Random ruminations from your resident curmudgeon...
It goes without saying that the appetite of government for your money is voracious. There is no area of your life or your income that is off limits when it comes to subjecting you to additional taxes to fund a bloated and inefficient government at all levels. The latest proposed assault on you and me? Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D North Dakota) has requested that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) review the efficacy of taxing all Americans based on the miles they drive their vehicle. The Vehicle Mileage Tax (VMT) would be assessed on all vehicles, personal and commercial, based on the number of miles that are driven, whether for personal or business reasons. According to the CBO report, new cars would be fitted with a device as standard equipment that would track the mileage driven, and older cars would be required to be retrofitted with the device. The proposal suggests that all gas pumps be fitted with a device that would read the mileage driven and collect the tax when the vehicle is filled. Ostensibly, the tax would recoup the cost of repairing and maintaining our highway system. However, according to the CBO report, there are other costs that should be considered, such as noise and air pollution, dependence on foreign oil, and congestion. One can see that these "costs" are subjective and open every driver to a vast array of new taxes. The Senate will take up a new transportation bill later this year, one that includes an additional $556 billion in new spending. It would be wise for all of us to follow this bill as it is debated later this year.
If a parsley farmer is sued, can they garnish his wages?
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) impacts much of American life with their involvement in supposedly protecting the constitutional rights of groups and individuals. Notably, they have been involved in many cases that center around the freedom of religious expression. The ACLU has been successful in removing Christmas trees and creches from the public square under the guise of a false claim that those displays are an establishment or promotion of religion by a governmental body. It is instructive to look at the origins of the ACLU to understand their motives for such action. Here is a direct quote from founder Roger Baldwin,
"I am for socialism, disarmament, and ultimately for abolishing the state itself. I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class, and the sole control of those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal."
Interesting, isn't it? One of the cornerstones of communism is the curtailing of religious freedom, principally the free exercise of Christianity. Don't believe me? The high priest of Communism, Karl Marx, once said,
"The first requisite for the happiness of the people is the abolition of religion."
The ACLU often cites the Establishment Clause of the first amendment to constitution as a basis for their actions. The reality is that the Establishment Clause was written by the framers of our Constitution with the sole intent that Congress cannot establish a national religion such as was the Anglican Church of England. Thomas Jefferson specifically stated that the Establishment Clause was intended to preclude the establishment of a particular form of Christianity by Congressional leaders in the newly created United States. The perversion of the interpretation of the Establishment Clause by the ACLU and by the courts has been used to limit religious freedom and expression in this country. This is contrary to the intentions of the Founders of our nation. One should closely examine the motivations of the ACLU in light of their DNA and their founding principals the next time they claim they are defending religious freedom.
Old is when someone compliments you on your alligator shoes and you are barefoot.
Want to know how serious those in Washington are about cutting spending and restoring fiscal sanity to our finances? Here are the sad facts: Washington is borrowing $4 billion a DAY to finance our deficits. In the latest round of budget negotiations, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D Nevada) proposed cutting the budget for the coming fiscal year by $4.7 billion dollars. FOR THE ENTIRE FISCAL YEAR! The Democrats in Washington have proposed cutting our deficit spending by a mere .004% based on our annual deficits of $1.6 trillion dollars. Senate Republicans proposed cutting the fiscal year spending by $61 billion, which frankly is not enough, even if it is a step in the right direction. Reid called these cuts "draconian". Republicans and Democrats both need to grasp the dire state of our nation's financial situation and make substantive cuts to the budget and rein in future spending. Failure to do so is an abdication of their responsibility as leaders and does not bode well for the taxpayers wallet.
What is the difference between a man and a government bond? Bonds mature.
And that, my friends, is my view.