"Fascism and communism both promise "social welfare," "social justice," and "fairness" to justify authoritarian means and extensive arbitrary and discretionary governmental powers." - F. A. Hayek"

"Life is a Bungling process and in no way educational." in James M. Cain

Jean Giraudoux who first said, “Only the mediocre are always at their best.”

If you have ten thousand regulations, you destroy all respect for the law. Sir Winston Churchill

"summum ius summa iniuria" ("More laws, more injustice.") Cicero

As Christopher Hitchens once put it, “The essence of tyranny is not iron law; it is capricious law.”

"Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it." Ronald Reagan

"Law is where you buy it." Raymond Chandler

"Why did God make so many damn fools and Democrats?" Clarence Day

"If I feel like feeding squirrels to the nuts, this is the place for it." - Cluny Brown

"Oh, pshaw! When yu' can't have what you choose, yu' just choose what you have." Owen Wister "The Virginian"

Oscar Wilde said about the death scene in Little Nell, you would have to have a heart of stone not to laugh.

Thomas More's definition of government as "a conspiracy of rich men procuring their own commodities under the name and title of a commonwealth.” ~ Winston S. Churchill, A History of the English Speaking Peoples

“Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through.” ~ Jonathon Swift

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Government intrudes on an age-old symbol of freedom! Health and safety fears end 44-year-old village tradition after festival horseman is told to walk

This was my costume this year: Dr. Syn, the Scarecrow!
Ironically and sadly the local bureaucrats put a stop to this anti-government symbol on horseback.

Health and safety fears end 44-year-old village tradition after festival horseman is told to walk | Mail Online

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 2:31 PM on 3rd September 2008

A horseriding hero who has wowed festival-goers since 1964 was this year forced to walk instead - after health and safety fears forced him from his steed.

Insurers deemed it ‘too dangerous’ for anyone to ride solo at the Day of Syn event and so ended the five-decade-long tradition.

The horseman - always a local volunteer -is meant to perform the role of fictional character Dr Syn, a Robin Hood-style vicar created by local novelist Russell Thorndike.

horseback riding hero

2006: A crowd delights in seeing 'Dr Syn' race across the beach

Traditionally, on every second August bank holiday, the 'vicar' will dress as a scarecrow to hide his identity, and gallop along the beach and streets of the Dymchurch, Kent, evading soldiers and taxmen in his bid to deliver smuggled food and supplies to his flock.

But for the first time since it began, Dr Syn had to walk among them, leaving 3,000 festival-goers disappointed.

Villager Ray Griffiths, 67, said: ‘It felt strange. It certainly was not as authentic a representation of the daring Dr Syn as it used to be.

‘There is already so much red-tape and bureaucracy to wade through it just seems like the days of our festival are numbered.’

And Dr Syn fan Angela Green said: ‘I’ve read all his novels and when it comes down to it Dr Syn is a horseman, plain and simple.

Day of Syn

This year: Dr Syn, left, is on foot on the beach at Dymchurch, Kent

‘For him to be without a horse makes a mockery of the whole thing. He’s on the front cover of the first ever book for God’s sake.

‘I just wish people wouldn’t get so worried and uptight about these things. Health and safety rules and ridiculously high insurance premiums put a stop to everyone’s fun.’

Many insurers rejected cover outright, and the only one prepared to insure the rider quoted an astonishing £1,000-a-day - almost double what the average motorist spends on car insurance each year.

In Thorndike’s novels, seven in total, Dr Syn is pictured on horseback on at least two front covers, including his first novel entitled simply Dr Syn.

Chairman of the Day of Syn, Ian Hyson, said: ‘For 44 years Dr Syn has burst into the festival on horseback. He is the main show and when he makes his entrance people are truly overwhelmed.

‘But this time he just had to walk around. It just wasn’t the same.’

Mr Hyson added: ‘Dr Syn is a kind of Robin-Hood vicar, who is the vicar of Dymchurch by day and a smuggler dressed as a scarecrow by night.

‘He has been on horseback since 1964, but this year the insurers just did not want to know because they said riding a horse was a ‘severe” health and safety risk. Only one insurer would listen and they quoted us £1,000.

‘We simply cannot afford that, so had to do without.’

Mr Griffiths added: ‘We feel that we bring people to the village together. The Day of Syn is the catalyst to bring people in to spend money on the charity stalls such as the Scouts.

‘And it is a celebration of Dymchurch’s culture. It shouldn’t have to be so difficult.’

In previous years organisers relied on public liability insurance to cover the event, but discovered that the catch all policy - which cost around £450 for the entire festival - did not cover someone on horseback.

In previous years up to 10,000 people have attended the festival.

Author Russell Thorndike, the son of a former Rochester Cathedral canon, is best known for his early 1900s Dr Syn of Romney Marsh novels which include The Courageous Exploits of Dr Syn, Dr Syn on the High Seas and The Amazing Quest of Dr Syn.

The Dr Syn character is based around the vicar of Dymchurch, who became the leader of the ‘Marsh Men’ - a gang of smugglers who travelled the Romney Marsh on horseback at night to dodge the taxman.

The author, born in 1885, died at the age of 87 in 1972.

This May Be the Answer! A Coming Government Shutdown? And it may work out for the best.

Suits me, the government is in the way of most of us now, this could help them along to cut back faster. The tipping point has tipped.
Pajamas Media » A Coming Government Shutdown?
From here, it almost seems inevitable.
October 31, 2010 - by Tom Blumer

As detailed in my previous column, despite appearances to the contrary, the federal government’s spending on its regular operations is wildly out of control, tax collections are flat, and the fiscal year 2010 out-of-pocket deficit was much higher than it was in fiscal 2009.

So what are the chances of meaningfully turning this around? Even with Republican majorities in the House and Senate, the task ahead is Herculean.

Nothing illustrates the difficulty ahead more than an October 28 item in the Associated Press by Julie Hirschfeld Davis, with help from Laurie Kellman. The AP reporters’ write-up makes it clear, just days before the midterm elections, that the presumed GOP congressional majority and the party’s somewhat likely Senate majority will be spending much of the next two years in a knock-down, drag-out fiscal fight with President Obama, his party, and his press apparatchiks. With the battle lines already being drawn, it becomes difficult to imagine how this gets resolved without a repeat of the federal government shutdown the country experienced in 1995. This wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, but if it happens, the outcome needs to be different from 15 years ago.

