Death and Taxes I - RR161AC53

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Death and Taxes I
Course: Course - From the Easy Chair
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 53
Length: 1:00:23
TapeCode: RR161AC53
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
From the Easy Chair.jpg

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission

Dr. R. J. Rushdoony, RR161AC53, Death and Taxes I from the Easy Chair, excellent colloquies on various subjects.

[Rushdoony] This is R. J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair number 157, November 7, 1987.

This evening Otto Scott and I are going to do two Easy Chairs. Our subjects are going to be, in a sense, related ones. It has been said that nothing is inevitable save death and taxes. So we are going to consider death and taxes, but we will start with taxes, first. For most of us that is a little more pressing. Death may be off in the distance, perhaps, or hopefully so.

At any rate, taxes are ever with us. They never leave us. And taxes are an increasing problem to more and more Americans. Taxation in this country has increased dramatically in our lifetime.

I know that after World War II many of the farmers in my hometown area, not too far from here, thought that things had really gone to pot and that the state and county had become very, very tyrannical when the taxes for their farms went up to 25, 30 dollars a year. Now, of course, they pay thousands of the same farm. Taxes have increased. They have increased, because people demand more and more services from the state. In fact, one senator has described what is going on Washington as the systematic plunder of the federal treasury by the people of the United States.

Now we don’t think of it that way very often. What we do see is the bureaucracy becoming more and more powerful and more and more oppressive which is all too true. But we forget that the things we want Congress to do add up to an increasing bureaucracy and more and more tyranny.

So taxation is a matter of very grave concern to all of us, especially those of us who as responsible people are not asking for services, who want freedom and beyond the basics of justice want the federal government, the state, the local, the county government to stay within their boundaries. [00:03:27]

So the subject of taxation is very important

So the subject of taxation is very important. The federal government and every other agency is now reaching into our pockets because we have reached into their pockets and we have had an ugly and a growing evil.

Otto, what would you like to say by way of a prefatory statement?

[Scott] Well, I think your comments, your opening comments remind me of what McCauley said. He, in answer to a letter from some individual in the United States who wrote boasting about our constitution he wrote, “Your constitution, sir, is all sail and no anchor.” And he said, “When the people discover that their votes can open the gates of the treasury, you will go bankrupt.”

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Well, I... there is another thing that comes to my mind and that is since we are paying so much—and we are paying quite a bit—and don’t forget 1928 the top rate was 5 percent no matter how much money you made. And I believe it began at about 3000 which was about the double the average salary in 1928. But the thing that comes to my mind is that with all of this money that the government is collecting, why are we not physically safe?

[Rushdoony] Yes. Forrest McDonald has called attention to that and has said that the federal government has reached the point of breakdown. It has grown so large that it can no longer function and it cannot guarantee to the people of the United States those things promised in the preamble, a better union with safety, with some kind of security for the people. And Donald Lambro in a very important book, Washington: City of Scandals, published, oh, just a few years ago, in 1984 and dedicated to the American taxpayer, describes the really hundreds of billions that could be saved if we practiced some kind of economy on the federal level. But there is no demand for it. He has written book after book on this subject, but he has not been able to create any kind of movement to further what he wants to see done. [00:06:10]

Instead, since he wrote this book, the problems have

Instead, since he wrote this book, the problems have increased. And we have today one acre out of three belonging to the federal government. We have a treasury which spends money faster than the people can pay in taxes. And all in all we have one scandal after another of misuse of money and no public indignation, because everybody is trying to get something out of the federal government.

[Scott] Well, everyone except me and thee.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And I think there is a great many of us in the aggregate. The ... but I keep coming back to this. I recall in the 30s when a cop had a very good job and very smart men competed for those jobs and the police force in New York City was famous through the country, 20,000 of the finest they called them, because they had a lot of common sense.

