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I am reposting this because it seems, again, very relevant. This was first posted on June 3rd and I was most concerned with the nomination of Ms. Sonia Sotomayor as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. That now appears to be a done deal but we still have a chance on “The Employee Free Choice Act,” health care reform, and the VAT, though, we may never get automobile manufacturers back from State control.
Though Daniel Webster died over 150 years ago, he must have known Barack Obama or at least he knew and understood the type.
He said it best when he said,
“Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.”
Think about it. If you give Mr. Obama the benefit of the doubt (and about 30% of the population is not willing to do that – see Rasmussen Poll)(July 31 update – the number is 40%), he: 1) has the best of intentions to solve our economic woes (read, take over Chrysler and G.M.); 2) has the best intentions to provide healthcare for all Americans (read universal healthcare for everyone in the USA, legal or not); 3) has the best intentions to simplify our tax code (read, impose additional VAT taxes); 4) has the best of intentions to lift up those who are limited by their race, gender, or culture (read, appoint an unqualified individual to the Supreme Court); 5) has the best intention to help workers by making it easier for them to organize (read, impose rules against businesses, in favor of Unions and against secret ballots)………
If Mr. Obama is able to get Ms. Sotomayor on the highest court, and it looks like he will succeed, he will have gone a long way toward removing the one defense we have against return to a Master/Slave relationship. I don’t know how we stop this but I do know that sending letters to each and every Senator is better than sitting and watching this happen.
Webster also warned: “Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster and what has happened once in 6,000 years, may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world.” There are good reasons not to have too liberal a view of the Constitution.
“They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.” Well put, Daniel.
Mr. Obama spent two years on the campaign trail. Most of it, he spent telling us of the evils of Washington, the politics, the lies, the broken promises, the unethical behavior. He promised ”Change.” He promised to change the unethical behavior so rampant in ‘Washington.’ I’m not sure if he will ever defend himself by stating, “It depends on your definition of Change.” I am sure that the change I see is not the one that I believe a majority of voters wanted. Either we need a new definition of ‘change’ or Mr. Obama needs to stop lying to us.
Change in Washington Ethics, Example One – The day before yesterday speaking on Energy, Cap and Trade, etc., Mr. Obama said,”In the late 1970s, the state of California enacted tougher energy-efficiency policies. Over the next three decades, those policies helped create almost 1.5 million jobs. And today, Californians consume 40 percent less energy per person than the national average–which, over time, has prevented the need to build at least 24 new power plants. Think about that. California–producing jobs, their economy keeping pace with the rest of the country, and yet they have been able to maintain their energy usage at a much lower level than the rest of the country.” His obvious intent is to convince you that strict energy laws (like the soon-to-emerge-from-Congress Cap and Trade Bill) will have us creating lots of jobs and consuming far less energy. That is disingenuous at best, probably simple deceit, and may just be lying. California’s population is concentrated in areas with a very mild climate and as such, most Californians require far less energy to heat and cool their homes. My guess is that they have always used far less than the national average amount of energy. Also, during the period Mr. Obama uses in his example, the population of California grew by 14.3 million people. If his “create almost 1.5 million jobs” happened to be 1.43 million, that would mean one job for every ten people. Could this be one reason that California has seen a huge exodus of industry and now has the 3rd highest unemployment rate in the country? If a salesman used this argument on you, you would be upset and would not deal with him. That doesn’t appear to be a choice in this case.
Change in Washington Ethics, Example Two – The Obama-Biden plan posted online laid out the changes needed in Ethics in Government. High on the list was the promise to eliminate pork from our government budget: ”Slash Earmarks: Earmarks grew from $7.8 billion in 1994 to $29 billion in 2006. Barack Obama is committed to returning earmarks to less than $7.8 billion a year, the level they were at before 1994.” In the stimulus bill alone, the $7.8 Billion wouldn’t amount to a shadow of the included earmarks (see here and here among many others). Talk about challenging us to believe him! In the same document, it reads, “Shine Light on Earmarks and Pork Barrel Spending: Obama’s Transparency and Integrity in Earmarks Act will shed light on all earmarks by disclosing the name of the legislator who asked for each earmark, along with a written justification, 72 hours before they can be approved by the full Senate.” Have you seen that yet? Maybe Mr. Obama is saving that for his 2nd term.
Change in Washington Ethics, Example Three – Also in the same document and in many speeches, “Sunlight Before Signing: Too often bills are rushed through Congress and to the president before the public has the opportunity to review them. As president, Obama will not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days.” To date, he has broken this promise 5 times and is planning no such ‘Sunlight’ before signing a cap and trade bill. Breaking a promise once may be forgiven by some. Breaking it on a regular basis has no defense. It is pure and simple fraud.