AP’s reporters are clearly gearing up for the battle (key scare words bolded):

Republican leaders, ever more confident of their chances of winning control of the House and possibly even the Senate, have begun plotting a 2011 agenda topped by a push for more than $100 billion in spending cuts, tax reductions and attempts to undo key parts of President Barack Obama’s health care and financial regulation laws.

… Most agree a marquee item on a new GOP majority’s agenda would be an aggressive package of spending cuts, on the order of $100 billion or more, that could also be paired with steps to block implementation of key parts of Obama’s health care law and new financial regulations.

… What’s less clear is how Obama would respond, and whether a turbocharged Republican majority could muster a bipartisan compromise, especially when its freshman class will probably have little appetite for following any established party position or leader.

… On health care, there’s little doubt that a Republican majority would quickly set a vote to ax the overhaul law – a symbolic move that has no chance of succeeding given Obama’s veto pen. The GOP would then follow up with attempts to block key elements of the measure by denying the money to implement it.

Let’s first deal with the pathetic reportage from the AP’s Davis and Kellman. Then I’ll look at the bigger problem.

“Plotting”? After two years of unaccountable czars, union intimidation of and violence against private citizens, congressional non-transparency (remember “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it”?), and legislators skipping town without even passing a budget, it’s Republicans who are “plotting”? The rest of us would refer to what the Republicans are doing as “planning.”

“Tax reductions”? Since the reporters don’t reference anything else, one has to assume that they are writing about keeping the tax increases scheduled for next year (popularly referred to as “letting the Bush tax cuts expire”) in place. Folks, if the increases are cancelled or postponed, taxes won’t be reduced. They’ll stay the same.

“Bipartisan compromise”? Given that the president has justified his consistent refusal to retreat from his positions by saying, “That’s what elections are for” (as if anyone besides a small cadre of progressives in the know and of others who researched him and knew the truth had any idea of what was really coming), here’s my one-word response: Why?

“Ax the overhaul law”? That’s a really clever allusion to violence, Julie and Laurie, but the rest of us know it as “repeal.” The reason what we refer to as ObamaCare needs to be repealed is because it isn’t an “overhaul law” at all — it’s a statist takeover of about one-sixth of the economy.

Finally, there are the supposedly “aggressive” spending “cuts” of $100 billion or more.

A look at data taken from the Congressional Budget Office’s August Baseline Budget Outlook and the final Monthly Treasury Statements from fiscal 2008, 2009 and 2010 quickly reveals that a $100 billion reduction in planned spending is not only not enough, it’s not even a “cut”:

First, on the receipts side, the CBO thinks that collections from all sources are going to increase by 22% in fiscal 2011, and by 37% in two years. Given that actual collections have trailed CBO’s projections by over $100 billion in each of the past two years, and that the economic recovery (if it’s even fair to call it that) has been anemic, I don’t what else to say except, “You cannot be serious.”

On the spending side, note that fiscal 2011 spending as the CBO defines it is projected to be 7.5% higher than the year just ended, and an obscene 36% higher than it was just four years ago. Even if the Republicans reduce fiscal 2011 spending by $100 billion or so, outlays will still be about 4.5% higher than 2010. This is what Davis and Kellman refer to as “cuts.” It is obviously nothing of the sort.

Davis and Kellman (conveniently, I believe) are forgetting that the GOP’s Pledge to America is calling for a return to the level of spending seen in 2008, exempting national security. After considering a bit of inflation, that would amount to about $3.2 trillion, representing a legitimate and long, long overdue cut of about 7% from fiscal 2010.

Can anybody seriously look at the numbers above and claim that this can’t or shouldn’t be done? Even though the answer is obviously “no,” Obama, Democrats, and the press will scream bloody murder. The president, who despite RINO Republicans’ wishes is not prone towards any kind of compromise, will likely veto anything that doesn’t keep the spending spigots wide open. It is reasonable to believe that he would let the government shut down rather than give in to the GOP Congress.

If this happens, will it work? It did last time, for the Democrats. The Gingrich Congress caved. The GOP congressional majority never regained its fiscal mojo, and eventually became a congressional minority because of it.

But this time may be different. The stakes are much higher. The national debt held by “the public” (i.e., except for amounts owed between federal agencies) will be about two-thirds of gross domestic product by the end of 2011. If trillion-dollar deficits continue for the rest of the decade, it’s virtually certain that the public debt-to-GDP ratio will hit 90%, a figure many economists consider a tipping point. At that juncture, it becomes very likely that investors will either refuse to continue to buy government bonds or will begin demanding much higher interest rates for doing so. Massive tax increases, hyperinflation, or worse will become likely scenarios.

The new media-driven, tea party-inspired portion of the electorate seems to get that. If enough of the rest of the voting public does, an Obama shutdown scenario could blow up in his and his party’s collectivist faces. Recently, we’ve learned that even if his union supporters “go French,” there’s a chance they’ll get taken downby fatigue.

Regardless of whether the confrontation occurs, our national solvency is clearly at stake in the next few years. There will be little if any time for rest after November 2.

Tom Blumer owns a training and development company based in Mason, Ohio, outside of Cincinnati. He presents personal finance-related workshops and speeches at companies, and runs BizzyBlog.com.

How Dare The Government Take From People Who Really Make Stuff To Do Their Own Public Evil-Kill the death tax

Happy Death Day To Us from Your Government
Kill the death tax (OneNewsNow.com)

The death tax was reduced to zero in 2010, but will lurch from its grave on January 1, 2011, and haunt small businesses worth $1 million or more. The 55 percent rate, if not repealed, will destroy many family-owned enterprises.

While tax-hungry liberals lick their chops at this Soviet-style confiscatory scheme, ordinary Americans should ask politicians why they want to hobble the only sure job-creating sector in a time of nearly 10 percent unemployment. Actually, it's worse. When you add the people who gave up looking and those working only part time, we're talking 17 percent.

But even that could balloon if this ghastly grave-robbing is not stopped. It's not as if Congress doesn't know what it's doing. The evidence has been there for years, as companies have folded, been sold off, or broken up by the death tax.

death taxIn Sheffield, Iowa, Sukup Manufacturing Company employs nearly half the workers of the 1,000-resident town. Eugene Sukup, who started the farm equipment company, is 81, and has health problems. The death tax hangs over his family and town like the Grim Reaper's giant scythe, and he's trying to put a blade cover on it.

