One Thing at a Time

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If you’ve ever restored an old car or a motorcycle – a basket case that needs everything – you know the importance of focusing on one thing at a time. Because it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the totality of the mess.kaw_50_ontruck

The last bike I restored (a ’75 Kawasaki S1 triple) I started with just the frame. I had the entire bike completely disassembled, the parts laid out like the famous skeleton of Lucy, the oldest semi-complete fossil of a distant ancestor of humanity yet found.

Looking at all those rusty, worn out grease-caked parts, the peeling chrome and  pitted metal, made it hard to imagine the “like new” bike I hoped to have at the end of the odyssey.

Which is what makes it hard to even begin.

Which makes it easy to give up.

Our situation, politically, is a lot like this. So much needs fixing, so much is broken, it’s easy to just give up and resign ourselves to the hopelessness of it all.

But so long as we are not in FEMA camps or waiting for the bullet at the edge of a ditch, there is hope. There is still the chance something might be done.

Even if it’s just one thing.P1020053

Like eliminating taxes on people’s homes (and the land that they are built on).

People kvetch about the IRS and the income tax and – agreed – both are at odds with a free society. Not primarily because of the money taken from our hides but because of power over our lives acquired by the government, which it must have in order to enforce compliance with this particular tax.

Consider the difference between a sales tax and the income tax.

A sales tax is basically anonymous. You buy something and you pay a percentage of the purchase price in tax. You – the buyer – are not required to divulge personal details about the source of your income, your employment, your private affairs. Heck, you don’t even have to give them your nickname.

And you can pay the tax in cash.frame2

The income tax, in contrast, endows the government with police state powers. It cannot exist without such powers. The power to monitor our affairs; the requirement that we disclose our affairs – even to the extent that incriminate ourselves (on pain of perjury, no less) as regards what we allegedly “owe.” Filing a 1040 is on the face of it as egregious a violation of the Fifth Amendment as randomly stopping (and questioning ) motorists without even the pretext of individualized suspicion they’ve committed a crime is an affront to the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable searches, executed without a warrant or probable cause.

But as noxious as the income tax is, it’s not as noxious as the taxes applied to our homes and land.

The property tax (as it is usually called) is an outright assault on the concept of property, of ownership itself.

The income tax can be avoided – legally. When one no longer earns income, one no longer “owes” the tax. It is therefore possible to be free of this tax – and everything that comes along with it.cleancase

But the tax on property is inescapable – unless one chooses to live a property-less life. This effectively means living as a vagrant. Or in a van down by the river.

Even if you rent, you still pay. The cost of the tax being folded into what you pay in rent.

But imagine if – once you’d paid for your home/land in full – it was really yours. Owned, free and clear. No payments in perpetuity to the government as the price of being allowed to continue to live in “your” home and on “your” land.

Italics added to emphasize the obvious. That being, if you must forever pay money in order to remain in your home and on your land then you do not own your home or land. Whether you are paying a lender (your mortgage) or the government (the tax on property) you are a tenant. The home/land is the property of someone – or something – else.

This is a much greater affront to our liberties, our status as free men and women, than the income tax.

Because you can never be free. '75 S1 250 detail

Contrariwise, imagine how free you’d feel – and would be – if, after having paid off your home and land, you really did own it. No longer owed anyone a cent.

Could live free – beholden to none – on your land.

Without the need to continue to earn money in order to pay endless (and always rising) taxes. Without having to live in constant dread of not being able to afford those taxes.

But if you owned your home and land once you paid it off, these worries would evaporate.

Even if you lost your job or your income went way down due to hard times, you’d still have a place to live, guaranteed. A literal physical refuge against what were once referred to as the vicissitudes of life.

Which is exactly why there is a tax on property.

To keep us all in a state of perpetual anxiety. To apply constant financial pressure to generate income – not for our own maintenance but for the maintenance of the state. To provide the very means used to tyrannize and enslave us.

And yes, slavery is precisely the right word.'75 S1 250C

A slave is forced to work for the benefit of his master; the degree to which he is forced to work for the benefit of his master does not change his status or the nature of the relationship.

Free men only “owe” debts they have freely assumed.

