Libertarian Party: Don’t waste time investigating the IRS, abolish it NOW along with the income tax

News Release
May 17, 2013

Libertarian Party: Don’t waste time investigating IRS, abolish it NOW along with income tax

Return to 1992 spending level would allow balanced budget, end to income tax
The presidential administrations of Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, and, now, Barack Obama have all been caught using the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to target political enemies.

As long as we have the IRS — and the income tax — we should expect more presidents to use their power to silence and intimidate free voices. No IRS investigation or firing of a few scapegoats will change that.

“We must abolish the IRS and end any need for a regulatory agency that snoops into people’s private lives,” said Libertarian Party Executive Director Carla Howell. “We must draw back total federal spending to the level of 1992, which is more than enough to fulfill the government’s constitutional duties to protect our life, liberty, and property. This will allow us to balance the budget immediately, end the federal income tax completely, and give back an average of more than $12,000 to every family in America.”

“We don’t need an income tax, and we certainly don’t need the IRS,” Howell said.

The Libertarian Party is the only political party in America calling for both dismantling the IRS altogether and dramatically and immediately downsizing Big Government.

“The Libertarian Party is running candidates to dramatically downsize the federal government,” Howell said. “We can cut federal spending by 50 percent, or even 90 percent, and Americans will be better for it. We can end the personal income tax, the corporate income tax, the death tax, and all federal payroll taxes. There will be no need for the IRS, nor any substitute agency.”

“Ending the income tax, abolishing the IRS, and cutting federal spending to the level of 1992 means no more deficit spending,” Howell said. “This will stop inflation and stabilize prices. Even more importantly, it will transfer wealth out of the wasteful, dysfunctional and destructive government sector and into the productive private sector, resulting in a bounty of new jobs and prosperity for Americans.”

“We will make living in America and doing business in America much better,” Howell said. “Individuals, businesses, and political organizations will all be safe from government interrogation and free to express their political views. It will dramatically increase the wealth of the private sector and inspire hundreds of billions of dollars in investment in small businesses and American jobs.”

Another benefit of abolishing the IRS is that it would become far more difficult to fund massive interventionist military presence and warfare around the globe.

“It will also require our massive military budgets to go down, which currently encourage overseas meddling and war,” Howell said. “We get rid of the IRS, we get rid of the income tax, we dramatically downsize federal spending and taxation, and America and the world will be better for it.”


 

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40 thoughts on “Libertarian Party: Don’t waste time investigating the IRS, abolish it NOW along with the income tax

  1. Zeleni

    Adjusting for inflation, the federal government spent $2.3 trillion. In 2012 expenditures were $3.5 trillion. Personal income tax, corporate income tax, and payroll tax account for 90% of revenues. So the Libertarians are calling for a 30% cut in spending and a 90% cut in revenue. Math much?

  2. Robert Capozzi

    OM, the IRS was created by law. The mafia wasn’t, OTTOMH.

    Abolishing the IRS would also require a law. Abolishing the Mafia might happen by law, too, although the enforcement of that law requires great vigilance OR some really badass Hoppean insurance companies!

  3. Thomas L. Knapp

    “OM, the IRS was created by law. The mafia wasn’t, OTTOMH.”

    Well, the comparison isn’t to the same levels. A better comparison would be of the IRS to the Interprovincial commission.

    The IRS is a sub-gang agency created “by law” by a gang (the US government). The Interprovincial commission, likewase, is a sub-gang agency created by a gang (the Sicilian Mafia).

    The only other real differences are slogans, oaths, etc. — pledge of allegiance vs. omerta oath and so forth. Roughly the same as the difference between the Dallas Cowboys and the New England Patriots.

  4. Robert Capozzi

    4 TK, OK, I’ll play.

    Tell us about how the Sicilian Mafia leadership is chosen. Do they have terms?

    The USG’s leadership – as you know – DOES have terms and they are elected (potentially) by most citizens over 18.

    Governments and the mob may behave in similar ways, so stipulated, but I don’t see them as perfect analogs.

  5. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC @ 5,

    “Tell us about how the Sicilian Mafia leadership is chosen. Do they have terms?”

    Are you suggesting that “have terms and [being] elected (potentially) by most citizens over 18” are defining characteristics of the state?

    I can name lots of states that have neither characteristic.

    I agree that the state and the mob aren’t perfect analogs, for the simple reason that they aren’t analogs. They’re the same thing, apart from some minor propaganda/pretense/rhetoric considerations. The primary difference between Washington and Corleone is that one was called “President” and one was called “Don.”

