Number of Voters Who Want to Repeal Income Tax Is 'Stunner'

Geraldine A. Hawkins
November 15, 2002

Do we really have an opportunity to repeal the income tax?

The "stunner" of the recent election, according to The Economist magazine, is the fact that forty-seven percent of Massachusetts voters gave a thumbs up to Ballot Question 1, despite the negligible coverage by the Boston Globe.

"I grew up all over the country (because my father was a U2 spy pilot in the Air Force) and I've never seen the media censorship that I've seen by the Globe," says Michael Cloud, Libertarian Party candidate for U.S. Senate and Democrat John Kerry's principal challenger in the absence of a Republican candidate this past election.

"It would be different if they didn't pretend to report news. I wish they would just say: 'Hello, I'm here to sustain and endorse Big Government.'"

Cloud tells MassNews, "Non-ideogical people agree with us on taxes. I told everyone we would get somewhere between 42% and 54%. . Barbers, beauticians, taxi drivers, all kinds of real people said to us: 'You know, I'm a Democrat, but . '" (Cloud lowers his voice to a whisper) "'I'm going to vote for Question 1.' We've even had government workers telling us they voted for us because they know there's a lot of waste!

"We made a proposal to Rick Klein and Yvonne Abraham [reporters at the Globe] to go out with us and knock on doors and report what people say. They wouldn't do it.

"If we had another $50,000 to $150,000 to give people the information they need, we would be dancing in the streets right now," says Cloud, who received 19% of the vote. "If people could have made informed choices, we would have won hands down."

Does Cloud think it strange that he and Kerry did not have to contend with a Republican challenger this year? "It demonstrates the betrayal of the people by the [GOP] leadership," he says. "You talk to registered Republicans in this state, they are conservative, Reagan Republicans, not Rockefeller Republicans. But the leadership has sopped up all the dough. . I think they gave Kerry a pass. They've written off most of the state-wide offices. . I talk to people who say, 'I've been a Republican all my life; I can't leave the Republican Party.' I tell them: 'They left you!'"

According to the Globe, "Eliminating the state income tax would take an estimated $9 billion annually out of state coffers and force an immediate 40% slash in state spending. . As a result, advocates said, extra money would flow into the market and create between 300,000 and 500,000 jobs, more than enough to completely wipe out unemployment in the state. Most mainstream economists doubt that scenario. Instead, they say, the state would be forced into an immediate fiscal emergency that would decimate the programs upon which so many people depend."

"Name three 'mainstream economists'!" Cloud challenges the Globe. "The first thing I was taught was to cite your sources. I don't see a single source quoted. . Joe Kalt, a free-market economist at Harvard, is in favor of the repeal of the income tax. I can name three Nobel Prize-winning economists who think the repeal would be a good thing: Vernon Smith, a free-market economist at George Mason University, Milton Friedman, and Kenneth Arrow, who was at Stanford. The Globe should name their economists, show us their curriculum vitae, and tell us why they are more credible than we are.

"Go through our ads," Cloud says. "Fact, fact, fact, fact, fact. We were thorough and diligent to make sure this proposal would help taxpayers."

Cloud founded the Committee for Small Government in March 2001 along with Carla Howell, Libertarian gubernatorial candidate. "Big Government is a cancer that undermines everything good about America," says Cloud. "It undermines our culture."

Cloud cites the condition of the public schools as an example. "The idea behind schooling is to give students the fundamentals they need to make good choices and be good citizens. . It has moved from education to propaganda. Public schools were generated years ago to counterbalance the heavy religious influence of parochial schools. . But we've never learned the lesson of the Soviet Union, which is that central planning doesn't work," says Cloud.

"Government central planning is destroying schools in Massachusetts. Children are taught the values of whoever is in control on Beacon Hill. . Centralizing means that it is very easy for a union or a corrupt business to exercise undue influence.

"In Waltham, they are building eight new schools, and closing down two, to achieve 'racial balance,'" says Cloud. "Who is behind this? Construction unions! The greatest advantage of local control over schools is that parents and communities can make their own decisions and not have someone else's values rammed down their throats."

The ballot initiative would allow parents to put at least one child in a private school," Cloud contends. "We conducted a survey and asked people: 'How would you spend your $3,000? Thirty-eight percent said they would spend it on their children's education. . Our position is so pro-family, pro-working people."

Cloud told MassNews that "decentralizing education would cripple socialism. We have 351 towns in Massachusetts. Let them have the freedom to make their own decisions! The repeal of the income tax would force public schools to deliver and force them to think with their minds instead of with our wallets! We appeal to people who care about families, communities and values."

Students should be given a sense of ownership of their schools, Cloud maintains. "Get kids to do things that schools hire janitors to do," he proposes. "I listen to liberals and I want to ask: 'Were you raised by wolves?' Didn't your mother ever tell you, 'If you break it, you bought it? If you make the mess, then you clean it up?'"

The Boston Globe writes (Nov. 8, 2002): "Critics contend that abolishing the income tax would plunge state government into chaos and force far higher broad-based taxes, such as sales and property taxes, to make up for the loss in revenue."

"State government is chaos!" is Cloud's rejoinder. "They lose fifty I.Q. points every time they gavel into session," he tells MassNews "That is like Typhoid Mary asking, 'Why is everybody getting sick?'"

Michael Cloud is a largely self-made man. "My father taught me to independent and self-reliant," he says on his website, ( "My mother was a full-time homemaker who, by her own example, taught me a love of learning and a passion for reading. I have no college degree. I am an autodidact. A self-directed learner. Like Becky Fuller, Eric Hoffer, Ray Bradbury, and Jessica Mitford."

Cloud has been a professional speechwriter for twenty-two years. His work has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Vital Speeches, The Washington Post and many others. His clients include independent business leaders, doctors, and a few celebrities.

Cloud's contempt for The Boston Globe is boundless. "For an arrogant, elitist newspaper, they are really thin-skinned," he says. "I bet them $10,000 if they could fill one page with the coverage they gave to Ballot Question 1. They couldn't do it, and they wouldn't pay up!"


Tuesday January 13, 2004


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