Marijuana

Pelosi: Pot Federalism, Si; Gun Federalism, No

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The Denver Post

Back in 2010, when she was speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) took no position on Proposition 19, the marijuana legalization initiative that California voters rejected that fall. But Pelosi, now the House minority leader, is taking a stand against federal interference with implementation of the marijuana legalization initiatives that voters in Colorado and Washington approved last November. In a recent interview with The Denver Post, Pelosi said the feds should facilitate the new regulatory regime rather than trying to undermine it:

Regarding the states that have medical marijuana or recreational marijuana as the law of their states, I think that has to be respected. I think [the government should] tax and regulate. And in order to do that, there has to be a level of respect for the fact that if you are going to have recreational marijuana, somebody is in business to do that and they have to have tax treatment in order for them to function as a business. So how the state of Colorado interacts with the federal government on the taxation issues is something they have to work out, but I think they should….

The state [Colorado] has spoken. The law has been passed. There are issues with taxation and regulation, and we need to get on with it.

The taxation issue to which Pelosi refers is a federal rule that bars marijuana growers and sellers from deducting their business expenses when they file their income tax returns, which is a serious (though not insurmountable) financial barrier for cannabis entrepreneurs. Pelosi's willingness to let states go their own way on receational marijuana is consistent with her criticism of raids on medical marijuana dispensaries. But there are limits to her embrace of federalism. In the same Denver Post interview, for instance, she advocates a federal ban on "assault magazines," which presumably would be enforced even in states that want to let people buy ammunition feeding devices that hold more than 10 rounds.

Pelosi notes that some Republicans agree the federal government should not try to override the will of voters in Colorado and Washington. In the July 2012 issue of Reason, I argued that progressives and conservatives should unite against an overweening federal government.

[Thanks to Allen St. Pierre for the tip.]

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    1. Actually, Pelosi’s right on this one. Pot laws should be left to the states. Gun control laws, prohibited by the 2nd Amendment, should not be allowed to stand in any state.

  1. Regarding the states that have medical marijuana or recreational marijuana as the law of their states, I think that has to be respected.

    Surely even this simpleton recognizes that her position isn’t about respecting state choices, it’s about respecting state choices with which she agrees. She can’t admit it, but she has to see it, right? RIght?

    1. She sees it and knows it. Unfortunately, the people who support her don’t see it or care about intellectual consistency. That’s why she gets away with it.

      1. and their inability and/or refusal to see it is something she and other statists depend on. It is their oxygen.

  2. Good lord but the world will be a better, happier, and saner place when this cunt (sorry Ken) is in her box under 6 feet of salted earth!

  3. Newsflash, saying the states are free to do anything they want so long as the feds approve of it, is not federalism.

    1. She’s not even saying that, she’s pretty much saying the states are free to do anything they want so long as she approves of it. What a stupid cunt.

  4. Why give anyone a tax deduction for anything, if not to give meddling government bureaucrats knobs to turn? Just set a flat tax.

    1. Is your flat tax going to tax revenue or profit?

      1. Who cares? What good does it buy you anyway?

        1. My revenue is $100K. My cost of goods sold (let’s presume this is my only expense) is $75K.

          Does your flat tax then tax me based on $100K or $25K? At what hypothetical rate?

          1. Taxing you on net income and not revenue results in a subsidy to your customers. Raise your prices.

            Just thinking out loud. I’m not inherently anti business, but I know (and you know) that there are a million ways to game the system. I don’t get to deduct my personal expenses; why my business ones?

            1. s/revenue/profit

              1. Never mind. Right the first time.

            2. I know there are ways to game the system. However, if I buy $85K of goods and resell them for $100K, I have $15K before taxes. A 15% flat tax on revenue means I have, literally, $0 left after taxes.

              Supermarkets, for example, have about a 2% profit margin. A 15% flat tax means they owe more money than they have left over from paying expenses. To maintain a 2% profit margin you’re talking about raising food prices by 15%. Maybe it all comes out in the wash and we’re paying more out of a higher disposable income, but I don’t think that’s self-evident at all.

