Friday, October 31, 2008

Just Words

The only thing that allays my concerns about an Obama presidency, is that I don't believe a word that he says. Think FISA, Public financing for campaigns, the Surge, etc., etc.
Yeah, that's the sort of change I can believe in.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Taxes, Wealth Spreading and the XIIIth Amendment

Obama in his conversation with Joe the Plumber, stated that he wanted to "spread the wealth around." When given a chance to repudiate the comment, The One declined to do so. Obama is basing his tax plan on the populist notion that he will give a tax increase to the top 5% and a tax break to the remaining 95% (which he has subsequently had to amend to the 95% who work, the rest are left out). He is continuing the Orwellian notion that taxes should be "progressive."
What do we mean when we use the word "progressive: with taxes. It is generally understood that the more you make, the more taxes that you pay. This definition is inadequate, because under a flat tax system, if you made more, you would pay more than someone who made less. What we have are a series of steps that increase at arbitrary levels. So, up to a certain level, you pay 10%, then 15% and so on to a maximum rate of 35% for the top earners. Now the $64,000 question: Why?
If the purpose of taxes is to fund the necessary organs of government, why do we have a graduated tax rate? You could do the same thing with a flat tax. Remove all of the deductions, and charge everyone the same 22.5% of all income, and you could fund the government at nearly the same rate that it is today. The advantage to this method is that everyone would have a stake in the efficiency of the government, because everyone would be paying the same rate. Wouldn't matter if you were working as a burger flipper or were the CEO of a corporation, everyone would bear the same burden.
Tie this in with "Tax Freedom Day," the day when you stop working to pay taxes, and start working to provide for your basic needs, and a chance to get ahead and make something more with your life. For all tax payers, it would come on the same day. At 22.5%, assuming 2000 hours per year of work, that time would come at 450 hours, or roughly eleven and a 1\4 weeks, sometime near the end of March, in other words. Everything else for the remainder of the year would be yours, except for those taxes for the state and local governments of course.
But some taxpayers pay nothing in federal income tax (yes, I know that Social Security is a tax, but we are talking about income tax, not payroll tax, so please stick to the topic at hand, we can discuss the morality of the payroll tax at a later date), so their tax freedom day is January 1st. If you throw in the Earned Income Tax Credit, they could almost say that their Tax Freedom Day was sometime in the previous December. For those paying at the 10% rate, their tax freedom day would come at 200 hours, or sometime in the beginning of February. This pattern would continue until the 35% rate, where their federal income tax "Freedom Day" would come at 700 hours, or right around the Middle of May. Obama's plan would push this out to 900 hours, the middle of June. So, the upshot is that if you are in the highest tax rate, you will slave for the government for nearly half of every year.
Which leads me to the third element of the title, the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which says:
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime where of the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Why do I bring this in? Think about it, everyone of us is considered to be equal before the law. But when it comes to involuntary servitude, some are more equal than others. Ah, you say, but you don't have to make that much money, and therefore, you would have less involuntary servitude. But wouldn't that just promote and reward sloth and laziness? If you are talented, intelligent and hard working, wouldn't the present scheme make it counterproductive to fully maximize your talents, intelligence and hard work? By doing so, aren't you depriving the general society of new inventions, procedures or techniques that could be generally beneficial as a whole?
But working is not the same as involuntary servitude is it? No, not if we all shared the same burden. But under the present and proposed tax schemes, if you have to work twice as long to pay your tax burden as someone else, is that not involuntary servitude? Sure, no one is making you work hard, but the fact that you have to work longer to begin earning anything for yourself is not much better than working as a sharecropper.
And think about not paying your taxes and what would happen. While in the days of slavery, the overseer with his dogs chasing you through the swamps was certainly terrifying, is it that much less terrifying to receive the letter from the IRS saying that you were being audited? And while the overseer had no legal constrictions on what to do to an escaped slave, if the slave made it to a free state, until Dred Scott, many states would offer sanctuary. Today, we have the IRS with their investigators, prosecutors, judges, courts and jails, so I suppose it is marginally better. Although the end result of a captured slave, or a tax resister is going to be the end of their freedom. If you don't think that the IRS is fully capable of using every form of legal coercion available to it, you have never had to deal with them, have you?
The framers of the Constitution recognized that the right to property was an essential element to the development of the human condition. As a result of that cognizance, they prohibited income taxes, which only came about after the introduction of the XVIth Amendment. The fear of the framers was that if the general populace could vote themselves largesse from the treasury, there would no longer be any reason to have and hold private property, since the government could simply take it from you to satisfy the populist braying of those who have less.
Seems that that day has arrived.

UPDATE: This is illuminating:

Monday, October 20, 2008

Coming Crackdown?

