Wayne Root: Why Does Obama Hate Small Business?

Why Does Obama Hate Small Business?

By Wayne Allyn Root, Former Libertarian Vice Presidential Nominee and Author of “The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gold and Tax Cuts“>The Conscience of a Libertarian”

I’ve started more than a dozen small businesses. For one, over $20 million was invested by me and investors who believed in me. I’ve paid payrolls, health insurance, payroll taxes, workers comp, and unemployment insurance for hundreds of employees.

Because of that, my employees were able to pay their mortgages, buy groceries, send their kids to college, and provide for their families. For this same small business, I spent about $50 million dollars on things like advertising, marketing, promotion, lawyers and accountants. That money enriched and employed thousands of others. And, that’s just one small business. Think of the impact that thirty million small business owners have on the U.S. economy. No wonder we create 70% or more of America’s new jobs. Small businessmen and women are a far more powerful economic force than Exxon, Microsoft, GE, or WalMart.

So why do Obama and his socialist cabal hate us? Why do small businessmen and women feel demonized and punished? Why is it Obama’s goal to drive us out of business?

Mug or rob me once? Maybe it’s ignorance or a mistake. Twice? It’s a pattern. But, coming up with ways to rob and destroy me and my businesses on a daily basis? It’s time to get the message. Without a doubt, Obama and the progressive left are the enemy of small business.

Let’s look at the facts.

For 30 years I have been able to deduct mortgage interest from my taxable income. Obama wants to end that. How many so-called “wealthy” taxpayers (i.e. small business owners) would no longer be able to pay their mortgage? How many homes would go into foreclosure? What would happen to the housing market? Overnight every home in America would lose 40% of its already decimated value. How many small businesses earn a living off of real estate? How many millions of jobs would be lost? Does this sound like a President looking to create jobs?

For 30 years FICA taxes have been based on earnings currently capped at just over $100,000 per year. Obama wants to remove the cap, thereby hitting small businessmen with the largest tax increase in history. Overnight a small business owner making $500,000 per year would see his or her FICA plus Medicare taxes go from about $15,000 per year to $75,000. That’s $75,000 before federal or state income taxes. That’s a $60,000 per year tax increase for a small business owner. That would drive hundreds of thousands of small business owners out of business. It would force layoffs. It would lower consumer spending and kill more jobs.

For 30 years I ran my business without the extra taxes to pay for Obamacare. Now we face new taxes on income, stock sales, home sales, even on tanning beds! Worse is the provision mandating we report annually to the IRS every vendor from whom we purchase more than $600 of goods and services during the year. The cost of complying with this Big Brother Gestapo mandate is unfathomable and threatens to drown millions of small businesses in paperwork.

For 30 years, most small businesses could raise capital without government permission. Obama and his socialist friends in Congress want to change that. Last year Democratic Senator Dodd tried to pass financial reform that included a provision increasing the amount of money one would have to earn to be considered an “accredited investor.” That would reduce the angel investor pool by an estimated 70% and require most PRIVATE businesses get permission from the SEC to raise money. Do you know what an SEC lawyer costs? Raising capital for any new startup would suddenly cost an extra $250,000 in legal fees…and take months, or years, to wait in line for SEC approval. This would kill new business start-ups. Who could come up with this idea? Only a Marxist looking to destroy the American economy, or perhaps a cabal of extortionist lawyers looking for government to mandate obscene new legal fees. Either way, it was a “Friend of Obama.”

For 30 years I ran my businesses without the White House being in partnership with the American Bar Association. Now Obama has found a way to encourage every lawsuit junkie and disgruntled employee to make up a story and sue their boss. Every caller to the White House alleging their boss has broken the law now gets assigned a lawyer willing to work for contingency (no fees up front). Say goodbye to American business…and goodbye to jobs.

Keep in mind that all those new taxes and regulations mentioned above are aimed at people who risk their own money to start businesses. Collectively we risk trillions. Our courage and capitalism fuels the economy and creates over 70% of new jobs. Our taxes pay for government and all those government employees with their obscene pensions. Running a business often requires working sixteen-hour days and is the hardest thing you’ll ever do. If our reward for all this risk, sacrifice and work ethic is to be punished and demonized, why would we keep doing it?

This is no mistake or coincidence. This is a purposeful plan to destroy capitalism. And the best way to destroy capitalism is to destroy small business. Obama is trying to redistribute our wealth and create a jobs crisis. He can’t stand that we small business owners don’t need or want government to save us. So he’s out to ruin our businesses, and bring us to our knees begging for government to help. And as a bonus, he gets to wipe out the biggest contributors to conservative causes — small business. In other words, killing small business wipes out Obama’s political opposition.

Yes, ladies and gentleman, we have met the enemy of small business…and he resides in the White House.

Wayne Allyn Root is a former Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee. He now serves as Chairman of the Libertarian National Congressional Committee. He is the best-selling author of “The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gold and Tax Cuts“>The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gold & Tax Cuts.” His web site: www.ROOTforAmerica.com

130 thoughts on “Wayne Root: Why Does Obama Hate Small Business?

  1. wolfefan

    I don’t think it is true that Obama wants to end the mortgage interest deduction. While the bipartisan budget commission suggested some limitations, I’m not aware of serious proposals to totally end it as Wayne says above. Can someone point me to a primary source for this claim? Everything I have looked at says that Obama has made no such proposal.

    Also, hasn’t that reporting thing on the $600 been eliminated? I know that the Democrats were trying to get rid of it last year but the GOP held it up so they could use it as a campaign issue. I believe it has been repealed, but am not certain. I’ll do a little more checking – sorry in advance if I am mistaken.

  2. Steven Wilson

    Propaganda model

    1. Identify someone in your group dynamic

    2. Directly/Indirectly connect them to everything that is wrong with each sub-category in the group dynamic

    3. Keep reminding the people in the group dynamic of the connections using multiple modes of communication

  3. Wayne Root

    Wolfe man,

    You might not be listening very hard.

    Obama has been relentless in his desire to eliminate mortgage and charitable deductions…he was told by everyone on both sides of aisle that these ideas are dead on arrival…no support…

    so he immediately shifted strategy to dramatically limiting both mortgage and charitable deductions. Even if a successful small business person is in the highest tax bracket, Obama has proposed limiting their deductions to lower brackets.

    Just a speed bump on the way to eliminating them completely…as Obama’s deficit commission recommended.
    \
    as far as the 1099 controversy…the U.S. Senate voted to strip it out…the vote was almost unanimous…no action was ever taken by Congress. So for moment it is in. But I have no doubt it will be eliminated by December before it takes effect…because everyone now admits what a disaster it would be.

    But are you attempting to tell me that if it’s stripped from obamacare…you give Obama credit? LOL. He put it in…tried to sneak it by business…many people…myself included caught the fraud…and started SCREAMING about it. I must have done 200 media interviews where I warned it would wipe out millions of jobs.

    So now politicians got hysterical.

    Who gets credit for getting rid of it?

    The person who put it in- Obama?

    Or fiscal conservatives who raised hell?

    What if I didn’t raise hell? What if no one had said a word?

    Millions of small businesses would have been threatened with disaster.

    Who thinks up these ideas? Obviously someone who is intent on stealing the property of the richest targets in America…business owners.

  4. Bryan

    Does Root think if he wins the LP nomination that his only opponent will be Obama????

    I never see much of him explaining the difference between L’s and R’s. And has he ever slammed on at least a weekly basis the “politics” republicans play???

  5. wolfefan

    Hi Wayne –

    I appreciate you taking your time to reply. I didn’t talk about giving anyone credit, but just asked a couple of questions.

    You’re right that the budget commission recommended ending the mortgage interest deduction. They recommended replacing it with a tax credit, along with lower tax rates for individuals and corporations and simplification by the elimination of many loopholes and deductions. Some of these are good ideas and some are not.

    What are some of the commission recommendations that you agree with? I know it had some pretty conservative guys on it. I suspect you and Tom Coburn and Jeb Hensarling agree on a lot of things. They may have gotten the things wrong that you mention – what did they get right?

    You asked who should get credit/blame for whatever is proposed in the report. IMO there’s plenty to spread around among most everyone in DC. In _this particular case_, it’s not fair to assign it all to Dems or the GOP.

    Again, thanks for taking the time to reply. I’m glad to see you here in person more often interacting with folks. The give and take is a good thing.

    Since I asked for primary source material, I should provide it too for anyone interested (I know you’ve already read this, Wayne.) Here’s the report itself:

    http://www.fiscalcommission.gov/sites/fiscalcommission.gov/files/documents/TheMomentofTruth12_1_2010.pdf

  6. Steven Wilson

    Wayne cannot afford to make enemies of the R’s. He would never get on Fox news if he became a serious threat.

  7. Jill Pyeatt

    Wayne, I have a suggestion: Find a political cartoonist, and have him draw a picture of a large Golden Goose, with the name Small Business written across it. Then, have Obama off to the side, with a gun pointing at the goose.
    Then, have a golden egg falling from the goose, cracking open as it falls. Falling out of the cracked egg are the words “jobs”, and anything else you can think of that will now be gone.

    Oh well, I can picture it in my brain. I wish I could draw it for you!

  8. The "Obama Whisperer"

    Root: why do Obama and his socialist cabal hate us?

    How does Root know that Obama “hates” small business? Has Root read Obama’s mind?

    Maybe Obama’s motives are not “hate,” but a sincere belief that his policies are best — and fair — for Americans as a whole, small business included.

    Obama may be misguided, but to ascribe “hate” to Obama sounds like extremist Tea Party rhetoric.

    Tea Party: “Obama disagrees with us — therefore he hates us and hates America!”

  9. Robert Capozzi

    B-. Hate seems overstated to me, too. Could be, but actual “hate” seems a stretch.