Now it isn’t that good a job. The educational standards have been increased. They go to night school and all. They study criminology and they study psychology and they study law and all the rest of it, but they will shoot a man to death, they will pump eight bullets into him and you know that is pretty strange if he makes a move towards is pocket, eight, six bullets go into him and that is a cowardly sort of thing to do. But the main thing that I want to come back to is the fact that people are not safe in the streets of the cities of the United States, in some areas not in day time and almost all areas not at night. We have all kinds of lawyers. We have all kinds of judges. We have all kinds of officials. We have all kinds of social scientists, but the government is criminal in not guaranteeing the safety of the citizens. We have 20,000 murders a year and we don’t have 20,000 death penalties a year.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, we have seen a great decline in law enforcement. And I believe the problem begins in the courts. A great many people leave police forces, because they cannot put up with the continual humiliation—and that is how one officer described it to me—of seeing their work go to ... for nothing. They ... before they have finished filling out the forms on an arrest where the man should be in prison, the man is out on bail, laughing at them as he goes out and they know he is not going to be convicted. There are so many cases the DA’s office will do nothing about it. And if it is a very serious one, they have plea bargaining. [00:09:31]

The courts instead are ready to listen to trivialities

The courts instead are ready to listen to trivialities and we pay taxes for it.

Let me give you an illustration of something here in California and it has been repeated across the country. This is something from about a month and a half ago.

“Bank robber Daniel Cantelaro had just sprinted out of an Oakland savings and loan last summer when his getaway was rudely interrupted. The bundle of cash he had stuffed into his parents had been booby trapped with a security device. The wad exploded, disrupting the hapless thief’s escape and causing second and third degree burns around his genitals.

“Although he is now serving an eight year jail sentence, Cantelaro is still trying to make a killing from the caper. He has filed a lawsuit claiming that his injuries from the booby trapped loot entitle him to two million dollars in damage. A Stanford law professor says he has a case if he can prove that the intent of the bank was to cause him physical injury.

“The punishment for bank robbery is not maiming.”

[Scott] Well, that is Stanford. What law school was that?

[Rushdoony] Stanford Law School.

[Scott] Stanford Law School, the only ... only audience that heckles me.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] ...when I appear to speak. I have ... I have wonderful memories of the young woman who had bare feet who stuck her feet up in front of the top of the seat in front of her and addressed me from between her feet. So I am not surprised that a professor from such a school would take such a position.

[Rushdoony] But the fact that it is even worse is that we are going to pay taxes for the judge to hear that case. He won’t throw it out. And the man will probably win.

[Scott] Well, then the court accepted the case. Now I am always reminded of the case of Johnny Smith. I may have brought this up before, if I have stop me, but it is one of my favorites. It ... I used to read famous English murder trials and there is a whole series of those books and they were marvelous. It was when England still had brains and was still using them. And Johnny Smith was an individual whose wife was found drowned in the tub. Well, they said death by mischance. And then second wife is found drowned in the tub and before they could do anything about that, a third was found drowned in the tub so they arrested him. They arrested him. They had no witnesses. They had no witnesses. They had no proof whatever, but they put him on trial and the convicted him of murder and they hanged him because they said, “Three times is no coincidence.” [00:12:41]

[Rushdoony] Yes

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Now in an American court he wouldn’t even have been arrested, because there were no witnesses.

[Rushdoony] Except that in a biblical sense there were three witnesses, because three cases, the same thing is circumstantial evidence. It constitutes three witnesses.

[Scott] All right. Well I use the illustration talking about the black governments of black Africa. There are 52 of them. And there is more than the case of Johnny Smith. It is not just three. There is at least 48 cases where the withdrawal of the white government has led to massacres and I am saying that if this happens 48 times, why would it not happen in South Africa. Well, of course, we can’t use the same analogy in all situations. But I think the point is that there is no room left in the American lexicon for the application of intelligence.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] What can we say about we have apparently we have enough police, at least if you are... if you drive a car you think there is plenty of police. But we don’t have enough police to keep people so that they are safe.

[Rushdoony] Well, of course, stopping motorists to give them a ticket is profitable. .

[Scott] It is a form of tax collection.

[Rushdoony] It is a form of tax collection. I was told in one city where I was witnessing in a case that the police testified there that they had been ordered to issue as many tickets as possible in order to increase the funds that the city needed... was collecting.

Recently in California a complaint was made by police that a quota in that particular city was being established and they were being held to it. This is why, of course in every way we are being hit with taxes.

[Scott] Well, you know that every great revolution began with tax reform. A financial crisis of some sort of another always centering around taxes.

