Archive for the ‘Taxes’ Category

Speech at the Maryland Tax Day Tea Party

Friday, April 16th, 2010

I recently spoke at the 2010 Maryland Tax Day Tea Party in Stevensville. Here are the links and the text of the speech:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Text of Speech:

You know, theres a Chinese proverb that says that there are three curses, each one worse than the previous. The first of these curses is: “May you live in interesting times.” Well, the times we live in are certainly interesting.

We stand here today at a transformative moment in American history at the front lines of what can only be called a revolution in thought. We are here today, like hundreds of thousands of our fellow Americans in cities all across the country to exercise our basic right as citizens, as a free people in a democratic republic. We stand here today, peaceably assembled, petitioning our government for redress of our grievances. And we are here to tell our government one thing: STOP.

We stand here today with a crisis of creativity in our country. We look around and see problem after problem: Poverty. Millions unable to get health care. People out of work. Its easy for all of us, no matter what our political views may be, to agree on what the problems are.

But though we all see these problems, for too long, we have seen just one solution let the government do it. Its their job. Its their responsibility.

Well, the second Chinese curse is this: May you come to the attention of those in authority.

Well, let me tell you, weve definitely been getting attention from those in power.

We are citizens today living under a government that doesn’t represent us its people. And we have made the decision, together, that we can no longer refuse to take action. And for that, we are drawing much attention.

But when I say people, I should be clear, because I don’t just mean us here today, or our friends across the country. I mean all Americans, regardless of whether or not theyre a part of the tea party movement. For years, no matter the Administration, no matter which party controlled Congress, no matter who we elected, none of us has been represented by our government.

And why should anyone care? Why should anyone have bothered to pay attention to what we wanted? Why pay attention when we largely refused to take action when we continued to let elected officials get away with whatever they wanted? We have congressional approval ratings in the teens and twenties, and yet re-election rates are in the 90s, and thats unacceptable.

You know, thirty-two years ago, something remarkable happened in the state of California. In 1978, Californians stood up passed Proposition 13 overwhelmingly a law hated so strongly by the political class, because it of all things made it more difficult for politicians to raise taxes.

But thats not why Prop 13 was important. No, it was important for what it started for what it signified. 43 states followed by passing some form of a tax limitation. In the late 70s, Americans realized that theyd been taxed too much for too long, and that it was time to do something about it.

But today the problem we face the problem that is drawing us attention is not our dislike of taxes. It is our solemn and firm rejection of completely out-of-control spending by politicians.

You know, to go off on a tangent for a second, Rodney Dangerfield once had a great line in Back to School that said, Youve always got to look out for #1, because if you dont, youll end up stepping in #2.

Well, pardon the analogy, but for too long, our elected officials have not been looking out for us for the citizens who should be #1. And worst of all, they havent just mistakenly stepped in some #2 theyve thrown us into a $16 trillion dollar pile of it.

And that brings me to the third Chinese curse: May you find what you are looking for.

For too long, those who wanted big runaway government have gotten what they wanted.

We have a Democratically-controlled Congress this year that passed a new trillion dollar health care entitlement, all the while ignoring overwhelming public opposition.

But why should we be shocked when just 7 years ago, a Republican-controlled Congress passed a new half-trillion prescription drug plan that nobody wanted?

We have a Congress today that raises the federal debt ceiling whenever it bumps up against that ceiling.

But why should we be taken aback considering that Republicans raised that ceiling again and again when it was politically convenient to do so?

Its pretty sad when those in Congress dont even know what the word ceiling means, isnt it?

We have President Obama borrowing, printing and spending more than any president in history, in the supposed name of job creation.

But why should we be surprised when his Republican predecessor did the exact same thing?

We have a president now who wastes trillions of dollars overseas in multiple endless wars, sacrificing American lives, destroying our civil liberties at home, and shredding our Constitution into millions of tiny bits.

But why should we be surprised to see him merely continuing and expanding the policies initiated by George Bush?

