The Bar For Debate

Looks like a Libertarian made the bar to debate while a Green didn’t.

From the Norwalk Citizen-News:

Although he collected the requisite number of signatures to appear on the ballot in the Nov. 7 election, Richard Duffee, the Green Party candidate for the 4th Congressional District, is not been invited to participate in the League of Women Voters’ debates.
The other candidates in the race Republican incumbent Christopher Shays, Democrat Diane Farrell and Libertarian Phil Maymin will take part in the debates, which are scheduled on Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. at Norwalk Community College and on Oct. 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Clune Performing Arts Center of Wilton High School.

In an e-mail to the Norwalk Citizen-News on Monday, Duffee said he’d been notified that he was not invited because he “had not shown sufficient evidence of broad voter support or of broad financial support.”

I’ll skip the usual Green talking points (imagine hippies and druids and John Lennon’s voice) to get to the candidates’ reactions to this news:

Neither Shays nor Farrell could be reached for comment before press time, but on Wednesday, Jan Spiegel, a spokeswoman for Farrell’s campaign, said Farrell believes “it is up to the organizers of the debate to set the rules.” Similarly, Michael Sohn, Shays’ campaign manager, said, “It was left up to the debate organizers to choose which candidates they wanted to [participate].”

Also on Wednesday, Maymin said he had no comment about Duffee’s exclusion. “I would debate any of my opponents any time if there was enough public support and an impartial moderator,” he said.

Okay, fair enough. But, I dunno. Not that I’d ever vote for a Green, but I think we ought to let them stand in a debate. We need clearer, fairer ballot access rules in general, and we need to stand with the Green Party on this one… well, insofar as they want inclusion into the debates too. Publically-funded elections can shag off.

Stuart Richards

Stuart Richards is a 26-year-old land surveyor based out of Portland, OR. He is a left-leaning geolibertarian and (theologically) liberal Christian, and has been blogging on and other libertarian sites since 2004.

  1. That’s quite a problem, isn’t it?!

    We help the Greens and they help us by instituting socialism, including publicly funded elections. The funny thing is that the things they like – campaign finance “reform” and publicly funded elections are just the things that shut their gullible asses out.

    They just can’t understand that the people who legislation like this (and just about every other regulation) is supposed to hurt are the ones who want it most and in fact have a hand in it’s authorship! After all, it’s those people who have just a little more clout in DC than the common man… or fool who would fall for such a thing. Greens actually beleive politicians lies when they sound good.

  2. Maymin should be the bigger man here and at the very least issue a press release stating that every candidate on the ballot deserves equal time at the debate.

    It’s probably the only thing Libertarians and Greens will ever agree on, and it’s become the most important fight for both of our parties (and will become even moreso as ballot laws are finally beaten back and the D’s and R’s have to resort to different methods for keeping third parties at the fringes of the elections).

  3. I’m glad that I and many others contributed to Phil Maymin’s campaign as it seemed to have helped him convince the debate organizers that he has a broad base of support. Phil is running a highly visible campaign and impresses me as an articulate spokesman for the Libertarian Party.

  4. I was one of the contributors, though a small one. Maymin should definitely make noises about wanting the Green in the debate, but it’s not worth falling on his sword over.

  5. It’s not that we should “let them” stand in a debate, it’s that they should be part of the debate, along with every other candidate who manages to get over all the hurdles which are placed in their way to get on the ballot.

    If the Greens’ rights are harmed in this election without our strong opposition to that harm, we will find ourselves being harmed later.

  6. when I ran in 2000, the R forgot to file debate paperwork. He was going to have to sit out. I promptly said I wouldnt debate either unless he was included. They let him go on. I dont know if I did the right thing or not. I dont feel guilty. I just hated the debate people for picking and choosing.

  7. Unfortunately, I will find myself voting for several Greens in 2006. They’re the only consistently anti-racist party… At least in Michigan. Their misguided socialist policies are comical (hmmm… we don’t trust the government but we want them to run everything… makes perfect sense!) but when a vote for the LP means a vote in solidarity with white racist groups who are backing an anti-affirmative action initiative, then I’m left with no choice.

  8. I don’t love it; I’m indifferent to it. I seriously question any so-called libertarian who feels strongly any other way when there are so many grave injustices in the world.

  9. But… The LOWV is a private organization. I can appreciate not letting every nutcase who’s on the ballot in every debate. It depends on the ballot access standards, etc. For example, im my state, once a party achieves its ballot status (which is pretty hard to do) it then can remain on the ballot by earning a ridiculously small share of the vote each year. And it can nominate candidates with zero support. I would like to see a law that made achieving partisan access easier, but required ALL candidates to collect X signatures (a low # but it would prevent truly “paper” candidates). Then, there would be no real justification for barring people from debates.

  10. I am glad to see the LP prty fighting for eveyones rights. Let the dumbass green party in, just another punching bag for the LP canidate.

    I am proud of you undercover anarchist. Only one (out of two) of your post uses the word racist. It reminds me of some of the women I go to school with, valley girls who use the word “like” every five seconds. When you constantly (and with out cause) throw the word racist around it because an empty word

  11. In fact the more I like at the “offical” green party platform the more I think they are the racist. 1. They have no interest in ending the war on drugs (the most racist policy in the world) 2. they also support the BIA (the most racsist govermental department).

