Monday, September 29, 2008
Traditionally, one of the primary differences between the Democrats and Republicans is over taxes. As of 2006, the richest 1% of Americans, under our current tax system, earns 22% of the income in America, but pays 40% of all income tax. Of course, as the Democrats would point out, those same people OWN that much of America's wealth.
I was doing some research recently on the history of the income tax laws here in the US and ran across the Pollack case of 1895. Congress tried imposing a tax on dividends and interests back in the early 1890s. It was immediately challenged as a direct tax without apportionment, a violation of the Constitution. The law was, of course, struck down for that very reason. But in reading the text of the decision I came across a very interesting statement in there.
“The legislation (the tax law), in the discrimination it makes, is class legislation. Whenever a distinction is made in the burdens a law imposes or in the benefits it confers on any citizens by reason of their birth, or wealth, or religion, it is class legislation, and leads inevitably to oppression and abuses, and to general unrest and disturbance in society. It was hoped and believed that the great amendments to the constitution which followed the late Civil War had rendered such legislation impossible for all future time. But the objectionable legislation reappears in the act under consideration.” Pollock v. Farmer’s Loan & Trust Co., 157 U.S. 429, 596 (1895) (emphasis added)
I won't, at this time, go into the details of what I discovered about the Federal Income Tax laws, the 16th Amendment, the Supreme Court cases which followed or the way in which the laws are enforced today. But suffice it to say that I am fully convinced that we've been hoodwinked and bullied into paying income taxes...and in some case, obeying other laws that simply do not apply to American Citizens.
As a little teaser for your own curiosity, ask yourself these questions:
1) If, by legal definition, a license is permission from government to do something you ordinarily would have no right doing, why do we need a license to get married? Why do we need a license to use our own property (a car) to travel the public roads for non-commercial purpose? Why do we need a license to catch food in a pond or lake located on public lands or even on our own property?
2) Why, if the 16th Amendment gave Congress the power to impose a direct tax on income, did the Supreme Court say that the 16th Amendment gave Congress NO NEW power of taxation? Why does the OMB tell us that the persons required to file a form 1040 are agents or representatives of non-resident aliens? And that the only form required to be filled out by Americans upon whom the income tax is imposed (Sect. 1.1 of the IRC) is Form 2555 (for Americans earning income abroad)? Why do we submit ourselves to having money withheld from our paychecks when the Withholding Agent, as defined in the IRC, is only required to withhold taxes from FOREIGN INDIVIDUALS, CORPORATIONS and TRUSTS?
These are just a small number of questions I am now asking as I continue my research into this matter. Of course, if you've fallen for the line of the liberals that taxes are a necessary evil for a civilized country, then don't worry about asking these questions, your mind has been sufficiently programmed by the government, the liberals of this country and the media. You don't have to question anything.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
1) Was the war in Iraq unjustified? There are two elements of this that McCain needs to pound home.
a) The Democrats were adamently in favor of this war. See the video below for a refresher course.
b) Now that the Dems want to appeal to the anti-war crowd they are blaming Bush (and McCain) for lying to the public and to them about the existence of WMDs. There are four sources of information that prove that Hussein actually DID have WMDs.
1- Hussein is known to have used WMDs on his own people at least 10 times.
2- Georges Sada, Hussein's #2 Air Force Officer told the New York Sun, and many others since then, that Hussein had moved his WMDs to Syria in the weeks leading up to the US invasion.
3- Sada's report is confirmed by more than 40 Iraqi prisoners of war who have told US captors the same exact story, without contradicton. Don Bordenkircher – who served two years as national director of prison and jail operations in Iraq - said these prisoners boasted of being part of this transport.
4- An intelligence report, made public in 2006, revealed that coalition forces had, indeed, found WMDs (mustard gas and sarin) in Iraq...upwards of 500 of them. The only one to report of this from any of the major news networks, that I know of, was Sean Hannity of Fox.
2) The Current Financial Crisis. - How Obama is succeeding at lying so blatantly to the public regarding the facts surrounding the causes of this crisis can only be explained by the fact that he feels as though he can make any lie sound like the truth with the majority of the media perpetuating it. However, the facts in this matter are indisputable.
a) The Carter Administration's efforts to redevelop America's urban centers began with the idea of wanting to help lower income communities build affordable housing.
b) Jump to the mid-90s and the Clinton Administration. Clinton, wanting to expand on the Urban Redevelopment Program of Carter, enlisted the help of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Hundreds of billions of dollars began pouring into mortgages for low income applicants. Through Clinton pressure on Fannie Mae, bye the early part of the 21st century, nearly half of all Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac loans were in distressed situations.
c) 2002 - reports come out that Fannie Mae execs have been cooking the books to help them "earn" hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses. In the center of the contraversy is Franklin Raines, an Obama supporter and advisor on mortgage and banking issues.
