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Punishing the worker is not ‘tax reform’

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I almost don’t know where to begin with this, so let me start by stating the obvious: the “experts” at The New York Times wouldn’t understand real tax-reform, let alone how it affects the average tax-paying American citizen, if it snuck up on them while walking along in downtown Manhattan and bit them in the arse.

Predictably, the New York Times begins by belittling the idea of tax reform having anything to do with cutting rates for “the wealthy and corporations.” This is straight out of the same Jimmy Carter talking points the Left has used for decades. Clearly, either they’re being intellectually dishonest or, in all that time since, no one heralding such ideology has bothered to do even the least bit of research.

The rich and the corporations pay the majority of taxes in this country. The poor pay NOTHING. The remaining burden falls on the lower-to-upper middle class working people, and the millions of hardworking small business owners.

The NYT argues that “real” tax reform would require an increase in revenue of “roughly $4.5 trillion than currently projected to meet existing commitments without increasing the federal debt…” When they say “increasing revenue” what they really mean is “raising taxes.” They assume that the current commitments are sacred and cannot be touched. This assumption is asinine.

In short, the editorial board is arguing for an increased marginal tax rate on the “wealthy and corporations” as well as to “end or reduce corporate deduction for interest paid.” They want to target write-offs “for luxuries like corporate jets.” The Left always wants to specifically target corporations and the wealthy. They argue, which on it’s face seems logical that it’s only “fair” for the “rich to pay their fair share.”

Ok… so let’s talk about fair for a moment.

How much of what I work for is owed to you?

No, I’m serious. How much of *my* hard-earned money do *you* deserve?

Now, this is the part of the conversation where leftists inevitably start belittling you about the schools and roads and bridges that we all use. Well guess what? Where in the Constitution does Congress have the power to levy taxes for such things? I’ll save you some time – no where.

Schools, roads and bridges, and any other infrastructure spending (with few exceptions), are the purview of the states and the private sector, NOT the federal government.

This is where federalism comes in.

Many are waking up the fact that the Left wants to control every aspect of our lives. And, it’s easier to do so when controlling one centralized government, not 50 individual states. They merely use schools, roads and bridges as a straw man to obsure the fact that they want to appropriate vast quantities of our own money in an attempt control us.

If they truly cared about being “fair” as they claim, than they would be arguing the case for national sales-tax or, at the very least, a flat-income tax or a tiered-tax with NO deductions. Meaning, everyone pays 10% of their income. No deductions. No credits. Everyone pays their “fair-share.”

They can’t argue about the rich and corporations finding loopholes. The simple fact is, they don’t actually care about what is “fair,” but rather what pushes their radical socialist ideology. An ideology they all claim to profess, but do not live by, mind you.

Warren Buffett, George Soros, Al Gore, along with many more multi-multi-millionaires and their billionaire overlords, push radical socialist programs such as “climate change” but don’t actually live the life they are prescribing for the rest of us.

You don’t see them voluntarily paying more in taxes. You don’t see them living in modest house(s), or driving modest car(s), so they can give their vast wealth to the poor as they demand the rest of us do. When they say they want “the rich to pay their fair share,” what they really mean is they want the middle-class to pay a disproportionate amount of the money needed to fund the social-programs either they or their financiers devised, and that are outside the Constitutional-authority of Congresss. And, do so in order to control the rest us.

A simpler tax-code would allow businesses to estimate taxes ahead of time and, if advantageous, it would allow them to invest in hiring more people and/or expanding their products/services into additonal markets.

More hiring would mean fewer people needing welfare programs, as well as more people paying taxes, which in-turn would increase revenues for the few things the federal government is actually supposed to be doing. The federal government needs money for the military, to conduct foreign trade, and to resolve disputes between the states. Nearly all other functions lie in the power granted to the states via the Constitution.

The federal government has intentionally long-usurped the power that rightfully belongs to the states and to “we the people” through an onerous and burdensome tax code. The states no longer fight back due to the outrageous amount of money needed to figh such a battle; the money they receive from the federal government as “hush money,” so to speak; and the intended and embeded fear of upsetting, or worse yet, burning any bridges that monster of a D.C. gravy-train promises to travel in the future.

This is ridiculous when you think about it. The federal government robs the states, but more importantly, the citizens of their money – and then only gives it back to some of some them. Those deemed “worthy.”

