Posts Tagged ‘Taxation’

Proposition 103: What is the Cost to Colorado Taxpayers?

October 22, 2011

IP-7-2011 (October 2011)
Author: Barry Poulson and John D. Merrifield

PDF of full Issue Paper
Scribd version of full Issue Paper

Introduction:

Proposition 103 is an initiative that will increase Colorado tax rates and require the state to spend the money on government schools. Prop 103 increases the personal income tax, the corporate income tax, and the statewide sales and use tax for the years 2012 through 2016.

The Fiscal Impact Statement prepared by Colorado’s Legislative Council Staff estimates the cost of the tax increase at $2.9 billion. However, the cost for Colorado taxpayers will be significantly greater than staff estimates. Legislative Council uses static analysis, measuring only the direct impact of the higher taxes on state revenue. They ignore the negative impact the tax increase will have on economic growth and jobs in Colorado.

SOURCE

So, even with built in automatic tax increases Colorado Schools (Unions) need even more money. Now why couldn’t I have guessed that?

Nevertheless, I’m sure that the people of Colorado will vote in favor of this measure. Because after all is said and done the people there are stuck on stupid.

Greed, and Government

October 19, 2010

“Those who are always accusing people in the private sector of ‘greed’ almost never accuse government of greed, no matter what it does. Indeed, the question of whether the government is greedy almost never comes up, so most of us probably never think about it. … There are escheat laws, under which the government can seize the assets of someone who has died and whose heirs have not claimed those assets after some period of time. The theory is that there is no reason why banks should get that money. On the other hand, there is no reason why politicians should get it either, but the politicians write the laws. … Escheat laws are just one of the ways governments seize money. Income tax rates have been as high as 90 percent in the top brackets. Even after you have paid the taxes on your income and saved or invested part of what is left, the government comes back to take more of that same money, after you die, with estate taxes. Perhaps one of the most unconscionable acts of greed by government is confiscating people’s homes, in order to turn this property over to other people, who are expected to build things that will pay more taxes. … The biggest beneficiaries are the politicians who get a larger amount of tax money to spend in ways that will increase their prospects of getting re-elected. Seldom, if ever, are the people whose homes are destroyed, and whose lives are disrupted, among the affluent or rich. Urban renewal may go through the South Bronx, but not through Beverly Hills. And no one calls it greed.” –economist Thomas Sowell

SOURCE

Index of Economic Freedom: 2010

October 19, 2010

“The 2010 Index of Economic Freedom lowers the ranking of the United States to eighth out of 179 nations — behind Canada! A year ago, it ranked sixth, ahead of Canada. Don’t say it’s Barack Obama’s fault. Half the data used in the index is from George W. Bush’s final six months in office. This is a bipartisan problem. For the past 16 years, the index has ranked the world’s countries on the basis of their economic freedom — or lack thereof. Ten criteria are used: freedoms related to business, trade, fiscal matters, monetary matters, investment, finance, labor, government spending, property rights and freedom from corruption. The top 10 countries are: Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Switzerland, Canada, the United States, Denmark and Chile. The bottom 10: Republic of Congo, Solomon Islands, Turkmenistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Venezuela, Burma, Eritrea, Cuba, Zimbabwe and North Korea. The index demonstrates what we libertarians have long said: Economic freedom leads to prosperity. Also, the best places to live and fastest-growing economies are among the freest, and vice versa. A society will be materially well off to the extent its people have the liberty to acquire property, start businesses, and trade in a secure legal and political environment. … Why is the United States falling behind? ‘Our spending has been excessive’ [says Bill Beach, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis]. … ‘We have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. (Government) takeovers of industries, subsidizing industries … these are the kinds of moves that happen in Third World countries.’ … If we want to reverse America’s decline, we’d better get to work. There’s a lot of government to cut.” –columnist John Stossel

SOURCE

Constitution Day and a few other things

September 17, 2010

“Even America’s bitterest enemies understand why we mark July 4th with parades, speeches and fireworks: to celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. We’re proud of our nation, and justifiably so. So why do we virtually ignore September 17th? That’s the date, in 1787, when our Founding Fathers signed the Constitution. … Yet today, on many issues, this vital document is frequently ignored, even undermined, by some of the very people who have taken a public oath to uphold it.” –Heritage Foundation president Ed Feulner

