April 1, 2009

Paragraphs of the Day: Walter Williams on ‘Legalized Theft’

Filed under: Economy,Quotes, Etc. of the Day,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:40 am

At Townhall:

The reason why your college professor, politician or minister cannot give a simple yes or no answer to the question of whether one person should be used to serve the purposes of another is because they are sly enough to know that either answer would be troublesome for their agenda. A yes answer would put them firmly in the position of supporting some of mankind’s most horrible injustices such as slavery. After all, what is slavery but the forcible use of one person to serve the purposes of another? A no answer would put them on the spot as well because that would mean they would have to come out against taking the earnings of one American to give to another in the forms of farm and business handouts, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps and thousands of similar programs that account for more than two-thirds of the federal budget. There is neither moral justification nor constitutional authority for what amounts to legalized theft. This is not an argument against paying taxes. We all have a moral obligation to pay our share of the constitutionally mandated and enumerated functions of the federal government.

Unfortunately, there is no way out of our immoral quagmire. The reason is that now that the U.S. Congress has established the principle that one American has a right to live at the expense of another American, it no longer pays to be moral. People who choose to be moral and refuse congressional handouts will find themselves losers. They’ll be paying higher and higher taxes to support increasing numbers of those paying lower and lower taxes. As it stands now, close to 50 percent of income earners have no federal income tax liability and as such, what do they care about rising income taxes? In other words, once legalized theft begins, it becomes too costly to remain moral and self-sufficient. You might as well join in the looting, including the current looting in the name of stimulating the economy.

I’m not quite as pessimistic as the good professor is, but there is much momentum to be stopped, and much that must be undone.

Lucid Links (040109, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 8:36 am

Noteworthy Net-Worthies:

NOT Positivity, from the UK — “Fire kills child, 3, and parents as police prevent neighbours from trying to rescue them.” Just read Mark Steyn’s reax.

Smokescreen? — Kathleen Sebelius could have reported her tax problems any time during the last few weeks, but she didn’t say anything about them until just before her hearing. That looks like a ploy to get reporters to use their ink and bandwidth writing about taxes, enabling them to avoid the real problems with her nomination, which are “her public association with some of the more notorious agents of the culture of death,” and the request, first by her bishop last year, and just weeks ago by the Vatican itself, that she not receive and not be given Communion because of her persistent public support of abortion on demand. I expect that apparatchik reporters will gladly comply.

France’s latest fad is “bossnapping,” which is where workers hold executives hostage to demand that the government “do something” about impending job losses or the size of severance packages. That’s really not a very big step beyond what America’s President ‘Prompter endorsed (“they’re exactly right”) at Chicago’s Republic Window back in December.

Perceptive observations, and a prediction, from Holman Jenkins at the Wall Street Journal — First, that “The GM bailout has become a political operation run out of the White House” with one overriding goal: to avoid “leaving the fate of the UAW truly up to a bankruptcy judge.” The predix: “Mr. Obama will be content with incoherent policies that poll well — which means GM, Chrysler and perhaps Ford eventually will need taxpayer subsidies as far as the eye can see — or until a real bankruptcy sometime after November 2012.”

Eventually related (HT Instapundit)? — “A survey of ….. where White House staffers park, revealed only five American cars out of 23.” How long before Team Obama mandates that all new government vehicles must be from GM or Chrysler, or that all federal government employees get the GM/Chrysler employee discount?

Very related — This link predicts that “The Detroit 3 will report ….. (March sales declines) of more than 40 percent,” while “American Honda Motor Co., Nissan North America and Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. will probably post March sales declines of around 40 percent.” If true, that translates to another month of market share pickup by “the Transplant 3.”

Also relevant — “CNW Marketing research that shows in the first two months of the year, 19% of consumers who had planned to buy a GM car instead bought a Ford, Lincoln or Mercury. And some 15% of people who set out to buy a Chrysler or Dodge in January instead switched to one of Ford’s brands.” The confirms the shunning of the bailed-out that clearly occurred in January and February. I expect that it will continue. It’s not unreasonable to expect that President ‘Prompter’s authoritarian moves on GM and Chrysler earlier this week will accelerate that trend in April and beyond. Something tells me that Team Obama and the UAW aren’t going to let the non-bailed-out folks in Dearborn and American consumers in general embarrass them.

Also relatedRead this comment at BizzyBlog from Vocal Minority yesterday. Amen.

Positivity: Mail carrier to the rescue in West Bloomfield fire

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:27 am

From West Bloomfield, Michigan:

March 30, 2009

The hero who helped save a woman in a West Bloomfield house fire this afternoon wasn’t wearing the sort of uniform you’d expect.

The West Bloomfield fire department is crediting mail carrier Theresa Conner for preventing a tragedy after the eight-year veteran of the U.S. Postal Service saw smoke coming from a house on the 6300 block of Branford.

Conner banged on the front door to warn the homeowner. Conner also called 911 and helped the woman, whose name hasn’t been released, escape.

The blaze in the 4,500-square-foot, two-story home was started by a grease fire, according to fire investigators. The owner thought she’d turned off the stove and left to take a shower.

Go here for the rest of the story.