Tag Archives: Taxes

The King of All Freeloaders

By Alden L. Benton

I usually begin my posts with a short, pertinent quote on the topic I will cover.  The quote I have chosen today is longer, but it reflects the theme I have attempted to maintain throughout the life of this blog.  The quote is from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Solzhenitsyn knew the evils of the power of an unrestrained government.  After fighting for the Soviet Union during World War II, Solzhenitsyn wrote letters to a friend that criticized of Joseph Stalin.  He was arrested.  He spent eight years in prison labor camps, and then three more years in exile for daring to write private letters criticizing their dear leader.  Solzhenitsyn’s words bring a chilling warning about the ever-increasing power of government and the real dangers it poses to the individual and illuminate why the Constitution and the Bill of Rights must be protected at all costs.

“Our present system is unique in world history, because over and above its physical and economic constraints, it demands of us total surrender of our souls, continuous and active participation in the general, conscious lie.  To this putrefaction of the soul, this spiritual enslavement, human beings who wish to be human cannot consent.  When Caesar, having exacted what is Caesar’s, demands still more insistently that we render him what is God’s — that is a sacrifice we dare not make!”
~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, from Under the Rubble (1974)

This is the ultimate goal of the Left.  Take our power.  Take our money.  Take our freedom.  Take our souls.

Enter stage left, California Governor Jerry “Governor Moonbeam” Brown.

Red State reported yesterday (May 16, 2017) that Governor Brown, responding to outrage over a $52 billion tax increase to fund the failing golden parachute known as CalPERS, and other state programs, called the state’s wage earners “freeloaders.”

The Democratic super majority in the California legislature rammed through legislation that will hurt poor and middle-income wage earners.  The bill (SB1) includes a 12 cent increase in the gas tax (which is already one of the highest in the nation), and an increase in car registration fees averaging from $50 to $180 per car.  Fuel fees will also rise for agriculture equipment, trucks, and off-highway vehicles (OHV) including boats.

These fees are imposed under the guise of user fees.  On the surface, this is true.  However, a major part of this tax/fee hike is not related to the highways it purports will be improved.  Much of the revenue will go to pay off loans from other funds, to bail out failed funds, fund non-transportation related programs, and pork barrel funding ($500 million) for an extension of the high-speed rail fiasco into Merced County and to finish a “parkway” leading into UC Merced to pay off a key Assemblyman.

Back to Governor Moonbeam.

In all of his full-blown, pompous, callous, leftist, arrogance, the governor is calling those who pay the bills in this state, including his inflated salary, freeloaders.

In reality, he is the California King of Freeloaders.

Governor Brown has never had a real job.

Governor Brown attended a seminary, became a lawyer, and won a seat on the Los Angeles City College board of trustees.  Brown has never worked as a lawyer or in any truly meaningful, gainful employment.  When he wasn’t being paid by the state government (Governor twice, state attorney general), he worked as Democratic party hack, even running a failed campaign for president.

That the people of California, the people who struggle every day against the massive state bureaucracy, the people who pay a larger share of their hard-earned money to the dysfunctional state leviathan than any other state, are considered by the ruling-class elite to be freeloaders is obscene beyond words.

According to the Washington Times, there is an initiative proposed for the November 2018 ballot.  This is a step in the right direction as the state’s initiative and referendum process gives the voters of the state the ultimate power of veto.  However, we need to go farther.

It is time for the people of California to rise once more and recall the governor, and every representative from every party who voted for this insanity or who supports the governor’s arrogance and stupidity.

“If people give up their attachment to expansive government, they will feel free to fight the income tax.”
~ Sheldon Richman, Your Money or Your Life: Why We Must Abolish the Income Tax (1999)

©2017 Alden L. Benton / Independence Creek Enterprises
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Cut Up the Credit Card and Downsize

“A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away.”  ~Barry Goldwater

By Alden L. Benton

There are many reasons to reduce the size of government.  The freedom to work, live, and create, are the foundations of ordered liberty.  The continuation, indeed, the enhancement, of liberty demands reining in the power of government at all levels of society from the national behemoth down to the tyranny of homeowner’s associations.

