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Sunday, October 3, 2010

At Least His Taxes Were a Bit Lower Before his House Burnt Down

Posted by on Sun, Oct 3, 2010 at 6:40 PM

Each year, Obion County residents must pay $75 if they want fire protection from the city of South Fulton. But the Cranicks did not pay.

The mayor said if homeowners don't pay, they're out of luck.
...

"I thought they'd come out and put it out, even if you hadn't paid your $75, but I was wrong," said Gene Cranick.

Because of that, not much is left of Cranick's house.

This makes me feel even better about the obnoxious anti-income tax ads playing throughout the terrible Seahawks game today.

Remember kids, nothing government does is worthwhile. Taxes are always bad for the common man. You'd always be best off if you're left to fend for yourself, you strong, burly, independent American.

(Via the A-list)

 

Comments (64) RSS

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ballard dude 1
That's some cold a@# shit!
Posted by ballard dude on October 3, 2010 at 6:46 PM · Report this
Jonathan Golob 2
It's a libertarian paradise! The very vision of America's future--free from governmental interference with things like firefighters.
Posted by Jonathan Golob http://dearscience.org on October 3, 2010 at 6:50 PM · Report this
3
we're shocked a whiny pussy liberal would have been watching the Seahawk game.....
Posted by must have been admiring the player's tight pants... on October 3, 2010 at 6:51 PM · Report this
Puty 4
This story is insane. Taxes don't work with a la carte opt-out and it should be illegal for fire departments let homes burn.
Posted by Puty on October 3, 2010 at 7:02 PM · Report this
ballard dude 5
The story gets even crazier if you see the local tv news coverage! I like the analogy to car insurance... you don't get to buy the insurance only after an accident. Sorry, but if you don't pay then you're not covered!
$75/year=$6.25 a month...
http://www.wpsdlocal6.com/news/local/Fir…
Posted by ballard dude on October 3, 2010 at 7:09 PM · Report this
6
4
Life is Hard*
And then You Die.....
Posted by *but it's a lot harder when you're STUPID..... on October 3, 2010 at 7:11 PM · Report this
elenchos 7
I still keep meeting parents who send their kids to school unvaccinated because they believe some urban legend saying vaccinations have cooties and then get angry when their kid gets whooping cough because they thought everybody else's kid would be vaccinated.

I'm not talking about pickup-driving goobers living out in the boonies. I'm talking about people with degrees who work for high tech industries in Seattle and the Bay Area. It's like somehow, Ayn Rand has the power to create these sort of mythical beasts, like centaurs or something? Half functional 21st Century knowledge worker/half-libertardian know-nothing.

It's an amazing contradiction to be able to think yet not think at the same time.
Posted by elenchos on October 3, 2010 at 7:11 PM · Report this
8
Ha! Awesome! The town I live in would have opt-in taxes of they could, and they are trying.

Best thing is, his insurance company is going to tell him to go fuck himself too. Even purchasing renters insurance, they ask you how close you are to a fire station. Wait til they find out he opted for no fire department coverage.
Posted by Bohica on October 3, 2010 at 7:12 PM · Report this
9
I can kind of understand how people would feel "opt-in" taxes are a good system, but who the fuck opts out of FIRE SERVICES? And for $75 a year?!
Posted by Gloria on October 3, 2010 at 7:26 PM · Report this
10
Libertarians. At least they should. They are obligated to if they truly believe what they preach. Of course, they don't. If they practiced what they preached, they all wouldn't weigh 225+.
Posted by Bohica on October 3, 2010 at 7:30 PM · Report this
11
Yesterday, riding a train through Quebec, I got to listen some Western libertarian Randian sorts hate on firefighters. (Not related to this--related to their own little town.) One actually said, "I can't believe the salaries they get! They think they're heroes, but they're not. I have no sympathy for them."

I would love to see the Democrats with a dual platform in advertising/message. Take examples like this, like roads being unpaved, like cities cutting basic police service or turning off streetlights. Then have two messages:
SERVICES: ACTUALLY, Y'KNOW, GOOD
and
SERVICES: THEY COST MONEY.

I'll never see that! But oh, it would be nice. Taxes -> services -> making everyone's life a little better by working for the greater good.
Posted by Cow on October 3, 2010 at 7:30 PM · Report this
12
9

Fuck You, Asshole.

