Jo Jorgensen: The WORST President in History

2020 Libertarian Party presidential nominee Jo Jorgensen sent out the following statement in a fundraising email yesterday, listing who she considers to be the worst U.S. president in history:

I am sometimes asked “who is the worst President in the history of the United States?”

It’s not Donald Trump. It’s not Barack Obama. Neither of them even come close. In fact, it’s not any modern President.

No, the worst President in the history of the United States is Woodrow Wilson.

Woodrow Wilson is responsible for two great financial evils: the 16th Amendment establishing the Federal Income Tax and the Federal Reserve Act.

IPR readers, who do you consider to be the worst U. S. president in history and why?  Here‘s the list of Presidents as a refresher.

51 thoughts on “Jo Jorgensen: The WORST President in History

  1. Oliver Steinberg

    Great example of Libertarian ideological obsessions! Constitutionally-oriented critics scoff that Wilson’s “He Kept Us Out of War” re-election slogan was false advertising. He stifled First Amendment rights with the Sedition and Espionage prosecutions (followed by the infamous Red Scare). He installed Jim Crow practices in federal offices, agencies, etc. He was duped by Allied leaders in post-war conference. He imposed gunboat imperialism on Mexico, Haiti, etc. He clung to office when too sick from a stroke to govern capably. Congress, not President, gets credit for income tax, a bipartisan positive good. Federal Reserve created at Wilson’s behest but Congress & bankers like Warburg shaped it. Despite his awful faults, Wilson still a paragon next to Trump, the Apprentice Autocrat & famous ignoramus, corrupt, vicious, traitorous con-man.

  2. Ryan

    I agree Wilson is much worse than history gives him credit for. A lot of this deals with his stubbornness and refusal to deal with Congress (something seen in our current president), his idealism at Versailles helping cause World War II, but also becoming an invalid in 1919 and effectively not running the country anymore, leaving the job to his Cabinet and his wife, which I’ve seen some feminist types paint this in a good fashion of his wife having so much power but I view her and his Cabinet running the country as a soft coup more or less. Vice President Thomas Marshall should have become president in 1919 in what was a very critical period dealing with the aftermath of the war.

    Throw on top that Wilson considered running for a third term in 1920…while he was on his deathbed.

  3. theButterfly

    Abraham Lincoln. Completely abolished the founding principles of the USA through military force and murdered hundreds of thousands of people.

  4. Root's Teeth Are Awesome

    Wilson is guilty of worse than that. He got the U.S. into World War One.

    Had he not done so, WW I might have ended as a draw. Possibly a German victory, but really, a draw. In which case:

    * No Hitler, no World War II, no Holocaust.

    * Which means, possibly no Israel and no Mideast wars and interventions. (And if Israel, then a more tame, more democratic, less powerful Israel, since they wouldn’t have the Holocaust to hold over the world’s conscience.)

    * No WW 2 also means no Communist expansion and tyranny in Eastern Europe. And no Cold War.

    * Which mean, perhaps no Vietnam War, and no many other proxy wars in Central America, Africa, etc.

    German defeat in WW I led to a whole chain of disastrous events. Avoiding that war entirely would have been most excellent. (No October Revolution.) A draw would have been second best.

    By contrast, Wilson’s “two financial evils” look saintly in comparison. Jo displays much historical ignorance to overlook Wilson’s horrible foreign policy.

  5. wolfefan

    It’s an interesting question, and it’s hard to compare Presidents across generations. Modern Presidents claim a lot more executive power than those in Wilson’s era or before could, and it’s hard for me to hold a constitutional amendment against Wilson when it required the approval of a supermajority of states in addition to Congress. My first thought is usually of James Buchanan.

  6. Richard Winger

    I started to read this expecting that she would mostly talk about Wilson’s taking the US into World War I, but I was surprised that is not what she was getting at. Also she could have mentioned that Wilson pushed job protections for blacks in the wrong direction. He told the post office to stop letting white and black workers work in the same rooms in the big postal processing centers. instead they had to be in separate rooms. Also he praised the film “Birth of a Nation”.

  7. SocraticGadfly

    Wilson DID lie us into war over fake neutrality over willfully perverse interpretations of international law. (The British blockade by extension AND use of food as a blockade item were BOTH as illegal as German submarine war.)