Mr. Sukup was featured recently on CrossExamine, a new television program from Coral Ridge Ministries. Show host Del Tackett explained the two socialist notions that drive the death tax: "The state can pretty much take whatever it wants as long as it's somebody else's," and "the rich are the bad guys — that somehow if they have it, it's because they've taken from us."

Sukup Manufacturing donates ten percent of its taxable income back to the community through its own foundation. Three years ago, on November 14, 2007, Mr. Sukup and several other small businessmen told the Senate Finance Committee that the death tax could destroy their companies and devastate their communities:

"I built this company, my sons helped me build it and my grandchildren want to carry it on," Mr. Sukup testified. "Isn't that the kind of entrepreneurship that our government should encourage?"

In "How the Death Tax Kills Small Businesses, Communities — and Civil Society," a Heritage Foundation paper, Dr. Pat Fagan writes that the tax kills more than entrepreneurial dreams:

"So high is the death tax that a large portion of heirs to small companies cannot afford to pay it after the business founder dies, and see themselves forced to sell to giant corporations — which have no personal ties to the communities of their new acquisitions, and thus no incentive to commit to local institutions. What does the death tax kill? The best of American life and civil society itself."

Liberals love this tax because it's part of their life-support system. When the American dream fails, more people depend on government and liberal politicians who deliver more welfare. And liberals know how to take care of their own. Before adjourning to campaign, Congress enacted a $193,400 "death benefit" for the late Sen. Robert Byrd's family. As Lawrence Hunter of the Alliance for Retirement Prosperity put it, "I would applaud a charitable act from our elitists in the Senate, but not one senator took a thin dime out of his/her pocket. They took it out of ours!"

heavy tax weightMeanwhile, the death tax monster is careering toward the rest of us. Here's another example of its destructive power presented to the Finance Committee:

When the Bearden, Arkansas-based Anthony Timberlands logging company began a century ago, Arkansas had nearly 20 other community-based lumber companies, but all except Anthony were done in by the death tax. Company president John Ed Anthony said his firm is now in peril:

"As with most other timber companies, Anthony Timberlands does not have large cash reserves or other liquid assets. We call that being 'land poor.' Although we have weathered the storm of paying huge death taxes with the passing of my father in 1961 at a young age and my grandfather in 1981 at age 97, when I die, or in anticipation of my death, ...it will be impossible to pay the death tax yet again and have the company survive. No entity of consequence can survive when 50 percent of its assets are confiscated."

As Pat Fagan observes, absentee ownership can be fatal to communities: "The lumber industry, of course, has little interest in building baseball fields or giving away scholarships or selling lots for homes. The Anthony family has a personal interest in doing those things, because they nurture and preserve the community where their family has had roots for generations."

Inheritances are a fine thing, as we're told in Proverbs 13: "A good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children."

One would think Al Gore's green tree-hugging lobby, to whose drumbeat many liberals march, would oppose the death tax if only out of concern for Mother Earth. Hancock Lumber president Kevin Hancock told the senators that the death tax will cripple his Casco, Maine-based company when his mother dies and that the death tax "has been a leading cause of green-space and forest loss in Maine, as multiple private forests have been sold in order to pay the death tax."

Well, you've got to break a few eggs to make an omelet or a socialist revolution.

A chilling scene in the 1965 Oscar-winning film Dr. Zhivago is when the young doctor returns to find his Moscow family home occupied by squatters after the Soviet Revolution. He's met by a humorless man and woman wearing red stars who inform him that "the people" now own his home.

It's not hard to imagine certain congressional leaders in those roles.

Wyoming Rep. Lummis: Estate tax rise has some planning death

By BEN NEARY - The Associated Press trib.com | Posted: Saturday, October 30, 2010

CHEYENNE -- U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis says some of her Wyoming constituents are so worried about the reinstatement of federal estate taxes that they plan to discontinue dialysis and other life-extending medical treatments so they can die before Dec. 31.

Lummis, a Republican who holds her state's lone seat in the House, declined to name any of the people who have made the comments.

But she said many ranchers and farmers in the state would rather pass along their businesses -- "their life's work" -- to their children and grandchildren than see the federal government take a large chunk.

"If you have spent your whole life building a ranch, and you wanted to pass your estate on to your children, and you were 88 years old and on dialysis, and the only thing that was keeping you alive was that dialysis, you might make that same decision," Lummis told reporters.

Lummis and other Republicans are fighting to renew the Bush-era tax cuts, which expire at the end of the year. The cuts exempt large inheritances as well as certain wage income, interest, dividends and capital gains. She said the estate tax would go from zero this year to a maximum of 55 percent next year.

Lummis said the children of some people choosing death over taxes told her of their parents' decision. She wouldn't identify them and said it would be their decision to come forward.

Copyright 2010 trib.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Help Wanted: International Organization on East Side NYC, translators, consuls and commission members, contact Bedbug delegation?

The Rosett Report » Can the UN Come Clean on Bedbugs?
October 27, 2010 - by Claudia Rosett

The United Nations has been plagued at the core and from the beginning with huge problems of exactly the kind one might expect from a diplomatically immune, consensus-centered multilateral collective in which some of the world’s worst governments have a say in making policy and spending someone else’s money (especially yours, dear U.S. taxpayer). These problems have turned up in the form of such scandals as Oil-for-Food and rape by UN peacekeepers. They manifest themselves in the form of exploding UN budgets, accompanied by a continuing lack of accountability, and feckless promises of reform. From the morally bankrupt Human Rights Council (which this year welcomed Libya to take one of the 47 seats) to a General Assembly presided over last year by Libya, and increasingly a creature of the Jeddah-based Organization of the Islamic Conference, the UN is an institution with deep and serious flaws — and these translate into real trouble not just for the U.S., but for the people living under the jackboots of many of the UN’s less attractive member governments.

Among the UN’s 192 member states, the only one which has a strong record of even attempting serious supervision and good faith reform of the UN is the U.S. But that kind of oversight has gone largely missing these past few years, and Americans right now have quite enough to debate on the homefront, and little attention to spare for such potentially eye-glazing stuff as the latest news on derelictions within the UN’s internal audit division, or subtleties of horse-trading within the General Assembly’s Fifth Committee (which, in case you don’t have a crib sheet handy, deals with the General Assembly’s budget).

