Category Archives: Politics

Eminent Domain, Kelo v. New London, and the Death of Private Property

What happened to individual property rights? Did somebody forget to tell me that this nation never allowed for private property protection? According to the supreme court, that’s the way it is.

I’ve got a few issues with this deal.

First off, the job of the supreme court is to interpret the law, not to write it. That’s the job of the fuckheads across the street in the capitol building. I’ve got my own issues with those career fatcats who like to vote their own raises and fiddle while the country burns. Here is the actual text of the 5th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Pay particular attention to the last part, “…nor be deprived of…property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” To me, reading it literally, it says that if the government wants to seize land, they first have to go through a due process of holding a hearing on the proposal and provide a fair market compensation for the property. The government must also reserve the land for public use.

Now, what exactly constitutes public use? According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law (1996 ed), public use is defined as “use by or to the benefit of the public; broadly : use that serves a legitimate or conceivable public purpose…NOTE: If a taking of property is not for public use then the consent of the owner is required.” According to this interpretation, public use would be something like a public school or park or recreation center…not a fucking Wal-Mart! However, the supreme court, in a split decision, took it upon itself to redefine public use to include any private development that may generate increased tax revenue for the local government or provide jobs for the local citizens.

Now, I’m all for providing jobs, but I don’t agree that a private company may come in and coerce the local government to seize private property for that purpose. The free market economy will determine what jobs are needed and where they will be. A developer can come in and build, no problem, just not on land that I own (unless I’m getting hella compensation), and by just compensation, I don’t want condemned property value–I want potential capital value. I want the land to be sold for what it is potentially worth. This is how you avoid getting screwed. Thanks a lot, supreme court, you have succeeded in screwing us all.

But wasn’t it a split decision? 5-4 in favour. I have to give props to Justices O’Connor, Scalia, Thomas, and Chief Justice Rhenquist. These four justices had the balls to tell it like it is and defend American liberty. Figures, though, that a bunch of Clinton appointees would vote in favour of a socialist opinion. Yes, it’s socialist–it’s redistribution of wealth, and I’m sick and tired of it. Eminent domain for private development, socialist security, earned income tax credit–I’m sick of it all!

In other news, Ecuador looks like a gorgeous place to live.

High Court Expands Reach of Eminent Domain (Associated Press/Fox News)
Kelo et. al. vs. City of New London et. al.
Condemn-Nation: This land was your land, but now it’s my land.
The Bill of Rights (Boortz.com)
Neal’s Nuze (Boortz.com)
Supreme Court Rules American Homes Can Now Be Seized for Private Use (lp.org)
Living in Ecuador

A Hypothetical Situation Regarding a Fair Tax

Suppose you’re just going about your daily life when a man comes into your house with a gun and demands that you give him money or he will shoot you. Armed robbery, right? Grand theft, felony breaking-and-entering, felony weapons charges, not to mention that you’re now out of a good chunk of your hard-earned cash.

Doesn’t sound very fair, does it?

Now, let’s replace “a man” with “the government,” replace “a gun” with “a federal mandate,” and replace “money” with “30% of your annual income.”

Does it sound a little more fair? It shouldn’t. It’s the exact same principle. The federal government forces you, at the threat of legal action and excessive fines or a prison sentence, to give them money that you earned fair and square. On top of that, your state government does the EXACT SAME THING! Not only do they take money out of your paycheck before you even get it, but they also raise the price of goods and services that you purchase by levying taxes on the companies that make those products (which are just rolled-up into the retail cost) and by throwing a sales tax on top of that!

Now, I understand that the government needs money to function. It needs money to pay it’s hundreds of thousands of high-school-diploma-holding employees. It needs money to buy those bitchin’ F-22 Raptors (which, by the way, are AWESOME PIECES OF MACHINERY!!!!) It needs money to pay our men and women in uniform to keep defending this great land. It needs money to pave the roads that you and I drive on. I understand this. However, I don’t think it is necessary that we have money taken out of our paychecks before we even get them!

Not only are our paychecks being raided, but the more money you earn, the more you’re taxed! This is a pure and simple Communist philosophy. Now, I don’t know about the rest of you, but Communism is not my ideal social structure. I like the ability to pull myself to a higher standard of living, and to make my own choices about my life and my future. Likewise, I want to be able to save and invest my own money the way I see fit. I could invest money in the free market and generate a return for myself while I’m helping to drive the gears of the American economy. This is the way capitalism works, and if these United States are to remain free, we need to have this basic economic right. Unfortunately, the big, all-wise, all-knowing federal government thinks that if they can take a little off the top, no one will ever know the difference.

