APCalert <apcalert@...> (edited for date by me)
September 4, 2003


Tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. the House Ways and Means Committee will vote on
whether to include a massive, unfair, tax-advantage to green land
trusts in
H.R. 7 (the supposed "Faith-based" initiative).

This is a showdown between property rights advocates and green land
grabbers. The outcome will be CRUCIAL. This is one that property
rights folks CAN'T AFFORD TO LOSE!

We only have the next 4 hours to make our voices heard.

Multibillion-dollar, green land trusts like the ever-corrupt Nature
Conservancy are demanding that Congress add a loophole to H.R. 7
that will
discount 50% off of capital gains taxes for a seller of land—BUT
only if
land is sold to a land trust or government agency! This places
ELSE at an extreme comparative disadvantage when attempting to

This will severely devalue private property. It will discourage
parties from even bidding on land, so the only offers for land will
be made
by the land-grabbing green groups and government agencies.

This unfair tax advantage would enable The Nature Conservancy and
their greedy cohorts to swallow private property at a RECORD PACE.


1. Contact the following members of the House Ways and Means
Committee and
tell them NO TAX FAVORITISM FOR LAND TRUSTS IN H.R. 7!!! Land trusts
federal agencies should NOT be able to peddle a 50% capital gains
tax cut to
sellers of property. It makes it impossible for others to compete
with them
when purchasing land! (Phone calls and faxes are most effective at
late hour. E-mails are important too, but may or may not be read in
time to
have an impact on tomorrow's vote.)

William Thomas (R-CA) PHONE (202) 225-2915 -- FAX (202) 225-8798 –
E-mail: bill.Thomas@...

Philip Crane (R-IL) PHONE (202) 225-3711 – FAX (202) 225-7830 – E-
mail – go

Nancy Johnson (R-CN) PHONE (202 225- 4476 – FAX (202 225-4488 – E-
mail --
go to

Amory Houghton (R-NY) PHONE (202) 225-3161 – FAX (202) 225-5574 – E-
mail –
go to

Wally Herger (R-CA) PHONE (202) 225- 3076 – No fax listed – E-mail –
go to

Jim McCrery (R-LA) PHONE (202) 225-2777 – FAX (202) 225-8039 – E-
mail – go

Dave Camp (R-MI) PHONE (202) 225-3561 – FAX (202) 225-9679 – E-mail –
go to

Jim Ramstad (R-MN) PHONE (202) 225-2871 – FAX (202) 225-6351 – E-

Jim Nussle (R-IA) PHONE (202) 225-2911 – FAX (202) 225-9129 – E-mail:

Sam Johnson (R-TX) PHONE (202) 225-4201 – FAX (202) 225-1485 – E-
mail – go

Jennifer Dunn (R-WA) PHONE (202) 225-7761 – FAX (202) 225-8673 – E-

Michael Collins (R-GA) PHONE (202) 225-5901 – FAX (202) 225-2515 – E-
mail –
go to

Rob Portman (R-OH) PHONE (202) 225-3164 – FAX (202) 225-1992 – E-

Philip English (R-PA) PHONE (202) 225-5406 – FAX (202) 225-3103 – E-
mail –
go to

J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) PHONE (202) 225-2190 – FAX (202) 225-3263 – E-

Jerry Weller (R-IL) PHONE (202) 225-3635 – FAX (202) 225-3521 – E-
mail – go

Kenny Hulshof (R-MO) PHONE (202) 225-2956 – FAX (202) 225-5712 – E-
mail –
go to

Scott McInnis (R-CO) PHONE (202) 225-4761 – FAX (202) 225-0622 – E-
mail –
go to

Ron Lewis (R-KY) PHONE (202) 225-3501 – FAX (202) 225-2019 – E-mail:

Mark Foley (R-FL) PHONE (202) 225-5792 – FAX (202) 225-3132 – E-
mail – go

Kevin Brady (R-TX) PHONE (202) 225-4901 – FAX (202) 225-5524 – E-
mail – go

Paul Ryan (R-WI) PHONE (202) 225-3031 – FAX (202) 225-3393 – E-mail –
go to

Eric Cantor (R-VA) PHONE (202) 225-2815 – FAX (202) 225-0011 – E-
mail – go

2. Call your own Representative, no matter who it is, and tell them
NO land
trust tax favoritism in H.R. 7! It doesn't matter if your
congressman is
conservative or liberal—THEY MUST HEAR FROM YOU! ANY congressman
could go
either way on this issue so let's bring them over to OUR SIDE. House
Switchboard: (202) 225-3121.

