Friday, October 19, 2012

Why I can complain about taxes

This week a liberal reader sent me a list (which has apparently been circulating on the internet) on the subject of taxes. “Hello!” began the generic message. “Please think about this email before you complain about taxes. If you don’t like taxes…”

What followed was an extensive list of things supported by taxes, and urging us to NOT use these items or services if we object to paying for them. However the author blurred the critical distinction between federal, and state and local taxes, and cannot seem to distinguish between government functions mandated by the Constitution, and those which are not.

I thought this was an excellent basis for my WND column, but the list was far too long to be included in the column itself (in which I'm technically limited to 1000 words), so I thought I’d post the complete point-by-point rebuttal here. My WND column is here, so be sure to go read my concluding remarks.

There are a few things to remember when it comes to taxes. First, the Constitution does authorize federal taxes to support the enumerated powers of government. I have no complaints about such taxes. However one of the reasons our nation is in a financial freefall is because the government insists on funding thousands of unconstitutional programs.

Second, remember that the federal government has long since trashed the Tenth Amendment, which leaves all issues not specifically enumerated in the Constitution up to the individual states.

And third, because of the Tenth Amendment, states are (or should be) capable of competing with one another for their population base. If you don’t like a state’s mandates or taxes, you’re free to move to another state (while still remaining American). With federal mandates and taxes, there is no such option.

Taxes which support city, county, or state mandates are different than federal taxes. If I don’t like the city, county, or state issues, I have the freedom to leave and move to another city, county, or state. That’s something to keep in mind when reviewing this list.

Here is the list. If you don’t like taxes…

• Don’t flush your toilet. [In our case, we have a septic system built by a private company. But why can’t private companies compete with each other to manage water systems for urban areas? Too often, monopoly powers are granted to a private industry, giving it quasi-governmental status. Without active competition, service and efficiency decrease and costs increase.]

• Don't expect tap water to be clean and germ-free. [You’re kidding, right? Private companies are incapable of providing these services? See above.]

• Don’t bring your garbage to the curb. [Once more, see above.]

• Don’t use the court system. [No problem. The Constitution allows for a court system, supported by taxes.]

• Don’t drive on paved roads. [All over the nation, we are seeing privately-owned paved roads springing up that are more efficient and less costly to construct and maintain. Remember, the interstate highway system only came into existence in the 1960s. We got along just fine without it prior to Eisenhower. And now the funding for the interstate system has become a sword at the throat of states. If they don’t toe the line on federal issues, the government threatens to cut their highway funding.]

• Don’t call 911. [I don’t have a problem paying taxes for local law enforcement or 911 services. Those are immediate benefits for my tax dollars. I do, however, have a problem with federally-mandated goons at airports who strip-search grandma in her wheelchair.]

• Don’t call the police when you are robbed. [See above. And let us all pack heat and maybe we won’t be robbed as often.]

• Don’t fly in an airplane with air traffic controllers. [Why can’t air traffic controllers be privately-run organizations which compete for business?]

• Don’t use the post office or send anything by FedEx or UPS. [Hello, FedEx and UPS are private companies. And how’s that post office government monopoly working out?]

• Don't ask for a taxpayer subsidy to do business anywhere. [Good idea. As a business owner, I won’t. Too many strings attached.]

• Don't ask for a farm subsidy. [We have a farm. We already turned down that option. I don’t like government goons telling me what I can or can’t do with our pastures, livestock, or crops.]

• Don't ask for a government subsidy for defense contracts. [Why should there be government subsidies for defense contracts?]

• Don't look for a lucrative government consulting contract. [Ditto.]

• Don't run for political office, since your salary would be paid by taxpayers. [Shudder. As if. However the Constitution does establish the need for a limited number of public servants with limited powers. Our government has grossly exceeded these constraints.]

• Don't be a company that pollutes and expect taxpayers to bail you out. [Great idea. Don’t bail them out.]

• Don’t attend a state university. [There are lots of private universities – Hillsdale College is an excellent example – and private universities would be significantly cheaper if the government wasn’t in the business of subsidizing students through government credit cards (student loans). If you closed all the state universities, what do you suppose professors and administrators would do? Wanna bet they’d open a private university and have to compete with other private institutions by lowering their prices and improving their services?]

