So, it’s great Rand Paul might have finally found himself. I’m still confused over the 14% flat tax. Why not adopt his dad’s plan of abolishing the income tax! See, it isn’t entirely all about how much money is taxed, but how it is taxed.
This is where I’m not so much writing for the Anarchists, but to Jason and to the minarchists. Government is a necessary evil: check. I don’t think anyone will disagree with that, or “Government is evil,” and now everyone is on board. Taxes are bad. Taxes are expropriation. That is, in less technical terms, theft. It makes a difference how you are stolen from. It’s one thing to wake up in the morning and find out your car was stolen out of your driveway, it’s a whole ‘nother thing to be car jacked on your way home. Essentially, this is the same difference between an income tax and a tariff. With a tariff, your money is paid into the price of goods that come from overseas and into the artificially high prices of competing American companies. But, that’s a passive tax, one that you don’t even notice unless it becomes too high.
The income tax is more like being car jacked. You are stopped, and you actually have to stop to do your taxes, report how much money you made, how much you spend on interest on your home mortgage, how much you spent on feed and vet bills, and how much you give to charity, and all the details about your family. You know I bet when you think about it, you would rather be car jacked once a year than go through with filing your own taxes.
The income tax is a direct tax, and it is the most wicked type of tax there is. Those who fought for our independence from Britain railed against direct taxation. Frank Chodorov singled it out for attack in the 1950’s and Ron Paul wanted to abolish it, and replace it with nothing.
Why, then, am I being told that 14% is something I should cheer for? Here is the thing with strategy: Yes I get more freedom if my tax burden is reduced to an effective 7%, but, if that’s the case, what are the prospects people will be interested in abolishing an income tax that is so low? If it is that good, will we be able to get improvement somewhere down the road? Besides that, why is 14% our starting point? Why not 6%? Watch me plead with my potential overlord. “Please, Mr. Paul, can we please keep an extra 8% of what I earn?” Whereas his Dad saw the income tax for what it is; he was principled and he wanted to destroy it!
What was the other topic yesterday? Ah, the banking system was one… I think Jason misspoke here and there when trying to explain the reserve requirements. I think Jason Stapleton is about the only libertarian I’ve ever heard speak about banking and money and not recommend a few books. So, I’ll do that here: From Rothbard we have The Mystery of Banking and The Case Against the Fed . That’s probably the very best place to go to get started on the banking system and the central bank.
Lastly, Jason argued we shouldn’t have a 3rd party, that it’s a bad idea. Well, I think that’s probably true for him. But, somebody’s got to do it. What we are in is a war of ideas. There are all different types of actors on the field. It would definitely be a bad idea if everyone on the battlefield were an archer, or if everyone were operating a trebuchet. It wouldn’t even be good if half did that, and if half of us were archers. We need men on the line; we need Calvary. That’s how we win a battle (at least before gunpowder was brought to Europe).
What I’m getting at is there are those who make subtle comments and suggestions. There are Big Guns like Tom Woods and Bob Murphy, and there are different types of arguments. Some are softer or Socratic and with varying degrees of abrasiveness. I’ve won people over using all of the above. One of the most memorable was when I crashed a tea party in 2010. They had an open mic, and I got up and spoke. The things I said…. Oh it was something. I was actually shut down, and asked to leave (it was a very small gathering), and I knew one family there who was in that neo-con mind set. I stayed in touch with them and sent them books a few months later for Christmas. Then sent them more books the next year for Christmas, and you know, now they are some of the most activist folks for the ideas of liberty.
It isn’t good for everyone to be in the libertarian party, or for everybody to do this or that, but it is definitely good that someone do it.