The Libertarian Party Opportunity in 2024
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600 E. Highway 260
Payson, AZ 85541

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Commentary by Gila County Libertarians and commentary by others about Gila County.

Do you have something to say? Send your submission by email to: [email protected]

We reserve the right to reject any submission or to edit submissions for brevity and grammatical corrections, at our sole discretion.

Grocery Tax for Payson? HELL NO!

The following letter to the editor by Gila County Libertarian Party Secretary/Treasurer Larry Hoffenberg was published in the Payson Roundup on February 10, 2022.

To the Editor,

The Gila County Libertarian Party would like to weigh in on the Roundup’s January 11th above-the-fold top story titled “If it’s not the grocery tax, it’ll be another tax.” The article contained several key errors, misleading statements and omissions.

1. The headline implies that if the grocery tax is repealed, the town council must replace it with another tax. Is that written somewhere in the town charter? Breaking news!: Maybe, just maybe, the town can find a way to become more efficient and effective in how it performs its services, Maybe, just maybe, the citizens of Payson might actually prefer a lower level of services in exchange for lower taxes. Has anyone asked the taxpayers?

For the fiscal year 2021-2022, the town council approved a total budget of $49,500,000, a whopping FIFTEEN percent increase over the prior year. Even just looking at general operating expenses, spending is set to increase by 9 percent How many taxpayers got a 9% pay raise in 2021? Beyond the Town Manager, not many.

2. There isn’t much of anything left in America that isn’t already taxed, and taxed up the wazoo at that. Here is a partial list of what is currently taxed in America, Arizona, Gila County and the Town of Payson:

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Excise Taxes
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Personal Property Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge Tax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Sales Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

Of course not all of the above applies to everyone all the time, but add it all up, the average American pays well over 50% of his or her income in taxes every year. Clearly, Paysonians are not under-taxed.

And all of this excludes “the cruelest tax of them all,” hidden inflation. The purchasing power of Americans’ income and life savings is being “taxed” away every year by anywhere from 8% to 12%, depending on how inflation is measured and defined.

3. The sub-headline of the article “Payson council learns cost of eliminating food tax” (emphasis added) demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of accounting, finance and budgeting principles, namely the difference between revenues and costs (expenses). Revenue is money coming in, costs are monies paid out. They are two fundamentally and independent measures. They are on opposite sides of a financial statement.

A reduction in revenue, as would happen if the food tax were eliminated, is not a “cost.” A reduction in revenue is just that, a reduction in money coming in. It is totally independent of costs, that is monies the town has to pay out. Sure, the town budget must balance, but that does not mean that expenses cannot be reduced to match the reduced revenue.

4. The article cites the fact that 27 out of 30 other municipalities in Arizona impose a tax on food. Fine. But is that really a moral and equitable justification for Payson to tax food? Perhaps this is a golden opportunity for Payson to do the right thing, to be a leader instead of a follower, and discontinue the grocery tax.

5. A grocery tax is one of the most regressive and repressive taxes ever conceived. Obviously, food is a necessity and lower income people pay a much higher proportion of their income on food than do more affluent people. Where’s the equity and justice in that?

A grocery tax for Payson? Libertarians don’t only say “no,” we say HELL NO!
Larry Hoffenberg
Secretary/Treasurer – Gila County Libertarian Party


Splash pad neither wise nor frugal

The following Letter to the Editor by Larry Hoffenberg, Secretary/Treasurer of the Gila County Libertarian Party, was published by the Payson Roundup on August 20, 2021.

Splash pad neither wise nor frugal

Are Libertarians the only ones disappointed and distressed by the Town of Payson’s decision to proceed with building the splash pad for a whopping $687,000?

I mean, what does it splash, champagne?

The fact that a last-minute federal taxpayer subsidy of $207,000 rides in to rescue the project like manna from heaven doesn’t make this any less of a bloated boondoggle.

At this rate, how much will the much-ballyhooed new swimming pool cost we the taxpayers? How much will the new Granite Dells Park end up costing the taxpayers of the town?

Founding Father and American President Thomas Jefferson strongly advocated for a “wise and frugal government.” Libertarians say the Payson splash pad is neither wise nor frugal.

Larry Hoffenberg,
Libertarian Party Precinct Committeeman,
Northwest Payson District

Kudos to the Payson Homeless Initiative

The following Letter to the Editor by Larry Hoffenberg, secretary/treasurer of the Gila County Libertarian Party, was published by the Payson Roundup on December 27,2019.


Kudos to the Payson Homeless Initiative

Founding Father and principle architect of the U.S. Constitution James Madison stated unequivocally: “Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.”

Libertarians strongly agree with Madison and we believe that people in need are best served by grassroots private volunteer organizations, rather than by government-run, taxpayer-at-large funded operations, which tend to be heavy on bureaucracy and regulation rather than on actually delivering results and aid to those in need.

