Instapundit definitely draws a conservative/libertarian kind of commenter, based on what was going on in the comments. Isn't it interesting that so many comments reflected the belief that everyone should pay some tax, no matter how little. I really think there's something to the "buy-in" that the Swedish Social Democrats have figured out. (I think that was "Terminal Frost" who contributed that idea.)
Mostly it bothered me that these basic questions are never even offered, maybe because the answers seem obvious on the surface. And the vast majority of commenters seemed to agree with this. I especially liked the point about looking at taxation as a confiscation not of money but of time. Talk about clarifying the problem! But apparently SOMEONE believes that it's okay for a large chunk of the electorate to not be taxed.
I really liked the house discussion. See, I have a feeling that home ownership has changed, especially in light of the bubble. How much worse is it to live in a neighborhood with several foreclosed, vacant houses than a full apartment complex? There seems to be room to question encouraging home ownership, even though it's been treated as a tacit good thing for many years. Same with the college education--it is a given, isn't it, that a college degree is necessary?
Back when I was an actuary, sometimes we would get answers which didn't make any sense. We couldn't figure out what was wrong in the formulas...it wasn't until we went all the way back to the initial assumptions, to how we framed to the problem, and then we could see that we had been looking at the problem all wrong. Maybe that's what is going on here. There needs to be time and space to really examine our principles. Thanks for participating in the discussion. I'll try to keep up the questions; please check in once in a while and throw around some answers.