    It seems likely that a compromise could be brewing. FICA cap raises, mortgage and possibly charitable caps might be part of the package. I suspect that BHO’s wonks are floating trial balloons, knowing they won’t get the whole loaf.

    One hopes the Tea Party does actually push this back where it belongs…in the dustbin.

  10. Matt Cholko

    As a small business owner, I must say that I absolutely agree that the proposed changes to FICA caps would be terrible.

    Much more harmful are things like having to report vendors to the IRS, or deal with the SEC when raising funds in private markets. Wayne is absolutely correct that the paperwork burden would be ridiculous and, in many cases, unbearable. Given this, I’m fairly confident that these requirements, were they to become law, would be largely ignored by the small business community.

    I agree with some of the previous comments in that I doubt that Obama “hates” small business. I give him the benefit of the doubt, and figure that he is doing what he thinks is right. Of course, I know that much of what he thinks is right is actually wrong, but that doesn’t mean he has malicious intent or “hate” in his heart.

    As to the mortgage interest deduction, I actually support eliminating it. In reality, it serves as a social engineering tool. The government has no business encouraging home ownership, and should stop doing so immediately. Would elimination of this deduction cause volatility in the short term? Damn right. But, in the long run, we would be better off without the government providing us with financial incentives that distort the housing market.

  11. Michael H. Wilson

    Maybe this is a lead to the origins of the 1099.

    “A Democratic aide for the Senate Finance Committee, which authored the changes, defended the move.

    “Information reporting improves tax compliance without raising taxes on small businesses,” the aide said. “Health care reform includes more than $35 billion in tax cuts for small businesses … indicating that during these tough economic times, Congress is delivering the tax breaks small businesses need to thrive.””

    http://money.cnn.com/2010/05/05/smallbusiness/1099_health_care_tax_change/

  12. Wayne Root

    Libertarians like me believe in the lowest possible taxes. Period. I’ve fought for many years for the Hong Kong model- a low flat tax rate, no special interest tax breaks..and -0- capital gains taxes. Same for corporate tax rate…low and flat and no special interest tax breaks.

    Thats my druthers.

    In the meantime, the mortgage tax deduction is one of the few government approved tax reducers for American taxpayers. Taking it away is NOT a plan to lower taxes. It is a plan by progressives to take away the last large tax deduction left for most Americans…and therefore raise taxes dramatically.

    More importantly Michael you are ignoring the fact that you can’t just take it away…when millions of Americans bought their homes based on this deduction. You create bankruptcies, foreclosures, collapse of real estate markets, and the loss of millions of jobs attached to real estate industry. Disaster for all.

  13. Wayne Root

    Michael,

    I wish everyone in D.C. had your common sense. All major changes to tax policy should be phased out slowly and carefully so as not to wreck the economy or people’s lives.

    The way to do this best is to offer taxpayers 5 to 10 years to choose either a new flat low tax rate…or to continue to use the old rate with mortgage deduction for their tax return. That gives taxpayers time to sell their homes or deal with the changes slowly over time.

  14. Thomas L. Knapp

    Wayne,

    “The way to do this best is to offer taxpayers 5 to 10 years to choose either a new flat low tax rate…or to continue to use the old rate with mortgage deduction for their tax return.”

    To the extent that you throw this out as a policy proposal at some point, might I suggest that the proposal be for 30 years, so as to cover all existing normal mortgages?

    If you have a mortgage now, you get the deduction (if you want it) until the mortgage is done.

    If you don’t have a mortgage now (or if you otherwise find it advantageous to do so), you go with the lower flat rate.

    Mortgages written AFTER the change is passed into law aren’t eligible for the deduction — you just go with the lower flat rate.

    I agree that the lower flat rate is important.

    Some people are proposing to eliminate the deduction because eliminating it with no further changes to the tax code would in theory (poor theory that doesn’t take the Laffer Curve, bankruptcies driven over the edge by the withdrawal of the deduction, etc. into account) increase tax revenues by ~$100 billion annually.

    I don’t want government to have an additional ~$100 billion per year to piss away. I want it to have less, not more, money than it has now.

    The reason I want to see the mortgage deduction go away is that it’s a piece of social engineering (“do what we want and pay less in taxes; do something else and pay more”) and an economic distortion that artificially increases demand for houses at the expense of other products and services.

  15. George Whitfield

    If President Obama doesn’t “hate” small business, he surely doesn’t appreciat it. As a partner in a small business, I share Wayne’s concerns. Keep speaking out for liberty, peace and prosperity.

  16. Tom Blanton

    Small businessmen and women are a far more powerful economic force than Exxon, Microsoft, GE, or WalMart.

    Not when it comes to lobbying, bundling, and handing out the PAC money.

    Without a doubt, Obama and the progressive left are the enemy of small business.

    Sure, they are. Along with their partners, the conservative right.

    For 30 years I have been able to deduct mortgage interest from my taxable income. Obama wants to end that.

    Why should government subsidize the purchase of a home for someone who claims to be a millionaire – or anyone else for that matter? The next thing you’ll want is interest deductions on your Rolls Royce and your Lear Jet.

    For 30 years FICA taxes have been based on earnings currently capped at just over $100,000 per year. Obama wants to remove the cap, thereby hitting small businessmen with the largest tax increase in history.

    Awww, I bet all the self-employed folks earning less than $100,000 that pay 15.3 % off the top are crying their eyes out for everyone earning 6 figures or more. The fact is that FICA all goes into the general fund.

    When small business people get tired of paying too much FICA taxes, maybe they will revolt and stop acting as agents for the government by withholding funds from their employees and giving it to the government along with personal information about their employees.

    Why, it’s amazing that the wonderful Republicans haven’t done anything about this.

    Raising capital for any new startup would suddenly cost an extra $250,000 in legal fees…and take months, or years, to wait in line for SEC approval. This would kill new business start-ups. Who could come up with this idea? Only a Marxist looking to destroy the American economy

    Or, perhaps a crony capitalist looking to prevent competition so that large corporate supporters can profit without having to compete. Many regulations make it difficult to start new businesses and raise capital. There’s nothing new about this.

    In other words, killing small business wipes out Obama’s political opposition.

    Again, nothing new here. Republicans, Democrats and big business have been conducting war on small business on the federal, state and local levels for decades.

    We have seen the consolidation of the financial services industry, the off-shoring of manufacturing, and the ever-increasing burden of regulations and red tape over the last 30 years. All of this is detrimental to small business.

    The funny thing is that many small business people have supported “pro-business” Republicans thinking that the GOP was on their side. They should have been supporting pro-free market politicians, but there weren’t any and they weren’t smart enough to know the difference anyway.

    Yes, ladies and gentleman, we have met the enemy of small business…and he resides in the White House.

    Wrong, again. The enemy of small business is central government. Ironically, this is the same central government that small business supports and votes for. Maybe the real enemy of small business is small business – ignorant rubes voting for pro-business Republicans. They still haven’t figured out that pro-business only extends to big business.

    So, if you are having a hard time as a small businessman, then pull up your bootstraps and work a little harder so you can be a big businessman. Oh yeah, don’t forget to give large amounts of cash to pro-business Republicans so they will take care of you.

  17. Jill Pyeatt

    TB @ 23: “Libertarians like me believe in no taxes. Period.”

    I certainly agree with that!

  18. Robert Capozzi

    wr: Libertarians like me believe in the lowest possible taxes. Period.

    tb: Libertarians like me believe in no taxes. Period.

    me: These are not mutually exclusive. Root’s way of putting it is, for me, preferable because it is plausible.

    I am VERY surprised that Brother Blanton believes that the mortgage deduction is a subsidy.

  19. Tom Blanton

    I am VERY surprised that Brother Blanton believes that the mortgage deduction is a subsidy.

    Capozzi, it is not a belief, it is a fact. Of course it is not a direct subsidy as with an infusion of cash. But, it achieves the same thing.

    If you think about it, there is a difference between no tax and the lowest tax possible. The latter excludes the possibility of no tax. There is no doubt that Root believes in taxation as he is always putting forth some scheme regarding taxes – as he does in this thread. That isn’t surprising since he seems to believe he is entitled to have others subsidize things he favors such as his McMansion or the socialized football system.

    Just another example of the disease called statism. It’s also another example of how Root carefully chooses the words he uses (according to him) in an attempt to manage the perceptions of others. Some among us believe that is clever.

    Last I checked (to borrow a carefully chosen hackneyed phrase from Root), parsing words to manipulate others is dishonest. Period (to borrow another carefully chosen word).

  20. Robert Capozzi

    tb, interesting perspective. Keeping one’s own money as “subsidy.” Sounds a bit “statist” to me. It is kinda, sorta a relative subsidy.

    0 is less than 1. If “no taxes” are the lowest possible, than it follows that “lowest possible” includes “none.”

    If there’s another way to look at this situation, I would like to hear your syllogism. Thus far, you’ve only made unsubstantiated assertions.

    Root and, in this case, I cannot imagine zero taxes for any sustainable amount of time. With more data, I might, but at the moment it seems — yes — unlikely.

    Careful choosing of words to advance a virtuous agenda sounds like an excellent idea. Choosing words to alienate for a virtuous agenda does not. IMO.

    Why one would willfully choose to alienate seems obviously unwise. Why do that?

  21. Bruce Cohen Post author

    Maybe it’s not so much a subsidy, but a recognition that interest costs are a legitimate business expense on the loan to carry said investment.

    Heck, credit card interest on business/investment debt was deductible not SO many years ago.

  22. Michael H. Wilson

    The mortgage interest deduction distorts the market. It is a subsidy for some and adds to costs for others, usually low income earners. There are plenty of other factors that add to costs also such as zoning, building codes, etc. But when it adds to the costs of housing for low income people it also creates a need for further government intervention to cure the problem it caused in the first place. Thus we get Fannie Mae working to help low income people buy housing where the price was pushed up by another government program. Government causes one problem and then tries to fix the problem it caused building a house of cards.