• Don't watch college sports. [I’m not a sports fan so I never have. But why in the world are our taxes supporting college sports?]

• Don't ask to use a G.I. bill to go to college. [The G.I. bill is considered to be part of the deferred benefits for soldiers. These men and women risk life and limb for our government’s international political agenda for lousy salaries. The least we can do is provide them with the benefits they were promised.]

• Don’t expect social security if you’re over 65 or disabled. [Good idea. Social security is a scam and should be phased out after everyone who has had their money stolen for the last eight decades gets back whatever they put in.]

• Don't accept government research funding that subsidizes research for your industry. [I won’t. The private sector is much better at conducting research, and it’s less apt to find data that supports pre-determined politically-motivated conclusions, like global warming.]

• Don't expect research into cancer, heart disease, etc. [This absolutely defies belief. Again, the private sector is perfectly capable of conducting research. The idea that only government can conduct research is absurd and untrue.]

• Don't get married, have children, and die, and expect the government to keep track of all the certificates. [Great idea. Private individuals, doctors, medical facilities, and data centers can perform the same service. Why do I need a government certificate to prove I’m married or have children? It should be obvious to even the dimmest progressive that the only reason the government fills this role is because they have a vested interest in tracking taxpayers from cradle to grave.]

• Don't expect to own anything like a house, car, or boat, etc., because the government keeps track of titles. [I can’t tell you how much I wish the government wouldn’t keep track of titles. The only reason they keep track is so they can tax these items. This also means no one actually owns their home or car. The government does, but lets us use them for a fee. Don’t believe me? See what happens if you don’t pay your property taxes. Your property is confiscated even if it’s fully paid for.]

• Don't take any medications approved by the FDA. [Okay. How about if we use medications approved by private companies, the medical equivalent of Good Housekeeping’s Seal of Approval? Drugs would be cheaper and more available if the FDA stopped mandating insane and unnecessary requirements, which often takes upwards of half a billion dollars and a decade or more (per drug!) before all the regulatory hoops are fulfilled. During this time, countless numbers of people suffer or die from the lack of an available drug. Believe me, private drug companies have a vested interest in making sure their drugs are safe and effective. And if they aren’t, the constitutionally-mandated court system can address the issues.]

• Don't go to a beach kept clean by the state. [There are thousands of “Friends of…” organizations who are happy to do this. Consider joining one.]

• Don't expect workplace safety standards, labor law, or minimum wage. [I won’t. If a workplace is unsafe, a company will not be able to attract workers and insurance companies won’t insure them. An injured worker can sue if his injury was caused by workplace negligence. And federally-set minimum wage hurts free-market competition, artificially elevates prices, and lowers employment. Duh.]

• Don't expect convicted criminals to be in prison and off the street. [How were convicted criminals imprisoned and off the streets before the government did it? This is a state or local issue.]

• Don't expect to eat in restaurants inspected for safety. [If a restaurant is dirty or makes me sick, I’ll never eat there again. Restaurants have a vested interest in keeping their facilities clean in order to attract and keep customers. Restaurants also compete for such private-sector awards as AAA or Michelin awards. Dirty restaurants go out of business.]

• Don't expect the state or the county to pay for foster care for children left abandoned or orphaned. [There would be hundreds of thousands more children with homes if people were allowed to adopt without spending tens of thousands of dollars and several years jumping through government regulations. I’ve watched my best friend’s efforts to adopt. It’s insane.]

• Don't expect investigation and removal of neglected and abused children. [The whole government-funded child abuse industry is so frighteningly out of control that it’s terrifying. Hundreds of thousands of innocent families have had their lives ripped apart because of false accusations and trumped-up charges that are impossible to disprove. Don’t ever try that loathsome argument on me.]

• Don't expect auto companies to be stopped from building SUVs that roll over and kill or seriously injure you and your family. [C’mon, do you really think the goal of auto companies is to kill their customers? Auto companies are perfectly capable of running safety checks on their products. Private businesses (such as Consumer Reports) regularly test and report on which cars are the safest. Believe me, if a vehicle is dangerous, no one will buy it.]

• Don't visit the Smithsonian in Washington. [Hello, private museums? If this facility were not government-funded, do you think a similar facility would never exist? Besides, even if I never visit it, I’m still forced to pay for it.]