  6. Robert Capozzi

    tk, yes, not all states are run by elected officials, true, thanks for clarifying that.

    OK, I respect that you find GW and DC to be the same. I don’t. One largely abided by the rule of law. The other didn’t.

  7. paulie

    Tell us about how the Sicilian Mafia leadership is chosen. Do they have terms?

    Supposing they did, would that make it OK?

    The USG’s leadership – as you know – DOES have terms and they are elected (potentially) by most citizens over 18.

    Let’s say the mob let the people vote on which of the families would head the commission.

    Would that make them OK?

  8. Robert Capozzi

    p 8, haven’t you heard? It’s all good. And it is what it is.

    On another level, if there is an alternative that’s workable and sustainable, I am open and all ears. If there’s a way to have a social order with the rule of law and reasonable domestic tranquility and no monopolistic order-keepers, I’m for it.

    I’ve yet to see such a model, much less such a setup in practice. Whether it’s an checked-and-balanced elected “mob,” or an unelected one, all indicators point to some monopolistic enforcement mechanism at the foundation of civil society. Without that, there is no rule of law, no property rights, at least as a practical matter.

    I mean, Paulie, in nonarchy, you can claim you own the Brooklyn Bridge, but unless you have to muscle to hold it, you DON’T own the Brooklyn Bridge, as a practical matter, even if you have a piece of paper that says you do.

  9. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC @ 9 and 11,

    My response is the usual: “Monopolistic order-keepers” have never produced societies with rule of law and reasonable domestic tranqulity, so why should non-monopolistic order-keepers have to?

  10. Robert Capozzi

    12 TK, I understand. I do wonder what your subjective standard might be for a rule of law and reasonable domestic tranquility. Since it’s never happened IYO, I sense you set the bar MIGHTY high.

    My guess is most would disagree with you. While your outlier position is valid, my guess is that you’d need to convince most that such a social order has not been and won’t be achieved.

    But, then, why would anyone desire a stateless society. What’d be in it for them?

  11. Nicholas Sarwark

    My response is the usual: “Monopolistic order-keepers” have never produced societies with rule of law and reasonable domestic tranquility, so why should non-monopolistic order-keepers have to?

    This assertion is false. Monopolistic order-keepers have never produced societies with a perfect rule of law or perfect reasonable domestic tranquility, but they have produced relative application of rule of law and relative domestic tranquility. There are a number of ratings done by independent bodies of crime rates and corruption across countries and states. Some are definitely better than others.

    The utopian fallacy is wrong when used against us, it’s still wrong when used against the statists.

  12. robert capozzi

    What Squire Sarwark said.

    While I answer to the label “asymptotic anarchist,” for the life of me I remain puzzled by those who continue to go the unqualified route.

    If we accept that domestic tranquility requires a rule of law, and yet individuals would be free to pick and choose which laws s/he chooses to abide by, or not abide by, I simply cannot get my head around: 1) How that setup could possibly work and 2) Why anyone would advocate for such a setup.

    A person could today agree to laws prohibiting murder and then tomorrow decide that murder is justified and therefore the laws don’t apply to her/him. Non-territory-based insurance companies would need to spend incalculable resources sifting though infinitely layered sets of law and its various applications.

    It sounds like a nightmare!

    But I MUST be missing something! What?

  13. Bill Wood

    15, darn I thought there was two kinds of people, those with guns and those that dig. LOL!

  14. Robert Capozzi

    MH, my only explanation is psychological. If must feel good to call for abolition, for even if the call is unanswered, there’s a crisp, definitiveness to abolish. It’s simple and tidy.

    It’s a theory….

  15. Mark Hilgenberg

    Robert, that is it, it gets libertarians all excited so they think if it doesn’t get you excited your a statist.

    The simple solution to to promote a positive message and influence people.

  16. Robert Capozzi

    MH, to be fair, there may be some abolitionist Ls who sincerely believe that – by staking out an extreme position – they can serve as kind of negotiating beacons. They seem to think that by putting their unvarnished view out there, they can pull the center of gravity in their direction.

    Interestingly, this Rothbardian approach is – at root – dishonest, if my sense is correct that they know deep down that nonarchy ain’t happenin’ any time soon, if ever. That’s why they’ve needed to develop elaborate defense mechanisms to avoid exposing their real views.