              You get a standard deduction on your personal taxes or you can itemize others. All personal expenses aren’t deductible but neither are all business ones.

              I think I’d prefer getting rid of income tax completely and using a sales tax. I don’t know that it’s self-evidently better, either, but at least it doesn’t punish bettering yourself and saving.

              1. OK, so as you said, go to a pure consumption tax. No business income taxes, no personal income taxes, no property taxes. Stop taxing every dollar multiple times. Our tax code tries to recognize the idiocy of this multiple taxation by introducing the idea of exemptions but is inherently unfair and subject to corruption.

          2. Also, you’re making 33% margin. Not too shabby. Maybe you need to increase your market share or start selling a prpduct that has a higher demand if you want to net more than $25k.

          3. Stop stealing my money. And it’s none of your business how much I make.

  5. Aristocracy of pull.

  6. she advocates a federal ban on “assault magazines,”

    If only they *would* ban magazines which assault the intelligence and good taste of the American People.

    Adios, Nation!

  7. So Nancy is like how everyone should be on federalism? If you agree with the state law and think the federal government is violating state autonomy, federalism is good, and if you disagree with the state law and think the federal government needs to step in, federalism is bad? There are a lot of state laws violating individual rights I’d like the federal government and courts to override (provided they do so in the right direction).

    1. I assume Nuancy Pelosi is also “gay marriage federalism, no”, so yeah, she would is a “states aren’t free, because they aren’t free to be wrong” nationalist.

      1. To be fair, I’m sure Pelosi doesn’t think anyone should be free to be wrong, not just states.

    2. So your idea of federalism is that all state laws are subject to federal approval? That is an interesting use of the term.

      Sort of like saying we can all be free, as long as the government likes the choices we make.

      Your idea is fine and all. And maybe it is the way be. But please stop pretending you believe in federalism because you don’t. You believe in a benevolent all powerful federal government that ensures that every state gives you your pony whether the people there want to or not. Good luck with that.

      1. I never said I “believed in federalism” because I’m a libertarian and not a federalist. States and the federal government should all be restrained by any means necessary from violating individual rights. If the states are stopping the feds from violating my rights, great. If the feds are stopping the states from violating my rights, great.

        And f— you. You know damn well I do not believe in a “benevolent all powerful federal government that every state gives you your pony whether the people there want it or not.”

        1. You know damn well I do not believe in a “benevolent all powerful federal government that every state gives you your pony whether the people there want it or not.”

          Really? Did you not say There are a lot of state laws violating individual rights I’d like the federal government and courts to override (provided they do so in the right direction). That sure looks like a benevolent federal government to me. You just want your “rights” whatever those are and liberals want their welfare and government spending. But it is the same rule by federal robed overlord in either case.

          I would say any individual right that doesn’t directly implicate due process or privileges and immunities has no business being litigated in a federal court.

          1. No, it means that the states have no right to violate my individual negative liberties, you disingenuous tool. The 14th Amendment forces the states to respect equal protections for life, liberty and property. If federal courts telling Texas they can’t arrest gays on sodomy laws is what has to happen, I’m all for it. If the federal government telling states they can’t ban legal gay marriage because it conflicts with federal immigration and tax law, I’m all for it. If the state government tells the federal government they will arrest federal agents cracking down on legal marijuana or ban federal drones from their airspace, I’m all for it.

            1. In other words, as long as the federal government is stomping on states and enforcing your preferences, you are all for it. Good luck with that.

              1. How typical. Ignore the other half of the argument. I’m obviously just a softie for the federal government because they’re such sweethearts compared to those nasty little states.

                And “my preferences” are not arbitrary, so I have no problem admitting that I don’t really care which level of government protects my rights better.

                1. And “my preferences” are not arbitrary,

                  Sure they are not. And you are right and everyone else is wrong. It is not that I don’t like your preferences, I do. It is just that if I support the idea of letting the federal government enforce them, I doubt those will be the only preferences it enforces.

                  1. Because claiming that both should protect my rights and should check each other from violating my Constitutionally protected rights = federal government enforcing national voter preferences arbitrarily against states?