3. Contact Congressmen Roy Blunt and Richard Pombo. They are
fighting hard
for property rights and do NOT want to give the multibillion-dollar
trusts and government agencies ANY tax advantages in their never-
quest to gobble up more and more private property. THANK THEM and
let them
know they have your support!

For Rep. Roy Blunt, please contact:
April Ponnuru - april.ponnuru@...

For Rep. Richard Pombo, please contact:
Laura Hylden - laura.hylden@...



  I have to disagree with the position taken by the author of the message you forwarded on this legislation. A tax cut is a tax cut, and I don't see how this would "devalue" land. Of course I don't like that the bill allows people who sell land to the government as well as to private land trusts to take a cut. But it still reduces the overall burden of government by giving people the option to send less cash to Uncle Sam when they sell.

  A proposal I once came up with myself actually mirrors this in some ways (though of course it would be more far-sweeping). I proposed a libertarian collaboration with environmentalists to get land out of government hands by giving it away or selling it on the cheap to environmental groups. They know the government is a terrible custodian of its lands, so this would be a better approach for the environment, and it would advance libertarian goals at the same time by increasing the role of the private sector and reducing government control.

  Let's not turn our backs on a positive change just because some groups that are ideological opponents of certain aspects of libertarianism would also benefit.

Yours in liberty,
              <<< Starchild >>>

No, no, no, no, no.

A tax cut is not always a tax cut, as someone recently posted to the list
(the article argued that a tax cut without a spending cut is really just a
deferred tax increase).

But, more importantly, when government favors one group over another, it
screws up the free market by definition. I think what you need to do,
Starchild, is the old Ted Kennedy/Jesse Helms exercise. You know, the one
where you tell a Democrat in favor of more powerful government to imagine
that power in the hands of Jesse Helms -- the same with a Republican and Ted
Kennedy. For you, I suggest applying your "a tax cut is a tax cut"
statement to some other scenarios. Is "a tax cut a tax cut" when Dubya and
V.P. Dick decide to lower taxes on oil companies to a level below the tax on
alternate energy providers? Is "a tax cut a tax cut" when straight married
couples pay less tax than gay domestic partners? The Libertarian solution
to these things is not to defend the government's "social engineering" via
the IRS. If getting the government out of the marriage business altogether
(as most Libertarians would wish) meant straight married people filing their
taxes at a higher individual rate, would you oppose getting the government
out of marriage?

Also, please remember that "a tax cut is a tax cut" is the argument that
Democrats use to defend the Earned Income "Tax Credit". They say that
Republicans oppose "tax cuts" for the poor while giving them out to the

Anyway, my point is that keeping taxes high on everyone except environmental
groups is nothing more but the same old redistribution of wealth and social
engineering that the leftists in D.C. have been doing for decades. It's
just that nowadays they've gotten better at talking the conservatives' talk.



  It's true that I'd be much less enthused about some tax cuts than others. But oppose them? I did vote against Proposition 187, because it was in my view singling out and scapegoating undocumented immigrants for service cuts, but (A) that measure was trying to further marginalize a group already unfairly marginalized by the law, and (B) I think tax cuts are much better than cuts in services, because without actual budget cuts to accompany the service cuts, there's no guarantee that the money saved will find its way back to the taxpayers and not simply be spent by the agency or department in question on something else.

  I'd have a hard time voting against any kind of tax cut. I also have difficulty imagining ANY tax cut that doesn't favor some group of people over others. Can you think of a tax that could be cut without subtly engaging in social engineering by disproportionately favoring some people over others if it were to be cut?

Yours in liberty,
                <<< Starchild >>>

Starchild said: "Can you think of a tax that could be cut without
subtly engaging in social engineering by disproportionately favoring
some people over others if it were to be cut?"

Absolutely. In fact, most real tax cuts we've seen (not including the
Earned Income Tax Credit) have actually undone past social engineering and
wealth redistribution experiments. Not that it's the best example, but
rather the freshest in memory, the Bush tax cuts supposedly "favored" the
"rich" at the expense of the "poor". The reality is that the "rich" had
been having their marginal tax rate ratcheted up year after year, while the
"poor" who paid no income taxes at all kept receiving more and more "tax
credits". Bush undid this unequality somewhat by lowering the taxes of
those paying the high rates, i.e., "the rich", while not offering additional
welfare or "tax credits" to "the poor".


  You can't really "undo past social engineering." It's already taken effect. The choices are either to engage in additional social engineering to attempt to balance or counteract the previous social engineering, or just leave the situation alone.

Yours in liberty,
            <<< Starchild >>>