Cut the Federal Government in Half

Everyone wins.

Of course, these reductions in Federal taxing and spending would be accompanied by increases in State taxing and spending. However, these new State-level spending programs would reflect our present ideals and state of knowledge, and be more sustainable, effective, and appropriate than today’s legacy programs. Related government bureaucracies would be relatively lean and efficient, simply because they are new. Successful solutions could be imitated, and mistakes learned from. Competition between States would help governments to stay effective. Dissatisfied people could migrate to States where other like-minded people have gathered.

State politics would get very exciting. They would also get a lot more democratic, because each representative of State congress has a much smaller constituency than Federal congresspeople. Each member of the Massachusetts State Assembly, for example, has about 41,000 constituents, while each member of the U.S. Federal House of Representatives has about 760,000 constituents. Plus, their offices are probably near your house.

The way to prevent a civil war over differing conceptions of what the nation is about is to allow those differing conceptions to live in peace. Worth a shot, anyway.

If Government is Banditry, Anarchy is Impossible

Within Kevin Williamson’s takedown of the mindlessness of bureacracy (And please, read the whole thing), lies this interesting nugget:

Over the years, economic success and administrative demands eventually transform bands of roving bandits into bands of stationary bandits. One popular theory of the state — one that is pretty well-supported by the historical evidence in the European context — is that this is where governments come from: protection rackets that survive for a long enough period of time that they take on a patina of legitimacy. At some point, Romulus-and-Remus stories are invented to explain that the local Mafiosi have not only historical roots but divine sanction.

This is a useful tonic against species of anarcho-libertarians. That sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s true. If anarchy is the natural state in man, anarchy fell to government via banditry. If the Roman Republic, for example, began as ancient mafiosi, then even if we were to achieve blessed anarchy again, there wouold be nothing stopping bandits from setting up new proto-states via violence.

But free humans would band together to resist such bandits. Indeed. And if bandits are a common problem (and why would they not be?) then regular banding together against them would lead to regular organization of force, and rules concerning same, and holy schneikes you have law and a state. For all we know, that’s how the Roman Republic really began.

If liberty requires virtue, anarchy requires sainthood.

Stacy McCain asks What We’ve All Been Asking Since We Were Seventeen or Thereabouts…

“Who’s FICA? And why are they taking my money?”

Actually, he asks about the income tax in general, given that almost 50% of Americans don’t pay income tax.

This is not a bug; this is a feature.

The income tax is a specifically progressive structure. It exists to do two things:

  1. Feed the Beast
  2. Give the Federal Government a permanent managerial role over the economy and the structure of society.

Or, as Bill Quick puts it:

It’s a great idea if you’re a statist who wants government to grow big enough to control every aspect of its citizens’ lives.

And people keep ignoring this, because, egalitarianism.