#4 Winter 1989
TAFOL ISSUES POSITION PAPER ON MANDATORY PRO BONO
l POSITION PAPER OF THE ASSOCIATION FOR
OBJECTIVE LAW IN OPPOSITION
TO MANDATORY PRO
BONO (Part 1)
l TAFOL CHARTER
l IN BRIEF
The Corporate Veil v. the Environment
For the Good of Whom?
A Modest Tax Break
Right to Die
Those Dangerous Korean Manicure Shop Owners!
Without Property Rights . . .
Did We Hear Correctly?
1989 page 1
TAFOL ISSUES POSITION PAPER ON MANDATORY PRO BONO
TAFOL's draft of its position paper on the issue of mandatory
pro bono is printed below. The position paper will soon be submitted
to the committee in New York State which has recommended the implementation
of mandatory pro bono, and to the New York State Bar Association,
which opposes mandatory pro bono. TAFOL members are urged to notify
TAFOL of any developments in their states which would make submission
to a bar organization or legislative body in that state appropriate.
POSITION PAPER OF THE ASSOCIATION
FOR OBJECTIVE LAW IN OPPOSITION TO MANDATORY PRO BONO1
lawyers (like many other professionals) have contributed their
efforts to help those who could not afford their
services. This is called pro bono publico service, from the Latin "for
the public good." In recent years, there have been proposals
to make this form of charity mandatory. The proposals would require
lawyers to render services to the poor as a condition of continuing
licensure, independently of the lawyers' desires,
even if they have moral objections to the service or find
the work or the client abhorrent for other reasons. The work would
be compelled without compensation, or for compensation insufficient
to induce the lawyer to offer his services voluntarily. A lawyer
who refused to serve would lose his right to practice his profession.
of mandatory pro bono believe that it is a golden, noble ideal,
pure in principle.
Most opponents accept this premise,
but regard mandatory pro bono as unworkable in practice. The Association
for Objective Law ("TAFOL") agrees that mandatory pro
bono will not work. However, its main objection is more fundamental.
TAFOL holds that mandatory pro bono is immoral, inimical to basic
American principles, and subject to fatal constitutional objections.
I. The Mandatory Pro Bono Movement
of mandatory pro bono has received serious, widespread consideration
the past several years. In New York, for example,
The Committee to Improve the Availability of Legal Services was
appointed by Chief Justice Sol Wachtler to investigate, among other
things, implementing mandatory pro bono. Based on an alleged "growing
need for legal services for the poor"2 and a "disappointingly
low" percentage of lawyers volunteering their services to
the poor, the Committee is urging the adoption of the "modest" requirement
that every New York lawyer be required to devote at least 40 hours
every two years to public service. (Certain attorneys could avoid
service by making a monetary payment, others by transferring their
obligations to another attorney.) This plan is opposed by the New
York State Bar Association, which suggests an alternative based
on lawyers volunteering their services.
In other jurisdictions,
different approaches have been taken. A new set of Disciplinary
Rules of Professional Conduct adopted
by vote of Texas lawyers in May 1989 replaces the word "should" with
the word "shall" in a section dealing with a lawyer's
obligation to serve when appointed by a tribunal, thus giving courts
the right to conscript lawyers in individual cases. In Maryland,
a select committee headed by Congressman Benjamin Cardin recommended
1989 Page 2
be required to take one pro bono case per year. However, the
Maryland Court of Appeals shelved the recommendation
results of a statewide survey
of voluntary pro bono efforts. As for the federal courts, in
Mallard v. United States District Court, 109 S. Ct. 1814 (1989),
the Supreme Court addressed 28 U.S.C. §1915(d), which allows
a court to request a lawyer to handle a case for an indigent litigant.
Although the Court (in a five to four decision) rejected the idea
that this statute can be used to require pro bono services, it
declined to express an opinion as to whether federal courts have
inherent power to force lawyers to provide legal services.
In addition, movement towards mandatory pro bono (ranging from
murmurs of support to organized activity) has been reported in
Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Dakota,
Oregon and Wisconsin.
