"Some human beings enjoy doing it. Shouldn't that be our principle?"

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Here's a bracing embrace (?!?) of individual freedom that should start the heart (?!?) of any patriot on a damp, chilly morning (where I'm calling from, at least), very soon after the idiotic anti-online gambling bill passed:

"If an adult in this country, with his or her own money, wants to engage in an activity that harms no one, how dare we prohibit it because it doesn't add to the GDP or it has no macroeconomic benefit. Are we all to take home calculators and, until we have satisfied the gentleman from Iowa that we are being socially useful, we abstain from recreational activities that we choose?… People have said, What is the value of gambling ? Here is the value. Some human beings enjoy doing it. Shouldn't that be our principle? If individuals like doing something and they harm no one, we will allow them to do it, even if other people disapprove of what they do."

Quick quiz: Who said that (it's from July 11)?

Hint number one: It's a member of Congress.

Hint number two: It's a Democrat.

Hint number three: It was posted at a conservative website.

The answer: It's Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) talking back to Rep. Jim Leach, one of the main forces behind the prohibtionist anti-gambling legislation that passed last week.

Via Andrew Stuttaford at National Review (of all places), via Glenn Greenwald's Unclaimed Territory, via Jason Soneshein's Leave Us Alone!: Somewhere Between Liberal and Libertarian.

NEXT: Pre-Election Bipartisanship

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  1. Ha! I guessed right.

    It just seems like the sort of thing he’d say.

  2. Would it help Kinky if Barney were to campaign for him down in Texas?

  3. “What is the value of gambling? Here is the value. Some human beings enjoy doing it.”
    Fucking A. What is the value of going to a picnic or a NASCAR race? You can take $100 to a craps table and make $6 – $12 bets all night and have the time of your life, if it’s a table full of happy drunks. You’ll probably end up $100 poorer, OTOH you might win a few bucks. Money won is twice as sweet as money earned.

  4. “with his or her own money”??? I didn’t think Barney Frank believed there was such a thing.
    Or maybe he means the 2/3 or so one has left of
    his earnings after Barney and the 534 other bozos
    send men with guns to pluck it some out of our pockets.

  5. See what I mean about Libertarians yelling “taxation is theft!”?

    Creech, if having no taxes taken is so important to you, please move to a country that doesn’t have them. Like Somalia. Or Iraq. But then don’t complain about the lack of services, or if a warlord decides you need to pay “protection” to him.

    Face it, everyone pays taxes. Either it’s taxes to an organized government, or it’s protection to the Mafia. Pick your choice.

  6. Creech: a member of Congress says something sensible for a change and you start screaming to change the subject? Here’s a hint: if you punish good behavior, congressmen will behave badly.

    Representative Leach’s marching orders from his constituency are pretty clear. Iowa is degenerate gambler’s paradise with dog tracks, lottos, and every other grift imaginable. They ain’t gonna be muscled out by no offshore rackets, see, and the Caymans Outfit better get the message or they’ll be sleeping with the fishes.

  7. Grumpy realist, are you saying we should bend over and take it up the ass without even complaining about it? When we stop complaining about paying too much, the taxman will start believing he’s not taking enough. I don’t know what the wiseguys are currently paying to the Mob Boss, but I’ll bet it’s less than what us honest working suckers pay to the IRS. This country is overdue for a tax revolt.

    You never answered my question from the other thread; do you think we’re over taxed?

  8. The 535 bozos in Congress do little to protect me, unless you count strip searching grandmas at the airport, looking for bottles of water.

    My police and fire are provided at the local level. Most of my services are too, such as the local streets and buses I take to get to work.

  9. Oy! I think I’ve found the cranky thread.

  10. “My police and fire are provided at the local level. Most of my services are too, such as the local streets and buses I take to get to work.”
    And most of your taxes are paid at a local level. What’s the problem here? I agree, you should try a place with no taxes for awhile. Perhaps the climate will suit you.

  11. And most of your taxes are paid at a local level.

    Bullshit. My homeowners tax is roughly 2% of the value of the house, I pay a gasoline tax for road work, I pay no sales tax, I pay no state tax, I pay 22% of my income to the bozos in DC who then turn around and fund a War on Terrorism, a War on Drugs and a War on Offshore Gambling. How is 22% of my income “local”?

  12. “Iowa is a degenerate gambler’s paradise with dog tracks, lottos, and every other grift imaginable. They ain’t gonna be muscled out by no off shore rackets…” Yep, follow the money.

    Frist and Leach and the other Congressional crumbs who voted for this legislation justify it by making speechs about gambling being immoral and destroying families. Just don’t forget to pay the taxes on your legal gambling winnings. It’s enough to make you do your gambling the old fashioned way, with the mob. You still pay the 10% vig, but that’s better than coughing up 30% to the state. Plus, you get the pleasure of “cheating” the IRS.

  13. Grumps, I don’t know (or care about) what libertarians think, but when I say “tax is theft,” I’m talking about the threatening nature of how the federal income tax is collected. The fact is, you are threatened at gunpoint, period. If not, would you pay?

    Of course taxation is inevitable, but my concern isn’t that there is a tax, it is how invasive the collection of that tax is. A consumption tax would provide revenue, but would be voluntary (in theory anyway). Nobody would be able to come to your door and take you to jail for not consuming enough to pay your “fair share” of taxes. The consumption tax has problems, yes, but so does our current system.

    Yeah, I think tax is theft. If you don?t, I?m interested in hearing why.

  14. I’d vote for Barney Frank for president.

  15. Way to poison the well, Creech.

    dumbass.

  16. Either it’s taxes to an organized government, or it’s protection to the Mafia. Pick your choice.

    Or in the case of these here modern Unified States of ‘Murrica, it’s BOTH!!!

  17. Thanks for the link, Mr. Gillespie!

  18. You know, you can complain about Barney all you want, but the Freedom Dems put him at 8th on their list of congressmen… 97.5% Social, 30% Economic. 30% Economic isn’t stellar, but it’s higher than most of the republicans in the house, including Boehner. There aren’t that many true economic conservatives left in the GOP, so you take what you can get.

  19. Barney Frank is my favorite member of congress by far.

  20. This is the second “Guess who said this? Barney Frank, of all people!” post I’ve seen on Hit and Run. The first had to do with his berating conservatives for betraying their small gov’t philosophy, name-dropping Hayek, etc. Being originally from his district, I’m all swelled up with pride.

    And I like how a post which is about a liberal Democrat saying something in a libertarian vein is almost immediately followed by a post saying, in effect, “Oh, yeah? Well he’s still a liberal Democrat, on account of he wants to tax me!” That’s sort of the whole point, isn’t it? If he was a libertarian talking like a libertarian, that wouldn’t have been very blogworthy, no?

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