Forum: 'Political parties should say what they mean. The Libertarian Party does.'
by Thomas Knapp
Orlando, Florida, 2016, at the Libertarian Party’s national convention: “Jim Fulner (MI) moved that we adopt the following resolution: ‘Be it resolved, taxation is theft.’ Following debate, the resolution was adopted by a voice vote.”
This made a slogan much-loved by radical libertarians, and a claim implicit in the party’s Statement of Principles and platform, official party dogma.
Are Fulner and the convention delegates (including me) fire-breathing radicals? Well, he certainly is, and I certainly am, and a number of those delegates certainly were.
But here’s former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, whose reputation as a squishy moderate nearly cost him the party’s 2016 vice-presidential nomination (conferred on him by those same delegates), in a speech a decade earlier: “I think coercive taxation is theft, and government has a moral duty to keep it to a minimum.”
Slightly weaker tea (“stealing car stereos is wrong, what say we cut it back on that a little, say to two or three a month?”) but the sentiment’s at least in the same ballpark...