Our rights do not originate with government, but they are to be "secured" by government.
Formerly: Libertarian Party of Citrus county

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Self Defense; Liberals Don't Get It

By Tom Rhodes, 2/28/2013

Liberals simply don't understand self defense. Period. Take VP Biden's latest gaff where he truly demonstrated both his ignorance. Saying we don't "need" "assault weapons," and we should "buy a shotgun" is both dumb and dangerous. Biden argued that double-barreled shotguns are easier to use than modern sporting rifles like the AR15, which they aren't. He then went on to recommend, when you suspect a dangerous situation, you should simply walk outside and fire a couple of shotgun blasts into the night. Not only is he recommending criminally negligent actions his recommendations violate fundamental firearm safety.

If you are dumb enough to follow Biden's recommendation you are screwed. You are now standing outside, with an unloaded shot gun that is slow to reload, slow to maneuver, and hot to the touch. If you actually hit what you weren't aiming at you may have murdered an innocent person and endangered your neighbors or bystanders. How would you explain to a jury that you didn't know what you were shooting at, or near, or what you were going to hit?

A double barreled shotgun is not suitable for self-defense; it is an antique technology barely more modern than a muzzle loader. Reloading with speed takes lots of practice, and room. Their break action, shell removal and replacement, is far more difficult than pressing a button and inserting a magazine. They are light and generally have a massive "kick" that makes them unsuitable for smaller people with less upper body strength. If there is more than 1 or 2 criminals, you are in real trouble. Considering most of the violent crime in the US is in cities, and associated with gangs, where a person is most likely to need self defense a large cumbersome 2 shot weapon that is slow to re-load is not a good choice for self defense.

The abject ignorance of leftists concerning self-protection and preservation is not just their absence of understanding the technology of self-defense, but their claimed expertise. It is sad what qualifies as an "expert" by liberals. Not just the continued mis-naming of automatic weapons, but the general mis-characterization of weapons in general. When the leftists in the press bring out people who obviously have no idea what they are talking about to most of gun toting redneck America, their invariable ignorance of firearms, is so blatant that one can only assume they are driven by emotions not facts. Considering the intelligence and knowledge they claim the only assumption that can be made is when a liberal is making such obvious "errors" in discussion on firearms they are doing so purposefully. Most of America calls that lying.

ABC covering up for Michelle Obama's gaff on saying teens had access to "automatic" pistols is just another example of the fact that either the left is totally ignorant or believes most of the people are stupid. In either case it's a lie.

Obama's desire to fundamentally change America can be summed up in the actions of his Secretary of State,John Kerry, who on foreign soil called Americans and American freedom "stupid." That is all you need to know about liberals attitude toward this nation, the Constitution, and the average American.

Liberals talking about firearms are lying. Period. The leaked internal Justice Department memo noted that the proposed assault weapons ban would have no effect on gun crime or gun violence. They know the truth, they want to confiscate guns because they fear an armed people. They think you're too ignorant and gullible to realize the truth. They are using emotions not reason, facts, or logic to attack the Second Amendment. Why, because it works. Just like they did in New Orleans after Katrina, the government will come and take your weapons. They think you'll willingly give them up, I think they are wrong. Just like for self defense AR15's not double barreled shotguns and semi-automatic pistols not antique revolvers, are the self-defense weapons of choice for most Americans; We the People are not stupid, and will not willingly give up our individual rights without a fight. If Washington DC does like the ruling elite tried to do in 1776, they too will start a war with the people that they cannot win.

As equality under the law, and the rule of law, are relegated to mere anachronisms of the past, We the People will abandon any compulsions, morals, or customs to obey the dictates of the ruling elite in Washington. Already the duly elected sheriff's of the country are pledging to the people, and the ruling elite in DC to not only not enforce further restrictions on the Second Amendment, but arrest federal agents who attempt to do so. We the People can and will simply ignore the dictates of DC. We do so concerning drugs, we do so concerning speed limits, we do so concerning seat belts, we do so concerning a huge variety of the hundreds of thousands of pages of regulations and laws that the ruling elite dictate through unelected "regulators." The willful ignorance of the ruling elite may cause repercussions they can't fathom.