Take a look at your pay stub. How much money do you make? $6 an hour? $7? This is your gross pay. This is the amount of money you SHOULD be bringing home. Do the math, though. Your paycheck is not written for the amount of hours you work times your rate of pay. The fed is clipping off about 25-30% of your actual money for themselves. Now, you don’t plan on working for just over minimum wage for the rest of your life, do you? Think again. People who make more money get even more (30-35%) taken away. In other words, let’s just all go back to flipping burgers at McDonald’s because if we try to make anything more of ourselves, we’ll be robbed blind by our elected Overlords.

Take a look at what T. Coleman Andrews, former commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (1953-1955), said of his own workplace:

“Congress went beyond merely enacting an income tax law and repealed Article IV of the Bill of Rights, by empowering the tax collector to do the very things from which that article says we were to be secure. It opened up our homes, our papers and our effects to the prying eyes of government agents and set the stage for searches of our books and vaults and for inquiries into our private affairs whenever the tax men might decide, even though there might not be any justification beyond mere cynical suspicion.

The income tax is bad because it has robbed you and me of the guarantee of privacy and the respect for our property that were given to us in Article IV of the Bill of Rights. This invasion is absolute and complete as far as the amount of tax that can be assessed is concerned. Please remember that under the Sixteenth Amendment, Congress can take 100% of our income anytime it wants to. As a matter of fact, right now it is imposing a tax as high as 91%. This is downright confiscation and cannot be defended on any other grounds.

The income tax is bad because it was conceived in class hatred, is an instrument of vengeance and plays right into the hands of the communists. It employs the vicious communist principle of taking from each according to his accumulation of the fruits of his labor and giving to others according to their needs, regardless of whether those needs are the result of indolence or lack of pride, self-respect, personal dignity or other attributes of men.

The income tax is fulfilling the Marxist prophecy that the surest way to destroy a capitalist society is by steeply graduated taxes on income and heavy levies upon the estates of people when they die.

As matters now stand, if our children make the most of their capabilities and training, they will have to give most of it to the tax collector and so become slaves of the government. People cannot pull themselves up by the bootstraps anymore because the tax collector gets the boots and the straps as well.

The income tax is bad because it is oppressive to all and discriminates particularly against those people who prove themselves most adept at keeping the wheels of business turning and creating maximum employment and a high standard of living for their fellow men.

I believe that a better way to raise revenue not only can be found but must be found because I am convinced that the present system is leading us right back to the very tyranny from which those, who established this land of freedom, risked their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to forever free themselves…”

A better way has been found.

Instead of taxing economic production (which hinders economic growth and development), why not tax consumption? It’s plain and simple:

1. Put back the money that the government has been taking out of your paycheck. = You get more money to do with as YOU CHOOSE.

2. Take away taxes on businesses. = The price of goods goes down.

3. Institute a retail sales tax. = If you want to buy things, you help fund government. If you do not want to buy more than is necessary to survive, you don’t pay money to the government.

4. Take away taxes on investment income. = If you choose to save and invest your money, you do not fund the government, but do continue to drive the economy.

The way I see it, in the end, the Fair Tax, as it has come to be called, will be a win-win situation for everyone. The government still gets funded, we the people get to keep our rightfully-earned money to do with as we choose, and the economy becomes stronger because there is more money to go around without having to print it–thus slowing inflation. Since business will no longer have to pay taxes, more industry will come to our shores to take advantage of our labour force, which means more jobs for Americans. It also means that it will be easier to start a business in this country, allowing more Americans to realise “The American Dream” of being their own boss, thus keeping the economy moving. With more money coming in, it will be easier to save that money and not live paycheck to paycheck like so many Americans (including myself) do.

This whole issue is a good thing, but we have to do our part. I’m doing mine by researching the subject matter, becoming involved by telling my elected representatives what I want to see them do for me, and by spreading the word in this forum. I invite all of you who read this to find out for themselves what the Fair Tax is all about. Sign a petition, call or write your congressmen, and just tell people about it! I also invite you to bring me any questions or comments or criticisms you may have, and I will do my best to give you an answer. Have faith in the system, my friends, because if you know how to play the game, you can make it work.

Americans for Fair Taxation
Americans for Tax Reform