Another issue associated with the size and scope of government is the cost of government.  We have a government that is running on credit with an ever-increasing burden of debt.  The cradle-to-grave social policies of the secular progressives threaten the nation with bankruptcy.

The secular progressive answer to this issue is always the same: tax the rich.  They forget the wise words of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who said, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

The secular progressive argument is fallacious and delusional.  The scope of government and its cost continues to grow.  Contrary to the secular progressive mantra, the government cannot, and should not, solve all the issues that plague society. 

We have fought a “War on Poverty” for more than 5o years at cost of more than $22 trillion, and that does not include Medicare and Social Security (The War on Poverty After 50 Years: Heritage Foundation 2014).  The result of this “war” is absolute failure for as a result we now have an entrenched underclass of “gimme” people living off our money.

Another fallacy perpetrated by the secular progressives is that the money one earns by their own labor is not one’s own, but the government’s.  A vast majority of individuals, families, and business know how to budget their resources and don’t need the government to “help.”  Again, ordered liberty is in fundamental opposition to the secular progressive command and control scheme

The secular progressives also insist that there is never enough money, thus their constant demands for higher taxes.  According to CNS News, “The U.S. Treasury hauled in a record of approximately $1,084,840,000,000 in tax revenues in the first four months of fiscal 2017 (Oct. 1, 2016 through Jan. 31, 2017),” according to the Monthly Treasury Statement .

Despite this record-breaking tax take, in the same four months the federal government spent $1.2 trillion, $156.9 billion more than it collected. 

There are only two ways to sustain this type of runaway spending: raise taxes or borrow.  The secular progressives want both. The problem is our government, unlike the average American taxpayer, has no credit limit.  As the size and scope of our government grows, the amount of debt also grows.

Currently, the national debt of the United States stands at $20 trillion and growing.  To put this in perspective, according to the U.S. Debt Clock every man, woman, and child owes $61,550.  More pertinent, each taxpayer owes $166,766.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) measures the health of a nation’s economy.  GDP is the total of goods and services produced.  Debt, as a percentage of GDP, reflects the tax and spending policies of a nation.  The United States owes approximately $3 trillion dollars more than the entire value of its GDP.  (Current GDP $16.9 trillion)

Public debt determines, in part, the amount of liberty we enjoy as public debt directly reflects the size and scope of government.

We have a new president who brings to the table the idea of a more streamlined, efficient, and more limited government.  However, Congress approved his nomination of a new Secretary of Education.  If the president truly seeks to minimize government’s impact on its citizens, he must begin the process of downsizing the government.

President Trump has missed an opportunity to strike a blow against the government leviathan.  Instead of nominating a new secretary of Education, the president needs to eliminate the more than $270 billion boondoggle that does not educate one single child: the Department of Education.

Education is a local concern.  The only role of government in education is to set minimum curriculum requirements and teacher credentialing guidelines.  At a minimum, governing schools is the responsibility of the individual states; at best, it is the purview of local school boards.

It is time to slay the leviathan and reclaim our God-given liberty before the leviathan, and the swamp rats that operate it, enslaves us, and the generations that follow.  Dismantling the Department of Education is a good place to start.

“I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size.  I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom.  My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them.  It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution … or have failed their purpose … or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden.  I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is ‘needed’ before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible.  And if I should be attacked for neglecting my constituents’ ‘interests,’ I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty, and in that cause I am doing the very best I can.”  ~Barry Goldwater

@2017 Alden L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises
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Cut Up the Credit Card

“A nation of well informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins.”  ~Benjamin Franklin

By Alden L. Benton

According to a Heritage Foundation report, Congress has an opportunity to do what all debtors should do — cut up the credit card and prioritize debt payments.