  12. I second kc’s comments on Affirmative Action. Combatting one form of discrimination with another solves nothing.

    As for the Green Party, while I tend to view them as neo-Socialists, I believe they favor decentralizing governmental power, bringing it down to the local level which is something most Libertarians should agree with.

  13. Mayer: The Greens only say they believe in decentralizing power. The original Greens were sort of left-libertarian anarchists. They are now thinly vieled Marxists, and the viel gets thinner each year. “Decentralization” now means more about corporate decentralization (which is good), but not government decentralization.

    The most local level of all is the individual.

    But in defense of the GP, I’m pretty sure they support decriminalization/legalization of drugs, and even if the party itself doesn’t, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a candidate or even a member who doesn’t.

    Again… I have to obey the LP’s own perverse form of PC speech, the same way my own LP practices its own form of affirmative action. I cannot say the word “racist” because it offends the delicate sensibilities of my fellow white men here. I’m accused of being fixated on race, when in reality, many LP members are fixated on affirmative action. Such fixation can only mean one thing – and that’s my point.

  14. Undercover, 1. you assume I am white. 2. no one has a problem with race in here, or the use of the word. But every issue seems to involve race with you. And I haven’t seen a fixation on affirmative action in these strings. In fact it has been a while since I seen it mentioned in here. When it is the LP and individual libertairians need to be clear. Affimiatve action=racism

  15. undercover, go the green party page and look at thier platform. Yes, they want to shift the focus away from users and focus on drug dealers, while this is better than the status quo, it is still an affirmation of the war on (some) drugs.

  16. Maymin should definitely make noises about wanting the Green in the debate, but it’s not worth falling on his sword over.

    Yeah, I agree. Support the inclusion of all candidates but don’t cut off the nose to spite the face.

    Anyway, UA, I think you’re a little confused… most of the libertarian people I know will denounce affirmative action if asked, but it’s hardly the most important issue. Not even to me, and I wasn’t allowed to go to my first choice of college because of the color of my skin thanks to your racist policy. :)

  17. Stuart, they needed a black football or basketball player in your stead. That’s probably part of the real deal there. It makes people feel all warm and fuzzy and PC and most of all it’s great for the athletic program.

  18. Nigel — the most heavily oppressed ‘denomination’ of the United States are:


    Word. *s* This is in terms of support for personal rights, personal choices, and economic freedoms, from a governmental perspective.

  19. UA, you probably know the Green Party better than I do, so I don’t doubt your claims about their actual intentions with regard to their decentralization platform.

    As for your bringing up the topic of racism, I have no problem with it where it is deserved. But, labeling someone a racist is, IMO, a very serious charge and one of the surest ways to destroy a person’s career. Therefore it demands a high standard of supporting evidence. The examples I’ve seen you provide have not even come close to meeting such a standard.

    I agree with Stuart that AA is far down the list hot issues amongst libertarians I know of. Nevertheless, you made the statement, “The most local level of all is the individual”, of which I completely agree. Thus I find it odd that you think something as blatantly collectivist as AA should be of no concern to libertarians.

    And finally, there is no “PC speech” around here. You’re free to say what you wish, but it will be rebutted if it doesn’t pass the logic test.

  20. while I dislike a “who is more oppressed debate” I have a few issues with the previous list. 1. war on drugs targets minority groups. 2. government “charity” (welfare, medicade/care) tend to embody instutional racism as well as perpatuate poverty. 3. Even with out the war on drugs who do you think the cops focus on? white people or minorites? 4. can straight people adopt, or how about marry?

    Yes IanC middle class striaght white males get scewed on a daily basis, so does everyone else.

    In terms of taxation and freedom, the rich are ones who are the main targets. See how much in taxes they pay, regulations their businesses face, and the strange hatred by the gerneal population.

    I will agree our government hates single people, tax credits for kids, and breaks for married couples.

  21. I agree that there’s no single most oppressed group in America-we ALL need to stand together against ALL forms of racism, period.

  22. you are right stuart about it not being a big issue even though most libertarians are against it. If someone asked me the top 20 policy changes that needed to occur affirmative action wouldn’t even be close.

  23. Ian – LOL. Must be a nice planet you live on. Are you serious? Ever been in jail? Ever lived in a barrio or ghetto? Ever had cops beat the shit out of you or treat you like dogshit? Ever live in a housing project or attend a ghetto school? I’ve done all the above. I’ve also lived in middle class areas and there is no comparison. If you thing straight, white, middle class males are more oppressed, including by government, you are not living in the real world.

  24. The Green Party should be in the debate. Make a point of it. The ones I know are decentralist and against the drug war. If the LP keeps selling out and the BTP does not take off I might join the Greens and start a Green Libertarian Caucus.

  25. Perhaps it’s time for an injection of Voltaire here: “I may not like what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”. This is a civil liberties issue and while falling on his sword is not the optimal outcome, silence is even more suboptimal. Has an alternate debate been forwarded yet, if not do so.

  26. As a self-described green libertarian, I think many greens are in fact very pro-freedom. In many cases they favor decentralization of government power as well as corporate power. The Greens care about the environment and the animals that inhabit it, while most Libertarians are completely anthropocentric. I plan on voting for the Green candidate, Aaron Dixon for the Washington state Senate race. One of his primary campaign issues is ending the War on Drugs. On the other hand, on the LP candidate’s website (Bruce Guthrie), I couldn’t find anything that talks about ending the WoD.