• Don't try to get a passport to travel abroad. [This is a role of the federal government that is constitutionally mandated.]

• Don't go to a U.S. embassy in a foreign country when you're in trouble. [Ditto. See above.]

• Don't use public libraries. [I believe libraries should be privatized. This was only those who use them are being charged for them.]

• Don't use truck stops or public restrooms. [Um, hello? Truck stops with restrooms are private-sector services. I don’t know where you live, but I haven’t yet had a gas station refuse to allow me to use their restroom. In exchange, I buy gas or an iced tea. What happened before those government-funded rest stops existed?]

• Don't expect safety signs. [Wha…? This logic defies belief. Acme Sign Company is perfectly capable of manufacturing safety signs and installing them in appropriate places.]

• Don't expect laws against murder, theft, etc. [Such laws have been on the books through every civilization since the time of Moses. These are examples of mala in se laws.]

• Don't use natural oil or gas discovered by government agencies. [Government agencies don’t discover oil or gas. The private sector does. Unfortunately these corporations are wildly regulated and taxed by the federal government. If the federal government got out of the way, watch how quickly the price of gas would plummet.]

• Don't eat any food transported on roads. [Why? Roads will exist if they’re needed. Trucks will exist if they’re needed. Silly argument.]

• Don't expect elevators to work or not to fall. [Don’t you think Otis Elevator Company has a vested interest in making sure its elevators work, regardless of government inspections?]

The email concludes by saying, And so forth. Think about it,

I have. A lot. But apparently the writer of this piece hasn’t.

[Please read my concluding remarks on these issues here.]


  1. I love your blog!

    Bozeman, MT

  2. As usual, some liberal-progressive is trying to make a point when there's really none to be made. He or she has made up a list using faulty information, incorrect facts and biased figures. As usual, dear Patrice, you are RIGHT ON THE MONEY with your excellent facts and figures, as well as your very capable good common sense. Liberal-progressives could learn a lot from you, if they would only shut up, swallow their pride, admit just once that they really don't know everything and LISTEN for a change! You rock, girl! --Fred & Deb in AZ

  3. wow. Are you going to have your daughters try out that SUV for the first time?

    1. Didn't Patrice address that above Amanda? Why would car companies want to manufacture unsafe vehicles and government agencies are not the only ones capable of testing cars (or anything else) for safety issues.

    2. "It should be obvious to even the dimmest progressive..." Obviously, it is NOT obvious to even the dimmest progressive. Patrice makes excellent, reasonable rebuttals to every point on the list, and STILL there are snarks who just don't get it! I've said this before and I'll say it again: Progressives are beyond being reasoned with. They are so totally conditioned that you might as well try to reason with a rock. Our progressive leaders know this. They've been conditioning our children for over a hundred years to believe only the liberal side of everything. Obviously they've done their job well. The snarks welcome all the liberal lies with open arms. No doubts, no questions. They are pathetically ignorant of the truth. Very sad.

    3. If liberals are so bad, then why does the country always prosper when the Dems are in and then goes into the red when the rightys are in leaving the liberals to clean up the mess in the next term?

      Check it out...or maybe you just LIKE complaining and don't want to bother with the facts. Now that would be very, very SAD.

    4. What country are you living in? I'm in the USA and it ain't prospering. Oh, that's right, it's all Bush's fault. I'm no Bush fan, but that crap is getting old.

    5. Sounds like you suffer from "Romnesia" too.

      I guess the facts just get in the way for you. Put the blame where blame is due.....oh....and don't forget the fact we have been moving forward with 34 months of straight job growth....not a big gain...but huge for getting out of the the largest recession since the depression.
      Was Obama in office then? That fact is just easier to ignore....Wake up righty!!
      Took us 8 to get in and it is impossible to get out in 4..but we're moving in the right direction. BJ

    6. This is a fact: The Debt rose $4.899 trillion during the two terms of the Bush presidency. It has now gone up $4.939 trillion since President Obama took office.

      And this is a fact: Unemployment is up more than 8 percent the entire time Obama in office. This isn't even counting the number of unemployed who have stopped looking for work after two years - otherwise this number would be much higher. Nor is it looking at the cost of the "Stimulus" money that hasn't stimulated anything but major corporations and failing banks to give their executives bigger pensions.
      And one more FACT: You need to actually check your facts. We don't need more socialistic government. It is destroying our country AND liberals/progressives are mostly to blame for the reduction in our countries loss of rights, a lowering of our countries financial strength and a collapse of our countries morals.

