The Red County Caucus Issues Statement on Tax Reform

 

 

Tax Reform

As Congress debates the way forward to reform the burdensome tax code, The Red County Caucus offers some common sense parameters for effective tax reform. Most can agree that this Nation is in desperate need of tax relief but the process and implementation often get lost to the web of special interests, D.C. Power brokers, and entrenched bureaucracy. The Nation can no longer afford to wait as Washington wallows in it’s stagnation and We The People demand true and effective reform now.

The business capital of the United States continues to shrink while the size of the government continues to grow. This alarming trend is unsustainable and must be reversed. History shows that our economy functions best when the free market is strengthened and the effect of government intrusion is weakened.

To that point, Tax Reform must provide relief to all taxpayers. It is important that tax cuts have a liberating effect on the economies of every tax bracket. Every hard working American must realize more of their own income in their own pocket which in turn will loosen restricted budgets energizing local economies.

A sound tax policy must encourage business investment which is the life blood of economic growth. The anti-business policies of the past administration must be rejected for a pro-growth, pro-business tax code which gives incentive for investment in both small and large business. This will create real private sector jobs.

The balance of economic power must be shifted back to the private sector. This can only be accomplished by offsetting the tax cuts with cuts to the size of government. We must shrink the size of government.

This is accomplished through cuts to discretionary spending, meaningful reductions and cuts to the federal bureaucracy. Federal procurement procedures must be audited and true reforms implemented. An effective restructure to the entitlements must be addressed, which will focus and target the truly needy by establishing common sense parameters on cost and qualification.

The government with the least amount of functions, functions best. A simplified tax code is the best solution. As those in Washington argue the whys and wherefores of true reform and government’s place in our society, it would do our representatives well to remember the old adage: Less is More.

Advertisements

The Last Stand: The Bait

“If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.” This simple but poignant quote from Ronald Reagan was never more appropriate than the day and age in which we live today. Much of the liberties we have enjoyed in our past now stand alone on the precipice, teetering on the jagged edge of the deep chasm of tyranny.

It is no secret that in some corners of our society the well of tolerance towards those of Christian faith has dwindled to a small stagnant puddle or a dusty dry cistern. The teachings of love, salvation, redemption, yes, that arcane Pilgrim’s Progress towards that Celestial City, are viewed with a thinly veiled contempt or the open disdain that moral virtue is the scourge of civilization and must be removed. The American Christian now finds himself walking through the gilded streets of Bunyan’s Vanity Fair.

If Christians could just dispense with the profession of their faith and betray their convictions there would be no trouble, for this is what political and societal elites are demanding. What seems logical to the self-preservationist is unfathomable to a person of faith. This is the crux of the issue, faith, a belief in something bigger than themselves with vows and allegiances they cannot compromise; therefore, an easy target.

With a humanistic snort of disgust, the elitist feels compelled to remove or reeducate the weak-minded who cling to their obstructive convictions. Obstructive to whom and who are really the weak-minded? When did we become a Nation of such squeamish constitution and so flimsy a skeletal structure that a mere differing belief, disproval or even rebuke of ones actions somehow decimates a person’s freedom and the offender must be punished with the whole weight of the bludgeon of government?

The cry and the hue of late seems to that of liberty, yet the cry of liberty for some has been modernized to say, “Give me liberty and give them death!” Any that hold to the belief of moral absolutes are targeted for removal from influence in society. The “weakness” of conviction must bow to the “strength” of relativism; it’s the natural selection of civilization.

So just as the political rivals of the Hebrew Daniel convinced the King of Babylon to outlaw prayer knowing full well Daniel would not compromise his convictions, the trap has been set for Christians here in the United States. The traditions of procreation, marriage, are sacred within Christianity, as Christians are given a Biblical command to “raise up a Godly seed” and pass on the principles of Christ to each generation. These sacred traditions are now the bait to justify the persecution of Christians in this Country.

A recent political cartoon I happened across mocked the hypocrisy of relativism that is so prevalent in our society today. Two individuals are remarking over recent news. One tells the other that first, a hotel is refusing to have Bibles in its rooms, secondly, a mall is banning prayer, and thirdly, conservatives are complaining that Facebook is screening and blocking posts, all to which the other individual responds that these are a private businesses. It is their right.

