Sunday, June 03, 2018

Pay Your Own Taxes!

Bakersfield Sounds
Pay Your Own Taxes!
Battling the Liberal Establishment
By Stephen L. Wilmeth

            On the spur of a moment, a run to the pine trees at Ruidoso seemed the thing to do.
            That is an unusual event around here. Duty calls so incessantly that seldom such a departure is pulled off, but the Dodge was headed north on Highway 70 with the intention of eating breakfast somewhere along the way. That somewhere turned out to be Alamogordo, but, before the Las Cruces city limits were even reached, Dwight was on Sirius radio playing and discussing the sounds of Bakersfield.
            Yoakum’s relationship with Buck Owens long ago vaulted him into the musical stratosphere and satellite radio now seems to be posturing him for a full blown return to the spotlight. That’s okay with us. It’s okay with Aunt Judy, too, whose sophistication standing in stark juxtaposition with her loyalty to Dwight’s music has always made us smile.
            So, we listened to Tommy Collins, Susan Raye, Tony Booth, Wynn Stewart, Leona Williams, Merle, Buck and Dwight the entire ride. We smiled some more, but what can you say?
For starters, long live country music, but moreover . . . long live Bakersfield!
Battling the Liberal Establishment
When we first arrived as scared kids to the streets of Bakersfield in the late summer of 1981, I believe the sign on Highway 99 at the Rosedale Highway exit suggested there were 40,000 people making that Kern County town home. Of course, we weren’t totally alone in that there were a half dozen other New Mexico State alums scattered around the county all arriving about the same time. Like so many graduates of our land grant university, we had to leave home to find a way to make a living. A few of us worked together at places like Superior Farming Company, but all of us were, in one way or the other, attached to the what the late great Norm Graham described as the elegant dirt of Kern County.
Old Blue through and through, Graham had developed a particular interest in NMSU grads with the arrival of Chet Haines some years before. Chet had worked for him at the Travelers lending money in the form of mortgage loans on that elegant dirt. Chet set a high bar, but he did all of us a huge service. He was a great model to emulate. In addition to his craft skills, he was a gentleman. Through time, people like Norm began to notice and created several very key opportunities for us not the least of which was his wise counsel.
            Up the valley at a restaurant in Tulare one day, he told me he had decided it certainly wasn’t the intelligence factor that set us apart from our California educated agricultural peers, it was something else. He concluded it was our work ethic. I told him it was something even more basic.
            “We are all scared to death of failure and there are no life lines to our being.”
He sat there contemplating that remark. We talked about that very thing several times over the years he was part of our lives. In fact, the whole Bakersfield phenomenon is a corollary to the same thing. There was no difference in our perspective than the arrival of the great migration of Americans who arrived in the Golden Empire during and following the Depression. The greater number of those folks arrived not on the mission to find a handout, but with the intent to create a life of value.
Unlike any other place I have witnessed, the community of Bakersfield and its simply amazing backdrop of God given natural resources was open for business if you were willing to run fast enough to stay up. It offered real opportunities, but that wasn’t new. That is always the way it should be.
California’s Cattle King, Henry Miller, saw it. Countless others did, too.
If they could avoid the Steinbeck propensity to lump the measure of acquired wealth with evil, the Depression hordes certainly did. Those who were persistent became successful in their continued role as self-reliant people.
Those people also proved to be confounding to the community organizers who arrived to create their tedious view of Utopia.  The “Okies” largely rejected them. They paid their own way.
They had no life line nor did they want one. In a renewed and historical sense, they demonstrated exactly what the American experiment was all about.
Pay your Own Taxes
They paid their own way.
Certainly, the circumstances of their lives before arriving in California in the greatest of migrations demanded they do something before they starved to death, but they were never looking for a handout. They were simply and desperately seeking the opportunity to be self-sufficient and to live lives with some degree of honor. Let’s hope that our society has not changed from the same fundamental principle.
Maybe it is past time to be paying our own taxes.
Oh, yes, the great majority of us pay our taxes consistently and on time, but fewer actually sit down each month and write the check that constitutes the real investment we have in this government. The great majority never feel the actual pinch of signing that monthly check. Withholdings camouflage the process. What is pumped into Washington never crosses the threshold of our checking accounts and our control. It is funny money that never really existed.
That would change dramatically, however, if that check was torn from the checkbook each month to be filled out, signed, and sent to the tax collector. All of sudden, matters such as $70,000 tables at the FBI headquarters, $250,000 toilet installations on airplanes, and studies funding the sex lives of Tibetan butterflies would assume a much different perspective.
This government has demonstrated it will not and cannot police its own excess. Only We, the people can fix that.

Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico. “Signing monthly tax installments has consequences.”

The 16th Amendment became law in Feb. of 1913 and congress passed a federal income tax in October of 1913, Did you know the 1913 tax statute authorized withholding the income tax "at the source", but due to public opposition that provision was repealed and that mandatory withholding was not authorized again until 1943? Do you know about all the deliberate misinformation and skulduggery by federal officials that led to the passage the Current Tax Payment Act of 1943? It is all there in the CATO Journal article Evolution of Federal Income Tax Withholding: The Machinery of  Institutional Change which I have embedded below.

You can skip all the theoretical stuff and begin your history lesson on p. 367.

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