Financial Privacy May Be Spiraling

Plus: What's the most libertarian state?


Matt Welch, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, and Nick Gillespie are all about the IRS budget increases, taxes, and surveillance you've been hearing about—all about getting rid of them, that is. Tune in for their takes on the latest headlines on this week's Reason Roundtable.

Discussed in the show:

2:22: The Biden administration, Elizabeth Warren, and Janet Yellen want to increase the IRS budget. Here's why they want to, and why they shouldn't.

13:22: The mechanisms of tax compliance.

31:08: Gag orders and third-party snooping.

43:10: Weekly Listener Question: I'm a freelance writer who can do my work anywhere, and I'm planning on moving in the next year. What's the most libertarian U.S. state?

48:55: Media recommendations for the week.

This weeks links:

Send your questions to Be sure to include your social media handle and the correct pronunciation of your name.

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Audio production by Ian Keyser.
Assistant production by Regan Taylor.
Music: "Angeline," by The Brothers Steve.

NEXT: Steven Johnson: How We Doubled Life Expectancy in the 20th Century

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  1. As far as "Most Libertarian State", New Hampshire has the Free State Project, but I've been eyeballing Montana.

    1. “Most Libertarian State”, New Hampshire

      You haven't been paying attention over the past few days. NH Libertarian Party is fighting a rebellion.

      1. I'm not sure how much of that is real or important.

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      2. Link?

          1. A very vague clue. Is this a Mises/altright/paleo thing?

    2. My understanding is that Montana has very . . . um . . . socialist areas centered around generations of miners. I'm sure gun rights are great, but we shouldn't confuse the cowboy aesthetic with support for capitalism, just like they shouldn't confuse looking like a Californian with opposition to gun rights.

    3. Man, I was so disappointed with Bozeman. What a lame city. Missoula also sucks. Not a tree in sight. What's the coolest town or city in Montana?

      1. Missoula or Bozeman.

        Billings blows.

        If you’re looking for small touristy bs I recommend Livingston.

    4. Tell me how to be free of mosquitoes, and then I'll be looking at Montana.

  2. You voted for this

  3. Most libertarian state?

    According to New Hampshire NPR, the Republican majority leader of the NH House looks mighty libertarian.

    "Last year, he gave $50,000 to Make Liberty Win, a PAC dedicated to electing libertarian-leaning lawmakers nationwide. That figure is an eye-popping sum by New Hampshire House standards.

    In New Hampshire alone, the group backed 76 candidates in state representative races. Fifty-three of them are now part of the majority Osborne leads. Greg Moore, who runs the state chapter of the conservative group Americans For Prosperity, says these lawmakers are more ideological, with less experience in traditional public service, and they are changing the state Republican Party’s center of gravity.

    He appears to have come to New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project.

    If the libertarian revolution happens within the Republican party, I wonder if Reason will notice.

    I'd put Nevada up near the top somewhere, too, but that may not last.

    1. Nevada's been trying to out-California California. Gun registration was the first I noticed, but they've been pushing hard against liberty.

      1. My understanding was that the Nevada state legislature passed a state preemption law, which made it so you no longer had to register handguns in Clark county (Las Vegas), but my info on that may be outdated.

        Contrary to common perceptions, last I checked, those who are more conservative on issues like gun rights are disproportionately represented among the people leaving California. They're moving to Texas, Idaho, Nevada, and Montana to get away from progressive Californians, but to the locals in those states, they dress, talk, eat, and shop like Californians. Trump took a third of the vote in California in 2020, and if that's representative of the state at large, we're talking 12 million conservative minded people in the state.

        When Canadian retire, they like to move to warm places with no taxes like Las Vegas, too. It's also a big spot for cheap vacation homes.

        1. I live halfway between Reno and Sacramento, and had seriously thought of Nevada for retirement. But their politics of the last several years don't bode well. If I wanted to stay in California, I wouldn't move to Nevada to do so.

          1. My two kopecks: don't even consider NH - its full of expatriated Massholes.

          2. Well, Reno is like northern California terms of politics, isn't it? That's definitely the most progressive part of both states--around Sacramento and around, where is that?

            I had relatives in Nevada City. Tahoe is amazing.

    2. That all SOUNDS good, but it's from NPR. I have to wonder if it is the whole story.

      Hearing about conservative ideas or Republican party positions from NPR is like hearing about menstruation from a 13 year old boy. They have a vague notion from something they were shown in school, or what their friends told them, but no actual experience with, or understanding of the reality of, the topic.