We've compromised enough, no more; the evidence can be seen in every sporting goods store in America, where the shelves are bare and AR15's and ammo fly off the shelf as soon fast as it can be shipped. Americans are arming themselves and will not give up those arms; Period! The government need not fear the armed citizen, unless of course they become too oppressive. Not all of America is the wussified liberals of the big city; much of America is fiercely independent and doesn't depend on government or want government to take care of us, we can and will do that for ourselves. We believe the job of government is to protect our rights, from those who would use force or fraud to infringe upon them. You see most Americans are truly libertarian, unwilling to use force against others but equally willing to use force in self defense.

In our history the turning point that changed a people trying to work with the ruling elite to get fair treatment from government into a war, our American Revolution, was when the government tried to take away and control the weapons of the people. Paul Revere's ride was not simply to warn that the "British are coming" but to warn that the government is here to take our weapons. All experience has shown that We the People are disposed to suffer the evils of oppressive government, while such evils are sufferable, than to right ourselves and abolishing the forms to which we are accustomed. But when the government abuses and usurpation of our rights, invariably evinces a design to reduce us to absolute despotism, it is not only our right, but our duty, to throw off such government. It's called self-defense and liberals don't get it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Minimum Wage - Another Disaster Promoted by Obama

By Tom Rhodes, 2/27/2013

Obama has proposed a $9/hr minimum wage. That's a 25% increase over the current minimum wage. What do you think will happen if he gets his way? If you think poor people will be better off your wrong. What it will do is the same thing that happens to anything that has a 25% price increase, people will buy less of it. Economists agree raising the minimum wage would have a negative effect on low skilled workers. New and entry workers, aka low skilled workers, are those who earn the minimum. They will be the hardest hit.

Consider your shopping choices; say you are purchasing a tool, like a ratchet or screwdriver. There are all different grades of tools. You can buy 3/8 drive ratchets anywhere from $8 to $30 dollars. Low end ratchets of reasonable quality that aren't complete junk cost around $16, about half the cost of a top quality name brand which costs twice as much and is twice as good. If the cost of the low end was artificially increased 25% to say $20 instead of $16, with no requirement to raise the top end tool price you would probably consider spending the money on the high end product. It only costs 50% more and has twice the quality. The same thing happens with labor. Just like the high end tool will last longer and be more reliable than the top quality tool, why not spend a bit more and get a proven worker who can produce twice as much for less than twice the cost.

Historic data and economists agree, raising the minimum wage makes it harder for low skilled and entry level workers to find and keep jobs. It will result in more unemployment; and because there are a disproportionate number of minorities, especially blacks, who lack even a high school diploma, it will disproportionately hurt minority workers.

In examining more than 100 major academic studies on the minimum wage, University of California Irvine economist David Neumark found that approximately 85 percent of the studies "find a negative employment effect on low-skilled workers." Neumark says that the White House claim "grossly misstates the weight of the evidence." His work matches with similar works in the past. A survey done in 1990 reported that 80 percent of economists agreed that increases in the minimum wage cause unemployment among the youth and low-skilled. 90 percent of members in American Economic Association agreed that increasing the minimum wage raises unemployment among young and unskilled workers, this from a survey as far back as 1976. Even most introduction to economics textbooks mention that increases to minimum wage result in increases in unemployment for low skilled and entry level workers.

The result of a 25% increase in the minimum wage will be higher costs and worse service. The cold hard fact is bagging groceries isn't worth $9/hr. So there won't be as many baggers (or other low skill entry jobs), and we will all end up with slower and poorer service because we can't afford to pay more for our groceries, and a $25% increase in labor costs will affect how many employees a grocery store can have and remain profitable.

Home Depot and other retailers have installed self checkout lanes, where 1 employee monitors 4-6 check-outs. Customers ring up and bag their own goods. This is the result of high minimum wages. One $10/hr person doing what could be the work of four $5/hr people. When was the last time you were at a grocery store, WalMart, etc. that had all the checkout lanes filled with cashiers, or even had enough employees so you didn't have to wait in line. Not always, but often enough to be bothersome there are lines even when the store is slow, the reason is because of the minimum wage.