II. Mandatory Pro Bono is Immoral, Unconstitutional and Impracticable
Pro Bono Contravenes the Moral and Political Principles Upon
United States Is Based
The ethical basis of mandatory pro bono is the notion that an
individual has no right to his own life but rather has a moral
duty to live for others and sacrifice his own values to their wishes
and needs. But the United States is, properly, rooted in another
ethics. The United States was founded on the principle that every
individual should and may act in his own self interest and by his
own judgment, so long as he allows others to do the same. The profound
political principle which implements this ethical principle, and
which has made the United States the freest country on earth, is
the principle of individual rights.
right is the right to life, but this means more than freedom
arbitrary firing squad. Life is a process
of self-sustaining and self-generating action. The right to life
means "the freedom to take all the actions required by the
nature of a rational being for the support, the furtherance, the
fulfillment and the enjoyment of his life."3 The right to
life implies the right to earn, use and dispose of property. "[T]he
man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means
to sustain his life. The man who produces while others dispose
of his product, is a slave."4 The right to life also implies
a right to the pursuit of happiness, which means the right to live
for oneself and choose what constitutes one's own private happiness
and to work for its achievement as one sees fit.
In the language
of the Declaration of Independence: "We
hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created
equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable
Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and
the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights,
Governments are instituted among Men . . . "
Rights are inalienable; they are absolute. There are no circumstances
under which a right may be infringed. There can be no rights if
they may, at the discretion or whim of the government or the majority,
be invaded in any
way, at any time, to any degree. Once such an invasion is permitted,
the notion of something superior to the rights of
the individual has been accepted.
for mandatory pro bono are hostile to these principles. It is
that the indigent have a right to legal services,
that this "right" conflicts with the rights of lawyers
to choose the work they wish to do and to refuse to work for free,
and so the rights of lawyers must yield to some degree. But rights
pertain to freedom of action. A man has a right to free speech,
but not a right to commandeer someone else's radio station. A man
has the right to work to earn enough money to buy a house and actually
to buy that house if someone wishes to sell it to him. He has no
right to a house such that someone else is required to provide
it to him. Likewise, a man has the right to engage a lawyer to
represent him. That is not at all the same thing as the notion
of a "right" to legal services which would entitle that
man (or the government on his behalf) to force a lawyer to represent
him for free. Needs are not rights, and no supposed need of the
indigent for legal services can justify any violation of a lawyer's
of mandatory pro bono argue alternatively that along with rights
They say that a right - in this case
the right to practice law - is a grant of the government.5 Since
it is a grant, they believe, certain duties may be demanded in
return - in this case the duty to meet the needs of the indigent
for legal services. But the very essence of the concept of rights
is that individuals may act by right, without anyone's permission.
That is the meaning of freedom. Permissions may be withdrawn at
whim, at any time. The only "obligation" of an individual
in society is "to respect the rights of others, if one wishes
1989 Page 3
be recognized and protected."6
A proper government protects the rights of lawyers to act and
work as they wish. Under mandatory pro bono, government would do
just the reverse; it would treat rights
as conditional gifts and, in the name of the "needs of the
indigent," command: "Work for him."
Once any bogus
right is proclaimed, once rights are demoted to permissions and
absolutism of rights is breached, there can
be no limit to the number of counterfeit rights that can be concocted
and which will require "adjustment" of the actual rights
of others: rights to free dental care or mechanical work, rights
to cars and houses and VCRs. Inevitably, actual rights are swamped
and drowned for everyone, the needy and the not. How ironic and
tragic it would be if, at the same time the people of Eastern Europe
are struggling to break the chains of communism, the heirs of Jefferson
were to declare: "From each according to his abilities, to
each according to his needs."
Mandatory Pro Bono Is Unconstitutional
pro bono offends several provisions of the United States Constitution.
First, the Fifth Amendment prohibits the taking of private property
for public use without just compensation. A lawyer's time and effort
constitute his stock in trade---his property. Thus any government
edict that denies him full payment for his services is unconstitutional.
DeLisio v. Alaska Superior Court, 740 P.2d 437 (Alaska 1987); State
ex rel. Scott v. Roper, 688 S.W.2d 757 (Mo. 1985); Bedford
v. Salt Lake County, 22 Utah 2d 12, 447 P.2d 193 (1968).