The profound problems involve such matters as UN enforcement (or lack of it) for Iran sanctions; over-reach in peacekeeping; and campaigns and policies which do too much to legitimize tyrants, and too little to keep the peace, as well as the endless climate-con drumbeat to shackle the world economy while transferring wealth by would-be UN fiat from productive democracies to governments that specialize in impoverishing their own people.

But human nature being what it is, what gets easy play in the news is more often the potentially ridiculous — the UN version of Lady Gaga gossip — such as the flutter last month over the interest displayed in extraterrestrials by the head of the UN’s Vienna-based office on “the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.” So it is that this month the latest hot UN story is…. bedbugs. Yes, the UN’s headquarter buildings in New York, currently undergoing a $2 billion-plus renovation, have developed a bedbug infestation. It’s hardly earthshaking stuff, but even on this, it seems the UN has had trouble coming clean on the full extent of the problem — which has been going on since at least last year. Take it as a metaphor for a great many other, much larger UN problems. And if you are curious about the bedbugs, here’s the tale, from Matthew Russell Lee of Inner-City Press — by UN lights, a gadfly; but in my view one of the best-informed members of the UN press corps. To follow the bedbug cover-up, just start reading Matthew’s coverage, and follow the links within: “At UN, Bedbug Finds... .”

Warning to Republicans hoping to take control of Congress: A single ill-considered law can undo much of the good you will do.

No Taxes, reduce, attrit, remove, disband, cut and fire!
The Midterm Election That Restored America - National Review Online

It’s not often that a midterm election changes the direction of the United States. Signs are that next Tuesday’s will. Sixty-eight years ago, one certainly did. On November 3, 1942, voters went to the polls to hand FDR and the Democrats a defeat so resounding that it halted the country’s decade-long leftward shift, while their GOP rivals found a clear mandate to reverse the biggest expansion of government in American history, the New Deal.

Yet astonishingly, and unlike in 1994, Republicans did it without getting control of either the House or the Senate. Instead, they won just enough seats to instigate a legislative backlash against Roosevelt and his progressive allies, which not only halted the New Deal juggernaut but which — one could argue — also won World War II without giving up America’s freedoms in the effort.

In 1942, voters turned against FDR only two years after he had won reelection to an unprecedented third term. Yet after Pearl Harbor, there was a strong feeling, not entirely unwarranted, that Roosevelt had been an incompetent war leader. After the surrender of the Philippines, the Japanese occupation of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, and growing American shipping losses to U-boats in the Atlantic, Roosevelt’s announcement of Operation Torch and the invasion of Axis-held North Africa just a week before the election — his version of an “October Surprise” — was too little, too late.

Still, the real discontent was domestic. Since 1933 — and not unlike today — Americans had witnessed an unprecedented growth of the federal government and federal spending, all in the name of helping the nation recover from economic depression. Yet by 1941 unemployment was still above 9 percent. As recently as 1939 it had been 16 percent. The public began to sense what even Roosevelt’s Treasury secretary, Henry Morgenthau, had sensed for some time: that the New Deal had been a failure, and it was time to reverse direction.

Americans were also fed up with an administration that seemed to want to use the war effort as an excuse to extend federal control over the economy even further. Embodying that view was the left-liberal director of the Office of Price Administration (OPA), Leon Henderson, who seemed to see no commodity, from shoes to sugar, and no transaction, from riding a train to placing a long-distance telephone call, that he wasn’t ready to ration or regulate. That progressive New Deal war economy was summed up in an article by Roosevelt intimate Harry Hopkins in The American Magazine called “You Will Be Mobilized,” which prescribed a future of bleak regimentation and material deprivation, along with rising taxes, in order to win a war the United States manifestly wasn’t winning.

So although no Tea Party sprang up, the popular discontent showed in plunging Democratic poll numbers through 1942.

In May, the Democrats still looked as if they might gain 38 seats in the House. By August that number had dropped to eight. Then in September, the GOP looked to gain 21. When the election actually took place, two months later, the Republicans grabbed 46 in an anti-Democrat avalanche.

Liberal Democrats went down by the dozen. Outside the still-solid Democratic South, Republicans gained 20 of the 25 Senate seats being contested — and the governorship of nearly every big state, including Michigan, California, and New York, where Thomas E. Dewey became the first Republican governor in 20 years. Although the Democrats hung on to a 13-seat majority in the House, and a solid majority in the Senate, the halcyon days of a pro-Roosevelt Congress were over. As Life magazine put it after the election, “The U.S. is now a Republican country.”

That meant big changes in how government in Washington worked. Many of the new senators, like Ed Moore of Oklahoma and Kenneth Wherry of Nebraska, were businessmen who promised to bring common-sense solutions to the nation’s problems, including the war, instead of ideology — as well as a return to the principle of limited government.

Even before the 78th Congress was sworn in, a coalition of Republicans and conservative Southern Democrats started cutting one New Deal program after another, often over Roosevelt’s veto. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was the first to go, in June 1942, followed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in December. The moribund National Youth Administration vanished in July 1943, and the National Resources Planning Board (run by FDR’s cousin Fred Delano) was gone in August. The new Congress defunded the Farm Security Administration and the Rural Electrification Administration that same year.

Congress kept the OPA, but Leon Henderson was gone even before it met in January. The OPA lost its authoritarian clout, and Americans accepted rationing as long as it was imposed locally, not federally.

The Americans who voted Republicans into office were fully committed to winning the war, but according to what they saw as proven American methods rather than imported progressive ideas. “This election proves how the American people want to fight,” one of the new members of Congress, Clare Boothe Luce, told a reporter, “with their eyes open, not with blinders. They want to fight it efficiently and without bungling.”

The new Congress therefore saw the war effort not as an excuse to expand federal powers, but as something to be kept within constitutional bounds. It sharply limited the Justice Department’s antitrust powers, in order to allow big defense contractors to get on with the war effort. It turned down the idea of an Official Secrets Act, and the head of the Office of War Information’s domestic branch — essentially Roosevelt’s minister of propaganda — was forced to quit.

While Congress did approve a bill allowing government to renegotiate war contracts in order to limit profits, it made it clear that this war would be won with the support of private business and industry, not over its opposition — while strikes by unions like the CIO and the United Mine Workers, which had threatened to paralyze war production, would no longer be tolerated.