    Root’s Teeth largely but NOT entirely nails the big picture. We had ZERO national interest (until Wilson guaranteed the loans by US banksters) in that war. Let them beat the shit out of each other. That said, Root, wrong on Communism. The Germans would still have gotten Lenin smuggled into Russia. There WOULD have been both March and November revolutions there. And, as a result, there might well have been German mutinies.

    Let’s say that the US stays out, and doesn’t try shipping to ANY belligerent unless they send their own merchant ships over AND makes no loans. Germany is still starving, but Britain and France are going broke even faster than normal. Given what we already know about mutinies in France in 1917, it’s possible the Red Flag hits ALL the Western Front in fall 1918.

    Jorgensen gets the Federal Reserve Act wrong, while we’re here.

    The US needed a national banking system. Unfortunately, Wilson gave it the most conservative, bankster-friendly one.

    As for the shibboleth of “fiat money”? First existed 1,000 years ago in Tang China. As for the shibboleth of gold? As for actual utilitarian value, not much. Why not denominate dollars in either uranium or petroleum, if you don’t want fiat money?

    ===

    That said, Wilson doesn’t even crack the bottom five.

    Andy Johnson, followed closely by Buck Buchanan, are at the bottom, with Frank Pierce very close.

    Trump would rank No. 4, then Harding.

    Sorry, folks, Shrub Bush isn’t in the Bottom 5 either.

    Jose? Tricky Dick isn’t even in the bottom 7 or 8.

    Butterfly? Uh, no, you need to blame folks with names like Barnwell, Rhett and Davis. The Civil War started when the South attacked United States property defended by Lincoln. Period and end of story.

  8. SocraticGadfly

    Oh, Jorgensen is ALSO IN ERROR! FALSEHOOD!

    Wolfefan jogged my memory.

    Congress approved the 16th Amendment to send to the states WHEN TAFT WAS PRESIDENT! Indeed, he actively pushed for it.

    You all can thank me later.

  9. George Whitfield

    Yes, I agree Woodrow Wilson was the worst for many reasons, as have been given above. I learned a lot about American history from reading the book “Re-carving Mount Rushmore” which ranked all of the US Presidents, not on what they said or what they did before or after they were President, but rather what they did or did not do while they were US President with their ranking determined by their conformance with the US Constitution.

  10. Jose C

    Abraham Lincoln. Completely abolished the founding principles of the USA through military force and murdered hundreds of thousands of people.

    Meanwhile back at the lost cause of the South (Confederacy) and slavery, Jim Crow, lynching’s, segregation, racism, . . , That is the cause for which Southerners fought. Who decided on succession and the creation of the Confederacy? White rich land owners who had slaves. Not Negros, women, immigrants, . . .

    That is the real issue. That is the issue that will continue in this country when these poor
    tongues of Judge Douglas and myself shall be silent. It is the eternal struggle between
    these two principles — right and wrong — throughout the world. They are the two
    principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time; and will ever continue
    to struggle. The one is the common right of humanity and the other the divine right of
    kings. It is the same principle in whatever shape it develops itself. It is the same spirit that
    says, “You work and toil and earn bread, and I’ll eat it.” No matter in what shape it
    comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own
    nation and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for
    enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle.

    Abraham Lincoln

  11. George Phillies

    Buchanan or Andrew Johnson come immediate to mind, though Zachary Taylor avoids the list by dying before he started the Civil War ten years early.

    Buchanan knew a Civil War was incoming and failed to take steps to protect the Union. Moving the Harper’s Ferry Arsenal to northeastern Pennsylvania comes to mind.

    Johnson is remembered for removing Stanton in violation of the Tenure in Office Act, and being impeached therefor. There were actually ten charges for impeachment. At the impeachment, his attorney immediately noted that Stanton was *not* protected by the Tenure in Office Act, because that act only protected cabinet members who Johnson appointed, of which there weren’t any. Stanton was a Lincoln appointee, hence unprotected. The charge was false to fact, and not considered farther. The main charges against Johnson, said simply, were that he was an uneducated drunkard who tried to overturn the results of the War of the Slaveholders’ Rebellion and allow the white southern slaveholders to restore, via legal subterfuges, the institution of slavery.