        2. Im both (when Im not being a Henry-style antifederalist, but that ship has sailed).

          Federalism isnt a political philosophy, but a form of government. Libertarianism is the political philosophy.

          Libertarianism can exist under many different government forms, but I prefer federalism because I like power being as close to home as possible and the principle of subsidiarity.

          1. I generally agree the more localized we can get government power, the better so in that regard maybe I am something of a federalist. But I don’t assume that the 10th Amendment is a blank check for states to do whatever they want either, and still believe most of the “powers” fall to the people. I also believe the combination of the 9th Amendment with the incorporation via the 14th Amendment means states should be nearly as limited as the Federal government.

            1. …as limited as the Federal Government should be.

            2. Im not sure the 14th amendment is a good idea.

              As it exists, you are right, but there is a reason that incorporation didnt originally exist.

              For one thing, the federal government is a union formed from a set of sovereign states, and the only powers it has is those given it by the states and the people, and the states wouldnt be giving that kind of power to the feds.

              1. The 14th Amendment is arguably the most libertarian amendment of all because the limits on power of the federal government are also placed on the states. And the states approved the amendment, so they obviously gave the federal government the power to limit their powers.

  8. Pelosi: “…they have to have tax treatment in order for them to function as a business.”

    WTF does this even mean? WTF is “tax treatment”? Are Democrats now prohibited from using “tax” as a verb the same way they’re prohibited from using the word “liberal”? Or the way cops are prohibited from saying that a gun was “fired” and have to use the phrase “a gun discharged”?

    1. God damn it! I was gonna comment on this phrase. What a mendacious cunt.

    2. To be fair (and I don’t normally defend Pelosi) I think she means it might be impossible for them to get an employer ID from the IRS while running a federally illegitimate business. If they don’t have that, they can’t pay taxes, meaning they could be shut down by the feds on a tax technicality. Wondering how medical MJ providers do it now, though?

  9. WTF is “tax treatment”?

    Isn’t that where they pile copies of the tax regulations on your chest until you pay them what they want?

  10. Is your flat tax going to tax revenue or profit?

    Mine would tax revenue, at a LOW, LOW RATE. Pay your two percent (or, preferably, less) of gross receipts, and utilize the remainder as you best see fit. No more social engineering. No more “incentivizing” business investment decisions.

    1. I could probably go with that. Take the ability to game the system by overstating expenses away.

    2. Single Land Tax, anything else is immoral.

      1. You’ve posted that a few times. Have you ever gone into details or have I just missed it? Just about anything would be an improvement over an income tax, as long as it doesn’t turn my paid-for house into even more of a rental from the government.

        1. We’ve had the conversation here many times. Check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geolibertarianism

          1. Yeah, no.

        2. Well, then you’re not going to like the land tax, because the land your house sits on would be the source of, and the collateral for, all your federal taxes.

          1. Not how land value tax works. You don’t have to pay taxes to use public land. You simply lose the right to exclusive use and government title protection.

        3. My problem with the land tax is that it is profoundly anachronistic. It might make some sense in a pre-industrial economy, where the land really is the source of income and wealth.

          As it is, though, it seems a little weird to be taxing what is mostly a non-productive asset, and not taxing most of the productive assets.

          Not to mention the utter havoc it would impose on the real estate market when it was imposed.

          And this, frankly, strikes me as being not consistent with my ideas of property rights:

          Geolibertarians are advocates of geoism, which is the position that all natural resources ? most importantly land ? are common assets to which all individuals have an equal right to access; therefore, individuals must pay rent to the community if they claim land as their private property.

          While most real estate titles can ultimately be traced back to a grant from the sovereign, English/American title has completely erased the sovereign’s underlying claim on land (not counting land as collateral for taxes). That strikes me as a good thing, and restoring the State as the “real” owner is a step backward, not forward.

          1. Yeah, I have a serious problem with establishing the state as the owner of all land. Absent any other restrictions, it might work, but without a “shall lease” clause, it opens up far too many avenues for abuse of power.

            The concept of negative liberty guaranteed by limited constitutional government is fundamentally at odds with government ownership of all real property.

