Mitt Romney

Poll: 76% of the People are Part of the 53% Who Are Supporting the 47%

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In the ongoing coverage of Mitt Romney's "47 percent" comment, CNBC has inadvertently turned up an interesting point: More than three-fourths of the business and finance site's readers agree with the Republican presidential candidates disrespectful description of Americans who pay effectively no income taxes:

And if you don't agree with Romney's statement, just wait five minutes.

As noted, the poll is not scientific, but it does strengthen my hope that there might be a more critical popular brouhaha coming about makers, takers and (the largest class of all) maker/takers. I don't believe all of those 28,000 CNBC readers are in fact not getting anything from Uncle Sam, in part because it's so hard not to receive public largesse in some form or another, and also because Medicare and Social Security ensure that eventually nearly everybody will end up on the public tit. In time, President Obama's supporters will hit back with lists of all the "benefits" we didn't realize we were getting from the federal government, but this too helps move the argument along. As our $16 trillion national debt shows, we can't go on like this. 

I'm also encouraged to see Romney's campaign, which initially seemed to be running away from these comments, starting to realize that broadening the tax base and shrinking the beneficiary base is an argument worth making. From CNBC: 

Romney's campaign said the Republican is concerned about Americans who are poor and unemployed.

"Mitt Romney wants to help all Americans struggling in the Obama economy," Gail Gitcho, Romney's campaign communications director, said in a statement issued in response to a request for comment… 

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus jumped to Romney's defense. 

"I think that we are entering into a dependency society in this country, that if we don't break that up, I think that's going to be very hard for us to compete in the world," he told CNN. "I don't think the candidate's off message at all."

[Brush with Greatness: Garrett Quinn and I ran into Priebus at a Fuddruckers in an unfashionable part of Alexandria, Virginia the other day, and if nothing else it speaks well of the RNC chief that he gets his lovely family out of the District of Columbia on weekends.] 

Yesterday, Romney told Fox, "We believe in free people and free enterprise; not redistribution." Romney's spineless running mate Paul Ryan called the comments "obviously inarticulate" in an interview with KRNV-TV in Reno, Nevada. "The point we're trying to make is, under the Obama economy, government dependency is up and economic stagnation is up," said Ryan. 

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  1. To me ultimately the problem with Romney’s statement is that he focused on the wrong number.

    The problem isn’t that people who aren’t paying any income tax. You can have a solid middle-class lifestyle, receive no public assistance at all, and pay no income tax. All you need is two kids and a mortgage.

    The number he should focus on is the number of people receiving direct assistance from the government. He refrained from phrasing it that way, I assume, because doing so immediately points the finger at the elderly, and he’s afraid to do that.

    But if the larger point is that as the number of voters who are “takers” increases, it becomes harder to fight big government, then you might want to focus on people who are, you know, actually taking. “Having $0 tax income tax liability” =/ “Taker”.

    1. The biggest issue is that people get goodies voted away from others, but the tax burden is a legitimate issue. Taxation in this country is hardly equitable in, well, any way.

    2. “Having $0 tax income tax liability” =/ “Taker”

      Exactly.

      In addition to your scenario there are a number of business owners that have lost money in one or more years of Obama’s recession which translates into no income tax liability.

      There’s also any number of young people with minimal income that are also not takers.

      1. But those people probably don’t think Romney meant them. The business guys know that they are, over their lifetimes, more than net contributors, and the young expect to be making money (and paying taxes) at some point, too.

        1. Sure, I think that most seniors don’t think he’s talking a about them either because of all the taxes that they paid before retirement.

          1. Exactly. And a good number of them take substantial tax hits as retirees, too.

            It’s one of the big problems with ending entitlements, the fact that people were taxed their entire lives in express part for retirement benefits. Yes, that’s smoke and mirrors, but it’s still the stated purpose for part of the tax burden.

            I’m all for privatizing SS altogether, but I do think it would be difficult just to turn it off. Which is why the problem needs to be addressed now, not when there is no possible solution.

    3. The problem isn’t that people who aren’t paying any income tax. You can have a solid middle-class lifestyle, receive no public assistance at all, and pay no income tax. All you need is two kids and a mortgage.

      In terms of a broadened base, how is that not a problem, exactly?

