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The good and the bad...

web posted April 22, 2002

"Throughout most of American history, taxes were levied principally on consumption, rather than income.... In the Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton had this to say, 'It is a signal advantage of taxes on articles of consumption that they contain in their own nature a security against excess. ... If duties are too high, they lessen the consumption; the collection is eluded; and the product to the Treasury is not so great as when they are confined within proper and moderate bounds.' Hamilton was thinking here about direct taxes on consumption, such as the sales taxes levied by most state governments. He was right in thinking that there is a limit to such taxes. Experience shows that general sales tax rates much above 10 percent are very hard to collect. They encourage smuggling, black markets, evasion, production for personal use, substitution for untaxed commodities and other activities that erode the tax base." -- Bruce Bartlett

"I don't think that many people are overtaxed." -- Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle

"There is no virtue in compulsory government charity, and there is no virtue in advocating it. A politician who portrays himself as caring and sensitive because he wants to expand the government's charitable programs is merely saying that he is willing to do good with others people's money. Well, who isn't? And a voter who takes pride in supporting such programs is telling us that he will do good with his own money -- if a gun is held to his head." -- P.J. O'Rourke

"One can make a distinction between nativism, which is based on resentment, and patriotism, which is based on love. ...America desperately needs the love of her citizens, for what she is and for what she might become." -- Dinesh D'Souza

"You want a real miracle? A real miracle is our Founding Fathers." -- Rush Limbaugh

"Most Americans aren't the sort of citizens the Founding Fathers expected; they are contented serfs. Far from being active critics of government, they assume that its might makes it right." -- Joseph Sobran

"Yet arguing that the words of the Constitution have no fixed meaning is tantamount to arguing that we have no Constitution; a Constitution serves no purpose if the branches of government it is supposed to limit can define their own powers." -- W. James Antle III

"The principles enshrined in the Constitution do not change. If anything, today's more complex world cries out for the moral clarity provided by a noninterventionist foreign policy." -- Rep. Ron Paul

"Being hated by autocrats is not a bad thing." -- Victor Davis Hanson

"People who see us as evil and themselves as righteous do not suffer from blurred vision. They think they see clearly. What's our problem?" -- Cal Thomas

"Hatred of Israel offers a convenient cover for hatred of America." -- Suzanne Fields

"An administration that proclaims 'zero tolerance' of terrorism while protecting and negotiating with Yasser Arafat already is acquiring a reputation for a certain plasticity of conviction." -- George Will

"The sick strategy of using women and children as suicide bombs demonstrates exactly how much value the tyrants put on a human life, even the human life of their own people." -- Wesley Pruden

"Keep trying diplomacy, but start polishing the weapons." -- Bill O'Reilly

"If pride characterizes many believers in peace-making, cowardice often does as well." -- Rich Lowry

"Americans are a remarkably peaceable people. The cowboy slander notwithstanding, we are slow on the draw." -- Don Feder

"For the average American family, filling out a tax form has become like attacking a puzzle to which, often enough, there is no right answer. But we're all supposed to swear, on penalty of perjury, that we've done our best to find it." -- Paul Greenberg

"Those on the far right, inside and outside this administration, have been pretty much savaging Powell for the last week. Is he being set up to take the fall for the failures of this administration's foreign policy?" -- Bryant Gumbel attempting to pin blame on conservatives for Colin Powell's peace mission to the Middle East last week

"Why do these trials have to be here? I do not believe that it is our patriotic duty to support the decision to have them here." -- Alexandria, Virginia, City Councilmember Joyce Woodson questioning the chosen court site for terrorists' trials

"About Robin Hood. He didn't steal from the rich to give to the poor. He took from the tax collector to give back to those who earned it. George Bush is much more like Robin Hood than Teddy Kennedy." -- Neal Boortz

"The evil ones didn't know who they were attacking. They thought we would ... roll over. They thought we were so materialistic and self-absorbed.... They probably thought we were going to sue them." -- President George W. Bush

"Yasser Arafat is nothing more than Osama bin Laden with good PR." -- Former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

"Sometimes a nuance, in the hands of a senator, can be just as deadly as a pound of plastique." -- Wesley Pruden

"After all, this 'engagement' was necessary mainly because of a scheduling conflict over scheduling conflicts: Washington had booked the Middle East for a war with Iraq only to discover the joint being used for some other guys' war. The U.S. would like a semblance of peace in the Middle East in order to launch a massive conflagration there." -- Mark Steyn