Milton Friedman is one of the proponents of a theory that there is a limit to taxation. He says a certain percentage of the gross national product, of income. Now in a relatively poor country like Chile it reached the 30 percent level. Thirty percent of the gross national product was being taken by the government in taxes. Up until then Chile had a wonderful welfare state. It was democratic and it had more services for the people than any other state in South... in Latin America, South America. But once they reached the 30 percent line the tail then wagged the dog. The government became the largest business in Chile and eventually whoever took the government, took Chile. And Iendi, of course, wanted to increase the taxes he introduced inflation and you all know the rest. [00:16:10]

Here he says, or in England, a much richer country

Here he says, or in England, a much richer country than Chile we could spend a higher level of taxation without tilting the whole situation. But we are going over, I believe, I am not positive about the percentage, because I don’t trust what the newspapers say. The newspapers say 19 percent. I think it is much higher than that.

[Rushdoony] I have heard 45 percent.

[Scott] Forty five?

[Rushdoony] All taxes.

[Scott] All taxes.

[Rushdoony] Direct and indirect on all levels.

[Scott] Because everything we buy we pay a tax on, we pay a number of taxes on it and everything we have left we pay a tax on. So here we go.

Now the French Revolution, as you know, began when the government was broke and they said they had to reform the taxes, which means to take away the exemptions of the nobility and the clergy. And everything went from there. Here they lowered the rate and removed the exemptions. Now that bill has yet to take complete effect. Before it could take effect, the democratic Congress has said we have got to raise the rates, because we almost all of us knew that when they took away the various exemptions and lowered the rate it would just be to clear the deck before they began to raise the rates all the way up again.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Well, what can we say about the Mondale imitators in Congress who are telling us every day in every way we don’t pay enough taxes?

[Rushdoony] Well, one economic report that I saw recently made the statement that in not too many years in the fairly near future, the interest on the national debt would do increase that it would take the total income of all citizens to pay the taxes.

[Scott] Well, how they...

[Rushdoony] ...and the interest.

[Scott] He is probably right mathematically speaking. I have had now four and a half years of experience with a mortgage and that is long enough, because I have had to pay in interest then very little goes to the principle. They used to put the mafia in jail for that sort of stuff. And it is just ridiculous. [00:18:36]

So if we apply the same principle to the national debt

So if we apply the same principle to the national debt, why, then everybody in the country is a slave.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, for ... we are seeing all kinds of statements about what is going to be done about it and supposedly a constitutional convention that may be called within a year will be to revise the constitution in terms of a balanced budget amendment. However, they won’t stop at that and it is unlikely that they will give us that.

[Scott] We have already got a balanced budget amendment.

[Rushdoony] Yes. We have had a law passed requiring a balanced budget under Carter and also under Reagan and such laws are worthless.

Charles Adams in his book on the story of taxation Fight, Flight and Fraud, has a very, very interesting statement on page 125. He says, and I quote, “Taxing power is the guts of sovereignty,” unquote. So that in taxing power the state claims a right to take all our income. It is the sovereign.

[Scott] Yes.

[Rushdoony] It is entitled to everything.

[Scott] Yes.

[Rushdoony] And in more than one country since World War II taxes have been raised to over 100 percent. And the purpose has been to wipe out people who have property, people who are wealthy. In England, for example, many of the nobility are really tenants in their castles which now belong to the national trust, because when, as with the labor government shortly after the war, you were taxed over 100 percent, in order to live and to pay the taxes you have to start liquidating your assets. So after they had done this it wiped out all independent wealth in Britain. Then they lowered the taxes. That can be done here.

[Scott] Well, it can not only be done here, but I think in the context in which you and I are most concerned, we know that the taxing authority is looking with very greedy eyes at the accumulated properties of the churches of the United States. [00:21:12]

[Rushdoony] Yes

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Because this is the largest area left untaxed. Now in the case of France, in the case of Spain under the Communist government of the 30s, the churches... the church property was what the government went after. In the case of the French Revolution, of course, they thought the church property would enable them to put out a new money.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] They actually did not and so forth. And there are a number of people in the United States who are now arguing that the tax exemption of churches is unjust and amounts to a subsidy. So the government is doing you a favor if it doesn't tax you 100 percent, because we have all got a half a subsidy or a 32 percent of the subsidy or whatever, according to that line of reasoning. Anything you have less is something is something that the government is allowing you to keep.

And I think that is a rather sinister...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Development. And it is ... and it is luring the television evangelists who obviously, the Bakkers, et cetera, waste money and live extravagantly and so forth. They will always take the most odious case fist in order to set a precedent.

