Monday, November 1, 2010


24th State has an article today about Missouri Constitutional Amendment 3 and Proposition A, portions of which I've reprinted below:

"As I have said before, I'm a good conservative who does not like taxes. However, these two ballot measures are not simple votes against taxes. Instead, both are top down (or at least middle-down) prohibitions that limit the choices cities, towns, and other municipalities can make to fund their priorities and prevent voters from making revenue decisions in the future.

...Both of these initiatives bring two conservative principles into conflict: lower taxes versus power pushed to lower levels of government.

Proponents seem to base these blanket prohibitions merely on the principle that We Don't Like Taxes, a principle that could yield similar initiatives to ban other revenue types like parking meters, home occupancy inspection fees, and sales taxes on food. As principles go, it's not a firm foundation for these measures, and the principle of allowing local governments to make their own revenue decisions and to thereby somewhat compete and test ideas independently should trump it.

Proponents like to say that the measures give the voters the chance to decide. No, each gives voters one single vote one time to make a decision that will render city, state, and municipal governments impotent into perpetuity to use these types of taxes. They do not give future voters the chance to decide based on community needs 20 years fom now.

Tomorrow, I'm voting no on both measures."

I was going to write about this today but why reinvent the wheel. The basic problem with these sorts of issues, from my limited government point of view, is that they shift the power from the people and the local communities to the state. This is rarely a good thing.

I believe that power corrupts in exact relationship to the amount possessed. This is why I believe that political power needs to be diluted and the best way to do that is to keep it spread out among the people and their local communities. Why should the state have the power to decide for my town or my county whether or not we want to tax, or how. Why does the state have a say in how our schools are run or what we want to do about crime. Why should the state have any say in local issues at all?

The only legitimate function of government is to protect our natural law rights from abuse. If the local community is not abusing the rights of its citizens then the state, much less the federal government, has no legitimate reason to meddle in our affairs.

Look, I don't like taxes but they're a necessary evil. I don't work in the City of St. Louis because I don't want to pay 1% for the privilege. That's a decision I'm free to make based on a taxing issue that the city is free to decide. This is freedom in action.

Let the communities decide their own fates. Keep the state out!

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