And then, of course, we have the worst example of all an example of government so out of control an example so galling that it deserves special scorn, all its own.

And this time Im talking about the bailouts.

A tag-team effort, foisted upon us by our last two presidents, a scheme that took hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars, ignored the public outcry of those taxpayers, and then handed that money to the well-connected friends of unelected treasury secretaries and government officials, so that Wall Street millionaire bankers could keep making campaign contributions to both parties.

The truth is, we only really have one party with two competing factions: the spend money over here party, and the spend money over there party.

But what we realize today is that low taxes are not enough. Low taxes mean nothing if we don’t reduce spending as well. And fortunately for our future generations, more and more Americans are realizing this as well.

Theyre realizing that the reckless spending of taxpayer money our money is just the beginning. Our government hasnt just been eroding away our pocketbooks, but also the basic liberties that have for so long characterized our free society.

But we cannot we must not — let lawmakers keep grabbing this power the power to solve problems that they themselves created.

This may come as a surprise to some in Washington, but you know, you cant run massive government programs like Medicare and Medicaid and the FDA and the medical boards, and many, many others and then say the free market doesn’t work in health care, so we’ll run it, instead.

You can’t put up roadblocks to interstate competition between insurance companies and then say we need a government option because insurers don’t have enough competition.

You can’t have the Fed and the Treasury and the SEC and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the FDIC and then say we need to regulate financial instruments because the free market is failing.

No. We live in a world where the easiest way for a federal agency to get more funding is to fail at what it does, and the easiest way for Congress and the President to grab more power is to create a problem. This has got to stop, and its got to stop now.

Because if it doesnt stop, then as the Chinese curse suggests, well find what were looking for.

So the next time theres a Democrat who wants to spend money on a new health insurance bureaucracy, or a Republican who wants to spend on a new prescription drug entitlement, or a Democrat who wants to spend money on a supposed peace-keeping mission in Somalia, or a Republican who wants to spend money on war in Iraq no matter what it is, and no matter how much you think it might be a good idea you, me, all of us need to ask the question: Where is this money coming from?

Do I want to be taxed more to pay for this? Do I want the national debt to explode from more borrowing to pay for this? Do I want the Treasury and Federal Reserve to print more money to pay for this?

Or do I want to live my life, with as small a government as possible a government that doesnt threaten to bankrupt our finances or crush our currency. A government that doesnt have the power to run roughshod over the freedoms that we value so much.

We cannot let these bad policies be ignored anymore. Every time we let the government reach into yet another part of our lives, there’s only less freedom left for us.

So do not let public debate be drowned out by those who shout obstructionist! every time someone opposes your ideas. Those of us opposed to bad laws arent obstructionists. We are citizens, with ideas we care passionately about.

And we demand to be free and responsible for ourselves. We don’t want handouts; we don’t want special advantages, whether those are farm subsidies or social safety nets.

We want a government that acts in accordance with the people, not in defiance of them. A government that does not trod about on our basic liberties, the economy, or our livelihood.

We must make runaway government spending a political curse on those who support it, before it becomes a curse on us financially. We must make our will known; we must ensure that our demand for a government of the people, by the people, for the people remains forever a reality and not just an idea.

Tax Propaganda

Friday, April 17th, 2009

As you can see from the video below, paying money to the state was “patriotic” then, just the politicians say it is now.

However one thing has changed. Back then the propaganda said spending makes you an enemy of America: “Every dollar you spend for something you don’t need, is a dollar spent to help the Axis.”

Today we’re told to spend, spend, spend to “stimulate” the economy.

Freedom Watch on Tax Day

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Big Business Is Not Pro-Capitalism

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Remember that story about how unfettered free-markets, limited-government, and massive deregulation are what Big Business wants so they can exploit the working class?

Turns out it’s not true. Take a look at who the Chamber of Commerce thinks are the most pro-business politicians, and which ones don’t make the cut:

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., had the most conservative voting record in 2008 according to the American Conservative Union (ACU), and was a “taxpayer hero” according to the National Taxpayer’s Union (NTU), but the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says his 2008 record was less pro-business than Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton.

