We’ve all heard the old line about the certitude of death and taxes. It’s a bit telling about the nature of human beings and how they will use power, even if just a little, to try and extract the fruits of their neighbor’s labor for their own gain that we consider taxation as just another inevitable aspect of life. However, are taxes something that we should so readily come to expect?
Yesterday was the 4th of July, where we celebrated our forefathers’ decision to extricate themselves from British rule because of the many abuses by the crown, foremost among them, what the colonials considered excessive and unjust taxes. When independence was won, so loathe of taxes were the Founders that, under the Articles of Confederation, there were no national taxes; Congress had to scrounge what it could thru voluntarily contributions -contributions that were unsurprisingly lacking. Veterans of the War could not collect their pensions, and the infant nation could do nothing to keep British merchants from harboring in its bays and running roughshod over American vendors. The ensuing chaos from such a government resulted in the Constitution being ratified, creating a new, strong but limited central government whose powers included the ability to levy taxes nationally.
Presently in American politics there are two prevailing perceptions on taxation: on the Left, there is the misguided belief that taxes are the “price we pay for living in a free(?) and just society”. Per this narrative, we all pay taxes because we all benefit from living in a democratic society and thus must all share in the burden. This wouldn’t be a half-bad sell for taxes if half the people in American didn’t pay effectively zero taxes. (The Left’s reasoning also has the unfortunate trait of being utter bullshit.) It’s interesting to note: the people most attached to this narrative also hold the honorary title of “tight-fisted jerkwads who refuse to pay more to Uncle Sam than what the law requires.” If taxes are such an honorary patriotic duty, why don’t those on the Left pay more?
On the Right, we have the “taxation is theft” mantra. While truer to the nature of taxation -which is, money taken by force from unwilling payers- it has a major glaring weakness: if taxation is theft, why do we let the government “steal” from us while punishing individuals for doing the same thing? Why is theft illegal in most cases but not some, and if we allow theft to occur at some levels, why not others? Moral and reasonable people can agree: immoral acts do not become moral simply because the majority agree to engage in the act; government is an extension of the individual -of the People…what a person has right to do, the government may do also and nothing more. The problem with “taxation is theft” is that it implies that all taxes are inherently bad, and thus should be eliminated. Ask the Founders how easily a time they had funding even a small basic government with a Congress and an army under the Articles of Confederation.
The reality is taxes, when done properly and equitably, are somewhere in the middle. They are a necessary evil that funds government -government which is necessary and vital to secure and protect our rights from those who would take them from us. To call them theft is disingenuous, to call them “the price we pay to live in a free(?) or just society” is a lie. Taxes are the price we as citizens pay -in theory equally- for goods and services that only the government can provide, such as national defense or trade infrastructure and courts, that we all benefit from. Taxes pay for those services both necessary for the preservation of liberty and our rights and inadequately provided for by free markets because of market weaknesses like externalities or the free rider issue. And the American default is -or at least ought to be- to err on the side of letting free markets handle the care and provision of the goods and services necessary to preserve the public good and peaceful order.
To do more or less than this is tyranny, slavery, & theft. To tax one group to service another group is legalized looting, it is plunder on a national scale on behalf of the politically favored. For taxes to be fair, they must apply equally in cost and benefit. All must pay “their fair share” -i.e. equally burdened, and all must benefit equally and have equal access to the fruits of tax spending. That is what is meant by “the common good” and the “general welfare”.
As Jefferson so eloquently stated, “Whether property alone, and the whole of what each citizen possesses, shall be subject to contribution, or only its surplus after satisfying his first wants, or whether the faculties of body and mind shall contribute also from their annual earnings, is a question to be decided. But, when decided, and the principle settled, it is to be equally and fairly applied to all. 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, and the fruits acquired by it.’”
Let us remember that overly burdensome taxes are why the Founders rejected British rule and sought independence and self-governance. Let us also remember that what they considered heavy and burdensome are peanuts in comparison to the taxes we pay today…those of us who pay taxes anyways. Liberty cannot exist where one man is taxed so that another may eat of his labor, or where one group is shouldered with a greater burden because of political favors bestowed upon another group.
