In Favor of Mitt

I was speaking to my son recently. He’s a High School student and has been complaining to me regarding the ignorance of his classmates. Most of them are Obama supporters but have no idea, other than repeating clichéd sound bites, why they believe what they claim to believe.

He suggested I request of the school, to call an assembly, where I stand up on stage and allow the students to ask me questions, so that I may dispel many of their liberal myths.

I suggested that we not go that route, for now, and that I may do some short, write-ups regarding these liberal talking-points.

Mitt Romney wants to shut down Planned Parenthood

Let’s look at Planned Parenthood. About one-third of Planned Parenthood’s funding comes from Taxpayer dollars. Even those taxpayers who don’t happen to want to pay for other people’s abortions are forced to contribute.

Mitt wants to stop providing taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood. They are a private company, kind of. He can’t and wouldn’t shut them down. If they can survive without government funds, like every other company, let them .

Well, what about women’s health issues? Mitt Romney doesn’t care about women. What about the cancer screenings and mammograms Planned Parenthood does? He will shut them down.

Well, Planned Parenthood does NOT do mammograms. They never did. They don’t have the equipment, training or licensing.

Well, what about cancer screenings? Romney wants to defund those.

What cancer screenings? The cancer screenings they speak of are for breast cancer only and they are only licensed and allowed to perform Level 1 screenings, which is the exact method used by women when they self-examine at home.

Planned Parenthood is an abortion clinic, pure and simple.

The creator and founder of Planned Parenthood was a woman named Margaret Sanger. What a wonderful woman she was, unless you were black.

She was a flaming racist and a Eugenist who wanted to start Planned Parenthood to kill off the black babies. She even spoke at Ku Klux Klan rallies. What a wonderful person and a great organization.

Mitt wants to Shut Down Public Television & Kill Big Bird 

PBS, the Public Broadcasting System, receives about 17% of its funds from the government. Actually the government doesn’t actually give them anything; you and I do, whether we want to or not.

Since Big Bird seems to be the headliner of this topic, let’s talk about Sesame Street.

Sesame Street cost about $17 million to produce a year.

Now let’s look at how much they make.  Make money? I thought they were PBS, a non-profit organization? Think again.

Marketing rights, you know, toys, games, etc., bring in about $1.3 billion a year for just Sesame Street and Barney alone and another $47 million in other licensing for Sesame Street.

So Sesame Street makes a boat-load of cash.

Those on the left are always saying they are for fairness, correct? Like Obama says, they just want to level the playing field.

Well, let’s think about this. How fair is it for one TV network to receive government money and the others not? Shouldn’t we then give an equal amount to Fox News? Would that not be fair?

Here’s another idea. It’s called “Revenue Sharing”. It works great in the NFL. Instead of taking our (taxpayer) money, why doesn’t Sesame Street level the playing field and give the extra money to the less fortunate programs that are struggling.

Mitt is going take money from the Middle Class to pay for his “Tax Cuts for the Rich”

First off, Mitt doesn’t wish to give the rich an additional income tax cut. He merely wishes to leave all the tax rates the same as they’ve been for more than a decade.

He does, however, wish to cut or eliminate some taxes. The estate tax for instance, or more aptly named, the death tax. You work your whole life, save your money, so that when you die you may pass that on to your loved ones, but the government swoops in and takes half. What did they do for that money? You already paid a ton of taxes on that money. How much do they think they deserve?

He wants to lower taxes on investments and capital gains.

Let me see a show of hands of everyone who works for, or who has been hired by a poor person. I thought not.

Here’s how it works. Companies and individuals make money. They don’t just hide the money in a mattress. They invest it and grow their businesses. As the business grows they must hire more people. If that money is being taken away by taxation, they can’t grow and thus they can’t hire.

Well, Mitt still can’t pay for all his tax cuts, right?

This is an assumption of a “Zero Sum Game”, as it were. “Zero Sum” just means for anything I receive, I must take it from you. The pot never gets larger.

Socialism is “Zero Sum”; capitalism is not.

Government gets it’s money by collecting taxes. If you lower tax rates and eliminate some taxes, the government will actually end up with more money. HUH?

Okay, the government lowers tax rates and get’s rid of some others. That leaves people with a lot more money. They can now invest more in their businesses, hiring more people. Every person they hire is a taxpayer. The more taxpayers you have, the more taxes are collected, the more money coming in. The pot just got a lot larger.

Taxing Ammo

Chicago Figures Out Cause of Homicides: Untaxed Bullets


Chicago residents worried about the city’s soaring homicide rate can rest easy. After painstaking consideration during what was no doubt many rounds of double martinis, officials are at last ready with an answer.