  27. Yeh, I’d much rather the LP go somewhere in that direction. The last paragraph on compromise needs to be read by far too many Greens and Libertarians alike.

  28. Who is oppressed is a cyclical thing and changes all the time.

    What I find also relevant is that men are more likely to demean, punish or belittle the loser in a competition as evidenced by one of those fun psychology experiments with electric zappers. Women were less likely to zap someone who has already lost.

    “Hah, hah, you lost! You didn’t get in the debate.” Nope. Gotta say it doesn’t feel right to me.

  29. Let me clarify: Affirmative action is the KEY ISSUE for the Michigan LP. I’m from Michigan. The LP here is in bed with racist, white supremacist groups who are pushing a ballot initative to ban affirmative action. They are openly appealing to racists by making it THE issue of the party. Regardless of the points made here, when a political party makes opposing affirmative action its key issue, it is going to appeal to racists and it is going to seem racist to many (most) African Americans and other minorities. This is why I have a chip on my shoulder when it comes to this issue.

  30. Abominable.

    White males are the most oppressed group in our country?

    Anyone making such an outlandish statement is either woefully ignorant or straight up racist.

    This total lack of awareness should be expected from mahy of the tinfoil hat wearing homeschoolers who populate the LP.

    kcjerith: Thank you for the rebuttal to the ignorant notion that white males are “oppressed.” However, to say that the rich are oppressed is almost as bad. Poor people pay a much higher percentage of their income in taxes (i.e. sales and excise taxes, gas tax, etc.) than the rich. Rich people are smart enough to find ways to avoid as much tax as possible. More power to them! But anyone who thinks that the rich get screwed is out of their mind. Even Steve Forbes admits that the rich don’t pay as much (percentage wise) in taxes as the poor. The convoluted tax code makes it easy for them to avoid taxation.. Which is why he supports a flat tax. As do I.

  31. And one more time, to clarify… The opinions of Stuart Richards, Paulie, kcjerith, RE: affirmative action, are the type of healthy, libertarian perspectives I wish my own state modeled. No one else from Michigan is on here because the Michigan LP is a group of backwoods sister fucking racist neanderthals who should just merge with the CP and get it over with… But if there were any Michigan people here, they would tell you I was right – the state party has chosen to make affirmative action the #1 issue of this election year. How well do you think this will play in Detroit? And worse yet, they picked a terribly unqualified black man (affirmative action anyone?) to be a paper candidate as governor.. How bad is this guy? They sent his white running mate to an NAACP forum in HIS hometown of Detroit!

  32. I would also like to point out that if you oppose affirmative action, you must in turn support the Civil Rights Act. The Civil Rights Act barred discriminating in hiring, employment, etc. I’ve heard many “libertarians” say that the federal government has no business preventing a “private” business from discriminating on the basis of race. If you think this is true, then surely there can be no cause to outlaw voluntary affirmative action (i.e. diversity initiatives) by corporations, small businesses, and private institutions such as universities. You could support the CRA and AA; you could be for one and not the other; but you can’t be against both.

  33. UA, thanks for providing your interesting perspective on the Michigan LP as it relates to the AA topic. I’ve been around the LP for about six years (in TX) and have followed libertarian matters all across the country and the ‘Net and this is the first time I’ve heard of this issue being prioritized so highly. I don’t know much about the state of affairs in Michigan, but I would think there are far more serious issues to be dealt with first, just like in all the other states.

    I have elaborated my thoughts on this more in another thread, but very simply, individuals and privately owned (non-government owned) associations should have every right to discriminate, whether in the form of diversity initiatives or any other reason they choose. If you own it, you control it. Government, OTOH, cannot rightfully operate likewise because all are forced to fund it and submit to its authority.

  34. Leroy, that was indeed an interesting read about the Greens and Libertarians, although I do have some minor quibbles with things he said about Libertarians. In any case, if there really is a sizable contingent of the “old school” Greens still around, it might be wise to build a coalition with them on common ground issues.

  35. Making affirmative action the top issue is silly. Perhaps you ought to run for chair of the LPMI, or begin caucusing with fellow Michigan Libertarians that agree with you?

    I fully support voluntary affirmative action initiatives, just like I support any voluntary action. But if a company just wants to hire the best person, without any regard to his or her race or gender, they should be allowed to do that too.

  36. I would rather simply bring those disaffected old school Greens into the LP, by having a LP that doesnt suck the dick of all private enterprise everywhere, that realizes that any large concentration of power into the hands of a few, be it public or private, is almost always harmful to liberty.

    Libertarianism itself has to expand, and I mean the philosophy behind the party. A singular anti government party just doesnt have the ability to attract a broad enough coalition of support. I dont accept that becuase libertarianism has always meant XYZ that it be locked and frozen there. I have my own notions as to what makes a free man. I dont follow libertarianism becuase I need a course of philosophy to follow, I’m here becuase it’s the only political party that most closely matches what I already believe. Poeple decide what their institutions are or are not, not the other way around.