  12. Just Some Random Guy

    @ SocraticGadfly

    While still having some disagreements, I would say you probably got things the most right so far. Especially in regards to this:

    Andy Johnson, followed closely by Buck Buchanan, are at the bottom, with Frank Pierce very close.

    Trump would rank No. 4, then Harding.

    While I think Harding gets more flak than he deserves and have conflicted opinions on Trump (I really really like a few of the things he’s done… and really really dislike a whole lot of others), you are right on when it comes to Buchanan and Johnson being at the bottom. Putting Wilson in front of those two guys seems absurd to me… and Jorgenson’s arguments, as you correctly criticize, aren’t even the best ones you could make against Wilson anyway.

  13. Losty

    I’d say Bill Harrison has some claim…

    But I’m personally enjoying Jo’s Count this run…

    George, Seen Paulie around? Hope He’s Ok… Been a while that I’ve been here…

  14. wolfefan

    Thanks, SG, for the catch on Taft. Losty, you’re a libertarian, right? In that case you should like WH Harrison. He did almost literally nothing as President besides get sick and die. 🙂

  15. Root's Teeth Were Awesome

    Back in the 1990s, I read an article (I think in Liberty, but possibly LewRockwell.com), that Harding was one of the Best presidents. I forget the details, but the general points (as best I recall) were that Harding:

    * Did much to demilitarize the U.S. Lowered military spending after WW I, despite pressure to build up the navy.

    * Loosened restrictions on the economy.

    * Lessened foreign entanglements, including any in the League of Nations.

    * The Teapot Dome Scandal was overrated. Not so bad as compared to other scandals.

  16. theButterfly

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

    -the founding principles of the USA

    If no one is allowed to leave, then it’s no longer a just government based on the consent of the governed. Of course, the obvious criticism is the part that says “all men are created equal”; and obviously, they weren’t in the Confederacy. But if that’s what Lincoln cared about, then having those states secede was the best possible news, since it meant they could quickly repeal fugitive slave laws and institute anti-slavery policies. But his own words and actions show that that’s not what he cared about at all.

    @Jose C Here’s another quote for you:

    “I will say, then, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races—that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this, that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I, as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”

    -Abraham Lincoln

    @SocraticGadfly Fort Sumter is a southern fort.

  17. theButterfly

    And these are the bottom five:

    5. Richard Nixon
    4. Lyndon B. Johnson
    3. Woodrow Wilson
    2. Franklin D. Roosevelt
    1. Abraham Lincoln

  18. William Saturn Post author

    I posted this in the September 2016 open thread:

    For a libertarian perspective on the Harding presidency, read Reassessing the Presidency.

    Excerpt from p. 9–10:

    While Harding’s administration was mired in scandals, they appear to be modest relative to those of the Clinton era. Moreover, taxes were slashed, and industrial production during Harding’s tragically short tenure rose over 60 percent. Furthermore, Harding let markets work to end the 1920-1921 depression. Playing golf and poker and drinking whiskey, Harding allowed the price mechanism to lower unemployment from double-digit levels when he assumed office to less than 4 percent when he died.

  19. Jared

    The industrial North was white nationalist. Cheap immigrant labor had replaced slavery in most, but not all, Union states. Chattel slavery was widely denounced as a barbaric institution, but Negroes still did not belong in a White Republic, and the Western expansion of slavery kept them here. During the war, Northern troops frequently abused slaves on the plantations they occupied. After emancipation, Union officers were eager to lead anti-Indian campaigns on the frontier. Lincoln’s quasi-mystical nationalism and drive to preserve the Union was primary reason the North fought the South, especially in the first few years of the war.

    The racism of the agrarian South was more paternalistic. Black slaves were bestial “children” who wouldn’t know what to do with freedom if it were granted. Southerners rationalized that, unlike the North with their immigrant wage slaves, they at least fed and housed their labor force. Women took over management of the plantations when the men were away at war. Slavery was the primary motive for Southern secession, but Northern military intervention is why the Confederate States took up arms against the United States. For both slaveholders and non-slaveholders, it was a war of independence to defend their lands against a tyrant.