In the spirit of James Madison, the Gila County Libertarian Party has made a financial contribution to the Payson Homeless Initiative, and we encourage other political groups in the area as well as non-political civic and charitable groups to get behind the Payson Homeless Initiative and make donations or provide volunteers to help this truly grassroots private sector effort.

Americans are the most generous and charitable people on the planet, and we would do even more if we retained more of the fruits of our labor. Less taxes = more money in private hands = more contributions to productive, private voluntary charitable programs. With less of a tax burden, caring members of society will be even more charitable, and society will be strengthened.

LBJ’s War on Poverty has been an epic failure. 55 years later, homelessness is rampant, especially in California. Tens of thousands of people gather in homeless camps with diseases such as tuberculosis and hepatitis posing great risk to the public at large. There is a better way, and private voluntary organizations such as the Payson Homeless Initiative are a prime example.

The Gila County Libertarian Party extends a well-deserved thank you to all the individuals and organizations that are already volunteering and contributing to the Payson Homeless Initiative. Keep up the great work!

Larry Hoffenberg
Gila County Libertarian Party

Patriotic Poetry

By Bruce Wales,
First Vice Chairman, Gila County LP


They don’t have to want to buy my ugly truck!
They don’t even have to tell me why!
Just reminding them our country’s gov’ment sucks!
And that the Libertarians are standing by!

They don’t have to want to swallow what they’re fed!
They don’t even have to argufy!
Long’s they know our country’s gov’ment sucks!
And that there’s Libertarians standing by!

They don’t have to rhyme with simple poetry!
They don’t even have to write out why!
Long’s they know our country’s gov’ment sucks!
They can help the Libertarians standing by!


We Need More Than Two Parties

The following letter to the editor by Gila County Libertarian Party Secretary/Treasurer Larry Hoffenberg was published in the Payson Roundup on September 18, 2018. The letter was also picked up by the national Libertarian Party and tweeted out to 127,000+ followers on September 19, 2018.

To the Editor:

In response to reader K Meszar’s letter “We need a vibrant two-party system,” the Gila County Libertarian Party strongly disagrees.

The U.S. is literally the only democratic republic around the world with a two-party system. Every other democracy has four to six and more “approved” political parties. For example, Sweden held their elections last week, and members of eight different parties were elected to parliament. eight!

By many measures, the two-party system in the U.S. has been an abject failure over the last 75 or so years. Democrat and Republican politicians, hand in hand, have run up $21 trillion in official national debt plus another $200 trillion in very real but unfunded liabilities.

Democrat and Republican politicians, hand in hand, have led the U.S. into nearly endless unconstitutional undeclared wars (“military actions”) since the end of World War II, costing the lives of hundreds of thousands of American armed forces. On and on.

It is not a coincidence that the U.S., with its two-party state, has the lowest voter turnout rate of any democratic country. A lack of choice at the ballot is the primary reason. People vote for “Neither Of The Above” by staying home and not voting at all.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were two of the most disliked and untrustworthy presidential candidates in U.S. history. That in and of itself was enough to discourage thousands of voters in Arizona and millions across the U.S. from voting for state and local candidates as well.

This lack of choice and competition is not an accident. Ballot access laws passed hand in hand by Democrat and Republican politicians require complicated, onerous, and expensive obstacles for candidates of other political parties to overcome just to get on the ballot each election. Due to these obstacles, not a single candidate other than Democrats and Republicans will be on the statewide ballot in Arizona this November.

Of course those same ballot access laws give Democrat and Republican politicians a free pass in terms of essentially zero legal requirements to get on the ballot.

If the media such as the Roundup want to encourage more people to vote and participate in our democracy, you can encourage them to learn that the Democrat and Republican parties are not enshrined anywhere in the U.S. Constitution.

Unbeknownst to many Americans, there are a multitude of other choices for voters: America’s third largest political party, the Libertarian Party. Or the fourth largest party, the Greens. Or the fifth largest party, the Constitution Party. On and on all the way down the line to party No. 76. the good old Prohibition Party.

A truly informed electorate with more than a binary choice of Donkey vs. Elephant is America’s best and most powerful asset.

Larry Hoffenberg,
Secretary, Gila County Libertarian Party


By Bruce Wales,
Vice Chairman, Gila County LP

Let’s say, there are many that you hate,
If not blamed, you would eliminate.
Ways exist, death could disseminate.
So, why wait enduring your frustrate?

If you doubt, let me elucidate.
Even Nature will facilitate
By pure rain it must precipitate
Spreading far your means to un-create.

There is dirt that you can cultivate
With it’s weeds you don’t appreciate.
And by spraying liquid obviate.
Meanwhile, you’re portrayed to champion-ate.