            1. I was skeptical of the concept myself for a long time, until I started seeing it differently. Under geoism, the state is not the “owner of all land.” Land simply cannot be owned. Many classical liberals believe that since land was not created by labor in most cases, it is not true “property.” The state administers land titling and protects exclusive use – for those who pay for that privilege. If you don’t pay, you can keep using the land but couldn’t legally exclude a band of vagrants from setting up a camp in your front yard because your land is now public domain.

              1. I don’t see how granting the State permanent title to use of all land and allowing it to lease those rights would not be disastrous to the concept of negative liberty. Sure, you might argue that it only gets its license from the consent of the governed, which can be revoked at any time, but see how well that has worked over the last 230 years. Handing the most fundamental property–literally the ground we stand on and from which we extract sustenance–to the government is a virtual guarantee of cronyism, corruption, and tyranny.

                1. The state is NOT granted permanent title to the use of all land. The government does NOT own the land. Nobody owns it. Land rents are what you pay the government to kick unwanted people off your land and stop someone from building something on your land.

                  The land value tax reduces eminent domain violations. The state has no financial incentive to revoke my title in favor of Megacorp because the unimproved land value would be the same whether I own it or they, and there are no other “revenue” sources for government funding.

                  1. You’re imagining some pure form of a State that can’t be corrupted. You’d be a nit on a flea on a Kodiak bear compared to “Megacorp” in your example in practice. All Megacorp has to do is convince someone in the government it could make more productive use of the land and pay more revenue to the state as a result and you will have your eviction papers overnighted to you. See Kelo, etc.

                    1. I get the difference you claim between unimproved and improved value of land, but in practice how does that work? Is there a fixed price per square meter regardless of its location? Some parcels are inherently more valuable than others. Once you accept the notion that a square foot of productive farmland is more valuable than ten acres in the caldera of Kilauea, it’s a short step to trying to tax based on the actual use to which the land is put.

                    2. I looked at that link but on my mobile browser there’s no sublink to assesments. I’ll read through and try to find it. One glaring thing that catches my eye though: the wiki article claims that Pennsylvania implements the LVT, which cannot be correct, as PA most definitely taxes improvements (any permanent structure over 100 square feet, IIRC).

                    3. If I remember right, there are certain towns or counties in PA that use LVT as the basis. Of course those people still pay state and fed taxes.

                    4. The productive use on the land is NOT taxed. If Megacorp can grow pure gold trees on the land, it wouldn’t matter because the sale of gold is not taxed. If Megacorp builds a $20 billion dollar building, it won’t matter because they aren’t taxing property improvements. If Megacorp’s employees each make a million dollars a year, it won’t matter because they aren’t taxing income. My point isn’t that government can’t be corrupted into handing over the title to Megacorp (and this should be unequivocally banned), my point is that there is less incentive for states to be corrupted by promises of productive use.

                    5. My point isn’t that government can’t be corrupted

                      And that is why you fail.

                    6. My apologies…my eagerness to make a glib point here made me miss the negative contraction.

                      My point is that even if you write the law to minimize incentive for misbehavior by the state, experience shows that words on paper mean little. See the U.S. Constitution for a glaring example of “sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

                    7. Dude, I’m a pretty strict libertarian, and I certainly know that. But I’m also a miniarchist for many reasons and seek a form of taxation that minimizes violations of rights, is as voluntary as possible in practice and minimizes economic harm. The single land value tax does all three of these things.

                      You act like replacing the tax code with the LVT will somehow increase state violence when the LVT is already being included as a factor within property taxes today.

          2. “As it is, though, it seems a little weird to be taxing what is mostly a non-productive asset, and not taxing most of the productive assets.”

            But land can be a productive asset. The fact that many don’t use the land productively is the reason land costs are so high. The beauty of the land value tax is that there is no deadweight loss. The cost of land simply goes down and land use becomes more productive as non-productive speculators would sell or walk.

            Any tax causes industry upheaval when imposed. The land value tax is far less detrimental to the economy than sales or income taxes.

            And if it was such an archaicism, why would Milton Friedman agree “the least bad tax is the property tax on the unimproved value of land”?