Roosevelt got the message. When UMW miners dared to walk out in the spring of 1943, Roosevelt threatened to draft them all. The strike was over almost before it started. It was one of Roosevelt’s most popular decisions. By December 1943, Roosevelt was telling reporters that “Dr. New Deal” had given way to “Dr. Win the War.”

Contrary to Life magazine, the 1942 election did not make America a Republican country — even though in 1946 Republicans would gain control of both the House and the Senate, however fleetingly. Roosevelt would win a fourth term in 1944 — but this time as a reward for being the master architect of America’s imminent victory, not as the leader of the New Deal. But 1942 did signal the start of a conservative resurgence that would finally blossom in the Reagan years — even though progressive liberalism would continue to grow the federal government bigger than ever.

Because in their effort to speed up victory over the Axis, the legislators of the 78th Congress made one crucial mistake.

In July 1943, they instated the first federal-income-tax withholding law, in the hopes that this would accelerate the flow of revenue into the defense effort. The goal was noble; the consequences monstrous. Over the decades more and more money would disappear from people’s paychecks without their noticing. Tax-and-spend Washington found its most valuable secret ally — given to them, ironically, by the Congress dedicated to getting government off people’s backs.

— Arthur Herman is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. His most recent book, Gandhi and Churchill: The Epic Rivalry That Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2009.

More aircraft than cover Afghanistan or Iraq for Obama's India Visit

Taj trip included in Barack Obama's itinerary: Obama Visit : India Today
Do you think he's leaving and not coming back?

We are not all equal in the eyes of Harry Reid, his aide escaped prosecution for sham marriage to terror suspect

Reid looking for illegal aliens and terrorists.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

65% Favor Getting Rid of Entire Congress and Starting Over

Not to mention the President too!

Poll: Most Want Obama Fired In 2012

In other words, to get a Gun License in New York City, you have to be an anti-gun leftist who has as secure job in the government... say as a mailman.

But this is not profiling is it?
The Daily Gut

So apparently New York City is proposing new criteria for would-be gun-owners - banning folks from having weapons if they happen to be lousy drivers, been fired from a job due to bad character, or in possession of serious debt.

According to councilmember Dan Halloran, these changes give police more power to reject licenses, in order to counter a possible upswing in gun ownership caused by new, lower fees.

Now I'm all for keeping guns out the hands of bad people.

But I'm also for getting guns into the hands of good people.

But I must ask: how does being a bad driver, make you a bad person? And getting fired? I've been canned three times - does that mean I can't have a glock? I mean, I shouldn't have a glock - but not for that reason. There was an incident in Shreveport that ended that dream.

As for being in debt? That eliminates everyone here on this set. And also John Gibson - who still owes me $1300 for that lost weekend in Cancun.

So yeah, these new restrictions seem pretty vague.

But there's something else here that stinks. If the government can link certain good behaviors to gun ownership, who's going to define what's good?

Think about it. Your fitness to own a gun might only be approved as long as you fulfill a strict criteria that appeals only to the modern, annoying civil servant.

Perhaps, to own a gun, you'll have to possess an impeccable recycling history, participate regularly in Take Your Daughter to Work Day, watch The Daily Show religiously, and ban transfats from your kids diet. So you didn't run the 5k on Earth Day? And you chose to rent "the expendables" over "Eat Pray Love?"

Sorry, no Smith & Wesson for you.

But worse, if you take guns out of the hands of decent people, you'll never learn how to carve a pumpkin, the fun way.


Nice work.

And if you disagree with me, you're a racist, homophobic, glockophobe.

NJ Candidate Reveals Little Known Truths about Jobs and ObamaCare - Vodkapundit

PJTV - NJ Candidate Reveals Little Known Truths about Jobs and ObamaCare - Vodkapundit
Here is insight into the State of the New Jersey delegation and why we need to say good-bye to the incumbent Dems.
Please go to above link.

Use Bacteria Bags Instead- 3 Rotten Fruits of Eco-Fascism or The Grocery Bag Tax

NewsReal Blog » 3 Rotten Fruits of Eco-Fascism or The Grocery Bag Tax »

3 Rotten Fruits of Eco-Fascism or The Grocery Bag Tax

Posted By Chris Rowan On October 28, 2010 Email,Environment,Feature,In The Family Way

Jonah Goldberg defines Fascism as:

. . . a religion of the state. It assumes the organic unity of the body politic and longs for a national leader attuned to the will of the people. It is totalitarian in that it views everything as political and holds that any action by the state is justified to achieve the common good. It takes responsibility for all aspects of life, including our health and well-being, and seeks to impose uniformity of thought and action, whether by force or through regulation and social pressure. Everything, including the economy and religion, must be aligned with its objectives. Any rival identity is part of the ‘problem’ and therefore defined as the enemy.
- Liberal Fascism, p. 23

Eco-fascism is a variant of Fascism that is also totalitarian in the sense that any action by the state to achieve some ecologically-worthy goal is justified. No aspect of human life is off limits. Examples range from bans on smoking in public and the use of cell phones in cars to recent attempts by Congress and the EPA to impose a tax and/or regulatory regimen on our exhalations and emissions made by the burning of fossil fuels. Now it seems we are going to be taxed for the little plastic grocery bags we use to transport our groceries from the supermarket to our cars.

The rationale for the ban is dubious, at best. The cynic in me views the ban as yet one more statist bureaucratic scheme to separate me from my money.

This past January, the City Council of Brownsville, Texas, unanimously passed a ban on retailer-provided, single-use, sanitary, disposable, plastic grocery bags. The ban is voluntary for now, but becomes mandatory with exceptions for bagging fish, meat, and poultry in 2011. Paper bags were not offered as an alternative. The main reason for the ban was to address a litter problem associated with the little plastic “tumbleweeds” that seem to be everywhere – vacant lots, fences, roads, parking lots. Very unsightly.

We had facts and figures to show that, yeah, Brownsville was sick of litter, and the biggest thing we litter are plastic bags.
- Rose Timmer, Healthy Communities of Brownsville

The Brownsville City Commission also pointed out that sewers and drainage systems are being clogged with the plastic bags, and the community’s waterways are similarly polluted. They further claimed that the plastic bags are difficult to recycle and contaminate materials processed through the city’s composting program. A local newspaper reported:

The ordinance the commission approved notes the city has a duty to protect the natural environment, the economy and the health of the city’s residents.