Just tax bullets, says Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. She has announced she will submit a budget proposal next week that would slap a nickel tax on each bullet sold and $25 per firearm.

Chicago’s crime families immediately went into conference to examine the results of Preckwinkle’s proposal on their budgets and announced they would have to cut back gun murders by at least 15 percent and shift some more business into the concrete galoshes department to compensate.

Clearly, officials have the bad guys on the run.

I have a theory that most liberal grownups were once those children who somehow always lost when playing cops and robbers:

Future conservative: “Bang! Bang! You’re dead!”

Future liberal: “Am not!”

F.C.: “Are too!”

F.L.: “Darn! One day, I will get even! I’ll ban your guns!”

F.C.: “Bang! Bang! You’re double dead!

So far this year, Chicago has racked up 409 homicides compared with 324 during the same period in 2011.

Officials estimate the tax would bring in about $1 million to the cash-strapped city, but denied that the proposal was just about creating more revenue.

Richard Pearson, the executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, had to point out the obvious, that the tax wouldn’t do anything to address gang violence.

“If she wants to get to the people causing all the problems she ought to put a tax on street gangs,” he said. “All this is going to do is drive business out of Cook County, into other counties, Indiana and Wisconsin.”

But Pearson and other critics are looking at the situation without the benefit of the liberals’ world view, in which guns kill people and criminals are law abiding citizens.

If Chicago really wants to get tough with criminals, maybe officials should consider resorting to the ultimate crimefightiing tool: a rolled up newspaper and a stern “No!”

I’m sure that would work.

Beware the Fairness

from: Erick Erickson at Redstate

Congressional Republicans led by Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming have begun negotiating behind closed doors with liberals like Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois to raise Americans’ taxes. They introduced their internet tax as an amendment to a Senate small business bill, but that bill stalled. Now they are confident they can sneak the internet tax into a lame duck session of Congress, just in time for Christmas shopping.

The tax sounds innocuous enough. The tax is hiding under legislation called the Marketplace Fairness Act. The Act purportedly just harmonizes state laws so internet sales are also taxed. After all, it is not fair that Amazon does not charge all its customers sales taxes. It puts them at a competitive advantage over mom and pop shops.

Heck, I don’t shop online to avoid sales taxes. I do so for convenience and because I hate people and don’t want to interact with people in a store. (kind of kidding) I don’t really care if I have to pay sales taxes online. It just sounds so fair.

As we’ve learned from Barack Obama, beware politicians peddling fairness. Republicans doing this are about to open a pandoras box and, behind closed doors, they admit they know it. Are you ready for your downloads from iTunes to be taxed?

The nation has thus far successfully shielded the internet from Washington taxation and regulation for decades, and the Marketplace Fairness Act would break the floodgates open. Even more troubling, the Marketplace Fairness Act establishes a pretty solid precedent that the federal government can step in to regulate state tax policy. After all, this legislation attempts to exert federal regulatory power over state internet tax policy with state complicity.

Once Congress has opened the pandoras box of federally authorized internet sales taxes, it is only one step away from taxing internet downloads, not just goods purchased online.

But here’s the other troubling thing. The Marketplace Fairness Act, for the first time, establishes a national sales tax. It does so by hiding behind the states. They told us the individual mandate wasn’t a federal tax either.

Here’s the situation. As you may know, the Supreme Court has long held that a business has to have some physical nexus in a state to be subject to sales tax collections — an storefront, distribution center, etc. This is based on the fundamental principle of no taxation without representation.

States have tried to weasel their way around this, but each state taxes goods in different ways. Some taxes, for example, don’t tax baked goods, but do tax candies, even if made in a bakery. So your cake is not taxed, but if you buy fudge at the bakery it is. And it’s not just states, there are over 7,500 different local tax systems, many with special tax holidays or exemptions for different products. Trying to move these varied tax systems to the internet would drive up the burdens of businesses online by forcing compliance with the various taxing schemes of 50 states.

That actually puts a heavier burden on online vendors than brick & mortar local vendors, who only have to comply with the taxes of the state they reside in. Then there are the compliance costs. How does a candy company in Georgia that sells fudge to someone living in Iowa handle a tax dispute with Iowa tax authorities?

MFA would destroy the concept of states as laboratories of democracy that allow businesses to move between states based on better business environments. Today, a business located in New Hampshire charges no sales tax, but if MFA passes, overnight they could be forced to collect taxes for dozens of states with no escape.