Similarly, Texas libertarian GOPer Rep. Ron Paul—the most steadfast congressional opponent of regulation, taxation, and any sort of government intervention in business—scored lower than 90% of Democrats last year on the Chamber’s scorecard.

Liberal Democrats often accuse conservative Republicans of being pawns for Big Business, but the 2008 scorecard for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce—the largest lobbying organization in the country and the official Washington voice of business—provides convincing evidence to the contrary. In fact, the policy agenda of big business can be very different from that of limited-government conservatives and libertarians.

Four Republican senators failed to earn the Chamber’s “Spirit of Enterprise Award” (earned for scoring 70% or above): DeMint, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, Jon Kyl of Arizona, and Jeff Sessions of Alabama.

These are among the most fiscally conservative, pro-limited government members of the upper chamber—which is precisely their error, in the eyes of the Chamber. The heroes of the small government cause are the goats of the big business cause.

(Via Tim Carney who has been on this beat for years.)

700 Billion

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

We’re told that this bailout will cost us $700 billion (and maybe as much as $1 trillion). Even setting aside the very significant moral hazard created by such a bailout, we simply can’t afford it.

Here’s a little breakdown you won’t hear from our politicians:

700 billion dollars is over $2,300 per person! (700 billion/population of 300 million) And that’s not per taxpayer, that is for every person in the country from from my eight year old sister to your retired grandmother, and everyone in between.

Would the politicians dare support the bailout if every family of four in the country had to come up with a check for over nine thousand dollars? Not a chance.

But somehow when they put it on our collective credit card it makes sense?  Give me a break!

Did John McCain Lie to a Little Girl?

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

McCain tells the girl “no” I won’t raise taxes… which would be good if he hasn’t been going around saying that “everything” is on the table, including raising payroll taxes.

This clip from Olbermann goes through John McCain’s many flips and flops on the issue, including a bizarre statement from his campaign claiming that the Senator, that is the candidate, doesn’t speak for the campaign:

The Problem With McCain

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

I often argue with a friend of mine who is a McCain supporter about McCain’s ability to bring conservatives who are upset with the catastrophe of the Bush presidency back into the fold.

This clip of McCain on Morning Joe highlights the problem I see for McCain:

Responding to the impassioned plea of an women in the audience for reducing the tax burden McCain says he thinks taxes should be “kept low” and later repeats a number of times that he wants to “keep taxes low.”

But McCain fundamentally misses the point…. taxes aren’t low. Depending on whose statistics you use the average American is paying 30 or 40 percent of their income to the government (a number that doesn’t include the hidden tax of inflation, or the future taxes of deficit spending).

Does McCain really think that paying 30 cents to the government out of every dollar earned is “keeping taxes low”? If he does, he completely misses the point of the lady who confronted him.

Here is her exact quote: “You tax when we’re born. You tax us when we’re dead. You tax us when we sleep. You tax us when we eat. You tax us every which way. Get off of our back!”

Note she isn’t complaining about hypothetical tax hikes that President Obama would impose. She makes it quite clear that she holds McCain personally responsible (hence the use of the word “you,” not “them” or “the Democrats”).

By suggesting that our current tax burden is low, McCain misses one of the driving forces of the conservative movement, and shows why so many fiscal conservatives will never trust him.

Declaration of Independence

Sunday, July 6th, 2008

On Friday, most Americans “celebrated” America’s Indepence by taking the day off wor, BBQ-ing and watching fireworks.  What was missed is that so much of the Declaration of independence seems to have been voided in the over two hundred years since it was signed.

Most obvious is that the Declaration of Independence makes it clear that succession (or political separation) is perfectly legitimate - in fact is a duty - when rights are sufficiently abused:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Next look at the some of the abuses sighted by the signers of the Declaration.  There can be no doubt that many are abused by the current government, and particularly the current Administration:

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.