[Rushdoony] Yes, but now they are going after others and creating the incident, manufacturing it. Last month I was in a trail in the south in a Bible belt state where the state had several churches on trial because in their day care centers and their Christian schools and the church life generally they had a statement which all parents had to sign giving teachers the right to spank the child under certain circumstances. It was a very carefully controlled thing. But the state department of welfare, human resources department it was called, classifies this as child abuse. And in the trial the state attorney who held a book in her hand and said, “These churches are operating under the usage of and guidance of a child abuse manual.” That book was the Bible, because it says, “Spare the rod and spoil the child,” and a good deal else along the same lines.

[Scott] Yes.

[Rushdoony] So here we have a move to say that the Bible...

[Scott] The Bible....

[Rushdoony] an evil book. Then just a few days ago I was in another state, also in the South and here a trial was underway of a Bible believing church where supposedly in their day care center there was extensive sexual molestation of preschool children by the pastors and the teachers. [00:24:20]

The people I talked to said the whole thing is a fraud

The people I talked to said the whole thing is a fraud. The purpose is to disgrace Christianity and the Church. Well, what became apparent was these preschool children were coached in their testimony to give very specific evidence about very specific sexual abuse. But one of the children in the course of the testimony since what they were testifying to was fantasy planted in their minds by some one, went on to say, “And then teacher took me on an airplane ride all over the city.”

Well, that knocked out that case.

[Scott] Yes.

[Rushdoony] So what they then proceeded to do was to film all the other children which means they could edit the film and then by means of a VCR put it into the courtroom to be heard by the judge and the jury.

[Scott] And no cross examination.

[Rushdoony] No cross examination in such a situation. Now that is fraudulent. It is an attack on Christianity. It is a desire to dismantle and destroy it and to seize that property or to tax it or in one way or another...

[Scott] Well...

[Rushdoony] ...wipe out the church.

[Scott] It was John Marshall who said the power to tax is the power to destroy. Now we had a case, I remember talking to a businessman some years ago who said that he thought the best city to do business in was Los Angeles, because, he said, at that time the city fathers of Los Angeles could be reached. I have forgotten what kind of a commission they have that runs the city. And what they did was to persuade them to pass a certain law regarding some kind of a product that the city had to use and the dimensions of the product only fit this manufacturing rules. So without naming any company they simply made it mandatory for everyone in the city to buy this product.

Well, it was a pretty neat thing. But recently we have seen something even better. When the new tax reform act was passed, the latest one, of course, it hasn’t even been applied yet and they are talking about changing it. But when the latest one was passed, there were page upon page upon page of exemptions to this tax law. [00:27:10]

Now I don’t know where all our investigative reporters

Now I don’t know where all our investigative reporters are or if there is any such thing. Maybe they are all like Mr. Woodward and they interview cadavers.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] But the exemptions were all itemized by a corporation based in Dallas, let us say, or incorporated in Delaware manufacturing {?} of a certain size doing this or that and the other thing is exempt. And it had pages and pages of these exemptions. I have yet to see a single company or ... and there were also individuals exempted. I have yet to see a single one publicly named.

[Rushdoony] And you have not been able to get a copy of that, although you tried.

[Scott] No, they don’t ... they don’t send that out. You know, the freedom of information act means freedom for obtaining trivia. Richard. [?] has been working for a long time trying to get the information on what companies are doing business with the Soviets. You can’t get it.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, we do have a very serious problem and it is a growing problem, because taxes continue to increase until the government collapses or the people are destroyed by them, are reduced to slavery.

[Scott] Well, we have a system here where we have to pay our taxes in advance. If we don’t estimate within a very narrow range, we pay a penalty.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] So you have to pay taxes on the income before you receive it. Now this is a strain. This is not any great pleasure. Most people have to borrow money or a great many people have to borrow money in order to pay the estimated tax.

[Rushdoony] Yes and technically in terms of constitution it constitutes involuntary servitude or slavery. And the federal government has refused ever to hear a case on that.

[Scott] Well, the... there are many agencies of the government, not just the IRS, many, many agencies of the government that violate the separation of powers inherent in the original document at Philadelphia. I don’t think there is much left of that original document except the perfume.