House Resolution 807 will do just that.  The bill, according to Heritage Action, “… would require the Treasury Secretary to pay the principal and interest on America’s debt obligations and make Social Security payments before any other payments in the event the debt ceiling is reached.  In effect, the bill begins the process of prioritizing federal spending.”

Under this bill, political pressure to raise the debt ceiling would separate the spendthrifts from the frugal and expose the lies and distortions that fly every time we approach the debt ceiling.

If we as a nation are ever going to lower, or eliminate, the national debt we must begin to live with our means.  If the essentials are paid first, then there should be a greater emphasis on eliminating unnecessary spending and waste in the programs that remain. 

In fact, this new enforced frugality could signal a dramatic change in the size and scope of government.  When it comes to government, the government that governs best governs least least — and costs a whole lot less.

However, there is peril in this approach.  The spenders in Congress could easily succumb to the urge to “enhance revenue” to make certain their pork and pet projects survive.  Translated into plain language, that means more taxes for the same old nonsense.

Despite this problem, HR 807 is an important first step towards fiscal responsibility.  In the end, we must make hard choices — choices made in the best interests of the country as a whole, not in the interest of politicians and special interests.

The first hard choice is to stop borrowing.  The second hard choice is to change the tax code to a simple flat tax structure where all but the truly poor pay.  The rate should be capped and changes constrained by a Constitutional amendment.

The answer is simple: stop borrowing, cap spending, and reduce taxes.  This is the only answer that will ensure the economic future of the United States, or any country.

Unfortunately, there are far too few men and women of courage and integrity in the halls of government, at any level, who have the will to what is necessary. 

It is up to us to replace the weak and corrupt with honest and courageous individuals of integrity.  The time to start is now.  All of the U.S. House of Representatives and one-third of the U.S. Senate, plus myriad state and local offices, are up for election in 2014.

Make 2014 a year of change that matters, a year where We, the people take back our government, and our future, from the corrupt, self-serving political elite who are destroying our lives, our liberty, and our happiness.

“To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, ‘the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, & the fruits acquired by it.’”  ~Thomas Jefferson

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©2013 Alden L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises
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Bits and Pieces from Around the Web

“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”  ~Ronald Reagan

By Alden L. Benton

Instead of my usual post, today I will let the perpetrators of various events and insanities speak for themselves with bits and bytes I have pulled from around the internet.

Say What?

According to Big Government, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi claims “tax cuts are spending.”  Yes, you read that correctly.  Not to outdo herself, she went on to claim that she and the Democrats in the previous Congress were responsible for a total cut in the budget of $2.8 trillion when in reality, a state Pelosi chooses not to visit, the budget and spending actually increased nearly a trillion dollars during her 5-year reign as Speaker of the House.

Parking Your Tax Dollars

According to the Weekly Standard, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) just spent $6 million of your taxes — on parking spaces.  HHS leased 1,076 parking spaces next to its offices in Bethesda, Maryland, for five years.  This works out to $1,115 per space per year.  No word if any of the government-union employees will be paying to park.

Expensive Public Failure

Ben Shapiro writes on Big Government that:

According to officials from City University of New York, a full 80 percent of high school graduates in New York City who are headed to CUNY colleges can’t read properly, write or do basic math when they graduate.  As CBS Local reports, “They had to re-learn basic skills – reading, writing, and math – first before they could begin college courses.”

And that’s for the students who graduate and head to CUNY.  New York City has the lowest graduation rate for black and Hispanic male students in the nation, with only 37 percent graduating.  But teachers start off making $45,530 with benefits, and max out at over $100,000.

It’s not just [Mayor] Bloomberg and New York.  In the city of Los Angeles, according to The Education Trust-West, just one in every 20 black kindergarteners will graduate from a four-year California college.  Overall, a whopping 40 percent of high school students entering public colleges across the country require at least one remedial class in reading, writing or math.

This is the legacy of a teachers union-driven system in our major cities.  And it is minorities who pay the highest price.