And without liberty, there can be no justice. Without justice, there can be no peace. Without peace, life is little more than waiting around for death and taxes.
RNC fundraiser uses recycled Trump survey promoting recycled broken promises
As Republicans face the daunting task of trying to avoid a political blood-bath in November, and as Donald Trump puts his 2020 re-election campaign in gear, the Republican National Committee sent out their official “Trump Agenda Survey.” I know it’s official because it said so in big, bold, red letters at the top.
It’s also a recycled edition of the same survey the RNC sent out last year.
In a cover letter from RNC Chairwoman and niece of Utah carpetbagger Mitt Romney, Ronna McDaniel assured me that Trump has been working hard to “put our nation back on a winning path,” but he needed my help to beat the “DC establishment” and the “unfair treatment” he is receiving from the “biased, lying media.” According to McDaniel, turning our country around after 8 years of Obama isn’t easy.
Is it just me, or did Obama use a similar excuse when he blamed his failures on George W. Bush?
McDaniel then assured me that her #1 priority as RNC Chair was ensuring that the Trump White House and the GOP majorities in the House and Senate kept in touch with people like me—a goal that apparently requires that I send the RNC a nice “skin in the game” donation along with my completed survey.
The survey itself was quite interesting when you consider that, according to Donald Trump, he has accomplished more than any president in history. Why was it interesting? Well . . . let’s just say that if you liked the GOP’s 2016 campaign rhetoric and lies, you’ll love the issues addressed in the Trump agenda survey because THEY ARE EXACTLY THE SAME!
In the survey, McDaniel wants me to let her know if I want Trump and Republicans in Congress to fight for:
- Reform the federal income tax system and reduce corporate tax rates
- Build a border wall and strengthen border security to stop illegal immigration
- Reverse President Obama’s unconstitutional executive orders
- Cut job-killing regulations to get the economy growing
- Confirm federal judges who pledge to follow the original intent of the Constitution
- Withhold federal funding from “Sanctuary cities” that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities
- Re-equip and rebuild our military
- Repeal and replace Obamacare
- Encourage domestic exploration and production of energy sources
- Re-negotiate trade deals to put American jobs and interests first
Like I said before, it’s recycled. Not a single, solitary new idea from the party that is supposedly winning so much that we can’t take it anymore.
Interestingly enough, while the survey offered nothing but the same old recycled promises, some of the GOP’s previously broken promises were noticeably missing, such as: defunding Planned Parenthood, ending DACA, and working to reduce the size and cost of government.
It wasn’t her intention, but McDaniel’s plea for feedback and funds confirms what conservatives have known all along—the GOP has been hijacked by Republicrats and Trumplicans who have no agenda other than their political self-preservation. And in classic “party over principle” fashion, the RNC is recycling the broken promises that got these lying liars elected in the first place.
Despite the P.S. McDaniel included at the end of her letter, Trump and the GOP are doing very little “to Make America Great Again!” They are, however, doing plenty to show why it’s time for conservatives to sever ties with the GOP and build a new party.
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.
The GOP has refused to learn from Trump’s victory.
Once Donald Trump secured not only the nomination, but the Presidency, I thought perhaps that the GOP establishment would be smart enough to learn from this event. It should have been easy to see that the “catastrophe” that they saw in front of them would be a wake-up call to stop supporting moderate to liberal candidates like John McCain, Mitt Romney, and John Kasich. It seemed obvious to me that, whatever you might feel about Trump, the rank and file members of the GOP were in open rebellion against a party that had no interest in actually fulfilling conservative principles like limited government, liberty, and the rights of the people to choose for themselves.
The likes of Mitch McConnell and political operatives (hacks, actually) like Bill Kristol and Rick Wilson would surely see that they needed to stop supporting liberal Republicans like Kasich and Jeff Flake. Right? I mean this was so obvious my 5-year-old could figure it out.
Boy was I wrong.