[Rushdoony] Well, it is important for us, however, to be aware of what is happening and then to know how we are going to cope with it. [00:29:57]

Well, as we continue with this subject, I would like

Well, as we continue with this subject, I would like to make a few general statements again. The problem of taxation is nothing new. In Rome from the days of the republic to the empire taxes grew so that most small farmers, small businessmen were wiped out. With the empire taxes continued to grow. One Roman writer in the days of Augustus wrote, and I quote, “The rulers of the cities must stop breaking the necks of the city by continuous and heavy taxes. They choose on purpose the most merciless of tax collectors full of inhumanity. Recently a man was appointed tax collector among us. When some of those who were supposed to owe taxes fled, he carried off by force their wives and children, their parents and the rest of their families. The tax collector did not release them until he had tortured their bodies with racks and wheels and had killed them with newly invented devices of death,” unquote.

Torture, as time passed, became a routine method of collecting taxes, of compelling someone to surrender hidden funds. It became more and more unpopular. Then the empire would take measures against the tax men in order to be popular with the people. At one point they passed a law saying that dishonest tax collectors were going to be crucified. However, I question whether many were. What they did was to please people at the prospect that an occasional tax collector might be crucified.

Now, nothing happened because the people were themselves going down hill. The issue of a tax revolt, to go back to the time of Augustus Caesar, was a very live one in Judea. In fact, a very sizable percentage of the people in Judea at our Lord’s time were totally involved in either the tax revolt or sympathetic to it. And so every effort was made to nail Jesus on this issue. If he opposed taxes he could be arrested immediately as a public figure calling for tax revolt. If he said he was against it, he would be then out of favor with the people. [00:33:10]

So, we read, in Matthew ...

So, we read, in Matthew 17:24 and following, “And when they were come to Capernaum they that received tribute money came to Peter and said, ‘Doth not your master pay tribute?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ And when he was come into the house Jesus prevented him saying, ‘What thinkest thou, Simon? Of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? Of their own children or of strangers?’ Peter saith unto him, ‘Of strangers.’ Jesus saith unto him, ‘Then are the children free. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea and cast a hook and take up the fish that first cometh up and when thou hast opened its mouth, thou shall find a piece of money. That take and give unto them for me and thee.’”

Now we have a second episode. In Luke 20 verse 19 and following, “And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him. And they feared the people for they perceived that he had spoken the parable against them. And they watched him and sent forth spies which should feign themselves just men that they might take hold of his words that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor. And they asked him, ‘Master, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest though the person of any, but teach us the way of God. Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar or no?’”

Well, they hoped there in a public place with spies present to nail him. And Jesus said, “Show me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it?” The answered and said, “Caesar’s.” And he said unto them, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesars and unto God the things which be God’s.”

Now what Jesus meant by that was simply this. He was saying, “Yes, the taxes are exorbitant,” because, after all, we must remember in biblical law the tax is half a shekel for all males 18 year old and above, the same for all rich and poor, which meant that there could only be a limited civil government.

But Jesus by calling attention to the coin that it was Caesar’s was calling their attention to the fact that it was Caesar’s civil government, his army, his courts that was... that were providing them with their civil government. And it was that way because of their sins. [00:36:20]

“Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars, but

“Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars, but unto God the things that are God’s.”

So the point is, if we render to God the obedience that is his due, we will take power away from the state. If all Christians had their children in Christian schools, we would wipe out the public school system. It would fold as it is already, because 35 percent of the children are not in their hands. If we took back the government as God requires us to exercise it, we would remove the power of the state and its size, because if you look at health, education and welfare, there you have most of your tax funds on the city, the county, the state and, to a great degree, the federal level.

So the counsel of our Lord to the tax rebels of his day was render to God the things that are God’s and that will take care of Caesar. You have become the sons of Caesar, rather than the sons of God and this is why you suffer.

[Scott] Well, I think your point on schools is well taken. I think that... that is a very sound formula, but I also think that it is the duty of the Christian intellectuals to rationalize and defend the faith and they have been remarkably silent in that respect.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] They have not appeared. We have got all kinds of Christians that are lawyers, but they have not taken these cases to court. They haven't stood up before Congress. They haven’t stood in Congress. They haven’t said anything on their ... they are on the staff of the president. Do you realize the White House staff is over 6000 people? It is an army.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And there is lots of people there that claim to be Christians.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And they are silent on all these issues.

Now the people just can’t blindly stumble into all these solutions by themselves. They need some guide. They need voices. The duty of the intellectual is to rationalize and to explain and to defend.

[Rushdoony] Yes, but we are exactly what you are talking about, those thinkers who are trying to provide the framework. But are we getting the support that some of these other groups are? [00:39:05]

I could name one group

I could name one group. Remember I had the encounter with an executive of that group not too long ago. A hundred million plus a year and they are the most incompetent people imaginable. They can’t even with their converts get them off drugs or anything else, but people pour money into their hands.

