Thursday, May 1, 2014

Rand Paul to Plunge into North Carolina Senate Race and Promote Another Faux Libertarian

Politico reports:
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is making an 11th hour plunge into the North Carolina Senate race, aiming to boost his preferred candidate and block the GOP establishment’s favorite, state House Speaker Thom Tillis, from scoring a clean win in Tuesday’s primary.

The Kentucky Republican and potential presidential candidate said in an interview that he will stump on Monday for Republican Greg Brannon, a libertarian-minded candidate..

“I have decided today I’m going Monday to campaign for Greg Brannon in North Carolina,” Paul said in the Capitol Wednesday. “I think it’s pretty close there actually, and there’s a chance we can help him enough to push him over the top.”
Here is Brannon on the issues.

He doesn't want to cut taxes, he wants to make them more "fair":
The tax code is difficult to navigate even for the most experienced of professionals. It’s time to develop a system where individual taxpayers can fill out their yearly tax forms without a master’s degree in accounting. The tax code should be simple, provide a level playing field, and make America a competitive place to do business. 
We can start by eliminating the IRS once and for all, and instituting a flat or fair tax system that puts everyone on a level playing field and lowers taxes for all. 
As I have written before:
 A flat tax is just shuffling the tax burden on another line of the tax form. What we need is lower taxes, not taxes on different lines of tax forms.
 Ron Paul's must read position on the flat tax is here: Ron Paul's Position on the Flat Tax.
Here's Brannon on government education. He doesn't want to eliminate it, he just wants students to report to a different leader:
As your Senator, I will promote efforts to return education funding back to the states, where state legislatures can work hand in hand with educational experts to develop state-based programs that work for them.


  1. You're stretching things in this case. Brannon does propose a change which, "lowers taxes for all."

    If you want to compare to the Ron Paul position, he did say that if something along the lines of the Fair Tax (though not exactly that) had been brought up for vote while he was in congress, and it lowered taxes and eliminated the IRS, he'd vote for it.

    Ron Paul's presidential budget proposal did not eliminate much of anything. It offered a plausible suggestion for taking a sizable chunk out of the state.

    There have been a lot of people running on the platform of abolishing the IRS lately. That seems like a good sign to me. Taxes are evil, but the IRS is also a protectionist racket, especially for the Fed, by directly taxing anything that competes with it.

    Yes, they often advocate "replacing" the income tax, and yes, something like the often proposed 10% payroll tax would still be 10% too much, but it's also a lot less than the ~30% too much we have now.

    Again, that is similar to the Ron Paul position of repealing legal tender laws, rather than an actual bill that just says "end the Fed," or "end all taxes."

    1. The flat tax is a very dangerous idea. Why would you want such a monstrosity, which would make it easier to define taxable income? Isn't it better to have a tax system that is confusing and makes for more loopholes? Brannon's proposal is typical government technocrat thinking. He wants to make the government more efficient. I don't see anywhere in his proposal the proposition to make the flat tax at say .001%. He is a typical distorter of principles that the establishment loves to see in political races.

      Forget about changing the tax system, CUT TAXES from where they are now.

    2. The fair tax (a national retail sales tax) does not abolish a govt agency which enforces the tax code. You need an agency like the IRS to enforce it. The fair tax applies to consumption of services. So if you hire someone and pay them $10/hour you have to pay $3/hour in tax (30% tax sales tax rate was the proposal). The proposed fair tax also promises to reimburse low income homes. How do you determine if someone is low income? You have to track everyone's income. Govt actually gets bigger under the Fair tax. It's merely a scam to shift tax burden off the wealthy.

      So far as legal tender laws "there is no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a State law which says otherwise. For example, a bus line may prohibit payment of fares in pennies or dollar bills. In addition, movie theaters, convenience stores and gas stations may refuse to accept large denomination currency (usually notes above $20) as a matter of policy".

    3. The "flat tax" already exists. That's what the payroll tax is, and undoubtedly where these people picked up the idea that you can do away with the IRS, but also still have an income tax.