      1. That’s a revenue problem and possibly a fairness problem, but it’s not a dependency problem.

        If the problem is that people dependent on government will reliably vote for big government, then we should focus on the people dependent on government. Not paying income tax is not the same as requiring a government check to survive.

        1. I don’t think the problem is necessarily just those dependent on government, though. Your hypothetical two kids ? a mortgage guy is still a net taker even though he’s not dependent.

          1. Not hypothetical. It’s me. True story. (Only it’s four kids with two in college.)

            1. I’m a taker, mutherfuckers. True story.

              1. *shrug*, I am probably on net a taker as well.

                But that “probably” gives me enough wiggle room to say that Mitt isn’t talking about me either.

                1. Well, we paid enough back when we were a double income family to give us a cushion now, I believe. And there’s also the sizable charitable deductions — do those count as giving or taking?

                  1. Apparently as ‘giving’, by the logic of the IRS and Congress.

                2. *shrug*, I am probably on net a taker as well.

                  Oh so you admit that you didn’t build dat, eh comrade?

                  I’m not a taker because I don’t want 95% of the shit that Uncle Sam ‘gives’ me.

                  1. So taking a mortgage deduction to avoid taxes on income that the federal government had no right to in the first place makes one a taker? That’s a strange position for a libertarian to take.

        2. It is not quite the same thing but it is close. If we are going to have an army, for example, then everyone should chip in something. As it is a family of 4 in Peoria making $47,000/year may well be contributing nothing to that core government function, so that is “taking” in a way. The fact that so many citizens who are eligible to vote are asked to contribute nothing to general government functions (as opposed to pension plans from which they will ultimately receive direct cash benefits) is a real problem.

        3. Not paying income tax is not the same as requiring a government check to survive.

          Yep, and a lot of those people offered the choice of higher taxes for more benefits will say fuck the ‘benefits’.

    4. “The number he should focus on is the number of people receiving direct assistance from the government. He refrained from phrasing it that way, I assume, because doing so immediately points the finger at the elderly, and he’s afraid to do that.”

      I agree the “47% pay no taxes” line didn’t really make sense, but this wasn’t a policy speech, it was meant for a specific purpose: campaign contributions

      His statement attempting to clarify the point:

      “‘I’m not going to get votes from Americans who believe government’s job is to redistribute wealth,’ he said, adding that was something Obama believes in. ‘I know there’s a divide in the country about that view. I know some believe government should take from some to give to the others. … I think that’s an entirely foreign concept.'”

      http://www2.ohio-votes.com/new…..r-1175758/

    5. I think you can moderate the statements to only include people physically and mentally capable of work (which might include recent retirees, but not nursing home residents, and also excludes kids and the truly disabled).

      You can also specify that it’s a lifetime consideration — a person can pay into the system for a while and draw needed assistance for a while before being a leech, and likewise a person can get assistance briefly and later pay it back, and still be ok in the final analysis. In fact, cases like that are the safety net operating as intended. People that pay premiums and then later make a legitimate claim aren’t stealing from the insurance pool, that’s the reason it exists.

      It’s when people have potential and squander it for their whole lives that there is a problem.

  2. Really, what’s the big deal? The GOP is at least nominally against the growth of the welfare state and this growing concept that some of us are obligated to support the rest of us.

    For libertarians, that “nominally” should be excised. Whether or not Romney’s numbers, tone, or whatever are wrong, the fact is, that’s exactly where we’re headed (and in many respects already have arrived)–to a society where the majority votes itself goodies supplied solely by a minority.

    1. Welfare State = SS/Medicaxx by federal dollar volume.

      1. One of the toubles with that, though, is the fact that SS and medicare were deliberately set up as “insurance”, not welfare.

        Most people, including the boomers and most of GenX grew up being told that they were sound actuarilly sound programs. The only people who warned their demographic problems were dismissed as either cranks or meanies.

      2. That said people who did see the problems did propose reforms over the years. And most of them were young in the seventies and eighties, which meant that most were boomers.

      3. A true Goldwater fan would decry more welfare spending.

  3. By federal dollar volume, the “moochers” are Romney’s base (the elderly). SS/Medicaxx dwarf the non age-specific federal programs.

    Food stamps are the largest of the non age-specific category at $75 billion and it can be argued the biggest beneficiary of that program are the Agri-Business companies.

    1. The elderly argument is missing data: what were the ‘contributions’ made to those systems over the lives of the current participants, and what’s the disproportionate payout now?