When the first individual observes that several businesses have refused to participate in gay-marriages because of their religious beliefs, the other individual is furious and demands that the government punish these businesses. This would be humorous if not for the consequences of the hard irony. Again we have selective liberty, with just Christians targeted for denial of basic liberties and removal from the workplace of society.

Ask Barronelle Stutzman a Washington State florist, who had served a male customer, knowing he was gay, for years without discrimination. When he decided to have a gay marriage, Stutzman declined to do his floral arrangements on the basis of her beliefs, and instead referred him to another florist. This other florist provided the flowers to the man, and other florists even offered free flowers. Still the 72-year-old grandmother was sued, the Washington Courts have taken away her business, and ruled that all her personal belongings are now subject to suit…. because of her beliefs. She was targeted.

Whether you believe in the value of marriage or not, you should believe in the value of freedom. The political disposition of today despises the tenants of faith. Yes, although the tradition of heterosexual marriage is not exclusive to Christianity, Christians hold marriage as one of the fundamental rites that bind the foundation of their faith. While some will find smug satisfaction in the persecutions of Christians and their unshakable convictions, be wary that the bludgeon does not swing both ways.

As we trudge down this tired and over trodden road towards the doom of repeated history, ask yourself this: If a government can target a private business based on the religious beliefs of the proprietor, what is to keep it from targeting others for new things it deems intolerant? Beware of the other shoe! It just might drop. When we allow fools to march in and take away the decency and civility that was once the hallmark of our civilization, we have doomed liberty to die here in her last stand.

Updated:  Barronelle Stutzman has been offered a settlement by the State of Washington’s  Attorney General.  Stutzman would only have to pay a $2000.00 dollar fine and  one dollar in legal fees, but she must agree to contribute her services to gay marriages and dispense with her beliefs.  The 72 year old florist has written a letter to reject the A/G’s offer.  In the letter she states, “Your offer reveals that you don’t really understand me or what this conflict is all about. It’s about freedom, not money.  I certainly don’t relish the idea of losing my business, my home, and everything else that your lawsuit threatens to take from my family, but my freedom to honor God in doing what I do best is more important.”

Redunculous

 

No, it is not a spelling error…really.  And, no, it’s not a word… yet.  It’s just one of my specialty.  A word coined to help find the appropriate emotion to attach to a situation.  This, the latest of my installments to the Webster’s dictionary, is the combination of the words redundant and ridiculous. I did this all by myself.  For some reason, Webster keeps sending back my offerings of literary coinage and asked that I please stop, as it has caused the great patriarch of the book, Noah Webster himself, to turn incessantly in his grave.  I guess that would be rather unsettling.

But I like the word.  It has an essence to it, the essence of economy.  Oh yes, I economized.  We all have to nowadays.  I took the two most prevalent manifestations of the liberal mind, redundant and ridiculous behavior. I combined them into one word and, now, I can respond to them both at once.  I….I….feel so focused.

And quite timely, I might add, because we have had a slew of redunculous behavior swirling around the State of Maine.  We just had the Senate President, Justin Alfond, make a speech assuring State workers an increase in the pensions and wages, while the those in private sector, who pay for those wages and pensions with their taxes, can barely put food on the table for their families.  This was a follow up to his speech attacking private schools.  The Senate President doesn’t seem to be fond of the private sector.

Mr. Alfond suffers from the liberal illusion that Maine people have an unlimited supply of revenue and that we work at our jobs simply to give it to him to disperse amongst his government allies.  I have to agree with the great conservative apologist Thomas Sowell who asked, “…why it is ‘greed’ to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take someone else’s money.”  Alas, I fear Alfond and his allies think its good policy; that is, if you look at the budget they passed. Tax increases to pay for those government employee raises.

Strange, Maine is looking at a $58 million surplus for the closing fiscal year, before these tax increases.  So, why, Mr. Alfond, would you want to increase taxes on a struggling economy when you don’t need to?  Oh, is that my “greedy” old self, wanting to keep my money in my wallet for my family to use.  I’m just so greedy that way.