So, decide, don’t even hesitate.
Poison food designed to satiate.
Tummies fill while effects radiate.
Cancer-armed-nutrition infiltrates.

Banks thrive bankrolling such death-by-plate.
Advertisers too, impression-ate
Legal systems barely mediate
So, decide, don’t even hesitate.

How? You ask, your heart so palpitates,
Can you somehow start to terminate?
Here’s the secret, I won’t make you wait.

Now, Go! ROUNDUP some! And perpetrate!

DISCLAIMERS: The author disclaims responsibility for any act committed by any not appreciating the ironic intent of the above. The Payson Roundup newspaper is in no way connected to the Roundup herbicide.

Where it really all started

Letter to the Editor published on July 20 in the Payson Roundup


I am sure you receive criticisms for including one item as newsworthy while “discluding” others deemed more important by others. But to have an Independence Day front page lead-in with “It all started with …” when indeed “It” started with something else, namely an 8 a.m., annually observed memorial flag-raising event that has been reported in the past, is an unfortunate over-sight.

While I personally was involved in the 8:30 a.m. public reading of the Declaration of Independence event and appreciative of any news coverage, I recognize a momentum of growing patriotism begun by the flag-raising “over the hill.”

Indeed, I have never witnessed that event in the decade that I have been otherwise occupied. But I think recognition that “It” starts over the hill is critical to appreciating the unabashed patriotism that is reborn in the hearts of home-towners and visitors alike in our Green Valley Park every year.

Bruce Wales

Vice Chairman,
Gila County Libertarian Party


By Bruce Wales,
Vice Chairman, Gila County Libertarian Party


(Sung to a tune similar to HOTEL CALIFORNIA)

Yesterday’s coffee is tomorrow’s speed.

Medicine’s cure, by the way, makes you bleed Running for office is powered by greed Fueled by PACs’ needy children to feed

Paint on her face is just dirt on his jeans Newspaper editors never come clean Harvesting corn must be done by machine Toxified meat, really Won’t keep you lean!


This is our country – turned into this?
You think our Fathers
Are proud to sire this?

Is all the suffering worth all the bliss?
I doubt the Founders
Were trying to find this

Free enterprise is so costly, you see
Since bottom lines are above you and me
So? make more laws to keep us more free
Betray humanity, but humane-ly

Occupy countries and claim it’s defense
Blame disagree-ers, label them dense
Unpatriotic, so they must be cleansed, but Can’t make good neighbors by building good fence


This is our country – turned into this?
You think our Fathers
Are proud to sire this

Is all the suffering worth all the bliss?
I doubt the Founders
Were trying to find this


Restricting liberties
Gives more release?
Declaring war somehow
Builds better peace?


Oh, those genteel who were thought to be brave Now it’s the common who won’t need to shave Never will sweat from the cradle to grave Live off the welfare of others who slave


This is our country – turned into this?
You think our Fathers
Are proud to sire this?

Is all the suffering worth all the bliss?
I doubt the Founders
We’re trying to find this

I doubt the Founders
Would ever found this!

More Independents and Unaffiliateds are America’s Best Chance

By Bruce Wales,

Vice Chairman, Gila County Libertarian Party

Independents and unaffiliateds represent today’s much-needed healthy political skepticism in my opinion. Life-long Party registrations make little sense when party principles don’t remain principled.
For example, if the fault of the incumbent as criticized by the challenger is later also exhibited by the winning Challenger, a huge embarrassment is foisted on party supporters. To remain his/her supporter then is a symptom of their failure to recognize unprincipled inconsistency as well.

If Party-by-habit types would review their choice at least as annually as they review their taxes their civic value would increase immensely. Unfortunately, un-re-examined Party affiliation is America’s political cancer.

No one enjoys criticism. But sometimes it is as necessary as being chided by the Dentist for past poor oral hygiene. Objective criticism must stand before life can be rebuilt with any suggested self-help group therapy.

Political criticism? Party affiliation demands a critical changing if the party’s position changes!

For if all members are somehow convinced that their party’s former principles no longer apply, they, themselves are harmful to the cause of principled living.

That is scary!

So, I believe that those that insist the US Constitution alone holds our common principles are indeed the healthy skeptics our America needs today.

Unfortunately or fortunately, the only way to amass this healthy skepticism into a tangible political power is to group all together into another party.

That is the essence of the Libertarian Party.

Think of the Party that allows choice but defends principles.

Think of the party that finds power by adhering to principles.

Think of the party that encourages thinking.

Think Libertarian!

Thanks especially to Independents and Unaffiliateds, America’s third largest party is growing like never before! Maybe we’ll be joined by more “Disenchanteds” soon.