      1. Contributions are considerable and have the programs in the black as of today. But they are still #1 and #2 when it comes to “reform” in order to avoid future collapse.

        Cut out food stamps and TANF completely and that is $100 billion – or only 10% of our annual deficit.

        1. “Only” 10%?

          Regardless, my overall point is that in order to call the elderly “moochers”, we have to take an honest look at what they contributed in the past.

          1. Ask and you shall receive. Here’s the table from an article Nick Gillespie posted two months ago:

            https://reason.com/archives/201…..ers-vs-y/1

            I think it’s pretty clear that the elderly are moochers.

      2. And of course old people have other forms of income. Most old people have retirements or savings or something. And the government taxes the hell out of that income and taxes your social security if you make too much outside income. Lots of old people pay taxes.

        1. It’s actually shocking to me how much of a tax burden they do carry.

        2. my old man is over 70 and pays plenty of taxes. His tax prep time alone consumes many more hours than mine.

      3. what were the ‘contributions’ made to those systems over the lives of the current participants,

        Economically and fiscally irrelevant, of course. Those contributions were all spent as they were received.

        Psychologically, it supports the “feeling” of entitlement and the “feeling” that someone isn’t a taker even though, as of now, they actually are.

        1. Economically and fiscally irrelevant, of course.

          But not irrelevant to the zeitgeist of the conversation, unfortunately. And as I said, the first thing I would do to reform Social Security is to abolish Social Security numbers and those “account statements” that go out every year.

        2. One could equally argue that your 401(k) contributions were spent as well.

          The difference being, of course, that your personal savings or contributions were “spent” on marketable securities while your SS contributions were…well, by now, everyone knows what happened.

          1. Isaac, the difference between a marketable security issued by a functioning third party business and a non-marketable IOU issued to myself means that, no, you really can’t equate my 401(k) with the “trust funds”.

            1. I’d be willing to take my investment in federal land. Maybe some acreage in the Smokies?

    2. “Food stamps are the largest of the non age-specific category at $75 billion and it can be argued the biggest beneficiary of that program are the Agri-Business companies.”

      Sure. Those that produce the food get paid for what they do by the government so someone can consume it for free. That free shit is no benefit at all.

      1. Fine. But you can’t point to food stamps as the big problem among entitlements.

        1. “But you can’t point to food stamps as the big problem among entitlements.”

          Sure I can. All of the programs that spend money we don’t have are part of the “big” entitlement problem.

          1. No kidding. shrike’s position here seems to be that just because you have a mortgage that oustrips your income, that means you should still go out to eat every night.

            1. He moved to “are part of the problem”. Every federal program is part of the problem.

              1. I have to agree with PB here. Non-age based subsidies are not going to make a difference to our overall fiscal situation. Note that PB initially claimed that the elderly are the biggest moochers, dollar by dollar. He’s totally correct here. Hate to say it, guys, but you’re the ones engaged in moving the goalposts this time.

  4. This statement is a much bigger deal to the “inside baseball” people than it is to anybody else.

    The ramifications are going to be small. I know that for two reasons: (1) in the words of Nate Silver, “The news media often jumps the gun in declaring events to be “game changers” when they later prove to little effect on the numbers” and (2) no one thinks of themselves in this 47%. The elderly think that they paid their fair share earlier in their lives, for example.

    1. The last point is exactly dead-on. Most people think of themselves as the contributing minority.

      1. But may what ever god you worship have mercy on your soul if you cut off those who think they’re part of the contributing minority.

      2. That’s the whole problem with the whole makers/takers meme. There’s very few people who pay taxes and get nothing in return. There’s also very few people who get government support and contribute nothing in return. The meme is really more about dividing society up into largely arbitrary classes solely so you can feel superior to the people around you. Mitt Romney might as well spend his time talking about Star-bellied Sneetches.

    2. Probably some people do consider themselves in the 47%. And there is probably no way in hell they are voting for Romney, just like he said.

  5. I’m also encouraged to see Romney’s campaign, which initially seemed to be running away from these comments, starting to realize that broadening the tax base and shrinking the beneficiary base is an argument worth making.

    Yeah, but you probably also liked Paul’s doomed, if educational, presidential campaign.

    1. broadening the tax base and shrinking the beneficiary base is an argument worth making.