    Obama isn’t the only problem for small. We need to look at the problems caused by local and state governments, all kinds of impact fees are hurting local businesses. Some years ago in Portland a man who owned a pizza business moved it across the street to a larger location and was hit with a transportation impact fee in the neighborhood of $30,000 for streets, etc. It was eventually reduced.

    There are at least three levels of government, local , state and national that can have a negative impact on businesses. Those laws then have a negative impact on employment.

  23. Michael H. Wilson

    Here’s one for ya that’ll spread like wildfire.

    “The home building industry, which resisted sprinklers in single family houses for more than two decades, says in California it will add about $4,000 to the cost of an average house, or about $2 per square foot.”

    http://www.inlandsocal.com/business/content/realestate/stories/PE_Biz_D_calsprinklers11.1625b10.html

    Now when the housing market doesn’t recover in California, as it should, who will get the blame?

  24. Regarding taxes

    by changing the tax structure it also makes it that the government can’t make it, like a carrot on a string and make us beg for what is rightfully ours in the first place. Government takes our taxes and we beg to get back through the IRS.
    Sheeeep BAAAAA BAAAAAA

  25. add to 31

    sorry for the grammar errors, very tired and stressed these days over this government garbage. This is not the life we all should be living.

  26. Michael H. Wilson

    Here’s some another example that hit both home owners and businesses.

    “More restrictive land use regulation is variously referred to as “smart growth,” “growth management” and other terms. More restrictive land use regulation is estimated to have added from nearly $30,000 (in Minneapolis-St. Paul) to more than $220,000 (In San Diego) to the price of a new home.”
    http://www.newgeography.com/content/001841-new-index-estimates-new-house-cost-impact-land-regulation

  27. paulie

    If you think about it, there is a difference between no tax and the lowest tax possible. The latter excludes the possibility of no tax.

    Not as I see it.

  28. Thomas L. Knapp

    The mortgage interest deduction is a subsidy, but it’s not a subsidy to the taxpayer. It’s a subsidy to real estate related industries (homebuilders, mortgage companies, etc.).

    Instead of the government taking a dollar from you and giving 28 cents of that dollar to Bank of America, the government says “you can give $X to Bank of America as interest on a home mortgage, or you can give $X*28% to us, but it’s one or the other” (assuming you’re in the 28% tax bracket).

    The deduction is gussied up as a great thing for the taxpayer — “promoting home ownership” — but like most government programs, the real point is to reward (or at least placate) some powerful political lobbies by artificially increasing demand for their products/services.

    While the mortgage interest tax deduction is by no means entirely responsible for the “housing bubble” that burst a couple of years ago, it was definitely a contributing factor in the artificial upward distortion of home prices.

    The two important things in ending the tax deduction (unless we’re going to end it by smashing the state entirely, which would be the best thing) is:

    1) To translate it into lower taxes generally, not let it result in an increase in tax revenues; and

    2) To treat it as “contractual” on existing mortgages. People who took out mortgages with that deduction in place should be able to use the deduction for the term of the mortgage, not have it yanked out from under them.

  29. Michael Cavlan RN

    Per the OK of Paulie. Another opportunity to ask Wayne Root the unanswered question. This is my seventh attempt to ask this of Wayne Root.

    Per an earlier conversation with Paulie. From a “lefty” supporter of the Campaign For Liberty.
    Also, for the sake of name dropping and “street cred”, I once spoke at an End the Fed Rally in Minneapolis, with Rand Paul.

    This post has been pared and adjusted from the original. In a more respectful tone. Still hard hitting but in a more respectful tone.

    This is a copy and paste from the previous Root article of “progressive model of tax and spend is dead” that he wrote.

    It was unanswered then and still remains.
    So-Here you go

    Wayne Allan Root makes commentary that need to be challenged.

    Comments like Barack Obama is surrounded by a “Socialist Cabal.”

    Obama is surrounded by corporatists. People of the calibre of Timmy Geitner. People with very direct connections to Goldmann Sachs.

    People with ties to Goldmann Sachs are not noted for their “socialist” sensibilities. People like George Soros are not filled with Socialist revolution.

    George Soros and Goldmann Sachs have made a boatload of money from the foreclosure crisis. From the misfortunes of poor folks. Not a very socialists endeavor is it?

    Of course George Soros has lots of money. To fund politics. So does Robert Murdock, Dick Army and the Koch Brothers.

    In a classic example of divide and conquer.

  30. Michael Cavlan RN

    Added separate for emphasis

    Paulie

    Thanks. Yes you put the question of Goldmann Sachs and George Soros (and the Koch Brothers and Dick Army) correctly.

    How can a “socialist” surrounded by a “socialist cabal” be wealthy Bankers, making money off of poor folks loosing their homes in the foreclosure crisis?

    Oh and if Mr Root does answer this, I will not accept the “Michael Moore” is a socialist and he supports Obama bullshit line.

    Michael Moore has made boatloads of money, from working class people paying to see a movie that is a “critique” of capitalism.

    Michael Moore can call himself a Socialist, it does not make him one. I can call myself an Englishman but it does not make me one. Someone could call me an Englishman (fighting words to this Irishman BTW) but that does not make me one. What would make me an Englishman is, well being English.

    So Wayne Root calling Oily-Bomber a socialist does not make him one.

    It makes Wayne Root a liar. Or not very smart.

    Take your pick.

    Yes, this is again a very direct challenge to Mr Root. To quote Mad Stephen, the Irishman from Braveheart.

    “The Lord says “stop stalling and answer the fooking question.”

  31. wolfefan

    As noted above, the proposal from the deficit commission is not to simply eliminate the mortgage interest deduction, but to replace it with a tax credit on a single home (as opposed to the current policy of subsidizing the wealthy who own multiple homes.) Can someone smarter than me tell me what would be the practical effect of this change (from deduction to credit) on the average homeowner?

  32. Michael Cavlan RN

    Speaking of Ireland and the Irish

    Mr Root also makes the case that Ireland and others face a deep economic crisis. He says that it is based on the force of Trade Unions and a society that has all those “bennies” being given away to unworthies.

    I lived in Ireland for 15 years. I still have family there. So I have a rather deeper and more immediate contact to what is really going on there than Mr Root. Good old WAR.

    The crisis in Ireland was caused by…….

    BANKERS, DEVELOPERS and other wealthy folks having very direct ties to those in government. In the Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labor Parties.

    They pushed to help fuel the economy and real estate bubbles in Ireland.

    Which mirrors pretty damned close what is happening in the United States.

    Ireland does not practice quantitative easing. Unlike the US government.

    So when the bubble pops here, it will hit much harder.

    Maybe then Wayne Allen Root will awaken to reality. I doubt it though.

    Because then Fox News would not have him on the air. Someone has to lead the divide and conquer strategy that the corporate elite have working “both” sides of the one money party system with two corporate wings.

    Consider this a very direct challenge to Wayne Allan Root.

  33. Michael Cavlan RN

    The question to Mr Root is simple.

    How can you speak on the economic crisis in Ireland when you obviously know little to nothing about it?

  34. Thomas L. Knapp

    Darryl,

    Definitions of “small business” obviously vary.

    According to the SEC, a “small business” is a domestic business with annual revenues of less than $25 million.

    The SBA has volumes of tables for various types of businesses to define whether or not they are “small” for this or that government purpose.

    In political rhetoric, a business is “small” or “big” depending on which descriptor better serves the goals of the person talking about it.

  35. George Phillies

    “Overnight a small business owner making $500,000 per year would see his or her FICA plus Medicare taxes go from about $15,000 per year to $75,000. That’s $75,000 before federal or state income taxes. That’s a $60,000 per year tax increase for a small business owner.”

    Remember, that tax only gets applied to money taken as income, not money reinvested.

    “over $20 million was invested by me and investors who believed in me. ” Perhaps you should tell us how those investors made out, and how much of that you had as income.

    Fortunately, the average small business owner, who incidentally does not make this sort of money, is not dumber that the rocks in my garden.

    She is perfectly able to figure out that this is a tax increase, and as a result of the tax increase, no difference than an increase in the income tax, her cut of the business’s gross is going down, Uncle Barack’s cut in DC is going up, and

    THERE IS ABSOLUTELY ZERO DANGER OF HER COMPANY GOING BANKRUPT

    unless of course she is a right-wing-looter whose greed keeps her from seeing that all that money is coming out of her pay check. Of course, it’s a business expense, so there are some positive changes in other taxes, but unless she has conducted her personal finances in a totally stupid manner she can survive this sort of hit.

    “Overnight every home in America would lose 40% of its already decimated value.” Think of all the Americans who can now afford homes, because house prices are no longer bloated by a Federal subsidy. (Mind you, most versions of the proposal seem to give you a choice between the new tax or the deduction, leaving accountants to do cartwheels of joy.)

  36. Darryl W. Perry

    @43 In political rhetoric, a business is “small” or “big” depending on which descriptor better serves the goals of the person talking about it.
    True.

    I did a quick google search for a definition of “small business” http://tinyurl.com/5udfueh
    The definitions that IMO best define “small business” are near the end of the page:
    # A small business is one which has a small number of employees, profit and/or revenue. Often these are owner-managed, with few specialist managers. …
    http://www.stile.coventry.ac.uk/cbs/staff/beech/BOTM/Glossary.htm

    # A business that has had less than $1.5 million in gross annual sales in the most recent calendar or fiscal year.
    http://www.uwgb.edu/purchasing/policies/pppdefinitions.htm

    # This is a business that has one to 50 employees.
    http://www.online-health-insurance.com/coverage-by-region/florida-health-guide-page-20.php

  37. Michael Cavlan RN

    So to keep in line with the theme of this thread

    Obama does hate small business.

    Not because of what Mr Root claims, IMHO.
    But because of his fight to keep Single Payer Health Care off of the table.