[Scott] Well, I don’t know ... I really can’t say anything on that score, because it is one of the great puzzles, I think, of civilization that second graders are always more popular than first graders and so forth. And I am not saying that we are not popular. I think we are. But the {?} somehow or another seems to have an easier home, an easier row to hoe, because for one thing he never surprises the audience. He always says what that audience already believes and he never goes an inch beyond it. He doesn't disturb their sense of well being and so forth. But we do have a Christian community which numbers tens and tens of millions. And it seems to have had its throat cut. It has no voice.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] The only writer that I know is Edgar Yarrow who has take his case on sound money all the way up to the Supreme Court. He is going inch by inch and he has been working on it for years. But he is the only one I know of. His book Pieces of Eight is a very good book. And here we have this towering structure, Christianity, which has gone into every area of a well ordered society. I mean, the information is here. It is available. You don’t have to be a brain to get it. And yet nobody does.

[Rushdoony] Well, Saint Paul talked about the fact that even in his day, the first century, there were many so-called Christians who had the form of godliness without the power thereof. And that is still true. They want all the credit for being Christian and they assume that God can’t tell the difference. He has gotten old and his eye sight isn’t too good so they can masquerade as Christians and they will get by and they will get into heaven. And they are worthless, but they are cluttering up the church.

[Scott] Well, that is the ... there is something to that, because, you know, that on a strict matter of logic, I keep going back to that. When I was researching the book on James I, I was so struck by the intellect and the articulateness of the Puritans and the Presbyterians who stood up before the king and the king’s courts and the king’s committees and argued those men right into the wilderness. They didn’t all win their case, but they won the logic of the situation. And even the most tyrannical government cannot endure being made a fool of. And we don’t have that. We don’t have the Soviet government. We do have, still, all sorts of avenues of rationalization here. [00:42:27]

[Rushdoony] Yes

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] But there isn’t a single person in Congress fighting for the people on the question of taxes.

[Rushdoony] If they are fighting, the press does not report it.

[Scott] Well, all right. That is a good correction. I think probably they are. They are blacked out, because somebody, I think, recently said that five percent of the Congress gets 95 percent of the coverage by the press.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, we are in very serious trouble, because, of course, the economy is beginning to fall apart. Last week the New York Times on its front page said the solution to the dramatic drop in the stock market was more taxes.

[Scott] Whoa. I was...

[Rushdoony] They said that if the administration did not immediately embark on a program of heavier taxes, we would be Hooverising the economy.

[Scott] Well, you know, the every... somehow or another they have... these poor people, they pour out into the street demanding concentration camps. They want to be locked up. They want to be safe and secure. They want father to take care of them.

Freedom is painful. It is risky. You can lose your money. People... who in the stock exchange thought... everyone that went in there lost his money, because he thought he was... well, he was going to make more. I mean, are we supposed to cry for all the speculators? What kind of nonsense is this?

[Rushdoony] Well, people believe that Washington could do all things. I shall never forget in the 1971 San Fernando Valley earthquake which was a very serious one and we were in it. I went shopping to the supermarket to Luckys for Dorothy about two days later when we were still having some bad shakes. And people were discussing it in the checkout stand and the statement that I shall never forget was this by one indignant woman. And nobody laughed. Why doesn’t Washington do something about the earthquakes?

[Scott] Absolutely. Pass a law.

[Rushdoony] Yes. [00:45:01]

[Scott] Forbid them

[Scott] Forbid them. Well, of course, when Mr. Johnson, President Johnson was told he was... first he was told by the army that he had to send in another 100,000 men. They told him originally that it would cost 700,000 men and seven years to win that war and he paid no attention to them. And he finally got hold of 400,000 in there, but he was... they were being rotated all the time.

In any event he was told by the Pentagon they needed another 100,000. And the secretary of the Treasury said, “You can’t do it, because we cannot afford it.” He was absolutely shocked. Until then, that Texas school teacher, which is the way I always look at him, he went to some hard scrabble state college which taught him to teach eight year olds how to play tag or something, when he actually thought the United States had no boundaries.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] That it could fight and with unlimited war an unlimited length of time and spend an unlimited amount of money and it would never go out.