The preponderance of evidence and expert opinion's agree that raising the minimum wage will hurt employment of those in most need. Of course this is a rational, logical, objective, and historic look at the minimum wage and its effects. As such the emotional call to make things better for the poorest workers will override the facts.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Game.

By Tom Rhodes, 2/25/2013

The Game is declared to be "democracy" it's not, the controllers of the Game want to include only two teams; Team Jackass and Team Pachyderm. Other teams are excluded and even when they do get to play the only allowed winners are those supported by statists, Team Jackass and Team Pachyderm. It's rigged and they hate others trying to play using the truth. Fighting with statists and exposing them to the truth is fun but somewhat counterproductive. Although outside of the ruling elite the argument almost always boils down to "MY guy might be bad....but he's nowhere near as bad as YOUR guy!"

Libertarians and other groups who espouse the general principle that so long as you're not infringing upon the rights of others you should be free to do as you please have a major problem. We don't want to be controlled and are consistent in our beliefs and translate not wanting to be controlled into not wanting to control others. That is why in general we lose, as it's hard to get a good qualified person to run on a plat form of "I don't care so long as you leave me alone."

The truth is if you favor either Team Pachyderm or Team Jackass and you are truthful you'd have to admit that "Your guy is rotten, but my guy is just as rotten because it's THEM not us." The perceived beliefs of both Teams Jackass and Pachyderm are rooted in psychological wants and desires not truth. Challenging their beliefs, regardless of how rational, objective, and clearly stated becomes a personal affront. When people take things as personal affronts they become more resistant to change or looking at the truth, and will go to almost any length to defend their personal belief regardless of how much cognitive dissonance required rationalizing it.

Consider Sen. Diane Feinstein, and the January Senate hearings on her proposed new law on banning some weapons. During the hearings there was good representation of both sides of the gun control issue. But because there was an opposing view presented and that view she took as a personal affront, Sen. Feinstein became so upset she's demanding to have her own hearings where those opposed to her point of view won't be present to speak. Her point of view is that if anybody who doesn't agree with her is allowed to be heard than it's a biased hearing against her beliefs. She believes having a hearing where more than one perspective is presented is counterproductive, because it doesn't result in confirming her wants and desires. Logic, reason, and rational discourse that doesn't confirm here pre-conceived beliefs are not to be tolerated.

Right now Carl Rove is trying to purge Team Pachyderm of those who don't support the statist agenda. The officials of the Games have decided that non-statist views are those who support them are not allowed to play the Game. Those opposed to government solutions and more and more government, are being excluded from the Game. The fact is Rove and statists controlling Team Pachyderm, have had their beliefs challenged and can't stand it anymore than Feinstein can accept opposing views to her beliefs.

When statists debate one another (Teams Jackass and Pachyderm), as is commonly displayed on TV and radio as spectacle to ostensibly benefit the public, all they do is reinforce the psychological conditioning and acceptance of big government that they have successfully brainwashed the masses. The Team Pachyderm and Team Jackass advocate the initiation of force against others to mold the world according to their statist social and economic goals. Both teams want to control. Obama is a prime example, when he's failed to get laws allowing him more control; he goes ahead through "executive order." Statists of both teams not getting their way ignore the will of the people, and do what they want anyway.

Once upon a time the idea that everybody was "innocent until proven guilty" was embedded in the psyche of the masses. This meant that everybody accepted the fact that before a fundamental right of a person could be restricted by the government, that the government had the burden of proof, and had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that individual's rights should be restricted because that individual proved to a jury of his peers that his rights could be restricted. Today that is a foreign concept to the officials of the Game and both Team Jackass and Team Pachyderm. For some reason the idea that you are guilty and must first prove to Game officials, who are chosen by Team Jackass and Team Pachyderm, that you won't abuse your natural rights, has invaded the psyche of the masses.

