links for 2011-07-04

  • "We need to recognize the deep flaws in this vision of our present and our past. A reading of the Declaration of Independence makes clear that our forebears were not revolting against taxes as such — and most certainly not against government as such.
    In the long list of 'abuses and usurpations' the Declaration documents, taxes don’t come up until the 17th item, and that item is neither a complaint about tax rates nor an objection to the idea of taxation. Our Founders remonstrated against the British crown 'for imposing taxes on us without our consent.' They were concerned about 'consent,' i.e. popular rule, not taxes."
    "Note that the signers wanted to pass laws, not repeal them, and they began by speaking of 'the public good,' not about individuals or 'the private sector.' They knew that it takes public action — including effective and responsive government — to secure 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.'"