      Indeed it is. Too bad Romney wasn’t making the argument. He was just hitting the old identity-politics drum.

      1. Meh. What a boring proposition. How about we shrink the tax base and the beneficiary base? Isn’t that preferable? Or are we now actually advocating tax hikes? Personally, I’m all for as many people not paying income taxes as possible. My ideal number for those not paying income taxes is 100%.

  6. “When President Obama addresses an elite roster of hipsters and multimillionaires, including hosts Beyonc? and Jay-Z, in New York tonight, he will do so next to a custom-designed tower of $800-per-bottle champagne that dominates the main room at Jay-Z’s 40/40 nightclub.”

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/n…..z26vLbueOI

    Cue the “bunch of champagne- and caviar-swilling rich pigs” comment

    1. Yet more evidence that money does not buy class.

      1. There’s a beautiful word in Russian (poshlust, pronounced pozh-low-st) that sadly has no English equivalent for the particular form of bad taste you get with people try to act upper class without the level of cultural refinment necessary to pull it off successfully.

  7. This poll shows the (probably unintended) genius of the statement. Romney made voting for Obama into admitting you are a leech. The number of people who think they pull their weight is way above the number of people who actually do. And of course the Democrats and the media took the bait perfectly and loudly proclaimed how they love the 47%.

    People vote for weird and shallow reasons sometime. The Democrats have gotten a lot of votes by making themselves the “tolerant and young” brand. There are millions people out there who vote Democrat for no other reason than doing so is a way to show the world how tolerant they are. Romney just made voting Republican a way to show the world how self reliant you are and what a contributor you are.

    He had no intention of doing it. But I think he may have blundered into something quite good.

    1. Yep – By mistake he might win this thing. There may still be enough ambition and work-ethic out there that less than half the voters don’t want to think of themselves as parasites.

    2. Romney made voting for Obama into admitting you are a leech.

      Of course, as a result of my natural contrariness, this makes me less likely to vote for Romney. Like I somehow need to buy his approval. Fuck him.

      1. But you were not going to vote for him anyway.

        1. Thus I am reduced to swearing at him in internet comment sections.

  8. This poll is actually problematic for liberty-minded individuals, because it seems to reveal that a vast majority of the populace doesn’t think it is a part of the problem.

    1. “More than three-fourths of the business and finance site’s readers”

      1. That could include military contractors and recipients of massive federal and state contracts, though.

        1. It could, but you said:
          “because it seems to reveal that a vast majority of the populace” and it’s not a poll of the populace.

          1. Sure, it is not scientific at all.

            But it did get 37,000 responses nevertheless.

            1. Or one really dedicated respondent.

    2. Yes and no. Yes a lot of people don’t realize they are part of the problem. But at least they realize there is a problem and don’t want to be a part of it even if they unknowingly are. That means we are not completely gone yet. In a place like Venezuela or Greece, the 76% would proudly say they are on the government dole and want more of it.

      1. I do like the optimism.

        1. If you can call “at least we are not Greece or Venezuela yet” optimism.

          1. What about all of those people who do realize the problem and work to do their best within it? People like myself, who understand that the federal government has no business being involved in handing out money for research, yet had their PhD paid for by federal fellowships?

            This is actually a question I struggle with. Rationally, I should probably take while the taking’s good before the whole damned thing implodes. On a guttural level, it sickens me.

          2. I think Greece has a better GDP to debt ratio then ours…

            And I think they actually did cut spending, not enough, while the US still calls the slowing of spending a cut.

            Actually that is probably not true. The US calls not accelerating spending during a recession a cut.

      2. Everybody loves a winner.

  9. Romney’s spineless running mate Paul Ryan called the comments “obviously inarticulate”

    What an idiot, he missed a perfect opportunity to say “obviously ill defined and I know a little something about definition.” Then, naturally, the shirt comes off in rags, ladies and lesser men faint, the media compares him to Tim Tebow and we’re on to the next scandal.

    Do I have to think of everything, for crying out loud?

    1. If you want to be in charge of thinking about Paul Ryan taking his shirt off, I think we can all agree tolleave you to that.

      1. I made sure to include “lesser men” in my description for a reason.

    2. What an idiot

      Not really. It is becoming pretty clear Paul Ryan was put on the ticket (at least partially) for the Midwest vote. Most notably his home state.

      His comments seem consistent with trying to keep that poll bump.

