Let’s get 18th-century on those pirates

April 15, 2009

I must be feverish. Ron Paul actually had an idea I agree with: issuing Letters of Marque and Reprisal, effectively licensing privateers to go after the pirates.

It would be kind of cool….


There’s one for you, nineteen for me.

April 15, 2009


The lyrics of the old Beatles song seem fitting for today, Tax Day in the United States. Now, don't get me wrong. I don't mind paying a fair share in taxes to support the necessary functions of government. The trouble comes from deciding what a "fair share" is and what those "necessary functions" are. Me? I come down on the side of limited, small government and lower taxes, though not to the nutty doctrinaire extremes of, say, Ron Paul's fans. Those in control of our government, on the other hand –Democrats and all too many Republicans who agree with them– take an opposite view. They think an ever-larger role for the federal government, higher taxes, and massive spending and borrowing are the best way to run America. And, with the reins of power firmly in their hands, they're acting on those beliefs.

But for every action, there's a reaction.

A growing number of people, representing what Jonah Goldberg has called the United States' libertarian antibodies, are looking at what's going on in DC and various state capitals and are saying "Enough! This is insane!" Across the country today in a series of tea parties, a grassroots movement of Americans is gathering in groups large and small to protest mounting taxes and pork-barrel spending and deepening government debt and … you get the picture.

Click here to find the location of a tea party near you, and go if you can. I can't make my local tea party, so, instead, I'll leave you with a few links to get you thinking. And, I hope, angry.

From the Center for Fiscal Accountability, have a look at a table that shows how much of an average purchase of common items is consumed by taxes. Try half your gasoline bill, for example — and that's only seventh on the list! (via Melissa Clouthier)

Dan Riehl wonders if the long-forgotten 10th amendment to the Constitution won't constitute a battleground for the 2010 and 2012 elections, springing from the same populist ire that spawned the tea parties. As a believer in federalism myself, I'm watching the growing sovereignty resolution movement with interest.

In Oregon, monumentally clueless legislators want to raise the tax on beer by 1900% — in a state that became famous for its microbreweries and, of course, hitting the middle class and the poor the hardest.

Ari Fleischer calls our "progressive" tax code a Ponzi scheme worse than Bernie Madoff's. Did you know that just 10% of the nation pays over 70% of all federal income-tax revenues? Meanwhile, more than half the nation pays less than one-percent or no tax at all. The Obama administration and the progressives in Congress plan to make that disparity even greater, punishing the very people who create jobs in this country. Does that make sense to you?

Me, neither. Not talking

Finally, here's a video from the Cato Institute about our troubling tax system:

Happy Tax Day! Party

UPDATE: via Exurban League, a map of today's protests, created by Glenn Reynolds:

View 2009 Tea Parties in a larger map