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Monday, September 26, 2011


Desperate times call for desperate measures; and we see desperate measures coming out of Washington D.C. at alarming regularity. One of the latest from The Desperados in the White House is the "millionaires tax" for lack of a better term--what else could it be called? Government needs money so you go where the money is. As the noted bank robber Willy Sutton said when asked why he robs banks, "that's where the money is". It's a sorry state of affairs when our federal government deliberately intends to discriminate against a specific class of citizens by taking property from them; the taking for no better reason than they want it, and if congress approves and the president signs, it will be legal.

There is much opposition to this Millionaires Tax for many good reasons, a few will follow. First of all the opposition is not, repeat, is not defending millionaires because they are in our political corner--some are, some are not. They are not defended because they are people of such sterling character that they are above reproach--some are some are not. They are defended because the power of government threatens them; and, if allowed, that same government may threaten or discriminate against any of us when it so desires. "The government that can give you everything may also be able to deny you anything." The writings of F.A. Hayek in "The Road to Serfdom" warned of the intentions and power of government; he wrote during the times that Fascism, National Socialism, and Communism were on the rise in Europe; all three of these governmental forms promised prosperity and well-being for their peoples. None turned out well. We say it cannot happen here in America, yet there are those who cheer and support this dangerous over-reach of power; others passively watch thinking it doesn't concern me; others succumb to the feelings of envy--they have it, take it from them.

How distressing to watch as our federal government, led by congress and a president, are unable to rein-in the out-of-control spending by even modest amounts. In the past three years there have been three groups or commissions or "gangs' of six or twelve who have spent millions of dollars of our money, supposedly looking at reining-in government, none of the recommendations of these groups have resulted in a bill passed by congress. As a result the political fixes are now coming forth from the White House: tax the people who have money; extract money from any industry that is regulated or beholden to the government---specifically energy industries of coal and oil; apply taxes and fees upon the healthcare industry and its suppliers; and levy more tax on the wage earners starting at $200,000 per year. This is government doing what it does best (if the term 'best' may apply), and that is government perpetuating and feeding itself--its most basic instinct.

The multitude and expanse of our federal programs of assistance and largess of money grants have created a population dependent upon the "free money and assistance" that we are convinced we cannot live without. A dependency as deeply set as that of a drug addict. We know that we must kick the dependency, but we are unwilling to go through the painful ordeal. Our government is acutely aware that it cannot continue spending as the money has run out. The dilemma: how to reduce the spending without causing the severe pain of withdrawal among many people, the result will be that many office holders in government will lose their jobs and power. Again, the first instinct of government is to preserve itself--once grown it willingly relinquishes nothing.

A book written several years ago is spot-on this dilemma, the writer, a former liberal thinker turned not-so-liberal, must have seen this crash coming; the book is "Eat The Rich" by P.J. O'Rourke who sets the scene we are currently in. The federal government has grown to mammoth size and consumes more than it takes in revenue, it must now find more revenue so it searches for untapped sources and it finds the "rich and the wealthy." These are the Gates, Waltons, Buffetts, Jobs, Kochs, Zuckermans, et al. So, if we took it all, how long would the wealth of our richest Americans keep our government going? The estimate is about a week--when their money is gone--who is next?

Not talked about so far is the choosing of sides in this debate of those in favor of "taxing the rich", and those opposed to this envy-driven discrimination of part of our population. It is ugly and noisy. People are characterized as greedy, selfish, uncaring, dishonest, gougers, cheaters, self-indulgent, despoilers, and more. How sad this is. Think about what is happening--we are talking about people who are no different than we--they work or don't, care about others or don't, give of their time and money to causes or don't, religious or not religious, enjoy and respect this land or don't, polite or not, considerate or not, live modestly or not, generous or not, etc. Their transgression is that they are considered "rich" and that is our reason to discriminate. Surely we are better people than that!

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