"Bill Clinton was reported as being seen at a restaurant with cast members of the show "The Sopranos." This worked out well. They gave Clinton tips on acting and he gave them tips on being part of an organized crime family." -- Jay Leno

"France won't cooperate with the U.S. in the Zacarias Moussaoui case involving September 11th. They oppose the death penalty. France believes that the best way to handle terrorists is to give them Poland and Czechoslovakia and see how it goes." -- Argus Hamilton

web posted April 15, 2002

"We ought to remind them that they're going to have a hard time eating their oil." Condoleezza Rice speaking at Texas A&M University on Saddam Hussein's recent oil embargo on the US

"While America enjoys a voyage of choice and freedom, our education system missed the boat. It's surprising that a country that says it values education hasn't powered it up with the energy of choice. But it's not just a surprise. It's a disgrace." -- Secretary of Education Rod Paige

"[H]ow does a fellow become a political leader in an Arab country? Perhaps he (here I do not have to employ the politically correct piety, 'he or she' do I?) hires a political consultant, say, James Carville or Paul Begala, and runs a populist campaign. Carville and Begala always look sufficiently angry to sit with those Arab leaders at one of their summits, but we all know that their talents are not needed in the Arab world. There are no free elections there. What elections are held are similar to those once held in the Soviet Union; elections, that is to say, free of the clutter of a loyal opposition. In fact, in the Arab world there is no opposition of any kind." -- R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.

"Tax time approaches, and Americans are as always paying H & R Block billions to help them save some of their wealth from their ravenous government. Pitiful, in a way: it underlines the grim but unacknowledged fact that the government is their enemy and they have to hire protection from it. But don't we enjoy 'self-government'? Well, if we have it, I'd hardly say we enjoy it. True, we aren't being taxed by the monarch of Great Britain, but our American-born rulers claim far more of our wealth than the British monarchs ever did." -- Joseph Sobran

"The only rich people deserving of malice are rich liberals who express bemusement at the non-rich's desire for a tax cut." -- Ann Coulter

"Seven of the top ten wealthiest Senators are Democrats. Who is it that says that the Republicans are tied to the rich and big business?" -- Rush Limbaugh

"We are the victims of terror. This is a war that we did not start. That we did not want. But we reached a point where we could not take [the terror bombing attacks] any longer and the terrible thing seems to be the [world's] cynicism that we are the ones who are being blamed." -- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon

"The only legitimate purpose of our tax system is to raise revenues needed to run the government. It's not the government's job to determine how you should use your money." -- Rep. Ron Paul

"Liberals are constitutionally unable to understand that every tax represents a transfer of power and freedom from the people to the government." -- Linda Bowles

"Lunches don't get free just because you don't see the prices on the menu. And economists don't get popular by reminding people of that." -- Thomas Sowell

"[T]he first prerequisite of self-government is to govern one's own passions, resentment and anger." -- Alan Keyes

"Peace comes at the end of war, and is the word that describes the terms imposed by the winners on the losers." -- Michael Ledeen

"Keeping faith with the people of Israel in their unfinished confrontation with evil is ... a species of keeping faith ourselves. Breaking faith, a species of self-negation." -- William Bennett

"We would do well to remember that our war on terrorism is being fought not just with troops, military hardware and intelligence. It is being fueled by a spirit of national unity born of the manifest justness of our cause." -- David Limbaugh

"What America holds in common with the tiny state of Israel is rooted in what the terrorists resent and hate: the rule of law, justice, tolerance and respect for freedom." -- Suzanne Fields

"Israel today, tomorrow the world." -- Wesley Pruden

"...[N]attering anti-Americanism won't disappear, there are too many academic and political careers erected on it. September 11, however, clarified the choice -- the stark choice -- between civilized behavior, as exemplified by America, and nihilistic barbarism." -- Austin Bay

"Banning guns does not ban violence. Law-abiding citizens obey the rules, not terrorists." -- John R. Lott, Jr.