    Jose is confusing the Antebellum South with the Black Codes post-Reconstruction. Many former Union districts practiced school segregation, even against state laws, and anti-miscegenation laws were commonplace in the North. Whites lived in White neighborhoods, and Blacks lived in Black neighborhoods–everywhere, not just in the South–but White Southerners resented what they felt was the retributive political and martial abuse they suffered during Reconstruction, especially by vengeful Radical Republicans in Congress who believed the presidential policy had been far too lenient. Before all Southern states had been readmitted, Northerners lost the political will to continue Reconstruction, Hayes withdrew federal troops from occupied South Carolina and Louisiana, and Southern Democrats forcefully reasserted themselves, suppressing the most reliable Republican constituency through Jim Crow legislation, intimidation, and violence. It was as much about political hegemony as it was about racial supremacy.

    Americans need to get over both the myth of the “Lost Cause” and the myth that the Civil War (or War between the States, or War for Southern Independence, or War of Northern Aggression, or War of the Rebellion) represents a Manichean cosmic struggle between the forces of light and darkness. History is more nuanced than the Sons of Confederate Veterans or Black Lives Matters would like it to be, and from a libertarian perspective, neither side was purely right or purely wrong.

  20. SocraticGadfly

    @theButterfly? I”ll assume until you prove otherwise that you’re a neo-Confederate.

    Fort Sumter was UNITED STATES PROPERTY. You’re LYING. LYING. LYING.

    So was Fort Pickens off Pensacola.

    So were all post offices.

    Don’t ever try a lie like that again to me.

    ==

    @BeRational: Harding and Carter? No.

    Truman, for his faults, overall ranks as the best prez since WWII. LBJ, even with his lies about Nam and his closet racism in private, is No. 2. Jack Kennedy is No. 3 for getting himself killed and thus becoming a martyr to civil rights he never really backed in his lifetime.

  21. Tony From Long Island

    The income tax is one of the best decisions of government of all time. Thank you Woodrow Wilson.

    Sure, there are ways to implement it – and hundreds of loopholes should be closed, but shit costs money and we all live in this life together.

    Taxation is patriotic

  22. Be Rational

    “The Forgotten Depression: 1921: The Crash That Cured Itself” by James Grant

    It has been quite clearly shown that the Depression that followed WWI was deeper and more severe at the outset than the Great Depression. But our greatest President since the Civil War – Warren G. Harding – cured it most effectively by doing nothing.

    Knowing when to do nothing is a hallmark of a great leader.
    Being able to resist the calls of interventionists to do more takes even more strength and courage.

  23. Be Rational

    Tony, taxing income – not only the income tax, but the social security tax are taxes on income – causes massive distortions in the economy and is one of the causes of unemployment, slow economic growth, resource misallocation and the growing gap between the upper and lower income brackets. The income tax is one of the worst forms of taxation in terms of the damage it causes to the economy and to individuals at lower and middle income levels.

    Of course, the deleterious effects of inflation are much worse than the income tax – and most inflation is not reflected in the CPI so it is hidden and insidious. Many consider inflation to be a tax, so it’s even worse than the income tax.

    The worst tax of all is the tax on property – especially the tax on land, which is one of the major causes of pollution and climate change – on top of all the other deleterious effects of taxation found in the income tax.

    Taxation of land and property is not done at the Federal level fortunately as that would be even worse, but the income tax, social security, massive inflation, wage and price controls and decoupling the dollar from gold – these are some of the major economic crimes of our worst Presidents.

    Trump, however, can add Treason and destruction of America’s good name and respect around the Globe and decimation of our national security to his list along with fomenting racism and home-grown terrorism, hatred and violence to his list making him far and away the worst US President in history.

    Carter brought respect and human kindness to the Presidency, stood up for morality and human rights and made positive contributions to international relations and respect for human rights. But he has been wrongly blamed for the violent consequences of the interventionism of past administrations and blamed for the disastrous economic consequences of generations of horrible economic policies and programs from Wilson through FDR and capped by Nixon.

  24. Starchild

    I tend to agree with Jo Jorgensen that Woodrow Wilson was the worst president in U.S. history. “Root’s Teeth” makes some excellent points in this regard, about how history might have transpired without him getting the U.S. involved in World War I.