  37. Libertarianism is a philosophy of principle, not just a political party. That being said, there are a lot of things it could do to bring non-Marxist Greens on board. One would be to have a strong antiwar position and fully support immigrants’ rights. Emphasize issues where we agree, and frame ones where we don’t in a non-right wing way; don’t use Randroid or Boortzist rhetoric – make it clear we DO care about the environment, woorkers, education, and diversity (but believe non-government solutions are better).

    Take this affirmative action issue – I can say that I don’t like the government endorsing the scientifically dubious concept of race by asking everyone what “race” they are (I leave it blank or put “human”) and that many of its intended beneficiaries find it condescending; do NOT frame it in terms of the supposedly oppressed straight white middle/upper class men, which is ridiculous.

    Also, make the party more youth friendly – hire campus outreach, use video, etc.

  38. As a former Green, the fact is that the far Left and the libertarian Right are not as far apart as most make them out to be. The hurdle is convincing the Greens that since the adoption of socialist policies (36 of the 38 planks of the Socialist platform in the 1930s have been adopted), the government has unprecendented power to abuse, the poor are in many ways worse off and, most noteworthily, corporate power has only solidified. These are supposedly things the left opposes, but they ignore their own suicidal policies. We do have much potential similar ground, such as uniting against human rights violations, militarism, empire, abusive government (they do oppose it, but they ignore their own complicity), corporate welfare and environmental abuse (violates everyones’ property). A decentralist left-right union needs to emerge, opposing both government and corporation centralization of power. (cont’d)

  39. (cont’d) Economically, such a union could support small businesses by opposing excessive regulation that keeps them from mounting a challenge to big corporations, severing ties between the state and business which leads to cronyism and corruption, and support a tax structure similar to the FairTax which supports limiting excessive consumption (which damages the environment) and is theoretically but not technically progressive. Socially, the two sides are already very close, supporting political and human rights from abusive government, ending the drug war, First Amendment freedoms, etc. The only major divide I really see is over guns, but we may be able to find some compromise if we are sitting down as friends instead of seeing each other as adversaries. Socialism has succeeded politically, but has utterly failed at fulfilling their values. If we can get that across to them, maybe we can finally work together instead of against each other and classical liberalism can rise again.

  40. Well, guns is not always an issue Greens disagree with us on necessarily. When I was getting the Green Party on the ballot in Arkansas earlier this year, their two main organizers – in Little Rock and Fayetteville – said to me, separately, that perhaps they should be using the ballot access money to stock up on guns and bullets instead. Of course I don’t know if they meant only until their revolution succeeds :-)

    As for the “fair tax” that would be the last thing you would want if you want to keep guns as a defense against tyranny.

  41. Wow, I’m glad to see that I’m finally being understood.

    This is the site of the MI LP gubenatorial candidate. Notice that the only issue on the left menu is “racial preference.” I was at the state convention. He was the only black man there. He was also the only candidate not in a suit; the only candidate who did not give an acceptance speech. You cannot tell me that if he were not black he would still be the candidate. In other words, the LP uses affirmative action as a cutesy way of mounting this all-out offensive on affirmative action.

    Clearly, the other stuff said at his site is on point. But by making the main issue anti-AA, what does that say about the party? There is a ballot initiative to do away with AA in MI. It was supported by legitimately white supremacist organizations that the LP is now in bed with. Who cares where the gubenatorial candidate stands on a ballot issue? It’s irrelavent.


    Here is MI’s candidate for US Senate. Look at his top issues. What is the average young person going to think of this candidate? He’s a right-wing Republican.

    Keep in mind, this is a candidate for US SENATE. Why is the University of Michigan’s racial preference policy his #2 issue? Where is his stance on the War in Iraq? Where is his stance on immigration? These are clearly the biggest national issues right now. Come on, this is a supposed LIBERTARIAN candidate for US SENATE. No comment on the Patriot Act. No comment on domestic spying. No comment on the equal rights of GLBT. Instead, he has “multiple litigation” – a fascist pipe dream. He has “gun rights” – wow, what an original issue. I’m sure that’s really going to convince Republican voters to make the switch to the LP. Let me make it clear: In Michigan (outside of Detroit), even the most far left Democrat supports guns rights!!! It’s a total non-issue.

  43. More on the Green Party: I am technically still a member of the Green Party of Michigan. I am also a member of the Libertarian Party of Michigan.

    The non-Marxist elements in the GP are few and far between. For real, the Ralph Naderites were the conservative wing of the GP, and they have mostly been purged. And besides, even the Naderites were far to the left of Nader himself – who despite the contempt he engenders here, has nothing but contempt himself for socialism.

    The GP allows far less disagreement than the LP. You flat-out cannot be against a “single-payer” health care plan – the ultimate in centralization – and be a Green. Or if you are, it’s “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

    The thing is: Smart Greens are much more likely to come to their senses than conservatives are. The future of the LP is in disgruntled leftists, the youth, and minorities. I have said this many times. Regardless of merit, making AA the #1 issue of a state LP badly damages the LP’s potntial.

  44. One thing though U-A: On your blog (the Stanhope post) you say
    In order to grow, it must appeal to disconcerted leftists, young people, and non-voters. Do you think they give a damn about eminent domain? They don’t even know what it means. People who don’t own property aren’t going to be inspired by a property rights campaign.