      1. Yeah, that's why when they were talking about "conservative", they really meant libertarian.

        If you're pro-gun rights in their minds, you can't be the Black Panther party. You're not libertarian either. You're "conservative".

      2. 13 year old boys can menstruate. Someone hasn't been reading the memos.

    3. “If the libertarian revolution happens within the Republican party, I wonder if Reason will notice.”

      Do you Ken, do you really wonder?

      1. No. Not really.

        They hardly even notice Rand Paul anymore.

        Rand Paul grilled Dr. Fauci on camera, and did we even get a mention of it over here?

        Even one?


        1. Actually, they did a story about how Fauci didn’t REALLY lie.

          1. Yeah, that probably isn't the interesting angle on that story from a libertarian standpoint.

            Bureaucratic incompetence funded dangerous research with taxpayer money in a lab with a terrible safety record--and may be the origin of the pandemic--but the emphasis, from a libertarian perspective, was on how Fauci wasn't necessarily lying?!

            1. And ignoring that Fauci is a liar, and has publicly admitted it... repeatedly.

              1. I thank Trump for using his superpower of getting his political opponents to reveal who they really are.

                He let Fauci speak, and that's all it took to show government incompetence on masks, HCQ, his idea a pandemic is a risk worth taking to do gain of function research, lockdown effectiveness, and why it's important to help China do this even though a lot of CCP are thinking they can wipe out the rest of the world with this tech provided they get a working vaccine before the virus leaks from the lab. They've got plenty of guinea pigs to use in the Uyghurs they've enslaved. No surprise Fauci tried to hide his involvement in the false report they put out that stated a lab leak causing the pandemic is a conspiracy theory. That report has been shown to be signed by many of the guilty parties in the USA.

                FWIW, I don't think we should ask that China be held responsible to compensate all the pandemic victims for two reasons. First, the US funded the research. Second, it's not the citizens who are responsible for this crime, it's Fauci, the bat lady, Daszak, all those involved in funding or doing the research, and all the officials who approved of it. The citizens of Germany were more responsible for WWI than the citizens of China were responsible for the pandemic, and holding those Germans responsible lead to WWII.

                And we should insist China make all the info available, including how they covered it up. Sunlight is toxic to communists who don't act morally, and that's about all of them. The Chinese could also use some freedom.

    4. OH NOES! LESS experience in PUBLIC SERVICE! We just can't cotton to that

    5. I’d put Nevada up near the top somewhere

      They have a green energy mandate more aggressive than California. Aren't you the retard constantly talking about the Green New Deal 50 times a day? They've also got shiny new gun control and a one-party government. But hey, it's a corrupt shit hole run by oligarchs with legal prostitution and drugs so I guess it's just about the perfect libertarian paradise.

  4. No state approaches any libertarian ideal because it's ludicrous in today's hyperconnected social media corrosion, and and education complex that indoctrinates children into collectivism and far left ideology. Even discussing today that government provided health care is bad or that social security is going bankrupt will get you cancelled from school, work, and society.

    Libertarians simply cannot get elected because the public rejects their ideas. Oh not for themselves maybe, but collectively for society because of my previous statement. Social shaming is powerful. Sure a few politicians like Paul get elected by running as GOP, but it never lasts and no real reform of big government is possible.

    You want a libertarian moment let it all crash and start over.

  5. New York City? Is this a joke, Nick? Also, what kind of "be yourself" and "do your own thing" activities you can do in NYC that you couldn't do in any other major city?

    1. Amen. I don't know what the right answer to "what's the most libertarian state" is, or even if there is a right answer, but NYC has to be one of the worst possible answers. For starters, it's, uh, not a state. Then there's that whole long tradition of and commitment to nanny-statery thing.

    2. As a flyover hillbilly, I've had much more freedom to "do my own thing" and "be myself" than the average NYC resident has over the past year.

      1. unless "being yourself" means getting arrested for going to the park or dying from COVID in a nursing which case, yes, NYC is for rebellious free-thinkers

    3. That segment of the podcast was incredibly telling as to how Unlibertarian the current reason staff is. They want to live in large heavily regulated cities in blue states so they can buy things easily and consider that a libertarian lifestyle

      1. Fonzie needs to retire already. He also was apologizing for Communism a while back with the "it hasn't been tried correctly" No True Scotsman fallacy

  6. Iowa has some libertarians. And we did not vote blue last election. If we could replace Grassly with a libertarian, but no, he wants to die in office I guess.