Politically Correct Culture War

Here is the latest obscenity in the far-Left’s war on American culture and our children.  Todd Starnes reports on Fox Radio News that:

A Michigan elementary school is defending its decision to confiscate a third-graders batch of homemade cupcakes because the birthday treats were decorated with plastic green Army soldiers.

Casey Fountain told Fox News that the principal of his son’s elementary school called the cupcakes “insensitive” — in light of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

“It disgusted me,” he said. “It’s vile they lump true American heroes with psychopathic killers.”

This story, coupled with the previous one, make a sound case for home schooling our children.

Talk NOT Cheap!

Every time House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama sit down and talk, it costs every one of us money — lots of money.  According to CNS News and Patriot Post, the deals made between these two men have added $21, 817 in new debt per household.

At the close of business on March 4, 2011, when the first Boehner-Obama spending deal took effect, the federal debt was $14,182,627,184,881.03, according to the U.S. Treasury.  As of the close of business on March 6, 2013, when the Republican-controlled House passed its latest CR, the federal debt was $16,692,238,790,019.20.

That means the federal government’s debt has increased $2,509,611,605,138.17 since the first Boehner-Obama deal took effect.

There are now approximately 115,031,000 households in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  The $2,509,611,605,138.17 increase in the debt since the first Boehner-Obama equals about $21,817 per household.

Mr. President, Mr. Speaker: please sit down and stop talking to each other.

2013 Dumbest Idea — So Far

Forrest Gump was right, stupid is as stupid does, and a Berkeley, California, city councilman proves the point.

According to CBS Local News San Francisco, Gordon Wozniak, a Berkeley city councilman, has suggested that a tax on email may be wise way to help fund the United States Postal Service.

“There should be something like a bit tax.  I mean a bit tax could be a cent per-gigabit and they would still make, probably, billions of dollars a year…And there should be, also, a very tiny tax on email,” Wozniak said at Tuesday’s meeting.

Wozniak said this would not only help fund the cash-strapped post office, but also discourage spam.

I guess Mr. Wozniak never heard of spam filters. 

Part of the problem with the Post Office is its management and union structure.  In addition, it is a child spawned by Congress and has tried to live under some bizarre rules and regulations.  All of this combined has led to its current state of non-competitiveness. 

However, Wozniak and his ilk are true to the Left’s compulsion to subsidize failure instead of fixing it.  Yet another tax to be stolen and mismanaged by the central government is not the answer. 

“The government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it.  If it keeps moving, regulate it.  And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”  ~Ronald Reagan

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©2012 Alden L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises
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California Ballot Measures Part 4

“Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the democrats believe every day is April 15.”  ~Ronald Reagan

By Alden L. Benton

In my last three posts, I have examined seven of the measures on the California ballot.  In this post, I will look at Proposition 37 and 38.

Here is a summary of my recommendations so far:

Proposition 30            NO
Proposition 31             NO
Proposition 32             YES
Proposition 33             NO
Proposition 34             NO
Proposition 35             NO
Proposition 36             NO

Proposition 37

This measure is designed to regulate a problem that does not exist and allow consumers to sue, even if they suffer no harm or damages.  Proposition 37 is a measure trial lawyers will love and farmers, and grocers will hate.

Proposition 37 requires labeling of genetically engineered food.  The definition of genetically engineered includes a product that has any genetically engineered ingredient in it. 

Like soda pop?  Under this measure, soda is a genetically engineered product.  Most sodas use corn syrup and/or high fructose corn syrup, both derived from corn.  In the United States, 88 per cent of all corn is genetically engineered.

In fact, according to the Legislative Analyst’s background and analysis,

Genetic engineering is the process of changing the genetic material of a living organism to produce some desired change in that organism’s characteristics.  This process is often used to develop new plant and animal varieties that are later used as sources of foods, referred to as GE foods.  For example, genetic engineering is often used to improve a plant’s resistance to pests or to allow a plant to withstand the use of pesticides.  Some of the most common GE crops include varieties of corn and soybeans.  In 2011, 88 percent of all corn and 94 percent of all soybeans produced in the U.S. were grown from GE seeds.  Other common GE crops include alfalfa, canola, cotton, papaya, sugar beets, and zucchini.  In addition, GE crops are used to make food ingredients (such as high fructose corn syrup) that are often included in processed foods (meaning foods that are not raw agriculture crops).  According to some estimates, 40 percent to 70 percent of food products sold in grocery stores in California contain some GE ingredients.