    Next worst in terms of their impact on the world, the country, and freedom I would rank Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. For worst character however, Donald Trump and Richard Nixon are surely among the most eligible.

    Regarding Fort Sumter allegedly being federal property, yes, but when the land for the fort was ceded by the state of South Carolina to the U.S. federal government, it seems to me that this cession was contingent upon the state having a relationship with the federal government as part of the union. When South Carolina seceded, I think it had a legal right to reclaim such ceded properties and take them with them.

    Compare, for example, if the government of a NATO country like Germany or Turkey ceded land to the U.S. government for a military base; I believe that if the country in question opted to leave NATO, they would have every right to reclaim that land, even if the U.S. government disagreed.

    As a more general principle, I believe that any time the majority of competent individuals (i.e. excluding those like infants, mentally retarded persons, senile elders, and others incapable of rendering an opinion on the matter) residing in a given area wish to have that area become an independent political jurisdiction, they have the right to secede and take the land with them, even if their motivations are odious and contemptible.

    Slavery may have been the chief motivation for the secession of the Confederacy (although there were other major motives like the federal imposition of tariffs), just as the main motivation of a serial killer in buying a piece of land might be to have a place to bury their victims’ bodies, but this does not mean that the secession, or the land purchase, were wrong in and of themselves. Plantation slavery was a moral wrong that deserved to be addressed directly, not used as an excuse for limiting other unrelated rights.

    The political independence of the Confederacy would not, in my view, have stood as any kind of proper moral or legal bar to abolitionists living outside its jurisdiction using force, if necessary, to free the slaves.

  25. theButterfly

    @SocraticGadfly

    And I’ll assume you’re a bright purple dung beetle, until you prove otherwise.

  26. Be Rational

    For those of you who believe that the majority of people in the Southern States had the right to secede from the United States, aren’t you forgetting the right of the enslaved population to be included in that decision as free individuals since surely they had as much right to be considered citizens of the South as the white plantation owners? What about the rights of the other disenfranchised citizens including women?

    Based on the entire population and the desires of the people living there, the majority of the citizens of the southern states would likely have preferred to remain in the Union as free individuals.

    The Confederate States therefore had no legitimate right to secede.

  27. Jared

    “The worst tax of all is the tax on property – especially the tax on land, which is one of the major causes of pollution and climate change – on top of all the other deleterious effects of taxation found in the income tax.”

    This is demonstrably false. People hate the property tax so much because they feel it in their wallets. It isn’t deducted from your paycheck. And land taxation has been favored by economists from Adam Smith to Albert Jay Nock and Frank Chodorov to Milton Friedman. It is a non-distortionary source of public revenue that pulls the rug out from under natural resource speculation and disincentivizes corporate monocultural farming. If you want to reduce carbon emissions, then you need to reduce urban sprawl. If you want to reduce urban sprawl, then you tax land values. The Georgist argument is as sound and applicable today as it ever was.

  28. Jared

    Tony: “The income tax is one of the best decisions of government of all time. Thank you Woodrow Wilson.”

    Tax labor, then claim to be on the side of the working classes? How about we not penalize healthy, productive economic activity, like earning a living by contributing value to society? The income tax is horrible for a plethora of reasons.

  29. dL

    Taxation is patriotic

    well, I’m a flag burner, and it’s not a crime to be unpatriotic….not yet, at least.

  30. Be Rational

    Sorry, but Georgism is a form of fascism. Many so-called economists who believe in the completely bogus and discredited idea that government should build the infrastructure have fallen into a fascist-socialist trap. They are responsible for pollution and climate change. The fascist-socialists in government use their error to justify their destruction of our economy, environment and planet. The land tax along with all the elements that go with it – property taxes and control of land, development and resource allocation and use – are major causes of slow economic growth, poverty and unemployment as well.

    The Land Tax is demonstrably the worst tax of all. It causes far and away the most distortion to the economy and the most environmental destruction per dollar collected. Any government control or ownership of resources or the environment has the same effect as the land tax.