Let’s take a closer look at these assertions, shall we?

Assertion 1 – A ban on plastic grocery bags will protect the natural environment

Claims that the ban on plastic grocery bags will help protect the natural environment are not supported by the facts. An exhaustive studyby Boustead Consulting & Associates entitled Life Cycle Assessment for Three Types of Grocery Bags – Recyclable Plastic; Compostable, Biodegradable Plastic; and Recycled, Recyclable Paper concluded that the environmental impact of single-use plastic bags is far less than either paper or compostable plastic bags. Comparisons were made based on each type of bag’s impact on global warming, acid rain, municipal solid waste, conservation of fossil fuels, local/regional grid electricity use, and water use, and in every case the single-use plastic bag made less of a negative impact than either paper or compostable plastic bags. This study was not designed to assess the issue of litter, but the results show that reducing litter by changing the type of grocery bag can have unintended consequences that are actually much worse for the environment.

Addressing the issue of increasing litter with bans on plastic grocery bags may be counterproductive as this study has not considered many other mitigating circumstances that may lead to even greater differentials between plastic grocery bags and those made from either paper or compostable plastics.

Increased recycling rates for plastic bags, better bagging techniques at retail, and secondary uses of plastic grocery bags such as waste disposal could all further reduce the environmental impacts of plastic grocery bags. In addition, getting consumers to change their behavior so that plastic bags are kept out of the litter stream would appear to be more productive in reducing the overall environmental impact of plastic bags including litter.

Reusable cloth bags were not evaluated in the study, but it was noted that there was no evidence to suggest that customers will reliably bring such bags every time they go shopping. More importantly, there are serious health concerns associated with resuable cloth bags that will be addressed later in this post.

Assertion 2 – A ban on plastic grocecry bags will benefit the local economy

According to the American Chemistry Council, for every seven trucks needed to deliver paper bags, only one truck is needed for the same number of plastic bags, helping to save energy and reduce emissions. Compostable plastic bags and reusable cloth bags are thicker and heavier than the typical disposable plastic grocery bag, so it follows that significantly more energy will be expended on their transport, as well. It also takes 91% less energy to recycle a pound of plastic than it does to recycle a pound of paper. Since plastic grocery bags will be banned, retailers will lose the incentive to offer recycling bins to consumers, thus making recycling of these and other types of plastic bags more difficult and time-consuming.

It is probably true that a ban on plastic bags will benefit the economy, just not the Brownsville economy. Transport companies will initially profit from making innumerable hauls of reusable cloth or plastic bags (remember: paper bags were not considered a viable alternative). Since most freight is moved by large diesel trucks, the eeeee-vil oil companies will benefit from selling the diesel needed to fuel the trucks. More hauls by more diesel trucks does not help save energy or reduce emissions, however. And it’s too bad that the Texas plastic bag manufacturing industry supports 2,600 well-paying local Texas jobs because a ban on disposable plastic grocery bags translates into less demand and fewer workers. But what’s bad news for workers in the disposable plastic bag manufacturing industry is good news for workers who manufacture reusable bags. Unfortunately,many resuable bag manufacturers are based in China where (slave) labor is cheap. Think of all the fuel required to transport those reusable bags across the Pacific Ocean from China. Think of the emissions.

Perhaps the City Commission was referring to the additional revenue earned by retailers who will now be able to sell to consumers what they had originally given to them, for free. Plastic grocery bags are not going to simply disappear overnight. The ban does not extend to bagging fish, meat, and poultry. And old habits die hard. At present, many reusable grocery bags purchased by enviro-conscious consumers go unused, stashed away in closets or car trunks. In 2008, The Wall Street Journal cited a poll by KPIX in San Francisco of 500 of its television viewers and found that nearly 60% said they almost never take reusable cloth shopping bags to the grocery store. The actual number may be significantly lower. Consumer surveys and industry data show that about the same number of people reuse their bags as bring disposable bags back to the grocery store for recycling, which is roughly about 10% of all consumers. Most consumers will continue arriving at grocery stores with nothing but their pocketbooks and wallets. If they want to bag their groceries, they will have to buy bags offered by the retailer.

Does anyone seriously believe that the City Commission will sit idly by and not take advantage of this new and potentially HUGE revenue stream?
Assertion 3 – A ban on plastic grocery bags will protect the health of the city’s residents

Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, a ban on free, retailer-provided, sanitary, single-use, disposable plastic grocery bags poses a serious health risk to the entire local population. The very old and very young are, of course, the most at risk. A study conducted by researchers from the University of Arizona (UA) and Loma Linda University in California found that reusable bags result in growth of bacteria by cross contamination of foods, thus causing serious health problems. Contamination occurs when foods like raw meat leak onto the fabric. Supporters of the ban will point out that exceptions have been made for poultry, meat, and fish, but accidents happen. The plastic grocery bag used in most supermarkets is very thin and can get punctured rather easily, leaking the contents into the reusable bag. This must happen rather frequently.

Analysis revealed that almost half of the bags collected from consumers were contaminated with potentially harmful bacteria. Also, 12 percent of bags contained the bacterium E. coli. They also found fecal coliform bacteria and signs of growth of more dangerous pathogens in used bags. Conversely, no bacteria were found in new cloth reusable bags and plastic bags. However, hand or machine washing was known to reduce the bacteria in bags by almost 99.9 percent, noted researchers. This signified that reusable bags, if washed properly, could play a significant role in preventing cross-contamination of foods.

Note the operative phrase, “if washed properly.” The grave risk to public health by a ban on free, retailer-provided, sanitary, single-use, disposable plastic grocery bags can be significantly reduced if consumers wash their reusable bags properly after each use. How likely is it that every single consumer will commit to a regimen of washing each reusable bag with chlorine bleach and detergent in hot water after each use?

Apparently, not very likely. The study cited above revealed that 97 percent of consumers do not wash their bags regularly. Dr. Gerba stated that their findings

. . . suggest a serious threat to public health, especially from coliform bacteria including E. coli, which were detected in half the bags sampled. Furthermore, consumers are alarmingly unaware of these risks and the critical need to sanitize their bags after every use.

