Dennis Miller vs. Ben Stein

I’ve loved Dennis Miller since before he even became a conservative, and Ben Stein has written some very worthwhile stuff about economics and the culture wars (although he also made the movie Expelled, which I criticized here).  These are both very smart and very entertaining guys, so I was excited to hear that the former was hosting the latter on his radio show this morning. 

Audio of today’s interview is here.  Stein spent his air time endorsing higher taxes, mostly saying, “Rich people can afford it–they won’t be hurt if they pay more.”  It was almost shocking to hear such a brilliant thinker explain a point with no more intellectual grounding than a child would bother to use.  Literally–I remember a class in junior high where the teacher discussed the national debt, and one clown announced that he could solve the problem: “Let’s mug Donald Trump!” 

Miller, for his part, responded fairly well, but most of his time dwelt on the fact that government tends to waste money, and that new taxes would be largely wasted, also.

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Nothing New Under the Sun

The bulk of the Declaration of Independence–the entire body section–is devoted to a laundry list of complaints against the failures of British rule, meant to justify to the world why the colonies were revolting.  Among the intolerable items that pushed our Founding Fathers over the edge was this:

“He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.” 

Whoa.  Can you imagine that?  Being subject to a powerful, sprawling, bureaucratic federal government with infinite departments staffed by busybody stooges with nothing better to do than persecute law-abiding citizens, robbing them of their property?  Living in a nation like that would truly be a nightmare.  No wonder our forefathers had to rebel against it.  I know if I lived in similar circumstances, I’d want to change the system. 

Luckily, nothing like that exists anymore.