A reader writes in:
“In response to a recent editorial, entitled ‘Higher gasoline taxes?’ that stated that because ‘family paychecks barely cover basics, the money [needed to repair our country’s crumbing infrastructure should come from] somewhere else.’ What could this ‘somewhere else’ be? … Is the Review-Journal advocating higher Federal income taxes, or a new national sales tax, or new toll road like user fees to pay for this? Also, how would higher withholding or sales taxes or higher user fees put more money in the pocket of the U.S. consumer? However defined, ‘somewhere else’ is just cost shifting.”
Aside from noting the inappropriate capitalization of the word “Federal,” above, the way one might capitalize the word “God,” does anyone else notice a whole category of places omitted, where the central government could quickly and easily “get the money”?
In an admittedly very incomplete list, how about closing down the federal Department of Education — ending all federal subsidies and interventions in schooling, overnight?
We were a much more literate, independent, and productive nation 140 years ago, before government got massively involved in schooling.
How about shutting down the federal Department of Energy, with all its misdirection of agricultural resources and corporate welfare for agribusiness ethanol producers?
(It would be cheaper to import the stuff from Brazil, a simple procedure now essentially banned. It would be even better to drill America’s offshore and Alaskan oil, relaxing Luddite “environmental laws” against siting new refineries and coal-fired generating plants. While I have nothing against nuclear plants, once we repeal the federal statutes limiting the liability of private operators for accidents and waste disposal, only private insurers will determine whether nukes are a dead letter.)
How about shutting down the Agriculture Department, ending all its ongoing efforts to fight the agricultural depression of 1920 by barring the sale of undersized peaches? How about shutting down the actuarially bankrupt Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security Ponzi schemes, allowing us to save and invest for our own retirements — money we can leave to our kids and spouses — meantime restoring a far less expensive free market in medicine with no government oversight except courts to prosecute malice, negligence and fraud?
Yes, “far less expensive.” Is a rich variety of affordable food a) easier to get or b) harder to get, now that Moscow has replaced “state stores” with free-market groceries?
Such wealth-transfer schemes, cynically and fraudulently disguised as “insurance policies” and “pension annuities,” were never authorized in the Constitution — anyone who has ever voted to support them is a thief and a traitor, either a cynic or a fool.
How about repealing the Endangered Species Act, which has done more harm than good by leaving land owners who’d rather live in peace with our furry friends no option but to “Shoot, shovel, and shut up”?
How about withdrawing U.S. military forces from Iraq and 136 other nations with whom we are officially at peace, overseas? How about ending the multi-billion-dollar Drug War and mothballing half our federal prisons by properly declaring all federal regulation of drugs and medicines retroactively unconstitutional and releasing all Drug War prisoners tomorrow? (Just leave a few cells for the IRS agents.)
No federal agent should be authorized to carry weapons and serve as a “policeman” inside our borders. That’s a local responsibility. When the McLennan County sheriff wanted to find out if the Branch Davidians had any illegal weapons in their church near Waco, he visited alone, knocked on the door and asked to look. They let him. He found no machine guns. When the federal government wanted to find out, they invited TV crews along to make an exciting action movie to show congressmen debating a renewal of their “SWAT” funds, storming the place with a hundred black-clad storm troopers, murdering a nursing mother in her bed with assault weapon fire from hovering helicopters, shooting the pet dog and her puppies before they even got to the front door, guns ablaze.
When that didn’t work out real well, the FBI and the Delta Force knocked down the escape staircases with tanks, incapacitated the women and children and set the place afire with their incendiary tear gas and ferret rounds, holding the fire engines miles away while the church burned to the ground, killing everyone in a very unpleasant inferno including babies too young to be christened.
(Yes, a few tried to escape. From the grainy, long-range videotape, it appears our G-men shot them. Those G-men never found any machine guns, either. But they all got awards and promotions.)
How about shutting down the BATFE and the FBI (with the possible exception of the unarmed fingerprint lab), the very existence of which is an insult against our Second and 14th Amendment rights to defend ourselves against tyranny?
Do all that — for starters — and not only would we have plenty of loot to repair our highway bridges, we could do it at the same time we eliminate the federal income tax entirely, barring IRS agents from any further federal employment and canceling all their pensions. If any of them object, prosecute them in front of judges not on the federal payroll and randomly selected juries — randomly selected juries — for operating in knowing violation of their own regulations and for knowingly violating our constitutional right against self-incrimination for the past 95 years. (Last time you signed a tax return, did you notice any Miranda warning?)
Yet the only way our letter-writer can think of for the federal government to “find more money” to repair its interstate highway network — justified for federal funding under the massive fib that these were and are “defense highways” (whereas a real “defense highway grid” would bypass urban chokepoints, instead of running right through them) — is to raise taxes?
How pathetic. What kind of Dumb Pills are Americans taking?
Oh, wait. To answer that we’d have to go back to writing about the mandatory government youth propaganda camps foisted off on us by the likes of John Dewey and Horace Mann, wouldn’t we?
Maybe next week.
Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page editor of the Review-Journal and author of “Send in the Waco Killers.” See www.vinsuprynowicz.com.