  4. I have to say, I agree with you on absolutely every point.

    So, who do we vote for?? I'm totally stumped on that one. I want a president who agrees with you too. :)

  5. Awesome post. Have a good weekend.

  6. ...and the email was signed...Simple Simon??

  7. I could never think like a lib. I can't even try without going blank because of all the reality based counter arguments that immediately flood my mind.

    Thank you for picking up the load for those of us who do not blog.


    1. I have heard that liberals are so open minded that their brains have fallen out. Seems to fit them.

  8. Thank you for picking up the load for us non-bloggers. I can never think like a lib. If I try my mind gets flooded with counter points/arguments that destroy any chance there is to fall into that pit.

  9. My thoughts exactly. I love your blog and agree with this article completely. Much like Shawna, I too am stumped about who to vote for. The question becomes, who will do less damage over the next four years, not who is the best man for the job.

    1. We've decided to go with Romney, even though he's far from the conservative choice we would like to vote for. We believe with Romney the destruction of our economy and our nation as we know it will at least be slowed down somewhat compared to what Obama has been doing. That should give us time to look for and demand a TRUE conservative who works for We The People and not special interest groups! --Fred & Deb in AZ

    2. News flash!!!

      170 people are without jobs today that work for Sensata Technologies in Freeport, Ill. Bain capital is "harvesting" (his words) this company and sending it to China as I write this.

      Romney still receives millions from Bain. This is the guy who said he would be tough on China?? What does he have to lose here? The people begged him to come to their town but he never showed up. I'll bet he takes the money.

      What you really need to ask yourself is who is this guy REALLY?.....We already know Obama has already created jobs....not only by saving the auto industry.....but by passing the stimulous that helped my family in 2009.

      I don't think anyone truely knows who "Romnesia" is or what he is capable of doing for this country. You should take the "safe bet" and vote for Obama.

    3. Same boat. We're in a sort of swing state (PA)so I'm voting for Romney (rather than the libertarian) for one simple reason. I'd rather have a first term president with reelection hanging over him than a second term Obama with nothing to reign him in.

    4. Anonymous (4:30 PM) I was wondering if you could answer a couple of my questions? You said, "...We already know Obama has already created jobs...".

      I was wondering; Who knows this? What jobs? Did you mean to use already twice?

      Thanks for your time!

    5. Please note my reply to you is further down starting with "when obama took office"...and thanks for asking....BJ

  10. Speaking about taxes, if anyone wants to really know where so much of our TAX dollars are used and the stupidity of it all, check out the posting today on Before I got to the end I had a huge headache and you will too. Much of this I already knew, but many more were brought to light. So be prepared to see where much of our hard earned dollars that the government takes from us and where it's being spent. No matter what side you're on I doubt if you have any common sense that it won't make you look a little harder at this subject. If it makes you angry....GOOD! It should. If you're stupid enough to think these are good programs, well....I've said enough! Stupid is as stupid does....I swear that we're breeding for stupidity in this country by the moment.

  11. These are two very different trains of thought leading us into two very different places.

    You want to privatize everything and you think that will be is government that wants to maintain all of the commons that we have owned together as a nation by ALL Americans forever. This has kept us whole so that we can not be abused by the privatized bottom line. (Imagine our parks being privatized)

    The 10th amendment allows for states to govern themselves to some degree separate from the Federal Government…..but I am not ready to give up what we own together as a nation. I am concerned about this ideology because I don’t want to have to worry about a greedy corporation managing me so they can keep their stock holders happy.

    The government makes it possbile to responsibly pay attention to those (the 47% to coin a statement from Romney) who are in our military, disabled, senior citizens and the poor with common sence. If you don't care about these things, then get rid of the government....but don't be a hypocrite and pretend you care about your fellow man.

    Anything short of owning this burden together puts us into the status of a third world country and in many cases,into the unregulated hands of out-of-controlled privatized corporations. You can count on this. It's human nature.

    Contrary to popular far right beliefs, Social Security has trillions set aside in bonds, etc. to support seniors for the next 27 years. It shouldn’t even be on the chopping block. Another fear tactic launced by the right.

