Does Exxon Have a Birthright?

America is not the first entity to become a replica of the parent it rebelled against. Individuals fall into this trap, so why not groups of them called nations? In its path from colony to empire, though, the U.S, has played out a version of the drama that is uniquely its own, and that includes the role of privilege, especially the hereditary kind.

America set out to abolish hereditary privilege, as it existed in that day at least. Aristocracy was the mark of the parent — England — it so much wanted to cast aside. But slowly, new forms of aristocracy have crept back. For one thing there’s the class divide that the current Administration has done so much to widen. Its push to abolish the estate tax in particular would bring about exactly the conditions that Madison and Jefferson tried to prevent. Jefferson actually advocated a progressive land tax to counter large concentrations of wealth. “The earth is given as a common stock for man to labor and to live on,” he explained.


The Freedom Tax

Let’s say you are an excitable partisan of the right, the kind for whom a small tax increase foretells a Stalinist ascent. You have just learned of a government levy that has gone up by over 50 percent inthe past four years. This levy hits people at the very start of their entrepreneurial journey. It comes along with a bureaucracy so labyrinthine and inept that those subject to it pay thousands of additional dollars in lawyer fees and other expenses just trying to meet its demands.

Taxes, lawyers, bureaucrats–it is acetylene to your ideological passions. Your outrage is in a white heat. Instinctively your mind sets to work on a polemical weapon with which to hack this beast to bits. The phrases start coming. The federal government is determined to crush the dreams of the honest and hard-working people. The liberals and their bureaucrat buddies want to drown aspiration and kill hope. While brave Americans fight to extend freedom abroad, the liberal taxers want to quash it here at home. They want to impose a Freedom Tax. Quick, get Grover Norquist.