  17. Thomas L. Knapp

    NS @ 14,

    I’m not sure what’s “utopian” about pointing out that Westphalian nation-states murdered hundreds of millions of people in the 20th century alone, far more than any non-state organization I’ve ever heard of.

  18. Marc Montoni

    Let’s see…

    One could be greeting a new LP member…

    One could be calling in to a local talk show and selling small government…

    One could be running for office as a smaller (ish) government OR as a radical-l, and actually try to sell the dream…

    One could be speaking in front of high school classes about the benefits of liberty…

    One could be starting up a new local chapter…

    But, no.

  19. Be Rational

    RC: It does not require being an anarchist, absolutist or radical to call for abolition of the IRS and elimination of the Income Tax. In fact, such an action is likely to only come in a single step – we will never phase out the IRS or slowly reduce the Income Tax. We will, when the tide against the IRS grows strong enough, abolish it all at once.

    Even then, when the IRS is gone and the Income Tax repealed and the government drastically reduced, there will still be a Federal government and some other taxes to deal with.

    Abolishing the IRS and repealing the Income Tax is edgy but reasonable reform.

  20. Robert Capozzi

    24tk: I’m not sure what’s “utopian” about pointing out that Westphalian nation-states murdered hundreds of millions of people in the 20th century alone, far more than any non-state organization I’ve ever heard of.

    me: That’s a different point. As NS points out, for most there is a relative RoL and DT, most of the time. If you refuse to acknowledge this, then it’s back-door utopianism. Governments make war>no DT>might as well abolish the State, then, since government always fails.

  21. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC @ 27,

    I’m certain that rule of law and domestic tranqulity ARE relative.

    I’ve just never see a state which, in my opinion, delivers very highly on the relative scale in either metric.

  22. Robert Capozzi

    28 tk, great. Glad we agree. Relative to what, though? What sustainable social order had/s, by your way of thinking, HIGH RoL and DT?

    If you have sub-metrics, that too would be interesting to me.

  23. Robert Capozzi

    26 br: It does not require being an anarchist, absolutist or radical to call for abolition of the IRS and elimination of the Income Tax.

    me: Sure, it’s not anarchist or absolutist to want no income tax. Whether it’s “radical” or not is a tougher call. I’d say it is, since it implies a VERY drastic reduction of government, too, one that very small percentages of the population would welcome. That’s my sense of things, at least. I see no evidence that 50+% of the population want anything like a 50+% cut in government overnight. Do you?

    br: In fact, such an action is likely to only come in a single step – we will never phase out the IRS or slowly reduce the Income Tax.

    me: If you are correct about “never,” then I would say that we will always have an income tax. That seems wildly off to me, since I am not only NOT a mind reader, but I am not a seer or prophet. My sense of history, though, is that things that were unimaginable 50 years ago are with us today, so I can’t say I see that particular pattern changing.

    You OTOH may be a prophet. Any other predictions you care to share, especially really good investment tips’d be greatly appreciated?

  24. Be Rational

    Yes, RC, I predict that the US will repeal the Income Tax and abolish the current IRS by the year 2030. Government will be cut moderately and a consumption tax will be used to fund the Federal Government. It will come in a complex but single reform.

  25. paulie

    Sure, it’s not anarchist or absolutist to want no income tax. Whether it’s “radical” or not is a tougher call. I’d say it is, since it implies a VERY drastic reduction of government, too, one that very small percentages of the population would welcome.

    Not necessarily. It could mean that, or a shift to a different tax, which I don’t find to be radical.

    50+% cut in government overnight.

    Income tax is less than 50% of government revenues, although it is true the IRS collects other taxes as well.

    My sense of history, though, is that things that were unimaginable 50 years ago are with us today, so I can’t say I see that particular pattern changing.

    You just need to be more imaginative 🙂 Like you just said yourself, things that were unimaginable 50 years ago have happened, so why not things you don’t see changing now actually changing at some point in the future?

    Any other predictions you care to share, especially really good investment tips’d be greatly appreciated?

    If I had some money to invest right now I would buy 3D printer stock. Since you asked.

  26. Marc Montoni

    Paulie, don’t forget one only needs to go back in time about 6 to 8 years at most levels of government to see a budget that is about 50% less than today.

    Which kind of reveals the underlying lie of libertarians who think abolishing 50% of government revenue is “radical”.

    But of course, 6 to 8 years ago some libertarians were still saying a 50% cut *then* would have been “too radical”.