Thirteenth Amendment states: "Neither slavery
nor involuntary servitude . . . shall exist within the United States
or any place subject to their jurisdiction." Although the
Thirteenth Amendment has traditionally been viewed as not affording
protection from temporary service coerced by the government, the
broad language of the amendment---and, indeed, common sense---suggest
that mandatory pro bono is involuntary servitude. That was the
reaction of the court in one case in which a lawyer appointed pursuant
to statute to represent a person in a sanity hearing was denied
payment. The court in that case stated: "For the legislature
to attempt to compel a lawyer to work by passing a statute requiring
a judge to order it done would be to take his property without
giving just compensation, or to impose a form of involuntary servitude
upon him." Bedford v. Salt Lake County, 447 P.2d at 194-95.
in a classic dissent: "The words 'involuntary
servitude' . . . include something more than slavery in the
strict sense of the term; they include also serfage vassalage,
villenage, peonage, and all other forms of compulsory service for
the mere benefit or pleasure of others." Slaughter-House
82 U.S. (16 Wall.) 36, 90 (1873) (Field, J., dissenting).
Third, the First Amendment right of free speech includes both
the right to refrain from speaking at all and the right to refuse
to advocate positions with which the speaker disagrees. Wooley
v. Maynard, 430 U.S. 705 (1977); West Virginia State Board
of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943). By requiring a lawyer to support
positions or governmental activities to which he is opposed (rent
control or the welfare system, for example), mandatory pro bono
violates this right.
Finally, mandatory pro bono would violate the equal protection
clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by singling out lawyers to provide
special contributions (in time or money) to support the poor. See
Cunningham v. Superior Court, 177 Cal. App. 3d 336, 222 Cal. Rptr.
854 (1986). On what basis can the public declare that it refuses
to suffer taxation to provide legal services to the poor and yet
impose this burden on just one segment of the population, namely
(To be continued in the next issue of the Newsletter.)
1.The Association for Objective Law is a national organization
formed in 1988. Its members are lawyers, law students and others
who wish to advance Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand,
as the basis of a proper legal system. The Association for Objective
Law currently has members in 15 states and 7 foreign countries.
2. The mandatory pro bono movement assumes that many poor in the
United States have legitimate unmet legal needs, and that volunteer
service by lawyers is insufficient to fulfill those needs. TAFOL
takes no position here as to whether a high level of such legitimate
unmet legal needs truly exists. TAFOL's position is that voluntary
service is the only appropriate way to meet whatever needs do exist.
3. Ayn Rand, "Man's Rights," in
The Virtue of Selfishness, 124 (1964).
4. Id. at 125.
5. TAFOL does
not address here the propriety of government licensing of lawyers.
However, under current law, the
government has no power to deny a license where
the applicant is qualified. Schware v. Board of Bar Examiners,
353 U.S. 232, 238-39 (1957). Thus, the fact that a lawyer is licensed
1989 Page 4
that he has been granted a "privilege" by
the government to practice law.
6. Ayn Rand, "The Wreckage of the Consensus," in
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 227 (1966).
Several TAFOL members have requested that they be given an opportunity
to read TAFOL's charter. In response to these requests and for
the general information of our membership, we publish it here in
its entirety. [The Charter was amended from time to time.]
THE ASSOCIATION FOR OBJECTIVE LAW
Article I - Name and Purpose
We, the undersigned, hereby form THE ASSOCIATION FOR OBJECTIVE
LAW. The purpose of the Association is to advance Objectivism,
the philosophy of Ayn Rand, as the basis of a proper legal system.
Article II - Membership and Contributions
Section 1. There will be three kinds of members: full members,
student members and associate members. A full member must be licensed
to practice law in at least one jurisdiction. Student membership
is open to students in a program leading to licensure to practice
law. All other members will be associate members.
Section 2. Each full member and associate member shall, once every
year, contribute dues in an amount and by a date to be determined
by the Board of Directors.
Article III - Board of Directors
Section 1. All powers of The Association shall be vested
in a Board of Directors consisting of at least three full members
of the Association.
Section 1.1. The Board may designate certain officers,
and appoint committees with such powers and under such terms and
conditions, as the Board may determine.
Section 1.2. The Board may fill any vacancies in its own membership.
Section 1.3. Board meetings may be conducted in person or by telephone.
Section 1.4. A regular meeting of the Board will be held during
the first two weeks of August of every year, at which time the
Board will elect its successors. Immediately upon election, all
powers shall devolve upon the new Board. All officers shall be
elected from among the membership by the new Board at its first
Section 1.5. Any Board member may be removed by a majority vote
of the remaining members.
Section 2. Any public statement made by or on behalf of the Association
must be approved by unanimous action of the Board. Approval of
a majority of the Board is sufficient for any other action.
Article IV - Officers
Section 1. The Association shall have the following officers:
president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer. Any officer
may hold two posts, except that the president and vice-president
may not be the same person.
