U.S. Treasury: Taxpayers Can Stop Funding the War

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The 3 percent federal phone tax, originally imposed to fund the Spanish-American War, is finally dead. That's just a century after the war ended and three years after a federal court ordered the government to stop collecting. I wrote about attempts to kill the tax in Reason's April issue.

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  1. That’s just a century after the war ended

    Did we win?

  2. Now, if we can just get rid of the Tire Weight Tax, and stop worrying about rationing rubber for the boys Over There!

  3. So what has the filth in DC been doing with the money since the war ended, and since the court ordered the government to stop collecting the tax?

  4. Look, I may be a libertarian most of the time, but I’m willing to do whatever it takes to end Spanish imperialism in the Western Hemisphere.

    Remember the Maine!

  5. Leave it to the Democrats to let the Spaniards back into the pantry!

  6. Will you celebrate when the emboldened Spaniards decide to invade us???

    You cannot be too careful on national defense…

  7. Remember the Maine!

    Yes, never forget that famous saying.

    “As the Maine goes, so goes the nation.”

  8. “Leave it to the Democrats to let the Spaniards back into the pantry!

    Comment by: C Burns at May 26, 2006 12:37 PM”

    awesome!

    let this be a word of warning to those who are excited about the current administration’s zeal for FP adventures, steel tariffs, etc.

    alternatively titled:

    there are just so many times one can say “toldja so”.

    or something like that.

  9. Oh, it’s all a big joke to you shrinking violet libertarians, but you won’t keep laughing when everyone in Miami is speaking Spanish!

    I’ve got a bully plan for defeating the Spanish hordes. Enter into an alliance with the Tsar and seize the Sandwich Islands!!

  10. “As the Maine goes, so goes the nation.”

    I think the saying is, “What’s good for the Maine is good for the country.” Or maybe it’s “Don’t tread on the Maine.” Or “Four score and seven Maines ago …”
    Or maybe it’s “I’d walk a mile for a Maine.”

  11. If we lose our resolve, the Spaniards will put Jennifer in a sombrero!

  12. Stevo – are you posting as “thoreau” right now?

    and, what, she’s gonna have to work at a Tapas bar?

    sorry. Opus and Portnoy will take care of that.

    hrumph.

  13. Actually, Jamie, it’s a play on the old saying, “As Maine goes, so goes the nation.”[the state, not the battleship]

    It referred to the days when Maine held it’s elections in August(?) while the rest of the country held theirs in November (before Congress mandated a uniform national election day). It was believed that the national results would follow Maine’s.

    I’m also sorry it’s not original, but I forget what humorist I should credit.

  14. Next up, Pennsylvania needs to repeal the tax on beer and wine that was imposed to rebuild after the Johnstown flood seventy years ago.

  15. thoreau, you fool, that’s werewolves! I mean, Mexicans!

  16. didn’t the Maine sink in the Gulf of Tonkin?

    (i keed. i keed. it’s just the MO of the US)

  17. You know, VM, you’re right. Most of our major wars started with someone sinking one of our ships. I wonder why we’re so hung up on ships? Maybe this is why we haven’t invaded Iran, because they haven’t sunk any ships yet. Remember, the Iraqis sunk the U.S.S. Stark.

  18. PL:
    So we invaded what 15 years later? Kind of a delayed reaction there. With reflexes that quick we would do well to stay out of all wars. 🙂

  19. Great,

    This might imply that in only another 50 years, NYC might remove the temporary “Rent Control” that was necessary in the post WW-II period.

  20. zero,

    Scoff if you will, but I believe that there always is, nay, must be a ship sunk before we go to war. We may bide our time to ensure total destruction of our enemies, but war we shall make.

  21. PL: but the Stark wasn’t sunk. only hit.

    funny – had that happened in 2002, say, we’d sure wonder.

    hmmmm.

    /pours drink.

  22. VM, sunk, almost split in half, same difference.

    When on war you must now vote,
    Be sure first, that
    They’ve sunk a boat.

  23. Too bad the tax will soon be replaced with a “NSA security fee” to pay for the wiretaps.

  24. Laugh at the Spanish-American War if you want to, but here’s a fact about it you probably don’t know: Manila used to be spelled with *two* l’s. Then Admiral Dewey came along and knocked the “l” out of it…

  25. Excuse me, I meant the “National Telecommunications Patriotic Defense Refund Adjustment.”

  26. SmokingPenguin,

    Or the “Bolstering Enemy Nullification by Demanding Our Voice and Electronic Revenues” Act.

