Libertarians Question Recent Stop Domain Subsidies Meeting

RECEIVED Mon., July 28, 2008

Dear Editor,
    Thanks to the Chronicle for ongoing coverage of the Stop Domain Subsidies effort to end retail subsidies [“Naked City,” News, July 25], something many Libertarians like me support. However, I wanted to warn you that Libertarians have been grumbling about the SDS July 14 meeting. The meeting kicked off with Pure Rain, a company using solar energy to do something ridiculous with water, audaciously lobbying for subsidies while waving a $1,500 check which SDS hypocritically accepted. Sorry to vomit in the water, but I’d rather subsidize a mall that sells obviously unnecessary luxuries than subsidize a company that profits selling useless products at taxpayer expense whose sole benefit is aiding and abetting the egos of self-righteous yuppie leftists who’ve fooled themselves into thinking they’re actually doing something worthwhile.
    All the usual leftist suspects were there, like Save Our Springs’ Bill Bunch and the Sierra Club, drooling over the $65 million tax subsidy and pondering ways they’d rather spend it on their pet projects. Across-the-board tax cuts never came up.
    SDS leader Brian Rodgers’ message was spot on, as usual; something Libertarians, conservatives, and leftists can support. I have the utmost respect for him. But he needs to take back control of this effort and ensure balance to keep the coalition together. I enjoyed my five minutes of mocking the $46 underwear I bought at the Domain Neiman Marcus, but next time he might want to schedule time for me or someone else to balance the presentation by focusing specifically on the free-market side of the issue.
    Libertarians did not support the 2006 Open Government Online amendment or the Save Our Springs amendment, and they crashed and burned. Overconfidence and alienating tax cutters puts the SDS effort at risk of failing.
Wes Benedict
Executive Director
Libertarian Party of Texas
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