How about the states appropriate the money they need themselves instead of relying on the federal government? If California wants to expand Medicaid, or even have Medicaid at all, go for it – just don’t expect those of us in Texas to pay for it.

Federalism is a simple and wonderful concept, but it is devastating to those who merely want power.

We have 50 states. We can have 50 different ways of living. Of all the the that may be unique, the one thing we all have in common is the vast rights and LIMITED powers of the federal government enshrined by the Constitution.

Debt is a form of slavery, and the federal government has amassed far too much debt. It is long past time for the federal government to get out of nearly everything except foreign policy and ensurifng the blessings of liberty as promised. The onerous tax code of the federal government has currently enslaved several generations, and will continue to do so until we get back to basics.

Should it ever happen, count on this be a huge fight. Tax lawyers and accountants, who make huge amounts of money sorting through the tax code, will fight us at every turn. And the left-wing media, like those sitting atop the NYT editorial board, will be standing right behind them. None of these “do-gooder” ideologues actually want to return power back to the average citizen. A simplified tax-system would break the back of the organized crime-syndicate known as the IRS and do just that.

That is absolutely the last thing Leftists like the NYT Editorial Board wants. Want proof? It’s right there in their article. They talk about the debate as to which loopholes to close. How about closing all of them? How about no deductions? How about no income tax at all?

They address the idea of a national sales tax and the value-added tax toward the end of the article, but conclud it would “unduly burden poor people.” So, they admit that taxes are a burden. Right now the poor pay NO taxes, but the poor still get the same services that the rest of us do. The fire department still comes to their house, their kids still go to public school, and they still get to vote on Election Day. What of the cost incurred by the non-citizen, non-legal residents? Who’s “fair-share” pays those costs?

There is no moral case for increased taxation by the federal government. Leftists will scream and cry about a ‘moral duty’ to help the poor, all while excusing their own vast-wealth not being used for anything but their own self-serving luxury.

There is no Christian case for the forced confiscation of wealth and redistribution. Christians should help those in need, but that is between them and God – not between the government and God!!

The federal government’s power is supposed to be limited, and it must be again.

Unfortunately, at this time there is a Congress of Republicans who are no more interested in limited-government than the Democrats are; as well as a President who is a life-long progressive and cannot focus on a single issue long enough to get anything meaningful accomplished. It’s time for Americans to find another solution to this tax debacle… not to mention the many other burdens brought about by this government.

Benjamin Wilhelm served as a commissioned officer in the United States military for 10 years, serving one combat tour in Afghanistan. He is a recipient of the Bronze Star and Combat Action Badge among other military awards. Ben has worked in a variety of private sector businesses both large and small. He is a former military and civilian firearms instructor and an advocate for veterans issues. Ben is a strict Constitutionalist who sees the Federal government as an out of control leviathan, and the federal debt as a burden that will break the country. Ben is a divorced father of two boys.

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Everything

There is no “libertarian on the issue.” Legalizing marijuana is the conservative position.

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You hear a lot of Conservatives say that when it comes to marijuana legalization, they are “libertarian” on the issue. It’s a common expression even used by Ben Shapiro.

However, the linguistic choice of the word “libertarian” implies that legalization of pot is not a conservative position. Traditionally, this is true. Not many Conservatives in the past have supported this notion. To make matters more complicated, many Conservatives have argued in favor of a “law and order” approach to the issue.

Notably, an increasing amount of young Conservatives favor legalization while older Conservatives tend to side with the “law and order”. Conservatives are often free to disagree because Conservatives are not some mob of conformity. If that’s what you want, there’s a camp called leftism, but I should warn you, you’ll ever be woke enough.

Conservatives are free to disagree on methods, but underlying principles of a limited government following through on its enumerated powers remains a consistent platform for us to unite.

However, on the issue of marijuana, there is a right and wrong position for Conservatives to hold. Bearing in mind a limited government, the Conservative movement would be most correctly aligned with its principles if it advances the legalization of marijuana, foregoing the law and order approach.

Acknowledging Government Failure

At the Conservative camp, we often talk about how government is the problem, not the solution. And when the government gets involved in things, a worse outcome results. The obvious example of healthcare is a drop in the bucket in the vast ocean that is government failure. For more failures, we can point to souring college tuition prices. It was the government that turned a depression into the Great Depression. We can look at occupational licensing hurting lower-income people. Likewise, the current marijuana rules augmented a stoner population.

