Indiana’s Taxpayer Revolt: Don’t Stop Just Yet
Editors: The author was active in the tax protests earlier this month in Indianapolis.
For release July 25 and thereafter
By Andrew Horning
Before citizens got mad over their tax bills, few politicians tried to do what was right. The protests on the governor’s lawn and elsewhere only awakened them to the problems they’d created. Now these law-breaking lawmakers would like us to think of them as heroes coming to our rescue. But now is most definitely not the time to resume being the sheep we were a month ago.
For until this property tax debacle our politicians had hidden the true cost of government. They had lured you from 1776 into 1984 partly by snipping your paycheck before you saw it; partly by invisibly hijacking every good and service made in America through corporate taxes; and of course, by making you pay rent on your own property.
This month, when dizzying incompetence revealed the actual price tag, a class of citizens not accustomed to such treatment, a normally placid, mostly well-off group of citizens, protested. It was about time.
Their poorer neighbors had been losing their homes to property taxes for decades (still more will lose their homes before this problem is fixed). Certainly, poor people had been protesting, but we didn’t listen. We were told that government spending helped the poor. We were told that a library expansion, or a new school administration building would help the less fortunate.
We have seen the truth, however, in their boarded up houses, substandard schools, crumbling infrastructure and poor services. We drain them dry as we subsidize millionaire athletes and mall developers. Of course the gap between rich and poor has grown since our “War on Poverty” began.
This week, Indianapolis politicians will ask citizens to pay extra for police and fire protection. But what was the most important role of government? Where has our money been going if not for police and fire protection?
And are you still fooled by the school building scams? Are you still buying the “do it for the children” campaign tears when our primary schools compare badly with even those in Third World nations?
Again, the tax protests have been an awakening for politicians. But you should fear they are like the drug addict waking up to what he did last night. They have the opportunity to reform, but they’ll likely succumb to the addiction to OPM (Other People’s Money) once again.
If only they had simply obeyed Indiana’s Constitution:
• We wouldn’t have our unfair mix of palace-like and crummy schools (see Article 8, section 1).
• We would tax only corporate property to maintain the Common Schools endowment (Article 8, section 2).
• Certainly, no homes could have been seized or sold to pay for tax debts (Article 1, section 22).
• And there couldn’t be ungoverned political spending and innumerable taxing “authorities” sinking us all into debt.
Politicians can change the constitution but they are supposed to obey it. They have no more legal authority to “interpret” the constitution than we have to “interpret” a speed limit.
The price of liberty is eternal vigilance — against politicians. Yet, the fact is that the Rule of Law has been usurped while we in Indiana were intaxicated. We therefore must stay angry and keep asking our politicians this set of questions:
Will you now obey the laws that protect us from you? If you will not obey the constitution, then by what authority do you rule over us? Is it only because you have all the armed forces and prisons? Because if that’s all . . . have you forgotten 1776?
Andrew Horning lives in Freedom, Ind., and works in the health industry. He was a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2004. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.