Latest Reader Q&A (October 4, 2017)

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Here are the latest reader questions and my replies!

Darrin asks:  I am really wanting to get a 4×4 Sprinter van but have seen articles stating a redesign in 2018. Do you have any info on the redesign or dates the 2018 will be available to order?

My reply: A redesign is in the works and it does look as though it’ll be for the 2018 model year. Nothing official yet from Mercedes, but from what I gather the major changes will be to the technology suite – more “autonomous” technology – along with a revised front clip. Expect the drivetrains to carry over largely unchanged.

The new model will probably launch in spring.

You might want to shop for a 2017 right now – because dealers will be interested in clearing inventory to make way for the new models. You ought to be able to negotiate a very favorable deal.

Given that the 2018s probably won’t be fundamentally different, other than some cosmetic tweaking, shopping a current-year Sprinter could be a very smart move. Also – and this is entirely subjective – you may or may not be a fan of “autonomous” technology. If not, it is even more reason to buy a 2017!

John asks: There are three features of the earned income tax credit that are really disgusting:

1.  The credit for reckless child bearing is way too high. There should be no credit for having more than two children
2. There should be no credit that is greater than anyone’s income.  In other words, instead of just a tax reduction, the applicant gets free money.
3. And while reckless child bearers get generous free money, low income seniors over age 65 are denied any credit at all.

Why? Does Trump have any plans to correct this?

My reply: As a matter of principle, I oppose taxation as such because I consider it morally wrong to take anyone’s property for any reason, period. Whatever “functions” the government performs ought to be entirely funded by those who want those “functions” – their funds provided without coercion, freely – in the same way that a person buys another good or service. It is a moral outrage to use force to compel another person to provide you with a good or service.

The “credits” exist as a way to manipulate the system to advantage a favored group, for the benefit of a politician or party, which then exploits that group as a client class – grateful/dependent for the “credit” they receive.

I doubt Trump will do much to change anything – not because he doesn’t want to but because he lacks the power. The taxing power is within the purview of Congress and, of course, the regulatory apparat.

What Trump could do – but won’t, because no politician will do this – is publicly state that all taxes and especially the income tax are immoral as such and ought to be done away with for the same reason we tell our kids not to steal things from the store.

Dave asks: I’m a 71-year old late-in-life Libertarian, and I just wanted to give you a quick shout-out to say that I’m a huge fan of your work on Lew Rockwell’s website. You’re a breath of fresh air in an increasingly stale world. Godspeed, sir!

My reply: Thanks, Dave! I appreciate the kind words!

. . .

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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