“While America’s liberal elite have not reached the depths of tyrants such as Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Hitler, they share a common vision and, as such, differ only in degree but not kind. Both denounce free markets and voluntary exchange. They are for control and coercion by the state. They believe they have superior wisdom to the masses and they have been ordained to forcibly impose that wisdom on the rest of us. They, like any other tyrant, have what they see as good reasons for restricting the freedom of others.” –economist Walter E. Williams

“Why has the left directed so much time and effort into demonizing ordinary Americans? Because the Tea Party’s three primary planks — limited government, fiscal responsibility and Constitutional fealty — represent the greatest threat to liberalism since its flowering in the 1960s. A smaller, fiscally responsible government dedicated to a Constitution expressly designed to limit the power of the state is the death knell for those dedicated to the idea their worldview must be imposed on Americans by an ever-expanding state. The left’s worst nightmare is an America comprised of largely self-sufficient, clear-thinking individuals left to their own devices.” –columnist Arnold Ahlert

“Nearly all of the tax cuts Americans have seen the past year and a half advance some liberal moral or social good. The overriding goal of the stimuli and tax breaks — from the things we build to the jobs we save to the tax credits we get — is to pick economic winners, steer us in the right direction and wheedle citizens to be good boys and girls. To offer comprehensive, amoral cuts would be to admit ideological defeat. … This president would never surrender to such indignity.” –columnist David Harsanyi

“If you read this weekend’s New York Times’ hit job on would-be Speaker John Boehner and his ‘lobbyist friends,’ you might think, as the reporter clearly thinks, that John Boehner is cozier with lobbyists than most powerful politicians are. But did you know: · Nancy Pelosi has raised almost twice as much money from lobbyists this election as Boehner has? · At least 18 House Democrats have raised more lobbyist cash this election than Boehner has. · Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid have pocketed more lobbyist cash in the past 18 months than Boehner has raised in the past 6 elections, combined?” –columnist Timothy Carney

SOURCE

Congress is coming back…

September 14, 2010

Quote of the Day: “Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.” – Thomas Paine, The Crisis, 1776

Congress is coming back for a brief session before the election. At the top of their to-do list is new taxes. They need your guidance . . .

Please send Congress a letter opposing any tax increases.

You can borrow from or copy my sample letter . . .

I understand that Congress will be considering whether or not to extend the tax cuts passed during the Bush administration. Please be clear about this . . .

* The problem with our economy is NOT that we pay too little in taxes, but that we pay too much.
* The cure for our economy is NOT to raise taxes, but to cut government spending and all the meddling you guys do.
* In addition, please don’t think you’ll win praise from me by only raising taxes on the so-called wealthiest Americans. These are precisely the people who finance new products, services, and jobs.
* Yes, the deficit is a concern. Address the concern by CUTTING SPENDING, not by raising taxes.

I’m paying attention to what you do.

END LETTER

Send your letter to Congress using DownsizeDC.org’s Educate the Powerful System.

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

Fast Tracks, Federal Slaps, Tabor and More

April 2, 2010

The Coming Battle is, well, Coming….  We are being swamped by questions about our hopeful ballot initiative to defend Colorado from Obama Care.  The short answer is we are going through the very bureaucratic process with the state before we can hit the streets with petitions.  We should be able to get petitions out there in early April, and WE NEED HELP!  If you can volunteer to gather signatures please give us your contact information here. And if you’d like to give some cash for our fight go here.

If you help, we are going to make Colorado a sanctuary state for quality health care.

Fighting Obama Care in the Courts – Must Hear Podcast: Colorado Attorney General John Suthers joins our Research Director Dave Kopel to discuss the lawsuit he and 12 others State Attorneys General have jointly filed, that claims the health care bill recently signed by President Obama is unconstitutional because it violates the 10th Amendment. AG Suthers makes a good point: if Obama Care is allowed to ride, it will be a dangerous precedent – one from which we can never return. As the AG puts it, if the Feds can punish you for NOT engaging in commerce, is there any limit to their power? To get the whole scoop, listen to the podcast on iVoices.org.

Attacking TABOR “for the kids”?: The usual suspects have lined up to float a proposal that would exempt our state legislators from having to ask voters before raising taxes to fund education. Policy Analyst Ben DeGrow explained the problem with the proposal on a recent Colorado Springs TV news story. As a result, our young blogging prodigy Eddie added in his two cents worth, too.