There should be a law that says the Fire Dept has to put out my fire even if I refuse to pay.

as a Socialist Liberal it's my RIGHT to get services I do not pay for.....
Posted by Pútty on October 3, 2010 at 7:32 PM · Report this
13
An eye-opening Harper's story last year on the booming private firefighting business reported that from the time of the Great Fire of London up to the Civil War era, fire brigades competed with other, each paid by a different insurance company.
Each brigade had its own uniform—blue coats with red linings, or blue shirts with silver buttons, or yellow pants and silver-buckled shoes—and its own firemarks, metal plaques posted on homes so that everyone would know exactly who should save whom. Whenever part of London burned, the brigades competed so well for water and space that authorities had to impose fines: five shillings for hitting a rival fireman; two shillings, six pence for pouring water on him. By the early 1800s, private firefighters were replaced by public firefighters, for whom the only adversary was fire.

http://www.harpers.org/archive/2009/10/0…
Posted by gloomy gus on October 3, 2010 at 7:38 PM · Report this
14
Real Men don't need government help =)
Posted by Democrat1234 on October 3, 2010 at 7:43 PM · Report this
15
I worked in rural Vermont as a carpenter. They had an incredibly lax residential building permit system there. They basicly said we really don't need architects and engineers to tell a guy how to build a house. It was all feild engineered by semiliterate hillbillies that never saw a span table in their lives. If these buildings ever caught on fire the firemen would not go inside because they were unpredictable death traps when they caught on fire. They were pretty much burnt to the ground by the time the volunteer fire department had shown up so I suppose to a libertarian it was no big deal. But their taxes and construction costs were cheap.
Posted by wl on October 3, 2010 at 7:54 PM · Report this
16
@4, others:

Reading the linked article, it sounds like the man's home was not within the boundaries of the town in question. So then you have to ask, should a town's fire department be required to extinguish fires outside the town?

It looks to me like this is a town inviting a surrounding, unincorporated area (which presumably does not pay taxes to the town) to opt in to certain social services if they pay a fee. The fire department was likely there to insure, as they ended up doing, that the fire did not spread to the property of someone who had in fact opted in. In fact, the fact that they were there early shows, I think, their good intent, as they could have waited until they got a call from an actual participant in their program.

Finally, we can observe the mindset of the actual property owner, who didn't pay the fee, not because he didn't want fire coverage, but because he believed he'd be helped anyway. This is the true socially parasitic behavior, for those of you who are writing pronounced and pointless posts defaming "liberals". This is someone who wanted for free what others pay for. Generally, those who call themselves "liberals" (or are being called "liberals") are those who realize that we all need these protections, and are willing to pay their part.

You're just upset because they want you to pay your part, too. Try not to be the next guy with his house burning down. :)
Posted by make dir on October 3, 2010 at 8:01 PM · Report this
17
Welcome to the real world Teabaggers! If you want evil socialist programs like roads, firefighters, or police, YOU HAVE TO PAY THE TAXES FOR THEM!
Posted by UNPAID COMMENTER on October 3, 2010 at 8:02 PM · Report this
Noadi 18
This county's government clearly hasn't thought through worst case scenario. What if a child had been trapped in that building. Would the firefighters be under orders to let the kid die? This is why sane people don't think emergency services should be opt in.
Posted by Noadi http://noadi.net on October 3, 2010 at 8:08 PM · Report this
Schmapdi 19
"I thought they'd come out and put it out, even if you hadn't paid your $75, but I was wrong," said Gene Cranick.

Pfft - always wanting something for nothing.
Posted by Schmapdi on October 3, 2010 at 8:11 PM · Report this
20
Not only does no law say that fire protection is some sort of individual right...

The Supreme Court ruled in Castle Rock v. Gonzales that the police do not have a constitutional duty to protect people from harm or a duty to respond.

I'm sure that ruling would apply here or they would make a similar finding.

On the plus side... I bet they will get a lot more $75 payment next year.
Posted by SeattleSeven on October 3, 2010 at 8:12 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 21
As the old song goes, "Burn, Baby, Burn"

And good luck with the homeowner's insurance. In this case, they are totally right to reject any claim.

As for any theoretical children etc: tough luck. After all, isn't it every man for himself?
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay http://www.danlangdon.com on October 3, 2010 at 8:30 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 22
A state income tax and fire protection have nothing to do with one another. We already pay for fire protect in Seattle.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on October 3, 2010 at 8:36 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 23
protection...
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on October 3, 2010 at 8:37 PM · Report this
dnt trust me 24
"You'd always be best off if you're left to fend for yourself"

I get plenty of help from friends and family, I'd be a wreck without them, but I agree with your statement. Which naturally leads to - being a wreck is best off.
Posted by dnt trust me on October 3, 2010 at 8:39 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 25
Fair taxes are great...but Washington residents don't pay fair and just property taxes.

The natives sit on massive land holdings and pay nothing.

The productive people will have their income tax to pay for the idlers.