    In the health care “debate” there was no supporters of single payer allowed in the discussion with the Committee hearings led by Senator Baucus (a Democrat) and appointed by Obama.

    Because of this a number of Doctors and Nurses involved in promoting Single Payer Health Care disrupted the hearings. They were all arrested.

    This may interest all you Libertarians folks who believe in fiscal conservatism.

    Single Payer is the most cost effective of all health care systems. It also provides the most choices to the people. It also rips control from health insurance companies who are filled with red tape and bureaucracies. In fact this is how it saves the most money. Because a Single Payer system spends about 3-5% on overhead. Insurance companies and HMO’s spend about 25-30% on overhead. Including executive bonuses and advertising.

    One of the biggest advantage that major corporations have over small business is health care. Because of their health care plans they attract employees that small business can not afford.

    In fact in Canada we have an example of just how this works.

    Seskatchawan province in Canada provided their version of Single Payer. This attracted large amounts of small business. It boosted their economy. Because of this Single Payer was instituted all over the country.

    It was done by Canada’s first real effective third Party. The NDP under Tommy Douglas.

    People who tout Single Payer never get coverage in the corporate media. Who get funding from advertising revenue from Insurance companies and Big Pharma.

    So does Wayne Root support Single Payer Health Care?

    If not then Wayne Root hates small business.

  38. Michael Cavlan RN

    Another direct challenge to Wayne Root.

    From a left wing supporter of the Campaign For Liberty.

    In the interest of the Free Market of Ideas.

  39. wolfefan

    Hi Wayne – (if you’re still reading)

    May I ask an off-topic question? I noticed that the http://www.lpnevada.com web address, formerly the official site of the LP in Nevada, now goes to a 9/11 Truther site. As you’re the vice-chair of the state committee (I think) I just wondered if you endorse 9/11 Truth theories. I don’t want to debate their validity – just wondering to what degree you and the LP in Nevada agree with them.

    Thanks in advance!

  40. paulie

    @49 Answered that on another thread and Wayne has said in the past he is not a truther, he also clarified despite the impression some people got from various statement he has made that he is not actually a birther either. http://www.nv.lp.org/ is the Nevada LP website. I am going to guess the other one you mentioned is most likely owned by former Nevada LP chair Jim Duensing, who is of course both a truther and a birther.

    TLK

    A Single Payer system is optimal — me the single payer for my health care, you the single payer for yours.

    +1

  41. Michael Cavlan RN

    @#48

    That is the system that we have now.

    It is not working. As I pointed out a real Single Payer system is much more cost effective, much less bureaucratic and has been proven repeatedly to work.

    Of course I am “just a Nurse” so what do I know?
    grin

    You can also make the case that it could be a fantastic Free Market response to a need.

    IF we had a Free Market

    The question to Wayne Root remains.

  42. Michael Cavlan RN

    Paulie

    Thank you. Fascinating.

    I agree.

    Was that Mary Ruwart, the presidential candidate contender?

    If so then I double mourn the fact that she did not gain the Lib Party nod instead of the Republican masquarading as a Libertarian.

  43. paulie

    The first link is by Roderick Long
    The other two are book chapters from Mary Ruwart (yes, the same one). You can read the whole book online for free, I highly recommend it.

  44. Thomas L. Knapp

    Michael,

    We don’t have anything close to “single payer” in either sense.

    When I go to the doctor, there are at least four payers. I pay a co-pay. My insurer pays the rest. My spouse and her employer pay the insurance premium. There are also layers of regulations at every interface there which complicate things.

    I consider the use of “single payer” to characterize a fully collectivized or socialized system to be dishonest because it’s the exact opposite of single payer — it’s “everyone pays for everyone else’s.” We could argue about whether that’s a good or bad idea, but let’s be honest about what it is as an idea.

  45. wolfefan

    Hi Paulie @50 –

    Sorry – I had posted here before I saw your answer on the other thread – then when I saw it there I forgot to come back here and say to disregard. Thanks again!

  46. David Colborne

    Current system: Spend 15-20% on overhead, watch everyone fight desperately to get someone else to pay for health care.

    “Single Payer”: Spend 3-5% on overhead, watch everyone fight desperately to get someone else to pay for health care.

    Health savings accounts: Get PAID 2-3% in interest every year while you’re healthy and contributing to your account, pay for own health care when the moment strikes. Added bonus – doctor gets paid immediately, reducing administrative overhead by !t least half.

    Only one of these makes an ounce of sense.

  47. George Phillies

    The normal point of “insurance” is to protect against rare expensive events. “I pay for mine” does not do that, if I have a coronary, large multiple bypass, and major complications. I could cover a half-million-dollar medical bill, but some other readers might find it less convenient. And if it is a chronic condition at $50,000 a year, well, you’d better raise the money somehow, because the medical folks may want the old bills paid before they let you go deeper into hock.

    Requiring hospitals — the main issue — to have fixed rates the same for everyone, rather than 50% discounts for insurance companies, might well help things, but this is not a traditional libertarian solution.

    Health savings plans are worthless if you get sick in year one.

  48. David Colborne

    @George: I agree that insurance has a place, especially for catastrophic expenses. Trouble is, that’s not what we use it for now, and “single payer” just takes that already poor model and amplifies it by a factor of ten. Why we can’t have the equivalent of a health IRA or 401k is a bit of a mystery to me.

  49. Thomas L. Knapp

    George,

    The whole point is that “I pay for mine” should be the normal way of paying for regular health care.

    Insurance should be a hedge against catastrophe/emergency, not the normal mode of paying for routine stuff.

  50. Jill Pyeatt

    In California, we have a program called CA Automobile Assigned Risk Plan for hard to insure drivers. Someone can only buy insurance from this program if they certify they’re not a CA Good Driver, and are ineligible at private companies. All the auto insurance carriers who participate in selling auto insurance in the state get their percent of bad drivers out there. The funding for this program doesn’t directly affect the private insurance pool (of course it contributes to the cost of doing insurance in CA, but let’s stay uncomplicated for now).

    Call it what you want, but I think this type of program can work for people with pre-existing conditions or who are otherwise hard to insure.
    Insurance companies are NOT non-profit companies. If a state wants to have competitive rates, there has to be some facility to handle the
    unprofitable people.

  51. Brian

    Looks like Root is trying to grow up a little. “Small business” means so many things to so many different people. Root is talking about small business that had 2o million in start up capital. When most people think of small business they think of family owned restaurants and independent contractors. The notion that these types of businesses can be grouped together under single label is preposterous. “Small business” is a term that has been so overused that it remains devoid of any real meaning.

  52. Jill Pyeatt

    I usually think of small business by the quantity of employees. I would think that a business that started with 20 million dollars would have upwards of 200 employees, which doesn’t seem so small to me.

  53. Robert Capozzi

    bc28: Maybe it’s not so much a subsidy, but a recognition that interest costs are a legitimate business expense on the loan to carry said investment.

    me: If a home and the attendant mortgage are “business expenses.” They generally are not, near as I can tell.

  54. Tom Blanton

    Tax deductions are subsidies, in essence. For both buyers and indirectly, for those in the real estate industry.

    Money is fungible, right? If a person’s mortgage interest deduction resulted in a tax payment of $1,000 less than it would be without the deduction, the reality is that this is a $1,000 subsidy in effect. There is no difference between an individual receiving no interest deduction and being given a check for $1,000 or receiving a deduction which results in a tax liability that is $1,000 less. The result is the same.

    The theory that the mortgage interest deduction should exist because “interest costs are a legitimate business expense on the loan to carry said investment” is not applicable for one’s personal residence as that is not a legitimate business expense – no more than the cost of food is.

    If various tax regulations were not used as subsidies for business, you would have far less lobbying and corporate money going to politicians. Currently, we have G.E. making the news because it made billions in profits and paid no tax. This is attributed to G.E. having competent lobbyists, accountants, and lawyers. The net effect is most certainly a subsidy because when it comes through the back door of the tax code, it is far less objectionable than having government simply cut a check to a patron favored by politicians.

    The simple fact is that politicians avoid giving direct grants of money and instead prefer to use the tax code, or bailouts, or low interest loans, favorable leases, no-bid contracts, etc. in order to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

  55. Matt Cholko

    In fact, every tax credit/deduction is at once a subsidy and a fine. It just depends on which side of the credit/deduction you’re on.

  56. Tom Blanton

    By the way Capozzi, what is the lowest possible cost for any item?

    You’ll probably have trouble with this answer, so I’ll give you the correct answer. It would be one cent because half-cent coins are no longer in circulation. If you think the cost could be zero, you’d be wrong because then if would be free, which means there is no cost at all.

    Now, the lowest possible tax would also be one cent, if it was zero it would be because there is no tax. You can’t have a low tax when there is no tax.

    If you say that you favor the lowest tax possible, then you are saying that you favor a tax of one cent.

    I think what you are trying to say is that you favor the lowest tax politically possible.

    Ideas gain wide acceptance when ever increasing numbers of people believe them. If ideas are hidden behind parsed words and rhetoric designed to obfuscate the ideas so as to not offend those who may possibly disagree does nothing to promote those ideas.

    When I write:

    “Libertarians like me believe in no taxes.”

    it is because I believe that. I wish more people believed that. Wayne Root wants tax cuts according to his book. I don’t want tax cuts, I want tax elimination. I won’t refuse a tax cut, but I’ll still want tax elimination.

    If everyone who wants tax elimination decides that saying so might alienate others or may cause others to view them as radical nut cases, then the tax elimination meme will never advance.

  57. Matt Cholko

    TB Says – it is because I believe that. I wish more people believed that. Wayne Root wants tax cuts according to his book. I don’t want tax cuts, I want tax elimination. I won’t refuse a tax cut, but I’ll still want tax elimination.

    Me – agreed 150%

    If everyone who wants tax elimination decides that saying so might alienate others or may cause others to view them as radical nut cases, then the tax elimination meme will never advance.