Proposition 37 re-regulates an “issue” that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the California Department of Public Health (DPH) already control.

Proposition 37 is written to allow any regulations the DPH deems necessary.  This scheme takes control of government power away from citizens and puts it in the hands of unaccountable, insulated bureaucrats.  Just look at the harm the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as done via regulation, or the Health and Human Services (HSS) ant-religion diktat on Obamacare and contraceptives.

If you want to make trial lawyers rich, drive up the price of food, and injure California farmers, Proposition 37 is for you.

The worst part of Proposition 37 is its provisions allowing lawsuits even when no harm is done.  According to the Legislative Analyst’s analysis,

Violations of the measure could be prosecuted by state, local, or private parties.  It allows the court to award these parties all reasonable costs incurred in investigating and prosecuting the action.  In addition, the measure specifies that consumers could sue for violations of the measure’s requirements under the state Consumer Legal Remedies Act, which allows consumers to sue without needing to demonstrate that any specific damage occurred as a result of the alleged violation.

This measure has been marketed as “giving you a choice” and “you have a right to know what’s in your food.”  However, all this measure will accomplish is expansion of government, increasing the price of food, and make trial lawyers even richer.


Proposition 38

This measure will increase personal income tax rates on everyone in California who earns more than $7,316 for the next 12 years.  This measure would generate about $10 billion initially and then an additional $5 billion per year after the first year.

This measure cannot be amended by the legislature, but only by an expensive initiative vote. 

The funds generated by Proposition 38 are earmarked for tax-supported schools and towards paying off the state’s debt.  Currently, the state is operating with more than a $15 billion deficit.

In Part 1 of this series, I analyzed Proposition 30.  These measures compete, but they are both flawed.  Both measures throw good money after bad into a failing educational system.  Read my analysis of Proposition 30 here for my arguments against increasing school funding in California.

The difference between Proposition 30 and 38 is that 38 increases income taxes on most Californians and does not increase the sales tax. 

However, the funds generated in the first year would only pay roughly three-fourths of the current state deficit.  Increasing revenues is only a temporary fix.  To fix our financial crisis, we must cut spending.

Proposition 38 is just another boondoggle to get Californian’s to cough up more money for schools.  The money collected by the Proposition 38 tax increases mainly goes to the state’s tax-supported schools. 

In the first four years, 70 per cent of the increased revenue will go to schools (60%) and early childhood education (10%).  Only 30% goes towards reducing the state’s deficit.  In the remaining seven years, the schools get all the money — 85 per cent to schools and 15 per cent to early childhood education.

California’s schools cannot be fixed by spending more money and state-sponsored early childhood education is nothing more than Leftist indoctrination of preschool kids.

California’s deficit will not go away, no matter how much money we throw at it until we significantly reduce spending.


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©2012 Alden L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises
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Obama’s Budget Lies

By Alden L. Benton

“How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!”  ~ Samuel Adams

Words in any language have precise meanings unto themselves and yet, words also create meaning through the context within which they exist whether it is a sentence, a letter, speech, or book.  In most instances, the meaning of words is widely accepted and understood within that context.

Enter those who would deceive us, cheat us, or lie to achieve their own ends.  They take words and change them, morph them into something they are not so that we will not readily see their deception, their lies.  This is the standard operating tactic of the Left and it has been taken to new depths of lying and deceit by President Obama and his Obamanistas.

Yesterday, in announcing his budget proposal, the president said flatly that not raising taxes is a form of government spending, according to a CNS News report.  Perhaps on the alien world he and his troops came from, but not here, and not now.

