I am proud to be an American. I am lucky to have the geo-biological accident of being born on this earth here, instead of somewhere else, and now instead of sometime else.
I believe in the promise that is America. The American Dream; that if you work hard and are honest you can get ahead and make something of yourself. That character counts for something.
I believe in the liberty that America promises to all people – that we all have equal rights and are treated equally under the law.
Unfortunately, this idea is getting twisted into “we should all be equal”. We are not all equal. We are not created equally by God. We don’t all try equally, or work equal hours, or get equal results for the people we serve. This is accounted for in a free society with free capital markets.
When a government tries to make people enjoy an equal (or closer to equal) standard of living artificially, with regulation and taxes that take from those that produce to give to those it feels should have more than they can produce on their own, it strips the dignity from those who receive those benefits, and strips the ambition from those who produce them.
As a civil and decent society should, we must help care for those who physically can not care for themselves to be sure. The disabled, the handicapped, and the elderly.
I believe in small government, as our founding fathers intended it to be. I feel the track we are on is wrong.
In 1900, taxes were 5% of Gross Domestic Product. It was believed at the time that you could not raise taxes on the people more because they would not have it, and that they would rebel.
In the 1930’s in the face of the Depression, the government raised taxes and the people went along with it under the “state of emergency” the country was in – with 25% unemployment.
Then, during the Second World War, the taxes went up yet again, and it was a state of emergency that had the people go along with it.
Of course, taxes never go down. Today, taxes are at a staggering 45% of Gross Domestic Product, and rising still. Again, it is a “State of Emergency” that has the people going along with it. This is not the last crisis we will endure.
The correct definition of taxation is the level of government spending as a percentage of GDP, plus interest, whether or not the taxes were collected that year or not. So today, as the government spends over 50% more money this year than it will collect, taxes are actually over 50% higher on us than we are paying, because the government is borrowing on our behalf in order to take care of us.
We must stop this. We do not need one (union) government servant for every 5 Americans to take care of us. People who work in largely inefficient operations for 20 years, then retire and collect a pension for the rest of their lives (which could be another 40 years).
Legislators want to “Make their mark” and ADD something in the way of a program, regulation or benefit. There are so many laws that nobody knows what they are – so do they matter anyway?
We need legislators who say “I will take things away. I will reduce whole governmental departments and agencies. I will reduce the number of laws and regulations, and I will give people more of their freedom and money back by lowering taxes (once we pay the debt off). (Andrew Jackson was president last time we retired the federal debt!)
One problem with legislators is that when things are good and the money is coming into the government coffers, which is of course a percentage of personal income and corporate profits, they spend every cent and more like it will last forever. When a recession comes and personal income and corporate profits go down, the money coming into the government slows, and you have a deficit. So they either cut spending (rarely if ever) or more commonly raise taxes. Then the recession ends (through no help of the government), the money flows in and they spend it all and more again. Then the next recession comes – well, you get the idea. Our elected officials should cut spending in such a way as we have a surplus in boom times, so that we can pay our bills in slow times. This of course takes discipline, and that along with the fact that it is “other peoples money” is the problem.
It all comes down to common sense and integrity.
I love America. Nobody is more patriotic than me. Nobody’s heart flitters more when they see a flag waving. It is not anti American to disagree with the federal government. If you recall, this is how our country came to be in the first place.
But we must speak out about how much we all must give of our labors to the government for them to waste away as they see fit, according to their inefficient, poorly conceived agendas that do not benefit us all.
Please hear, that I have disagreed with not just the current administration on this large fundamental issue, but have disagreed with the previous ones as well. It is not partisanship. It’s about being responsible. We cannot continue to promise more and more benefits to the people with money we force them to give us through taxation.
That money is better off staying in the hands of the people who earned it for them to decide where to spend it, save it, invest it, or whom to support with it.
Every generation has it’s crisis. Growing money hungry government is ours, and we must meet the challenge.
I hope you will give it some thought and express your opinions to your elected officials.
“You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.” -Dr. Adrian Rogers, 1931 – 2005
Some ask the question, “What makes people poor?”
It seems like a sensible question, looking at it from a wealthy Western culture here in 2009. But the wealth we enjoy is a relatively new historical phenomenon. If you look at the majority of people in the world today, and how we in the US lived just a hundred years ago or so, we find that poverty is the natural state of man. Wealth is the exception. So the question “What causes poverty?” is the wrong question.
The right question is “What causes wealth?” This we know the answer to.
What causes wealth is capitalism that takes place in a free society governed by law. Unlocking the entrepreneurial spirit for individuals to pursue their own interests while bring value to the marketplace in providing goods and services to others that they want and are willing to freely pay for, is what causes wealth. High taxes are a demotivator for those who create wealth for the whole society.
In addition, capitalism and free markets creates peace and civil behavior. Just look around – which countries have free societies and free markets? The peaceful ones. Which ones are full of violence and strife? The ones where people cannot do and express themselves freely and where they cannot apply their industry to serving others for their own self interests.
Which came first – the freedom, or the peace? Freedom.
Rather than try to “prevent” poverty, or declare “war” on it, why don’t we support what causes wealth instead. Free people and free markets.
– LJ 5-19-09