    Me- I dunno if I agree with this or not. Right now, going from massive taxation to nothing seems radical to the average Joe. The less “massive” the tax burden, (in theory) the less radical elimination of it may seem to Joe.

    On the other hand, if nobody talks about elimination of taxation, there is ZERO chance of it happening.

  58. Thomas L. Knapp

    “There is no difference between an individual receiving no interest deduction and being given a check for $1,000 or receiving a deduction which results in a tax liability that is $1,000 less. The result is the same.”

    The result of selling a car for $1,000, or robbing a bank and taking $1,000, is also the same in that particular respect — the person now has $1,000.

    The difference is that with a tax deduction, the person had that $1,000 to begin with. It was his $1,000, and it remains his $1,000.

    With the car sale, he’s exchanging something for someone else’s $1,000.

    With the bank robbery or the government check, he’s robbing someone or having Uncle Sugar rob someone, of their $1,000.

    If you’re suggesting that it’s not fair that the government robs some people of $1,000 more than it robs other people, I agree.

    That doesn’t mean not being robbed of $1,000 is a “subsidy.”

  59. Tom Blanton

    On the other hand, the mortgage interest deduction is “in effect” a fine to anyone who doesn’t have a mortgage.

    Mr. Cholko gets it. And it is because of this that the mortgage interest deduction be ended immediately – not in 30 years or not when the loan is paid off.

    Relatively wealthy people are not entitled to have what amounts to a subsidy to pay for their $900,000 McMansion paid for from the taxes of a low-income person who rents some crappy efficiency apartment and may never be able to purchase a home – much less a 4,000 square foot house in some tony gated community.

    While the tax deduction may have served as an inducement for the home buyer to purchase a home and borrow as much as possible for as long as possible, in effect “subsidizing” the real estate agent and the lender (as they did not have to pay for the inducement), hard subsidy cash does not truly begin flowing until the buyer can start pocketing tax savings realized by the mortgage interest deduction.

    Root claims:

    Overnight every home in America would lose 40% of its already decimated value

    if the mortgage interest deduction was eliminated. Total Bullshit.

    The average person pays in the neighborhood of $10,000 per year in interest during the first years of a mortgage. If that person’s effective tax rate is 15%, the elimination of the mortgage interest deduction would cost $1,500 per year for that person – and only if the rate was not lowered!

  60. Tom Blanton

    If you’re suggesting that it’s not fair that the government robs some people of $1,000 more than it robs other people, I agree.

    Well, that’s why I favor no tax. But Mr. Wonderful thinks the government should rob people who don’t have a pot to piss in to help him pay for his fancy digs. This is what is mistaken for great libertarian thinking.

    That doesn’t mean not being robbed of $1,000 is a “subsidy.”

    I take it that you would favor, all things being equal regarding the fungible nature of money, eliminating the mortgage interest deduction so long as the government cut a yearly check for every mortgagor equal to the amount they would have saved in taxes prior to the elimination of the deduction?

    Hell, why not simply front-load it?

    A home buyer contracts to buy a house for $110,000 paying $10,000 and borrowing $100,000 @ 5% for 30 years. The total interest paid over the life of the loan would be $93,256.56. If the buyer was in the 15% tax bracket, the government could give him a subsidy check at closing for $13,988.48. This would pay for the downpayment and closing costs, eliminate the mortgage deduction, and give another middle-class statist the home-buying subsidy that he thinks he is entitled to.

    If your argument is that it would be politically impossible to eliminate the mortgage deduction, I’d agree. The Realtor lobby and the banking lobby would fight it tooth and nail. But, robbery to “subsidize” incentives to buy real estate and to “subsidize” the buyers of real estate is still wrong.

  61. Tom Blanton

    The mortgage interest deduction is a subsidy, but it’s not a subsidy to the taxpayer. It’s a subsidy to real estate related industries (homebuilders, mortgage companies, etc.).

    Well, if we are going to stick to the strict definition of the word “subsidy” as being a grant of money, then this statement could not be true because the government is not cutting checks builders, lenders or real estate agents. They receive no grant, therefore they are not being subsidized.

    But we all know that they benefit whether we call it a subsidy or not. Just like we know the homeowner puts a wad of dough in his pocket that he would otherwise be legally, but not morally, obligated to the government. We can choose to call this whatever we wish, but the homeowner still gets the pocket full of dough and the renter doesn’t.

  62. Porn Again Christian

    Personally, I have more fun squeezing mine in to places where it doesn’t fit.

  63. Robert Capozzi

    Tb71: Now, the lowest possible tax would also be one cent, if it was zero it would be because there is no tax. You can’t have a low tax when there is no tax.

    Me: That’s how you choose to frame it. I frame it that 0 < 1.

    Tb: If everyone who wants tax elimination decides that saying so might alienate others or may cause others to view them as radical nut cases, then the tax elimination meme will never advance.

    Me: Again, how you frame it. It seems likely that the no matter what eliminationists "want" will not matter. It's a theoretical position, but theory advances through application and demonstration. Your theory needs to be tested. Thus far, it hasn't been, so I don't like your chances of advancing your theory. If you disagree, then I would say you are not paying attention to how the world works, which is generally incrementally. Increments of change vary. Ideas advance in this manner, not through building cadres of lockstep true believers. That is a model that religions use, and I have not seen any one religion take hold everywhere with everyone. Instead, religions tend contend for the hearts and souls of people, and people choose which religion they choose to belong to (including none) and how much they choose to obey the religion's plumb line.

    Does your position make you, as you say, a "nut case"? Not in my book. I suspect others may think that, though. Still, I'd say your opinion is not "wrong," per se, as opinions cannot be "wrong." My opinion differs, and while you may believe MINE is "wrong," all I can do is say, I've considered your opinion and I don't agree with it. I would encourage you to rethink your opinion, as I find it misses the forest for the trees, though.

    I would say that if the day comes when taxes are 1 penny, I will reassess my opinion.

  64. Robert Capozzi

    tb, calling any tax preference a “subsidy” implies that the State has 100% of income and the taxpayer gets to get some of it back.

    I am surprised you cling to this view.

    If there were no mortgage deduction and the tax code remained the same otherwise, total tax revenues would increase sharply. The secondary and tertiary effects are impossible to predict, but it seems likely that home prices would plummet further. New mortgage rates would also fall, all else equal. When one buys a home with a mortgage, the calculation used is generally the AFTER tax carrying cost.

    Ideally I would prefer a situation where the after tax cost = pre-tax cost because I would prefer not to tax income!

  65. George Phillies

    “I pay for mine” seems to mean different things for different people.

    I chose the largest X of ‘you pay the first $X you can find’ that my employer offers. However, it also had the best MRI/xray coverage, and was otherwise identical in what it covered.

  66. George Phillies

    @1

    The Bipartisan commission made no recommendations.

    They had a voting requirement for recommendations, which they did not meet.

    The claim that there were commission recommendations was a Republican lying point.

  67. George Phillies

    @64
    That depends how much of the money went to the early investors as dividends, how much went to the CEO, and how many years it ran.

    Note, e.g., Mr. Madoff.

    I have no idea what Mr Root did.

    The traditional line for small is tens of employees, say 50.

  68. Michael H. Wilson

    One of the things we Libs need to do is to learn to write letters to our state legislators about these issues.

    Talking over issues is important as a way to develop a decent argument, but the next step is to write and convince others of the need for change.

  69. Eddie

    This Michael fella seems to be hitting on some good points. I would like to hear the answers.

  70. Tom Blanton

    I would say you are not paying attention to how the world works, which is generally incrementally.

    Oh I see, like the incremental collapse of the Soviet and the Berlin Wall. Or the incremental erosion of Americans’ civil liberties after 9/11. Or the incremental TARP bailout of bankers who had committed fraudulent transactions. Or the incremental resignation of Mubarak. Or the incremental war on Libya. And then there is the incremental Obamacare legislation, the incremental establishment of the Dept. of Homeland Security.

    Sometimes I just forget to take two baby steps forward and then one baby step back as the masters of leviathan rush past in leaps and bounds.

    I also forget how much progress has been made by the moderate extremists using the strategy of incrementalism.

    I know it is foolish, but I keep making the mistake of thinking that it is ideas that create change. That’s why I so foolishly like to spread ideas that appeal to me. I suppose the better way to realize a vision is to keep that vision to yourself and instead communicate ideas to people that they already believe to inspire change.

  71. Tom Blanton

    I also keep forgetting that because tax breaks are good, it is a wonderful thing that those with the best lobbyists and the largest campaign contributions should get the biggest tax breaks. Social engineering through manipulation of the tax code also so results in tax breaks for those who do what the government wants them to – so that also is a wonderful thing.

    Now I also realize how foolish that I and many others have been to believe that targeted tax breaks for certain individuals and businesses serve as a subsidy. Why that’s just outlandish because all tax breaks are wonderful, even if those who may need them the most don’t get them.

    I have been thinking that the law limiting the tax rate for managers of hedge funds to 15% was unfair, but considering that many make as much as a billion dollars per year, this is a wonderful law because it involves massive tax breaks for them and tax breaks are good.

    Maybe I’ve been wrong about giving everybody a tax break or eliminating taxes altogether. Maybe tax breaks should only for those who the politicians think deserve them.

    Which brings us back to small businesses which don’t get much in the way of tax breaks. So, maybe our political leaders think they just don’t deserve them. Apparently, they just aren’t doing the things that politicians want them to do, and since it us – the American people – who elect these erudite leaders, who can argue with the decisions they make? Right, Capozzi?

    Have I got it right now?

