TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Taxes and Asteroids

Asteroid A blogosphere kerfuffle has erupted over this Volokh Conspiracy post:

I think there’s a good case to be made that taxing people to protect the Earth from an asteroid... is an illegitimate function of government from a moral perspective.... [I]t’s O.K. to violate people’s rights (e.g. through taxation) if the result is that you protect people’s rights to some greater extent (e.g. through police, courts, the military). But it’s not obvious to me that the Earth being hit by an asteroid (or, say, someone being hit by lightning or a falling tree) violates anyone’s rights.

(Hat Tip: Brian Leiter.)

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Congress is ahead of this.

Republicans Vote To Repeal Obama-Backed Bill That Would Destroy Asteroid Headed For Earth

..."The voters sent us to Washington to stand up for individual liberty, not big government," Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said at a press conference. "Obama's plan would take away citizens' fundamental freedoms, forcing each of us into hastily built concrete bunkers and empowering the federal government to ration our access to food, water, and potassium iodide tablets while underground."

"We believe that the decisions of how to deal with the massive asteroid are best left to the individual," King added.

..."This law is a job killer," said Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), who argued the tax increases required to save the human species from annihilation would impose unbearably high costs on businesses. "If we sit back and do nothing, Obamastroid will result in hundreds of thousands of lost jobs, which we simply can't afford in this economy."

"And consider how much money this program will add to our already bloated deficit," Foxx continued. "Is this the legacy we want to leave our children?"

Posted by: Woody | Feb 27, 2011 9:27:03 AM

Didn't Obama arrive on an asteroid? How else do you explain those large ears?

Posted by: Michael A. Livingston | Feb 28, 2011 7:14:22 AM

Well, preserving the continued ability of the planet to support life certainly hasn't been a Republican priority historically. Why change now?

Posted by: Jeffrey Killeen | Feb 28, 2011 9:36:03 AM

Michael, please refer to the following article:

Pawlenty: Forget the birth certificate, where’s the spaceship?

“I’m not one who questions the existence of the president’s birth certificate,” he told the audience, according to prepared remarks. “But, when you listen to his policies, don’t you at least wonder what planet he’s from? We don’t share President Obama’s worldview.”

- - -

Jeffrey, I don't think that this is the first time that you've been fooled into thinking that satire from "The Onion" is real news.

Posted by: Woody | Feb 28, 2011 1:26:29 PM

Ahahahahaha. Well, it took me about an hour to decide this is not satire.

Posted by: Lise | Mar 17, 2011 2:27:53 PM