Instead, the GOP has doubled down on their desire to control the political winds. Like the Democrats do with their “super delegates” in their Presidential nomination process, it is clear that the GOP establishment feels it cannot and should not trust the people to make the best decisions for themselves. Thus far, the GOP has made no move to institute a “super delegate” system in the Presidential nominating process, but with what we’re seeing so far in the 2018 mid-term elections, it is clear that that scenario is a real possibility.
The DC establishment has made it clear that they will manipulate the mid-term elections in such a way that, should they actually maintain control of both the House and Senate, they want it to be full of Republicans that really are not distinguishable from their Democratic colleagues in any significant way.
The Bad News
It is not unusual for the GOP to support their incumbents. From their perspective, if it’s not broke, why fix it, right? Well, the problem is that it IS broken. We have sitting Republicans who have been there for years or even decades, many of whom have done little to nothing to preserve liberty and much to line their own pockets.
In the Georgia 7th Congressional district, Rob Woodall, who is in his 4th term already and was a DC political operative for many years before that, has a voting record that is little different from your average Southern or Mid-Western Democrat. Shane Hazel, a former Marine Force Recon combat veteran who still today works to equip and train our fighting men and women in the private sector, is taking on Woodall, but meeting resistance not just from Woodall, but also from political operatives who don’t want to upset their establishment bosses.
Banks Wise, Hazel’s campaign manager, recently told me the story of how Mike Seigle, the Gwinnett County Republican Chairman, stonewalled them on debates with Woodall. To make a long story short, Seigle seems to have dodged phone calls for weeks on end after promising debates, and then eventually called them off because of his own delays.
“Shane is committing a political no-no,” as Wise put it, “in challenging a sitting Republican Congressman.” In my view, if the GOP were committed to the principles of We the People choosing our own representatives, or if they thought Woodall was really the best candidate, then Seigle and Woodall should have had no problem at all with Woodall debating Hazel.
The truth is though that the GOP is very much afraid of We the People making our own decisions regarding who we want representing and leading us. They don’t like the fact that Trump was nominated. They flat out hate the fact that he was elected, and many of those with insufferable arrogance, like Bill Kristol, Rick Wilson, and Tom Nichols would have flat out rather seen a Hillary Clinton victory in 2016. They may see Clinton as a political adversary, but she isn’t their enemy. We are.
In a nearly unprecedented move, the GOP has not only put their full support behind their incumbents, they have also gone so far as to decide who the GOP nominee should be for Senate in seats they don’t currently hold.
One of the most poachable Senate seats this year is the one in Missouri currently held by Claire McCaskill. Jeff Carson, campaign manager for Austin Petersen, told me that it was odd the way they were seeing the establishment pull out all the stops for their preferred candidate, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley. Anyone who has done even five minutes of research on Hawley knows he would be a lap dog for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other weak Republican leaders.
Love him, hate him, or indifferent to him, it’s undeniable that Donald Trump resonated with voters who were normally indifferent, likely because he doesn’t use the normal GOP political tactic of curling up in a corner, sucking on his thumb, and saying “please don’t hurt me” when the routine and meaningless leftist accusations of racism and sexism came flying at him (looking at YOU, Mitt Romney).
Hawley won’t be able to connect with voters who don’t see a difference between the GOP establishment and the Democrats. The establishment would have rather lost to Hillary Clinton than won with Trump. It seems in Missouri they’d rather lose with Hawley than win with a Constitutionalist who they can’t control like Petersen.
The establishment is further involving themselves in state elections that have little bearing on DC as well, but this time using big donors to support a mediocre candidate rather than a Constitutionalist. Former Army Ranger and current Georgia gubernatorial candidate Hunter Hill told me a couple days ago that they are seeing a great deal of money flowing the way of their biggest opponent, Casey Cagle, the state’s Lieutenant Governor.