            1. For that matter, why bother witg the State at all? Why not have a market of mercenaries (and that is the nature of the State) competing to enforce your land claims? Certainly you’d get a better price. The danger would be if the mercenaries turned and began to prey on their customers. That’s feudalism.

              Then one mercenary would expand and consolidate his holdings and you’d have kings, and emperors, and modern states.
              Thinking that you can prevent a government with a monopoly on force from plundering its constituents is foolishness. Handing over all real property to that same State is madness.

              That’s not to say we haven’t already done so.

              1. “The danger would be if the mercenaries turned and began to prey on their customers. That’s feudalism. Then one mercenary would expand and consolidate his holdings and you’d have kings, and emperors, and modern states.”

                So you answered your own question then? Actually many geolibertarians are anarchists. I’m a miniarchist because I don’t think anarchy maximizes individual rights for many of the reasons you point out here.

                Again, nobody is “handing over all real property to (the) State.” They are simply saying you have to pay for the State to protect your exclusive private usage and the right to remove trespassers. I don’t know how many times I have to say it.

                Maybe I’m not explaining it properly. If you’re in a public park with a bike, that bike still belongs to you and can not be stolen from you or claimed by the government or another citizen. You are using the land, but can’t tell other people they can’t bike there or get the government to remove other bikers.

                Same principle applies under geolibertarianism if you build a house on public land. As long as nobody buys exclusive rights to use the land, you have a right to protect your house from theft or removal by third parties, but can not exclude others from using or building in your yard or call the government to remove them.

                1. If you build a house on public land under a geolibertarian regime, what defines the size of the land parcel you are taxed on? Do you put up a fence and then say “tax me for this much?” This seems like it would make the titling process ridiculously complex. Especially for cases where parcels get subdivided into pieces that are too small to use. Leaseholders could collude among themselves to establish holdings that surround and exclude others from using large untaxed parcels. This happens under current regimes as well, when landowners refuse to sell rights of way to “landlocked” properties. From what I understand, this is a problem out west, where holders of hunting leases on federal land exclude otgers from unleased land that is inaccessible except across leased land or via air transport.

                  1. I don’t disagree there are technical issues that need to be addressed legally. I’d say if your land claim completely surrounds a swath of untaxed public land, you have to pay for the blocked land as well to be granted the exclusive, since you have effectively made that your private land.

                    1. Or let’s say four land owners conspire to “fence in” a public lake and hunting forest and thus de facto make it their private land but need not pay taxes. The government can tell the final title seeker they have three options: they leave a path for public access to the public land (and won’t be taxed on that path’s land), they can buy all the remaining land themselves or they can convince the other owners to divide the land and share the tax burden.


          3. As it is, though, it seems a little weird to be taxing what is mostly a non-productive asset, and not taxing most of the productive assets.

            That is the beauty of it. Production belongs entirely to the producer. Only rents, which dont involve production but mere “ownership”, are collected as taxes.

            Im not a Georgist, I dont entirely buy the geoism concepts, but I havent seen a natural law property rights argument that I can accept yet.

    3. You just potentially made grocery stores unprofitable.

  11. Consistency requires principles which Pelosi does not have.

    1. Add a comma–the general statement is correct.

  12. But Pelosi, now the House minority leader, is taking a stand against federal interference with implementation of the marijuana legalization initiatives that voters in Colorado and Washington

    Then you can be sure that the old hag sees some crony bucks coming her way from the legal pot industry in CO and/or WA. Otherwise, she wouldn’t care.

  13. “assault magazines,”

    What exactly is an “assault magazine”? Does the print issue of reason count as an assault magazine? What characteristics make a magazine an assault magazine – is it the page count, the thickness of individual pages, the type of binding, what? How many of those characteristics are required before a magazine becomes classified as an assault magazine? Many questions to be ironed out before Piglosi’s proposed assault magazine ban can go forward. Or perhaps they’ll just pass it to find out what’s in it later. /sarc

    1. I think another commentor held up The Nation as an example of an assault mag. It’s the type that assaults your intelligence rather than simply insulting it. Evidently, govt is going to help the legacy media reach its ultimate demise even sooner.