d) 2003 - Bush and Republican congressmen propose legislation that would regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The proposals are squashed by people like Barney Franks who makes it into racial issue, as though the Republicsns are merely trying to make it harder for low income Americans to buy a home. He says the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are in good shape.
e) 2004/2005 - McCain, himself, attempts to get a bill passed that would regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. A similar bill passes the House okay..finally. But Senate Demos do what they have to do to block the McCain bill, which eventually dies.
f) Obama says McCain is just more of the same policies which got us into this mess. However, it was McCain who tried to get us OUT of this mess before it became the mess it is. And it is Obama who has taken nearly as much money from Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac in two years of being Senator as the Christopher Dodd has taken since 1989...making Obama, quickly, the second biggest beneficiary of Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac PAC money since 1989. During that same time, McCain has taken NO money from them. So if ANYONE represents more of the same policies which got us into this mess, its Obama.
These points need to be POUNDED home by the Republicans, the RNC, and McCain from now until the rest of the country knows it.
Under the plan a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry.
The new agency would have had the authority to set one of the two capital-reserve requirements for the companies. It would have exercised authority over any new lines of business. And it would have determined whether the two are adequately managing the risks of their ballooning portfolios.
Barney Frank, who is not the chairman of the banking committee responsible for oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and who was the senior Democrat on that committee in 2003, was seriously AGAINST regulating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Why? Because, according to him, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac "are not facing any kind of financial crisis."
But even he had to have seen the 2002 report on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac which led many to demand action be taken.
Frank succeeded in having the proposal made by Bush blocked. Nothing, as we know now, was ever done.
What was really behind Frank's opposition to the proposal? Frank knew that for several years Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had been appropriating about half its loans to low income families. Frank knew that regulating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would disrupt that.
At the same time Frank was quoted as saying these companies were not in financial trouble, he was quoted as saying, "The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing."
"Affordable housing" meaning homes for low income families.
A New York Times article from Sept. 1999 states that Fannie Mae had been under increasing pressure from the Clinton administration to expand mortgage loans among low- and moderate-income people and that the corporation loosened its lending requirements to comply.
An ominous paragraph of the article reads, "In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980s."
Frank, in the House and libs in the Senate, were able to defeat Republican overtures towards regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2002 and then again in 2003, in no small part, by making it into a racism issue.
Your opinions about this information will interesting but will not change the facts. I dare you, now, to blame Bush, the Republicans or McCain for this Crisis. This could have been averted with Democratic support of regulatory legislation in 2002 and 2003. They did NOT give the support of the Bush proposal in 2002 nor the McCain legislation in 2003. But rather played the race card and blocked them.
Friday, September 19, 2008
The more he tries to blame George Bush, the Republicans and John McCain as the culprits behind our current credit crisis the more vulnerable he becomes. He is betting the election that the majority of Americans will emotionally believe him when he rants about Phil Gramm and the deregulatory legislation of 1999.
Was Phil Gramm one the key architects behind that legislation? Yes. Is he one of the key architects of McCain's economic plan? Yes...though he has been off the payroll since July.
However, as is the custom of the liberal media who wish for Obama to win this election, they fail to report that two of Obama's key supporters, Jim Leash and James Johnson, were also key architects of that legislation. Obama claims that's irrelevent, that Leash and Johnson are not key advisors for him. And yet, if Johnson is not a key advisor on Obama's economic poliy, why is he in Florida right now with the advance Obama team advising him on how to respond to this economic crisis.
Did McCain vote in favor of the 1999 deregulatory legislation? Yes. But so did the majority of the Democrats, including Biden. Who's administration signed the bill? Bill Clinton's. In fact, the Clinton administration pushed for the advancement of the Carter Administration's Community Redevelopment Act. Some have described Clinton as having put this Act onto steroids. The Clinton administration helped create the current market of high-risk sub prime loans which is now wreaking havoc on Wall Street.
Obama is also claiming that McCain is in the pockets of the lending institution lobbyists. Yet, Obama has received the third most amount of money from these lobbyists of anyone. Only Dodd and Kerry have received more money from the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac lobbyists. McCain took NO money from them.
Lastly, what might Obama's roll be in this crisis? Well, McCain, in 2005, helped write legislation that would have reformed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from "...[exposure] to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole."
The legislation was defeated in the Senate when the Democrats blocked the bill. Barack Obama voted with his colleagues to block to bill. So who, in hindsight, would like for that bill to have been passed? So who is to blame that it didn't? Certainly NOT McCain.
Obama has dug himself a big hole. The latest polls show the public, at present, is believing him. Yet, the hole is dug, nonetheless. And perhaps the polls are giving Obama a false sense of security. It would serve McCain well if he would give Obama the tiniest of pushes right about now...or at the Debate on September 26th.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
However, I have done enough research to know certain facts that have made McCain the clear choice for my vote this year. Here are some of the more important elements that went into my decision.