      That would not be changing to a different system, but cutting taxes from where they are now

      Yes, the preference would be to drown the system in deductions, no matter how convoluted. But that would also require completely changing the system!

      Unless all your earnings are capital gains, the majority of the federal taxes you pay aren't deductible. The trend over time has been to make less and less of it deductible, by raising the payroll rate, and reducing the marginal income tax rate.

      We lost that one. A million dollars of deductions would do very little, if anything, to reduce the taxes of most people today.

      I did not see the "efficient government" argument here, though it's certainly dangerous. I imagine that if we were looted at 1%, the economy could grow so quickly that the state would be just as monstrous as today. That is why it should be opposed root and branch.

      But that isn't why I replied. The point is that you are mischaracterizing the position in an attempt to attack Rand Paul. Brannon literally said that taxes should be lowered, and then you said this is bad...because taxes should be lowered?!?

      There are plenty of things to criticize Rand Paul for, but this one in particular is a stretch.

      You would also have to criticize Ron Paul for similar reasons, and Bob Murphy, who has the preference of abolishing the IRS before the Fed:

      "The urgent task isn’t to abolish the Fed, but rather to abolish the IRS. Price inflation wasn’t the clear and present danger I thought it was back in 2009. My priorities have altered. First the IRS, then the Fed."

    4. While I fully support lowering taxes, and eliminating income tax and the IRS, we all know that's an extremely low probability.

      One thing the flat tax does is place the burden on everyone. In mob rule -- i.e. democracy -- that gives the mob a compelling reason to lower, and hopefully eliminate, the taxes.

  2. For what it's worth, Tom Woods has endorsed Brannon.

    1. North Carolinian here, came to say the same thing about Tom Woods. Tom said he talked to him for hours and couldn't stump him once. I don't expect Brannon to be another Ron Paul but he is a Paulian, and every single candidate running against him is a dimwitted, warmongering stooge for AIPAC.

    2. Not worth much.

      I take 'endorsement' in the current context of political dialogue to be odd phenomenon. Once acquired, it is invariably abused, all in the name of political expediency. They are too rarely retracted to be useful.

      And I don't mean to slight Dr. Woods. Recall: Ron Paul endorsed Reagan. I'd like to think he meant little more than "check this guy out for yourself", as opposed to any death-pact affiliation.

  3. Is Ron Paul a sell-out for endorsing people like Ken Cuccinelli, Mark Sanford, and Rand Paul? The libertarian infighting is silly. We all could work together for decades in tearing down the state and still not have practical differences. Fellow travelers can unite.

  4. JT out of BarrowMay 1, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    Endorsing one Brannon doesn't equal endorsing two McConnel/Collins NDAA ,bail-out,NSA licking ,statist traitors.
    No principles.

  5. Rand should endorse Brannon. He would be a massive improvement to who is there now and anyone else that is running.

    "and lowers taxes for all. " <-- did you miss this part Wenzel?

    1. No, I didn't don't fall for it. Every con artist who calls for a fairer tax system (including Ronald Reagan) calls for lower taxes and ends up with a tax system that increases tax revenues. Show me politician that has called, or voted for, a "fairer" tax system, which has resulted in declining tax revenue. It's a scam.

      There is nothing complex about cutting taxes, watch:

      "I call for taxes based on the current tax system to be reduced to 1% on income."

    2. OK, but even if that is true is it enough to not support him in your opinion? Would be interesting to hear you have a conversation with him about that and other subjects on your show.

    3. "I call for taxes based on the current tax system to be reduced to 1% on income."

      Next days headline in every paper and on every news network: "Wenzel calls for massive tax giveaways to the top 1%, increases on taxes for working families."

      The complicated part is winning an election after that.

    4. So what Matt. If they can't find anything they will just make it up anyway, just like you did there. Stay out of politics and government. They're the worst and most idiotic superstitions in the world.