      1. An assault magazine is just one you roll up and kill spiders with.

  14. Take the ability to game the system by overstating expenses away.

    Exactly; eliminate the government’s power to define what is and is not “taxable income”. And, if you think a Tesla tarted up golf cart is the hot shit, then buy one, but don’t expect me to help you pay for it.

    1. And if it results in a revenue problem for the government, too fucking bad. If they’re not scrambling to make ends meet, they’re not efficient.

  15. And if it results in a revenue problem for the government, too fucking bad.

    Most definitely. Fuck “revenue neutrality”.

  16. I hate to point this out, but it’s not like Reason is consistent on federalism either. It’s not like the Reason writers had a problem with the Lochner vs. New York outcome, the Lawrence v. Texas outcome or federal judges blocking Arizona’s immigration crackdowns.

  17. Geolibertarians are advocates of geoism, which is the position that all natural resources ? most importantly land ? are common assets to which all individuals have an equal right to access; therefore, individuals must pay rent to the community if they claim land as their private property.

    Holy shit. And that was linked by one of the guys who went full metal retard on a Keystone Pipeline thread about the utter and absolute evilness of Eminent Domain.

    No utilitarian argument could ever be rejected in that scheme. Let the majoritarian trampling commence!

    1. Again, land value tax reduces any perverse incentives for eminent domain. All other taxes are removed, and unimproved land values will be worth the same value whether I own my land or Keystone does. In my opinion, as long as you pay your land taxes, the government can never revoke your land exclusivity protections.

      So now land exclusivity is important to you, even though Keystone’s lobbying for government seizure of land was great for utilitarian economic purposes?

      1. If you’re going to accuse others of utilitarianism, could you address my concern that a land tax administered by the state would be a disaster for the concept of negative liberty?

        1. I’ve addressed it repeatedly and you continue to ignore it.

          1. And let me put this onus back on you: if land value taxes mean the state inherently owns the land, does not sales taxes mean the government owns the products of labor? Does not income taxes (regardless of regressive/progressive/flat) mean the government owns our labor itself?

            If taxation always implies state ownership of the thing taxed, won’t it always be a “disaster for the concept of negative liberty”?

            1. It comes down to force. What are you willing to allow the state to force you to do? You treat the mercenary state that keeps vagrants off your leasehold as a good thing while trying to get me to justify the state’s use of its monopoly on violence to regulate my purchases as if it were a bad thing?

              The State is inherently opposed to the liberty of its subjects at all times. Granting it additional leverage in that conflict is always a bad thing for liberty. Neither property taxes nor consumption taxes nor income taxes are palatable. You act as if taxation is necessary but ignore the idea that the more liberty-oriented model is purchase of needed services rather than blind remittance of taxes to a hopefully benevolent State.

              1. Ok, so you’re an anarchist then? I’m fine with that, but clearing that up first would have been nice since I haven’t been arguing based upon anarchist premises. I’m arguing LVT tax as superior to any other form of state taxation.

                And land value is already being taxed via property and sales taxes, so in what way would this be “granting them additional leverage”, especially since it involves gutting every other form of taxation, allows anyone to build property anywhere on public lands (but only get exclusive use via rent) and does not have any deadweight loss impact on the economy?

            2. The government doesn’t show up at my door trying to collect sales tax on my TV every year. If it did, it would look a helluva lot like it owned the TV and I was renting it. Kinda like a land value tax does.

              1. It does show up to collect property and income taxes every year. So getting rid of income and improvement taxes is a big step forward over the current system, right?

                Also, you lose your property if you don’t pay your tax burden currently. Geolibertarians are not saying government will take your property if you don’t pay taxes. It might grant someone else the right to exclude you and clear your property if they assume the tax payments, however.

                1. That makes it seem like taxes would be an insurance policy against destruction of anything you chose to situate on your land. In practice it would be more like a protection racket when someone else bids your property taxes higher. Unless you plan to set the value of all property equal, or at least to set the value of any parcel to be constant for eternity, there is an incentive for the state to favor large interests at the expense of individuals.

