On Independence Day, Two US Presidents Deserve Our Thanks
I would like to dedicate this commentary to all those who have served in our Armed Forces. If you ever served on active or reserve duty, or in the National Guard, this issue is especially for you.
HONORING OUR MILITARY. I would like to dedicate this commentary to all those who have served in our Armed Forces. If you ever served on active or reserve duty, or in the National Guard, this issue is especially for you.
There are many Presidents whom we might honor on Independence Day, but today I am thinking of two men in particular, and for a particular reason. Unfortunately, neither will ever read these words.
These men were as different as night and day. One was a Democrat, the other a Republican. One was liberal, the other was as conservative as they come. One came from great wealth, the other had to work hard every day of his life. Their views were widely divergent in almost every area of social concern and politics.
The common bond that unites these very different men is the degree of freedom they gave this nation's citizens from the oppression of immoral taxation. John F. Kennedy gave the United State the largest tax cut in history up to his time. Ronald Reagan used his moral authority to force Congress into enacting the largest tax cut of all time. He lowered the highest tax rate from an unbelievable 70% to 28%.
The United States is one of the youngest developed nations in the world. We have been very busy for the last two hundred and twenty-five years building a great nation. We have been making history, so perhaps we can be forgiven for paying little attention to history. But if we continue to ignore our own history, we may be dooming ourselves to repeating it.
We all remember the Boston Tea Party. How can we forget such a colorful, dramatic scene? Brave men dressed as Indians, smashing boxes of British tea and pouring it into Boston Harbor. But do we remember WHY these men performed this outrageous act?
"Taxation without representation," you say. "They sure stopped that once and for all." I agree that they stopped it for a good long while. But I respectfully suggest that the same oppression so valiantly opposed by Patriots in the late 1700's faces America today. We just face a different group of oppressors today.
They don't wear red coats, and they don't have British accents. Today we call them Senator or Congressman, and they have all kinds of accents. But most of them have the same attitude toward "We, the People" that the British government had toward what they called "The Colonials." They consider us too stupid to know what is best for ourselves, and they feel they need to protect us and tell us what to do. Of course, such benign treatment deserves compensation, so they feel free to take anything from us that we don't need to survive.
I hope that we never forget that the reason America declared its independence from the tyranny of the British Crown was the excessive taxation of King George III, and the illegal measures he used to enforce his will. It may come as a nasty shock to you to find that Americans pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes today than they did on July 4, 1776!
The people that we elect to protect our interests, to speak for us in the nation's capitol, instead tax us unmercifully to advance their own careers and financial interests. I think that qualifies as taxation without representation. Most of our "representatives" are definitely not representing our interests.
Here is one small example. Are you aware that not one Senator or Congressman pays into the Social Security system? Social Security is good enough for the dumb people who elect them, but not for our elected royalty. No, they have a slightly different retirement system. Even if they serve just one term, they receive a huge monthly income for life, in most cases equivalent to their full salary as a legislator. Most will collect MILLIONS of OUR tax dollars before they die. "Wow!" you say, "They must pay a lot each month for such a great retirement plan." Actually, they pay nothing. WE pay all of it.
If that upsets you (or enrages you) do some research on the "pork-barrel" projects on which our elected representatives spend our hard-earned tax dollars. Most are designed to accomplish one purpose: the re-election of the legislator who negotiates with his fellow legislators to get the "pork." "You vote for mine and I'll vote for yours." I could give you hundreds of examples, but just a few will make the point:
Politicians protect defense projects that are proven to be unsafe or ineffective, because the factories that produce them are in their state. Out-dated, unnecessary military bases remain open because the representatives from those districts would lose votes if they closed. Politicians with liberal constituents bestow millions on the National Endowment for the Arts and on National Public Radio.
The National Endowment is famous for such "Art" as placing a crucifix in a bottle of urine, and a photograph of an "artist" baring her breast for the camera. National Public Radio once ran a special denouncing the Boy Scouts of America for refusing to allow homosexual Scoutmasters, even though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it was constitutional for the Scouts to do so.
Their political reasons for cutting taxes might have been different, but both Kennedy and Reagan understood some important truths. They understood that a people can be taxed into oblivion. They understood that confiscatory taxes demoralize a people. They understood that the levels of taxation we are again experiencing today make the people the slaves of the government. I applaud these two Presidents.
You may be wondering why I didn't include George W. Bush in my short list. Although he fought hard against the liberal forces in Congress for his tax cut, it was so small as to be insignificant. Not that I don't appreciate his efforts. As Alan Keyes says, "I never met a tax cut I didn't like" But we need REAL tax reform if this nation is going to reach its potential. How about this? What if several thousand Patriots dress up as Indians and show up the same day in the offices of our Senators and Congressmen? Do you think they'd get the message?
Dr. Tom Barrett has been an ordained minister for 30 years. He has written for local and national publications for most of his life, and has authored several non-fiction books. He has been interviewed on many TV and radio programs, and speaks at seminars nationwide. Tom is the editor and publisher of Conservative Truth, an email newsletter read by over fifty thousand weekly which focuses on moral and political issues from a Biblical viewpoint.