Most people, especially those in the Libertarian party, believe in a constitutionally limited government and those who believe people are better off free share a common trait, they don't want to be controlled by others and don't have a desire to control others. Some call this "voluntarism." Basically we just want all ya'all to leave us alone and do our own thing, and we'll keep our noses out of your business and let you do your own thing. As long as we're not infringing on each other's rights there are no problems.

The problem is the game, where the officials and major team owners have another idea. Both Team Jackass and Team Pachyderm are statists and have problems with you and I. They both want to infringe on our rights and control us. So anytime a non-statist picks a fight with those teams or even challenges a ruling on the field, you are by association picking a fight with both teams. The right vs. left, or conservative vs. liberal, or Democrat vs. Republican arguments are a game, a pretense, a farce, they are not real just a game. Those arguments are the equivalent of the RPG game Dungeons & Dragons, a nerdy waste of time where the game, D&D, has one purpose Distract & Divide.

The way to win is not to play. Free people cannot be disarmed or enslaved unless they want to be. The only way to disarm a free man and take is freedom is to kill him. Be free, don't play the statist game, quit wasting your time trying to convince the likes of Senator Feinstein with facts and figures, she doesn't care and will take it personally, she like the other statists on Team PachAss are all about control not freedom. Regardless of historic fact, logic, reasoning, objective evidence they don't want nor accept any ideas that limit the state, and not only won't listen to them, will actively try to silence those ideas.

Quit playing the game, live free regardless of what they say and don't support either Team Jackass and Team Pachyderm.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Former LPF Chair rejects LPF Endorsement.

By Tom Rhodes

Open Letter to Fl Governor Candidate John Wayne Smith.

Dear Mr. Smith,

It is plainly obvious you want to play at politics, but don't actually support your party or want it's support. Although anyone can run for any office claiming to be a member of any party, that doesn't mean that the party they joined supports them. The Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF) has a strait forward methodology of determining which people running for any office have the support of the LPF. This process simply verifies that a person is actually a registered Libertarian, a member of the LPF, and their platform positions, as determined by a short questionnaire, are consistent with the LPF Platform. Once vetted a candidate can and will get the support of the LPF. Although rare, there is no problem vetting more than one person for the same office and more than one person having the support of the LPF. This process doesn't determine if a person is or isn't a Libertarian, it only determines if the LPF will support a person running as a Libertarian.

Regardless of any personality conflicts you may have with current LPF leadership, the system that is in place now is far fairer and better than the Good Ol' Boy system of the past. It is self evident by the fact that EC Member and head of the Nominating committee purposefully seeking your involvement in the LPF nominating process. This is the Email he sent you.

From: ******@****.com
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2013 4:09:20
Subject: Libertarian Nominating Committee
To: ******@****.com
Mr. Smith
Do you wish to be vetted by the Libertarian Party of Florida? If so get back to me and we will start the process.
Greg Lennon
Chair Nominating Committee LPF

This is your reply:

From: ******@****.com
Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2013 00:47:50 -0500
Subject: Re: Libertarian Nominating Committee
To: ******@****.com

I will not be vetted by you or anyone else. I do not recognize such a vetting committee and say that neither you or anyone else will determinine if I am Libertarian. If I am treated any differently than any other registered Libertarian voter it will end in court.

John Wayne Smith

If you want any support from the LPF, of which you are a member, then why not allow yourself to be vetted by the Party. The Libertarian Party brand has value, in fact it has so much value that the State of Florida, charges every candidate a fee that it goves to the candidate's party for a candidate to use that party's name. The party is under no legal or moral obligation to return that money to the candidate using the LP name, it traditionally does so, but because the LPF has no means of controlling who uses the LPF name in elections, all it can do to insure that crackpots and plants from other parties don't use and abuse the LPF name, is support those candidates who clearly espouse libertarian values, thus vet candidates and either say We endorse this Libertarian or not.

Your reply to the LPF Nominating Committee is in fact saying, "I do not seek nor want the endorsement or support of the LPF." Why have you rejected the endorsement and approval of your own party, and why are you running as a Libertarian, having rejected your own party's endorsement.