"What a strange world we live in: What our academics, intellectuals, and self-professed ethicists call morality so often turns out to be so abjectly amoral -- and downright deadly as well." -- Victor Davis Hanson

"Personally, absolutely I would like to interview Osama bin Laden. I'd be fascinated by anything Osama bin Laden would have to say." -- MSNBC's Ashleigh Banfield

"We were the most ethical administration in history. ...By any standard of measure, ...[Bill Clinton] is a good man. He is a decent man. He is a successful man." -- Paul Begala

"It's been announced that Louis Farrakhan is going to the Middle East. Finally! The voice of reason, someone who can settle this thing!" -- Jay Leno

"Yasser Arafat ordered the Palestinians holding hostages in the Church of the Nativity to go down fighting. He's ordering bloodshed in the birthplace of Jesus. The question is, what was it the Nobel Peace Prize Committee had against Hitler or Stalin?" -- Argus Hamilton

web posted April 8, 2002

"'Exit strategy' applies only to wars of choice. You can choose to quit Vietnam or Somalia or Kosovo. The war on radical Islam is a war of necessity. Wars of necessity have no exit. They must be won. What possible exit strategy can you have against an enemy whose ordinary soldier signs up with the following oath (found among the documents captured from al Qaeda in Afghanistan): 'I state in the presence of God that I will slaughter infidels for my entire life'? There is only one exit strategy in fighting such a man. He dies or you die. No other exit." -- Charles Krauthammer

"Conservatives of all stripes -- neocons, paleocons, libertarians, even the McCainiacs -- want to change some, most or all of the fundamental assumptions of the culture and the politics it produces. ..But conservatives ... love America and speak its language; we feel alienated enough to see what's wrong with the status quo (and make fun of it) but feel close enough to the basic goodness of America that we can speak with passion about how to fix it." -- Jonah Goldberg

"Euphemism is the first refuge of the diplomat." -- Paul Greenberg

"The Palestinian strategy will continue to work until the Western governments, and this means mostly the United States, back away and allow Israel to teach the terrorists, and those who harbor terrorists, that acts have consequences, and mortal acts have mortal consequences." -- Wesley Pruden

"We are witnessing the end of what has been known for centuries as the Holy Land." -- Armstrong Williams

"The outcome of the war now under way between the Israelis and Palestinians is vital to the security of every American, and indeed, I believe, to all of civilization. Why? Quite simply because Palestinians are testing out a whole new form of warfare, using suicide bombers -- strapped with dynamite and dressed as Israelis -- to achieve their political aims. And it is working." -- Thomas Friedman

"Why is this war different from all other Arab wars to destroy Israel? Unlike the other Arab wars of aggression, this war of terror is waged primarily against Jewish civilians, especially children." -- William Safire

"Recently Saddam Hussein began to praise Palestinian 'homicide bombers' and to bestow $25,000 to each of their families. Is this not a clear link to terrorism?" -- Ken Adelman

"Terror exists everywhere in the world, but this [the Middle East] is the only place where it has its own authority. The terror infrastructure must be destroyed sooner or later, and we cannot avoid the problem much longer." -- Natan Sharansky

"The purpose of U.S. foreign policy is protecting the security of Americans, not crusading for goodness abroad." -- Don Feder

"The war on terrorism is proving by the day, it seems, a larger and larger test of American resolve." -- Terry Eastland

"Israel's war against terrorism, both morally and strategically, is no different than ours." -- Rush Limbaugh

"The fight against evil is not a sprint or even a middle-distance event. It is truly a marathon. If we wish to be marathoners, we will need all the courage, endurance and stamina we can muster." -- David C. Stolinsky

"Which part of no doesn't Congress understand? The First Amendment says: 'Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech ... or the right of the people to peaceably assemble.' I don't see any exceptions there, do you?" -- Mark Tapscott

"Everyone's right to freedom of conscience is not self-executing. We have to be careful to give everyone a hearing." -- Nat Hentoff

"An age of individualism is perpetually tempted to arrogance -- to rejection of Old Dead Guys, like the framers of the Constitution or the compilers of the Torah, who might way back then have had some understanding, and maybe more than that, of the Truth." -- Bill Murchison

