Free Markets, Free People

More Stupid Journalist Tricks

This quote from the NYT‘s Robert Frank is enough to cause any half-way intelligent person apoplexy [HT: Ramesh Ponnuru]:

Anti-tax zealots denounce all taxation as theft, as depriving citizens of their right to spend their hard-earned incomes as they see fit. Yet nowhere does the Constitution grant us the right not to be taxed. Nor does it grant us the right to harm others with impunity. No one is permitted to steal our cars or vandalize our homes. Why should opponents of taxation be allowed to harm us in less direct ways?

Oh, Jeez. Correcting all of the problems with this statement could fill volumes, but at its core is this mind-numbingly stupid assertion: “Yet nowhere does the Constitution grant us the right not to be taxed.

That’s right, genius, it doesn’t. Wanna know why? Because nowhere does the Constitution grant us any rights, you imbecile! That’s not what the Constitution is about or for. It doesn’t grant us the right to free speech, or to bear arms, or to due process, or to be secure in our possessions and properties. It doesn’t even grant anyone the right to vote. What it does is protect those individual rights, all of which existed prior to the Constitution even being contemplated. Which, incidentally, was the point to having a government in the first place (and not to use the state’s police powers to dole out goodies to favored constituencies, as seems to be all the rage nowadays).

Indeed, the only thing that Constitution does grant is limited powers to the federal government, all other powers being reserved to the States or the people (see Amendment X to that Constitution you are blathering about).

Accordingly, your argument is not just “insane”, to use Mr. Ponnuru’s term, it is also fundamentally misinformed. In the future, should find the need to expound upon the foundation of our government and/or its relation to individual rights, perhaps you should educate yourself about those concepts first.

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17 Responses to More Stupid Journalist Tricks

  • Something even more insidious about the quote is how he compares not paying taxes with other forms of criminal behavior.  What I find especially disturbing is the final sentence, “Why should opponents of taxation be allowed to harm us in less direct ways?”
    It seems that the author takes it as a given that it is for each of us our sworn duty to be his brother’s keeper, and the refusal to do so is an equivalent action to actively causing harm the people (read: parasites) that depend on him for their survival.
    The rest of the article seems to support this viewpoint; Mr. Frank appears to have no problem with the idea of using force to prevent individuals from acting in their own self-interest.

    • Something even more insidious about the quote is how he compares not paying taxes with other forms of criminal behavior.

      It’s worse than that.  He is talking about not wanting to be taxed, and comparing it to criminal behavior.  It comes off as a thinly-veiled accusation of treason.  If you feel that you should be allowed to keep the rewards for your work, then by golly, you’re not a real American.

      • Seems like some bright fellow coined a term for this once.  I remember reading about it.  Thinkcrime?  Crimethought?  Criminalthinking?  Something like that… And I seem to recall that he wrote that there were special police to detect and prosecute such malfeasance.  I’m guessing that Frank would have no problem with such things.

        / sarc

        Somehow, I’m guessing that Frank wouldn’t understand that he’s a living example of a Party member, and indeed would indignantly proclaim that HE is pro-freedom while those nasty people who (gasp!) want to keep their money are the enemies of the proletariate liberty.  How a person gets to such a place is beyond me.

        And isn’t it funny that the libs got so hysterical when anybody “questioned their patriotism” in the past several years, yet they have no problem equating mere reluctance to go along with them as outright criminal behavior?

  • Yet nowhere does the Constitution grant us the right not to be taxed. Nor does it grant us the right to harm others with impunity

    Ah, but it also don’t give you the right to not be harmed with impunity.  Now stop your whimpering, and take your beating like a good little sheep.

  • Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Not all Democrats are horse thieves; but how come all horse thieves are Democrats?” Simply put, marvelously captured.

    Not all Democrats are journalists, but how come nearly all journalists are Democrats? Or at least stone cold liberals? And why do they lie so much that they make Pinocchio look honest by comparison? If I hear “climate change is settled science” one more time this week, I think I may go to Copenhagen and throw a pie at one of the attendees of that fraudfest going on there.

    [Okay – so I won’t go and throw a pie. I am not a violent person, but I am angered to no end by this fraud being perpetrated by the media and the doofi in “scientific circles”]

  • Frank’s argument reaches an astounding level of stupidity when you consider what our tax money is used for.  If we had a government that only did the important things government should do them maybe he would have half a point.
    But the truth is that the government blows billions upon billions of dollars on bribery, pork, waste, corporate welfare, make work, welfare payoffs, fad science, and sheer stupidity.  To act like people who want less of this are somehow criminals, is itself, the argument of a bandit.

  • Nor does the constitution grant us rights to
    have abortion on demand
    the right to a smoke free environment
    the right to health care
    the right to welfare

    yet the left has no problems with saying that everyone has these rights

  • Shorter Frank (and liberals in general):

    You have no rights.  You exist to serve the State.  Now, shut up about keeping any more of the money that we… that is… the State think you ought to have.  We… I mean… the State knows what’s best for you and everybody else.

  • Stuck on stupid!
    Stock on statism!
    Stuck on “liberalism”!
    But I repeat myself.

  • I read something with such a depth of stupidity and I realize it just CAN’T be someone is so massively uninformed.  It has to be deliberate malice, plain and simple.

  • This guy is probably a potential candidate for a seat in either the House or the Senate.  If he’s not, he should be, he shows the same level of Constitutional understanding that most of them display on a daily basis.

  • Had a state congressman on the local radio bitching about raising taxes.  His complaint went something like this.
    “The state constitutional amendment initiatives have restricted how we can levy and use property tax and they’ve limited our ability to increase the state income tax and sales tax.”
    Note:  These were amendments passed overwhelmingly by referendum sometime during the past 15 years.
    “We have to find a way to increase taxes.  Fortunately we still have freedom to include more items under the sales tax like food and services for example.  But those affected by the tax will push back and they are very influential.  Evil corporate interests etc. …”
    The guy wouldn’t acknowledge or didn’t have a clue that people in the state are tired of tax increases.  He implied it was evil business interests blocking their good work.

  • Here is a hint for Mr. Frank.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed…

  • If the school system would start explaining to children early on that there is no such thing as “free” anything, and be serious about it, maybe by the time they got old enough to vote people would appreciate that ‘free’ ALWAYS means someone else gave up the benefit from their labor to make it so.  Then when the pandering redistributionista’s at all levels of government tried to buy their votes they’d understand there was no ‘free’ program the government ever gave them at any level, any time.
    For obvious reasons, this is unlikely to EVER happen.

    • Maybe we could take a smaller step and brand “TANSTAAFL” on the foreheads of legislators, the president and governors, and other high government officials when they take their oath.