The Leave Me The [Expletive] Alone Opt-Out Proposition
I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. And this post will be too damned long. I apologize.
Even though I officially joined the Ricochet family over a year ago, I’ve not posted, commented, or initiated a conversation. Instead, I’ve lurked. And I’ve been more than slightly resentful that the trigger that convinced me to join were the promised Long/Goldberg/Steyn chats – of which there have been a grand total of ONE. Guys, come on.
Nevertheless – not that I’m not still waiting for that second chat at all (I AM!) – the Ricochet enterprise is worthwhile, terrific, and edifying. Ricochet members are the best, and the conversations are high-level and brilliant. Kudos to you all. (Still, though….)
Okay. I’m the author of 15 novels. The last one debuted at #3 on the New York Times Bestseller List. I’m doing well. Finally, after 53 years of busting my butt in business and now writing, well, I’m living the dream. Like most of the 1% (I’d guess) I didn’t come from money. My parents wouldn’t even know money if it whapped them upside the head. Now, at last, it’s rolling in.
Here’s my proposition. When it comes to taxes and our government, I simply want to opt out. I want our government to defend me and my children from bad guys, but beyond that I don’t expect (or want) more. Obviously, I side with conservatives and libertarians more than liberals or progressives or I wouldn’t be here. But I can’t honestly say I trust anyone in government. Which leads to my proposition: I want to opt out.
BACKGROUND (and this is important): I live in a flyover state that belongs 50% to the feds (Wyoming). Think about it. I live in a massive western state administered by unelected federal bureaucrats who call the shots when it comes to land use, resource management, and access to the land that feeds and nurtures us. Therefore, I (and my neighbors) have an intimate relationship with our federal government in a way many don’t comprehend or understand. And many of those feds are simpering bastards. So… to my proposition.
I would gladly, willingly, joyfully sign a contract or agreement with my government that said I would pay 20-25% of my income (which is low seven figures this year thanks to my readers) if they’d just LEAVE ME THE [EXPLETIVE] ALONE. Meaning I can buy and use the light bulbs I want to buy and use the toilet I want to flush (once, not twice), etc. I could buy health insurance or pay cash to my doctor if I chose, send my children across town to the school I chose, and show a biometric “Opt Out” card to the TSA at airports so I wouldn’t be treated like a criminal for the crime of travelling.
In exchange, I’d agree in writing not to accept any government entitlements; i.e. Social Security, Medicare, etc. Nothing. I don’t want a dime of it. My money would go to the poor saps who need or (sadly) simply want it. I’d consider it protection money in the same way that a small business pays the local mafia not to mess up their place of business. In my part of the world, it has come to this.
The pure ideological types will object to this. I understand. But I'd guess they don't live where I do, or comprehend what it's like to be so far gone there is no going back. I wish it were different, but it isn't.
If Mitt Romney supported the “Leave Me The [Expletive] Alone” Opt-Out Option, I would donate to Mitt.
Who is with me?*
*Obviously, there are complications to the “Opt-Out” clause. I know that. Things like driving on taxpayer-funded highways, blah-blah-blah. But if they got 20-25% of my income with no obligation to send any of it back to me, I think the saps and losers actually win. Which means the federal government.