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Mid-West Pragmatism: The Response

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I received a response from Brian Gongol Earlier in the week. I apologize for not getting back to Brian and anyone else in regards to this subject. I will furnish below Brian’s email in it’s entirety and I will respond where I feel appropriate. Thank you Brian for responding to me.  

“appreciate that you were listening yesterday, but I’m disappointed that you chose to criticize without digging a little deeper. In the process of comparing me to a pedophile and calling me a moron, you suggested outright that I would like the idea of putting GPS trackers on cars.

It just so happens that I wrote an essay four years ago proposing an alternative to the gas tax that specifically avoids the use of liberty-eroding GPS trackers:

For what it’s worth, I suspect that you and I probably agree on a lot. But it’s really hard to be an advocate for small government when my own supposed comrades are out there saying “then again may be he likes grabbing his ankles”. You’re free to say whatever you like, but I’ll invite you to name one person in local radio who tries harder to advocate for liberty than I do.

– Brian Gongol

Brian Gongol
Host, “The Brian Gongol Show” and “WHO Radio Wise Guys” on Newsradio 1040 WHO”

First off, I will say that my sense of humor has escaped Mr. Gongol (Unless you know me or hear me, this is understandable). Being from NY and having such comic influences as Carlin, Pryor, Hackett, and Clay, I will say my sensibilities are probably a little different than most people west of the Hudson River. 

I will admit I only get about 15-20 minutes to listen to what is normally the Steve Deace Show. That afternoon, what I did hear was Mr. Gongol’s equivocation on the subject of a carbon tax vs. an increased fuel tax. I would think unless you are left of center, a socialist or subscribe to Keynesian economics, I would think that most people, Mr. Gongol included, would eschew a carbon tax from the standpoint that man caused global warming is rubbish. From what I have heard from him in the past, I have discerned that he is indeed an educated man. I will put forth this to Mr. Gongol: You said someone has to pay for it. How about calling for fiscal responsibility and cut backs? I am not an economist, my background is American History and Information Technology, but it would seem to me that not only are we spending more that we take in, but we are borrowing more to pay off the debt. While raising taxes is one way to solve the problem, the problem I have is that taxes are a tithe and based on where the money goes, an unwanted one. Moreover, in order for me, or anyone else to pay taxes, we have to work. Work takes time and time is a commodity that is both limited and the amount we have we never know and we can never get back once it is gone. To that extent, I see compulsory taxes, no matter how well intentioned or done “for the greater good” to be a form of indentured servitude. We cannot spend our way of of debt, and it is egregious to burden ourselves and future generations with more debt and taxes. To me, the trade off is not worth it, but then again, I am probably an anachronism. Most people seem to be fine with being bribed with their own money, labor and therefore time. 
As far as who fights for liberty more than you? I don’t listen to local radio all that much as I find it boring, with the exception of Steve Deace and J. Michael “Mac” McCoy. Steve would be more liberty oriented if Jesus didn’t get in the way, and Mac can be just nuts. More than me. When I think of proponents of liberty, I think of Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson and Samuel Adams. I also like Robert Nozick and Ayn Rand (if I were an economist, I’d probably think of Hayek, von Mises and Friedman). Who do you think of when you think of liberty? Thank you for responding to my post, I appreciate it. 
Thank you for reading this blog. 


Written by James Lagnese

January 3, 2009 at 8:07 pm

Mid-West Pragmatism?

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 I was listening to a local radio host, Brian Gongol on WHO Radio 1040, who was on the fence whether or not it was a good idea to get rid of income tax and SS tax and replace it with a carbon tax. That’s like a pedophile wondering what type of sodomy is best. Both are bad things…But then again may be he likes grabbing his ankles. Leave it to mid-west pragmatism to be on the fence about such things. I bet he approves of GPS’s in people’s cars to track mileage for the purpose of taxes. As Bugs Bunny would say, “What a maroon”. 
Thank you for reading this blog. 

Written by James Lagnese

December 30, 2008 at 7:53 pm