Vote no on the 1098 middle class tax.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on October 3, 2010 at 8:40 PM · Report this
Jonathan Golob 26
@22, 23: The anti-income tax ads had a general ain't-gov'ment evil theme. Like virtually every right wing / republican ad in my lifetime. Government = evil and bad. Over and over again. Little different intellectually than demanding people opt-in for firefighters.

We do pay for fire protection in Seattle--with incredibly regressive taxes. The poor pay disproportionately to protect the rich. The income tax measure would help even this out a bit.

And, given the lopsided tax structure of the State's tax system, Seattleites pay to stop right wing libertarians' homes from burning down deep in the heart of Eastern Washington. You're welcome.
Posted by Jonathan Golob http://dearscience.org on October 3, 2010 at 8:44 PM · Report this
codenamedV 27
I'm voting Yes on the TAX THE FILTHY RICH initiative. I hope I get all of your money, SROTU.
Posted by codenamedV http://newish-jewish.com on October 3, 2010 at 8:50 PM · Report this
balderdash 28
Crassus approves.

"My good citizen, I can't help but notice your house is on fire. I happen to have a great number of firefighters on hand. Perhaps you would like to sell the house to me, as I am able to put out the fire? Unfortunately, I'm afraid it's not worth much, seeing as it's on fire."
"Can't you just put out the fire?!?"
"Why, no, I'm afraid I can't. And in the time you asked, my offer has just declined by, oh, say, fifteen percent."
Posted by balderdash http://introverse.blogspot.com on October 3, 2010 at 8:51 PM · Report this
balderdash 29
You know, as much as I'm in favor of a progressive tax structure, if there's one lesson I've learned in the time I've lived here, it's that you can't trust Washington's government with money. I'll happily vote for an income tax, but only if it is absolutely set in stone that the sales tax dies at the same time. I'm not going to give them an income tax and let them just give their word that they'll kill the sales tax later at some unspecified time in the future.

I'll vote for 1098 just because of the high minimum income affected, but if the income tax is ever proposed generally, well... fuck that. Not until sales tax is actually gone.
Posted by balderdash http://introverse.blogspot.com on October 3, 2010 at 8:57 PM · Report this
sanguisuga 30
Sounds like some sort of mob shakedown to me... "Geez, youse got lots of flammable items here. You want you should pay us some dough so's it don't burn down."
Posted by sanguisuga on October 3, 2010 at 9:13 PM · Report this
31
@29, the legislature could extend the income tax to any income level after two years (if 1098 passes). With only a simple majority.
Posted by joykiller on October 3, 2010 at 9:21 PM · Report this
Jonathan Golob 32
@29: prove it. Cite any specific example of what you'd consider wasteful state spending. Then prove it was wasteful with hard evidence.

The studies and data I've seen show Washington state and king county to be relatively wise and efficient investors of public resources.
Posted by Jonathan Golob http://dearscience.org on October 3, 2010 at 9:50 PM · Report this
seatackled 33
That's crazy shit.

Do we know their reasons for not paying? Or are we just assuming they're libertarian nuts? In any case, I'd be pretty pissed if I were the neighbor that the fucking fire department let a fire go on until it endangered my home.

And how is that city government any different from the nativists who want to prevent undocumented people from getting services?
Posted by seatackled on October 3, 2010 at 9:56 PM · Report this
34
"I thought they'd come out and put it out, even if you hadn't paid your $75, but I was wrong,"

Yep. Just like you are wrong when you don't donate to your public TV or radio station, because you figure why should you pay when you can listen for free, or you ignore the donate button on your favorite blogs, because why should you pay when you can read them for free.

Cheap ass bastard. This just goes to show why public services need to be tax funded. If they weren't there are just too many cheap bastards who figure that they can just hitch a ride along for free.
Posted by PaulBarwick on October 3, 2010 at 10:09 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 35
I come from Iowa, where there's a state income tax, a property tax, and a sales tax.

Iowa has good schools - including an affordable state university system - and good services. If it weren't for the weather, and the fact I have a good job, I'd consider moving back there.

Taxes are nothing to be afraid of, and there's certainly no reason for normal people to be Pomerainians for the rich. They've gotten a free ride here for a long time, and they're not going to go anywhere if they have to pay an income tax. Don't be such Nebraskans.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay http://www.danlangdon.com on October 3, 2010 at 10:09 PM · Report this
36
@ 18:

You clearly didn't read the supporting news items. The county doesn't offer fire services, this is about a town that offers services outside their town if you opt in for a fee.

And, as quoted in one of the articles, even if you do not opt in, the fire department responds and performs a rescue if people are in danger. They only do nothing if there is no danger to human life, as was the case here.

