" to all the special groups of people.

Mike Kole said...

Debbie, wouldn't you rather build a bridge where there is an opportunity to make the system just a little bit better than dig in your heels and fight over details which leave us not making the system better?

Show me a better plan that's on the table and I'll back it. If you can't show me a better plan, I'll back the best plan on the table, which would be this one.

Hank Rearden said...

It's an interesting debate here with Mike and Debbie.

I would like to see something more sweeping along the lines Debbie speaks of, with something that would reduce spending. That would probably have to be another bill, though. Let's get a "Fair Spending" bill out there next.

I'm with Mike in backing the Fair Tax, though. I can't think of ANYTHING more Libertarian than eliminating the IRS, and that's what this plan would do.

Also, I always analyze a bill like this: Federal Govt bigger or smaller? Yes or no? Eliminating the IRS makes the Federal Govt smaller, so, YES to the Fair Tax.

debbie said...

First of all, just because there may not be another plan out there is certainly no reason to jump on this one. Surely you can see how that argument can get you into big trouble.

Mike, it's important to think of the big picture here. It's easy to get lost in the details sometimes and forget the principles you want to uphold. Otherwise people end up being confused about what libertarianism means.

Libertarianism is certainly not about changing from one method of government coercing our funds to another, especially with no talk of decreasing spending.

And libertarians also understand that every single law out there has had unintended consequences, which is why there is the need to always be very leery with the idea of ADDING new laws or new ideas or New! Improved! forms of taxation. The focus should be on repealing laws, eliminating spending and giving people their money back to spend as they see fit.

And how do you feel about promoting a new tax where the originators brag about how wonderfully progressive it is, how this is a good plan because government will finally get the money from those rich bastards after all (assuming of course that it actually would work that way.)

However, one interesting aspect of the fairtax idea is the black market that will be created. I almost want it to pass to see what clever entrepreneurial individuals will come up with in order to avoid the taxes. ;)


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Ed Godard said...

I'm a dissatisfied Republican, and I real think I might be a Libertarian, but these kinds of debates really put me off. The fair tax may not be a utopian ideal, but it's pretty darn good. How can you get anything done if you'll snipe at your candidates and fail to back a plan that would eliminate the IRS? It's senseless. Debbie, are you saying that you like the IRS, and want it to stay there?

Besides, it's not a new tax. That's just a load of bull.

"Bob" said...

Exactly, Ed. I'd like to get involved with the Libertarians, and will probably vote for Libertarian candidates like Mike Kole, but the ones like Debbie who build air castles and generally live in fantasy land very much keep me away.

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debbie said...

To Ed:
1. If you like the fair tax, then go for it. I'm simply throwing my own individual concerns and ideas out there.
2. Who is sniping at a libertarian candidate? Mr. Kole has stated that he want to BECOME a candidate for the LP, but he's not a candidate at this time, he's seeking the nomination. Wouldn't now be the exact time to have these sort of discussions so individuals can see what sort of candidate he will be and whether they want to support him? Personally, I applaud Mr. Kole for doing this blog and getting discussion of ideas out there.
3. How does having concerns about the fairtax idea make you conclude that I like the IRS?
4. Why is the addition of a federal sales tax not a new tax?
Again, if you like the fairtax, then I am certainly not stopping you from supporting it, am I? Heck it's not even a libertarian proposal.

To "bob" (do the quotes mean bob is not your real name?):
Why is asking questions about a plan, not proposed by the libertarian party, a bad thing? I'm simply questioning the plan, and I don't understand why you chose to say I live in some fantasy land instead of explaining your own thoughts on why the fairtax is a good proposal to back.

Mike Kole said...

Debbie's right- now's the time to check into a candidate's platform: before the convention, not after. Little good, then.

So, it occurs to me that I need to put my platform together and put it up on the official campaign website. That way, people can see what I am pitching *as a candidate*. The ideas I pitch here are not identical to the ones I will campaign on... although I know that people won't draw that distinction.

Look for the updates to the campaign site soon.

Michael said...

The Fair Tax goes a long way towards freeing people in ways not even imagined by the crafters of HR 25, (The Fair Tax). It removes tax burdens that hinder basic liberties. Sure, it's trading off one form of taxation for another but it is trading it for a better method that puts everything on the table. It truly levels the playing field for everyone.
It would take away the main reasons for the state to regulate marriage, interstate commerce, firearms..(theoretically we could see the well deserved demise of the BATF and many onerous gun laws!!). Companies who have fled our country would stampede to get back in. Small business owners would be able to tell employees EXACTLY how much they were going to be paid and then pay them more.
The incentive to decrease spending will be there since the passage of Fair Tax would revolutionise the way the government can do business.