  10. “It makes him hated above all things, as I have said, to be rapacious, and to be a violator of the property and women of his subjects, from both of which he must abstain. And when neither their property nor honour is touched, the majority of men live content, and he has only to contend with the ambition of a few, whom he can curb with ease in many ways. It makes him contemptible to be considered fickle, frivolous, effeminate, mean-spirited, irresolute, from all of which a prince should guard himself as from a rock.”
    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Machiavelli

  11. …it does strengthen my hope that there might be a more critical popular brouhaha coming about makers, takers and (the largest class of all) maker/takers.

    I hoped the same thing about the class of Master Blasters but that talk never came to Bartertown until it was already too late.

    1. I remember you were as happy as a pig in shit.

  12. http://news.nationalpost.com/2…..s-to-18th/

    Canada rises to Top Five in world economic freedom ranking as U.S. plummets to 18th

    I think the Canuckistanis owe America a big favor for Obama winning and all of the liberals not moving to Canada.

    1. Fix their guns laws and Canada would get a flood of conservatives and libertarians.

      1. I know. I love Canada. I would move there.

        1. I like France myself.

          No, really!

          1. France is fucking awesome. Who wouldn’t want to have a farm in the French countryside or a nice flat on the Left Bank?

            Why do socialists always want to fuck up the nice places?

            1. they’ve already fucked up the shitty ones?

              1. No one wants to live in shitty places – especially socialists.

            2. When socialists fuck up shitty places the people will all leave.

              They need to focus on nice places because it gives people incentive to grit their teeth and put up with their shit.

              California is nicer than Detroit, so people are more willing to deal with statist BS to be there.

              The healthier the host, the more parasites it can tolerate.

              1. What Fluffy said. One of the more annoying things that Joe and MNG would do is point to how much better socialists states like New York and California were than states like Mississippi or South Dakota never mentioning the innate advantages in historic wealth and geography those states have. No, they always pretend California is nice because it is so socialist, not because it has more natural resources than most countries twice its size and a climate that makes a good portion of it close to paradise.

                1. You know, it occurred to me last night that Mississippi is like ~40% black.

                  Just something to keep in mind next time some liberal dumps on the South.

            3. I would probably murder someone for that flat on the Left Bank. The Latin Quarter is, to put it artfully, simply fucking sweet.

            4. All the Germans marching back and forth would get old though.

    2. Canada – with their single-payer healthcare and rigid banking regulations.

      Good one!

      1. Number five. And you can always come back to the US for your healthcare, which is what many of them do, you lying little retarded monkey.

        1. Canadians still pay for single-payer via taxes.

          Freedom Indexes must like single-payer given the makeup of the top spots.

          1. It is not that they “like” them so much as the weight is distributed evenly among many factors.

      2. He got so mad that his monocle dropped into his champagne.

    3. “Canada really started moving up in economic freedom under a prime minister that was supposedly from the left side ? and the United States started moving down in economic freedom under someone who was supposedly from the right wing, Republican party,” said Mr. McMahon, emphasizing the ideological irony.

      Good one again!

  13. 76% of the People are Part of the 53% Who Are Supporting the 47%

    From the way I’m reading the poll question, it doesn’t say that. You could realize that you’re in the 47% and still agree with Romney’s statement, couldn’t you?

    1. Stop me before I sin again!

      1. Stop me before I sin again!

        Most people like to eat. If the only way to eat is for the government to feed you one can hardly call you a sinner for not starving.

    2. Yes. Just because you are on welfare or work for the government doesn’t mean you would not prefer to be somewhere else.

    3. 87% of people polled consider themselves above the median.

      1. Bingo! You summarized why this statement is not a problem for Romney in one well-crafted sentence.

      2. And every single one is an above average driver.

        1. I know I am a below average driver. That is why I drive more carefully then everyone else.

  14. This tells me that 76% of people that vote in CNBC polls are voting for Romney.

    1. And 22% are voting for Obama

    2. CNBC is the evil semi-pro business wing of NBC.

  15. Romney’s spineless running mate Paul Ryan

    Ahaaaa!

    This proves Cavanaugh plans to vote for Obama.

    1. I sure hope no one remotely libertarian votes for Obama. He’s godawful. A Johnson vote is great–I intend to vote that way myself–but I can understand a Romney vote to the extent that he’s not Obama, possibly the worst president since Hitler.

