F.R. Duplantier reporting Behind The Headlines

Week of:
August 27, 2000
Some Random Thoughts on Initiative

F.R. Duplantier

by: F.R. Duplantier

Instead of waiting for politicians to do your bidding, why not take the initiative yourself?

Too Much Money
There's only one way to make sure that the IRS is never again used to intimidate American citizens, and that is to abolish this abusive agency, preferably by repealing the Sixteenth Amendment. Various proposals have been floated as alternatives to the direct income tax (among them the flat tax and the national sales tax, either of which would be less intrusive and less coercive than what we have now, while still generating a like amount of revenue). We ought not to lose sight of the fact, however, that the biggest problem facing our federal government is that it has too much money to spend -- and, the more it spends, the more our constitutionally protected freedoms suffer.

Check, Please
Our healthcare system is suffering from too much government control, not too little. The obvious solution, then, is to reduce that control, not expand it. The patient doesn't need a bill of rights; he needs a bill, period. After all, he's already paying for his health care -- in the form of benefits that would otherwise be received as wages, and in the form of high premiums and high taxes. He just thinks it's free, and that he has no incentive to economize, because the bill is ostensibly paid by a third party. Put the patient back in charge of choosing his own health care, and paying for it directly, and we will soon see the quality of care go up, as the price goes down.

We Are the Champions
What a difference a couple of decades make! The Evil Empire gone. Stagflation replaced by a booming economy. Air travel and long-distance phone service deregulated. New Deal farm and welfare programs abolished. Crime down dramatically. Republicans in control of both houses of Congress and a majority of state governorships. One thing hasn't changed, however, and that's the defeatist attitude of many conservatives. Instead of waiting for another Ronald Reagan to come along and treat us to triumph, we must seize the initiative ourselves. Conservatives, of all people, should be able to resist the temptation of paternalism. We're independent, we stand on our own two feet, we pull ourselves up by our bootstraps -- or so we claim. Yet, when it comes to politics, we keep looking for a champion. We want to declare victory after a single battle. The occasional setback overwhelms us. Where is the sense of duty we take so much pride in? Who's stopping us from asserting ourselves? What are we waiting for?

Saving Social Security
In our ongoing personal crusade to save Social Security by restoring a viable ratio between workers and retirees, my wife and I announce the birth of our sixth child, Audrey Evann, born Friday, July 28th, weighing 8 pounds, 12 ounces. Should the Social Security System fail in spite of our heroic efforts, we plan to spend our golden years enjoying the hospitality of our offspring, thereby reaping the benefits of our substantial investment in the "stork market."

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