    The first sentence I heartily agree with, and have been saying myself for years. But eminent domain has an effect on more than just property owners: people who rent actually get pushed out a disproportionate rate. A lot of eminent domain is used to clear out “blighted” (poor and working class) communities to make room for rich developers who will provide more tax revenue for the state, or for the state’s own public works projects. I was getting John Clifton

    On the ballot in NY last month and it was a big outreach area in the black neighborhoods in Brooklyn, which have been decimated by eminent domain abuse.

  45. ok, I have some catching up to do, late night. the feds shouldn’t discrimanate (wow spelling sux). And if a private business or school wants to implement affirmative action they have every right. They should not be froced too, and if they want to be immoral and ban minorites they can.

    I no little very little about the LP in michigan, if they made affirmative action thier top issues they are fucking stupid, and I will take your word on it.

  46. Oh yeah, I agree with that article about geolibertarianism having the potential to bring the rational Greens together with the Libertarians. However, we also need a big tent.

    Maybe a geolibertarian caucus? That could be cool.

  47. Hey, what’s going on here? Greg Cresswell AND John Clifton both running for governor seats under the LP banner? They’re destroying our 99.999% white male stereotype! :)

  48. “Smart Greens are much more likely to come to their senses
    than conservatives are.”

    I did. Teaching liberals basic political economics is easy. Teaching conservatives openmindedness is hard.

    “Steve Kubby is regarded highly by many on the Green/Libertarian fence.”

    But he’s a one issue candidate.

    “fair tax…would be the last thing you would want if you want to keep guns as a defense against tyranny.”

    I’m not sure if I get the connection. Sorry, but the FairTax is the only way the Left would ever get behind eliminating the income tax. In fact, most leftists I talk to think it is the best idea they’ve ever heard. As long as a pure replacement is built in and income taxes are completely banned, the FairTax would be the ideal tax for both libertarians (who want to shrink gov’t) and the Left (who want to help the poor/cut overconsumption). The Left won’t get behind a flat tax or a straight consumption tax, so make up your mind.

  49. Sorry I am way late- been working the Balloon Fest to the point of exhaustion but we have lots of new libertarians now! I think that the Libertarian candidate should remember who we are and call for inclusion of all candidates. We are too often on the excluded side to not make a difference when we can. If that means a press conference that demands inclusion of ALL candidates or no participation, so be it. The high road is sometimes lonely, but you usually end up better off. This could be very positive coverage for us practicing what we preach. I am no campaign manager, but I think that the public will see politcking in a new light.

  50. Man, do you Fair Tax complainers have a red phone that rings when ever we link to a candidate who supports it?

    I’m not arguing for or against, but I want to play devil’s advocate…Is it possible that a candidate could advocate repealing the federal income tax and being a proponent of the fair tax (but leaving out the repeal part because gosh… that sounds loony batshit libertarian whacko to most voters)?

    You know… just sayin’

  51. Actually, advocating for the Fair Tax automatically implies and includes repealing the federal income tax. I’m not aware of anyone who says otherwise except for the rampant fearmongers who insist that we’d have both in the end, despite the fact that sunrise/sunset rules would guarantee that we would only have one or the other, not both. Anyone who claims otherwise is outright fearmongering and lying.

    I don’t support the Fairtax for other reasons (I’m still not convinced the economics make sense), but possibly having both income and huge sales tax isn’t one of them.

  52. “Supporting a seriously flawed idea like the Fair Tax just because you think it’s the only way to get leftists on board isn’t the right answer.”

    That’s not the only reason. The one convincing argument I’ve heard against the FairTax is that it will create a bigger black market – but if we legalize drugs and guns, who cares? The Income Tax feeds a black market for human slave labor (note the immigrant farmworkers in Florida) and requires intrusive government to implement (unlike the FairTax, which can use state sales tax collection organizations already in place in most states). Those two things alone would make the FairTax preferable.

    Also, people cutting spending to save taxes reduces government funding (too bad; then gov’t needs to cut spending too). Buying recycled goods instead of new ones creates a more sustainable market. Reminding people of the tax burden every time they make a purchase will make them more active in questioning gov’t waste. So why is this unlibertarian?

  53. “Steve Kubby is regarded highly by many on the Green/Libertarian fence.”

    But he’s a one issue candidate.


    Go to

    And scroll down along the left to find a varity of views. He has a record of positions from his run for Governor in 1998 and there’s this from

    “I will have plenty to say in the future about our failed foreign policy; the 45% growth in the size of government, under Bush; taking responsiblity for cleaning up the environment, and what we must do to fix a justice system that has become criminal.”

    I’m not sure if I get the connection.

    Did you read the provided link? I have more in case that was insufficient.

  54. The evil “fair” tax extortion scam is just the sort of thing which might really pass because it gives the regime what it really wants (under actual likely implementation rather than theory) – a double tax system with both income AND sales atx, since it’s a lot easier to impose a tax than repeal one. This is to fund more foreign invasions and occupations and more domestic heimland tyranny and espionage. What better way to pass it than through the misdirected efforts of freedom advocates and anti-tax rebels? Give the LP credit for this one and this ends any chance of us being a real opposition ever again.

