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The Expansionist
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
 
Tea Party Madness: Taxes as Slavery. The lunatic-right candidate for U.S. Senator from Alabama Rick Barber has been putting out video ads that do more than verge on insurrection against the duly constituted authority of the United States. He has advocated that opponents of the current Administration "gather [their] armies". As Keith Olbermann said of that, legal authorities in Alabama should arrest him for sedition.
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Now Barber has gone even farther, suggesting that taxes are slavery, and that no one owes anyone anything. He asks why one person should have to pay taxes to help strangers. He misrepresents paying taxes as "one man working involuntarily for another", and thus "slavery". He uses an actor playing Abraham LINCOLN to denounce that. In Alabama, one of the states that attempted to secede because it hated Lincoln. And he says that 'we shed a lot of blood to get rid of slavery' — in Alabama, which shed a lot of blood to KEEP slavery!
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Let us consider the idea that taxation, even with representation, is slavery. How, pray, is any government to do anything at all without taxation? Is Barber, who is running for a seat in a GOVERNMENT, saying that government should not exist?
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Barber plainly doesn't understand the concept of the "social compact", the idea that people in society do not live lawlessly but join together to establish governments and laws to regulate conduct, and to provide services that the individual cannot provide for himself. For instance, if Mr. Barber is involved in a serious automobile accident in most urban areas, his life will depend on EMS workers paid by the local government to extricate him from a mass of crumpled metal, provide first aid, and transport him to a hospital, where yet other people will try to save his (worthless) life. These are all, Mr. Barber would have you believe, illegitimate impositions upon other people that he should not have to pay for.
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Oh, he may pretend that all his medical services are paid for by an insurance plan that he personally pays for, but that is an illusion. Every insurance pool takes money from one person to benefit another. In the time before his accident, Barber will pay premiums that are then paid out in the form of benefits to other members of that insurance pool. At and after his accident, other people's premiums will be paid out to benefit him. The labor they expend to earn the money for those benefits means, logically speaking, that one man (or woman) he doesn't know — a stranger — is working for him. Thus he is a slaver, no?
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If Barber does not maintain health insurance, but consents to pay all his medical costs, which in an extremely serious accident could run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, he is still imposing upon other people to work for him, except that they are expected to work NOW for the promise of payment LATER. And what if he can't afford to pay them later? Who DOES pay for his emergency care now? The taxpayer, that's who. Because we are a society, not just a collection of individuals who happen to live alongside each other. We take care of each other. And to do that, we accept certain impositions, be they taxes or insurance premiums that go to other members of the insurance pool, or something else.
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But the Libertarian Radical Right pretends that they don't need anybody, and they have the right to keep everything they "earn". Mind you, they can "earn" it only because OTHER people created the businesses that employ them, and built the roads and buildings and electrical distribution and communications systems that those businesses rely upon — and could not exist without — and many of those things were built by GOVERNMENT, which could not do that except thru TAXES.
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Nor could Mr. Barber's possessions rest safe in his home were it not for police and fire departments funded by TAXES. Absent police forces — and the courts and prisons behind potential arrest, all paid for by taxes — Barber could be robbed at home by a gunman who surprised him before he could reach for his own gun, and shoot him dead if he tried to get to his own gun. Even if thieves were not willing to risk his having a gun when he's home, the second he drives around the corner, they could break in and steal him blind.
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The Federal Government is charged with national defense, to stop foreign armies from marching in and subjecting Mr. Barber and his ilk to tyranny or genocide. The Federal Government is also tasked with keeping out the 100 million people from other countries across the Third World who would love to come into this country and take Barber's job away by working cheap. How can Immigration and Customs Enforcement do its job without taxes?
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And how can government keep, for instance, television working properly if the FCC did not restrict who can use a given wavelength in a given place? Or control how many people can have the same telefone number? Or do anything else to maintain good order? How could we have traffic lites without taxes? Without traffic lites, people would be taking their lives into their hands every time they entered an intersection.
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The Radical Right/Libertarian extremists are out of their minds in talking idiocy about taxation equating with slavery, and everyone should unite loudly to denounce all such loose talk. The voters of Alabama should trounce Rick Barber and offer some responsible, sensible candidate in his place.
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(The current U.S. military death toll in Iraq, according to the website "Iraq Coalition Casualties", is 4,408 — for Israel.)



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