[Rushdoony] Yes. And what people forget that... is this. When they pay more taxes they create more and more power in the federal government and that power goes to the heads of all involved.

As far back as 1860 in the Lincoln administration we can see what happened, because with the war Washington suddenly took on a tremendous burst of growth. And Lincoln did some outrageous things in exercising power and members of his cabinet went even further.

Listen to these words in a letter from Secretary of State William H. Seward of Lincoln’s cabinet with the Lord Lands, a British minister, and I quote, “My lord, I can touch a bell on my right hand and order the arrest of a citizen of Ohio. I can touch a bell again and order the imprisonment of a citizen of New York. And no power on earth except that of the president can release them. Can the Queen of England do so much?” unquote.

[Scott] No, the Queen of England could not do that much, because the English wouldn’t allow it. That was a war time situation and we have had in every war of any size, not the Vietnam war or the Korean war, but up until those, our government has always behaved that way.

[Rushdoony] Yes. I recall in World War II I had a number of Japanese friends, ministers who were put in the relocation center and I would make a weekly trip there to bring them things they couldn’t buy making odds and ends of purchases. And the way they lived was this. Here was this huge, oh, some kind of like a warehouse, a part of the old {?} race track. And families were put together in there. All that was done was to string up some wires and throw blankets over them and then you had a little square in there where you and your family slept. [00:48:56]

That was the way they lived

That was the way they lived. It was a nightmarish thing and it was not because any of them were a threat. They knew that. They had picked up within 24 hours every Japanese agent and some of them were not Japanese. And this was just to eliminate these people who were a competition to the lettuce growers in the Salinas Valley where the request originated and other farms.

[Scott] Well, there is nothing unique about the American climate. We have people here who are capable of every atrocity that has been committed anywhere by anyone else. People in that sense are not unique.

[Rushdoony] No.

[Scott] We have... also we have different ethnic groups and, as you know within the last generation or so we have got ardent hate creators who in the name of anti racism are promoting racism all over the place. So we do have ... we are... we are sitting on an uneasy situation.

I feel sorry for the so-called tax protesters, because they are going about things in the most unintelligent way. And it is ridiculous. The positions that they take are absolutely ridiculous. What I am talking about is the absence of the intellectuals. The intellectuals in the United States have abandoned their duty and this kind... I include in that category the Christian intellectuals, because I don’t know where they are. What concerns them? What do they talk about? Is theology the end all of all their discussions?

[Rushdoony] And theology should make the faith relevant, not irrelevant and this is why the theologians are to theologians. They are just fools. And the worst they are, the higher their prestige. They become establishment figures. [00:51:07]

[Scott] Oh, we have reached the stage where incomprehensibil

[Scott] Oh, we have reached the stage where incomprehensibility is a sign of a scholar. It used to be the very direct, very lucid, very clear to... to... to master the language so that you can express yourself without hesitation. Maybe you get a doctor’s degree you have to destroy your language, your ability to speak. I don’t know.

[Rushdoony] Well of course, they don’t go to the universities now with much ability.

[Scott] That’s right.

[Rushdoony] ... in handling the language.

[Rushdoony] But I do think that if there was enough attention paid on some of the other areas of Christianity as it has been to education we would be well served.

[Rushdoony] Yes. We have to begin by saying a tax revolt is the wrong approach.

[Scott] Yes.

[Rushdoony] Then we have to say that as long as there are people, social services have to be provided. If the Christian sector does not provide them as it has throughout most of the history of the West, the state will. And when the state provides them, it leads to tyranny.

Then we have to conclude that what the Christian community has to do is to rethink the mandate of the gospel.

[Scott] Well I think that is very pertinent, because I have seen... Some years ago I think I told you Christianity Today asked me to write an article, not Christianity Today, another magazine.

[Rushdoony] Christian Herald?

[Scott] Christian Herald asked me to write an article about the bowery mission and I think it is still in existence. I am not sure. It was a very good operation, a real mission and an old one that was set up under Theodore Roosevelt’s time and I remember a vice president of the United States in the early days went down to attend the funeral of one of the alcoholics who died in the mission and the press said to him, “How ... how... how did this come about?”

And he said, “He was a friend of mine.”

Well, the city of New York was bending every rule conceivable to try to put the bowery mission out of... out of commission, out of ... out of business.

[Rushdoony] They are doing that across the country with missions.