    Taxing land causes urban sprawl, it causes a shift in agriculture to larger, less efficient farms, it contributes to the the demand for and construction of too many roads, bridges and highways – 90% of which are not needed in free market economy. Land taxes cause the overconsumption of fossil fuels. Land taxes cause the inefficient production and use of all energy resources. Land taxes encourage pollution and the resultant climate change. Land taxes cause the inefficient early development of land that should be left vacant until it can be brought to its highest use.

    There is no need for land or property taxes in the US as they fund primarily totally unnecessary local government. There is no need for local government at all.

    The only use for land taxes is that the idea of taxing land gives fascist-socialists an excuse to levy another form of taxation, one they pretend is justified.

    If we abolish all taxes on land and property, we can also eliminate the government from the design, ownership and provision of infrastructure. Government provision of infrastructure along with land and property taxes and government control of the environment and natural resources are responsible for nearly all pollution and climate change.

  31. Be Rational

    “The Georgist argument is as sound and applicable today as it ever was.”

    Obviously, this is true.

    The Georgists have always been wrong. Their arguments have never been sound and their ideas have never been applicable to the needs of a free society.

    Georgism has always been a fascist-socialists’ wet dream and a recipe for disaster for the people.

  32. Tony From Long Island

    Sure Jared, We can go broke and the poor can live in shanties like in 3rd world countries (yeah yeah . . . .private Charity . . .sure Harry Browne).

    While I’d love to chop the defense budget in half that’s not going to happen.

    So, thank you Woodrow Wilson.

    Taxing income is not “penalizing” anything. It each individual doing their part to improve the lives of EVERY citizen, since the world does not end at the tip of my nose.

  33. George Phillies

    The Presidents from 1840 to 1868, except Lincoln, were pretty terrible. Elections proceeded. Lincoln know he would be out of office in 1864 if he lost the election, but Grant and Sherman saved him.

    Recent Presidents, say Bush I forward, were not impressive.

  34. Jared

    BR: “Georgism has always been a fascist-socialists’ wet dream and a recipe for disaster for the people.”

    Georgists, or geolibertarians, are free-marketeers who believe in profits and privately owned and directed capital–without taxation. But sure, “fascists-socialists”, whatever.

    Tony: “Sure Jared, We can go broke and the poor can live in shanties like in 3rd world countries (yeah yeah . . . .private Charity . . .sure Harry Browne).”

    Working for the IRS doesn’t grant anyone a moral pass to seize justly acquired wealth from some in order to redistribute it to others in need. If you’re going to argue a moral case for the income tax, then deal with the glaring moral contradiction. Anyway, you’re barking up the wrong tree. I support a guaranteed basic income. And taxing productive labor is not the only public revenue game in town.

    “Taxing income is not ‘penalizing’ anything.”

    Taxes discourage behavior. (see “sin taxes”; see “welfare cliff”; see John Roberts’ saving construction of the ACA). Subsidies encourage behavior.

  35. Jared

    “Land Tax is demonstrably the worst tax of all… most distortive… causes overuse of fossil fuels… causes natural resource depletion… causes urban sprawl… causes inefficient use of land.”

    Dang. Did I miss out on opposite day? Literally everything you said is wrong, and not just a little bit wrong, but 180° from correct. That’s kind of tragicomically impressive.

  36. theButterfly

    @Be Rational

    If you keep following that line of reasoning, then the American Revolution wasn’t legitimate either, because it was primarily white males who made the decision for everyone. The slaves weren’t given a voice there either. In fact, almost any independence movement could be declared illegitimate based on the perception that some portion of the population aren’t having their voices heard, especially in parts of the world that still have very regressive attitudes toward women and minorities.

    Instead of simply declaring that there is no right of political self-determination until people see to the inequalities and human rights abuses in their own backyard, perhaps it’s better to simply take the idea of secession to its logical conclusion. If states have the right to secede from the federal government, then it follows that a smaller political subdivision has the right to secede from that state, with the smallest subdivision of all being the individual person. Of course, if some slave were to just stand up and declare his own independence, that probably wouldn’t go over very well. When a person is surrounded by those who would treat them like a slave, they need a support network of other people to help protect their independence. If only there were some sort of Underground Railroad to help get people out of that bad situation. . . .

