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Sic Semper Tyrannis!

I just finished paying our taxes.  It never fails to amaze me how much our “fair share” comes to every year.  Unsurprisingly, my politics take a decided anti-tax, small government turn (OK, it’s not that big a turn) after I fill out those forms.

But, DaddyBear, the government needs that money to pay for the things it provides to you!

No, it doesn’t.  The only things the government provides to me that I really care about are national defense and a teeny pinch of public safety (some law enforcement, air traffic control, that sort of thing).  The rest is, in my humble taxpayer’s opinion, cruft that has glommed onto the taxpayer’s pocketbook over the years.

  • Public Schools – Close ’em.  Reopen as private schools.  Don’t want to pay for your kids to be educated?  Then do it yourself and quit asking the rest of us to do it for you.  And don’t give me that “I pay for schools because I don’t want stupid people” crap.  Public schools don’t prevent people from being stupid.  Heck, we’re lucky if they prevent people from just being ignorant.  Stupidity is both hereditary and learned behavior, and it cannot be cured.  Quit wasting time and money trying to educate the portion of the school-age population that doesn’t care.
  • Law Enforcement – You know, I’ll take a nuanced approach here.  Sheriffs departments and federal marshals can stay. Maybe a few other specialists can as well, but not many, and on a case by case basis. Citizens become responsible for their own security again.  Take the money you save in not paying taxes for police and get yourself the tools and training you want to use to take care of yourself and your family.
  • Fire and EMS – Privatize them.  Either insure yourself against their use or just pay a fee to use their services.  Don’t want to pay the monthly fee to have fire coverage on your house?  Then I suggest JiffyPop and StayPuft marshmallows.  It also might cut down on frequent flyers in EMS if it hurt your pocketbook to keep calling Ambulance Driver over to take care of your boo-boo.
  • Roads – Privatize them or just quit worrying about it.  Seriously, a 4×4 with knobby tires would be cheaper than this.
  • Courts – Since we got rid of the police, the amount of criminal proceedings should go way down, so we can eliminate most courts, judges, and prosecutors.  Of course, we’ll still need courts for civil proceedings.  We do love to sue each other, don’t we?
  • Welfare – I don’t think my position on so-called “entitlement programs” is much of a secret.  Get rid of unearned benefits for those who are capable of finding work.  The world needs ditch diggers and sewer scrubbers, and I’m tired of paying child support for kids I didn’t make.  Now, ask me politely for charity, and you might just be surprised.  It’s the whole “Pay this or we shoot you and your dog” aspect that gets under my craw.
  • Prisons – I’m a big fan of Judge Roy Bean, myself.  Of course, if someone really just needs a time out from society to think about what he’s done, then I suggest tent camps, leg chains, and work crews, in either Arizona or North Dakota, take your pick.  Concrete walls and roofs are for law-abiding citizens, not convicts.
  • Finally, I reserve the right to condemn and push for the elimination of anything that seems superfluous.  This is my fantasy, so I get to make the rules and change them as I see fit.

I’m going to go grumble over a tumbler full of something strong and smoky.  I hope my mood gets better as we get further and further away from April 15.

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  1. I did mine in February. Already bought a gun with the return too.

  2. Move tac day to just before election day, and incumbency would drop to single digits. Which is why it will never happen.

  3. Concur with all… Dammit… When I have to pay $600 to try to SAVE money, that gets my attention… At least I more or less broke even this year.

  4. Murphy's Law

     /  April 14, 2015

    How about a 100% tax on money paid to pompous Hollywood “celebrities”, rappers and anyone named Kardashian? I also think that we should get rid of payroll deduction and make sure that just before election day, every taxpayer gets an actual bill for their yearly taxes. Make them write that check and send it in and then we’ll see what kind of a government that they vote for.

    Oh–and no voting if you don’t actually work or pay taxes. That’ll keep the politicians from pandering to the “free cheese” crowd.

  5. I can agree with everything but Fire and EMS.

    1) EMS equipment is shockingly expensive. Just as one example, a single EMS cardiac monitor/defibrillator can cost $15k – $20k or so, more than many new cars, and an ambulance can run $150k – $200k.

    2) EMS training is not expensive in comparison, but does require a significant outlay of time to obtain and maintain.

    With those two factors alone, it’s easy to see that totally privatized EMS would leave a massive part of the nation – mainly rural areas and smaller towns – without any EMS at all. The call volume simply would not justify the costs. Staffing alone for a single ambulance can run up to $1 million a year.

    Volunteer systems may work, but even with current local government funding the time commitment for adequate training and staffing means that many volunteer agencies are struggling, or even collapsing altogether.

    1) Fire service has many of the same funding and time commitment issues that EMS does – the equipment is very specialized, and seriously expensive.

    2) In rural, and even suburban areas, you might be able to get away with the “Don’t want to pay the monthly fee to have fire coverage on your house? Then I suggest JiffyPop and StayPuft marshmallows.” model, but not all fires start with – or are even confined to – homes. A natural brush/grass/forest fire can devastate entire communities. In those conditions, or in tight, urban areas, leaving a home to burn because someone didn’t want to or couldn’t afford to pay the insurance could allow the fire to grow beyond the point it could be controlled – and now your paying customers are SOL because you didn’t stop it early.

    tl;dr – Because of both cost vs. income factors, and the community-wide effects, I think Fire and EMS are legitimate functions of local government that can only be successfully privatized under certain conditions.

  6. I would be happy if the government just spent money on the times you mentioned, but sadly, they spend money on extraneous and entitlements and not the core services.

  7. Steve

     /  April 15, 2015

    You said it RD…How much money is spent on stooopid stuff like this (I know it happened in 2009 but the stupidity still lingers) http://thetruthwins.com/archives/26-million-tax-dollars-spent-to-train-chinese-prostitutes-to-drink-responsibly-on-the-job

  8. Jake,

    In Anchorage, we have “Fire Service Areas” you pay to be a part of, and if you don’t want to pay, you don’t… at your own risk.

    The screaming from a homeowner was epic and all over the news when one of the non-payers had a home fire. The fire department showed up, watered everything near the house to ensure it didn’t turn into a forest fire, and made no attempt to save the structure.

    The response from all the local taxpayers who read the news article (the reporters were doing their best to tell us how terrible it was that the non-payer didn’t get covered, too), was “If he wanted it, he should have paid for it. Fire and EMS aren’t free.” Although “Huh. We should have credit card machines on the fire trucks to make him pay up front for skipping the fee all these years before tackling the structure” was a pretty close second.

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