  72. Robert Capozzi

    tb88: Oh I see, like the incremental collapse of the Soviet and the Berlin Wall. Or the incremental erosion of Americans’ civil liberties after 9/11. Or the incremental TARP bailout of bankers who had committed fraudulent transactions. Or the incremental resignation of Mubarak. Or the incremental war on Libya. And then there is the incremental Obamacare legislation, the incremental establishment of the Dept. of Homeland Security.

    me: Yes. None of those instituted either 100% government or 0% government. As I previously indicated, some increments seem larger than others.

    tb89: Apparently, they just aren’t doing the things that politicians want them to do, and since it us – the American people – who elect these erudite leaders, who can argue with the decisions they make? Right, Capozzi? Have I got it right now?

    me: IMO, no. I, like you, disagree with most decisions pols make.

    I am not a fan of the current tax system at all. I think it’s a disaster.

    It strikes me as important to have nearer term objectives and general longer term aspirations. I might support a near term objective of removing tax breaks in tandem with other institutional changes that lowers overall taxes and makes the tax system less onerous and presents fewer economic disincentives to enhancing productivity.

  73. Tom Blanton

    Well, in order for there to be any real tax relief, there must be spending cuts as there can be no actual reduction in taxes without a reduction in spending, assuming that debt will be serviced – which would be the moderate thing to do.

    Under the Moderate Manifesto of Incrementalism, there could be no radical slashing of spending. So, perhaps the Republicans idea of cutting only $100 billion from a $3.8 trillion budget is just about right under the doctrine of incrementalism!

    Of course, we would all like to see more spending cuts, but we must be careful to take tiny baby steps lest we be guilty of radicalism. Liberty and freedom can’t just happen overnight if we are to remain a moderate society. However, that doesn’t mean we should stop striving to achieve more freedom over the next 200 years or so!

    Isn’t it exciting to know that things are moving in the right direction! More liberty in our great-grandchildren’s lifetime!!

    We all need to go out now and get everyone excited about working towards getting our children a 2% tax cut 20 or 30 years from now! We should each devote 20-30 hours a week to organizing our precincts, running outreach booths, and generally spreading the moderate message of incremental baby steps towards long term goals of one day having more freedom and paying less taxes!!!

    There’s nothing like an exciting and dynamic message to stir the passions of people and motivate them to become moderate activists!!!!

  74. Tom Blanton

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but a having a mortgage interest deduction doesn’t constitute 100% government, nor would getting rid of it constitute 0% government.

    In fact, if a slight reduction in overall taxes enacted to keep the lifting of that deduction revenue neutral, there probably would be very little change in the overall American Dream of Home Ownership.

    With no taxes, well we shouldn’t talk about that……

  75. Robert Capozzi

    tb92: Correct me if I’m wrong, but a having a mortgage interest deduction doesn’t constitute 100% government, nor would getting rid of it constitute 0% government.

    me: Sounds right to me. Neither 100% or 0% government seem sustainable to me…both constructs seem to lack any use as an analytical tool. Mortgage deductions are just a piece in the puzzle, not the whole story.

    Calibrating what short-range change one advocates is a matter of judgment, not principle. The principle is the guiding direction, not the destination, since we cannot control the destination. We might influence the direction, however. IMO.

  76. JT

    Blanton: “Now I also realize how foolish that I and many others have been to believe that targeted tax breaks for certain individuals and businesses serve as a subsidy.”

    Yes, that’s foolish. Tax breaks aren’t subsidies–for anybody.

  77. Tom Blanton

    Calibrating what short-range change one advocates is a matter of judgment, not principle. The principle is the guiding direction, not the destination, since we cannot control the destination. We might influence the direction, however. IMO.

    You can’t influence the direction if you merely suggest to others that they follow the direction they are already going in. In that case, the direction is influencing you.

    If you fail to articulate any destination, you can’t influence the direction.

    What I consistently see from you, Capozzi, is an attack on anyone who articulates any vision or destination to move in the direction of. Then you argue against them, quite often with muddled verbiage, vague esoteric rhetoric, and the application of standards which you don’t apply to yourself.

    You’ll note that when I say I prefer no taxes, I put no time frame on that.

    You’ll also note that the argument over whether a tax break is a subsidy is purely semantic.

    If the law requires I pay a $100 in taxes, and I pay it, then receive a $100 grant from the government, it is a subsidy. If the government says keep the $100, it is a tax break. Fair enough.

    Ugh, tax break good, subsidy bad, not same.

    OK, OK, OK

    This is the same line of thinking that supports a 100% write off for medical expenses but opposes government funded healthcare.

    The effect is the same also.

    Wealthier people who own mortgaged real estate deserve a tax break and wealthier people who have high medical bills deserve a tax break. Lower-income people who can only afford to rent don’t deserve a tax break and lower-income people whose medical expenses exceed their tax shouldn’t benefit as much as a wealthy person.

    This whole tax break/tax cut mentality is a total crock of shit as it does not affect government spending. As long as “libertarians” support taxation at all, there must be equal treatment for everyone – even if that means a flat fee.

    The harsh reality is that income taxes exist, deductions for special classes of people exist, penalties for nonpayment exist, the national debt exists, inflation exists, government spending exists. As long as these things exist in reality, this means that any tax break that is not across the board is paid for, now or later, by those not getting the tax break, or in the case of the repayment of debt when spending is funded by borrowing, by persons getting the tax break AND those not getting it (and their children).

    Ugh, tax break good.

    Maybe for those getting it, but for their kids and everyone else, not so much as long as things stay the same. Maybe not even for the person getting it – because there can be no real tax break without a corresponding spending cut.

    That is unless “libertarians” have some secret economic theory that can be incrementally implemented that will allow government to create wealth from nothing. I’m thinking some “libertarians” may have actually believe this and are keeping quiet about it because they so often encourage others not to articulate their beliefs.

  78. Robert Capozzi

    tb95: You can’t influence the direction if you merely suggest to others that they follow the direction they are already going in. In that case, the direction is influencing you. If you fail to articulate any destination, you can’t influence the direction.

    me: I hope we can AT LEAST agree that these are OPINIONS, not facts. Yes, a course correction is something I advocate. But, no, I don’t really believe that I need to specify whether I’d roll back the State to privatizing NORAD to Acme Insurance or whether I think a nightwatchman state is superior.

    At the moment, I’d like to see the 3 wars ended; major cuts in domestic spending; etc. Those ARE destinations in a political context.

    Repeating your construct as true doesn’t make it any more true for me.

  79. Thomas L. Knapp

    TB @96,

    Note the “.gov” in the URL you cite.

    Am I supposed to be surprised that government institutions regard all wealth as inherently belonging to them, and any failure to take all of it, or any particular part of it, as a “tax subsidy” or “tax expenditure?”

    I’m not surprised that they think that, I’m surprised that you buy the argument.

  80. Robert Capozzi

    tk, Brother Blanton surprises me on this one. And he seems to not want to relent on the matter, which is NOT surprising.

    He’s the only L I know who makes this “preference as subsidy” argument. He’s now being gently schooled by an anarchist, minarchist, and moderate lessarchist, yet he keeps coming back, desperately attempting to “prove” he’s “right.”

    “My bad” this one and move on, Brother B.

  81. JT

    A subsidy is a DIRECT handout from the government–anything else isn’t a “subsidy.” It might be unfair or dumb, but it’s not a subsidy.

    I agree there should be corresponding spending cuts with tax cuts though. Otherwise, the burden of government spending is merely delayed into the future.

  82. Tom Blanton

    I understand the “libertarian” claim that a deduction for any special class of citizen is not a subsidy because it is the government allowing one to keep what they have owned. Those on the left refer to this as a “cost” to government.

    This supposes that the government has a prior claim to your earnings. Morally it doesn’t. However, we don’t live in a moral world. We live in a world where the government DOES believe it has a claim on your property (see FDIC link above).

    The point being is that all of you “libertarians” who believe in taxes, in whatever amount and regardless of allowable deductions, also believe the government has a claim on your property. So, your protests that the mortgage interest doesn’t serve as a subsidy, as well as your calls for tax cuts, ring hollow.

    Apparently, you also believe the government has a prior claim to your earnings and we should all be grateful for whatever they allow us to keep. Just let us keep a little more, master.

    Or perhaps the “libertarians” that are allowed to keep a little more of what they own because they are indebted to a mortgage lender (statistically likely to be Fannie or Freddie – quasi-governmental agencies) can’t bring themselves to believe they are receiving any sort of “subsidy”. Don’t feel guilty though, there are millions of Americans who feel they are entitled to some sort of benefit or special tax treatment because they belong to some special class of individuals.

    But don’t hate the playa, hate the game. It’s not those who take the government handouts, subsidies, special tax breaks that I have a problem with so much as the politicians that direct the government to dole out the dough.

    That’s why I am against taxes, support massive spending cuts, and would like to see special tax breaks ended. I also support default on the debt (that would end deficit spending real quick) and abolishing the federal government as soon as possible so we can work on abolishing state government.

    And Capozzi, I know the things I want aren’t likely to happen real soon. Especially when most of the freedom movement walks like a bunch of babies and is sucking on the teat of big government themselves.

    It is also my vision that individuals will have to deal with Capozzi’s neighbors that are building nuclear weapons in their garages all by themselves with no help from government – as if the government is doing anything to prevent Capozzi’s neighbors from building nukes now.

  83. Robert Capozzi

    tb101: Apparently, you also believe the government has a prior claim to your earnings and we should all be grateful for whatever they allow us to keep. Just let us keep a little more, master.

    me: In my case, I don’t. If someone REALLY objects to ANY government, I support Nonarchy Pods. For the rest of us, I advocate keeping government as small as possible, and funding those functions from pollution taxes. That’s my vision, if not “destination.”

    In the short term, that means advocating edgy positions that persuade more to want less government.

  84. Tom Blanton

    Of course I noted the .gov address – it is the government (as well as a number of others) that consider the mortgage interest a subsidy because it is a “cost” to the state.

    But, this is the harsh fucking reality of it all. The government decides. They decide you must pay taxes. They decide how much you pay. They decide who doesn’t have to pay. The define the lingo. They decide who goes to jail for not paying.

