Scene in Passing: If the shoe fits, federalize it for posterity |

Scene in Passing: If the shoe fits, federalize it for posterity

John Barrette

President John Adams, the nation’s second chief executive, for my money is a man whose highest achievements were marrying Abigail and fathering John Quincy Adams.

John Q., the son, was the nation’s sixth president. Neither John proved particularly popular, each serving just one term. The elder John isn’t a favorite in these precincts, given that he was an arch-Federalist and presided in a time that gave the infant nation the Alien and Sedition acts. The preference here is for the early strong-states (formerly colonies) advocates: Thomas Jefferson, George Mason and Patrick Henry.

Given the behemoth the federal government and federal system became, is it any wonder Adams isn’t a hero here? Adams, in addition, was a bit of a prig who feigned humility while exuding arrogance.

“If I were to go over my life again, I would be a shoemaker rather than an American statesman,” he has been quoted as saying. Yeah, right.

All this is by way of noting I had the pleasure of meeting a real Shoemaker at week’s end. He is Brian Shoemaker, who said he is a state employee and a member of AFSCME (the Association of State, County and Municipal Employees). He came to the Nevada Appeal with a lament about news coverage, but because I didn’t handle the story I could only try to mollify him. He talked of dropping his subscription, but the hope is he was talked out of that. He’s a reader.

The Appeal needs and wants readers. Shoemaker was urged to write a letter to the editor. We talked, as a parallel, of someone who doesn’t vote and then complains about government. If Shoemaker didn’t subscribe, how could he complain with credibility? In fact, he would have trouble knowing whether or when to complain at all.

We try to report the facts. Some facts that caught my eye follow, though they don’t bear on Mr. Shoemaker’s lament so much as they do on my own laments regarding what the American statesman posing as a wannabe shoemaker had a hand in getting started. Call it big government, though Adams likely didn’t see it coming.

The Tax Foundation in Washington, D.C., reports that on Tuesday, April 15, Nevada reaches Tax Freedom Day. That’s close to ironic and the date on which state residents have earned sufficient income on average to pay the total federal, state and local tax bill. Louisiana, on March 30, was earliest; New York trails the pack come May 4.

Here’s another foundation tidbit: Americans will spend more on taxes in 2014 than they will on food, clothing and housing combined. John the First, the shoemaker wannabe, really helped cobble something together.

But it’s still a great place. Go splurge on Wednesday.