Tuesday, May 12, 2009

State legislators acting like state legislators



Representative Key mentions in the video the coercive influence of the 'federal' government over the States in which the former will threaten to withhold 'federal funding' for state programs if the latter refuse to go along with the central government's encroachments on states' rights and the right of the People to govern themselves, or, more properly, when the feds offer a pot of beans in return for our birthright -- a pot of beans that, incidentally, originates with the states and the people thereof. Of course this all has to come to a head at some point.

In another place Mr. Key has suggested as a response to this manipulation tactic that states collect taxes from their citizens internally, essentially denying the central government its current limitless ability to tax the citizens of the several states to its own purposes extraneous of the states. Under such a system the states would not only check the alarmingly out-of-control growth and influence of the central government, but they would also manage their own affairs, build, maintain and repair infrastructure, etc., etc., etc. What would be left to the central government would, theoretically, be enough for it to function in its proper, constitutional role and no more.

Now, I realize that there are some problems with this idea that will need to be worked out. First of all it is a radical departure from the way we've been doing things in this country for umpteen years now. But I ask you, isn't a radical departure from business as usual exactly what we must have if we are to survive, both as states and local communities, and as a nation? The same may be argued of the central authority's role in controlling immigration. That didn't stop several of the state governments from initiating their own immigration laws -- with saber-rattling and gnashing of teeth all around.

I think Charles Key is onto something with his proposed solution above. And, indeed, I've argued the same for several years now. I don't know exactly what this means except that we both think alike; that we both think like Okies, whatever that implies.

Eventually one must arrive at the fundamental aspects of our natures. Among the unalienable rights that each of us retains in our various capacities is the right to life, to liberty, and to the pursuit of happiness. All of these imply the right to self-preservation, and the means to secure it. If that means denying the central government the means with which to destroy us at the state, local, and family levels (which it most certainly does), then that is just the way it is. As I've said numerous times before, some of us aren't particularly inclined to be enslaved by anyone, dead or living. If you are so inclined, that's your problem, not mine. I'll see you on the frontlines.

11 comments:

chiu_chunling said...

I'm not sure I understand how the internalization of the state taxation thing is supposed to have any effect on Federal taxes. I mean, unless the states were to tax their citizens at a level that didn't leave enough for the Federal government to tax them...which seems counterproductive.

I suppose that I agree with the position that we should return to the system under which the states were responsible for collection of all taxes not involving inter-state (or international) commerce (which states are not allowed to tax). But I believe this must be accomplished by removal of the 16th amendment (whether by repeal or other means).

My own view is that we should be wary of taxing anything that cannot be easily assessed without giving the State additional power to collect information on the activities of private citizens beyond what is naturally required by an existing, legitimate function of government. Income taxes (particularly complex codes with numerous deductions/penalties for living arrangements and so forth) are the most onerous, but I'm also opposed to widespread sales taxes (taxing the sale of goods legitimately regulated by the government, like cars or radios, does not bother me as much). For most goods, it is none of the government's (state or federal) business whether you sell, keep, or donate it.

I favor property taxes, even though many people analyze it as an "unfair" tax, because recording ownership of major property is an unavoidable duty of government (and protecting your ownership of that property is one of the main services provided by government). To the extent that government were restricted to its appropriate functions, taxes on major property would be among the most fair of possible taxes.

Then again, I think that government shouldn't rely on direct taxation for so much of its revenue. A just government should be able to raise most of its revenue from truly voluntary donations. If a government can't do that, then it isn't sufficiently valuable to be worth supporting any other way. But that's a bit too radical to be really helpful in dealing with our current dilemmas, I guess.

Terry Morris said...

Well, I think the idea, broadly, is for the states to counter the tactics of the central government by depriving it the right to tax the income of the states' citizens directly.

Abolish the IRS? Absolutely!

Ron Russell said...

I hope the federal courts see it this way, but I lost faith in them many years ago and doubt that my opinions of them will ever be given cause for change. I think the states are fighting a losing effort, but I wish them well and I suppose someone needs to take a stand.

Terry Morris said...

Ron,

The states are fighting a losing battle as in they/we can't possibly win?