Tom Rhodes
Chair LPF Rules Committee,
Chair LPF Platform Committee.

Unlike the other LPF candidates for Govenor, who are not attacking each other, here is John Wayne Smith's Reply where he clearly rejects the support and endorsement of the Libertarian Party of FLorida:

From: JWSMITH42000@aol.com
Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2013 1:36 PM
To: Rhodes, Tom
Subject: Re: Open Letter asking why you have rejected the endorsement of your own party?

Mr Rhodes:

Greg Lennon is an ignorant raving Lunatic who screwed up party records while he was secretary, and otherwise just has no idea what he is doing.

Adrian Wyllie is a lying thieving scum bag who has continuously disregarded the rule of law and the documents of the Libertarian Party. He will not correct errors pointed out in his doings. He just says "That is the way it will be" Because he has constantly ignored the law's he has put the Libertarian Party of Florida in danger.

His side kick Alex Snitker is trying to sell the LPF out for his own personal interest.

Lynn House is the actual acting chair in the absence of leadership from Mr. Wyllie and she is trying to also ignore the laws and be a dictator to be able to keep Mr. Wyllie out of trouble.

You, by your arrogant ways run off people who you do not like.

Other members of the current leadership of the LPF are just as ignorant and arrogant.

While there are some good people serving on the LPF Executive Committee there is not enough of them to stop the stupidity.

I just do not want anything to do with a political party who's supposed leadership as dishonest as the bunch of you.

And if you really want me to tell you how I feel, it would take several days to write it out.

As the organizer of this edition of the Libertarian Party of Florida, I find that it is only Libertarian in Name Only.

John Wayne Smith, Organizer of the Libertarian Party of Florida, 1986
Current Candidate for Governor of Florida.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

TEA Party Wins (and the Statists Don't Even Know They Were Beat)

By Tom Rhodes, 2/6/13

Although the press, and Obama, and the establishment GOP, are all claiming the TEA Party is dead, they are trying to hide the facts. The TEA Party effectively won. The TEA in TEA Party stands for Taxed Enough Already. In exchange for a modest tax increase on those earning more than $400K (not Obama's promised $250K) 99% of the Bush Tax cuts were made permanent, And real spending cuts are going to happen. Obama is now begging to kick the can down the road again so that the Sequester doesn't go into effect. Knowing GOP history he was confident in 2011 when he proposed the automatic cuts and insisted they become law, that he could keep spending. He was confident that the GOP would kick the can down the road and never let defense spending be cut. Oops, he discounted the TEA Party.

The problem is the people are tired of having their children sent to places that don't want us in a never ending war without any clear military objectives; while Obama sells F16 fighters to Islamists we are fighting in other countries. The TEA party elected people who promised to cut the size of government and demands those elected keep their promise. The ruling elite in Republican Party has declared open war on the TEA party, it upsets the statist model, insuring more and more government.

The TEA Party representatives have stealthily won. The Statists in both the Democrat and Republican parties now have to defend increasing taxes or not cutting spending with real votes, which they know will cost them support in the next election, or let the cuts happen. This is a Win-Win situation for the TEA Party, if representatives elected vote to tax or spend more, they know they will lose the next election, if they vote as promised the government will get about 11% smaller; not enough of a downsizing, but a start. In any case the TEA Party wins, with either more representation next election, or its real goal, a smaller government.

Let the Democrats crow about defeating the Republicans, the tax cuts made permanent is a TEA Party win. Let the Democrats cry, Obama insisted on the sequester, so there will be real government downsizing, a TEA Party win.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, scolded Mr. Obama for lecturing Congress about the need to avoid the cuts he proposed saying, "If Democrats have ideas for smarter cuts, they should bring them up for debate, but the American people will not support more tax hikes in place of the meaningful spending reductions both parties already agreed to and the president signed into law."