Section 1.1. The president shall preside at meetings of the Board
and membership meetings.
Section 1.2. The vice-president shall act in place of the president
in case of resignation, inability or refusal of the latter to act.
Section 1.3. The secretary shall be the custodian of all records,
other than those specifically entrusted to another officer. The
secretary shall keep a true record of the proceedings of all meetings
of the Association and of the Board.
Section 1.4. The treasurer shall be authorized to receive and disburse
funds of the Association as determined by the Board and shall keep
a true record of all monies received and disbursed and report thereon
to the Board at reasonable intervals.
Section 2. All officers shall be elected by and serve at the pleasure
of the Board.
Article V - Amendment
The Board may amend this Charter by majority vote.
Winter 1989 Pg 5
Section 1. The first Board shall consist of the undersigned. It
shall assume powers beginning on the last date on which this document
is signed below.
Section 2. The Association's fiscal year shall be the calendar
Section 3. The Association shall not engage in the practice of
Article VII - Termination
Section 1. The Association may be terminated by the Board.
Section 2. Upon termination, the assets of the Association, if
any, shall be disposed of as follows:
Section 2.1. First, such assets shall be applied to any indebtedness
of the Association, including any indebtedness to officers.
Section 2.2. Second, any assets remaining after Section 2.1 above
shall be paid to The Ayn Rand Institute should such Institute exist
at the time the Association is terminated. If such Institute shall
not exist at such time, then such assets shall be paid to such
other organization which is exempt from federal income tax as the
Board shall determine.
Article VIII - Adoption
We, the undersigned, hereby adopt the above as the Charter of
THE ASSOCIATION FOR OBJECTIVE LAW.
The Charter was signed on various dates in August and September
of 1988 by Arline Mann, Stephen Plafker, Sandra Jo Franklin, and
Margaret D. Tagliavia. It has been amended several times since.
The Corporate Veil v. the Environment
Bad law spreads. Problems generated by a new environmental law
are providing an occasion for courts to attack the most important
principle of corporate law: limited shareholder liability.
The traditional rule is that shareholders in corporations
(including controlling shareholders that are parent corporations)
have limited liability. This means that a shareholder risks only
the amount of his investment unless he has personally participated
in wrong-doing. If a shareholder owns $100 worth of stock in
a corporation, he may lose his $100, but he will generally not
be held liable if, for example, the company car hits a pedestrian
and the corporation has insufficient assets to compensate the
pedestrian. Only in certain limited situations - where the separation
between the parent and the subsidiary is a sham - do courts "pierce
the corporate veil" to hold shareholders liable for corporate
acts. Limited liability is essential for encouraging investment;
investors must be confident that they do not risk everything
they own simply buying stock in a corporation.
government and several states are arguing that this rule should
in the case of companies that have generated,
transported or stored hazardous waste. Federal Superfund law requires
these companies to clean up this waste, whether or not their actions
with respect to the waste were illegal when performed. The federal
government and various states claim that enforcement of the Superfund
law will be frustrated unless parent corporations are made responsible
for the actions of their subsidiaries. The Wall Street Journal reports: "The catalyst for the challenge is the staggering
cost of toxic-waste cleanups under the Superfund law, which the
Environmental Protection Agency has estimated will approach $100
billion." Several federal district courts have already ruled
that relaxed "piercing" standards should be applied under
the Superfund law. According to the report, the courts have "ignored
entreaties by the corporations that decades of state law and court
precedents were being undermined in the process." However,
in one case, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
has ruled that parent companies are not responsible for the actions
of their subsidiaries under the Superfund law, bucking what one
defense lawyer in the case characterized as a trend in environmental
law in general to disregard traditional corporate rules regarding
limited liability of shareholders.
For the Good of Whom?
support mandatory pro bono. They are perfectly willing to force
all lawyers to serve the alleged needs of the poor for
legal services. How deep does this
1989 Page 6
the poor go?
have been several recent reports of bar associations considering
proposals to legitimize non-lawyer legal technicians. Such technicians
would perform certain functions now performed only by licensed
lawyers, presumably at lower prices. Clearly, this could be a boon
for the poor, but the proposals have met with strong
opposition, even outrage, from lawyers. Partly as a result
of such opposition, the governing board of the California State
Bar declined to endorse the idea of non-lawyer legal technicians,
and instead buried the proposal - at least temporarily - under
a ten-member commission charged with the task of studying the concept.
Apparently, where the choice is between the poor and a government-protected
monopoly, the poor can wait.