I disagree with that, but even if it proves to be the case, as you say, we need to take a stand and we must take a stand whether the odds be against us or not.

Providence will not smile upon us, but will leave us wondering in the desert another forty years if we fear the giants in the land more than we fear the Lord of Hosts.

Terry Morris said...

Spelling correction: wandering

Call Me Mom said...

Amen Mr. Morris.

I don't know why it is, but a lot of people seem to believe that there is no point in the battle if the odds are against you.

I have been kicked in the teeth for doing the right thing over and over again this last year, but I am not ashamed of any of the things I did and I would do them again, simply because they were the right thing to do.

I have no doubt that those who have opposed me on these items are now wishing either that they had never met me or that they had behaved in a manner that did not alarm my conscience to the point of requiring my intervention. I have no doubt that they will be asking themselves twice before they do the same to someone else and that alone has made the battle worth my time and effort.

It is always worth the effort to do the right thing.

chiu_chunling said...

The states are fighting a losing battle in that they cannot realistically hope to save the Federal government from itself, no matter what they try.

Some states, particularly those with limited arable land/rural population to counter the now inevitable collapse of many urban centers, will lose in the sense of not being able to make it on their own.

In calculating the odds, you should always look at the dividends as well. Many people still don't understand that the choice is now "liberty or death". Big brother cannot fulfill those promises of security in exchange for freedom. Lean on the Federal government, and you will only fall into the practically inconceivable hole it has dug for itself.

So, yes. It's worth making sacrifices to do "the right thing" simply because the alternative is losing everything.

Terry Morris said...

Chiu, you wrote:

"The states are fighting a losing battle in that they cannot realistically hope to save the Federal government from itself, no matter what they try."

Yes, the union is lost in all but appearances now. And I sincerely hope that the states are not attempting, in their Tenth Amendment Resolutions and other such measures, to save it, but to save themselves from going down with it.

You wrote:

"Some states, particularly those with limited arable land/rural population to counter the now inevitable collapse of many urban centers, will lose in the sense of not being able to make it on their own."

Agreed. As has been said before, the population centers are nothing more than centers of dependency all around.

You wrote:

"In calculating the odds, you should always look at the dividends as well. Many people still don't understand that the choice is now "liberty or death". Big brother cannot fulfill those promises of security in exchange for freedom. Lean on the Federal government, and you will only fall into the practically inconceivable hole it has dug for itself."

Agreed.

You wrote:

"So, yes. It's worth making sacrifices to do "the right thing" simply because the alternative is losing everything."

Well, I'm not really a follower of Emmanuel Kant whom I think is attributed with the saying that people ought to do the "right thing" simply because it is the "right thing," or some such. But for me, the "right thing" to do in this case is to make a contribution to the salvation of what is conceivably savable.

chiu_chunling said...

Well, I've never been able to see how any choice is "right" if it doesn't benefit the chooser. But then, I'm one of those people who think "moralistic" atheism is the stupidest philosophy ever.

On the other hand, I believe that all sentient individuals have the intrinsic power to choose how to define "benefit". As long as a choice reflects accurate presentiment of desired consequences, I will not call it wrong.

But the truth is that most people who choose the primrose path are deceived as to the end thereof. They haven't desired what they shall receive, usually they were just too damn lazy to look ahead. I have no problem calling that kind of choice wrong.

Call Me Mom said...

When I say "the right thing", I generally, mean, doing that which honors life.

chiu_chunling said...

I usually mean that too...based on the observation that life is usually desired rather than the alternatives, once people understand the issues clearly.

But I prefer to focus on the tension between truth and deception because it is more central to the questions of cybernetics. Basically like choosing metric rather than English units of measure to solve a physics problem. If one reduces morality to a cybernetic basis, it is possible (though not easy) to derive positive solutions to problems that usually rely on revealed truth for answers.

Not that I don't trust revelation...well, okay, I kinda don't. But only because I don't actually "trust" anything. I only even believe in my own existence because I'm unable to make any sense out of the proposition that I don't exist. But even if I did trust revelation as an infallible source of moral truth, I'd probably like being able to back it up with cybernetics.