Obama hasn't presented a budget. The Democrats haven't presented any alternatives. The plain facts are that the redistributive economic policies of Obama (and liberal statist Bush) have failed miserably. The fact that we are in a protracted economic depression and only Government spending artificially propping up the GDP numbers, allows the ruling elite to claim otherwise. Even that is now failing and we will most likely have an official recession again in the next few months. This one will be all Obama, even if he tries to blame Bush, it will be his continuing of the statist policies that prolonged and deepened the economic morass we are now in. It is now Obama's problem.

You'll have to do some digging because the press has tried to keep it quiet, but look at Iceland. Rather than force the citizens of Iceland to assume massive government debt, they let the banks take the hit. Iceland decided not to follow the rest of the world by bailing out the bankers. Instead, they chose to arrest them. Now their economy is recovering faster than the EU and the United States. But then they arrested corrupt bankers instead of approving millions in bonuses like the US. The idea that the government must bail out banks, or their will be economic collapse has been distinctly disproven. In the same 4 years the US has wallowed and stagnated, Iceland has become more economically stable, GDP is up well over 3% and unemployment is down to 6% and still falling.

The only real hope we have is if government spending is dramatically cut; true austerity. But that won't happen as long as corporate cronyism supported by statists of both parties continues. Iceland proves that the people can force dramatic changes in their government despite big government and centralized control. They told the EU and UN no. The results are a better Iceland. We the People have created a loose grass roots group that the GOP wants to control, the TEA Party, it is clearly libertarian in nature, and the people it elected are willing to cut government. Expect the statists in the GOP and Democrat to belittle, and try to negate the effect of the TEA Party, but reality is that in a few short years the TEA Party won major battles.

Results of the TEA Party are, Law that automatically makes real cuts in spending and making the Tax Cuts permanent done with a Democrat in the White House, Democrat Control of the Senate, and only about 100 members of the House. The TEA Party is dead? Hardly, it's winning and the statists don't even know they lost.

The betrayal of the TEA Party by the Republicans is causing many to look for an alternative. The LP is the natural home for the TEA Party except for our AAA image. That image of atheistic amoral anarchists must be changed. The LP must quit with our demand of ideologic purity and have a much more open tent. Crap like our constantly beating each other up over whose more libertarian has got to end. Massive wedge issues in the national party platform that drive out over ½ the country need to be removed. See the LPF Platform(http://www.lpf.org/platform) for a great example of what America can and will support. The reason we don't have more than 2% of the vote is our image not our values.

The TEA Party is actually winning, let the LameStream press and statists of the major parties delude themselves into thinking it's gone, or they can beat it. But We The People, have the power. We must keep the pressure on our representatives and other elected officials; it's working and we're winning. We don't need accolades, we need results, I don't care who claims the win for making the tax cuts permanent; the statists in Washington and the people know, it was a clear major victory for the TEA Party. We in the LPF need to embrace the TEA Party, accept its members, and offer a viable alternative the statist parties. We need to support the most libertarian candidates that can win. If we want to see liberty in our life time we must break the LP mold. The TEA party has shown it can be done.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Marriage Truth and Taxes

By Tom Rhodes, 2/1/13

The uncomfortable truth surrounding the marriage issue is that heterosexual couples have long been subsidized by their unwed neighbors. Rather than recognize the inherit unfairness of granting those who choose to be in a contractual relationship with another special privileges and rights that others don’t have, and eliminate all marriage tax preferences and treat it like any other contract, homosexuals want some of their number who choose to enter into contractual relationships the same benefits over single people. If we had a fair and just government, marriage contracts would be just that, contracts. They would convey no special benefits beyond the terms agreed upon. The result would be that religious individuals and institutions with conscientious objections to homosexuality would never be forced to violate their conscience.

The entire issue is caused by Too Much Government. Government that has gone beyond its core mission and responsibility has again proven to cause more problems than it fixes. Because the government has taken the function that for centuries was the purview of the church and stepped clearly beyond the powers granted to it, we now have a divisive issue in politics that should never have existed. Making marriage a tax issue and the government taking the authority to sanction marriage from the church has created a system that is unjust, unfair.