Now, let me explain what is really going on here. States have grown huge and bureaucratic. Instead of downsizing and becoming more efficient, states have decided to just look for a new tax scheme to fund the leviathan. They see online sales as the way to go. iTunes downloads will be next. Congressional Republicans are helping.

But consider that there is a carve out for businesses that sell less than $500,000.00 a year online. As Senator Jim DeMint notes this is a pretty good admission that the law will be a burden on businesses.

Proponents of MFA also like to brag that Amazon now supports their internet tax bill after years of opposition. That’s true, but there is a simple reason why: Amazon’s future business model of same-day delivery requires them to have distribution centers in nearly every state in the nation. You see, MFA won’t affect Amazon, because like Target or Walmart expanding to every state, Amazon will be forced by current law to collect sales taxes. So of course Amazon now supports MFA, this is nothing more than a big corporation using Washington politicians to punish their competition, like the many small business sellers on Ebay.

Senator Enzi and the Republicans joining him should be ashamed that they are willing to open a new front in Congress’ quest to tax everything. The Marketplace Fairness Act should really be called the Marketplace Fleecing Act

Unlimited Power to Tax

A Short History of Congress’s Power to Tax

The Supreme Court has long distinguished the regulatory from the taxing power.


In 1935, Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins was fretting about finding a constitutional basis for the Social Security Act. Supreme Court Justice Harlan Fiske Stone advised her, “The taxing power, my dear, the taxing power. You can do anything under the taxing power.”

In his ObamaCare opinion, NFIB v. Sebelius, Chief Justice John Roberts gave Congress the same advice—just enact regulatory legislation and tack on a financial penalty, as in failure to comply with the individual insurance mandate. So how did the power to tax under the Constitution become unbounded?

The first enumerated power that the Constitution grants to Congress is the “power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.” The text indicates that the taxing power is not plenary (full & complete in every respect), but can be used only for defined ends and objects—since a comma, not a semicolon, separated the clauses on means (taxes) and ends (debts, defense, welfare)

Editorial board member Joe Rago on how Chief Justice John Roberts’s rewrite of ObamaCare weakens the Constitution’s federalist structure.

This punctuation was no small matter. In 1798, Pennsylvania Rep. Albert Gallatin said that fellow Pennsylvania Rep. Gouverneur Morris, chairman of the Committee on Style at the Constitutional Convention, had smuggled in the semicolon in order to make Congress’s taxing power limitless, but that the alert Roger Sherman had the comma restored. The altered punctuation, Gallatin said, would have turned “words [that] had originally been inserted in the Constitution as a limitation to the power of levying taxes” into “a distinct power.” Thirty years later, Virginia Rep. Mark Alexander accused Secretary of State John Quincy Adams of doing the same thing after Congress instructed the administration to print copies of the Constitution.

The punctuation debate simply reinforced James Madison’s point in Federalist No. 41 that Congress could tax and spend only for those objects enumerated, primarily in Article I, Section 8.

Congress enacted very few taxes up to the end of the Civil War, and none that was a pretext for regulating things that the Constitution gave it no power to regulate. True, the purpose of tariffs was to protect domestic industry from foreign competition, not raise revenue. But the Constitution grants Congress a plenary power to regulate commerce with other nations.

Congress also enacted a tax to destroy state bank notes in 1866, but this could be seen as a “necessary and proper” means to stop the states from usurping Congress’s monetary or currency power. It was upheld in Veazie Bank v. Fenno (1869).

The first unabashed use of the taxing power for regulatory purposes came when Congress enacted a tax on “oleomargarine” in 1886. Dairy farmers tried to drive this cheaper butter substitute from the market but could only get Congress to adopt a mild tax, based on the claim that margarine was often artificially colored and fraudulently sold as butter. President Grover Cleveland reluctantly signed the bill, saying that if he were convinced the revenue aspect was simply a pretext “to destroy . . . one industry of our people for the protection and benefit of another,” he would have vetoed it.

Congress imposed another tax on margarine in 1902, which the Supreme Court upheld (U.S. v. McCray, 1904). Three justices dissented, but without writing an opinion.

Then, in 1914, Congress imposed taxes on druggists’ sales of opiates as a way to regulate their use. Five years later, in U.S. v. Doremus , the Supreme Court upheld the levy under Congress’s express power to impose excise taxes.

