Charles Davis (here's some more traffic, buddy) notes that Radley Balko, who, I agree, is a highly commendable and admirable writer on civil liberties, is also basically nuts when it comes to understanding how taxes work, who pays them, and what they pay for. But this is only symptomatic of the bigger problem with libertarianism, which ever seeks to return to the foundational principles that led inexorably to the militarized system of state capital in which we now find ourselves. Libertarianism looks at the mess we're in and says we need to seek its better beginnings in a constitutionally limited government and constrained social compact and so on, which is sort of like hopping in the time machine in order to relight the fuse on the stick of dynamite that keeps blowing you up. The problem with the American experiment, as we self-flatteringly call it, is not that it failed to fulfill its promise but rather that it promised us this gaudy empire all along. The founders, not for nothing, had their eyes on Rome.