    As Tom Knapp points out “Folks, the “Fair” Tax isn’t a “purity” issue. This isn’t choosing between cutting taxes 5% or 10%, or even between cutting taxes 10% or 100%. This is the difference between a) cutting taxes, or b) creating 50 new IRSes and putting every man, woman and child in America on a monthly government welfare check. ” (cont)

  55. (cont) “Hint: One of those is arguable within the context of libertarianism. One isn’t libertarian, isn’t close to being libertarian, and isn’t going to magically become libertarian…”

    By Claire Wolfe & Aaron Zelman

    The unfair tax is very dangerous. It puts the whole country on the dole, makes tax resistance a lot harder, does NOT get rid of the IRS (someone has to collect taxes – duh), does NOT shrink government, makes it a lot more attractive to be an employee as opposed to an entrepreneur, and in actual (rather than theoretical) implementation would end up with both a sales tax AND an income tax. That’s the hidden motive behind it – a massive expansion of government to fund more wars abroad and more invasions of privacy and a bigger prison-industrial complex at home.

  56. The Fair Tax Fraud

    There Is No Such Thing As A Fair Tax

    Everyone gets a government check, and you can bet they will view it as getting money from the government, much as they see “refunds” now. The tax will be presumed just like the withholding; the check would be seen as a benefit.

    If you can choose between being a corporate employee and not having to fill out tax forms, or starting your own business, which are you more likely to do?

    It is much easier to implement a new tax than repeal an old one. Even if it is possible to repeal the income tax temporarily, it would undoubtably be back at the first “emergency” – and you can bet one would be forthcoming shortly. There’s a difference between proposals and actual implementation, which involves compromise. The most likely bipartisan compromise is one in the direction of more government – ie both a sales tax and an income tax.

  57. While rank and file sales tax supporters are tricked by promises of doing away with the income tax, the hidden agenda is to have both to create more regime revenue for more wars and more tyranny, which the income tax is becoming inadequate for – especially since more people are stopping their tribute payments. The sales tax is harder to resist, which is one of the real reasons behind it.

    Against the FairTax Proposal by Jim Cox

    What’s Offensive in the Boortz FairTax Book

    The Crackpot FairTax Trade

    Obviously as an anarchist, I don’t believe in a coercive tax at all. If we absolutely have to have one, I would advocate taxing only corporations, so long as they exist as “persons” and have limited liability. But the ultimate goal must always be to get rid of coercive taxes completely.

  58. As long as a pure replacement is built in and income taxes are completely banned,

    That would take a repeal of the 16th Amendment, which is much harder than passing a new tax – and wouldn’t guarantee permanence even if you could do it.

    the FairTax would be the ideal tax for both libertarians (who want to shrink gov’t)

    It doesn’t shrink government.

    and the Left (who want to help the poor/cut overconsumption).

    Those goals are likely to conflict with each other (less work=more poverty).

    The Left won’t get behind a flat tax or a straight consumption tax, so make up your mind.

    A corporation tax, or better yet no tax.

    Reminding people of the tax burden every time they make a purchase will make them more active in questioning gov’t waste.

    The tax would be in the list price, and the government welfare check would be considered a benefit, just as with income tax withholding. Except for those who would not apply for the welfare check.

  59. Those of us who would not apply for the welfare check would pretty much be relegated to second-hand goods and no services.

    So why is this unlibertarian? Well for starters, it involves the regime tracking all our purchases. It puts everybody on the regime dole. It encourages people to be corporate employees rather than entrepreneurs. It makes it harder to resist paying tribute (taxes). There are many more reasons but you would just have to follow the links.

  60. Actually, advocating for the Fair Tax automatically implies and includes repealing the federal income tax.

    Nice theory. And then there’s reality. Making a proposal realityinvolves bipartisan compromise. Wonder what compromise they’ll come up with? Oh, I know – both sales and income taxes. Which is the hidden – rather than stated – agenda behind this evil proposal.

  61. *Yawn.*

    Obviously you are completely ignorant about the FairTax. Read a source besides your own doomsday choir. Who would “in reality” accept a 23% sales tax tacked on to a 35% income tax? NOBODY, not even the lawmakers. Any lawmaker who endorsed such a proposal would be voted out of office very quickly.

    Welfare? How is a tax rebate equal to welfare? What’s unlibertarian about the government getting less money?

    It would cut government, because people will spend less to save money. Want to protest? Buy used goods. “Hidden agenda?” It was created by anti-income tax conservatives trying to make a bridge to appeal to the Left by creating a more progressive alternative, not hardcore statists.

    “Employees rather than entrepreneurs?” Wrong. It’d be easier to hire without an income tax.

    “Tracks the purchases?” “50 IRSes?” “Evil?” This is why has never had any credibility with me. Their arguments are always blinded by hardcore ideology and ignorant of the facts.

  62. Who would “in reality” accept a 23% sales tax


    tacked on to a 35% income tax?

    Alot of people, come the next staged terrorist attack. Who would have accepted Homeland Security, Patriot Acts I & II and the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions beforehand? The next one may well be a lot worse.

    Welfare? How is a tax rebate equal to welfare?

    Because everyone (who agrees to fill out the paperwork) would receive a government check and perceive it as such.

    What’s unlibertarian about the government getting less money?

    Even in the fantasy best-case scenario where you actually get rid of the income tax, the “fair tax” shillers admit the plan is “revenue neutral” which means they do NOT get less money.

    It would cut government, because people will spend less to save money.

    Then rates would be raised. Duh!