Ronald Reagan said in his ingratiation:

Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price.

The government has royally blundered trying to curb recreational marijuana usage, and to continue down the current pathway is to meet the definition of insanity. The Conservative worldview sees the individual, not the government as the solution to cultural problems. Government solutions so often prove to be failures.

Personal Distaste Leads to Hypocrisy

Conservatives too often argue for marijuana to be illegal based off of rather weak points. I’m going to specifically address John Hawkins from Townhall seeing as this article was referenced in a NOQ Report article back in January. The article titled “5 Reasons Marijuana Should Remain Illegal” details five weak points that I will address.

Marijuana is addictive for some people

If I accept the premise that marijuana is addictive(it’s not), by what precedent are addictive properties cause for something to be illegal. Here we find a logical disconnect in the argument. Alcohol is addictive. Tobacco is addictive. Both legal. Oreo’s have been studied to be addictive in mice as cocaine. Still legal (the only lines I do). If we’re not talking about only drugs, porn is legal. Sex is legal. Hoarding is legal. Video games are legal. They made a show about strange addictions. Human beings are creatures of worship; therefore it is a tendency for people to fall into addiction. This is no reason to make something illegal.

It’s not woking well in Amsterdam

This was an incredibly weak reason because it’s based on the Dutch being horrified that their children have access to pot. That is already the case here in the US. Legalization wouldn’t change this, while it being illegal hasn’t stopped this. The arguments against marijuana legalization that invoke children present a false consequence. And it makes us seem like hypocrites when we give our children medication as a substitute for discipline.

Mental and Physical Health(2 reasons)

It would be foolish to argue against marijuana’s medicinal benefits. However, I do acknowledge that it is fair to bring up the negative side effects. In this area, a person should take responsibility for their own health. Individual responsibility is what our culture needs not a nanny state protecting us from harm in every direction.

That being said several dangerous things are legal that if used irresponsibly could have a negative impact on mental and physical health. I could list them but you get the idea. The government is a poor arbitrator when it comes to protecting the citizens from their own choices.

Marijuana decimates people’s lives

We’re back to the “protecting people from themselves” argument. This is not logic that a conservative should use. Conservatism strives for a free market capitalist system whereby the individual is responsible for their own outcome in life. Protecting people from their own poor decisions is not the role of the government. There are things that destroy people’s lives that merit being illegal, but marijuana is not one of them. Millions of Americans use it whether in the slums or the penthouse. The lack of inherent or predictable negative consequences to potheads does is insufficient reason for keeping marijuana illegal.

At the end of the day, Conservatives only oppose marijuana legalization out of personal distaste. When we let our taste buds dictate our policy instead of our principles, we become hypocrites with power. Our personal distaste for marijuana is contradicting Conservative principles that would be most aligned legalizing the plant for recreational use. In this, we become seen as hypocrites. When we distaste something, our response should never be to make it illegal claiming some sort of cultural benefit.

For example, take transgenderism. Conservatives often distaste this practice. But no one is arguing to make being a transvestite illegal. What you do in your spare time is an individual liberty. Only based off of researched negative effects would any Conservative argue that the surgery should be illegal for a consenting adult. For children, it’s practically child abuse, therefore necessary for the state to step in because there is no absolute right of parents. If you want to, as a consenting adult, mutilate your body and get plastic surgery, most Conservatives wouldn’t stand in your way unless taxpayers are paying for it. What Conservatives are strictly opposed to is the state forcing its citizens to acknowledge transgenderism as real and punishing “misgendering” someone. Forcing a person to participate in a mentally ill person’s self-image is a violation of individual freedom.

There is a Conservative way to oppose something that you find distasteful. It is not to make said thing illegal, but instead to get the government out of the issue as much as possible. The “Law and Order” crowd have created a needless rift between Conservatives and Libertarians. The difference between the Libertarian and Conservative worldview was so well articulated by Konstantinos Roditis but these differences in worldview should come to the same result on marijuana. Though Libertarians focus too much on plants, Conservatives in their distaste for marijuana became hypocrites making an activity that isn’t inherently evil a crime. It’s long past time Conservatives remind themselves of what makes them Conservative and reexamine their position on marijuana because legalization is the Conservative stance.