    We aren’t living in a libertarian world. We are living in a world dictated by government. A horrible reality, but there it is.

    But, you shouldn’t let you ideology prevent you from seeing the similarity of a deduction for a special class of taxpayer and a subsidy for a special class of citizen.

    You can pay the govt. and they give you a direct grant and call it a subsidy, or they can tell you to just keep it, and call it a tax break, a “cost”, or letting you keep what you earned. The operative word there being “letting” – giving you permission. It doesn’t matter so much what you call it, the end result is exactly the same whether you are a Republican, Democrat, libertarian, or anarchist. Surely none of you would disagree that the end effect is exactly the same regardless of what you call it. Whatever you wish to call it, it externalizes part of the cost of financing real estate. That is the bottom line.

    You can quibble about the meaning of words and argue that nuanced rhetoric helps people see things a different way. You can even change the definition of words. The bottom line is that, even if you support taxation, it should be levied in a consistent manner as opposed to having certain classes of people paying different amounts.

    I hope you guys realize that if you ever go to tax court, they will be the ones defining words. Libertarian definitions and concepts don’t count. Same goes for all government agencies.

    I promise I will never use the word “subsidy” again unless it involves a direct payment. Instead I will simply say that all deductions are unfair, as well as all taxes and all subsidies.

    Now, you can all pull your panties out of the crack of your ass.

  85. JT

    Blanton: “I promise I will never use the word “subsidy” again unless it involves a direct payment.”

    Well, that’s just what a subsidy is. It’s dumb when libertarians use terms wrongly to prove their point (e.g., calling private restrictions on speech “censorship”). I didn’t coin the term though.

    Blanton: “Now, you can all pull your panties out of the crack of your ass.”

    Awesome. How about you stuff yours in your mouth?

  86. JT

    Or sometimes people will refer to things like payments hotels agree to assess on themselves in order to jointly market a destination as a “tax.” If it’s voluntary, it’s not a tax. This is conceptual confusion and one that doesn’t help the libertarian case.

  87. Tom Blanton

    He’s now being gently schooled by an anarchist, minarchist, and moderate lessarchist, yet he keeps coming back, desperately attempting to “prove” he’s “right.”

    That’s only because I am right. In the end, if you have money in your pocket because the government either lets you keep it or takes it from you and then gives it back to you, the result is the same – the proof is the money in the pocket.

    You guys sound more like politicians accused of giving subsidies to your supporters.

    How dare you call that a subsidy!

    It is merely a tax deduction that is allowed under certain conditions which my supporters qualified for under the tax code!

    Is there anyone who is willing to argue that the end result of paying the government and then getting a check back from the government is any different than the government allowing you to not pay them in the first place – regardless of what this is called?

  88. Tom Blanton

    Let me take my panties out of mouth long enough to say this to whoever JT is:

    When Capozzi first wrote:

    I am VERY surprised that Brother Blanton believes that the mortgage deduction is a subsidy.

    I responded:

    Capozzi, it is not a belief, it is a fact. Of course it is not a direct subsidy as with an infusion of cash. But, it achieves the same thing.

    I immediately acknowledged that what I had called a “subsidy” was not a direct payment. I also wrote it achieves the same thing and not even one of you has disputed that.

    Not even one person, JT. Care to dispute that?

    Not one person has acknowledged that the mortgage interest deduction does IN FACT achieve the same thing as a direct subsidy in the end.

    So go floss a while with your thong, JT.

  89. Thomas L. Knapp

    Tom B,

    “you shouldn’t let you ideology prevent you from seeing the similarity of a deduction for a special class of taxpayer and a subsidy for a special class of citizen.”

    I’m not blind to the similarity. You seem to be blind to the non-identicality.

    I’m something of a no-particular-orderist in the Rothbardian sense, and I’m definitely against increasing government revenues. Therefore:

    – I support getting rid of the mortgage interest deduction, provided that instead of that resulting in increased government revenue, it results in the same or less government revenue (and I’m happy to count spending as revenue, since as you correctly point out, if it is spent it is taxed, even if payment is deferred by borrowinig).

    – If getting rid of the mortgage interest deduction doesn’t do that, then I favor keeping it. While I’d prefer lower taxes (extending to no taxes — 0 is, in fact, a number that’s lower than any positive number, so “no taxes” ARE “lower taxes”) for everyone, I’ll accept keeping lower taxes for some people, or lowering taxes for some other people, on no-particular-orderist grounds.

  90. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Not one person has acknowledged that the mortgage interest deduction does IN FACT achieve the same thing as a direct subsidy in the end.”

    Actually, I have not only acknowledged that, I’ve said it a number of times.

    Bicycling to Toledo and driving to Toledo achieve the same thing in the end, too, but that doesn’t mean my mountain bike is a Ferrari Testarossa.

  91. Tom Blanton

    I’ll also note Mr. Knapp’s comment for which he did not catch holy hell for:

    The mortgage interest deduction is a subsidy, but it’s not a subsidy to the taxpayer. It’s a subsidy to real estate related industries (homebuilders, mortgage companies, etc.).

    Well, are these real estate related industries getting a direct payment from the government?

    Did he immediately acknowledge that he meant to say the mortgage interest deduction serves as a subsidy to real estate related industries?

    Nope.

    I’ve made a living for 30 years in real estate (as an agent, real estate paralegal in a law firm, and in the title insurance/title examination business) and the mortgage interest deduction is widely supported, especially by the powerful Realtor lobby – not because of interest paid but because it is touted as a “subsidy” to prospective buyers. Agents will typically even figure out the tax savings for a first-time home buyer. It is a major incentive to buy a house. Knapp is right other than using the wrong word: subsidy.

    But the tax break is an effective incentive to buy and it doesn’t cost anyone in the real estate industry a dime. So, it does serve as a subsidy in that there is no cost for the incentive.

  92. Tom Blanton

    Actually, I have not only acknowledged that, I’ve said it a number of times.

    Not in this thread you haven’t.

    In fact you seem to be trying very hard to argue the opposite at #73

    That doesn’t mean not being robbed of $1,000 is a “subsidy.”

  93. Tax Breaks are Social Engineering

    Perhaps the greater argument against tax breaks — and taxes — is that they’re a form of government social engineering.

    It’s a way for the state to steer you toward approved behavior, and away from disapproved behavior.

    “Sin taxes” on tobacco. Mortgage interest deductions for houses.

    What if you like to smoke and prefer to rent?

    Then you pay extra taxes for smoking, and pay extra taxes again for renting (to make up for someone paying less taxes because they bought a house instead).

  94. Robert Capozzi

    Yes, the State social engineers. Yes, I’d prefer to keep that to a minimum. No, I don’t think ALL “social engineering” can be avoided, as property rights are sometimes blurry. Yes, I’d like to limit government to protecting property rights. No, tax preferences for real estate investments are not, per se, “subsidies,” but, yes, it is a form of social engineering, one I’d prefer the State not do.

  95. Robert Capozzi

    around, yes, MNR was correct: “Frank Chodorov, during the midst of the McCarthy era, wrote that “the way to get rid of Communists in government jobs is to get rid of the jobs.” Similarly, the way to get rid of tax lawyers and accountants is to abolish the income tax. That would be Sweet Simplicity indeed!”

    Was that “simple” then, or now?

    Good question. How about No? What then?

  96. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob @ 117,

    Actually, getting rid of the income tax would be exceedingly simple. Congress passes bills all the time, and all it would take would be a bill repealing the Internal Revenue Code.

    Let’s not confuse “simple” and “easy.” As Clausewitz noted:

    1) (Reverse engineered) Politics is war by other means;

    2) In war, the important things are simple — but the simple things are hard to do.

  97. JT

    Blanton: “I immediately acknowledged that what I had called a “subsidy” was not a direct payment. I also wrote it achieves the same thing and not even one of you has disputed that.

    Not even one person, JT. Care to dispute that?”

    I agree with what Knapp said about it at post 73 and 111. It achieves the same thing in that whoever has the tax break has more money…so what? It was his money (or the business’s money) to begin with.

    And how would eliminating the income tax entirely change the premise of your argument?

    Blanton: “So go floss a while with your thong, JT.”

    Hey, let’s go back and forth with insulting references to the other guy wearing womens’ underwear. Here’s my next one: I was going to floss with your woman’s thong, but I don’t like flossing with rotten fish. Your turn.

    You’re a very weird guy, Blanton.

    Blanton: “I’ve made a living for 30 years in real estate (as an agent, real estate paralegal in a law firm, and in the title insurance/title examination business) and the mortgage interest deduction is widely supported, especially by the powerful Realtor lobby”

    Really? That makes it more embarrassing.

  98. Thomas L. Knapp

    I don’t see that Blanton and I are that far apart.

    I’m willing to stipulate that the mortgage interest deduction is a subsidy, even though I disagree with whom it’s a subsidy to (the taxpayer is given the choice between giving a mortgage company $X, or giving the government $X * Y% — the subsidy isn’t for the taxpayer, it’s for the real estate industry).

    I also agree with Blanton that that subsidy should be done away with.

    In terms of mechanics, I agree with Blanton that the best way to end the subsidy is to end taxation in general and/or the income tax specifically.

    Failing that, I’m intent on two things:

    – That the taxpayer who agreed to pipe the subsidy to the real estate industry on behalf of the government, in return for a tax cut, and who entered into contracts pursuant to doing so, not get screwed. If the deduction goes, it needs to either be grandfathered in so that it expires with existing mortgages, or else those existing mortgages need to be discounted by the amount of the subsidy.

    – That ending the subsidy not become a revenue enhancer for government — it needs to be revenue neutral, i.e. changed into a real general tax cut.

  99. Tom Blanton

    @120

    Isn’t it kind of hard to make the case that the mortgage interest deduction is to help subsidize the mortgage lender when rates hover around 5% these days? This is below the true rate of inflation, according to many analysts.