    1. Not to step on Mrs. Lewis's toes, but I don't believe ANY where in her rebuttal she said she was against the Federal Government taxes for what the Americans (um, that's "we the people" in case you weren't sure) deems is reasonable. Taxes are rarely voted on, but instead simply implemented and by the time Americans realize just how little benefit they are getting out of their hard earned money (because of the cost of bureaucracy to "manage" these excuses for taxation it is generally too late to stop.

      As for social security... again, I don't believe the rebuttal said to eliminate it, but to use it to pay back those that have paid into it and slowly phase it out.

      I have to ask: Anonymous, do you need reading glasses?

  12. To many thoughts and not enough space for what I would like to say...GREAT POST...wish more people would not drink the kool aid...
    Thanks, as always, Patrice...
    Love from NC

  13. Love the post Patrice! The joke around here is that I could never be elected to the federal government because every single bill would be argued the same way:

    "Is it in the Constitution? No? State issue, next."

    "Is it in the Constitution? No? State issue, next."

    And so on, and so on... :)

  14. When Obama took office...we were in an economic free fall loosing over 800,000 jobs per month...the worst since the depression.

    We have been adding approximately 87,000 jobs a month since then..not a lot but heading in the right direction.

    He only had two weeks when the Dems had both the house and senate to pass the stimulous bill and Obama care. He created over 100,000 plus jobs after bringing GM back.

    He tried to pass two other jobs bills that would have been huge for this country.... but the GOP blocked both of them giving this congress the most filibusters in history. Not one republican voted for these bills. They were in lock step following their oath to "make Obama a one term president" matter the collateral damage to the country.

    This information is a matter of public record. When you don't have two wings to is hard to gain altitude against incredible odds...but we have had over 34 straight months of job growth under Obama.....(no matter what Fox so called news claims). I won't even go into all that the stimulous did to save thousands from going completely under (including myself).

    Even Paul Ryan requested two stimulous grants for his own state after...this after voting against the stimulous. This came out in the last debate. (hypocrite) Hope this gives you a better idea of our situation.

  15. I bought Harry Browne's "Why Government Doesn't Work" last night after reading your WMD column.

    Here's my analogy about government creep into every part of our daily life :

    You buy 2 cars and lock one of them away, while driving the other one every day. After 10 years, you bring them both together and compare. You didn't notice the daily driver getting dirty and worn because it happened bit-by-bit, a little every day.
    But when you compare it to the one that is still as new, you can see a huge difference.

    - Charlie

    1. If you don't like the heat.....get out of the kitchen...jeeeze....whatever happened to patriotism and pulling together. We are not perfect in this country...but I would rather fight in her defence than move to Darfur where I couldn't dream of buying one car much less two. BJ

  16. Hear, hear!

    We absolutely agree with every point you made, Patrice.

    And I was one of those kids ripped from innocent parents because somebody decided that my brother and I were being abused. I was 14, plenty old enough to know whether either of us was being abused. They wouldn't listen to me, and decided that I must have been told by my parents to say the things I was saying.

    To this day, it dogs my family. When my parents finally got us back, the state was breathing down their necks so hard that they had to send my brother to an out-of-state boarding school. He is still very bitter about this, as he never fully understood what was going on.

    1. I have sympathy for your situation. We are not a perfect nation.

      There are laws in place to protect innocent children that are found daily that are either dead or abused from neglectful parents and we as a nation try to prevent this from happening. Sometimes (like in your sitaution) we make mistakes.

      But what I find interesting is that the GOP seems to care more about an embryo being destroyed than they do living, breathing children.

      The flip side of this are the agregious bills the GOP has already passed and is trying to pass onto women. Talk about getting in your face and running your personal life.

      1) No fair pay for women (Romeny does not support the Lily Ledbetter bill that gives women equal pay)

      2) No choice on abortion, planned parenthood or birth control (even though statistics have shown that 85% of child bearing catholic women use BC.)He did say he wants to amend RoeVWade and make it a crime for abortion, no matter what the circumstances.

      3) Wants women to give doctor history to employer before being hired for a job.

      4) You must have a transevaginal before getting an early abortion..even if it is against your will. (How much do those cost?)