Unintentional Comedy at 70 mph: As Yogi Berra once said, “It’s deja vu all over again.” Remember those FasTracks lies we’ve been told for 30 years? Well, a new report from the Rocky Mountain Rail Authority makes RTD’s distortions look like child’s play. The report claims that “high speed” rail lines between Fort Collins and Pueblo, and Denver International Airport and Eagle County – I-25 and I-70, respectively – would cost over $21 billion AND not need a dime of taxpayer money. I’ll let you finish laughing before I go on….

Further, the study claims, “for every dollar of capital and operating costs, the project creates economic benefits greater than one dollar.” If true, that begs the question: Why on earth would we need government to do it if the project is both economically feasible and profitable? The fact that entrepreneurs are not jumping all over this alleged gold mine is proof enough it’s a money loser. Obviously, I don’t even need to rely on any sort of theoretical argument here. Look at the history! Look at the empirical evidence right in front of our eyes! We’ve got a FasTracks project underfunded, over-budget, and largely unbuilt that is already over 30 years in the making.

For your viewing pleasure, an additional assortment of unbelievable claims and interesting tidbits:

  • We’re supposed to believe that this passenger rail system can be maintained without taxpayer money, while Amtrak is subsidized by taxpayers to the tune of $50 per ticket.
  • The study was funded by a firm that designs rail projects and manages construction projects.
  • That people would be willing to pay $80 round trip to Vail just to go as fast as they would in their cars.
  • That $40 ticket each way is the low cost estimate. As in, “could be as low as $40 per ticket.” Wow.
  • It projects ridership upwards of 35 million passengers a year. The Boston to Washington, D.C., corridor carries around 10 million per year.
  • About that last figure, the 35 million one, Amtrak carries around 10 million per year as well. That math just doesn’t add up.
  • These great facts and figures were brought to my attention through this fantastic Denver Post editorial and Denver Daily News piece. The DDN article features our very own Senior Fellow in Transportation Randal O’Toole. Randal has been waging a war on the bogus claims made by RTD over the years and pulled no punches on this outrageous report saying, “They’re using the most optimistic assumptions imaginable and then relying on compounded optimistic assumptions.” Yeah, kind of like compounded interest. Except with compounded optimism you don’t make money, you lose a ton and go deep into debt.

    If you haven’t had the chance to hear Randal, take a few minutes and listen. His recent appearance on my TV show Independent Thinking was an opportunity to say “I told you so” with Denver Post columnist Chuck Plunkett. Randal also presented to an audience for an event here at the Institute a little while ago titled, “Mobility vs. Gridlock: Colorado’s Transportation Future.” You can view that event via YouTube playlist here.

    Leave Our State Alone: A Constitutional Path to Prosperity: It’s no secret that University of Colorado economics professor and senior fellow Barry Poulson is a prolific writer. The man cranks out a consistent bevy of works that are both substantive and interesting (the latter being something you almost never get from an economist). His latest piece is no exception. In “Restoring Federalism and State Sovereignty: A Constitutional Path to Prosperity,” Barry gives a brief overview of how we got to where we are – states becoming more and more subservient to Federal power – and the important role the Judiciary played in steering us in that direction. (I say “steering,” but Barry would probably say “pushing.”) After years of judicial abdication bolstering Federal powers and all but eviscerating Constitutional constraints, what can we do to turn the ship around? Is it too late?

    Are teachers unions to blame?: On March 16 in New York City, a panel of three union officials and supporters (including American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten) debated a panel of three union critics (including former Secretary of Education Rod Paige) on whether teachers unions are to blame for our nation’s failing schools. Watch the revealing two-hour event, and see for yourself why most of the audience ended up agreeing that unions bear the blame. If you don’t have enough time, please read our own Ben DeGrow’s insights on the Ed News Colorado blog.

    The State Board of Ed… According to Bob: Ever wonder what the Colorado State Board of Education does? I was curious myself, so I tuned in to this two- part iVoices.org podcast between Fiscal Policy Center Director Penn Pfiffner and former Congressman and current State Board of Education Chairman Bob Schaffer. In the first installment, Bob gives listeners news from the Board – what’s going on, what they’re planning, and information regarding the “Race to the Top” funds. In the second installment, Bob goes over what the Board does, its functions, its impact, and how it shapes policy for all of Colorado’s schools.