The Good News
The GOOD news is that the rank and file members of the GOP seem to be fighting back like never before. Hunter Hill said, “The political class is definitely coalescing around Cagle, with career politicians like Orin Hatch coming to stump for him, but the people are seeing our message and it is resonating. We are in 2nd place in the polls, and with Georgia being a runoff state, we like our chances.” Hill also informed me that they were actually doing a fairly good job raising money, but not so much from the big donors, but from average Georgians and other American conservatives who want to see a true conservative become governor of one of the 13 original states.
Perhaps the conservative faithful of the GOP are fighting back?
The mainstream media no longer has an iron grip on messaging. With social media like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, candidates are able to get their message out without the gatekeepers in the media keeping them silent. “We have an effective social media campaign going,” Hunter Hill told me, “and getting our message out in that way is effective.”
However, social media is still controlled by Leftists, with Petersen recently getting a 30-day suspension from Facebook over the issue of 2nd Amendment rights. This form of private censorship should be telling. It’s obvious that the left-leaning Facebook would rather have McCaskill face off against Hawley than Petersen. Why might that be exactly? Seems they believe McCaskill would have an easier time against Hawley.
On the other hand, Erin Cruz, running for Senate in California against Diane Feinstein, who is seeking yet another term that would take her into her 90s, is seeing her messaging blowing up all over social media. While the GOP establishment may be somewhat apathetic to this race as one they can’t win, Erin Cruz is certainly giving the aging Democrat a run for her money as the staunch conservatives in California, tired of seeing their state fall deeper and deeper into Socialism, seem to be enthusiastic over the first-time candidate’s run.
Dr. Ken Wright seems to be doing the same in the California 33rd, a district so blue that the GOP wasn’t even going to run anyone in 2016 until Wright stepped in and got nearly 40% of the vote with no real support. Now that he has support, could Dr. Wright unseat the twisted and corrupt Ted Lieu? It seems that now is the time.
There is plenty of fault to be found in the establishment’s desire to run squish candidates that they can control, but it is ultimately the responsibility of We the People to get out there and decide for whom to vote. People need to take individual responsibility before going to the primary polls and voting for who really represents them.
Each of us must decide for ourselves who really represents us. Do we want judicial nominees and treaties being decided by Constitutionalists like Petersen, or establishment lap dogs like Hawley? Do we want to be represented in the People’s House by stalwart citizens like Shane Hazel, or lifelong politicos like Rob Woodall? Do the people of Georgia want to be governed by a career politician like Casey Cagle, or American heroes like Hunter Hill?
And what about those places where the GOP has just given up? Will Californians rebel against corrupt Democrats like Ted Lieu and Dianne Feinstein and put in their place men and women of honor like Dr. Ken Wright and Erin Cruz? I sure hope so.
Trump’s victory in 2016 in no way saved us. It simply delayed the continuing onslaught of big government that wants to control every aspect of our lives. Get out there and vote, Conservatives. It’s time to finally teach the GOP establishment that they are NOT in charge, we are.
The Missouri primary is August 7th.
The Georgia primary is May 22nd.
The California primary is June 5th.
An open letter to Sen. Lamar Alexander, US Senate on the nomination of Chai Feldblum
The Honorable Lamar Alexander
Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions committee
United States Senate
CC United States Senators
March 17, 2018
Dear Senator Alexander,
It has come to my attention that President Trump has re-nominated Chai Feldblum to her position as commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This news has brought me grave concern.
On behalf of the American people, it is up to you and the rest of the Senate to remedy this unfortunate situation.
As you are aware, the EEOC deals with cases of workplace discrimination; having the power to enforce federal laws, investigate discrimination complaints, regulate and pursue legal charges against private businesses, and influence public opinion. It is imperative that any federal agency entrusted with such powers be steered by the conscientious counsel of unbiased leadership.
A former college basketball coach once said, “Offense is not equal opportunity.” However, since her appointment by former President Obama in 2010, Ms. Feldblum has exploited her position at the EEOC to offensively further her own fanatical advocacy goals at the expense of religiously-oriented American citizens, the Bill of Rights be damned.