That leads me to another issue to be resolved.  Recently, I criticized those activists, who seem bent on telling people what to do in their own backyards.  I feel very strongly about the sanctity and privacy of a person’s private lands.  I have been rebuked by some of those activists, saying that if I don’t want anyone to tell me what to do in my backyard then I shouldn’t criticize public government officials.

Let me try to help and clarify the issue.  There is a huge difference between private and public issues.  I do not criticize any official on what he does in his private home and on his private lands.  I have, and will continue to do so, criticized public officials on the actions or inactions in the public tax funded sector.  It is the taxpayer’s job, since our dollars fund their public decisions, to critique the exercise of their representative duties.

Secondly, I have been admonished that, because I am a Christian, I should not publicly criticize or rebuke public officials.  This individual obviously did not read the story of Jesus cleansing the Temple, nor has he read the accounts of Paul the Apostle rebuking Roman leaders to their very face, also of rebuking Peter to his face.  The idea that I should abdicate my God-given liberties for the sake of some contrived sense of propriety and allow myself to be relegated to the doormat of society as a reflection of my faith has no intellectual, Constitutional or, for that matter, Biblical merit.  The very conception of such an idea is utterly and unequivocally redunculous.

Means nothing to you, means something to me.

Means nothing to you, means something to me.

 

What is fair?  How do you establish a government that gives every individual an opportunity for success?  Can you possibly protect the interests and hopes of every person?  Our founding fathers wrestled with these questions and more when they set out to lay the foundation of a new fledgling nation.  Not far removed from the violent travail, which gave birth to this new freedom, these wise men knew they could not take lightly the solemn responsibility to guard the future of a newborn nation, whose hopes they now held in their hands.

Fresh in their minds was the horrors of war and the stench of blood-soaked battlefields.  Stamped into their memories was the ultimate price so many had paid for the hope and dream of freedom.  Our Founding Fathers knew they had to get it right or this would be another bloody revolution that simply shifted the power of tyranny from one faction to another.

So they started with this basic premise; all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with basic unalienable rights; life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  It didn’t matter whether you were the majority or the minority, these basic rights could not be taken from you.  Next, the Founders grappled with how to insure this premise would be honored and protected.

These great men were keenly aware of the failure of government throughout history to be fair to every man.  So how could our government succeed were others had failed?  It couldn’t.  No government can.  The hopes, beliefs, and dreams of so many individuals offer a myriad of goals and intents that no government could ever guarantee.  Someone’s dreams inevitably would be set aside for others the government deemed more worthy of attention.  Perhaps the idea of government based on the belief that all men were created equal was simply folly.

Unless, that government was marginalized.  What if that government were confined and constrained to a small specific purpose?  What if that government feared the people because it feared the Creator of the people?  What if that government simply protected the nation from the threat of the invasion of a new tyranny?  What if that government was too small to provide an impediment to anyone’s life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness?  Then, perhaps, the aspirations of all American’s could have a hope of realization.

Government cannot understand the passions of the individual.  It simply cannot.  The human desire is a multi-faceted expression.  What matters little to you many be of utmost importance to another.  But each must be afforded an opportunity to pursue that passion.  This is the responsibility of the individual.  He or she alone knows what they value and desire.

Big government holds people helpless to its decisions.  The more it fails the more government reminds its people that it can’t please everyone.  Our Forefathers never intended Americans to look to government for answers.  It was not intended to please anyone, just function in its limited role.  They believed that every individual knew his own dream and that was none of government’s business.

Since the President and his Party have taken power, the private sector has lost 1.6 million jobs.  The government has grown by at least 105,000 jobs.  Senator Harry Reid has said the private sector is “doing just fine”.  He believes government jobs need to be protected.  If Mr. Reid were not a public servant, he would be entitled to his beliefs.  But while the loss of 1.6 million jobs is “just fine” with Democrats, the private sector does not agree.  Government is deciding whose hopes and futures are worth preserving.  Government is now right where our Founding Fathers did not want it to be, in the way.  Big government needs to be, once again, marginalized.  This government needs to be told that the “means nothing to you” means something to me and it is really none of your business, so get out of it.