    Must See TV: It’s Obama Care and medical privacy on this week’s Independent Thinking as the Independence Institute’s Health Care Policy Center Director Linda Gorman and Colorado Transparency Project Director Amy Oliver-Cooke join me to discuss the political and policy implications for Colorado of the recently passed federal health care reform bill (otherwise known as Obama Care), and the implications for medical privacy in Colorado should the state legislature pass House Bill 1330, the All-Payer Database, which would allow the state to collect and store your personal health care information without your consent. It’s a health care double whammy this Friday at 8:30 PM on KBDI Channel 12. Re-broadcast the following Monday at 1:30 PM.

    Perspective: In this week’s op-ed, Jessica Corry takes CU to task for not exploring all options before making their decision to raise tuition rates by the maximum 9% allowed by law. If Colorado citizens have to tighten the ol’ belt, why not CU?

    Until next week…

    Straight on

    Jon Caldara

    www.independenceinstitute.org


    Failed States: No not Somalia

    October 7, 2009

    California, the golden state, the land of American dreams, the place where I was born. What was once a land of milk and honey in the eyes of many is taking a hard dive into reality. I left there in 1978 after the passing of Proposition 13 made  two classes of  citizens a matter of law. It sealed me and so many others into a group of never will haves. It was big government mob rule democracy at it’s worst.

    People are saying that unemployment is the worst it has been in sixty years. I beg to differ. During the Carter fiasco real unemployment in San Diego County was in reality well over twenty percent among the non government sector. I had people with advanced degrees pumping gas along side me at University City Arco.

    The answer, at the time, was more socialism, and higher taxes. At least that was the solution offered up by Governor Moonbat and crew. New laws on Gun Control were being passed faster than most Californians could keep up with. New laws on vehicle emissions made it all but impossible to keep your vehicle running. At least legally.

    The police concentrated on those dope smoking hippies and anyone that didn’t wear a crew cut while allowing white collar criminals the run of the state. The elites, when they were prosecuted, were given a slap on the wrist, or allowed to post bail and run across a border like Polanski did.

    While at the same time a friend came home and found two thugs raping his wife. They then beat him to a pulp, until he was able to get to his 357, and put an end to their nefarious ways. The California response to that home invasion and sexual assault was to imprison him. He died there, and his wife later committed suicide. So much for the California dream, and that was many, many years gone by.

    Lead by a RINO California is still in trouble up to it’s nose, and may very well be going down for the third time. I blame the people for the states demise. They keep on electing big government authoritarians. People who believe that others are too stupid for their own good. People who believe that government has the answer to every problem. People who are better than thou, and that will show you the error of your ways.

    The Guardian wrote a really swell piece about all this. The grammar and spelling are magnificent. Worthy of superior marks in English Composition. But, the article misses the point completely even as they do such an eloquent job of describing the situation unfolding in California.

    READ THAT HERE

    I started this blog a few years ago, and, as I stated in one of the earliest pieces. Government most often creates problems, or makes them worse. While Freedom, and Liberty find solutions. My thoughts have not changed.

    Growth, Taxes, and the Economy

    October 3, 2009

    What follows is nothing more than what anyone learns in Economics 101. What does that tell you about the so-called leaders that we have around the nation..?

    What should young adults be thinking about who they support politically?

    A report just released by the Tax Foundation has given the unwelcome title of least “business-friendly” states to — no surprises here — New Jersey, New York and California. On the other end of the spectrum is South Dakota, which has the most business-friendly tax system, followed by Wyoming and Alaska. Evaluating states based on taxes that matter most to businesses — corporate income, individual income, sales, unemployment insurance and property taxes — the foundation found that the blue state trio boasts “the most inhospitable [tax structures] to economic growth.” The foundation noted, “The ideal tax system … is simple, transparent, stable, neutral to business activity, and pro-growth.”

    Interestingly, a study released earlier this year by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University ranked the same bottom three states among the five least free states in the country in terms of economic and personal freedom as measured by “state and local government intervention across a wide range of public policies.” New Hampshire, which tied for first in freedom, also came in as one of the Tax Foundation’s most business-friendly states.

    Unfortunately, the most anti-business states have yet to fully grasp the connection. For example, it appeared to be news to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office when it announced this week that small business regulations have cost the state $492 billion and a whopping 3.8 million jobs, amounting to $134,122 and one job loss per small business in 2007.

    So, freedom = economic growth, while burdensome government regulations = economic contraction. Coincidence? We think not.