      1. But he’s black (partially)!

      2. In my case it’s simple. I want to vote for Gary Johnson. Romney is fighting tooth and nail to deny me that oppurtunity in PA. If Romney is successful in getting GJ off the ballot, I’m not going to reward Romney by voting for him.

        And on a more personal note, Obama may be a terrible president, but he just doesn’t piss me off the way Romney does.

        1. I’m voting for Johnson and don’t care for Romney, but Romney hasn’t doubled down on government the way Obama has. Romney is unlikely to be a lot better than Obama, but I’d be surprised if he were as bad or worse. That’s not a high standard, but Obama has proven his ineptitude.

        2. That doesn’t mean you have to vote for Obama.

          1. I think in the ’08 election, I ended up voting something like Constitution Party. Just couldn’t reward the L’s with my vote after picking Barr.

            I see Stormy’s point though, and think Romney’s revealing a cruel, petty nature by being complicit in the marginalizing of both Paul and Johnson. All that said, though, I still can’t see Romney’s actions being worse than the guy’s deeds I wrote below.

  16. possibly the worst president since Hitler

    Woodrow Wilson.

    1. I’m at LBJ. For me, O’d need to start a conflict that killed 100k Americans, among other things, before he gets to Wilson-bad.

      In 2008, I joked with people that “Barack Obama” was Bantu for “Jimmy Carter,” but I never thought he’d actually be worse than Carter. As far as Nixon goes, Nixon never tried to have Ellsberg killed, or if he did, he hid it very well. This guy’s proud of killing Americans without trial. Nevermind gunrunning into Mexico, turning graft into a virtue: Jesus H. Christ on a meteor of vengeance, what a sack of pestilence this man is.

      1. Nixon famously said during his interviews with Frost:

        “Well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.”

        Obama’s justification for bombing Libya w.o congressional approval?

        It’s not hostilities.

        compare.

        Nixon’s is arrogant as fuck, but Obama’s is kafkaesque. Or simply a lie.

        Nixon went to China. Obama goes to Martha’s Vineyard.

        Nixon was sweaty and had jowls.

        Barack has… Michelle

  17. CNBC is the evil semi-pro business wing of NBC.

    Or, as I like to say, “The MSNBC Business Channel.’

  18. but Obama has proven his ineptitude.

    Exactly.

    Cleansing firing is what is needed.

      1. But that’s not fair! Obama was given a country full of poor, stupid people! There’s no way he could teach, I mean lead, them!

        1. hmm

          well, according to the Peter Principle, people tend to rise to their level of incompetence. Obama, with his level of ineptitude, clearly has not reached that pinnacle yet.

          His suckitude overfloweth, well beyond the limits of the mere ruler of the free world(tm – under review for false advertising)

          So, what next? Head of the illuminati? King of the World?

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

  19. This is a longstanding serious disagreement as to factual judgment between people as to how to achieve liberty. On the one hand are Murray Rothbard, Justin Raimondo, and others who say a class analysis is needed, identifying those who benefit at the expense of others by redistribution and other political interventions. These people say we’re wasting our breath on the beneficiaries, and should arouse the class consciousness of the losers, because it’s really the beneficiaries who maintain the regime and have an interest in doing so, while the losers have an interest in overthrowing it, it’s just that they don’t realize what’s going on.

    On the other side are David Friedman, Robert LeFevre, and a great many others, who agree with Walt Kelly that we have met the enemy, and he is us. They say the overlap between the takers and the taken-froms is so overwhelming, and the dead weight losses so great, that there aren’t enough net beneficiaries to speak of. The problem then is not of oppression of one class by another, but of bad memes that have infected society and impoverished us all, so we need to educate everyone.

    1. I think the latter group are closer to the truth than the former group of analysts.

      Take me for example. I’m broke. I’m on Medicaid and food “stamps”, will take refundable tax credits, and will even cheat as necessary to maximize these benefits. I worked for the 2010 US census, and work as an elections inspector–admittedly necessary gov’t functions in a democracy, but they would be less crucial in a regime where elections weren’t so consequential. Yet I’m as libertarian as they come.

      I am very well assured that in a significantly freer society, I would be richer and happier without these benefits. Licensing laws and other “controls” have cost me income and increased my expenses; taxes and regulations have decreased the capital available to put me to work.

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