"Although Americans have been lectured for years about eating healthy and getting into shape, the problem has only gotten worse. The culprit, we are now told, is that food prices are too low, unhealthy fast food is too convenient, restaurant portions too large, and advertising for all these things has been too successful. In short, the campaign against Big Food is following the attack on Big Tobacco almost to a 'T.' The only thing we haven't heard yet is about how Big Macs, Mars bars, and Coca-Cola are addictive. I assume studies are underway to prove it, leading inevitably to charges that McDonalds, Hershey, and other purveyors of this poison knew all along and covered it up. Any day now, I expect to hear that Big Food has secretly been adding special ingredients with known health risks -- like salt -- to their products for years to tempt the ignorant. No doubt, one of Ralph Nader's groups, heavily funded by the trial lawyers, will issue a report on the subject demanding congressional action." -- Bruce Bartlett

"Eleven years ago, the Soviet Union was a communist dictatorship, an 'evil empire,' in the words of President Reagan. But today, the Cold War is a fading memory, and the nation that used to represent international socialism has junked its 'progressive' income tax for a simple and fair 13 percent flat tax. What's more -- in a plot twist even novelist Tom Clancy might have scoffed at -- the idea came from President Vladimir Putin, a former head of the KGB. Who would have thought it -- that America would beat the Soviets to the moon, but Russia would become the first to adopt the ideal free-market tax system? (What's next -- France becomes a military superpower? The Congo wins the Winter Olympics?)" -- Daniel Mitchell

"Even American actors should take responsibility for their high profile to the extent that others are likely to think they represent us all. If they insist on giving aid and comfort to America's enemies they must be prepared to take the consequences." -- Paul M. Rodriguez

"Once upon a time, Hollywood put stock in another commodity -- taste." -- Brent Bozell

"It's really quite unusual to speak to our next guest. His organization, Hamas, takes credit for the killing in Netanya. He told CNN shortly after the attack just that, and even defended it promising more to come. He's the spokesperson for an organization seen by most as a terrorist group, even though he would probably prefer the term freedom fighter. We're joined by Hamas spokesman Usama Hamdan. Thank you so much for being with us, sir." -- Connie Chung with a Hamas "freedom fighter"

"It [the last-minute presidential pardon of Marc Rich] was terrible politics. It wasn't worth the damage to my reputation. But that doesn't mean the attacks were true." -- Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, now venturing the radical assertions that he had a reputation capable of being damaged, and that the words "is" and "true" might have stable meanings

"Republicans are desperately -- but unsuccessfully -- seeking Hispanic support. The president's Latin America is part of an orchestrated strategy to curry favor with Latino voters in the United States." -- Former California Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa, who also criticized Mr. Bush for his "vague assurances on the issue of immigration" and for not signing on with the Democrites' upped ante to "allow hardworking, tax-paying, law-abiding immigrants to emerge from society's shadows and enter the American mainstream

"All it [a negotiated cease-fire] does is stop the violence. It doesn't do anything about our interest in addressing the root cause." -- Unnamed senior Palestinian "negotiator" perhaps unintentionally giving the Palestinian terrorists' game away

"Whenever someone asks me if it's safe over there for tourists, I always say yes. I would think twice about going on a trip to Miami or New York, where you can't walk the streets. Give me the Middle East any day." -- James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute

"It's no great trick negotiating a cease-fire in the Middle East; there have been any number of them. It's like the fellow who said it was easy to quit smoking; he'd done it lots of times." -- Paul Greenberg

"I don't think we should be sending diplomats to the Middle East. I think we should be sending teams of psychiatrists." -- John Derbyshire

"The transportation secretary, Underperformin' Norman Mineta, is continuing his harassment of octogenarian nuns at airport check-ins. The newly federalized security scanners fall asleep on the job as often as the minimum-wage, illegal-immigrant, no-speakka-da-English, wanted-in-three-neighboring-states, old-school security scanners." -- Mark Steyn

"The INS is the Mickey Mouse Club of federal agencies, but that's an insult to Mickey Mouse." -- Rep. Tom Tancredo

"The Whitewater scandal cost the taxpayers $73 million and you needed an MBA to understand it. The Lewinsky scandal cost about the same, but only required the intelligence of your average voyeur." -- Mark Russell

"The American Taliban Johnny Walker testified in court.... He complained that when he was captured he was confined to a room that was too small, had no heat and had only one light bulb. Oh please, shut up! To every other American 20-year-old that's called a dorm room!" -- Jay Leno

"Pentagon sources revealed Sunday that U.S. forces in Afghanistan have captured al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah. He's quite a trophy. Although there was no dollar amount reward on the head of Abu Zubaydah, his name is worth a million points in Scrabble." -- Argus Hamilton



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