Among the recommendations issued by the report entitled “Assessment of the Potential for Cross Contamination of Food Products by Reusable Shopping Bags” were the following:

  • States should consider requiring printed instructions on reusable bags indicating that they need to cleaned or bleached between uses;
  • State and local governments should invest in a public education campaign to alert the public about risk and prevention;
  • When using reusable bags, consumers should be careful to separate raw foods from other food products; cross-contamination problems arise when foods that people eat raw, such as apples and lettuce, are placed in a bag that has carried meat;
  • Consumers should not use reusable food bags for such other purposes as carrying books or gym clothes;
  • Consumers should not store reusable bags in the trunks of their cars because the higher temperature promotes growth of bacteria.

Now consider the fact that accidents will happen, consumers will invariably use their bags for purposes other than carrying groceries, and many will store them in the trunks of their cars in order to avoid forgetting them at home and being forced to purchase new reusable bags. Contamination is not likely; it is a certainty.

Consider this: A Miami ABC news affiliate conducted a test last year, designating three recyclable bags for a particular type of food and a fourth as a control sample, i.e., it was never used. After three shopping trips over a two-week period the bags were dropped off with a researcher who swabbed the bags for bacteria samples. Each bag was tested for coliform, a bacteria found in the feces of warm-blooded animals. The control bag tested negative for bacteria. The bag that was used for canned goods or boxes also showed no bacteria. The bag that was used for meat did not test positive for coliform, but it was found to be covered with bacteria. The bag used to carry produce tested positive for coliform bacteria. And this was only after three shopping trips over a span of two weeks!

Try to imagine the sequence of events that will undoubtedly occur in supermarkets throughout Brownsville once the ban goes into effect in January. Most people will acquire reusable bags. Many of these bags will be made of cloth. Many people will use the bags over and over again, never washing them. The bags will eventually become contaminated with bacteria. As they shop with their contaminated bags, consumers will pick up items and place them in their contaminated bags. Some will change their minds and place the now-contaminated items back on store shelves. Other consumers will pick up the contaminated items and place them in their reusable bags, which will in turn become contamined. Imagine further these same consumers carrying the contaminated items in their contaminated bags out to their cars and placing them in what amounts to an bacteria incubator — the car trunk. This sequence of events is likely to happen dozens, possibly hundreds of times a day, every day.

Brownsville consumers have been arriving at their local supermarkets with nothing but their wallets and pocketbooks for generations. How likely is it that beginning on January 1, 2011, they will march in lockstep to their local supermarkets with an armload of reusable bags under each arm? Retailers will be happy to sell what was previously given away with every purchase. It remains to be seen whether consumers will meekly submit to this new tax in order to indulge the ostensibly well-intentioned whims of what constitute a ruling class, fascistic mentality among the City Commission and Mayor.

The ban on retailer-provided, single-use, sanitary, disposable, plastic grocery bags has been shown to be detrimental to the environment, economy, and health of Brownsville residents. But there is one segment of Brownsville that has a lot to gain from such a ban, and that is the city treasury. The plastic bag ban is, essentially - just another tax.

Never underestimate the ingenuity of a government bureaucrat when it comes to scheming ways to separate you from your income.

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URL to article: http://www.newsrealblog.com/2010/10/28/the-3-rotten-fruits-of-eco-fascism-or-the-grocery-bag-tax-1/

Barack Obama's dumb 'Daily Show' Jon Stewart appearance

Barack Obama's dumb 'Daily Show' Jon Stewart appearance - Need to Know
Need to Know
October 27, 2010
Barack Obama's dumb 'Daily Show' Jon Stewart appearance
Posted by Staff
The New York Daily News reports:

President Obama should make the most of his "Daily Show" appearance on Wednesday night - charming the pants off Jon Stewart and the crowd, as he did when he showed up there two years ago. It's a terrific show, Stewart is a great interviewer and Obama makes good television.

Then, the President should cancel all future trivial media appearances. While they may have kept him personally popular, in broad terms they've degraded the Obama brand.

Obama's handlers were supposed to be smarter than this. They were supposed to use his celebrity strategically to advance his agenda. Instead, they've been indiscriminate, carpet-bombing Americans with the man they elected rather than launching communications smart weapons.

The result is that for millions of Americans, the very likable, charming Obama has become a constant tone in the background rather than an occasional, convincing, presidential voice in the foreground - the kind that makes your ears perk up.
10/27/10 10:34 AM

Progressivism and the Criminal Law, its arbitrariness can make us all criminals

Progressivism and the Criminal Law | The Freeman | Ideas On Liberty

Progressivism and the Criminal Law

October 27, 2010 Not So Fast! | William L. Anderson

The development of the criminal law under Progressivism, which began more than a century ago, is revealing. Before the Progressives hit the scene, criminal law pretty much was limited to dealing with actual harm that individuals visited on other individuals, including robbery, assault, and murder.

However, Progressives believed crimes were collective in nature, actions either that harmed “society” or violated a rule that Progressives believed was important. During the 1930s a socialist academic named Edwin Sutherland (pdf) coined the term “white collar crime” while claiming that most business owners really were criminals who should be prosecuted and imprisoned. (Not surprisingly, Sutherland’s “theories” have become popular in the academic and legal world, and the U.S. Department of Justice has a section honoring him on its website.)

As Louisiana State University law professor John Baker wrote, Sutherland was “concerned with whom the alleged perpetrator was, rather than what that person might have done.” Baker notes that Sutherland wanted to do away with the legal presumption of innocence in “white collar” cases. In fact, it was a Sutherland protégé, Donald Cressey, who created the “enterprise” idea that is the core of the infamous federal RICO statutes.

Progressives have not looked back since Sutherland’s ideas became law, and nowhere is suspicion about business under free competition stronger than at the “Newspaper of Record,” the New York Times. When Rudy Giuliani’s federal prosecutors were engaged in what former University of Chicago Law School dean Daniel Fischel calls a “reign of terror” on Wall Street during the 1980s, the Times was among the feds’ main cheerleaders.

When Giuliani’s staff illegally leaked grand jury material to the media as it sought to try Michael Milken in the press for his use of so-called junk bonds to finance company takeovers (depriving him even of the opportunity for a fair trial), the Times eagerly enabled those entrusted with the law to commit felonies, claiming “the people have a right to know.” (Milken eventually went to prison in a dubious plea deal.) And when Martha Stewart had her fateful meeting with federal investigators – leading to insider-trading charges and eventually prison — she was there because the U.S. attorney’s office illegally had leaked grand jury material to – what else? – the Times in order to damage Stewart’s company.

