Authoritarian Theft: Three Cases

     “Taxation is theft!” rises the cry from thousands of freedom lovers. And it is so, if viewed through the lens of direct comparison. After all, what practical difference is there between the highwayman who points a gun at you and says “Your money or your life,” and the IRS agent who assesses you for some obscene amount he says you “owe,” and tells you to pay or go to prison? It’s just that the latter thief has the majesty of “the law” behind him – and did you get any say in that? I didn’t.

     Have a snippet from Allan Sherman – yes, the musical humorist – in his badly neglected book The Rape of the APE:

     If you break a religious rule, your conscience is supposed to punish you, if you break one of society’s rules, people cluck their tongues or shun you. But government doesn’t deal in intangibles. Break a government rule and it throws you into a reinforced concrete prison with real iron bars. It hires full-time skilled employees, at your expense, to catch you, lock you in, and watch you, plus (if you try to escape) expert marksmen, to shoot you with bullets you paid for….
     The government buys all manner of things—and no expense is spared. Government has an unlimited source of income as long as the citizens have an ounce of strength left to work. Government spending is limited only by the boundaries of human greed. No one has ever found the limits of human greed, but our government is constantly exploring the frontiers, forever pushing them further outward. It is hard to believe that the politicians can actually find ways to spend all the money they appropriate, in the time allotted. Our government may have a secret bank account in Switzerland, in case it has to leave the country in a hurry.
     Most amazing of all is the way a government gets its funds. It’s a new twist on an old obsession: Our money burns a hole in their pocket. When religion needs money, it passes a collection plate and lets you decide how much to give, if anything. When society needs money, a silver-haired matron rings your doorbell, and you are free to say you gave at the office. The geejy bird [government] has a better system; each year it figures out exactly how much the public will stand for—short of actual armed rebellion—and spends it in advance. Then on April 15 it says, “You pay or go to jail.” Belonging to a government is like having your credit card stolen.

     Regarding that “exploring the frontiers,” bit above, it’s not just about the amount government steals, but also about its methods. Have a gander at a few interesting cases from recent news reports.


     From Maspeth, in Queens, NY:

     Maspeth High School created fake classes, awarded bogus credits, and fixed grades to push students to graduate — “even if the diploma was not worth the paper on which it was printed,” an explosive investigative report charges.

     Principal Khurshid Abdul-Mutakabbir demanded that teachers pass students no matter how little they learned, says the 32-page report by the Special Commissioner of Investigation for city schools, Anastasia Coleman.

     “I don’t care if a kid shows up at 7:44 and you dismiss at 7:45 — it’s your job to give that kid credit,” the principal is quoted as telling a teacher.

     Abdul-Mutakabbir told the teacher he would give the lagging student a diploma “not worth the paper on which it was printed” and let him “have fun working at Taco Bell,” the report says.

     The teacher “felt threatened and changed each student’s failing grade to a passing one.”

     Theft through malfeasance! Isn’t the sworn responsibility of the government-run schools to teach our children what they will need to be functioning citizens? Yet by the decree of this “principal,” who really should be making little rocks from big ones, they have abandoned that task – a task for the execution of which they take thousands of dollars per household per year from the district’s residents.

     Do you expect anything to happen to the persons responsible? I don’t.


     Next up, the Evil Party is mad about the Senate Parliamentarian:

     The communist Democrats are on the war path after nonpartisan Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough said amnesty for illegals can’t be a part of the Commiecrat’s “budget bill”. Some on the left are calling for Elizabeth MacDonough to be fired too. This is what the communist Democrats are. The funny thing is, Elizabeth MacDonough was appointed by communist Democrats in 2012 when they controlled the Senate. Under the bus Liz.

     Greisa Martinez Rosas, executive director of the progressive United We Dream Action, said groups will decide which candidates to support in upcoming elections based on “not how hard the Democrats tried or how they went down fighting, but whether or not they delivered.”

     Another advocate seemingly suggested that Senate Democrats should fire MacDonough if she doesn’t allow their immigration language. “If at the end of the day they’ve exhausted every option and the parliamentarian is a ‘no,’ she is not an elected official,” said Lorella Praeli, co-president of Community Change Action, a progressive group.

     Theft through lax border control! A green-card holder – i.e., a “resident alien” – is entitled to a host of government-provided benefits that sum to thousands of dollars per year. The illegal aliens for whom the Democrats intend the green-cards are expected to vote Democrat. A neat little racket, eh?

     Elizabeth MacDonough is merely trying to do the job she was appointed to – by a Democrat Party-controlled Senate. Likely her scalp will be the next one removed. At least the ghost of Ruth Bader Ginsburg will have company.


     Finally, some more or less direct and undisguised theft:

     The Democrats’ $2.9 trillion tax plan involves a tax credit for local news journalists.

     On September 13, Democrats on the House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee — which plays a key role in drafting tax policy — introduced a proposal to raise $2.9 trillion in new federal revenue over the course of ten years. The proposal centers upon drawing more funds from wealthy Americans by raising the corporate tax, the capital gains tax, the estate tax, and the income tax.

     However, the proposal also includes a “Payroll Credit for Compensation of Local News Journalists.” As summarized by Editor and Publisher — a journalism industry publication — the tax credit “will provide local newsrooms the opportunity to receive a five-year tax credit of up to $25,000 per journalist in the first year and up to $15,000 in the subsequent four years.”

     The Democrats already operate the larger “news” organs as a wholly-owned subsidiary. Now they want to purchase whatever local news organs remain. I have no doubt that the “journalistic community” will find this an appealing and entirely defensible prospect. It’s about “defending democracy,” you see. The press is “democracy’s indispensable guardian,” don’t y’know. People have “a right to know,” after all.

     “The people’s right to know” — The people’s right to know what?Robert A. Heinlein


     So: three cases of creative theft by government. Government, according to an old document, was instituted to protect your property, among other things:

     Amendment IV: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

     Amendment V: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

     Decide for yourselves: Is theft somehow legitimized by having government do it?


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    • ETat on September 22, 2021 at 9:48 AM

    Hi Francis.

    Agreeing w you, of course – just wanted to point out a small typo: IRS agent assesses “amount”, not “about”.

    How have you been?


    1. Thank you, dear.

    • Skeptic on September 22, 2021 at 5:02 PM

    May I state the obvious?  That there is far more of that type of wanton corruption in schools headed by principals with names like Khurshid Abdul-Mutakabbir.

    1. It’s something of an open scandal. How much longer it will continue, I cannot say.

        • Bear Claw Chris Lapp on September 23, 2021 at 11:24 AM

        As in all things continue till they can’t. Its a law of nature and we all know nature is growing into a beast. Maybe its the beast we pray about I don’t know. May God bless us daily all the days of our lives.

        I have observed some of that asset forfeiture heaved on people good and bad they are like the IRS judge, jury, and executioner.

        Believer or not we will all be judged in the end.

        Thank you for what you do Fran.

  1. […] above, via Francis and somewhat to my astonishment, is from a book by Allan Sherman. Yes, THAT Allan Sherman. […]

  2. […] Concerning my tirade of yesterday, Mike Hendrix adds a report on an incident I should have […]

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