Religious liberty, inviolable and protected from governmental infringement by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, is richly ingrained in our country’s values, having been secured by the blood of our ancestors. In fact, religious liberty, often referred to by the Founders as freedom of conscience, was considered by early Americans to be so precious that, even in the midst of America’s fight for independence, conscience objections were considered sacrosanct.
Consider the words of America’s first President, George Washington, in a letter to Benedict Arnold during America’s Revolutionary War:
“While we are contending for our own liberty, we should be very cautious not to violate the conscience of others, ever considering that God alone is the judge of the hearts of men, and to Him only in this case are they answerable.”
For Chai Feldblum, however, religious freedom must be subjugated with the full force of the government’s ugly fist.
She is, in a word, tyrannical.
Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines tyranny as “a rigorous [strict] condition imposed by some outside agency or force,” as imposed by a tyrant.
A tyrant is defined as “one resembling an oppressive ruler in the harsh use of authority or power.”
Ms. Feldblum has made several deeply troubling statements that betray her tyrannical intentions, wholly at odds with America’s founding principles:
- “I’m having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win… Sexual liberty should win in most cases. There can be a conflict between religious liberty and sexual liberty, but in almost all cases the sexual liberty should win because that’s the only way that the dignity of gay people can be affirmed in any realistic manner (emphasis mine).”
- “I believe granting liberty to gay people advances a compelling government interest, that such an interest cannot be adequately advanced if ‘pockets of resistance’ to a societal statement of equality are permitted to flourish, and hence that a law that permits no individual exceptions based on religious beliefs will be the least restrictive means of achieving the goal of liberty for gay people (emphasis mine).”
Ms. Feldblum’s seditious statements are in dramatic contrast to what Benjamin Franklin wrote in 1774, in Emblematic Representations:
“The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages, is what every part is entitled to, and ought to enjoy (emphasis mine)”
In addition, Ms. Feldblum’s thesis on the proper role of government is unequivocally incompatible with the words spoken by President Thomas Jefferson during his first inaugural address, 1801:
“A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.”
Chai Feldblum’s offensive advocacy through the EEOC is so extreme and outside of Constitutional bounds that, in 2012, the usually divided Supreme Court of the United States ruled unanimously against Feldblum’s EEOC attempt to void the “Ministerial Exemption,” which allows leeway for religious organizations to carry out routine, religiously-related matters of hiring and terminating employees.
While Ms. Feldblum claims to represent the LGBTQ+ community, she speaks only for a small, yet loud portion of the demographic; one comprised almost entirely of radical LGBTQ+ activists.
In truth, Ms. Feldblum’s fanatical, extremist, ideologically-driven agenda only serves to marginalize a significant portion of sexual minorities, in addition to women and countless Americans of religious orthodoxy.
Ignoring the conservative, sexual minorities who disapprove of the forced subjugation of religious Americans, Ms. Feldblum propagates stereotypes of the various people she claims to represent, and actively encourages neighbors to go to war with neighbors.
Feldblum insists on a “zero-sum” game, where religious Americans and members of the LGBTQ+ community are incapable of living peaceably side-by-side. As the architect of former President Obama’s Transgender executive order, Feldblum further victimizes traumatized women and children, insisting they must tolerate an unsafe existence, as grown men are ushered into their locker rooms and bathrooms in the name of “progress.” Feldblum insists on subjugating religious, yet same-sex attracted business owners in the private market, drastically hindering their pursuit of happiness through economic independence. Feldblum insists that all LGBTQ+ Americans think as she does.
Ms. Feldblum is a tyrant; wholly unworthy of another five years at the helm of the EEOC.
Speaking on the sacredness of religious liberty in America, Samuel Adams stated, August 1, 1776:
“Driven from every other corner of the earth freedom of thought and the right of private judgment in matters of conscience direct their course to this happy country as their last asylum.”
The responsibility, Senator Alexander, now rests with you and the Senate to protect religious liberty as vigorously and as confidently as our Founding Fathers.
If you fail to perform this duty, this great test of your legacy as one of the leaders of the free world, may the words of Samuel Adams haunt you for the remainder of your days:
“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
Paige Rogers, Tennessee