      I'm sorry, but any woman who votes for Romney is asking to go back in time at least to the last 40 years that it has taken for womens rights to be what they are today. BJ

    2. You have just convinced me to vote for Romney and I am a woman. I was seriously deciding whether to vote at all, but now I am sure to vote for Romney to keep the likes of your mentality out of power if possible.

      Women's "rights" is part of the reason this country is in such a mess. Feminist BS.

      Abortion is a crime. It is called MURDER.

    3. I understand it is the opinion of the right to think that abortion is murder at conception and they intend for their personal beliefs to be put on everyone else.....but it's planned parenthood that keeps this from happening DUH!

      What about the rest of what they are talking about taking away from women? Does any of this bother you???

      It's either you are one of those women who doesn't mind getting paid less than a man for the same work....

      or you just enjoy being barefoot, pregnant and never knowing what state your health is in or how many kids you have. You might as well throw women's rights back into the dark ages. (maybe that's where you live now)

      It sounds like none of this is important to vote for Romney...then start checking off your losses.
      In sane.... BJ

    4. The above post is exactly what Team Obama is counting on. People who are immune to facts and unwilling to look into the details. To the points above I would respond:
      Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act does nothing to guarantee fair pay. That was already law through Title VII of the civil rights act, which is what Lily Ledbetter sued under when she went to court. The only thing the act does is extend the statute of limitations, which was previously 180 days to indefinite. The point of a statute of limitations is to ensure timely claims so the facts and witnesses memory and recollection and historical files are available and current. How valid would a suit be brought at the end of a career claiming a pay discrimination 20 years prior. If you have a cause of action, bring it when fresh, don't sit on it to try and bankroll it.

      And "No choice ...." C'mon. Almost every reasonable GOP politician is pro-choice on birth control. i.e.- individuals have the right to choose. But that right does not include forcing others to pay for your choices. Some argue that Planned Parenthood is a great place for cancer screenings, etc. There are many physicians and healthcare providers who can offer these same screenings without having to go to pump up PP.

      Not sure what the reference is on number 3. I do think if anyone is looking for a job which includes health insurance, the employer should have every right to have some basic info on cost history for insurance and healthcare without any access to medical conditions. An employer needs to be able to evaluate total cost of employment (which includes health insurance) when making hiring decisions.

      I am not an expert on OB issues, but isn't an abortion more invasive than a transvaginal ultrasound. Having gone through numerous transvaginal ultrasounds with various pregnancies, I would say it is no more invasive than the process required to get preganant or a routine screening?

    5. BJ - You are blind, just blind like I used to be. I pray that God extends His mercy and grace to you and turns your heart of stone to a heart of flesh.

    6. MTW…..You are exactly right!

      There is no muscle behind the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay’s only a first step. It is a fundamental right of every women to receive equal pay. Romney has said time and time again that he eliminate this Act.

      You’re right...we do have a choice now in the country, but that choice will be gone if Romney gets rid of RoeVwade.

      Planned Parenthood provides sexual and reproductive health care, education and information to nearly five million women, men and adolescents worldwide each year.

      As you know...millions in this country HAVE no health insurance and as a country, we have stepped up to the plate and made this available in an already overpopulated world. Romney plans to abolish it.

      As far as “women” being forced to give a employers medical records...this has always been a private issue and should be kept private for both men and women.

      Arizona has tried to pass a bill making woman bring in a "note" from her doctor proving that she is not using BC to avoid getting pregnant. This would allow an employer to deny BC to any woman in the workplace and impose his moral standards on her.

      You ask...isn’t an abortion more invasive than a transevaginal ultrasound?
      The issue is not whether it is more invasive…the issue is the idea of having to go through a medical procedure against your will. It rings of the days of the Gestapo.

      Freedom of CHOICE is what this country was built on…..not putting your ideas on everyone else.

      What you’re saying is that you don’t want us as a country to have to pay for it..then go to a country where each individual only takes care of himself and will always do well on his own, never needing help....but please don’t resort to that tired old dogma that says that you give a patutee about your fellow man. BJ

    7. @Anon 10-21-12 10:08 AM

      You say you have sympathy, but you are unaware of the facts. Your dismissive "sometimes we make mistakes" statement is dangerous. Look up Blackstone's Ratio (the idea of which is way older than Blackstone). John Adams wrote, "It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished. But if innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned, perhaps to die, then the citizen will say, 'whether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial, for innocence itself is no protection,' and if such an idea as that were to take hold in the mind of the citizen that would be the end of security whatsoever."

