Independence Day

“Too often in recent history liberal governments have been wrecked on rocks of loose fiscal policy.”

Here’s a revolutionary idea.

Independence Day commemorates our declaration of independence from the King of England. The revolution officially began two days earlier when the Second Continental Congress approved the legal separation of the American colonies from Great Britain, a resolution proposed by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia in June. After voting for independence on July 2, Congress debated and revised the Declaration itself for two whole days and approved it on July 4.

In the centuries since, only the 111th Congress has moved with anywhere near the speed of that first gathering, since the 111th Congress passed trillions of dollars of spending on millions of pages of bills in less than 100 days. And no one in Washington read any of them.

The Declaration of Independence fits on one page. Everyone in the Continental Congress read the whole thing.

In Peoria just one hundred fifty-seven years ago Rep. Abraham Lincoln said,

Nearly eighty years ago we began by declaring that all men are created equal; but now from that beginning July 4, 1776we have run down to the other declaration, that for some men to enslave others is a “sacred right of self-government.” … Our republican robe is soiled and trailed in the dust. Let us repurify it. … Let us re-adopt the Declaration of Independence, and with it, the practices, and policy, which harmonize with it.

Lincoln spoke of the enslavement of persons. Today our republican robe is soiled and trailed in the dust by a government that would enslave We the Overtaxed People, taking more and more of our rights and our land and our life’s blood to its own purpose.

Just to rekindle our liberal friends, Franklin Delano Roosevelt made the “loose fiscal policy” quote.

The second session of the 114th Congress is back to its usual wiener roasts (they have “worked” 81 days this year and are off for the months of July and August) and Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus is indeed still fiddling in Washington.

Two hundred thirty-five years ago today, General George Washington marked July 4 with a double ration of rum and an artillery salute for the soldiers who fought off the foreign monarchy that did enslave us. It is now time to mark July 4 with a double ration of electoral salute to those who would be the modern monarchy of government.

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

Let us re-adopt the Declaration of Independence, and with it, the practices, and policy, which harmonize with it. Can you do that? Take the test if you dare.

Much of our litigious life today grew out of English Common Law. We abandoned one really good idea in the first Revolution, though. We abandoned the No Confidence vote.

An earlier version of this column appeared in 2011.


3 thoughts on “Independence Day

  1. No overstating here.

    “Really now,” a commenter trolled.

    In Lincoln’s time excise taxes accounted for ~90% of federal government revenue. In fact, tariffs were the main source of government revenue through the 1800s — there were no federal income taxes nor “user fees.” States used one of the earliest taxes ever were property taxes. They were first assessed by the colonies in 1634 and by 1800 almost all the states collected property tax. Delaware alone had a tax on income from property, but not on the property itself.

    Today we pay excise taxes and property taxes and income taxes and employment taxes and income taxes on already taxed income and sales taxes and permit fees and user fees and workers comp taxes and vehicle registration taxes and dog license taxes and gas taxes and gas guzzler taxes and health care taxes and liquor taxes and marriage license taxes and and telephone “surcharge” taxes and toll taxes but no poll taxes. There are more but I forget.

    Eminent Domain has allowed governments to take your property for any public purpose since the term was coined in 1625. In Lincoln’s time it was used by states occasionally. Today it is used by states to build shopping malls.

    We now have a law allowing indefinite detention of Americans without due process. The secret service can now arrest anyone protesting near the president (and some other way more important peeps than thee or me). You know about the NSA. It is illegal to hold gold or create alternate currency. It is illegal to hate.

    A Nevada family claimed police commandeer their home surveil criminals, then arrested the homeowners for resisting.

    More and more, parent governments (a county over a township, state over city, and feds over all of them) pass laws voiding the “lower” laws and ordinances. Lincoln actually started that by enforcing the idea that the Union could not be torn asunder.

    So yes, dear reader. Really now.

  2. I am guessing the spectre of a no-confidence vote makes it more difficult to take to unpopular but (longer term) best option…. and that is why it was left in England.

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