The truth is the president’s budget increases spending and the deficit while increasing taxes on “the rich.”  This strategy is a head-in-the-sand approach to the fiscal disaster lurking around the next corner.  However, the lies continue.

According to Keith Hennessy, the O-Team claims that the president’s budget raises $1 in revenue for each $2.50 in spending cuts, but in reality the ratio, calculated without the political smoke and mirrors, is $1.20 in tax increases for every $1 in spending cuts.

If this voodoo mathematics makes no sense, you are quite correct.  Put simply, the president is lying to us in the hope that we are gullible enough to believe his arrogant posturing in an election year.

Send a clear message to the president that you will no longer tolerate his lies.  Come November, throw the bums, all of them, out lest we go the way of the Dodo and as a nation become extinct.

These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.
Proverbs 6:16-19, New Kings James Version

© 2012 Alden L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises.  All rights reserved.

Federal Turkey Costs Us All Too Much

By Alden L. Benton

I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving Day feast this year, because if federal policies don’t change, you may have to eat Spam next year instead of turkey.

According to Andrew Packer in a moneynews.com article, this year’s traditional turkey feast cost you 13 per cent more than it did in 2010 and the turkey alone cost 22 per cent more.  This, according to Packer, is on top of a 28 per cent increase in the cost of turkey from 2009 to 2010.

A 50 per cent increase in the cost of turkey is nothing to be thankful for.

Why the sudden, severe increase?  There has been no great increase in the demand for turkey.  There has been no disease or environmental catastrophe decimating the turkey supply.

The problem is the giant turkey, better known as the federal government bureaucracy.

The monetary policies of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke cause inflation.  Inflation is a hidden tax on everyone which disproportionately affects the poor.  While America is beginning to feel the inflation pinch in its food budget, Bernanke, like Nero, fiddles, stating inflation is “transitory.” 

I think the Chairman better check his dictionary.  Dictionary.com defines transitory as not lasting or, lasting only a short time.  Two years of 25 per cent inflation is not transitory, not even in Mr. Bernanke’s fantasy world.

However, Fed monetary policy is only part of the problem.

According to Packer, “Turkey farmers are blaming the rising prices on how much it costs to feed a turkey (and other livestock) these days.  Corn makes up 60 percent to 70 percent of the cost of raising a turkey.”

Got milk? Dairy cows are fed corn. Prefer ham instead of turkey for the holidays? Hogs are fed corn. Chicken or eggs? Corn again.

Why, you ask?  It’s the big turkey again.

Due to federal mandates and subsidies, we now use more corn for an inefficient fuel additive (ethanol) than we do for food.  In addition, more federal turkey rules keep foreign, non-food bio-fuels uncompetitive.

The giant turkey demands more of your taxes while at the same time forcing you pay more at the pump and more at the supermarket to feed your family.

As you watch your food budget shrink, ask yourself if this giant, resource-gobbling behemoth is what the Pilgrims envisioned in the Mayflower Compact, or, is it what the founders foresaw when they crafted the Constitution.

I think not. 

It is, however, the direct result of decades of failed government policies exacerbated by President Obama and his band of clueless idiots.

©2011 Alden L Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises
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Democrats’ Plan Throws Us All Under the Bus

By Alden L. Benton

“Read my lips: No new taxes.”
~George H. W. Bush at the 1988 Republican Party National Convention

President Bush’s statement also speaks to the core principles of the TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party and fiscal conservatives.

According to a story in today’s Washington Post, the Democrats are proposing a 10-year, $3 trillion debt deal.

Their plan sounds good until you look at it carefully.

According to the Washington Post, the Democratic proposal has three basic components: cut services, change the method of calculating inflation (see my post Hidden Tax Proposed in Secret), and increasing taxes.  The article states:

“Senate Democrats are urging the debt-reduction super committee to pursue a far-reaching agreement to slice $3 trillion from the federal budget over the next decade through significant cuts to federal health programs, including Medicare, and as much as $1.3 trillion in new taxes.”

As I have said before, the Democratic Party is simply stuck on stupid.