  63. Want to protest? Buy used goods.

    I can see this now. Used condoms? Used toothpaste? Used mouthwash? Used underwear? The possibilities are thrilling.
    You’re going to buy food used? Well, I guess a billion flies can’t be wrong”¦.used toilet paper?

    “Hidden agenda?”

    Yep. What better way to get those who think they are for less government to actively work to actually make it a lot bigger? In some cases, such as Boortz, I would not be at all surprised if it’s conscious. He wants the regime to spy on antiwar protestors and eventually round us up as “traitors”

    “Employees rather than entrepreneurs?”

    Of course. Given the choice of having to report all your sales or just being an employee…among many other reasons.

  64. “Tracks the purchases?”

    Indeed. “They will require a Federal sales tax number be presented before you can buy or sell anything. (Kroger card anyone?) They will require every purchase or sale of every thing (new OR used) be reported on tax forms (or you wont get your “rebate”). If they notice anyone stops buying toilet paper, that person will be arrested for being a “tax cheat” and questioned as to “where are you getting your toilet paper!” and if YOU dont bust the neighbor YOU are buying smuggled toilet paper from YOU wont get your “rebate” ever again.

    Comment by John Dieter”

    “50 IRSes?”

    Yep. An unfunded mandate on state tax collection agencies to do the same job the IRS does…


    Most assuredly so.

  65. Waaaaahhhhh!!! The statists are coming and they’re invading your party, pretending to be small government advocates!!! It’s a huge conspiracy!!! Closet socialists in disguise trying to hijack your currently irrelevant party!

    I’m not even going to waste my time responding to you, as you will only undoubtedly reinforce my beliefs that have been built up over my time in the LP that trying to reason with (most) anarchists is as useful as punching a brick wall.

    (You are right however, about the 30% sales tax, which ends up never exceeding a 23% tax rate with the rebate.)

    Do you currently buy anything? You’re probably paying a sales tax, as well as hidden corporate income tax. Thus, are you a tax evader? It’s no different, except the overall amount of tax you pay is voluntary. If you want to starve the government, spend less than the poverty line and the gov’t loses money. What more could a good anarchist ask for? Besides, don’t truly principled anarchists dumpster dive?

  66. Let’s just say theoretically we have to have a tax. Which tax would you prefer? a.) an income tax, b.) a flat tax (requires same invasive IRS income tax infrastructure), c.) a corporate tax (which do not exist – they are just a hidden, regressive consumption tax & require IRS infrastructure), d.) a straight sales tax (which is completely regressive, requires same FairTax infrastructure), e.) the land tax (land is not income generating until sold/violates “property rights”) or f.) the FairTax? The last two are my favorites, but the latter is the most reasonable proposal. The FairTax was designed by economists to be minimally invasive, economically sound/stimulating and voluntarily progressive. Unless you can name a proposal that fills these three qualifications better, what’s the deal? The hot air I hear from the Lew Rockwell crowd isn’t proposing any better solutions. “Ending taxes” is simply not a realistic short term (or even long term) political goal. Sorry – THAT’S reality.

  67. You are right however, about the 30% sales tax, which ends up never exceeding a 23% tax rate with the rebate

    Incorrect. The 30% is still 30%, just disingenuously calculated from the final price after the tax rather than the original price.

    And yes, I do pay sales taxes, but not nearly as much as under the national sales extortion proposal, and at least it doesn’t go into the military to near as much of an extent.

    Closet socialists in disguise trying to hijack your currently irrelevant party!

    Closet fascists such as Boortz actually, and not just the party but the whole movement as well as some remaining relatively anti-tax conservatives.

  68. Any tax requires IRS infrastucture. Who’s going to collect and proces it, audit compliance, etc? The national sales tax does not do away with FICA/SS.

    A corporate tax is relatively better. It isn’t necessarily a consumption tax since the rate corporations charge is not wholly elastic, but based on what the market would bear.

    Sorry – a flat assertion doesn’t make it so. That is and will remain the goal. I believe it will be achieved, and sooner than most people think possible.

  69. Whoops, messed that up.

    “Ending taxes” is simply not a realistic short term (or even long term) political goal. Sorry – THAT’S reality.

    Sorry – a flat assertion doesn’t make it so. That is and will remain the goal. I believe it will be achieved, and sooner than most people think possible.

  70. One important difference between a corporate tax and a sales tax is that all a business has to do to not pay a corporate tax is not to incorporate (or to unincorporate), whereas with a sales tax everyone who buys and sells must pay (and the regime must track buying and selling to ensure it gets what it considers its full due).

  71. I want to plan the same for Dallas. If there is anyone free for the debate let me know. It is October 6th and I am out of town.

  72. Nick wrote:

    “e.) the land tax (land is not income generating until sold/violates “property rights”)”

    the problem the land value tax is trying to address is that yes even though the value is not captured until a sale for the owner the legal and monetary obligation is forced on those being excluded in higher costs for a location to excercise one’s right of self-ownership which violates absolute property rights to the excluded’s labor product.

