Sunday, May 18, 2008

Floored by the debate

I was floored by the debate Friday morning on Fox Business between Wayne Allyn Root and Mike Gravel, happily so. Never did I think I'd see the day when people would debate on TV with liberty as the measure. I look forward to the second debate on Tuesday, May 20, hosted by Reason Magazine, which will include Bob Barr.

I was surprised to hear that Root shares part of my position on taxes. He'd replace all federal taxes with one tax, collected by the states on a per-capita basis. He calls it "Clean Slate". However I'm not a fan of poll taxes, even if indirect.

I believe it's more equitable to tax on the basis of time, allowing one moreover to properly credit time served on juries. I'd move the collection of federal income tax to the state governments, as they're more civil, being closer to the people. I'd flatten it, à la Steve Forbes, whom I supported in 1996 and who sent me a Christmas card or two after I asked permission in 1994 to reproduce a Forbes article in The Minnesota Libertarian, and Robert Hall, one of the fathers of the world-wide flat-tax movement, with whom I once had the privilege of speaking in his office at the Hoover Institution two decades ago, while I was looking for a dissertation adviser friendly to Hayek and his Denationalisation of Money (we spoke of transaction costs).

Now playing: Animal Collective - The Purple Bottle
via FoxyTunes

Update (May 18, 2008, 11:40 am Central): It just occurred to me that my idea about connecting a flat income tax with jury service credit on a time-basis, leaving such service optional, would induce people who are honest in their tax filing to serve, and dissuade those who are not. This would be a good thing for juries. Pardon my mumbling on a side issue. The basic idea I came up with years ago, and it's simple. Credit jury service via a flat income tax credit commensurate to the time served.

Now playing: The Flaming Lips - The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song
via FoxyTunes

Update (May 18, 2008, 1:15 pm Central): The article from Forbes Magazine was In bed with the devil by Brigid McMenamin, with the byline "No need to wait to find out how a Clinton-type health plan would work. Minnesota already has it. How is it working?" (Forbes, Sep. 12, 1994) We gained permission, but only on payment of $400, which the Libertarian Party of Minnesota couldn't afford at the time, if memory serves.

Now playing: The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement
via Cato Institute

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