It's easy to think that the efforts by the Obama campaign to silence its critics are just overblown hysteria. But then, the evidence starts to accumulate. First came the threatening letters from the Obama lawyers to stations that ran an NRA ad. Then the aggressive mob tactics to silence a critic of Obama from speaking. Add to it, the inappropriate request by the Obama campaign of the Justice Department to investigate a group who questioned Obama's assertions about Ayers as being untrue.
Luckily for Obama, the LA Times came to his defense and said that the entire event was untrue. Except, it was true. As Patterico points out in this post, he pointed to a blog by a liberal blogger who described the event. Then after Patterico pointed it out to the LA Times, the article disappears. Luckily, the evidence is still preserved at his site.
The problem that I am having with this is the combination of heavy handed thuggery in conjunction with the complicit MSM. Was the LA Times so inept that they missed the evidence? If so, why did the evidence suddenly become "disappeared?"
Democrats may feel that they are just trying to avoid being Swiftboated by using these tactics. What they forget is that the essential elements of the Swiftboat vets are true, and if Kerry had responded in the same manner as Obama, it would have been an affront to open and honest discussions about a candidate.
GGuy at Electric City has posted a piece that mentions a new blog Unfair Doctrine, that is covering the suppression of free speech by the Obama campaign.
If you don't agree completely with "The One," be afraid. Be very afraid.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Last 8 Years vs Last 2

The unending drumbeat of "the failed policies of the last eight years" is annoyingly tendentious and just plain wrong. Compare the state of the nation at the end of the Republicans in the majority in Congress with what's happening right now. Conveniently, that has already been done for you.
If the last two years are a harbinger of things to come, start buying gold and hiding it in your back yard. And, don't forget to stock up on ammo.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

C'est Plus Change

Who said
(Voters) will either choose to continue along the road we have traveled for the last four years or they will take the new road to progress I have offered.
You are the people who have contributed so much to our culture but have not shared equally in it.

Sounds like someone we know now, doesn't it? Even though most of the posters on the Sinestra may think that it was Obama, I wonder how surprised they would be if they found out it was this guy?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bush's Resignation Speech

I know that many of the Sinestra are hoping, but the humor can be found here.

A Plumber is what he's fighting for!

So, now Barak is making fun of the people who work. I guess we should be getting used to this. Of course, I guess I am one of the people that Barak is fighting for, a government employee. It's just that I am doing Public Defender work because I think it's important, and I think that I am making a difference. Now, if I was back in private practice, I am sure that I would not rate The One's attention in this matter.
But the original YouTube posting had Barak taking the stance that he wants to "Spread the Wealth Around."

Now, I keep coming back to the same basic question. What moral theory says that it is okay to take from the sweat of the workers to pass on to those who either don't work, or are not as successful? If you want the rich to pay their fair share, don't you mean that they should get a tax cut to the same as everyone else? Others have written very well that this is nothing more than the politics of envy.
We have succumbed to the idea that progressive taxation is acceptable. The question is: Why?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What's Next?

"There comes a time when a man must spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." H.L. Mencken.

I was reminded of this quote when I was reading the comments in Right Wing Nuthouse which talked about what is going to happen to the Right if Obama should get elected. While I can agree with the sentiments of the original post, there is still that juvenile desire to return to the Left all of the pointless pain and suffering that they have been spreading over the last eight years. To vilify and harass with baseless charges, crass commentary devoid of thought, and otherwise be just a royal pain in the ass. But then I would be no different than the Left, at least as far as it is personified by the worst representatives.

No, this country was built on the backs of conservatives, those who worked hard, provided for and care for their families and friends. The ones who give tithing at church every Sunday, and join in with Habitat for Humanity and donate game to the food bank. They are decent, honest and moral. To stoop to the tactics that have been used against conservatives is to let them win. They have worked hard to destroy this country and remake it into their own image. If we become like them, we accelerate their attempt to do so.

The Left may now have to actually be responsible (I am looking forward to that, but don't really believe that it will happen) for everything that happens. Yes, they will blame Bush and Republicans, and that will be fine until June of 09. Then they will actually have to accomplish something. And while I won't be up there cheerleading the personal destruction of Obama and his presidency like they have to Bush, I will oppose those policies of his that I think are wrongheaded and dangerous.

That is the responsibility of every American. The personal and baseless attacks are the responsibility of those on the Left. Let's leave them there.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Watch Banned Videos Here!

NBC was apparently not happy with a portion of the Saturday Night Live skit that showed that the Democrats could possibly be to blame. As a result, they have pulled it, but like just about everything else on the Intertubes, it can't stay hidden forever. You can watch the portion that is banned here.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Post Debate

Having watched the debate while I am stuffing envelopes for the absentee voters, I was not particularly impressed by either of the vice presidential candidates. But I was amused by my wife, The Good Democrat, who was giddy in anticipation of the debate that it would show Sarah Palin to be "dumb." At the end of the debate, she had to concede that Sarah Palin was not dumb. When I pointed out that she was relying on the spin that was provided by Main Stream Media, she seemed a bit discombobulated by the notion that she was being manipulated in her opinion.
She is still for Obama, and when we were talking about the state of the race after the debate, she said that Palin is good, but she lacks the ability to be president. When I questioned her further, pointing out that she has been governor of a state just like Brian Schweitzer, (whom she loves) and that should account for something.
My wife then said that Obama was a community organizer, which has to count for something. When I asked her what it was that Obama had accomplished as a community organizer, she replied "a lot." When I asked her what could she say that he actually accomplished, she could not provide an answer. Then she got mad at me for pointing out that she couldn't name anything that Obama had actually done.
Such is the state of the political discourse, that questioning the unquestioned beliefs results in hard feelings.

Bill O'Reilly and Barney Frank

Gateway Pundit has a piece from the O'Reilly Factor in which Bill confronts Barney Frank. But the funniest piece is in the lead in where they describe Barney Frank as the
failed Chairman of the House Services Committee for his role in the Fannie Mae-Freddie Mac scandal tonight.

I like that, list all of the Democrats as "The failed . . . " whatever, whether it is the "Failed Senate Majority Leader" or the "Failed Speaker of the House."
Should be a tag line for the entire Democratic party.