  73. This was not intended to become a debate over the FairTax, but it always does whenever the topic is even breached. I was suggesting the FairTax as one idea (among many) to bring the socialist Left over onto our side – most of them have their hearts in the right place, but ignore economics and political reality by not appealing to reason (like how big government leads to big abuse, more problems, bigger corporations and more inequality) instead of their emotive, kneejerk instincts (i.e. “anytime a problem arises, government must be the savior.”) I was primarily responding to Devious David’s first comment – if you want to get the Greens to listen to you (and consider alternatives to socialism), treat them well now, because I see them as potential allies and future libertarians with more effective future outreach on our part. A progressive, pro-small business, pro-environment, anti-war, anti-big government/gov’t abuse union (i.e. a decentralist party) is not very distant, I think.

  74. I think Steve Forbes’s FLAT TAX REVOLUTION is more convincing than the horribly regressive “Fair Tax.”

    Of course, as ignorant as many in the socialist left are, they might actually be fooled by the Fair Tax drivel.

    Steve Forbes lays it out like you might expect Ralph Nader to: The current tax code is pro-rich, pro-corporation, anti-working class, anti-small business. It allows politicans to grant favors and thereby encourages those with money to bribe the pols to pull the strings. The idea that the current tax code is progressive is a myth.

    It convinced me.

  75. I clicked on the link for Jon Clifton’s campaign and I see that he’s calling for a real investigation into 9/11. I’d like to see more Libertarian Party members get into the 9/11 Truth Movement. Anyone else interested in forming a Libertarians for 9/11 Truth caucus?

  76. A progressive yet non socialist, pro-small business, pro-environment, anti-war, anti-big government/corporate-gov’t abuse union (i.e. a decentralist party) is not very distant, I think.

    You are correct. The question is: will the LP be involved in any manner or will it be something new? My bet is something new.

  77. The Flat Tax is merely a reform and simplification of the current system, and is less progressive than the current system. The poor would feel the burn more than the rich, because every dollar counts more. The IRS infrastructure would not change, monitoring/reporting of income would not change and thus the invasive government which forms the best criticism of the income tax will be no different.

    The FairTax is de facto progressive (poor people consume less out of economic reality), but is de lege neither progressive or regressive. it is voluntary based upon your levels of consumption. If you choose to save, conserve, recycle and live frugally, you can be as rich as Bill Gates and make money.

    Also, as much as I hate radical environmentalism/regulation, enviros are correct that the planet does not have unlimited resources. A healthy economy realizes this. FairTax (or Carbon and Land Taxes, to a degree) is the most sustainable tax system, which is why many find it so appealing.

  78. I clicked on the link for Jon Clifton’s campaign and I see that he’s calling for a real investigation into 9/11. I’d like to see more Libertarian Party members get into the 9/11 Truth Movement. Anyone else interested in forming a Libertarians for 9/11 Truth caucus?

    Well, I am, as you know. The question is, why isn’t the LP doing this when 36% of the general public is already on board?

    A progressive yet non socialist, pro-small business, pro-environment, anti-war, anti-big government/corporate-gov’t abuse union (i.e. a decentralist party) is not very distant, I think.

    I agree, which is why I recommended Steve Kubby for President.

    Nick, have you thought through what effect a greater reliance on second hand goods will have on manufacturing, retailing, etc? I don’t think we will be helping poor people much by creating more unemployment and underemployment.

    Regarding sustainability and limited resources, have you read Julian Simon?

  79. Nick: You are so wrong. For one, the Forbes Flat Tax provides generous standard deduction/exemptions that result in a much more “progressive” tax for those who are least able to pay. And the bogus “Fair Tax” is the most absurdly regressive tax ever concieved. Poor people spend a much higher percentage of their income than do more affulent folks. The “Fair Tax” is actually the economic death tax, as it discourages economic activity. It encourages hording and stagnation.

    I have never met a socialist with a worse idea than the so-called “Fair Tax.”

  80. “The bogus “Fair Tax” is the most absurdly regressive tax ever concieved.”


    “Poor people spend a much higher percentage of their income than do more affulent folks.”

    True, which is why a straightforward consumption tax would be the most regressive tax. The FairTax gives everyone a tax refund, and thus half of the people below the poverty line will actually make money from the FairTax. The others will pay less taxes than they are currently and the FairTax would encourage them to save and invest what they can instead of spending it all and going into debt.

    “Forbes Flat Tax provides generous standard deduction/exemptions”

    But the INVASIVE GOV’T INFRASTRUCTURE is still there. We might as well keep the current “progressive” income tax system.

    “Steve Kubby for President”

    Right. Because every American wants a peyote-using president. LP = stoner joke party, anyone?

    “Creating more unemployment and underemployment.”

    No income taxes = more jobs and less poverty.

  81. The FairTax gives everyone a tax refund

    Except those who don’t file.

    and thus half of the people below the poverty line will actually make money from the FairTax.

    What is known as welfare, not a libertarian concept. Actually, due to the same stupidity which causes people to see a withholding tax refund as a government benefit, many more than that would perceive their rebate as a government benefit.

    Kubby is hardly a stoner joke. I guess you haven’t read the links.

    No income taxes = more jobs and less poverty.

    It would be a lot harder to get rid of the income tax than to institute a new tax. But even if you did, if the regime is still stealing just as much from the economy, you don’t automatically get more jobs. As you destroy manufacturing and retailing through increased reliance on lower quality second-hand goods, jobs go away.

    The invasive government infrastucture does not go away, you still have SS and FICA taxes based on income.