The worst thing a government can do during an economic slump is to increase taxes.  Increasing taxes reduces savings which reduces capital available for investment.  Without investment, entrepreneurs cannot start businesses and business already operating cannot expand.  If businesses are not created or growing, there will be no new jobs and the number of existing jobs will shrink.

Creating a climate that encourages saving and investment is the only way that any government can actually “create” jobs.

The population of the United States is aging.  We have entered an era where the 60-80 million people of the “baby boom” (people born between 1946 and 1966), are beginning to retire and get Medicare.

Without serious structural reform, the big entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will fail.  Cutting benefits will only delay the ultimate collapse while increasing the suffering of millions of retirees.

In the end, we may indeed need to raise taxes.  However, these schemes are not the answer as they are just the same old Democratic horse hockey dressed up in new clothes.

The Democrats are quite fond of manipulating the facts.  They wail that those mean old conservatives want to throw granny under the bus.  Well, as this proposal exposes, it is the Democrats who want to throw granny, and the rest of us, under the big black government bus.

We do not have a revenue problem.  We have an out of control spending problem and, because of that spending, we have compromised our own security with massive foreign borrowing.

We need to fix the economy.  We need to fix the tax code.  We need to shrink the government.  Then we can fix the debt and entitlement mess.

There are plenty of plans on the table, all better than this Democratic farce.  Congressman Paul Ryan, Congressman Ron Paul, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, and Michelle Bachman have all presented plans for prosperity and debt freedom.

It is time we stop listening to the balderdash the Democrats are spewing and consider the merits of the plans put forth by the conservatives, plans that will only throw the Democrats under the bus.

©2011 Alden L Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises.
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Democrats Stuck on Stupid

By Alden L. Benton

According to a Reuters article (Democrats Push Tax Hikes First in Deficit Talks), the Democrats on the Congressional “super committee” who are “negotiating” deficit reduction details are demanding tax hikes first.

The Democrats are stuck on stupid. 

The reason we have a deficit and an ever-increasing national debt is simple: the government spends more than it takes.  The obvious solution is to spend less.  However, the Democrats want to fiddle while the country burns.

The foundation of Democratic Party thought is socialism. 

In a more American terminology, the Democratic Party’s creed is based on an ever-expanding, and increasingly powerful, government which derives its power not from the consent of the governed, but through continual class and racial warfare.  This power is supported by a confiscatory tax scheme that punishes success and rewards subservient dependency.  The result is loss of liberty and an unsustainable welfare state.

According to  usgovernmentrevenue.com, since 1950, income tax revenues have averaged 12.16 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) and federal deficits have averaged 2.25 per cent of GDP.  There have been 10 budget surpluses since 1950, including four years in a row from 1998 to 2001.

The point here is that in my lifetime, the government has spent more that it took 84 per cent of the time. 

Revenue is not the problem.  Spending is the problem. 

We cannot, as Vice President Biden infamously suggested, spend our way out of recession.  This should be painfully clear as the near trillion dollar stimulus of 2009 failed to do anything but extend the reach of government into our daily lives and push us closer to the precipice of insolvency. 

Yet, the Democrats continue to do the same things over, and over again, expecting different results. 

This is the definition of insanity.

The Democratic Party and the president cannot rewrite the laws of economics.  History shows that where economies are the most free, all of society benefits and government revenue actually increases.  Conversely, when economies are restrained, everyone suffers and, even with tax hikes, government revenue decreases.

This is not the time to increase taxes.  Our economy is struggling under high taxes, fiscal uncertainty, and excessive regulation.

Instead of talking about increasing taxes, the Democrats on the super committee should concentrate on reducing spending, freeing the economy, and, yes, reducing taxes. 

We will all benefit, including the 47 per cent of citizens who do not pay taxes.  Perhaps it is time that they pay their fair share as well.

©2011 Alden L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises

More Presidential Sleight of Hand

By Alden L. Benton

In an article posted Monday, September 19, Keith Hennessey (KeithHenessey.com) exposes the president’s lies about his new deficit reduction proposal.