1. Experience: If experience were the only component in my decision, I'd vote for Biden, not McCain or Obama. But McCain is not running against Biden. He is running against Obama. And in a head-to-head comparison between the two presidential candidate, Obama doesn't stand a chance. McCain has military experience, congressional experience, party leadership experience, bi-partisan experience and leadership experience. Obama falls desperately short on most all of those elements.
With regards to the VP candidates, I am not afraid to put them both on the same level, though from differing backgrounds. Biden is thoroughly experienced legislatively, as a party leader and general leader. But Palin has executive, buck-stops-here, experience. And it does not mean little to me that Palin is, thusfar, uncorrupted by Washington.
2. Change: Change is the key word of both candidates. When first looking into this, at first, I was trying to determine who really stood for change. After researching both candidates I have concluded they both want to change things. So, the question changed from who really stands for change to what change do they want to infuse into Washington?
This is where the candidates diverged. Both candidates talk about ending earmarks, and dealing with corruption, and ending partisan politics. But which candidate really means these things.
Whereas McCain has voted against earmarks on all of the last 35 bills which contained earmarks, Obama voted against only 2 of them.
Whereas McCain stood up to his own party on many occasions, Obama has never voted against his own party.
Whereas McCain warned the President and the Senate about the dangers of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Obama somehow blames McCain (solely because he is a Republican and Obama wished to blame Bush for this problem and McCain by association). Yet Obama, being a Senator, LIKE McCain, did nothing to solve the problem two years ago.
McCain put his desires to be President at serious risk by bucking the popular vote and supporting the surge in troops in Iraq. Obama would have rather just gotten out. WHY? The only reasons I can think of for doing that is either because he was against in the first place and he just doesn't see the disaster of not finishing the job, no matter how justified he was for not wanting the war in the first place. Or he was just trying to lure in the extreme leftists voting base for the presidential run he was going to make.
When it was becoming clear a week or two ago that the Feds were going to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Obama said that Washington has for too long "ignored the warning signs in the housing and financial markets." And exactly WHO had warned Washington...MCCAIN. And who did NOT heed that warning? Bush and Congress...which INCLUDES OBAMA.
Whereas both McCain and Obama say they want to cross party lines to achieve bipartisan change, only McCain has a track record of doing that as a Senator.
Whereas Obama has virtually NEVER voted against his party line in the Senate, John McCain has voted against party lines nearly a third of time.
Whereas both say they want to end wasteful spending, only McCain has never placed earmarks on any legislation and Obama has porked nearly $1 billion in earmarks. In addition, Obama DID stop adding earmarks to legislation a year ago, coincidently about the time he began his Real Change presidential campaign.
Obama's view of change, after thorough review, means little more than he wants to change the White House from Republican to Democrat. That seems to be what he wants to change. And in so doing, he wants to change the policies eminating from the White House from Bush policies to liberal policies. This, of course, led to the question of what liberal policies he stands for.
McCain, on the other hand, seems to infer, by his push for change, that he wants to end corruption in Washington, end partisanship, and change the way decisions are made on a Federal level...exactly what he says he wants to do.
McCain has risked his life for his country. He has risked his political career for what he believes. I believe he will do what he says he wants to do as President. Obama has given me great cause for concern that he says one thing and will do something very different in office.
Finally, I am astounded that ANYONE who sees the crisis this country is in would even consider electing someone so terriby inexperienced.
Friday, September 12, 2008
What is more disturbing is his response to the matter. Instead of simply saying that it was a poor choice of words to describe the McCain policies in light of Palin's "lipstick" joke at the RNC, he became defensive and down right indignant that the McCain camp would stir the pot of controversy, accusing McCain of taking snippets and blowing them beyond the context from which they were spoken.
Obama is in no position to be pointing such fingers at McCain, especially in light of the ongoing manipulation by the Obama camp of such McCain comments as "remaining in Iraq for 100 years". A comment, when shown in context means NOTHING of what the Obama camp is making it out to be.
As McCain continues to say, this is a tough campaign and Obama would be wise to toughen up a bit and stop calling the kettle black (no racism intended...).
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Obama supporters are irate about all this, calling her a far right religious extremist.
Do these same Obama supporter, or Obama himself, REALLY want to compare that to the things Jeremiah Wright has said over the years?
I would encourage them not to do that, but it seems those encouragements fall upon ever deafening ears...all the while more and more people move over to the McCain/Palin ticket.
1) Until about 12 months ago, Barack Obama had successfully submitted more than $750 million in earmarks. He only stopped practicing this when he began to seriously promote himself as the candidate of change in Washington.