A Note About Comparing Marijuana to Opioids:

Opioids have a far worse and predictable outcome for users who don’t stop. So for that reason, the arguments for marijuana legalization don’t apply. The state should intervene when negative externalities arise. The negative externalities for marijuana are baseless, in comparison. Although for an interesting perspective on this issue read our article here

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Politics

More on Neil Gorsuch and judicial tyranny

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Following the Supreme Court decision earlier this week where Neil Gorsuch sided with the four progressive justices on the court to overturn a law that allowed for the deportation of immigrants convicted of violent crimes, I wrote an article about how this decision confirmed the warning given by James Madison about tyrannical government.

Since Gorsuch was appointed by Donald Trump and conservatives considered the justice to be a type of Anakin Skywalker as the chosen one born to bring balance back to the government, I took a lot of heat for daring to mention tyranny and Gorsuch in the same breath.

If I had called Gorsuch a tyrant, my readers and listeners would have had a point, but that’s not what I did.

As I stated in the article, the threat of tyranny comes not from a single Supreme Court decision, it comes from the reality that political parties have turned judicial appointments into a party platform, essentially eliminating the walls that separate the three branches of government. Such accumulation of all powers in the same hands is the exact definition of tyranny according to Madison.

“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”

The federal courts continue to confirm this threat to liberty. Earlier this week, a three-judge panel on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a law in Ohio that denied funding to Planned Parenthood who already gets hundreds of millions of dollars from taxpayers thanks to Trump and the GOP. The ruling also upheld a decision from a lower court that ruled that the ban violated due process and was, therefore, unconstitutional.

This wasn’t a decision by a court loaded by Obama appointees. Two of the three judges were appointed by Daddy Bush and Son, while the third was picked by Bill Clinton. The lower court judge was also appointed by George W. Bush.

Do you see what happens when we allow judicial appointments to be motivated by politics?

In the judicial tyranny article I mentioned above, I posted a tweet from Donald Trump where he claimed that only Republicans can “hold the Supreme Court.”

The recent decisions by the Supreme Court and the Sixth Circuit is proof that Trump and the GOP are wrong. We will never rid ourselves of tyrannical government by continuing to support its tyrannical behavior. Political parties interested only in their self-preservation won’t stop it. “Appointing better judges” won’t stop it.

Only we the people can stop it using tools such as Convention of States and Daniel Horowitz’s Citizens’ Task Forces. To learn more about how the courts are destroying America, I also recommend Daniel’s book, Stolen Sovereignty: How to Stop Unelected Judges from Transforming America.


Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Culture and Religion

Remember what’s important in life

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We all deserve forgiveness, the benefit of the doubt, and need to be reminded of what really matters from time to time. When you encounter someone who does something rude or mean or bad, avoid labeling them as a rude or bad person. Instead, give them the benefit of the doubt that they were just having a bad day/week/year and they are in a place where they have forgotten about what really matters in this life.

That it’s not about wealth and acquiring stuff. It’s about relationships and how we spend our time together. It’s about lifting each other up.

Have you ever gotten into that rut, where you have been hyper-focused on your job, or your hobby, or self-improvement? You were doing really well! You’ve gotten ahead, acquired a lot of great, new things; you make more money now, and you’ve gotten really good at whatever it is you were working on.

But then… You watch a show, a movie, maybe hear a song or a sermon, or read a story about humanity and how short this life is; About how we treat each other when we are trying to acquire too much… and it’s never enough; it’s never big enough; it never satisfies us.

But when you get that message again from that show… You recognize it, and you wake up. You stand up in the room, and you look around, and you see that all over the room everyone else still has their heads down. And very few are standing with you. But you see it now, and you say to yourself, “Why was I so focused on that? That doesn’t matter! My kids are growing up! My parents are aging, my grandparents dying. And I’ve been missing all of it… For what? For a house that’s 1000 sq. feet bigger? For a car that can drive a little faster?”

We all get sidetracked and stuck on this misleading path. That’s why we need to give each other the benefit of the doubt. Try not to label people as “bad guy” just because they did something once or twice, and recognize that people deserve forgiveness, and just need to be woken up again.

Remind them. Remind me when I forget. Please. It’s about Love. Family. Friends. Relationships.

Sell everything you own if it’s blinding you. Buy experiences instead- Experiences that you can share with one another. Hug. Laugh. Cry. Touch. Share. And remember. Remember what it’s all about.

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