    Even if the income tax were abolished this afternoon, current government employee attrition rates mean a simple hiring freeze for somewhere between 3 and 5 years would bring expenses back to square one.

  27. Robert Capozzi

    33mm: don’t forget one only needs to go back in time about 6 to 8 years at most levels of government to see a budget that is about 50% less than today.

    me: Actually, that’s easily forgotten since it’s false, at least when we’re talkin’ the Big Spender, the feds, which is the germane subject!
    Fed spending 2012: ~$3.6T.
    Fed spending 1992 (adjusted for inflation): ~$2.1T.

    You’d need to go back further to find $1.8T, which is half of $3.6. That’s more than 20 years, not 6-8.

    Personally, I’d love to cut government 50%, for starters. I’d also like to lessen gravity by, say, 20%, but my personal preferences have little to do with outcomes most of the time, especially with Big Picture matters.

    P, I can imagine LOTS of stuff. Road Warrior existence tomorrow. Jesus and Buddha returning tomorrow, ushering in an Epoch of Jubilee. Nanotech breakthroughs that makes food out of air and water.

    At some point in the future, many, many things are possible. Politics, however, generally involve more bite-sized changes to tomorrow’s trajectory.

    I’m down with dreaming big. Just not confusing specific Big Dreams with politics, especially if the politics are frightening to most.

    And especially when our L brethren seem math challenged.

  28. Marc Montoni

    Sigh. Shifting sands, as always. Maybe you should make note of the generalizations used: “most”, “about”, etc. I was talking about governments in general, not the feds, specifically.

    But OK, let’s get specific.

    According the feds’ own budget tables, the federal individual income tax brought in 1,132,206,000,000 in 2012.

    2012 Outlays: 3,029,539,000,000 on-budget + 507,588,000,000 off-budget = total spending 3,537,127,000,000.

    1,132,206,000,000 / 3,537,127,000,000 = 0.32009198425728 or 32% of the federal budget. In other words, the income tax funds about a third of the federal government — same as Andre Marrou used to say in radio and TV interviews in 1992.

    Deleting the income tax of 1,132,206,000,000 would leave 2,404,921,000,000 in spending to be funded by other means — excise taxes, corporate taxes, inflation, debt, etc.

    Nevertheless, we were discussing elimination of the individual income tax in its entirety. So let’s talk about where in time we would find a budget 1,132,206,000,000 less than 2012. Looking at the tables, I see the 2005 budget spent 2,471,957,000,000 — roughly 1.1 trillion less than 2012.

    Seven years.

    I guess to the “math challenged” 7 years might be 20 years, but it sure looks closer to “6 to 8 years” to me. But what the hell do I know.

  29. Marc Montoni

    You know, I don’t know why I bother even responding; it’s such a horrendous waste of time. But I guess that’s your aim, isn’t it?

    How’s your county LP doing? I’m sure it’s the largest, most effective one in the country.

  30. Robert Capozzi

    35 MM: I was talking about governments in general, not the feds, specifically.

    me: Sorry, I thought we were discussing the IRS, which is a federal matter. Ask yourself who is “shifting” the sands here, honestly.

    Even you believe that SOMEHOW the IRS could be abolished overnight and the ~40% of revenues could SOMEHOW be foregone and if SOMEHOW that spending could cut to offset the lower revenue levels so that the deficit doesn’t balloon even more….

    You are a rare individual if such measures are feasible. But, yes, it might be that I lack imagination!

    Would you be willing to make a wager? I’ll give you VERY generous odds, since I am virtually certain that the IRS won’t be abolished and the income tax will exist in, say, 3 years from now.

    I could use the money!

  31. Robert Capozzi

    mm 36: it’s such a horrendous waste of time. But I guess that’s your aim, isn’t it?

    me: In truth, no. The waste of time is trying to play politics with wacky, fringy ideas based on false premises (e.g., challenging the non-existent cult of the omnipotent state.) I hate to see others sleepwalking, believing in unreal fantasies…

  32. Mark Hilgenberg

    @37 Robert Capozzi

    “Even you believe that SOMEHOW the IRS could be abolished overnight and the ~40% of revenues could SOMEHOW be foregone and if SOMEHOW that spending could cut to offset the lower revenue levels so that the deficit doesn’t balloon even more….”

    That is key, we say nothing about how to get there, it is just cut and abolish. Then when pressed about how we help the truly needy and take care of the services eliminated, we give vague abstract replies.

    People need to be walked through the solution, not just told the end game.

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