[Scott] They... they... they hate the idea of private philanthropy.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] They want social work. They want social workers. They want psychologists. They want clinical psychologist. They want records. They want statistics and they want control over people. We used to call them when I was a boy poor masters. And that is exactly what they are.

So I think frankly the cutting edge of the problem is going to be in the identification and the arguments put up by the intellectuals, because {?} we are going to have open up the gates for the philanthropy. Otherwise you are up against the monolithic state. It is not a tax revolt, but it is an attempt to compete with the largest social welfare system ever created since Rome. And that is tough to do. [00:54:22]

[Rushdoony] Yes

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, in Rome taxes increased to the point that finally they had wiped out all the little people. Then they were wiping out the big people. And finally it reached the point that no one felt that Rome was worth fighting for. And at that point a few tens of thousands of wandering Germanic tribes walked through the empire.

[Scott] They took it over.

[Rushdoony] They took it over. Nobody felt that Rome was worth fighting for.

[Scott] Well, this happened in the Renaissance in Italy. The city states became so degraded, but remember that the despot took over the church.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] The church didn’t take over the despot. The Bourgeois moved form their despotism into the Vatican.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] And this is closer to what we are confronting. These people are going to move into the churches.

[Rushdoony] They have done it in the Soviet Union now since 1917. And they have done it throughout central Europe. They have done it in China and Southeast Asia. And, as I pointed out earlier, they are beginning to do it here. Anyone who feels that these things are accidental is foolish.

When I go from court to court I have a file there that has been sent there with my testimony in various cases so that they will throw back at me a line or two that, “You said such and such.”

[Scott] And it is not the case.

[Rushdoony] In another case in another state.

[Scott] And will the judge allow that?

[Rushdoony] Oh, of course.

[Scott] Oh, yes.

[Rushdoony] The judge will allow it. These people have all the latitude in the world. And their hostility at someone who will witness consistently against what they are doing is intense.

[Scott] So I think they are going to have to break. I think Christians are going to have to break some new ground. We can’t go back to the past to find the solution. It think we are going to have to devise some new solutions.

[Rushdoony] Well, first they have got to wake up. When I was in that southern Bible belt state where they said the Bible was a child abuse manual, except for the ministers who were on trial, there was scarcely anybody in the courtroom. I don’t think there were any apart from the ministers.

[Scott] There were no spectators.

[Rushdoony] No spectators.

[Scott] Didn’t the ministers gather up anybody to come in and watch this? [00:57:14]

[Rushdoony] Nobody

[Rushdoony] Nobody...

[Scott] It didn’t occur to them.

[Rushdoony] I am sure they announced it, but nobody wanted to come.

[Scott] They were afraid to even appear as a spectator.

[Rushdoony] In a trial in a northern state of two ministers who are highly respected by the other evangelical ministers in that city, the Rutherford Institute lawyer asked the other ministers if they wouldn’t come and be character witnesses for these two men. They said they were wonderful men, but they were afraid to appear for them. They said, “Well, why don’t you come and at least all of you ministers take up seats in the courtroom and thereby indicate your support?”

They were all afraid to because it might offend the city fathers.

[Scott] Well, that is what you call real faith.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Isn’t it? Huh?

[Rushdoony] And that is the kind of Christianity you have in many churches that profess to believe the Bible from cover to cover and don’t know much about what is between the covers.

So we are in trouble.

[Scott] Yes, we are. We are in great trouble. And it is interesting that opening up the Pandora’s box of taxes, which really is a Pandora’s box.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] Practically every governmental evil is connected in one way or another. I ...I .... I will always remember as a boy reading the story of David. You remember when David was fleeing from Saul and he had just a band of his own and he was collecting taxes from the farmers?

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] It is a very old situation.

[Rushdoony] Yes. Well, our time is just about up. I think the subject of taxes an important one. It is going to be solved as we, again, become a free and a courageous people, as we have a holy boldness to stand up and say, “Thus saith the Lord.” Until we do that...

[Scott] Until we do that, we are going to lose.

[Rushdoony] We are going to lose.

[Scott] No {?}

[Rushdoony] So we have to tackle it head on as a religious issue.

[Scott] Well, it is, because it is going to be an open religious issue. It is a covert religious issue now.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Scott] It is going to be an open one fairly soon.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

Well, our time is up. Thank you all for listening and God bless you.

[Voice] Authorized by the Chalcedon Foundation. Archived by the Mount Olive Tape Library. Digitized by

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