Change in Washington Ethics, Numbers Four through 10,000 will come with the sale of Socialized Medicine, a Value Added Tax, selling a new Associate Justice who was chosen for her race and gender, not her qualifications, etc., etc., etc. I’m afraid we have only seen the beginning of this ‘change’ (for the worse) in Washington Ethics.
When a Republican President (Mr. Bush) had a Republican Congress and they proceeded to spend money like drunken sailors, I was highly disappointed. When a Democrat President (Mr. Obama) plays the ethics card for two years then acts in a blatantly unethical manner to achieve his goals I wonder about our society and our future.
The VAT is an excellent idea. The VAT is a terrible idea.
Morphine is a wonder drug. Morphine is a dangerous drug.
A Value Added Tax, properly constructed and applied can be both a fair and reasonable method of taxation to raise the funds to provide for NEEDED government services. 1. It is relatively simple to apply. When a value is added (when the chick grows to a hen and is sold to the butcher and again when the butcher prepares the bird for the table and sells it) a tax is applied to the amount of the value added. In many European countries that is in the 15 – 20% range. 2. It taxes production but most of that is at the point of consumption so it is almost like a consumption tax (read “sales tax”). I like consumption taxes more than income taxes because income taxes punish productivity.
A Value Added Tax needs to be a substitute for other types of taxes. If it can be imposed, in place of income and sales tax, it can dramatically streamline and simplify taxation. Unfortunately, we have a huge infrastructure and lobby that would fight this. For this reason, I cannot imagine a VAT could be used here as a substitute. It would, almost certainly, be used as an ADDITIONAL method of taxation. Since most special interests have paid lobbyists working to protect their tax breaks, almost all would fight any change that would deny them the special treatment that they get in the current tax code. My guess is that closed to half the revenue of most CPA firms is based on tax preparation and tax advice. If that is the case, you can bet the CPA lobby would frown on replacing the current system with VAT.
So what are the chances that we will get a Value Added Tax to replace either or both of Income and Sales taxes? In a word: ZERO.
What are the chances of seeing a VAT proposal in Congress to add another source of tax income for our government to spend? In my opinion, it is almost 100%. Our Members of Congress have spent every penny they have seen for years and are recently showing signs that what they have is not even close to satisfying their hunger for power/money (about a trillion dollars to supplement the last budget; a trillion dollars for “stimulus”, etc.).
Congress and the President will point to Europe as a shining example of how great a VAT is. They will suggest that a 15% tax on value added is far better than a much higher tax on incomes and sales. What they don’t tell you is the huge increase in taxes paid by the people and the economic death spiral that accompanies such a tax system. Here is what you need to know:
1. A little over 40 years ago (1967), pre-VAT in Europe, the average tax burden for European countries was just a bit higher than in the USA: In Europe, pre-VAT, the typical tax burden of government was 30% of the gross domestic product while in the U.S. government absorbed about 27% of the gross domestic product. VAT invariably increase overall taxes.
2. When the VAT started in the U.K. in 1979, the rate was 12.5%. Today it is 17.5%. When first instituted in Germany in 1974 (?), the VAT was 13%. It is currently 19% and there is an active proposal in Berlin to raise it to 25%. My point is that a VAT of even 1% is a foot in the door and it is sure to rise.
3. Lawmakers have shown they can’t control the desire to do social engineering with tax code, even with the VAT. Much like our convoluted income tax code that favors some types of income over others, or, our sales taxes that impose different taxes on different items, the VAT is subject to “modification” to exempt certain items and lower or raise rates on others. As it stands in Europe, today, the VAT has near the complexity as our own IRS code.
4. VAT is invisible. It is built into the price of the good or service so you don’t recognize it as a tax. Much like withholding tax that you don’t pay from money in your pocket, you hardly notice when rates are raised. This means that there are few protests when rates are hiked. The VAT, like income tax with mandatory withholding, becomes a magical money machine for government.
5. Today in the U.S. our government (federal, state, and local) still takes about the same as 40+ years ago – 27% of the gross domestic product to provide services to all of us. In Europe, where the VAT is almost universal, government now eats up over 40% of the domestic output. European products become less competitive daily and governments have been forced (????) to step in and take over large portions of the economy (read “nationalize”). Sound familiar?
In my opinion, our government has no intent to replace any other tax with the VAT. The sole purpose of a VAT in the U.S. will be to take more money from the productive sector of the economy to build an even bigger and more controlling government. It is in the interest of the governing class to take as much money and control from the productive sector as they can. The VAT will be a formidable weapon in that battle.
Morphine can control pain and help patients recover when used as directed by a competent physician. If used by people without will power, it can become an addictive killer.
The VAT, as a replacement for other taxes, shows promise to simplify taxation. When added on to other taxes it has proven to be very dangerous, building ever-larger government bureaucracies and killing economies. The European experience has proven that lawmakers cannot resist the power and money brought to them by a VAT. The last thing we need is for our government to add on another way to tax our productivity.