BY MURRAY SABRIN
Murray Sabrin is professor of finance at Ramapo College and was the Libertarian Party nominee for governor in 1997 and a GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2000 and 2008.
IT WAS REPORTED last week that General Electric paid no federal income taxes in 2010. Should we be angry that one of the world’s largest corporations paid no federal income tax while middle income and upper income Americans pay federal, state and in some cases city income taxes?
Americans also pay Social Security and Medicare taxes, state unemployment and disability taxes, sales taxes and property taxes, and a host of utility and other taxes. In short, Americans pay taxes to all levels of government in order to receive a number of benefits from the “public sector.”
Trenton should stop mandates to towns, eliminate income tax
In order to find real solutions to the problem with New Jersey's highest-in-the-nation property taxes, it is critical that we accept the truth as to what is actually causing the problem. The proposal to use state power to pressure small (and not so small) towns to consolidate offered by Senate President Stephen Sweeney and detailed in last Sunday's opinion piece by Andrew Bruck completely ignores the factors that have caused my property taxes to nearly double in the last decade.
My town of Belmar was here 10 years ago. It is not as if we used to be part of a larger town and seceded. In 2001, it was a small town with reasonable taxes. All the services we enjoy today were provided then. There is no major change in the way the town has been run. In fact, we had the same mayor from 1990 until his retirement this year. So what has changed?
The Party elects new officers, nominates candidates for office, plots forward path, and listens to interesting speakers
|Contact: Jay Edgar
|For Immediate Release|
Tennent, NJ, March 15, 2011: Last weekend the NJ Libertarian Party held their 40th annual State Convention at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, NJ. The convention consisted of a morning business meeting, a noon luncheon, and an afternoon filled with speakers on a variety of topics.
Election of new Officers
An early order of business was to elect new officers.
The USA Supreme Court defended freedom of speech this year when it ruled in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church on First Amendment grounds. The effects are rippling across the Atlantic. Today, JP Floru, a UK commentator at the Adam Smith Institute, used the Westboro Baptist Church case as an example of how a free society can safely tolerate extreme views. The example bolstered his argument against UK plans to have professors report students for their views. Inverventionists want to use America's military might to spread freedom across the globe, but this approach rarely works. The best way to spread freedom is to be a shining beacon on the hill. If we just make America as free as possible, people in other nations will learn from our good example.
In reaction to Judge Belvin Perry's illegal order, NJLP member Julian Heicklen has traveled to Florida to perform Fully Informed Jury pampleting and juror education. Judge Perry's order bars anyone from pampleting or demonstrating outside the Orange and Osceola County Courthouse.
Despite the order, Julian was unmolested.
Julian is a true freedom fighter. He has been arrested multiple times demonstrating against injustice. We are proud to have him as a member.
On Tuesday I attended a presentation by Americans for Prosperity at the West Bergen Tea Party meeting. The speaker discussed the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) which New Jersey joined in 2007. This program is a cap and trade system for limiting carbon dioxide emissions. It requires owners of coal, oil, and natural gas power plants to buy emission permits for every ton of carbon dioxide that they release into the air. The State of New Jersey collected $65 million through RGGI in 2009. Rather than use these funds on carbon sequestering programs, Governor Christie put them into the general state coffers. RGGI raises energy prices to fund our government's fiscal irresponsibility. It is time for New Jersey to withdraw from RGGI.
Atlas Shrugged Coproducer, Harman Karslow with NJLP Chair Jay Edgar and his daughter, Melissa Edgar, at the NYC Premiere
This past week I got a phone call from screenplay writer, Brian O'Toole, inviting me to the New York City Premiere of Atlas Shrugged, Part 1. On Thursday, my daughter and I traveled into the city to view the movie.
Originally published in 1957, Atlas Shrugged is about the struggle of the productive class against a society that uses politics to limit the success of the productive for the benefit of those who are less capable. Communist laws such as the "Equalization of Opportunity Bill" force capable businessmen, engineers, scientists, and industrialists to withdraw from the system. The parasitic classes no longer have productive elements on which to feed. The "strike" forces society to fall apart.
Yesterday, Judge Andrew Napolitano discussed Julian Heicklen's FIJA demonstrations, arrests, and harassment on yesterday's Freedom Watch Show. See the Freedom Watch website for watch the Judge's comments. The good Judge also includes comments on the First Amendment issues like campaign speech laws and the suit against the Westboro Baptist church of racism as it pertains to freedom of speech.
The Institute for Humane Studies produced a two-minute video featuring Harvard Professor Jeffrey A. Miron.
The video, "What it means to be a libertarian" does an excellent job explaining the difference between libertarians, conservatives, and liberals.
Donald Trump was recently interviewed by Rush Limbaugh. During the interview Trump demanded isolationist foreign economic policies like huge tariffs. Professor Donald Boudreaux responded via an open letter on Cafe Hayek:
Mr. Rush Limbaugh
New York, NY
Dear Mr. Limbaugh:
During your radio interview yesterday of Donald Trump, you missed several opportunities to ask probing questions – questions that would have exposed the sheer ignorance that underlies The Donald’s economic pronouncements. For example:
- “Donald, you say that America ‘doesn’t make things any more.’ Are you unaware that, in 2009 (the latest year for which we have data), the value of U.S. manufacturing output was nearly 30 percent higher than that of China, the world’s second-ranking country in terms of manufactured output?”
New Jersey resident Chris Busche is being drugged against his will at the Essex County Hospital Center. This forced drugging is in violation of the advanced medical directive that Mr. Busche created before going to the hospital. Mr. Busche designated Al Galves to be his advocate, but his doctor and social worker refuse to communicate with Mr. Galves. Public pressure on behalf of Mr. Busche would be greatly appreciated. Please contact the Essex County Administrator, Mary Wilson Harley, to complain about the way the hospital is mistreating Mr. Busche. Contact information is on the Mind Freedom website.
Update, March 23, 2011: I just spoke with Al Galves. The hospital is cooperating with him now. Thank you to all who advocated for Chris Busche.
Democratic politician Rev Al Sharpton joined left-wing groups in opposing a billboard in New York City. The group that sponsored the billboard took it down in response to their pressure. Sharpton said, "We have a right to our personal views, but we don't have the right to offend people." Sharpton's comment shows his contempt for freedom of the press. The very purpose of freedom of the press and freedom of speech is to allow offensive content. Content that does not offend anyone does not need legal protections. Offended people have every right to protest content that they don't like, but when a politician declares that we have no right to offend, it has a chilling effect on our civil liberties.
Some men find religion in prison. Brian Aitken found liberty.
Convicted last year in New Jersey of illegally transporting firearms, Aitken spent four months in state prisons before Republican Gov. Chris Christie commuted his seven-year sentence to “time served” and let him go free. Now that he’s out, Aitken, once an aspiring entrepreneur, is a professional libertarian activist.
Read the full article here.
Libertarians are often portrayed as Republicans who want to legalize pot. This is a gross simplification. We also want to legalize prostitution. We understand that a person has the right to do what he wants with his body and to manage his own economic transactions. Legalized prostitution is a natural ramification of these rights. Currently, Nevada is the sole beacon of liberty when it comes to prostitution. Each Nevada county can decide on prostitution's legal status within that county. It is legal in 10 Nevada counties and illegal in the other 7 counties. On Tuesday, Democrat Senator Harry Reid said that Nevada should ban prostitution to stimulate its economy, proving that the Left's fetish for centralized economic planning extends all the way to our bedrooms. Reid's suggestion is an assault on our liberties, and the available data suggests that his premise is wrong.