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08/25/2006 Archived Entry: "So this is the thinking behind the gutting of the Libertarian Party"

I DIDN'T PAY MUCH ATTENTION to the flapdoodle over last month's gutting of the national Libertarian Party platform. My political party addiction has been cured, glory hallelujah. And although important planks got tossed out, they didn't get replaced with evil ones. They didn't get replaced by anything, if I read correctly. So it was all a big ho-hum.

But boy, if this is the viewpoint of the architect of those platform changes (and it must be, since it comes from the keyboard of alpha-reformer Carl Milsted himself), the LP is even more screwed than the furious L. Neil Smiths and Tom Knapps insisted.

Says Milsted:

Why donít we just give every citizen a chunk of money each month and be done with it? This is the idea behind the citizenís dividend. The Fair Tax people are proposing such a dividend to make a large national sales tax to replace the income and employment taxes. Followers of Henry George advocate a citizensí dividend based on ground rents. I personally prefer replacing income and labor taxes with a mix of excise, property (including copyright and corporate value), and possibly sales taxes, combined with a citizensí dividend.

The common thread in these ideas is to replace our current complicated tax code, which requires having an extensive government dossier on everyone, with simpler, more anonymous, taxes coupled with giving everyone the same sized rebate check. (Or a larger check for those with easily measured disabilities such as old age, blindness, etc.)

Uh ... does anybody spot anything in that statement that even hints at distantly resembling something vaguely like anything that might be near the universe of any form of libertarianism?

Dr. Milsted ends with a real hoot-n-howler for people who oppose being forced to use a government inventory number. He says yeah, we'd all have to use our SSN to collect the dough. But no problem because we've already lost that battle ("a sunk cost" as he puts it). So those of us who object could just forego "our" checks while paying still taxes to subsidize an entire national population of welfare bums -- poor, working class, middle class, and filthy rich!

Oh, SO sorry, Dr. Milsted. But some of us are still fighting that battle -- you know, that quaint old battle that says that individuals have inborn, unassailable rights, while governments (to whatever extent the plaguey things must exist) have only limited, delegated powers. Powers that do not include forcing citizens to seek permission slips and inventory numbers in order to be "allowed" to function in society. Powers that do not include handing out stolen bux to all and sundry.

I know it seems downright wing-nut to someone of your much wiser mindset. But some of us even consider the sovereign rights of individuals to be the central value of liberty. And libertarianism.

I find it absolutely hysterical that these LP reformers act in the name of "winning elections for Libertarians." What libertarian on this earth would want somebody in office who held the above views? Better to have a socialist who openly admits what he is than one who calls himself a "Libertarian."

Besides, since the R and the D Party are already bursting at the seams with gimme-gimme proposals, why do you imagine Rs and Ds would switch just because some third party says, "Hey, we promise handouts, too!!!"? After all, the Rs and Ds have decades of unfailingly delivering the pork. Milsted's "reformed" socialist LP has no track record. And the promises he (apparently) would like the LP to make are just a faint, unreliable "Me too!" of what the Big Guys already offer. Oh, that's going to win 'em by the millions, Carl.

Not to mention the fact that if those millions ever did decide they wanted Carl's handout, the Ds or Rs would simply say, "Okay -- we'll give it to you AND EVEN BIGGER AND BETTER." The LP would have about two voters left.

Well, what can you expect from somebody who works as a definse contractor, specializing in spying?

Hm. Maybe Tom Knapp's Boston Tea Party ain't such a bad idea after all. Here's what Tom has to say about Milsted's "modest proposal." Yep, Tom, you're right. When America gets so turned upside down that piper pays us all a monthly "dividend" we'll all dance to the piper's tune.

Posted by Claire @ 02:34 PM CST

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