We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I am back from Atlanta with this rather obvious thought: those of us who think about policies rationally, practically, and with a modicum of economic knowlege are hopelessly naive. Policies are foremost about politics, and achieving political advantage. It's a street game with no rules. I have always known that, but I keep forgetting it. Politics is where the action is, and people get termed "statesmen" when they don't seem to get the political games, or who find them distasteful. Especially true since the 16th and 17th Amendments (which I think were disasters).
I think this is why so many talented people either stay away from, or get discouraged by, politics.
This time, I am fully resolved to stop expecting reason or principle from public policy. I am sure this resolution will last about as long as most of my resolutions.
Re the 16th as a disaster:Income tax is not inherently bad. Progressive tax rates are bad, distinguishing between classes via proportionate rates leaving some to carry the load of others(disenfranchising the untaxed).
Property taxes (which go way back to the crown) are bad. If the state has a right to levy a tax against your property, then you eventually get to Kelo v. New London where the state transfers the property to the highest bidder. For sure, there is a no question of who owns that property that is under a tax; it is the tax authority.
I would rather pay income taxes.