There is no more Progressive newspaper than the Times Its editors are true believers that the State and only the State can provide the Good Life for all. That Giuliani would eviscerate one constitutional protection after another was irrelevant to the newspaper that allegedly supports civil liberties. Giuliani was fighting competitive capitalism, and that is what Progressives have been doing since their early days.

Cronies and Entrepreneurs

The latest example comes from Frank Rich, a Times columnist who embraces everything the modern Progressive believes. While he attacks some Wall Street characters who have received bailouts and other favors, Rich clearly is incapable of distinguishing crony capitalism from free-market capitalism.

He writes that the “real problem” with the Obama regime is not that it has spent the nation into bankruptcy or that its antibusiness rhetoric all but guarantees a dearth of new capital investment. No, the “problem,” according to Rich, is that it lacks a “prosecutorial gene.” That’s right. It does not throw enough people into prison.

Unsurprisingly, Rich favored imprisoning Milken, claiming he was a symbol of the “Greedy 1980s” (whatever that means). Yet, here is what Murray Rothbard had to say about Milken:

The genius of Michael Milken was to find a way to make the free market work, a way around the roadblock of the Williams Act [which impeded corporate takeovers]. He also made an end-run around the Old Guard banks and blue-chip bond dealers with his new concept: financing takeover bids by issuing high-risk and therefore high-yield bonds, misleadingly called “junk” by their blueblood competitors.

Unfortunately, Progressives at the Times are not satisfied with vilifying free-market competition. They also believe they must throw entrepreneurs into prison, even if it means helping prosecutors break the law. And this will lead to economic recovery? I don’t think so.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Reality of the Tax Rates- Obama Tricks Voters Like Enron Hoodwinked Public

Obama Tricks Voters Like Enron Hoodwinked Public: Amity Shlaes - Bloomberg
by Amity Shlaes from September 21, 2010
Sep 21, 2010

The debate concerning the top tax rate for wealthier Americans is so difficult in part because most people only pretend to know the actual figure.

Sure, we all know Republicans want to keep the top rate at its current level while Democrats prefer to let the George W. Bush-era rate cuts expire. And some of us may even know that the tax code’s current 35 percent figure would rise to 39.6 percent if President Barack Obama gets his way.

Beyond that, we get hazy. And no wonder: other sections of the tax code combine with the statutory rate in mysterious ways, creating a different effective top marginal rate. These include, for example, phaseouts known asPease and PEP, under which itemized deductions and personal exemptions fade. If you really want to capture the top taxpayer’s situation, you have to add state taxes into the mix. So what’s the exact top rate? Nobody knows. Or, maybe, nobody wants to know.

I asked the biggest, baddest tax mind I know, former Congressional Budget Office directorDouglas Holtz-Eakin, to tell what he thinks the top tax is. Even Holtz-Eakin approximated, texting back a formula that might serve as the theme song for tax year 2011: “39.6 + 2 (phaseout of pep and pease) + 3.8 (Medicare net investment income tax) = 45.4. Add in state-level taxes and 50 is easy to reach.”

Holtz-Eakin is a genius. If he’s approximating, it’s because he can’t bear to feel the pain of the precise reality.

Illusion of Fairness

So how did we get here? Politicians love progressive rate structures. First, they appear to be fair. We’ve all heard President Obama invoking fairness in defense of the 39.6 rate he seeks. A second, greater advantage of progressive rates is their complexity. The staircase concept of ratesrising on successive income tranches is hard enough. Add in all the traps and breaks and taxpayers become truly confused and give up protesting.

What’s at work here is the same phenomenon that caused otherwise sentient members of Enron’s audit committee to go along with executives Andrew Fastow and Jeff Skilling: fear of looking stupid. Given a choice between seeming like dummies or paying more money than they think they should, people often choose the latter.

For the first quarter century or so of its existence, lawmakers didn’t dare impose the income tax on the average earner. Only when World War II broke out did this class tax become a mass tax. And then two extra tricks were necessary for the transition. First, many taxpayers were hardly in a position to resist a shift in the code since they were already government captives: draftees. Second, withholding was introduced. Soldiers never knew how much they were taxed because part of their income never even made it into their pockets.

Selling the Structure

After the war, the feds found new ways to justify and complicate our tax system. They marketed progressivity as a necessity for the nation’s general welfare. The very name itself helped. Many people don’t want to oppose political progressives, so they go along with the idea of a progressive tax structure. Even those who reject progressive politics may not want to be caught opposing something that sounds like progress. The progressivity brand was so successful that government was able to keep the top rate at more than 70 percent for decades.

But did postwar Americans really endorse, or even understand, that progressive principle? This was less clear. Two skeptics were Harry Kalven and Walter Blum of the University of Chicago. They set out to make the case for progressivity but found the argument so weak they titled their 1953 book “The Uneasy Case for Progressive Taxation.”

Taxing Experiment

In the 1990s, scholars designed an experiment to see whether people understood the difference between progressive structures, under which rates go up as people earn more, and proportional ones, under which higher earners pay taxes at the same rate as lower earners.

Michael Roberts, Cassie Bradley and Peggy Hite asked college students abstract questions: “Are progressive tax rates more or less fair than flat tax rates?” By a margin of almost 4 to 1, students said they preferred a progressive rate system for society. Next the researchers gave the same students concrete examples of a paired set of two earners with different salaries and possible tax bills for those earners, asking which tax amount the earners should pay. By a margin of 4 to 1, the same students picked tax amounts for the higher earner that corresponded to a flat rate, or even a regressive, system. Remarkably, these subjects were accounting students who had already studied these various systems.

The point isn’t that taxpayers are stupid. Rather, they are stupefied and conflicted. On a gut level, they may not necessarily agree with the basic principle of modern taxation. “Overall, our results indicate the existence of a norm for proportionality…” concluded Roberts, Bradley and Hite. Lawmakers may want to drag the country into a new higher tax era. But they shouldn’t console themselves that there’s consensus for such a change, when there may not be.

(Amity Shlaes, senior fellow in economic history at the Council on Foreign Relations, is a Bloomberg News columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.)