Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Current Situation

On the theory that somebody somewhere has to start acknowledging that the emperor has no clothes, I submit the following letter of protest I sent to my Congressman and Senators. If you feel as I do, even in part, I urge you to consider writing to your Representative and your Senators. If you need a template, please feel free to use any part or all of this letter to express your feelings and beliefs.

There is some urgency here. Let me remind you that "cap-and-trade" goes to a vote this Friday, which the President has promised will cause your electrical rates to "skyrocket." We also have upcoming legislation that will further remove health care from any semblance of individual control, where ever greater power will be bestowed upon government officials to determine what care you have permission to receive, how you will receive it, who will be able to offer it, or whether you will even get it.

Remember folks, this is your life Congress proposes to reconstruct, these are your liberties that it proposes to abridge, this is a once great and special country that Congress proposes to change into a European-style socialist state, unless you call on your government to face the fact that you are not a sheep but a freedom-loving, independent, American citizen who is perfectly capable of guiding your own life without the help of faceless government officials meddling in every decision you want to make.

Recall the words of one of our Founders, Benjamin Franklin: "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."

Dear Congressman Young,

Never in my life have I ever been so angry, appalled, and, quite frankly, so shocked at the idiotic legislation Congress has been passing since the Fall of 2008, with more of the same in 2009, and no end in sight.

My sense is that most members of Congress believe they operate in an alternative universe where the ordinary laws of physics have been suspended. I recall a funny story I read where some state legislature tried to pass a law to redefine the mathematical number known as pi. Pi, if you recall from your high school days, cannot have an exact value, mathematicians approximating it by rounding to whatever decimal place they need for a particular set of calculations, which is why, incidentally, mathematicians use the Greek letter to represent it in the first place.

Whether through sheer ignorance or simple stupidity and arrogance, today's Congress (along with the President) act as if the ordinary laws of supply and demand can be repealed by wishing it were so. They monetize the national debt and expect sound money; they increase taxes and expect people to work harder for less and less; at every turn they pass laws that hobble the people from supporting themselves and expect a nation of strong free and independent Americans rather than a nation of sheep.

No, I am wrong. They expect no such thing, Congressman. They want a nation of sheep: sheep can't defend themselves and have no concepts of any kind, much less an understanding of man's rights as the means by which the people subordinate government power to moral law.

There is a reason, Congressmen, why Americans are buying arms and ammunition at unprecedented levels. There is a reason why Americans are forming Tea Parties, to hearken back to another generation of Americans who refused to accept a relatively minor tax imposed upon them without their consent.

I wonder if the current crop of Washington politicians would even understand that George Orwell's great novel, Animal Farm, is a fable, and at some point the people will wake up to the fact that Congress and the President and the Supreme Court are the pigs? We are talking revolution here, Congressman. We are heading toward a second Constitutional Convention, if that is what it takes to save ourselves from this unprecedented onslaught of irrational and unjust laws.

It is clear as a bell that Congress and the President believe people are incompetent to run their own affairs and they see themselves as far more competent, for that is the only way they can justify the use of force--the taxing power--to compel what they cannot accomplish through voluntary exchange. Their arrogance over the decades has reached such a point of utter corruption and disregard for the people's liberties that they feel it unnecessary even to read the laws they pass.

This President has shown himself to be highly gifted in packaging this power grab over the people's liberties and property, but the people are, I believe, beginning to see beyond the splendid packaging and they don't like what they see.

I am writing to tell you, Congressman, we are not sheep and treating Americans as if they were incompetent, stupid, directionless and dependent will only inspire greater anger and fury.

Obama promised Americans "change we can believe in." What he and the Congress have given us is more of the same failed tax-and-spend policies that have created the mess we face today. Bush and the Republicans simply expanded government while they were in office, so my words go to their actions with just as much outrage, perhaps more, since they of all people should have known better. One may debate how many months Americans should be forced during a calendar year to work for the government, but where is the leader, the politician, the statesman who will stand up to power and say: "Enough"?

So I face the question, Congressman, the same question millions of independent, liberty-loving Americans will ask themselves come the next Congressional election: Which candidate will support my right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Which candidate merely talks a good game but will return to Congress and promptly vote to increase my burden of taxation and regulation?

I struggle to hope that Congress is just stupid, arrogant, and incompetent, for the alternative is to believe its members are consciously malevolent and anti-American. Or am I missing something here?

Tom Anderson
June 2009


drc8151 said...

You owed a paltry $200 in federal income tax and you are agitated about burdensome taxes???

And $1500 to prepare your tax return? Either your CPA is bilking you or you have taken advantage of tax loopholes out the wazoo in which case you should be praising your members of congress for providing those very loopholes.

While I agree with the concepts of libertarianism, I'm struggling to be sympathetic to your circumstances.

Tom Anderson said...

I did not aim to stimulate sympathy. In 2006 I paid over $50K in federal income tax. My point was this: any tax regime that requires a citizen to pay 750% of his tax bill to a CPA just to calculate the tax bill cannot by any measure be considered a rational system of taxation.

Moreover, your comment helps to make my point: Congress uses the tax system to control behavior by offering subsidies, penalities, and other financial incentives.

Such a system confuses and divides people into warring groups, as some people get advantages that others do not.

I have a fiduciary responsibility, of course, to make sure I don't pay a dime to the taxman I am not legally required. But I would much prefer a simple flat tax, or, even better, a national sales tax, in exchange for repeal of the income tax.

The modern income tax is one of the most successful techniques for robbing citizens of their hard-earned income that has ever yet been devised, and it is a system that provides all the advantages to government and none to the citizen.

Sarx said...

Sorry, pi does have an exact value, it is exactly the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. It is an irrational number, which means it cannot be expressed as a simple fraction, but it has been calculated to over a billion decimal places.

Your "funny story" was probably a reference to the Indiana House of Represenatives passing a measure to redefine pi as 3, rather than the actual irrational number that begins 3.14159265358979. House Bill no. 246, introduced by Rep. Taylor I. Record, in 1897. It died in the Senate and never became law.

Tom Anderson said...

Whether your definition of pi is a "value" I would demure. You have offered the definition of pi, not the value of pi, which, as you've pointed out, cannot be exactly expressed in numerical form because it is an irrational number.

Thank you for elaborating on the reference. I suspect I'll be using this example again with this Congress, so I greatly appreciate the added detail.