Disheartening Day

Never going to be a good day when you find yourself agreeing with a Jeff Jacoby op-ed. Granted, even a broekn clock is right twice a day, but this local feeding frenzy that poses as political debate has been particularly stomach-turning: Going overboard [pdf]

[…] By mooring the yacht in Rhode Island, which abolished its sales tax on boats 17 years ago, Kerry appeared to have saved himself a huge amount of money.

That was perfectly OK with me. Kerry may be a tedious blister, but even tedious blisters are entitled to hold down their taxes. Vice President Joe Biden calls it “patriotic’’ to pay higher taxes, but a far more sensible view was expressed by Learned Hand, one of the most admired and influential federal judges in American history.

“Anyone may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible,’’ Hand wrote in a 1934 opinion. “He is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes.’’ […]