      Child Protective Services agencies are used wrongly much more than you think they are. Often, they are called because a neighbor or family member doesn't like the fact that you homeschool. Or because your ex wants to terminate your parental rights without cause. Or because a teacher sees a bruise, and jumps to conclusions. Or because of an odd injury, and the ER doctor refuses to believe that it could be the result of the freak accident he's been told about.

      The laws are a scourge. While they were busy persecuting my parents, a child was killed by the mother's boyfriend across town. The abuse of this child had been reported by neighbors repeatedly. Yet, we were "rescued", and that boy died. It's not working.

      Once kids are ripped from their parents, they are often placed in bad situations. Some of them go missing. Many are abused in their foster homes. I know there are plenty of foster parents out there who do not abuse, and who really do care. But again, the system does not work.

      We were put with a woman with a daughter, and a young adult blind boy who was living with them. In a matter of days, he decided he was in love with me. That did not help things.

      After that whole experience, and then the experience of some friends (their 2-year-old son broke his arm in a freak fall, and was grilled in the ER for over two hours as his parents watched helplessly and wondered if he was going to be taken away from them), and a doctor experience with my daughter (I'm telling the truth, but what if the doctor doesn't believe me?), I became afraid to take my kids to the doctor. The intrusive, government-mandated questions freak me out.

      Once, my daughter had an accident that could have been easily misinterpreted. She had a different doctor at that point, but I was terrified of taking her. What if the doctor thought I wasn't telling the truth? I examined and treated her myself. A week or so later, I took her to the doctor for something else. My daughter mentioned the accident, and the NP looked at me questioningly. I just about had a nervous breakdown in front of her. I started crying, and I explained to her what had happened, and all the background that had caused me not to bring her in to be examined, even though that's what I really wanted to do.

      I trusted the people at that office after that. But I don't trust my kids' new doctors. Now that we've moved, they'll get new doctors again, and I won't trust them either. It's sad. I want to, but I won't.

      Is it really okay that I hold my breath until my children turn 18, afraid that at some point, we will be presumed guilty like my parents were?

      Is it really okay that many, many families are ripped apart, on the subjective whims of a social worker? That irreparable damage is done to these families? That some of these innocent parents never get their kids back, in spite of fighting desperately for years?

      Is all of that justified, because you manage to rescue some kids who are being abused?

      It is not right to make the innocent suffer so that you might catch the guilty and liberate the victim, especially when that is so infrequently accomplished.

  17. Our amazing county gov wants to build a new landfill and start an additional recycling program with a mandatory monthly charge of $20/month ($240 per year) added to our property taxes. (That would be a 50% increase for us)PLUS pay $8 a bag if you want to recycle. The fees do not cover trash pick-up, so it's still a u-carry to the nearest transfer station. If passed, a poor rural homeowner can lose their home for a service they don't use because it's located 50+ miles away.

    There's a transfer station closer, but of course if you have anything but household trash (old furniture, yard waste, construction debris -even from a small remodel), you still must drive all the way to the landfill, more than 50 miles one way. That's a big increase for a service most in our town won't use. We're for a pay-as-you-go and partner with one of the two existing landfills in the county, operated by the larger towns. Nope, the rural residents apparently need their own landfill, per the commission. Continuing to share is 'off the table' because the contract has already been 'promised' to someone. I smell a large crooked rat.

    Otherwise, all our little hamlet gets for our tax $$ is some occasional road maintenance. About the only time we see law enfrcement is if there's an accident on the highway when we're between the nearest LEO and the accident. Lights and sirens blasting thru town.

    Time to get out the vote!

  18. Patrice, I agree with you totally. One clarifying point that may add to your comment is that water and sewer services are nearly always paid for totally by the users of those services; no tax dollars are used. Yes these systems are often owned by the community, but they are operated as a business without tax support. In face, it is not uncommon for the water system and sometimes the sewer system to pay the city a fee for use of its streets and other services; thereby reducing (in theory) the need for tax dollars.

  19. How about the positive approach? "If you didn't have to pay taxes, you could... work 3 days a week instead of 5, or be energy independent with solar in 5 years", or whatever the numbers work out to be. That would be a fun article.