In a chart featuring data gleaned from an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) report, Hennessey shows that Obama’s lofty plan features a net spending decrease of $86 billion and will increase taxes by $1.3 trillion over 10 years.  The net effect on the deficit is a $1.4 trillion reduction.

Of course, the president is clueless to the historical fact that increasing taxes both reduces revenue and stifles economic productivity even further.  Such is life in the Keynesian fantasy land inhabited by the president and his lackeys.  Remember, he and the vice president think we can spend our way out of recession.

The president’s plan sounds good on the surface, until one looks closer. 

The president’s plan does not address the costs of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, or his so-called jobs bill.  Additionally, the reduction is a mere $140 billion a year.  This level of reduction can be accomplished through waste and fraud control in any one of myriad federal departments, agencies, or czars.

The president says his plan will make everyone pay their fair share.  To this end, he has proposed tax increases that, according to Hennessey, will affect 99 per cent of the population.  Not a bad way to share the wealth when nearly half of the population currently pays no taxes at all.

The bottom line of the president’s “plan” is to tease and deceive with minor spending cuts and then when we’re not looking, shove the knife in our back with a massive tax increase to reduce the federal deficit.

That’s the Chicago way.

©2011 A.L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises

The Art of Distraction

By Alden L. Benton

The hand is quicker than the eye.

Magicians have used distraction to perpetrate their illusions for millennia.

In war, diversion distracts the enemy.

Now, it is the Democrats who are trying to distract us.

When responsible politicians like Governor Rick Perry or Congressman Paul Ryan raise the issue of the need to redesign massive programs like Social Security or Medicare, the left begins its distraction mantra on cue: The Republicans want to destroy Medicare; they want to take away your Social Security Check.

Just like the magician dangling the bright shiny watch, the Democrats want to distract you from reality — a place they never seem to visit.

The reality is that Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid are not sustainable in their current forms.  If these programs are not redesigned, they will fail and take the entire country down with them.

The Democrats and their media mouthpieces blather on about throwing grandma under the bus to distract us, scare us, and pander for our votes.

The same sleight of hand is in play in the president’s new stimulus bill.  The so-called American Jobs Act is a rehash of the same failed ideas of the first stimulus in 2009. 

We saw how well that worked.

 Creating pork jobs and short-lived tax cuts, however, is just a distraction.  The bill proposes $149 billion in union payoffs in the form of infrastructure improvements and teacher support.  The bill also seeks a $49 billion extension of unemployment benefits.  The bill’s final component is a $250 billion temporary tax cut, mostly on payroll. 

 Does anyone see any new jobs here?

This is the distraction.  What the Democrats and the Left Stream Media aren’t talking about is the president’s plan to fund this boondoggle with massive tax hikes for the next 10 years.  In fact, according to Americans for Tax Reform (http://www.atr.org/comprehensive-list-all-tax-hikes-obamas-a6448), there are 14 new or increased taxes, permanent taxes, in the president’s proposal.

As President Ronald Reagan once said, No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size.  Government programs, once launched, never disappear.  Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth! 

The increased taxes the president wants for the next 10 years will never go away, and the jobs he promises will never materialize.

The Republicans in Congress must hold firm.  The American Jobs Act is simply a union payoff wrapped in pork.  History has shown time and again that raising taxes during a recession prevents economic recovery and does not increase revenue.  That is reality. 

The president’s stimulus bill must be defeated.

Another ancient rule of war tells us to know our enemy.  Know his tactics and use them to effect his own defeat. 

We have heard the same lame, tired, and worn tactics and arguments from the Democrats for more than half a century.  They have failed.  It is time to ignore their demagoguery and disruptive distractions and do what is right for America and its people.

Defeat the American Jobs Act in its entirety. 

No compromise.  No distractions.

Redesign Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

No compromise.  No distractions.

Defeat Obama and the Democrats in 2012.

No compromise.  No Distraction.

©2011 A. L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises