From: (Johann Opitz)

To: (ca-liberty)

Cc: LibertyUS:;

Subject: [ca-liberty] Taxes, School Bonds & Math

Date: Tue, 5 Nov 2002 07:53:59 -0800

Taxes, School Bonds & Math

Schools already have the money they're asking for.

This is a primer about Proposition 47, the education bond issue on the ballot in California. This issue is important both to Californians and to those of you who live elsewhere as well because public education in most states is suffering from the same plagues as those in California. Before we get started though, the shocker. California spends, on average, about half of the entire state budget for education. It spent $53.7 billion on K-12 (not counting college and university expenditures) during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2002, according to the state's Department of Finance. ... What is most bothersome is that Prop. 47 supporters are, to be charitable, disingenuous, and to be uncharitable, lying, when they make the claim that Prop. 47 will not increase taxes. This gross misstatement, bandied about in print, radio, and TV ads splashed across the Golden State, has garnered much of the support that exists for the proposition. It would seem that everybody wants something f!


or nothing and we are quite willing to believe it can be had for that price. The harsh certainty is this: The bonds must be repaid, together with interest, and the funds to repay the debt can only come from tax dollars. Taxes will increase or other government expenditures will be cut so as to service the debt on these bonds. That is a fact just as absolute as the fact that a leap from a tall building will splatter you on the sidewalk like a ripe watermelon. ...

Canada loses bid to sue U.S. tobacco firm

U.S. Supreme Court rejects anti-racketeering suit in smuggling case

Canada's $1-billion lawsuit against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. is dead in the United States after a court ruling today but Ottawa may pursue its claim elsewhere, the lead Canadian lawyer says. In a case that could have a domino effect on others now before American courts, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Canada's attempt to use a U.S. anti-racketeering law to sue over cigarette smuggling. Canada had argued R.J. Reynolds tried to get around taxes by smuggling tobacco into Canada through an Indian reserve. Other countries had copied Canada's $1-billion (U.S.) lawsuit. The court refused to consider reinstating the case, signalling that countries must use their own courts to pursue U.S. companies they accuse of wrongdoing.

Departing Chief Says I.R.S. Is Losing War on Tax Cheats

Thoughts on politics and an election

Fewer and fewer Americans expect the Democrats or the Republicans, either one, to Save the Republic. A New York Times/CBS Poll released on the Sunday before the election shows voters divided equally as to the parties' merits or lack of same. Democrats are seen as likelier to "make the right decisions about Social Security," the Republicans as likelier to "make sure U.S. military defenses are strong." Neither agglomeration is seen as hugely compelling when it comes to vision or presentation. Forty percent in the poll professed less enthusiasm about voting than in previous contests. Any surprise here? These bleak assessments of U.S. politics have been a feature of the autumn landscape since the Watergate era, more than a quarter of a century ago. As government grows bigger, expectations concerning its performance grow smaller. When all is said and done, politicians of every stripe seemingly reduce to ... politicians.

National biased radio

Two moments stand out for me from a lifetime of listening to taxpayer-funded National Public Radio. The first was a commentary by Daniel Schorr one day before the 1990 elections in Nicaragua. Schorr was certain that the Sandinistas were on the cusp of a historic victory that would crush, once and for all, the arguments of the Reagan and Bush administrations about that tyrannical communist regime. In the event, of course, Violetta Chamorro won a resounding victory. The other NPR moment also stands out. I was driving home from the White House (where I worked for the Reagan administration), listening to a story about the Yalta Conference. The year was 1985, and NPR was commemorating the 40th anniversary of the conference. After some scene-setting, the host interviewed various historians and others with light to shed on the event. One of those was Alger Hiss, the convicted perjurer and notorious communist spy, whose trial was the O.J. phenomenon of the 1950s. How did NPR ident!


ify him? "Alger Hiss was a State Department official who was present at the conference." I nearly drove off the road.

Lawyers run amok

As Washington, D.C., prepared to receive thousands of anti-globalization protesters, George Washington University law professor John Banzhaf proposed deploying the ultimate weapon: trial lawyers. Hit the demonstrators with a class-action lawsuit! Luckily, the city was able to cope without resorting to such extreme measures. But the proposal was in keeping for Banzhaf, who believes that just about every decision in life should be decided by judges.

Mass. governor's race a hot ticket

The Massachusetts governor's race is hotly contested this year, with the Democrat and Republican running neck and neck and three minor party candidates vying for attention. Joining Democrat Shannon O'Brien and Republican Mitt Romney on the ballot this year are Libertarian Carla Howell, Green Party nominee Jill Stein and independent Barbara Johnson. ... Howell, of Wayland, has no elected government experience. She ran an unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign against Kennedy in 2000. She believes in small government. Howell supports ending the state income tax -- Question 1 on this year's ballot -- repealing every anti-gun law on the books in Massachusetts, and exposing the "fatally flawed, wasteful and destructive" big government that is now the state government. She says the major party candidates represent more laws, more government programs and more government. ...,1413,101%257E7514%257E967602,00.html

Snack Attack

After Taking On Big Tobacco, Social Reformer Jabs at a New Target: Big Fat

Oh, it's important to be on the right side and all, but what really gets John Banzhaf going is being on the short side of a long-odds fight. He likes to position himself as a little fellow with a pickax, digging away at social ills and wrongheaded industries. He did it with tobacco for 35 years, arguing for nonsmoker's rights, helping eliminate cigarette advertising on television, helping establish nonsmoking sections in public places and smoking bans on planes, trains and buses. Now, he wants to sue for obesity. The public, he allows, may not quite be ready for this; they may find the notion downright "bizarre." But they'll come around. After all, this is about "using legal action for what seems to me very important," says Banzhaf, an unflappable, roly-poly law professor at George Washington University. "Saving human lives." ... Where do the lawsuits end? Banzhaf rules little out. Junk-food packagers who label nutrition information correctly are probably safe from suits, !


he says, but theoretically it would be possible to sue other chains, like Denny's or even Starbucks. He does not propose suing mom-and-pop restaurants because it's not practical (money-wise) or effective (for producing big changes). But could we sue gun companies? Alcohol manufacturers? Banzhaf says it's all fair game; some economic theory would suggest such suits would be beneficial to society. They would cause the prices of certain products to rise, forcing those who buy them to pay for the crime and accidents that inevitably occur. It might even be possible to increase the extent to which dog owners are held liable for the cost of keeping their dogs, even if they aren't negligent, on the principle that there are an inevitable number of dog bites yearly. Lobbyist Doyle says the whole thing is insanity -- any product is potentially dangerous, if you stretch the potential far enough. If Banzhaf puts a label on every burger, "I would argue he would have to put the same warning !


label on a bag of carrots because if one ate just carrots and water they would be dead in two months," Doyle says. ...

EU Court: 'Open Skies' Deals Illegal

The European Court of Justice ruled Tuesday that eight EU states acted illegally when they signed bilateral air deals with the United States offering advantages to their national flag carriers. The EU high court ruling gives the European Commission crucial legal backing in its battle to replace national governments in negotiating air traffic agreements with the United States and other nations. In its judgment, the Luxembourg-based court said the bilateral "open skies" accords with Washington violated EU law since they infringed on the power of the EU head office to regulate and negotiate air transport accords with non-EU nations. The court added the bilateral agreements also discriminated against airlines in EU countries that signed no such deals with the United States.


Johann Opitz <> RKBA!

"Fifty-one percent of a nation can establish a totalitarian regime, suppress minorities and still remain democratic." -- Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

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