Now and again, as a service to TNKZ readers, I like to take a liberal “argument” and pick it to shreds.  Yes, granted, that can often be like shooting fish in a barrel, but it’s good sport, even if it isn’t particularly hard sometimes.  OK, in fairness, sometimes conservatives can make some fairly shoddy arguments as well—and one of these days, I’ll skewer Neal Boortz or somebody (whose argumentation doesn’t impress me at times, even though we’re more often than not on the same side of the fence).  Today’s article is a letter to the editor of USA Today, which I encountered whilst lunching at Chick-fil-A, and which caused me a severe case of eye-rolling; here ’tis, reproduced in all its…err…glory?
This country should give the “Tea Party” exactly what it wants: No more taxes (“Yes, I love taxes,” The Forum, Thursday).  Then, of course, all other services that are paid for by everyone else’s taxes shouldn’t be made available to members of the Tea Party movement.  That would include Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits, our highway system, police protection, fire protection, public schools, libraries, and all other government agencies and entities that receive government funds.

We would soon see how long the Tea Party would survive in its own tax-free world.

Leon Rodriguez

Denver

Ah, dear Leon, where to begin, where to begin…how about with a general editorial comment before we get into dismantling this silliness: if you aren’t able to make an intelligent, adult argument, you probably oughtn’t try, because you only make yourself look silly. That out of the way, here we go:

This country should give the “Tea Party” exactly what it wants: No more taxes. Winning an Argument 101: look for a faulty premise.  In this case, dear Leon has posited a premise that is, well, ludicrous.  Asinine.  Supply-your-own-adjective-here.  Mr. Rodriguez, can you name one Tea Partier who has suggested that the government ought not levy, in any way, shape, or form, any taxes upon American citizens?  Yes, many of us believe that the IRS and the income tax have a significantly dilatory effect on the economy (and do a whole lot of other awful things, the likes of which we won’t delve into here), but I’m not aware of a single soul who believes that Americans ought to pay “no more taxes”.  You’ve confused us, apparently, with anarchists—which we are not.  We believe that there are some legitimate (but limited) functions of  government, beginning with providing a strong national defense, and ensuring domestic tranquility through a court system which engages in the promotion of real justice (not to be confused with the faux brand of “social justice” which too often serves to provide cover for the redistribution of wealth).  I don’t mind paying taxes for needed infrastructure; thank you very much for I-75.  Of course we need police (because unlike some in the progressive movement, most of us Tea Partiers understand original sin, and we don’t believe man is innately good).

That would include Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits… Seriously?  Can we get out?  Yes, Mr. Rodriguez, allow us the freedom—and responsibility—of providing for our own health care and retirement, and many of us would gladly jump at that opportunity rather than contribute to the Ponzi scheme that we call Socialist Security, a Ponzi scheme that is unsustainable (as are all Ponzi schemes), which robs us of freedom in the name of security, and which returns to us a benefit that amounts to pennies on the dollar in comparison with what we could do with our own money.

Our highway system, police protection, fire protection… I”ll revert to my previous arguments here, of course; Mr. Rodriguez want to name a single individual—one will do just fine, sir—who believes that we ought not provide such services through an equitable system of taxation?

Public schools… Please, oh please, Mr. Rodriguez, we’d be happy—well no, I don’t guess I can speak for the Tea Party movement en masse here, but I can speak for myself—happy to move away from the failed system of public education and toward one in which parents exercise responsibility for the education of their own children, rather than turning them over to the state.  In a heartbeat.

Libraries… Probably some difference of opinion on this one as well, and the strict libertarian in me doesn’t like what the practical part of me will write here, but I don’t mind paying for public libraries at all.

Other government agencies and entities that receive government funds… Well, since you haven’t chosen to enumerate, Mr. Rodriguez, all I can say is that yes, I’d be thrilled if most of the other functions of government, other than the legitimate ones I’ve named, would be dismantled.  Thrilled.  Start with a welfare system (and all its entailments) that harms the very people it purports to serve, making of them, effectively, wards of the state (ah, but dependable Democrat voters!), and then go from there.  Be happy for most of that extraneous stuff to swirl its way down the drain of American history.

We would soon see how long the Tea Party would survive in its own tax-free world… To quote the late, great Ronaldus Maximus, “there you go again”.  How long would the Tea Party—and America—not only survive, but thrive in, not a “tax-free world” that is the figment of Mr. Rodriguez’ imagination, but the freedom-loving, low-tax, small government world envisioned, not only by the Tea Party movement, but by some guys named Jefferson, Adams, Washington, Hancock, et al?

A long time, thanks.

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