Taxation is Theft

Signing a directive to create a new Space Force military branch.
Clague, James 090408.jpg

Liberty is one of the fundamental founding principles of America, but it’s been under attack from bipartisan authoritarian policies. Already this year, many issues have gained the national spotlight as our nation struggles with its identity and values. Let’s recap:

Multiple mass shootings, including those at Santa Fe and Parkland, have renewed a public discussion on gun control and the right to bear arms. As Democrat representatives dust off their soap boxes, demand criminals respect gun free zones and denounce ‘assault’ weapons, whatever those are, Republicans are on their knees thinking and praying for the families.

Trump allowed his thoughts to drift spaceward this year as well, signing a directive to create a new Space Force military branch. Meanwhile at NASA, the agency is still operating on the same budget as the border wall.

Speaking of this year’s budget, infrastructure has a budget 3 percent the size of the $716 billion defense budget. Our other big ticket item, the nearly $1 trillion we spend on social programs, is often as bloated and poorly managed as many military programs. Got to love big government!

Congressional Democrats lost their minds as Trump pulled out of the Paris agreement. Republican thoughts and prayers are with the environment. I guess it could be worse; we could be subsidizing coal plants ... Oh wait, we are.

Anybody remember learning about Smoot-Hawley? Trump wanted a piece of that sweet, sweet protectionism pie and started himself a trade war. While the steel and aluminum tariffs haven’t disrupted the market too badly, the over $1 trillion in tariffs that he’s looking to impose towards China and Europe will set us up for equally devastating retaliatory measures. Thanks Donald ... Racism and sexism continue to divide the country despite liberal media’s best efforts to blame everything on the white male and conservative media’s best efforts to blame everything on literally anyone else.

Taken as a whole, it’s a wonder that anything gets done in this country. With both main parties determined to prove the other eats puppies, it’s easy to get defensive and fall in with their tribalism.

Union College is a place that gathers people of many different backgrounds and beliefs, so it’s my hope that our campus can dissolve party lines and become an intellectual crucible that develops, refines and strengthens ideas.

I call you to have an open mind and even if you find others’ viewpoints untenable, respect those around you as the children of God they are.

James Clague is a senior studying computing and engineering.