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Tom Paine, Thomas Paine, Laurent Dabos

Trying Our Souls

In Common Sense, his incredible hit pamphlet of 1776, Tom Paine appealed to “the inhabitants of America”: O ye that love mankind! . . . Every spot of the old world is overrun with oppression. Freedom hath been hunted round the globe. Asia, and Africa, have long expelled her. Europe






Emancipation Day, tax, taxes

Procrastinators’ Weekend

Usually, April 15 is the deadline date, in these United States, to file taxes or apply for an extension. This year it is April 18. Why? Many of us think of the Fifteenth of April as Tax Day. It seems strange and arbitrary when it is jiggered with. And kind






tax, taxes, charity, IRS, I.R.S., Alain de Botton, branding, rebranding, illustration, folly, Common Sense

Rebranding the Odious?

Being a clever person is hard work. Many of the truly clever things about everyday life have already been said. New and innovative cleverness? A rare thing indeed. But if you are in the business of being clever, that puts you in a pickle, if “being relevant” and “worth our






tax the rich, tax, pay, paid, paying, Common Sense

The B. S. Theory

Bernie Sanders is worse than merely wrong about the rich not paying their fair share of taxes. It’s we, the much-lauded “Ninety-nine Percenters,” who don’t pay enough! At least, when we figure taxes paid against direct subsidies/services rendered: taxes minus transfers. And, according to the Congressional Budget Office, only the






Bernie Sanders, Glass Steagall, ratings, agency, Common Sense, illustration, Paul Jacob, James Gill

Berating Bernie?

Bernie Sanders has risen in the polls. He may even beat Hillary Clinton in the first caucus and primary contests for the Democratic presidential nomination. A cause for celebration! Witnessing a huge hunk of Americans accept Mrs. Clinton, the consummate and corrupt insider, is too disheartening. Bernie Sanders, for all






national debt, debt, deficit, debate, Republican, Democrat, Tea Party, CommonSense

Bankrupt Leadership

Sen. Rand Paul wasn’t the only thing absent from the GOP presidential stage last Thursday. Also missing? Any meaningful talk about reducing federal spending and avoiding a sovereign debt crisis. The debt looms over all our heads. But you wouldn’t know it to listen to the GOP hopefuls. (And the






Arkansas State Senator, Jon Woods, tricks, deceive, elections, Common Sense

The Reign of Trickery

Arkansas State Sen. Jon Woods’s reign of trickery is ending. As reported Monday, he has chosen not to seek another term in the legislature. It’s ironic. Woods defrauded Arkansas voters with a deceptively worded 2014 ballot measure. His successful scam weakening term limits allows him to stay in the Senate






November 2015 vote, Washington, Ohio, marijuana, legalization, illustration

Pass/Fail/Pass

While the Ohio measure to legalize marijuana did not pass, this week, the Washington State measure to wrest tax limitations out of a recalcitrant legislature did indeed succeed, with a 54 percent win. Win some, lose some. But in both these cases, there is some evidence for a general smartening






marijuana, legalization, Ohio, law, crime, illustration, Common Sense

Not Plutonium

If Ohioans pass Issue 3 today, the days of pot prohibition will disappear like the smoke from a wild night’s last bong hit. That’s sorta what Nick Gillespie of Reason argued yesterday, anyway. “[I]f marijuana can be legalized in Ohio,” he wrote, “it can — and will be — legalized






cannabis, marijuana, legalization, tax, taxes, federal, Colorado, illustration, Jim Gill, Paul Jacob, Common sense

Gold Leaf

The experiment in legalized marijuana begun by citizens in the states of Washington and Colorado has, from the beginning, faced a huge obstacle: marijuana is still illegal, federally. State nullification of federal law is not merely “problematic,” it’s hard to “get away with.” Take Colorado’s experience. The Centennial State, which






Angus Deaton, Nobel Prize, Economics, The Great Escape, Inequality, collage, photomontage, JGill, Paul Jacob, Common Sense

Plotting Progress

The prestige of the Nobel Peace Prize has been tarnished by some more-than-dubious awards, in our time . . . Henry Kissinger and Barack Obama, most obviously. Same goes for the Bank of Sweden’s knock-off “Memorial” prize for economics. But, according to David R. Henderson, this week’s Nobel nod to






tax, taxes, debt, national debt, truth, collage, photomontage, JGill, Paul Jacob, Common Sense

Raising Taxes & Truth

Sheila Weinberg wants to raise your taxes. So fervent is her money-lust that she even threatens to run for president, and only half-jokingly, on that single issue. More surprising: I would enthusiastically vote for her. What gives? Well, Weinberg isn’t demanding a tax increase or a spending cut, per se






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