 A slave  is not allowed to own property. He is property. Property being defined as that which is legally under your control.

Are we not legally under the control of the government? Legally denied our right to own property ourselves, including even ourselves?

Remember, ownership is defined as an item being under your control, not under the control of someone else.

When it comes to “our” homes and land, we are permitted a sort of at-will occupancy sufferance. So long as we continue to pay our taxes, we’ll be allowed to live in “our” homes and on “our” land. But stop paying the endless taxes and see who really owns your home and land… .

So, let’s begin with this: The abolition of all taxes on personal homes/land. The restoration of the concept of ownership.

If we can achieve that, we’ll have achieved much. The tax on income – and the affront to our liberties that flow from it – can be next on the list.

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36 COMMENTS

  1. Property tax laws are at the county level I believe so would have to be repealed one county at a time. Some are much more egregious than others. Many in Nassau County NY where I used to live, pay in the five figures annually. When I first moved to NC in the early 90s it was in the three figures (a big part of why I moved). That was for a house twice as big with four times the land!

    • IIRC, you are correct that the taxes are at the county level. But the rates tend to be ‘zonal,’ So what we need is to start a ‘tax war,’ along the lines of the old time ‘gas wars,’ where they compete w/each other to encourage folks to live (or at least own property) there.

    • Hi Robbie,

      Yup.

      It’ll be hard, though – because of the entrenched Cloverism that other people’s decision to have kids imposes an obligation on “the public” to educate them in government schools.

      To criticize the tax is to invite catcalls that one is “selfish” – and these catcalls come as often from Republicans and conservatives as from Democrats and liberals.

      But it’s demagoguery nonetheless.

      • Did you know that the tax-funded schools were ‘sold’ to the ‘public’ as an anti-Catholic measure? Harder to pay that parochial school tuition when your taxes are going up to pay to schools for others.

        • Hi Phillip,

          I don’t doubt that.

          They also serve the purpose of undermining the family and of homogenizing thought along Cloverific lines.

          • “They also serve the purpose of undermining the family and of homogenizing thought along Cloverific lines.”
            Of course, that is the true purpose. Tax funded schools began in Germany, where the Kaiser wanted them to ‘train good citizens.’ But they couldn’t use that line to sell them in Amerika, at least back then.
            Those not familiar should read The Underground History of American Education, by John Taylor Gatto.

  2. Unlike the analogy of restoring a bike or car, where any deterioration has been neutralized/ceased, is that politically, even on the rare occasions when we can take a baby-step forward, the rot continues to march-on, because they are constantly manufacturing more and more laws. So the first step that would have to be taken, is to stop legislating new laws, and then we could make some progress by repealing existing ones. The way it is now, even if we manage to repeal 3 laws, in the time it takes to do so, literally 7500 new ones have been enacted.

    It’s a game that is not winnable.

    Sometimes you just have to throw in the towel, and step aside and watch from afar as the game is played by those who think they can win. Our Founding Fathers realized this. They did not seek to reform England. They realized the impossibility of the task, even then; and that it was not just government, but 90% of their countrymen they would be battling. (Unfortunately though, I guess tyhey didn’t learn anything in England, as they came over here asnd tossed the Indians out on their ears!)

    • Hi Nunzio,

      Of course, a key difference Then vs. Now is there’s no place else to go. The colonists had the advantage of being able to distance themselves from England in a new country. Until we can get off this rock we are stuck. And it may be that the future is a planetary Bee Hive or Brave New World collective in which everything is planned and ordered and the individual is merely a social integer, nothing more.

  3. Right on Eric!
    Now that I’m retired my income is less and therefore so are my income taxes. I’m fortunate to have a decent pension but the constant and ever rising property taxes on the house I’ve “owned” for the past 42 years will eventually force me to consider a “van down by the river” scenario. Of course said van would then be subject to the excise tax, which no matter how old and clunky your vehicle never goes below a set minimum. It also really galls me that I am forced to pay income tax on my Social Insecurity stipend, which was already taxed the first time when it was forcibly removed from paycheck; thanks Ronnie.
    Your point is crystal clear, we aren’t allowed to OWN anything, we must continually pay tribute to our masters or we’ll join the ranks of homeless dragging around the few things we do own in a trash bag. I gag every time hear the phrase “land of the free and home of the brave”. Not!

    • If you get a social engineering type to be truthful they will admit property taxes are and should be used to clear older people from valuable land and homes to make way for young families and others who can make better use of it.

      PS: there are many laws to seize one’s bag of stuff and many laws over our bodies as well. Slavery is stronger than it ever was but with virtual chains of laws, finance, and so on.

      • BrentP, you’re dead on the money on all counts. We had a big increase in property tax via Robin Hood laws in Tx…..this year. I don’t work the land any longer since I was mainly a truck farmer and cattleman and the drought that raged for 20 years fairly much did in cattlemen. We had $200K stuck in the pasture bank and ran through that and much more thinking the drought would have to break. It didn’t.

        My neighbor is 30 years old and was incensed by the tax increase. He asked me about it. I concurred with him and we both rightly feel bent over. You could inform the tax office of your opposition to it. Ah, that was certainly a boon. He called, I didn’t, no sense in wasting my time for an untenable situation I can’t affect…..or effect.

        We see old, well run businesses being bought by corporate raiders, a phenomenon of federal legislation for Wall Street and the supporting banksters. I couldn’t get the wife to leave the country with me a decade and a half ago. I saw it coming, she couldn’t. The only news she reads online is Yahoo so she stays fairly clueless and older women are much worse about change than younger ones who might view it as an adventure…which it surely would have been. I can’t see how it would have been any worse……really.

    • Hi Mike,

      Yup… unfortunately.

      My tax bill is currently about $2k annually. This means that even though my house is paid for, I am still paying about $170 a month in rent to remain in it.

      Some may say that $170 a month is “not a lot of money.” Tell that to someone whose income has decreased by half or more. And what is $2k a year over say 30 years?

      It is $60,000 – not counting opportunity cost.

      That is a lot of money. It is about a third of what I paid to buy the house, in fact.

      It’s outrageous.

      This on top of being mulcted of 15 percent of everything I earn each year for Socialist Insecurity… plus another bite for the federal tax and then the state tax.

      • When I see a modest house with a little land for sale I check to see how much the taxes are. I look at the taxes first now. The price is irrelevant if I cannot afford the taxes. When the land is more than a small suburban lot the taxes jump into the five figures. Even out in the more rural areas the tax bites are over 10K. I see the run down modest houses I could afford have five figure tax bills. It’s insane. With ZIRP, inflation, no social security payout, stock market crashes, and taxes I’ll be working until I drop dead.

  4. Hi Eric,

    Odd that you would consider this THE tax to get rid of — and then endorse voting for someone who is notorious for using eminent domain abuse for private benefit.

    Eminent domain is nearly the ultimate tax on land and property — they take your property, then give you whatever compensation they decide they want to (in theory, as little as nothing at all), then hand it over to some crony on the theory that they can generate more taxes from the property than you.

    • Hi Jim,

      I a not “for” Trump except as a way to send a message to the GOP and also to thwart Hillary. Sigh. Have I not been clear on this point? I understand Trump may be a disaster – and that he is certainly not a Libertarian. But we know Hillary will be disaster (for liberty) and that she is an enemy of the individual’s right to be let alone. I’d prefer a third choice – but these are the two choices we’ve got. One of them will be president.

      I’d rather it not be Hillary.

      • Hi Eric,

        You’ve been clear on your logic in wanting to vote against Hillary. Unfortunately, since you will have several choices other than Trump — Gary Johnson, possibly Jill Stein, NOTA (leaving all the choices in that race blank as a de facto None Of The Above vote), not voting at all — precision of language means that voting Trump will be read as voting FOR Trump, since you can’t add any commentary to your vote in the voting booth.

        And, only one person will be elected president, and in the Electoral College it is winner take all for each state. So, if either it becomes increasing clear that Hillary will win overall, or win Virginia, as the election date approaches — then by your logic, and using precision of thought, since she would be the only choice that can win, you must vote for her.

        The reality is this — if you want to get a more libertarian world by voting, you have to let politicians know this by actually choosing a more libertarian candidate, thus letting them know that your vote is only available to candidates that at least try to be libertarian about SOMETHING, instead of the all statist all the time fest that is Hillary versus Trump.

        If the vote in Virginia goes 49% Hillary, 46% Trump, and 5% scattered among all the other alternatives, the statists have no incentive to change. They can ignore people like you.

        If it goes 39% Hillary, 36% Trump, and 25% scattered among all the other alternatives — the statists will have a pants shitting moment, and they will actually start to take our concerns seriously.

        • Hi Jim,

          Gary Johnson’s a fraud (he claims to be a Libertarian and isn’t; Trump doesn’t claim to be a Libertarian) and – more relevant – will not be president. Has zero-none-no chance of winning. He cannot stop Hillary. It isn’t going to happen. Period.

          Trump, on the other hand, could win – and so could stop Hillary.

          • eric, there’s logic to what Jim says. The country won’t be changed to anything close to libertarian in a single election nor even a few. And while Johnson’s type of libertarianism isn’t what my version would be, it beats hell out of known tyrants, Hil and Trump. When my congressional district was changed back in the 90’s looking at the map of it made no sense until you took in the number of subsidy farmers, religion and past voting records where the landed gentry upheld every totalitarian law since it was all tied to their continued standard of living via big ag, big govt., bible thumpers.

            The cotton farmers in this country were sickened this last year and so was the whole population by a new, cheaper defoliant. Even the one who could only work a bit with it(not many had to since they can hire it done with cheap labor or aerial spraying)weren’t willing to spend a bit more to use a less poisonous to humans brand.

            In the 90’s our district was gerrymandered by Republicans and it’s not going away.

            Could Gary Johnson make it worse? I sincerely doubt it. Would voting for him take votes away from Hitlery or Trump….or both? Probably so and which of the two it would hurt most I can’t say.

            But Republicans can tell you, within a fraction of a percent. How is this done you ask? High tech and political gerrymandering in a way never used till this century.

            http://whowhatwhy.us9.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=a9c27247b8a9046ea939df8ca&id=65edf23277&e=b7f164fc35

            • Hi Eight,

              Yes, but the point remains: There is no chance whatsoever that Johnson is going to win. None. It will be Hillary or Trump. Ordinarily, I’d agree with Jim and vote for Johnson just on principle. But he is not going to win. All voting for him will do is assure Hillary wins.

              And then it’s over.

              • eric, right now we don’t know what a vote for Johnson will do. But voting libertarian has one good aspect in that from one election to the next the libertarians got a ten fold increase in votes from .7% to 7%. Now that’s not much but what if they could double or triple once more. I think the thinking voters of this country would gladly vote for someone not of the Republocrat duopoly.

                • Hi Eight,

                  We know he’s not going to be president. A third party victory in this election is as unlikely as a man walking on the surface of the sun.

                  Voting for him is, at best, a protest vote against the other two. I get that; I sympathize with that. But one of those other two will be president. And if it’s Hillary – we’re done.

                  Trump isn’t my ideal. Far from it.

                  But Hillary is absolutely as bad as it gets, short of outright Stalinist mass murder – which might be our fate if she wins.

                  Trump’s victory could mark – if not a turnaround – perhaps a reassessment. Maybe a trend back toward some semblance of sanity.Maybe.

                  I am willing to give him that shot – provided he doesn’t put Newtie or someone similar on the ticket. If he does, then I will vote for Johnson. And begin to seriously consider fleeing this place, which is fast becoming a re-do of Weimar Germany.

                  And we know what came after Weimar.

        • In a related story in an alternate universe. The Texas Carnivore Society has announced that all pro-vegetarian livestock who would like to vote in the upcoming July 15th Referendum to abolish carnivorism should stampede towards their nearest slaughterhouse and cast their vote there.#MammalsLivesMatter, @AviansLivesMatter

          Outrage over Chinese laundry detergent commercial
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TM3NMi1m_qE

          #VoteAllYouWant just don’t kid yourself about how much that accomplishes.

        • “If it goes 39% Hillary, 36% Trump, and 25% scattered among all the other alternatives — the statists will have a pants shitting moment, and they will actually start to take our concerns seriously.”

          Jim,
          Untrue. As long as they can shill enough people, they won’t care. After that, they’ll find ways to make the votes count as desired. And after that, they’ll intimidate the voters into voting (exaggerating the “don’t throw your vote away” BS, and outright intimidation via Black Panthers and such.)
          I’m guessing it’s already about that 39/36/25% split, you see, so I might be biased. But I know plenty of other times where we had questions up for vote – and I know how the game was rigged each time. (Consensus building, for one.) Like those in Atlas Shrugged, I’m tired of putting on blinders every day in every way, JUST so I can get through the day without throwing some imbecile under the train… Tired of being told, “We need someone to do X, Y, Z.” And when I offer solutions to X, Y, Z, they’re now working on solutions to each – usually, more expensive solutions, and generally, more complex solutions, often ones which don’t do the job as well – not simply, not even effectively, and the cost? Is astronomically more than estimated, and then “No Bonuses because The Market.” (Or whatever convenient excuse.) Everyone has to be a full-time lobbyist, and since I know once they’ve paid the money, they won’t admit they made a mistake…?
          Same logic.
          Best method is to do like a hatchetman, take over and remove them. The dead wood is at top, ALWAYS. The responsibility is delegated; the “success” result is consumed, but any issues? That’s on YOU, the worker. E.G., a sushi chef, and the sous sushi chef. Sous chef makes the meal, start to finish. The Executive Sushi chef gets the praise. But if there’s something wrong, the sous chef will get the blame.
          Slip the Exec Chef some fugu fish and deal with the dead weight (puns intentional.)

          Anything else is insane…

    • Jim, that’s my biggest concern about Trump. He’s literally made a fortune from ED and will continue to use it.

      We had a court case in Tx. a couple years ago that all about ED and when the jury came back they made history by not giving big oil a bye and awarded quite a bit of money to another company. Had it been an individual I would have had more faith things were changing. Still, it was a first. That new highway through Tx. to Mexico has used holy whee out of ED. 3 years ago that highway was supposed to be a dead issue but it’s never slowed down. The only difference is the MSM quit reporting anything about it while it continued on.

      Of course that’s where courts and cops come in. They don’t and never have worked for anyone but the powerful who give to them to make sure they are bought and paid for.

      Cops got their start protecting the robber barons in this country. They used cops to beat and kill those people who refused to work for almost nothing. It was a sign from management, We own your asses and you’ll do what we say when we say it.

      Nothing has changed except the cops feel more self-righteous now than ever, almost a total lack of morals across the nation and a sense of entitlement we’ve not seen before.

      Ever point out to a cop they just did something you’d be fined or jailed over and have them just say it’s a different playing field for them? I have and they love to rub your nose in it. Why else would you work for someone to punish people who have caused no harm? They sold their souls to the devil when they agreed to be a cop. Some might tell you they personally have no problem with you violating this law or that and then qualify it “but it’s the law”. Notice Hil is above the law?

      Comey made a great case to convict her and then said she’d get a pass on charges. Nobody even thought about charging Bushco for lying to get the US into a war(treason). The cops are correct though, it isn’t a level playing field and don’t think it ever was or will be as long as the system remains as it is.

      Nixon created The War on Drugs to silence the left leaning hippies and blacks just as RR did when he got Ca. to pass their first bad gun bill the rest of the country followed when the feds realized what a boon it was for them too. Excuse me. I need to go wash the shit taste out of my mouth.

      • Well, Comey did make it clear to anyone who votes for Hitlery just what they would be getting. Problem is there may be enough of them that the rest of us get her too.
        Remember, “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” – H. L. Mencken

        • PtB, Mencken was right as usual. Of course we have no choice of what we get, just a different brand of the same poison. The people that would vote for her would vote for her if there were a video of her taking a kickback from Putin or any other old thing.

          Think that would have stopped(they couldn’t learn from GHW)anyone from voting for Bush? Naw, there probably wasn’t a great deal of difference between he and Gore but at least Gore wasn’t as likely to beat the war drum……back then.