    @Jared

    No one owns their property as long as they’re paying rent to someone else. It’s time for governments to stop acting like they have the right to tell people what to do with their own property. Property taxes need to be completely abolished in this country as soon as possible.

    It’s also a very regressive tax. Technically, all taxes are regressive, since it always harms lower-income people the most when you forcibly redistribute wealth from the productive class to the parasitic class; but property taxes are one of the worst in this regard. And since all of your arguments seem to revolve around social engineering, they’re not very convincing.

    As long as stealing is to be considered a necessary evil in society, then a sales tax is probably the best and fairest method.

  37. Be Rational

    No Jared, You didn’t miss out on opposite day. You are living it – every day.
    It’s like Groundhog Day for you … the movie that is.
    Every day, over and over, you and your fascist-socialist cult whine and rant, disproven nonsense.

    If you had a clue you could see how taxing land causes the worst distortion of all forms of taxation. If we eliminate all taxes on land and property, end the government provision of infrastructure, eliminate all taxation on Earth’s resources and privatize all resources and infrastructure, we can end all pollution and end and reverse climate change.

    But, Henry George … and his cult followers … have no clue about economics.

  38. Be Rational

    Butterfly, you are missing a salient difference:
    the American Revolution wasn’t about slavery
    the Civil War was primarily about slavery.

  39. Be Rational

    Butterfly is correct about the tax that causes the least damage to the economy. All taxes cause distortions, but a flat rate tax on consumption would cause the least damage to the economy – even at today’s high levels of government spending.

    If we were to raise the same level of tax revenue through a land tax, we would completely destroy the economy and the resulting mal-investment in the wrong infrastructure and long term construction would accelerate climate change to the point of no-return and the extinction of humanity as we know it. The land tax itself would cause more damage than the government’s incompetent and totally misdirected decision making.

    Governments at best only consume resources, so taxing consumption causes the least distortion. However, government spending being directed toward deleterious projects – especially infrastructure and war – means that the spending itself causes great damage to our planet and the people, far beyond the damage caused by the taxation used currently to confiscate the misspent resources.

    (Fortunately, land taxes are a small percentage of total government revenues today. Land taxes if used to raise all government revenues would cause far more damage than that caused by government spending. Sadly for the members of the geo-nazi cult of henry george, and for those of us forced to endure their continued blither-blather, all of their claimed benefits have been proven to be false. That this remnant still exists is a tragi-comedy that portends the continued presence of deluded Q-anon cultists 100 years from now with claims of a Trump victory in 2020. Flat-earthers, 911 truthers, marxists, henry george geo-nazis … these types of individuals are all in need of psychiatric care, and they will always be a part of the spectrum of humanity.)

    It would be a true success for the LP to reduce total government spending for all levels of government combined to 10% of the economy with no deficit and no government debt and to eliminate all taxes other than a single 10% flat-rate VAT with the revenue shared by all levels of government.

    A peaceful, non-interventionist foreign policy and ending all government involvement in infrastructure, retirement and education could get us there.

  40. Eric Sundwall

    Cyrus Griffin was the worst. He let the Congress of the Confederation slip away . . . and the US Constitution’s President take over.

  41. theButterfly

    @Be Rational

    Even if that difference is salient, there is no practical difference in the way Lincoln responded to it. Whether the southern states’ motives were noble or despicable, the results of Abraham Lincoln’s evil actions were exactly the same: huge amounts of needless suffering and death. If it were really about slavery, there are actions Lincoln could’ve taken that would have been both more effective at ending the practice of slavery and would have avoided all the senseless bloodshed.

    @Jared

    Those are some well thought out and nuanced arguments you’ve got there. . . .

    @Eric Sundwall

    I don’t believe Cyrus Griffin had much choice in the matter. You should be blaming Hamilton for that fiasco.

  42. Jared

    “Those are some well thought out and nuanced arguments you’ve got there. . . .”

    Butterfly, I don’t reply thoughtfully to militant radical ignorance or with nuance to frantic allegations of cultic Nazism. Sorry.

  43. Be Rational

    Actually, Jared replies WITH militant radical ignorance and WITH frantic earth-nazism.
    Which, knowing that 100% of his radical earth-nazi ideas have been exposed and debunked, leaves him unable to reply.

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