A Modest Tax Break
Beginning January 1, 1990, taxpayers may purchase series EE United
States savings bonds and exclude interest on the bonds from gross
income if the bond proceeds are used to pay certain costs of higher
education. This interest exclusion was enacted as a part of the
Technical and Miscellaneous Revenue Act of 1988.
of interest excludable is limited to the amount of bond redemption
used to pay so-called "qualified
higher education expenses" during the same tax year in which
an EE bond is redeemed. "Qualified higher education expenses" are
somewhat narrowly defined to include expenses for tuition and fees---apparently
not room and board - at most public and nonprofit post--- secondary
education institutions that are eligible for certain Federal assistance.
of the exclusion is available in its entirety to joint filers
adjusted gross incomes ("modified AGI")
of $60,000 or less and to single filers with modified AGI's of
$40,000 or less, but is phased out for joint filers with modified
AGI's of between $60,000 and $90,000, and for single filers with
modified AGI's between $40,000 and $55,000.
provision may be a sorry substitute for more vigorous proposals
have been adopted, it is at least some good
news on this front. (For a description of Miss Rand's proposal
for a much more extensive program and a discussion of the reasons
in support of such a program, see "Tax-Credits for Education," in
the March 13,
1972, issue of The Ayn Rand Letter, Vol. 1, No. 12).
is described in greater detail in Internal Revenue Code Section
135; IRS Notice
90-7, 199-3 I.R.B. 5; and IRS Form
8818, "Optional Form to Record Redemption of College Savings
One of the cruelest instances of harassment by anti-abortionists
involved the family of Nancy Klein, a comatose accident victim
who, at the time of her accident, was 18 weeks pregnant with her
second child. Doctors who examined Mrs. Klein held little hope
she would emerge from her coma, though they agreed that an abortion
could improve her chances. When Mrs. Klein's husband sought to
gain legal guardianship of his 32-year-old wife and the right to
decide to abort their child, he met the hard-fisted resistance
of anti-abortionists who sought to enjoin the abortion. Thus, what
began as a private family matter, difficult and heart-wrenching
enough without the interference of outsiders, became a public battle,
forcing Mr. Klein to fight anti-abortionists in three state courts
and the United States Supreme Court. Ultimately, Mr. Klein prevailed
and doctors at North Shore University Hospital in Manhassett, Long
Island, performed an abortion on Mrs. Klein on February 11, 1989.
Recently, it was announced in The
New York Times that Mrs. Klein
has emerged from her coma, is able to talk, recognizes her family
and is slowly regaining her memory. It appears that the abortion---which
made a more aggressive medication and rehabilitation program possible
---may very well have been a significant factor in her recovery.
Whatever the effect on Mrs. Klein's recovery, the decision to
abort the fetus should have been Mr. Klein's, not that of some
meddlesome group whose pro-death motives have been made patently
clear by its determination to stop Mrs. Klein's abortion at all
costs, including the cost of her life.
Right to Die
In the summer issue of the newsletter, TAFOL reported that the
United States Supreme Court would hear a case raising the question
of whether family members, as
guardians of an incompetent ward, may demand that a
hospital cease providing food and water to the ward through a feeding
tube. This question was argued before the Court on December 6,
of a 32-year-old woman, who has been lying in a persistent vegetative
state for seven years, maintained that the woman, if
she could come before
1989 Page 7
would exercise a constitutionally protected liberty in favor
of ending her life. Counsel for the State of Missouri
argued against the family, stating that a state need not accept
a family's statement of a patient's wishes as evidence of the
As of this printing, the Court's decision in the case has not
been announced. Thus, it is unclear whether the outcome of the
case will turn on the issue of whether there is a constitutionally
protected right to die, or rather on the issue of what evidence
of intent is required for a decision to be made to terminate life-sustaining
care if a patient himself cannot make his desires known.
If the Court is agonizing over the latter question, we suggest
the following formulation of the issue: By what right can a court
compel anyone to bear the expense of medical care for another?
Recently, a Long Island judge met this question head-on. The judge
ruled that a nursing home could not collect fees amounting to more
than $100,000 for the care of a comatose woman whose family had
asked the home to stop life-sustaining treatment. The nursing home
had attempted to collect the fees from the family after the home
was requested by the family to remove the woman's feeding tube.
it was the family's resources which would have been used to pay
the nursing home's fees, the judge's decision was the
proper one. Who has the obligation to sustain a patient's life
absent some indication from the patient that he is willing to die?