Government overstepping its bounds on taxation is the root of our problems. To attempt to socially engineer our society the government gives some people different tax rates than others, based on what private contractual agreements they enter. This is unjust on its face. What is the moral justification for a voluntary private contract between two individuals being what determines that taxing someone earning $25,000 a year at a differently than anybody else making $25,000 per year who has no contract with another?

The government using tens of thousands of pages of tax code to socially engineer society is obviously an abject failure. It is a method of “legally” instituting Neo-Feudalism and concentrating power in the hands of a few. It can be clearly seen when the favorites of the ruling elite, GE corporation, literally have to pay no taxes is favored by the ruling elite, while the everyday worker is oppressively taxed, and threatened with financial ruin for even challenging his taxes. You have to be exceptionally brave (stupid), be exceptionally poor, or have exceptional connections to the ruling elite to consider challenging the IRS. We need radical tax changes.

I’d prefer the Fair Tax, because consumption taxes disproportionately hit those who use more of the products and services society provides. The fact is that won’t happen in the current environment, so were stuck taxing the income not outflow of peoples finances. That said if the we’d all be a lot better off if IRS 1040 form looked like this:

No it’s not a perfect solution, but within our current legal and social structures it is viable. It’s not viable to congress because it takes away their gifting and power to control through taxation. It does however insure the poor not only don’t pay taxes, but get more back than they pay in, and although a “flat” tax its implementation is progressive. It also does away with any penalty or benefit to marriage. It is a just and fair method.

Let’s look at how a household of 4 people would be taxed at various incomes: If this family of four’s earnings was a mere $16K per year (minimum wage for one wage earner), not only wouldn’t they owe a dime in taxes but would receive a refund of an additional $3600, call it an “earned income tax credit,” effectively giving that family a 22% increase in their earnings. In fact until a family of four’s total earnings exceed $36K not only would they pay zero taxes but would get some extra back. A family of four earning $50K would only pay $2520 in taxes, while if they earned $100K they would pay $11,500 in taxes, and the mythical $400K earning family of 4 would pay $65,500 in taxes. Although seemingly flat, that in implementation is quite a progressive tax system. The key would be other than the standard deduction for a taxpayer and dependents there are no other deductions – PERIOD.

The elegant solution to the marriage penalty/benefit is the deductions. Every person is entitled to one deduction whether against their own wages or their spouses, significant other, or other “head of household” age is no barrier. If you end up supporting your parents in old age you can take a deduction from your taxes. One spouse, two spouses, no spouse, it doesn’t matter, each wage earner is entitled to $16,000 tax free and an additional $5,000 for every person they support including themselves, relationship is irrelevant. If you are a dependent of another person you can’t deduct yourself. This is fair, a wage earner gets to take a deduction for every person they support. Since everybody has a social security number, finding those who would try to double dip would be simple.

Do you see the hidden marriage bonus? It’s there, but it doesn’t care if it’s a legal marriage, gay marriage, or just casual cohabitation. Assume you have a household of 4 earning a total of $36,000 per year but instead of 1 wage earner it’s made of 2 wage earners. Since every individual files a tax return, and the total dependents for the two returns is still 4 (2 dependents on each return). Each wage earner would receive $1800 (total of $3600) “earned income tax credit” while if it was a single provider earning $36,000 with a total of 4 dependents would get zero earned income tax credit.

This would end the need for any gay marriage laws and most of the reason for the current battle between gays and the religious right. Unless of course the goal isn’t equality under the law, but to force churches and others to recognize gay unions as morally equal to strait unions. This would be using the government to force changes in religious beliefs, and clearly violate the First Amendment. In as much as we know the homosexuals only want equality, not to force others to abolish or change their religious beliefs, then this elegant simplification of the tax code should have their support. It eliminates the disparity between “married” couples and other couples. All the government would be doing is protecting individuals equally in legally binding contracts; marriage would again be the purview of the church, and none of the governments business.

The other rational for this would be the elimination of tens of thousands of pages of legal graft. The IRS tax code and laws are unequal and unjust. This would produce a far fairer and better solution to our current tax problems. Radical changes to our tax code, with radical simplification, would be a huge benefit to all of America.