Rich Tucker

“The complexity, a euphemism for absurdity, of the Tax Code spawns perverse outcomes,” Blair’s Franklin points out. “Patriotic taxpayers who seek to comply with the law often make inadvertent errors, causing them to either overpay their tax or become subject to IRS enforcement actions for mistaken underpayment of tax.”

Franklin also comments on health care reform: “The recently enacted health care legislation is both anemic and misengineered,” he writes. He calls for real reform, noting first that “there is no ‘real’ health insurance” these days. That’s because “True insurance is the concept of a large group of people pulling from their purses a few dollars to cover the cost of a potential catastrophic event.” Health insurance, by contrast, pays for almost any procedure under the sun, thus hiding the true cost of care from the patient.

“Many self-employed American workers cannot afford the all-inclusive health plans mandated by legislation,” Franklin adds. “What they need, low-cost catastrophic health insurance … true insurance … is sitting next to the spotted owl.” If lawmakers created a market for people to buy insurance (instead of relying on employers to provide it) there would be more plans, and customers -- not bureaucrats -- would be empowered.

“Our government must dig deep and wide moats around America’s Treasury,” Franklin writes near the end of the book. That means reducing spending, and curtailing the power of special interests in Washington.

Blair does a good job inhabiting Benjamin Franklin, and drafting useful advice for today’s Americans. Let’s hope we heed the advice, before our overwhelming debt swallows us whole.

Rich Tucker

Rich Tucker is a communications professional and a columnist for