  7. Iowa has some libertarians. And we did not vote blue last election. If we could replace Grassly with a libertarian, but no, he wants to die in office I guess.

    And now I am at a stage in my life where my assets seem to be multiplying. I now have something worth hiding.

  8. A good case can be made for Florida.

    1. Hmm.

      Florida K-12 public schools to require 'moment of silence' for students every day
      Students encouraged to reflect and 'pray as they see fit,' Gov. Ron DeSantis says

      doesn't sound too libertarian to me.

      1. One less moment they have to spend in government indoctrination. Sounds libertarian to me.

        1. A moment of silence where kids are free to do whatever they feel like is unlibertarian. The voters who pay for the public schools getting a say in whether or not they teach black supremacist racist extremism is freedom, baby. cytotoxic is a fat piece of shit retarded drooling cunt with an IQ below 50.

        2. Having mandatory school prayer, even in disguise, jammed down their throat, is not at all a libertarian thing to do.

      2. The problem is that you can pinpoint unlibertarian things about every state and locale in the country. Mainly because we don't live in a libertarian country. The question is about balance. On balance, in which states are you allowed to engage in the most activities without explicit approval, that will get you a fine or arrested in others.

        There's really no question that states like California and New York even register on the libertarian scale. Sure, there are some great restaurants and brew pubs in L.A., lots of movie theaters, and it's really easy to get an Uber, and then there's that 72 all-year-long climate. Oh, and Disneyland. New York has, whatever it is New York has... so there's that. And I won't even touch on the costs of those things... $1350 a month rent for a 200 sq ft efficiency apartment and the thrill of riding an e-scooter to work.

        But the fact of the matter is, from a pure freedom standpoint, you'll probably do better in boring-assed flyover country with the diner that serves Folgers in chipped porcelain cups to truckers and day laborers. It may not be glamourous, it may not be full of "worldly" culture. And yes, the amount of run-of-the-mill racism may often be notably higher. But even that run-of-the-mill racism in Trump country hasn't stopped immigrants from flourishing in those communities.

        1. "It may not be glamourous, it may not be full of “worldly” culture. And yes, the amount of run-of-the-mill racism may often be notably higher."

          Does "run-of-the-mill" racism mean stuff that NPR announcers can't actually prove and never manages to make it in the news, but they just KNOW it happens constantly? Unlike the recent barrage of attacks on the Asian and Jewish communities that only seem to occur in coastal cities

      3. On that's right, in your libertarian utopia the publicly-funded schools must teach black supremacist racism and the voters who pay for them get no input. Sounds libertarian as fuck.

  9. O/T:
    Wow. MTG actually apologized for her Holocaust statements.

    I didn't think that she had it in her to do it, but, good for her for doing the right thing.

      1. It's surprising to me anyway, because I figured she was in the Jesse mold of GOP politicians - never apologize, always double down, fight fight fight, get angry and yell, etc. I am actually glad that she is showing at least a little bit of remorse for her past statements.

        1. Yeah cool. Now do Ilhan Omar.

          1. Obergruppenfuhrer Pelosi is fine with her after she clarified. The only problem the Hamas Caucus have with Holocaust comparisons is the lack of actual gas chambers currently

          2. Jeff criticize a lefty antisemite? Don’t hold your breath.

          3. I'll count on you all to point out when Ilhan Omar apologizes for something. I'm sure you'll be the first to let us all know.

  10. I was looking at a COVID poster outside of a local eating establishment today. It was a poster produced by King County. On it, were six caricatures of various "ethnicities" wearing a mask. One of them had a full Hijab on.

    My first thought was, "until recently, for only one of those people, wearing a facemask wasn't a choice".

  11. California is the closest thing that exists to a libertarian state. Lawless. Open borders. Legal drugs. Homeless tent encampments on the same block as 5 million dollar 900 square foot apartments. Skyrocketing violence that goes unpunished because of white guilt. Rolling blackouts caused by centrally planned "green energy". It's quite literally everything Reason agitates for.

  12. Looking for most Libertarians per capita, which is a good indicator of either low regulation, or a surge in Libertarian interest in the state:

    Voter Registration above 1% for Libertarian:
    Alaska 1.16%
    Idaho 1.06%
    Kansas 1.10%
    Nebraska 1.44%
    Utah 1.12%

  13. Move to Wyoming -- and become one of its 300,000 privileged citizens who get to elect two senators.

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