A Ballot Committee of Citizens for Limited Taxation


Boston Sunday Herald
August 13, 2000

Personal freedom goes to pot in this legislative frog soup
by Chip Ford

I've never understood why anyone would want to boil a frog, but folklore provides the recipe to do so without the frog jumping from the pot. You drop it into cold water then slowly increase the temperature until, voil, you have frog soup.

So it is with lawmaking. For those who won't be satisfied until they have everything that's ours -- whether it's our money, our property, or what's left of our liberty - - more is never enough.

They grab what they can get away with today ... and come back for the rest later. They are a patient and persistent lot.

The More Is Never Enough (MINE) crowd says or does anything -- anything -- to grab what they can today, then totally disregards it when they return for more tomorrow.

In 1986 and again in '94, voters were promised that if we would give up "just a little bit of freedom" and accept a mandatory seat belt law, it would be enforced only if a motorist was stopped for another offense.

But that was then (voters bought the promise the second time) and this is now. A bill to change the law to "primary enforcement" -- a motorist can be stopped and ticketed just for not using a seat belt -- was narrowly defeated by a filibuster in this legislative session's final moments. It will be back, for they are patient and persistent.

It's the same in the gun-control debate. "Be reasonable" the gun-grabbers implored decades ago -- and gun-owners mistakenly acquiesced. That opened the floodgates to over 20,000 "reasonable" gun-control laws and the degradation of the Second Amendment. Banning "Saturday Night Specials," "assault weapons" and "cop-killer bullets" along with a multitude of "common sense, reasonable" new infringements poured through the breach ... and that's still not enough. More never is for them.

The federal income tax, passed by constitutional amendment in 1913, was a small tax of one percent on only "the very wealthy." The federal telephone tax was passed to fund the Spanish-American War and lingers on. The 3 percent state sales tax was only temporary, until it was raised to 5 percent. The Dukakis Surtax was temporary, but persisted until taxpayers finally put its repeal on the ballot.

The Big Dig was to cost $2.8 billion and be completed years ago, we were assured when it was being pitched in the early '80s. Nobody honestly believed that, but it got slam-dunked through. Today the price tag has ballooned to over $13 billion and it's completion date is still off in the misty future. Did we learn anything?

Nope, we taxpayers just got saddled with buying the Red Sox a new stadium with another promise of limited exposure.

The MINE crowd says and does anything it takes to have their way with us today. And they are a patient and persistent lot.

Eleven years ago they promised their income tax rate increase was "temporary." Now they deny the promise, and assert they can't be held to it anyway. "That was then and this is now!" Besides, they tell us today, government can make better use of our money than we can.

Why do they make such promises, why do they impose "solutions" that never quite solve the latest "crisis"? Because More Is Never Enough until they have it all.

The bigger question is, when are we going to start laughing in their faces when they shamelessly lie to us?

Our opportunity arrives in November with the income tax rollback ballot question.

The MINE crowd says and does anything to have their way with us, whatever it takes. They grab what they can today, then come back for the rest later. They cling tenaciously to what they've taken from us because as far as they're concerned, "It's mine now!"

It's time for us frogs to rouse ourselves, awaken to our plight. Vote "Yes" on Question 4 and jump out of the simmering pot while you still can.

Chip Ford is director of operations for Citizens for Limited Taxation.

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