    Young voters went for Barack Obama by a 2-1 margin but they seem to be the generation hardest hit on the job front, with an unemployment rate significantly above the national 9.8 percent mark. Economists and other experts blame the increase in the minimum wage for part of the problem, yet layoffs and decreased hours among older workers have also backed up the job market. Entry-level jobs once performed by youths are being filled by adults who are punctual, polite, professional and simply grateful to have a job, even at minimum wage.

    The consequences of this trend may turn out to be severe. Youths who can’t get that first opportunity may be held back economically for up to 15 years, according to a government study. This translates into slower economic growth down the road as a generation handicapped by high unemployment and jobs farther down the economic scale than their parents enjoyed at the same age attempts to scrape together funding to buy a house, a new car, or other needs and desires. Then again, as a demographic group, these young people are reaping exactly what they voted for.

    “We’re putting Americans back to work doing the work that America needs done: Rebuilding roads, bridges and new schools, and all manner of construction projects across all 50 states. I’m not going to rest. I know the governors and candidates here are not going to rest, and I know that the American people are not going to rest until everybody who’s looking for work can find a job.” –The One, BO, just before the Labor Department announced another 263,000 lost jobs in September, which raised unemployment to 9.8 percent

    SOURCE

    Obama vs. Reagan

    February 22, 2009

    By Mark Alexander

    “This is our moment, this is our time to turn the page on the policies of the past, to offer a new direction. We are fundamentally transforming the United States of America. And generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was our time.” –Barack Hussein Obama [emphasis added]

    In July 2006, the median price of a home reached an all-time high of $230,900 and, on 9 October 2007, the Wilshire Broad Market Indexes peaked at 15,806, the latter being the most significant indicator of investor confidence.

    According to the latest data, the median home price has decreased by almost 25 percent (a $7.5 trillion loss), and the WBMI is now down 50 percent (a $7.9 trillion loss in capital wealth).

    Coincidentally, perhaps, the dramatic downturn in the financial and housing markets corresponds to the last presidential campaign, in which one party rallied Americans around an optimistic outlook for the future, and the other rallied constituents around familiar themes of pending doom. The latter made a more compelling case than the former, which gave Barack Obama the victory, but that victory was accompanied by a colossal crisis of confidence, which is largely responsible for the current economic recession.

    For sure, there were very real financial problems fueled by the Democrat congressional mandates that the world’s largest lenders, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and others downstream, engaged in subprime mortgage lending in order to create more home-ownership opportunities for their low-income constituents. Those mandates trace their origins to Jimmy Carter’s Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 and Bill Clinton’s insistence that the Department of Housing and Urban Development enforce the CRA regulations. Banks were coerced to alter their lending practices and, by 2006, were underwriting loans to a whole spectrum of unqualified buyers.

    As you recall, when Republicans, most notably Sen. John McCain, raised questions about how meddling in the housing market could backfire — four years before the housing collapse began — Demo Rep. Barney Frank was the most vociferous defender of market adulteration: “These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis. The more people exaggerate a threat of safety and soundness, the more people conjure up the possibility of serious financial losses to the Treasury, which I do not see. I think we see entities that are fundamentally sound financially and withstand some of the disaster scenarios. And even if there were a problem, the federal government does not bail them out.”

    Apparently Frank understood the importance of market confidence, but insisted, “The federal government does not bail them out.”

    Demo Rep. Maxine Waters added, “We do not have a crisis at Freddie Mac and particularly Fannie Mae under the outstanding leadership of Frank Raines.” (That’s the same Frank Raines who directed enormous campaign contributions to Barack Obama.)

    It is no small irony that Frank is now chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and Waters is Chairwoman of its Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity.

    If fact, economists uniformly agree that the current crisis of confidence in the market reached critical mass when the federal government stepped in to bail out these two massive corporations — and it’s been a hard, fast ride down ever since.

    There was a competing philosophy back when Republicans and Democrats were debating the wisdom of government interference in the home lending markets: Republicans insisting this was problematic and Democrats insisting this would create no problems.

    Those competing philosophies are boiling over this week, as Barack Obama signed into law his federally mandated confiscation and redistribution of more than $1.3 trillion dollars over the next decade and maybe as much as $3 trillion and counting. One day after signing the so-called “Recovery Act,” Obama promised another $275 billion from the so-called “Troubled Assets Relief Program” for mortgage bailouts to his constituents — those who enjoy more expensive houses than they can afford — loans that Frank and Waters insisted were not a problem.

    The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office offered this summary: “In the longer run, the [Obama] legislation would result in a slight decrease in gross domestic product compared with CBO’s baseline economic forecast.” Put another way, we’re going to add trillions in debt in order to obtain a slight decrease in economic growth.