Please save your indignation for articles you've bothered to read.

m!
Posted by make dir on October 3, 2010 at 10:14 PM · Report this
37
" The poor pay disproportionately to protect the rich"

Actually more fires happen in low income homes than high. Better maintenance, smoke detectors, education and not roasting goats in a house help.

So the poor pay to protect their own dumb asses.
Posted by Fire me on October 3, 2010 at 10:15 PM · Report this
38
@18 and 33, reading the link would have answered your questions. The fire department from a nearby city showed up. If there had been someone in the house, they would have gone in to rescue that person.

The fire started to spread to a neighbor's field (or yard). The neighbor had paid the fire fee. The firefighters put out the grass fire.
Posted by midwaypete on October 3, 2010 at 10:36 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 39
Jonathan, 1098 is NOT for fire protection it's for education. The tax is not even law and YOU are already expanding it! Oh dear Holy whom ever protect my money from the greedy please. AMEN!

Funny that you would think yet ANOTHER tax would solve existing bad taxes. Odd thinking if it's thinking at all.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on October 3, 2010 at 11:04 PM · Report this
Westlake, son! 40
I can't believe no one has cited this Onion article yet: http://www.theonion.com/articles/liberta…
Posted by Westlake, son! on October 3, 2010 at 11:06 PM · Report this
Jonathan Golob 41
@39: At which point in this post did I state that 1098 provides fire coverage? Are you obtuse or inept? I'm not sure at the moment.

"protect my money form the greedy please." Please. If you're making over the floor of this income tax, you should kneel down on the ground and thank the gods that you are so damn lucky or such a remorseless sociopath to hit those levels.

You should be smart enough to recognize how fucking luck you are (and I am) to live in a place with a government as functional and efficient as ours. Think I'm wrong saying that? Prove it.
Posted by Jonathan Golob http://dearscience.org on October 3, 2010 at 11:20 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 42
1098 destroys property tax and makes the situation more inequitable and unfair.

Only monarchists approve 1098.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on October 4, 2010 at 12:47 AM · Report this
tqe.Adam 43
I wonder how long it will take the home owner to reconcile is hatrid of taxation with the lack of housing that he is currently experiencing.

I'm glad his house burned down--saving it would have only sent the wrong message to all the leaches out there.
Posted by tqe.Adam http://www.elmada.com/ on October 4, 2010 at 12:48 AM · Report this
44
@32
"relatively wise and efficient investors of public resources."

uwahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
Posted by how fucking luck I am we have such gud skuls!! on October 4, 2010 at 3:37 AM · Report this
Kitts 45
I do see one problem with this story... because the fire department didn't protect this guy's house, his neighbor, who had paid, also had their house catch fire. Yes, the department then put it out, but in situations like this, there is a lot of potential for the fire to spread. This is why opt-in is a terrible idea for fire services. Fire protection and health care should be universal, because fires and diseases spread.
Posted by Kitts on October 4, 2010 at 6:06 AM · Report this
46
I can't believe anyone would accuse the fire department of wrongdoing in this situation. Homeowners: you made your bed; now sleep in it. How can you expect the service if you don't pay the tax?
Posted by brendan on October 4, 2010 at 6:31 AM · Report this
47
'Sounds like some sort of mob shakedown to me... "Geez, youse got lots of flammable items here. You want you should pay us some dough so's it don't burn down."'

And having an authoritarian regime backed by a well armed military extract rents from you to fund the slaughter of thousands in other countries, police departments tasked with punishing consensual victimless crimes etc. is what? Noble?

I love how many people here are convinced that this guy didn't pay because that's some how a libertarian principle. As if desiring a choice of competing services rather than being forced into a dysfunctional one size fits all monopoly = 'I don't want fire protection!'

I mean look, this certainly wasn't an optimal situation. Opting out doesn't help shit if the state still maintains a monopoly on the service from which you're being allowed to opt-out. But the idea that without some monopolistic regime dictating our lives we'd all be helpless plebeians unable to provide for ourselves and our communities is sad.
Posted by johnbltz on October 4, 2010 at 6:46 AM · Report this
Vince 48
Hee-larious!
Posted by Vince on October 4, 2010 at 6:46 AM · Report this
49
Maybe I'm just playing devil's advocate, but... it doesn't sound to me like the guy was deliberately trying to leech off the system.

