Tuesday, August 16, 2005

L(i)P service to the libertarian left?


Steve Gordon weighs in on taxes and Libertarian Party platform reform over at the LP blog. Several interesting points, and I'll save the best for last:

- Neal Boortz (R-Talk Radio) and John Linder (R-GA) have a book on the "Fair Tax" (a national sales tax intended to replace the existing federal income tax, allowing the IRS to be eliminated) atop the New York Times bestseller list.

- Of course, the "Fair Tax" conflicts with the Libertarian Party's platform as interepreted by non-incrementalists. But, Gordon (and many others) see a problem with the platform in that its wording lends itself to use by those who oppose incremental steps in "the right direction" in favor of demanding instantaneous transport to Libertopia. A number of LP candidates have come to one sort of grief or another within the party by advocating incrementalism in reducing (and eventually eliminating) taxation.

- IMO, Gordon's waxing a bit facetious with us when he writes "[p]erhaps this issue will be addressed at the next LP Convention." That's putting it mildly. The rumor that Boortz will be seeking the LP's 2008 presidential nomination has been circulating since at least 2002. Even if he doesn't seek it, I expect a strong draft effort on his behalf ... and I expect this book to be cited as one his qualifications, if not the top one, as a candidate. While I do not and will not support a Boortz presidential candidacy, his talk radio background and recent authorship of a bestseller certainly won't hurt his chances. Obviously, the "Fair Tax" is going to come up at the convention. Bigtime. Especially with the Libertarian Reform Caucus already pumping up for a platform reform effort.

- I say I do not and will not support a Boortz presidential candidacy ... but that doesn't mean I don't see benefits from either a candidacy or a threatened candidacy. Combined with the success of the book, it just might force the GOP candidate into the "Fair Tax" corner for real -- especially since the GOP candidate won't have to worry too much about winning, or at all about having a Republican congress to which he might have to actually submit it if he does win. The 2008 Republican candidate can afford to be radical, because he'll know his party is going into minority/opposition status anyway and won't have to actually deliver on his promises.

But enough of that. Let's get to the real coolness of Gordon's piece. When was the last time any official LP organ admitted to the existence of, let alone alluded to, geolibertarians? Could we be seeing the start of a genuine attempt at building a party with two wings instead of the ersatz-Right dominated Jabberwocky of the past couple of decades?

Maybe, maybe not. But bitchin' swell to see LPers taking official notice of the fact that the libertarian movement is more than just the Kokomo chapter of Disgruntled Republicans of America.

P.S. Steve Gordon also blogs at Liberty For Sale ... and usually, if you want to know what's going on, he's the guy to look up.

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