2) Only twice in the last 35 votes in the Senate where earmarks were part of a bill did Obama vote against the bill.
3) Biden NEVER voted against earmarks in those same 35 bills.
4) McCain voted 100% of the time against those bills.
5) McCain has never sought earmarks for his state in his entire time in Congress.
6) Palin lobbied for earmarks in Wasila. But remember that neither Mayors nor Governors vote to fund earmarks, Congress does.
7) Although Palin was initially in favor of what eventually was called the "Bridge to Nowhere", When she was informed as to the total cost of the bridge, she changed her mind.
8) Obama and Biden both voted IN FAVOR of the "Bridge to Nowhere" while voting against a bill that would have, at the same time, brought further relief to victims of Katrina.
Check the records, its all in the Congressional Records.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
"Sensible Conservatism" is the attempt by reasonable people, with conservative views, to discuss those views and the means by which they have come to hold those views. The fundamental benefits of Sensible Conservatism are that is affords civil discussion. It allows the conservative to acknowledge that people with whom they disagree are not necessarily completely wrong in their stance and perhaps a source of an evolving understanding of an issue.
Sensible Conservatives understand that issues of the world are inherently complex and we, as humans, can only hope to understand them by reason and a willingness to step past the emotions of the issues into the heart of what drives them.
Permit an example. Abortion. As a Sensible Conservative, the first thing I would wish to do when discussing this issue with either conservatives or liberals is to, at least temporarily, acknowledge the reasonableness of allowing abortion for rape victims and women who's life is at risk. This is not to say that I actually agree with the premise that a decision by a woman to abort an unborn child as the result of rape or incest or when her life is at risk. But I do agree that such a premise is reasonable. Once we can both, at least temporarily, accept that statement, we can move on to the heart of the disagreement.
In this case, as a Sensible Conservative, I do NOT believe that the central issue about abortion is CHOICE. Do women have the right to make such a choice about their unborn child? Well, in order to step past the emotions of the issue of choice, even conservatives must acknowledge that we all have the right to make choices. So, therefore, of course a woman has the right to make a choice as to whether to end her pregnancy.
By agreeing with my liberal counterparts that women have this choice, I am now free to bring up what I believe IS the central point of this issue...whether the decision to end a pregnancy is a right choice or a wrong one. Central to this is whether or not that which is growing in a woman's womb is human or not. But, frankly, this point in the argument is little more than miss-direction. Those who would typically be identified as Pro-Choice prove this by nothing less than pure contradiction. When a woman wants to keep the child, the Pro-Choicers are quick to identify the child in human terms (i.e. - "baby"). But when the woman wishes to end the pregnancy, suddenly it is no longer a "baby" but a "zygote" or "embryo".
What changed? What part of the equation changed? Only one thing changed...the woman's want, wish or desire. This is where the issue becomes clouded. Since when is considered a correct judgment to justify something purely because someone WANTED it? So let's call it what it is, hedonism. Yes, there is it. I am no one to tell someone they haven't the right to make any choice. But our society is full of consequential decisions. You choose, there are consequences.
What the Pro-Choicers wish to achieve is freedom from consequences. Its not wrong so there should be no consequences. But since when have we accepted the premise that something is right simply because we want it? When did that mindset become okay? I certainly wouldn't allow my children to think that way.
So let's take this a step further. If a mother, or for that matter a father, were put into situation where they had to make a choice between them being killed or their son or daughter being killed, who would choose to live and allow their child to die? I mean, seriously, if a psychopath put a gun to your head and told you that either you or your child would die and you get to choose which one, who would ever choose to let their child die? Almost no one would look at that parent with anything but contempt and disdain. And yet, by de-humanizing the baby in a mother's womb, Pro-Choicers have succeeded in allowing a mother to make a choice of her life over the child's by making her believe, at some level, that it ISN'T a child, but a "zygote" or "embryo".
It doesn't matter what the reason for choosing the abortion route, or the reason the baby was conceived in the first place, the choice to end that child's life is putting the mother above a helpless child. To me, that is essentially, and unequivacably hedonism at its worst. Even aborting a child that is the byproduct of rape or incest can be labeled that way. For who would dare label as acceptable any adult being criminally violated and responding by killing someone else, anyone else, let alone an innocent child?
So what do we do? Am I advocating putting women who have an abortion in prison? Of course not. Abortions, as they have evolved into today, are a consequence of an ever-evolving hedonistic, consequence-free mindset in society. I am not about to advocate putting a bandaid over the problem by punishing the women who are making these choices. But I AM advocating a truly profound change in the way we as a society view abortion and consequently provide a greater means by which "unwanted pregnancies" are reduced, adoption becomes more accessible to average Americans and certain typed of abortions are banned (i.e. - D&X, third trimester and so on).