It sounds more like he just assumed that the $75 was some kind of bonus donation to the fire department, because it didn't even occur to him that fire protection might be "extra."
Posted by SkyHuxley on October 4, 2010 at 6:57 AM · Report this
dirac 50
25-Are you talking about Natives/Indians? In that case, they shouldn't have to pay property taxes on the shit land they've been given in return for having everything stolen during a holocaust. Also, reservations are not vassal states but [supposedly] sovereign nations.
Posted by dirac on October 4, 2010 at 7:37 AM · Report this
51
@50 I totally agree. The idea that a Native peoples who had their land stolen from them should be penalized is ridiculous.
Posted by johnbltz on October 4, 2010 at 7:49 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 52
@ 47, the homeowner may well have had some other reason for not paying a measly $75 for fire protection (that is, one not related to anti-tax or libertarian principles), but it's hard to imagine what that might be.

I sure hope you aren't implying that fire protection ought to be provided by the free market. Public services all ought to belong to our democratically elected representative governments, which are more accountable than any private business.
Posted by Matt from Denver on October 4, 2010 at 8:04 AM · Report this
Rotten666 53
"If you're making over the floor of this income tax, you should kneel down on the ground and thank the gods that you are so damn lucky or such a remorseless sociopath to hit those levels."

Yeah, success is generated by either blind luck or sheer evil. For a fairly intelligent guy that's a pretty fucking stupid statement.
Posted by Rotten666 on October 4, 2010 at 8:23 AM · Report this
54
That guy needs a shirt.
Posted by thename on October 4, 2010 at 9:11 AM · Report this
55
From the article, it sounds like people who live in the city of South Fulton get fire service, presumably as part of their property taxes. Only people who live outside the city have to buy their own service from the city if they want it. Some blame here goes to the county, where they're too afraid to tax people to either have their own fire service or buy a blanket coverage agreement from the city.

Also, if a firefighter got hurt in a non-covered house, would the city's insurance pay? I bet not.
Posted by pox on October 4, 2010 at 9:35 AM · Report this
56
@52 "the homeowner may well have had some other reason for not paying a measly $75 for fire protection (that is, one not related to anti-tax or libertarian principles), but it's hard to imagine what that might be."

He's cheap and/or thrifty and didn't expect his house would be the one to burn down, but assumed that if it did he'd get a free ride on the contributions of neighbors, maybe? Hm...that was actually pretty easy to imagine.

"I sure hope you aren't implying that fire protection ought to be provided by the free market. Public services all ought to belong to our democratically elected representative governments, which are more accountable than any private business. "

The State is accountable to the corporate interests that fund and lobby them. Period. Just take a look at how quickly Obama's promises to fight lobbyist and the health insurance industry turned into legislation making it illegal for anyone not to buy their product.

Free market is a poor choice of word for what I'd like to see provide public sector services. Let's just say I'd much prefer a decentralized, voluntarilyist and localized solution.
Posted by johnbltz on October 4, 2010 at 10:05 AM · Report this
57
@45,n the neighbor's house did not catch fire. The linked reports state that part of the neighbor's field started to burn. The linked reports said nothing about the neighbor's house.
Posted by midwaypete on October 4, 2010 at 10:27 AM · Report this
58
On the plus side, his property tax bill should go down quite a bit.
Posted by butterw on October 4, 2010 at 1:15 PM · Report this
Dougsf 59
@7 - Did you see the Frontline episode about that? It's a little maddening. Ashland, OR—such a weird hotbed of libertarian ethics crossed with 70's new age-isms—has the lowest vaccination rate in the country.
Posted by Dougsf on October 4, 2010 at 1:26 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 60
Libertarians of the world unite!

And stay the heck off of my socialized roads and out of emergency rooms when your house burns down.

Somalia ain't such a keen thing, is it?
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on October 4, 2010 at 2:36 PM · Report this
61
How is this legal? My neighbor not having police or fire protection puts me at a bigger risk and the community as a whole. Not just physical risk, financial risk too. so incredibly stupid.
Posted by kersy on October 4, 2010 at 10:03 PM · Report this
62
And the fire started because he was...burning trash? Let me guess--too cheap to pay for garbage pickup or the dump fees? And too dumb to clear a fifteen foot radius around his burn area and have buckets of sand, fire extinguishers and a garden hose standing by? And also, on MSNBC tonight, claiming he "forgot" to pay his fee.
Posted by tiktok on October 4, 2010 at 10:07 PM · Report this
63
@18: Comparing a house to a child is fucked up. A house is stuff. Nobody is going to get hurt or die for your property. Sorry.
Posted by Gloria on October 5, 2010 at 8:44 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 64
@15 you're talking about my dad.

He's not a semi-literate hillbilly, he was a professor at Marlboro College, and he's been building houses since the 1960s.

But hey, say bad things about Vermont.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on October 5, 2010 at 1:58 PM · Report this

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