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What if government theft were face-to-face?

By Special Guest Columnist Craig Cantoni

An article of mine summarized my research into the many individuals and organizations that received federal handouts in my home state of Arizona in the third quarter of 2005. For example, an individual from Tucson received a $40,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. And Weinerschnitzel Restaurants of Tempe received a $75,000 small business loan.

Would you loan your own money to Weinerschnitzel Restaurants? Well, that's exactly what you did, but involuntarily. As I wrote in my article, the hot-dog business got taxpayer money, "and taxpayers got a wiener up their schnitzel."

Taxpayers don't rebel against such thievery because it's done through a dealer in stolen goods -- the government -- which keeps the parties to the transaction from knowing each other. But what would happen if the government held an awards ceremony where taxpayers had to hand over their money in person to their fellow citizens?

To answer the question, imagine getting the following notice in the mail from your federal government (instead of a bland IRS tax form):

"You are hereby ordered to attend an awards ceremony on Dec. 1, hosted by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Failure to attend will result in a $2,000 fine and/or possible jail sentence."

Not wanting to pay the fine or be imprisoned, you show up at the ceremony and find 99 other people in attendance. Standing at the door are four tastefully dressed federal agents with Uzi bulges under their suit coats.

The master of ceremonies announces that you are there to honor the recipient of a $40,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The honoree stands behind the emcee on the stage and beams with pride. The emcee goes on to say that each of the 100 attendees will be asked to pay a pro-rata share of the award by giving the honoree $400 apiece, payable by cash, check, money order, credit card or withholding from a paycheck. Those who refuse to pay will be escorted to another location by the tastefully dressed armed federal agents to make other payment arrangements.

This is the tenth awards ceremony you've attended so far this year. You know that all working citizens from across the nation are selected at random to attend similar ceremonies for a variety of causes. Your next-door neighbor, for example, recently attended a ceremony where a never-married, unemployed woman with five kids received a housing grant. And your cousin attended a ceremony where the owner of a professional baseball team got a new publicly-financed stadium. One of the largest award ceremonies ever, it was attended by tens of thousands of people. Former President George W. Bush, who received a similar stadium when he was a baseball team owner before becoming president, emceed the ceremony.

But something about the Humanities award ignites a rage in you that is far worse than the usual rage you feel at being forced to give your money to unworthy recipients. Maybe it's due to having attended so many ceremonies so far this year. Or maybe it's due to the unkempt appearance and nose ring of today's honoree, and the smug, you-owe-it-to-me look on his face. Or maybe it's due to the books you've recently read on the founding principles of the nation. Now banned in public schools, the books say that the primary purpose of the government is to protect your life, liberty and property; not to take your property at the point of a gun and give it someone else.

Whatever ignited the rage, you stand up and scream, "I'M NOT PUTTING UP WITH THIS ANYMORE!

Stunned, the audience sits in silence as the federal agents run towards you with their guns drawn. Then, a few seconds later, someone else stands up and yells, "I'M NOT PUTTING UP WITH IT, EITHER!"  Soon, the other 98 people are on their feet chanting the same thing.

The federal agents, their faces chalk-white from fear, start backing towards the exit. The recipient of the Humanities award, his smug expression having changed to terror, turns to run out the stage door. Someone yells, "GET THE THIEVING BASTARD!"

By the next day, word of the rebellion has spread across the nation, thanks to the Internet, which the government has not yet figured out how to totally control, unlike how the government learned long ago to control its sycophants in the mainstream media and government schools (who have never seen a handout, transfer payment, tax or unfair advantage they don't like).

By the end of the week, a mass demonstration takes place on the Capitol Mall. One million angry Americans march from the Lincoln Memorial to Capitol Hill, carrying pikes and chanting, "Heads on pikes, heads on pikes, heads on pikes!" The Capitol Police abandon their barricades and join the marchers.

It's over in a few hours. Within a month, after ravens have gorged on the 535 heads lining the Capitol Mall, elections are held and the nation is transformed from an illegal kleptocracy back to what it once was: a constitutional republic.

Of course, this is all a fantasy. It could never happen in the United States, because we don't have a government that takes money from working stiffs and gives it to moochers. At least, not in front of you.

Mr. Cantoni is an author, columnist and founder of Honest Americans Against Legal Theft ( He can be reached at

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....or the feds shoot you dead right there and then torch your house with the wife and kids inside!

chris naron

Even if we just had to write check each month, things would change. I already fantasize about gutting the creeps to whom I pay my local taxes. Imagine how freaked out I would get writing an $800 monthly check?

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About the Author

  • Freelance writer Alan Korwin is a founder and past president of the Arizona Book Publishing Association. With his wife Cheryl he operates Bloomfield Press, the largest producer and distributor of gun-law books in the country. Here writing as "The Uninvited Ombudsman," Alan covers the day's stories as they ought to read. Read more.

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