The answer is simple---no one. Neither the family, nor the care
facility, nor the state (i.e., taxpayers) can rightfully be compelled
to do so. Put another way: Who should make the decision as to whether
any medical care is discontinued as to any patient, comatose or
fully competent? The person paying the bills. To require someone
to pay such a toll even where he gains no value is immoral and
vicious, since to do so is to destroy, most likely in great measure,
the payor's quality
Those Dangerous Korean Manicure Shop Owners!
Government today tries to guarantee every citizen's happiness
and well being rather than simply punish or step in to prevent
particular violations of rights. As a consequence, across-the-board
obligations and prohibitions have become the norm, and ridiculous
results often obtain. One example: The New York Employee Polygraph
Protection Act prohibits the administration of lie detector tests
to employees except in very limited circumstances and requires
employers to post a notice summarizing the provisions of the Act.
The Act is wrong in itself as an invasion of private consensual
relationships and property rights, but the absurdity of its universal
application was especially apparent in one instance. A Korean manicure
shop patronized by a TAFOL officer had, as required by law, tacked
up a poster in English explaining the provisions of the Act. The
shop had three Korean immigrant employees of a Korean immigrant
employer; the employees understood very little English and did
not seem to be in any grave danger of being polygraphed by anyone.
Without Property Rights . . .
In one of
her most brilliant integrations, Ayn Rand stated: "Without
property rights, no other rights can be practiced." The right
to choose an abortion is one of the rights that cannot be practiced
unless there are private doctors and private hospitals on private
land. Yes, abortions can be and are performed in government-owned
facilities. But access to such abortions is a privilege, not a
right, as the United States Supreme
1989 Page 8
clear in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, 57 U.S.L.W.
that case, the State of Missouri had made it unlawful for
any "public facility" to be used for abortions not necessary
to save the mother's life. Id. at 5027. "Public facility," in turn, was defined as "any public institution, public facility,
public equipment, or any physical asset owned, leased, or controlled
by this state or any agency or political subdivision thereof." Id.
at 5036 n.1 (Blackmun, J., dissenting) (emphasis added). By upholding
the Missouri law, the Supreme Court ensured that:
may be performed at Truman Medical Center in Kansas City---where,
in 1985, 97 percent of all Missouri
hospital abortions at 16 weeks or later were
though the Center is a private hospital, staffed primarily
doctors, and administered by a private corporation: the Center
on ground leased from a political subdivision of
Id. (emphasis added).
The holding in Webster underscores the need to prohibit governments
from owning any more land than they require for their legitimate
functions. When government is restricted to its legitimate functions,
government ownership of land is no threat. But when we allow governments
to become mixed-economy land moguls, with no limits on their acquisitiveness,
we endanger the only practical means for individuals to exercise
their rights, namely, private property.
In the words
of Chief Justice Rehnquist, "Nothing in the
Constitution requires States to enter or remain in the business
of performing abortions." Id. at 5028. That being the case,
the logical question is: Why should we permit the government to
own the land under an abortion clinic?
Did We Hear Correctly?
At a recent
meeting of the Tax Section of the American Bar Association, Congressman
Bill Archer, ranking Republican member of the House
Ways and Means Committee, publicly decried the use of the term "tax
expenditure." This term appears frequently in the context
of tax legislation where Congress has granted a tax benefit ---for
example, where it has legislated tax credits for research and development.
The idea is that the extension of such a benefit "costs" Uncle
Sam money in the form of lost revenue.
Mr. Archer, however, takes exception to the use of the term. He
stated at a Tax Section luncheon that the term was based on the
faulty premise that the United States government owns the product
of its citizens' labor and that when the government permits its
citizens to retain a portion of their production, it does so at
the expense of the United States Treasury. This, in Mr. Archer's
view and ours, is simply wrong thinking.
has announced her resignation as a board member and as secretary
of TAFOL. Sandy was an early advocate of
establishing an organization of attorneys interested in Objectivism
and was a central influence in the formation of TAFOL. TAFOL
is grateful for Sandy's important contributions and pleased that
she has expressed interest in continuing her membership in TAFOL
and support of its activities.
Copyright © 1989
The Association for Objective Law. All rights reserved. The Association
for Objective Law is a Missouri non-profit
corporation whose purpose is to advance Objectivism, the philosophy
of Ayn Rand, as the basis of a proper legal system.