  27. ProL – Nice.

  28. “VM, sunk, almost split in half, same difference.

    When on war you must now vote,
    Be sure first, that
    They’ve sunk a boat.

    Comment by: Pro Libertate at May 26, 2006 01:55 PM”

    hokae. fair enough.

    (she did serve in the gulf again, too! she pulled a USS Nevada after pearl)
    🙂

    cheerio!

  29. VM,

    Sticking with the Lost Ships Equals War hypothesis, I’m trying to map up ship sinkings with each war. I figure some boat must’ve gotten blown up in Charleston Harbor to start the Civil War. Don’t know about the Mexican-American War. Maybe a canoe on the Rio Grande got destroyed?

    I think there’s a PhD thesis in this.

  30. PL:

    awesome!

    “Maybe a canoe on the Rio Grande got destroyed?”

    or: it was a US version of Henley on Todd! and our guys got Galipoli’ed!

    (http://www.henleyontodd.com.au/)

  31. Nice. Here’s one (kind of) for the War of 1812:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chesapeake_Leopard_Affair

    The ship wasn’t actually sunk, but some crew members were captured and forced to serve in the British Army.

  32. VM, I’ve run into a problem. What about the Boston Massacre? I’ve not been able to establish with any certainly the presence of a boat.

  33. “VM, I’ve run into a problem. What about the Boston Massacre? I’ve not been able to establish with any certainly the presence of a boat.

    Comment by: Pro Libertate at May 26, 2006 02:41 PM”
    🙂
    tea party!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    and then we could say that the rebels were playing “arc on mt ararat” at breeds (bunker) hill.

    we’re on to something.

    /pours a glass of the good stuff. spills it.

    d’oh.

  34. That’s enough for me! Screw the proof. Let’s call Fox and make a special–America’s Perverse Obsession with Ships.

    The good thing is that this will help the rest of the world better understand the enigma that is U.S. foreign policy. Why did we invade Iraq but not North Korea? North Korea didn’t sink any of our ships, apparently. At least, not since the war.

    It’s all about the ships.

  35. ProL & VM – the “ship rule” of foreign relations only applies if we already don’t like the country in question. The Australians had a a ship run into one of our destroyers back in ’69, and the Israelis bombed one of our ships in ’67 in the run-up to the Seven Day War.

  36. excellent! and Iraq was against Iran at the time of the Stark.

    it all does fit together.

    with that knowledge and Apteryx’s note about 1812, we’re on.

    For the record: all academic and financial credit goes to PL for this endeavor.

    I’d just settle for making some neat graphs and using SAS, Stata, and B34S in the statistical analysis phase.

    🙂

  37. VM, at least part of the vast wealth that will come from this discovery will go to a new Reason server. I swear it! What should the title of the academic paper be? Ship Fetish: The Hermeneutics of American Militaristic and Hegemonic Endeavors in the Geopolitical Setting? Or is that too simplistic?

    SmokingPenguin, those were accidents. We’re not unreasonable. Any country can make ONE mistake. That, or we’re going to go to war with those nations, too. Given that we’ve given money and weapons to Israel’s enemies in the past, well, one wonders about that. And the whole U.N. hates them, too. U.S. influence? Hmmm.

  38. Sunken Dreams: The Ontology of American Imperialism?

  39. If we lose our resolve, the Spaniards will put Jennifer in a sombrero!

    Mmmmmmmm will it be only a sombrero??

    DFD

  40. From what Jeff has said, Jennifer in a sombrero is unlikely. Jennifer dressed as an Orion Slave Girl with green paint and all. . .that’s another story.

  41. From what Jeff has said, Jennifer in a sombrero is unlikely. Jennifer dressed as an Orion Slave Girl with green paint and all. . .that’s another story.

  42. PL:

    how about “…Military-Industrial Hegemonic Endeavors in the Post Capitalistic Geopolitic Setting”

    but i like it. and this’ll urge our readers to get in touch with their textuality 🙂

    (Admiral – not bad, either!)

  43. VM, that’s probably better. Though I like the Admiral’s, too 🙂 But I worry that the title could be a form of textual harassment.

  44. To give proper credit, “As the Maine goes, so goes the nation” is from the book where I learned everything I know about American History: It All Started With Columbus by Richard Armour.

    Likewise I learned everything I know about Shakespeare from his Twisted tales from Shakespeare.

  45. OFFTOPIC

    Is there some knind of rule about multiple links in a single reply that went away here at HnR recently?

    Or did I never understand the linking rules?

  46. Dave, I think it’s the third link that blows it all up. That’s my impression anyway.

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