My highest view count with ovalpike.com as the Dallas County Republican Examiner, ironically, was from a series on the Frenchman, Frederic Bastiat, who some 160 years after his death in 1850 became a favorite voice for the 21st Century American LIBERTARIAN movement. Texas LIBERTARIANS during Debra Medina’s 2010 candidacy for Governor advocated eliminating property taxes and replacing them with a system of modified sales tax known as the ‘Value-Added Tax.’ And many used the words of Bastiat in support of this proposal.
Bastiat stated in his pamphlet, ‘The Law’:
“When plunder (Bastiat’s term for taxation) becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”
My response on facebook just now. And to LIBERTARIANS everywhere…enjoy!
“Hear, hear…spoken by a man who followed the Constitution of the United States by 60 years…the Constitution of the Republic of Mexico by 35 years…the Texas Revolution by nearly 15 years…who lived an unremarkable life, living off of his inheritance (if memory serves correctly!)…and died, forgotten to history until some American LIBERTARIAN drudged up his commentary (i.e. “pamphlet”) and made it a rallying cry for the “End Property Taxes” movement over 150 years later. :-/
“Incidentally, I find the “plunder” argument very ironic, coming from the LIBERTARIANS. My thoughts:
“1.) Property taxes are the fairest form of taxation employed in the American system…and in TEXAS, they are completely LOCALIZED in nature! Want to pay less in taxes?? Own a smaller home, more frugal corporate headquarters or either charge more in rent or own a less valuable apartment complex! Want to pay MORE?? Then own a more expensive property–tax collector will oblige every single time!
“2.) Sales Tax is a very HIGHLY regressive form of taxation…more or less, it takes the same amount to survive whether you earn $12,000 per year or $200,000 per year. But where you earn and SPEND everything at the lower end of the wage spectrum, those earning 6 figures or more both INVEST more typically as well as SPEND more on luxury items. Sales Taxes, therefore, GROSSLY affect the poor significantly more than the mythical “rich.”
“3.) Sales Taxes are also very HIGHLY NON-local in nature. Meaning, where we appraise our property values LOCALLY, collect the tax dollars LOCALLY and spend the tax revenues LOCALLY (City, County and School Districts ONLY!!)…Sales Tax is an “Austin thing.” In other words, we shoot all of those dollars off to Austin to be spent ELSEWHERE!! Well, OK…not “ALL”…but you get the idea. See also Social Security and “taxation across State lines” and apply the same principle here.
“4.) LIBERTARIANS like the terminology that Bastiat likes to use like “PLUNDER.” It just SOUNDS good!! Kind of like like when they say, “There is NO difference between DEMOCRATS and REPUBLICANS!!” They just LOVE the vitriolic rhetoric. But in TRUTH…eliminating Property Taxes in favor of a “Value-Added Tax” system (essentially a modified SALES TAX!!) would really end up “PLUNDERING” the POOR instead! How is this?? Think about their own arguments! If you instituted a VAT system, they say it would generate HUGE amounts of investment, capital gains and increases in individual wealth. For WHOM, I ask?? Duh!! That wouldn’t be for the POOR–that would be for the mythical “RICH”!! Duh!! The guys who own the $500,000 houses! The guys who own the $50 million buildings downtown Dallas! And the “little guys” would have to pick up the slack. And since the same guys who own the big houses and the skyscrapers basically cost the same to survive (i.e. groceries, clothes and shelter)…who do you THINK is going to be pocketing a HUGE “return on investment”?!?
“Makes sense when I put it like that, eh? Which is why the LIBERTARIANS HATE ME!! I tend to scuttle their infantile arguments pretty frequently. That’s what they GET for quoting a FRENCHMAN!! ;-)”