    The reality is that the government calls the deduction a subsidy because it is given with the intent of it BEING a subsidy to the homebuyer to provide additional incentive to purchase a home.

    This incentive benefits homebuilders, lenders and real estate brokers as it increases sales just as advertising, junkets, free appliances, paid closing costs would, but at no cost to them. Again, in effect (just as with a borrower), is a subsidy for the real estate industry – and they lobby hard for it.

    It is touted by real estate agents to buyers as something equivalent to a subsidy. Most people realize that corporations spend huge amounts on lobbyists to lobby for backdoor subsidies through the tax code. No one questions that these are subsidies. Actual grants of cash to particular corporations is a bad political move, but granting a special tax break for any corporation chartered on a certain day in a certain state has been legislated in the past. Is there any question this is nothing more than a handout (or a subsidy in exchange for nothing).

    The mortgage interest deduction also benefits those who own a home (free and clear) and then obtain a mortgage to finance things that otherwise would receive no deduction for the cost of financing it, like a Rolls Royce.

    Libertarians, in a typical knee-jerk fashion may claim any deduction is good because the taxpayer earned the money and should keep it. Fine. I’m there. Have been for many many years. That’s why I am for no taxation.

    Would a special deduction for white people only, excluding all other races, be supported by libertarians also?

    Would non-whites be wrong to say this amounted to a subsidy for white people?

    Why couldn’t libertarians support blatant racial discrimination in the tax code if it means some people get to keep what they’ve earned?

    I guess for those who be against tax deductions for whites only are against racial discrimination, but class discrimination is OK when it comes to deductions for mortgage interest.

    Special tax breaks and deductions aren’t the same as tax cuts, which are generally across the board. So, have libertarians come to the point now where equality and fairness under the law, even a bad law, is OK?

    If it means a reduction in taxes for some clown that makes $500,000 a year who wants to finance his new Rolls Royce through a home mortgage, apparently so.

    After all, as some libertarians argue, it wouldn’t be an evil subsidy, it would allow the clown to keep what he earned and that’s fair.

    What rankles me the most are the “libertarians” who have no problem with taxation, as long as they pay what THEY deem is fair and the money is spent for things THEY want. This is no different than the worst statist, in principle.

    Sure, Murray Rothbard thinks all deductions are great. Wonderful. All the pro-tax pro-government “libertarians” can cite Rothbard instead of making a case. Maybe when these same “libertarians” also adopt Rothbard’s position on taxes – get rid of them – I’ll be more likely to take them seriously.

  100. Robert Capozzi

    tb121: Sure, Murray Rothbard thinks all deductions are great. Wonderful. All the pro-tax pro-government “libertarians” can cite Rothbard instead of making a case. Maybe when these same “libertarians” also adopt Rothbard’s position on taxes – get rid of them – I’ll be more likely to take them seriously.

    me: I disagreed with Rothbard’s view. IF we are to tax income, I’d like that tax regime to have minimal distortions at that level of taxation. Tax preferences are distortive. I’d like taxes to be as low as possible, and I’d prefer they have few distortions, have few “loopholes,” and create the fewest disincentives to work, saving and investment.

    I don’t bother with the notion of zero taxes, since I find that an un-serious idea…at least for the foreseeable future.

  101. JT

    Knapp: “I’m willing to stipulate that the mortgage interest deduction is a subsidy, even though I disagree with whom it’s a subsidy to (the taxpayer is given the choice between giving a mortgage company $X, or giving the government $X * Y% — the subsidy isn’t for the taxpayer, it’s for the real estate industry).”

    How is that a “subsidy” to a mortgage company to which the taxpayer owes the interest? That’s an honest question. I could be missing something essential here.

    You ask me for money. I loan you $1,000 and say you owe me $1,200 in a week. You agree. Your boss lets you keep $200 from a mandatory office pool because of that. I’m getting a subsidy? I’d say no, but you’d presumably say yes?

    Knapp: “In terms of mechanics, I agree with Blanton that the best way to end the subsidy is to end taxation in general and/or the income tax specifically.”

    But how would that end the “subsidy”? By Blanton’s logic, that’s equivalent to the government cutting checks to everyone for the amount of money they saved.

    Blanton: “Would a special deduction for white people only, excluding all other races, be supported by libertarians also?”

    Mixed.

    Blanton: “Would non-whites be wrong to say this amounted to a subsidy for white people?”

    Yes. They’d be right to say it’s grossly discriminatory and contradicts equality under the law.

  102. Thomas L. Knapp

    TB@121,

    “Would a special deduction for white people only, excluding all other races, be supported by libertarians also?”

    Of course not.

    Nor, if the home interest deduction were being newly proposed, would I support it.

    But, if ANY deduction exists, I only support ending it if doing so is held revenue neutral or better, i.e. ending it results in the same or less, not more, money for government.

    I don’t support tax increases — of any kind, ever.

  103. Tom Blanton

    But how would that end the “subsidy”? By Blanton’s logic, that’s equivalent to the government cutting checks to everyone for the amount of money they saved.

    Wrong, would be the logic of someone who supports taxation who believed the mortgage interest deduction is a subsidy – which isn’t me. If I were to attempt to explain this to an idiot, I would simply say that if taxation were eliminated, then the government would no longer be able to use the tax code to provide incentives, rewards, subsidies, special consideration, etc. to favored taxpayers and special classes of people. If there was no taxation, there would be no amount saved for the government to write a check for as a subsidy.

    JT, wouldn’t racial discrimination be OK with you since at least some people would get to keep the money they earned and that belongs to them?

    If racial discrimination is not OK, why would class-based discrimination be OK? Is it that equality under the law doesn’t apply to those you deem to less equal? It would seem that the mortgage interest deduction discriminates against low-income people that can’t afford to buy a home or can’t qualify for a loan under the FNMA, FHLMC or FHA guidelines.

    I suppose the government could allow a deduction for rent, but it would be easier to disallow the mortgage interest deduction.

    It may also interest some to note that there are people with mortgages who don’t take the interest deduction because it is less than the standard deduction.
    This can occur when the mortgage is balance is low. So, it is wrong to assume that the entire amount of tax saved by the deduction would be lost unless the taxpayer refused to take the standard deduction.

  104. Tom Blanton

    Putting all this fucking wonkery aside as it is all pure bullshit anyway, even the shiny new reformed LP Platform states:

    We call for the repeal of the income tax, the abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service and all federal programs and services not required under the U.S. Constitution.

    This is what LP hacks should be promoting. Until such time as this is realized, whether one year or 50, tax payers should be treated equally, not as special classes of people entitled to pay less or more than all other taxpayers. Equal treatment under the law as long as the law exists.

    Hell, I’m against drug laws, but it is wrong that some suburban white punk walks with an 8-ball of blow while a ghetto kid gets time for 20 bucks worth of crack. Because I don’t think anyone should go to jail for drugs doesn’t mean I should applaud when there is unequal treatment for people based on class because the rich kid gets to walk.

    I’ll close with a bit of traditional libertarian folk wisdom modified slightly to show my immense frustration with a great number of libertarians:

    There is no fucking thing as a god damned free lunch!

    What does that mean? It means you are wasting your time whining about tax cuts, deductions, and tax breaks as that is time NOT spent on advocating spending cuts coupled with income tax elimination.

    You aren’t paying enough taxes to cover what the government is spending on your behalf now. Have fun explaining that to your grandchildren.

    So, for all those libertarians enamored with government, taxation, the constitution, and all the wonky bullshit, it’s time to advocate for a bit more than less taxes. This especially goes for you government-loving revenue neutral Fair Taxers.

  105. Tom Blanton

    Oooops. I meant to say:

    There is no such fucking thing as a god damned free lunch!

    You might not like the shit sandwich you government is serving up, but remember, you agreed to pay for it when you walked into that voting booth – even if it isn’t the shit-lite sandwich you ordered.

    There is another option. If you don’t like the crap you are being served over and over again, quit going to the restaurant.

  106. Robert Capozzi

    126 tb: Until such time as this is realized, whether one year or 50, tax payers should be treated equally, not as special classes of people entitled to pay less or more than all other taxpayers. Equal treatment under the law as long as the law exists.

    Me: I don’t disagree. The current platform needs to be understood in context. Many Ls found the pre-06 platform to be wildly overstated. Old language was recycled from old platforms. The “abolish” the income tax and IRS was the least overstated language the platform committee could find in old platforms.

    If a different tax – not the income tax – could be cut or abolished, I think Ls can and probably should be supported. The current platform is silent on the matter. This is no surprise, since the platform is hardly comprehensive. Its purpose is to give those Ls and those considering the LP a sense of what “L” means. That’s about it.

  107. Robert Capozzi

    126 tb: Equal treatment under the law as long as the law exists.

    me: More…Tax preferences are “equal” in the sense that no class of citizen is prohibited from taking advantage of them.

  108. JT

    Blanton: “If I were to attempt to explain this to an idiot, I would simply say that if taxation were eliminated, then the government would no longer be able to use the tax code to provide incentives, rewards, subsidies, special consideration, etc. to favored taxpayers and special classes of people.”

    It’s obviously true that with no tax code there could be no manipulation of the tax code. Are you implying I’m an idiot? I’d like to be clear on this. I don’t believe I’ve called you names in this discussion or any other.

    Blanton: “If there was no taxation, there would be no amount saved for the government to write a check for as a subsidy.”

    I thought you were saying in principle that more $ in the pockets of certain people due to government taking a smaller amount in taxes from those people are the same as government cutting checks to those people. So I took it to the extreme. If that’s not what you were saying, then I was wrong.

    Blanton: “JT, wouldn’t racial discrimination be OK with you since at least some people would get to keep the money they earned and that belongs to them?”

    I guess I wasn’t very clear above. I think stealing less from anyone is better to some degree than stealing more. I think racial discrimination–especially in the law–isn’t.

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