    Now, according to Obama, “Government has to take responsibility for setting rules of the road that are fair and fairly enforced. Banks and lenders must be held accountable for ending the practices that got us into this crisis in the first place. And each of us as individuals has to take responsibility for their own actions. That means all of us have to learn to live within our means again.”

    In other words, government is the solution and it was all those greedy bankers and lenders who “got us into this crisis in the first place.”

    In a recent debate about President Ronald Reagan’s approach to economic crisis versus that of Barack Obama, columnist Charles Krauthammer argued, “Reagan had a lot more substance and he had a lot more ideas. Obama has never managed a candy store, and the way he put together his cabinet shows that he’s got a long way to go.”

    In other words Reagan was all substance and Obama is all fragrance. However, Obama is now managing the largest candy store on the planet.

    So, given that both Reagan and Obama entered office in a time of severe economic decline, let’s contrast their proposed solutions and the known outcomes of those solutions: Reagan v. Obama.

    In the wake of Jimmy Carter’s “Great Malaise,” the last colossal undermining of American confidence, Ronald Reagan entered office with inflation at almost 14 percent and unemployment soaring into double digits. It took President Reagan several years to restore free-market principles that would sustain the largest peacetime economic surge in American history.

    Campaigning for the presidency, Reagan said, “This is the issue: whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them for ourselves. … Somewhere a perversion has taken place. Our natural, inalienable rights are now considered to be a dispensation of government, and freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp as it is at this moment.”

    In his 1981 inaugural address, President Reagan assured the nation: “The economic ills we suffer … will not go away in days, weeks, or months, but they will go away. They will go away because we, as Americans, have the capacity now, as we have had in the past, to do whatever needs to be done to preserve this last and greatest bastion of freedom. In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. … Our government has no power except that granted it by the people. It is time to check and reverse the growth of government, which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed. It is my intention to curb the size and influence of the federal establishment and to demand recognition of the distinction between the powers granted to the federal government and those reserved to the states or to the people. All of us need to be reminded that the federal government did not create the states; the states created the federal government.”

    Reagan implemented massive tax reductions, deregulation and anti-inflation monetary policies, which brought inflation down to 3.2 percent by 1983 and unleashed a historic period of economic growth. Of course, behind all the policy implementation was the most important element of the recovery: Ronald Reagan was a man of character and substance, as evidenced by his historic re-election in 1984. He restored American confidence.

    On the other hand, Obama, now facing the worst economic decline since the Carter debacle, has promised to “fundamentally transform the United States of America. … Everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act — to lay a new foundation for growth.”

    In his inaugural speech, Obama said, “The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works.” This, of course, suggests that somehow our bloated central government is not the problem, but the solution, if it is managed correctly.

    Obama’s economic philosophy and solution to the current crisis is rooted in the tried and failed policies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who attempted unsuccessfully to end the Great Depression with massive government spending. Obama also subscribes to Roosevelt’s class-warfare decree: “Here is my principle: Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay. That is the only American principle.”

    If Roosevelt’s “principle” sounds familiar, that’s because it was no more American than Obama’s. Roosevelt was paraphrasing Karl Marx, whose maxim declared, “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.”

    History, as we know, is littered with the rubble of failed Socialist regimes. Nonetheless, Obama and his ilk press forward with their statist agendas, clearly indicative of their pathological predisposition toward fatalism.

    After signing the Democrats’ massive pork pie spending bill, Obama said, “I don’t want to pretend that today marks the end of our economic problems. Nor does it constitute all of what we have to do to turn our economy around. But today does mark the beginning of the end.”

    The beginning of the end of the last chapter of liberty and free enterprise, perhaps…

    In the final analysis, Obama can redistribute a lot of wealth, but he can’t do what Reagan did — restore our nations confidence, because most Americans, Left and Right, know that he has no character, no substance.

    Make no mistake: The “Recovery Act” is not about economic recovery. It’s about shackling our future to a socialist agenda, which will play out in the next decade short of significant intervention — a cyclical economic recovery, the advent of another great leader with the stature of Reagan, or another unpleasantry like that one begun in 1776, the discussion of which has now entered mainstream conversations, albeit at a whisper.

    P.S. Visit Obama’s Recovery Act Web site. Once there, you’ll be greeted with a header proclaiming, “Your money at work.” The Accountability and Transparency section claims, “This is your money. You have a right to know where it’s going and how it’s being spent.”