          Ryan is pushing a really bad anti-gun bill right now and one of those that takes even more of our rights away…..but let’s not let facts get in the way. The old school will support him though since he’s bought and paid for. The closer we get to voting, the less I feel like it. You and I went through the Vietnam debacle and you probably caught on as a teen the ever-present lie that drove that war….and every war since…..not letting them have a bye on those before, I just wasn’t alive for those.

          Back in ’03 a fedgov whistleblower told us what went on behind the front of Bushco and that they’d been planning on invading Iraq since ’98. And back in that same year the then CEO of Diebold said “I and Diebold employees are committed to electing George Bush(one more time)”. If that doesn’t keep you away from the polls what the hell will?

          It simply amazes me how many times the public has literally had shit thrown in their face and told it was ice cream and they still don’t catch on.

          And my dad wasn’t a Bushco supporter but when I told him about that quote he said something like “Well, I guess that should tell you something”. The problem was, it was news to him and everybody else who didn’t use the internet…..and there’s plenty of those.

          I pissed off my best friend last year when I called Rand a “bought and paid for Israeli shill” who had no intention of doing anything remotely libertarian. He was incensed I’d run down his best buds on Fox too. He will not and never has used a computer. Why, he won’t say. He bought the wife and I a membership to the NRA, an organization that is one of the worst for gun rights and picking out some group to blame for “crime” and has written some egregious legislation in the form of parts of the Brady Bill….among other things. I gave up my NRA crap in the 80’s when they sent every member a great deal of literature telling them they must vote for RR. They left out the part where RR supported the worst gun legislation known in this country when he was gov of Ca. He still doesn’t get it. That’s what the rest of us are bucking.

          • Hi Eight,

            Dead on regarding Ryan. A typically loathsome “conservative.” He supports taking away people’s right to buy or own a gun based on the whim of federal bureaucrats. You do not have to be convicted of so much as jaywalking. Merely that a bureaucrat has placed your name on a No Fly list. Now – if Ryan and those like him have their way – that will mean you are on a No Buy list, too.

            Mind, no formal charge or conviction. Just the government deciding that it doesn’t like you for whatever reason.

            I’ve never been shy about my disagreement with Democrats and “liberals.” But I despise Republicans, the “conservative” variety most of all.

            • eric, you’re right about the loathsome part. I understand that some of the progressives really believe some of the crap they spout. It might sound sorta good on the surface….if you’re deluded enough to believe it but how can you support legislation that might very well affect your own status negatively? The ones that think they’re entitled simply because it’s more fair in their eyes are certainly deluded but the ones that support legislation like Ryan is floating are simply ignorant and would be incensed if they had a clue. Oh hell, the entire thing relies on ignorance.

              • Hi Eight,

                Yes, exactly!

                A Democrat/liberal believes in government control/regulation of individuals (to one degree or another). He has principles. Which I disagree with, but I can respect his intellectual/philosophical integrity.

                But a Republican/conservative? These people claim to be against government control/regulation… except they’re not. They have no principles at all. What is it, exactly, that a “conservative” is seeking to conserve? Tradition? Whose? His! So much for liberty, if your traditions are different.

                These are the people who drink like WC Fields at DC soirees – yet at the same time fulminate against the “doper.” The ones routinely caught visiting men’s room glory holes while tub-thumping about “family values.” They dislike government – so they say – but love armed government workers (cops and soldiers).

                It never seems to occur to them that they are utterly lacking any defining principle they’ll defend. Which is why they always “compromise” with the Democrats/liberals and often outdo them when it comes to shitting all over the principle of individual rights vs. the collective.

                Sometimes, when I need a burst of strength – as when trying to rep a really heavy weight on the bench press – I imagine the face of Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan.

          • I remember a post I saw somewhere back in 2012 – 2 panel photograph. 1 side said “Ron Paul.” Other one said “Wrong Paul.”

      • “He’s literally made a fortune from ED” – my first thought when reading this was that he must own the company that makes the little blue pills. Got to watch those acronyms. Another example, first time I saw BLM I was thinking Bureau of Land Management. I guess my brain needs new glasses.

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