                  1. You remain unclear as to your own proposal. If you are an anarchist, don’t you have the same problem, except that you are even more likely to be extorted by powerful interests that want to take your assets? The single LVT isn’t perfect, but it is far superior to the current system, and better and more voluntary than any other miniarchist tax replacement framework – or anarchism that will leave the weak completely defenseless from natural rights violations by powerful due facto private governments.

          2. No, you have not. You have continued to assert that the law would protect you from the predatory state. The evidence against that concept–that the law created by the state would restrain the state–is mountainous and pervasive throughout human history.

            1. Once again, you fail to see that replacing all other taxes (income, sales, property, capital gains, etc.) with unimproved land value taxes inherently limits incentive for states to violate individual rights. If you believe taxes automatically imply state ownership, then right now everything (including land) is state owned and the state can be easily convinced to violate negative liberties by increased revenue incentives. Single unimproved land value taxes removes all these “increased revenue incentives.”

              1. Believe me, I’m all for reducing incentives for the state to infringe on liberties. I disagree, however, that handing the State a large amount of power (the power to protect claims to land) will result in increased freedom. I’m not advocating any particular tax at all. I would prefer to to see people purchase services a la carte from a competitive market rather than rely on a government that is nominallly limited in its scope by words on paper. Unless it is possible to get government to actually obey its establishing documents, I think distributing power is the best way of limiting its effect on individuals.

                1. “handing the State a large amount of power (the power to protect claims to land)”

                  The state ALREADY has that power and already taxes it in many cases, and the current tax is involuntary. The LVT geolibertarians propose is voluntary (you won’t get kicked off your land simply for not paying), although one can’t expect permanent residency on now-public land. Once the land tax burden is assumed by a new private party, this new party has the state-protected right to clear you and your property off and exclude you from “their” land.

                  1. Yes, of course it already has taken that power. But the “voluntary” nature of the LVT would devolve quickly into a protection racket backed by force of law, just as the current regime, with the concepts of eminent domain and adverse posession does.

                    1. You could make the same assumption about any tax that becomes voluntary fee-for-protection, which would be the basis for miniarchist taxation. And this would remain far better than involuntary taxation that results in government seizure and arrest for failure to pay. Again, if you are proposing anarchy in lieu of any form of taxation, the “protection racket” issue becomes even more of a problem without a semblance of uniform rule of law or rights protections.

  18. My problem with the land tax is that it is profoundly anachronistic. It might make some sense in a pre-industrial economy, where the land really is the source of income and wealth.

    That’s my take, as well; anywhere other than in some mythical eighteenth century England of vast holdings by the Noble Gentry, it makes no sense at all to me.

  19. I think I’d prefer getting rid of income tax completely and using a sales tax.

    Not that anybody’s paying attention anymore, but my gross receipts tax would in its effect be pretty much indistinguishable from a sales tax.

    1. It would be. I’m not sure whether a gross receipts tax that, by its nature, can’t tell the difference between receipts that took a crapton of expense or virtually no expense to realize is a good thing. Maybe it is.

  20. Not all margins are the same(!) but in many cases, the government, by manipulating what are considered legitimate business expenses, puts itself in the business of manipulating margins for the benefit of preferred clients. They should not be doing that.

    Individual entrepreneurs should be able to decide on their own what sort of expenses they are willing to incur, both for the here and now, and long term investments.

  21. All other taxes are removed, and unimproved land values will be worth the same value whether I own my land or Keystone does.

    Are you trying to say each and every acre of land will be valued and taxed uniformly?

    That’s ridiculous even without considering the methodology used to establish rates.

    1. Nope. I’m saying the same acre of land’s unimproved value does not suddenly change because the owner changed from a poor dude to a billionaire.

  22. PS- anything based on all natural resources ? most importantly land ? are common assets to which all individuals have an equal right to access; therefore, individuals must pay rent to the community will never be anything other than preposterous hogwash, and due nothing but ridicule and mockery.

    1. OK, because you say so.

      Adam Smith, Thomas Paine, John Locke, Milton Friedman, Albert Jay Nock, et al were mostly hogwash, right?

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