    Isn’t that nice — Obama is telling me who he is giving my money to because I “have a right to know”?

    Now, if the money that Obama is confiscating from my family were really “my money,” it would be at work paying our mortgage and my kids’ tuitions, paying small contractors for improvements to our home, growing our small publishing business, funding salary increases for my employees to the benefit of their families. Heck, I might even replace my 10-year-old SUV with another GM product.

    Obama’s Recovery Act site also has a link to “Share your Recovery Story.” I invite you to share yours today.

    (For a list of economists who oppose BHO’s policies, or to read essays by economists who object, link to http://patriotpost.us/reference/disagreement.php.)

    Quote of the week

    “The fact is, we’ll never build a lasting economic recovery by going deeper into debt at a faster rate than we ever have before.” –Ronald Reagan

    On cross-examination

    “What [Obama calls] tax reductions in this bill are really transfer payments, particularly redistribution of income from the rich to the poor. The economy did very well [after the Bush] tax cuts of 2003. Obama has blamed [the Bush tax cuts] for part of the current financial collapse. There’s really no linkage between the tax cuts of 2003 and the financial and housing collapse we’ve seen in recent months. Abolishing the corporate income tax at the federal level I think would be very positive. It’s a very poor form of taxation. I would make permanent the kinds of changes that were in the 2003 tax reform, including the marginal tax rate structure.” –Harvard Economist Robert Barro on Obama’s “terrible piece of legislation”

    Open query

    “President Reagan inherited an economic situation even worse than the one President Obama has. When Reagan took office, the economy had been in recession for about a year, the unemployment rate was almost identical to today’s, but the labor force participation rate was smaller, and inflation was out of control. At the time, the newspapers were filled with stories about the ‘worst economy since the Great Depression’ — which, unlike today, was true, and the economic establishment seemed to be bereft of ideas of what to do. Credit markets were in a mess, and both businesses and consumers were not borrowing because they could not afford the interest rates. President Reagan, unlike his critics, had a clear plan to revive the economy, which included: monetary restraint to stop inflation; large reductions in marginal tax rates to renew the incentives to work, save and invest; and a reduction in nondefense spending as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP). Unlike other recent presidents, Reagan actually kept and delivered on his promises, which resulted in high growth (7.2 percent in 1984 alone) and large reductions in the unemployment rate — particularly, inflation. He stuck with Mr. Volcker and his monetary restraint because he understood inflation had to be brought under control, even though he also knew it would necessarily prolong the recession. How many of today’s politicians would be willing to take the heat for the long run good?” –Richard W. Rahn, Chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth

    Patriot Post

    Vol. 09 No. 07
    20 February 2009

    Mark’s assessment is much kinder than what I expected. Then again, he is a gentleman.

    It’s that day again!

    April 15, 2008

    April 15th, tax day for yet another year! I knew that everyone would be happy about that. How do I feel about taxes? Well that would probably best be summed up by a quote that I found;

    “The war against illegal plunder has been fought since the beginning of the world. But how is… legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. Then abolish this law without delay… If such a law is not abolished immediately it will spread, multiply and develop into a system.” —Frederic Bastiat

    Our Constitution is pretty blunt about taxation, at least in the beginning it was. Now, after several generations of politicians have tweaked it, and such. We have an income tax, a this tax, a that tax, then there is the seemingly ever broadening base of state and local taxation. Is there a perfect answer? I seriously doubt that there is one.

    The “Flat tax” is a step in the right direction but really has very little support in the places where it counts. Pretty much the same for the other tax theories that I have heard about.

    One thing is certain though. As the tax burden grows constantly, the already existent black market will expand tremendously, along with the resultant crime that follows. That will be something that affects people on an everyday basis, not just in mid-April. It certainly is sad that in “the land of the free” you can buy a full auto AK47 for less, substantially less, than the legal semi-automatic version. That cargo theft is one of the fastest growing crimes, with cigarettes and booze being the most targeted goods. Those just happen to be things that are heavily restricted, and in many places taxed at outrageous levels. But, when you have a government that has to add “explosives” to the name and duties of a rogue agency that fairly regularly killed Americans for practicing their rights what can you expect?

    For those among us that are collectivist’s and think that Free market Economics are a pipe dream, think about this: Aesop’s fable about The Goose that laid the Golden Egg.


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