Then, in 1922, the court rejected Congress’s attempt to prohibit child labor by imposing a tax on companies that employed children. An earlier attempt to accomplish this, by prohibiting the interstate shipment of goods made by child labor, was struck down as unconstitutional—since it was understood since the earliest days of the republic that Congress had the power to regulate commerce but not manufacturing. “A Court must be blind not to see that the so-called tax is imposed to stop the employment of children within the age limits prescribed,” Chief Justice William Howard Taft wrote in Bailey v. Drexel Furniture Co. “Its prohibitory and regulatory effect and purpose are palpable.” Even liberal justices Oliver Wendell Holmes and Louis D. Brandeis concurred in Taft’s opinion.

Things came to a head in the New Deal, when Congress imposed a tax on food and fiber processors and used those tax dollars to provide benefits to farmers. Though in U.S. v. Butler (1936) the court adopted a more expansive view of the taxing power—allowing Congress to tax and spend for the “general welfare” beyond the powers specifically enumerated in the Constitution—it still held the ends had to be “general” and not transfer payments from one group to another. After President Franklin D. Roosevelt threatened to “pack” the Supreme Court in 1937, it accepted such transfer payments in Mulford v. Smith (1939), so long as the taxes were paid into the general treasury and not earmarked for farmers.

And now, in 2012, Justice Roberts has confirmed that there are no limits to regulatory taxation as long as the revenue is deposited in the U.S. Treasury.

Are there any other limits? Article I, Section 2 says that “direct taxes shall be apportioned among the states” according to population. This is repeated in Article I, Section 9, which says that “no capitation, or other direct tax, shall be laid,” unless apportioned.

The Supreme Court struck down income taxes in 1895 (Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co.), on the ground that they were “direct” taxes but not apportioned by population. Apportioning an income tax would defeat the purpose of the relatively poorer Southern and Western states, who wanted the relatively richer states of the Northeast to pay the bulk of the tax. The 16th Amendment gave Congress the power to tax incomes without apportionment.

Other direct taxes should presumably have to be apportioned according to the Constitution. Justice Roberts quickly dismissed the notion that the individual mandate penalty-tax is not a direct tax “under this Court’s precedents.” To any sentient adult, it looks like a “capitation” or head tax, imposed upon individuals directly. Unfortunately, having plenty of other reasons to object to ObamaCare, the four dissenting justices in NFIB v. Sebelius did not explore this point.

Some conservatives have cheered that part of Justice Roberts’s decision that limits Congress’s Commerce Clause power. But an unlimited taxing power is equally dangerous to constitutional government.

Mr. Moreno is a professor of history at Hillsdale College and the author of “The American State from the Civil War to the New Deal,” forthcoming from Cambridge University Press.

How Far We’ve Fallen

by: the Common Constitutiionalist

Last month North Dakotans went to the polls. You know, the state with the lowest unemployment in America; the state that is quite literally Drilling its way to prosperity. That one.

Well, one of the bills that was voted on, was whether to amend the state constitution, abolishing the statewide property tax. Unfortunately, it was soundly defeated.

Why would one even propose such a thing, you ask? How could they possibly do without that revenue, you ask?

What about the teachers, the police and firefighters? Would they not all be laid off? That is what we hear, is it not?

Whenever anyone even suggests cutting the budget or lowering taxes (much less constitutionally negating one), do we not hear the wailing of discontent? Apparently the world as we know it will cease to exist.

Moving on. You see, North Dakota is awash in dirty oil cash. So much, I heard they are rolling it up and using it for kindling to light their fireplaces. Well that’s what I heard!

All right, that’s not exactly true., but they are in as good or better shape than any other state in the Union.

So if they have all this oil revenue coming in, why not abolish the property tax?

Do the citizens of North Dakota really like paying taxes or could it be people are afraid the oil might run out? Or maybe they’re afraid the feds will find a way to come in and shut them down. That’s probably more likely, but the fear mongering of elected officials & public employee unions have been very effective.

Typical Liberal Scare Tactics

The constant drumbeat of needing more funding by the public sector can and does cause voter paralysis.

Well, I know the oil won’t be running out for centuries. I recently published an article explaining how I know. Link here to read it. So that’s not it.

That leaves us with the ever intrusive federal government and the fear mongering of the public sector.

I have no doubt that in the backrooms of the Whitehouse and the EPA, they are developing strategies to kill the North Dakota oil industry.

Just look around. They’ve already banned drilling off virtually every American coast. The BP spill, which turned out not to be the catastrophe they predicted, pretty much cemented that.

The Feds are well on their way to regulating the coal industry out of existence and let’s not forget the full-scale assault on hydraulic fracking for natural gas. At least we still have windmills & algae. Hooray!

Then there’s the sainted public sector, complete with their rent-a-mob thugs that get bussed from state to state threatening & wreaking havoc upon any state that dares attempt to cut their budget or otherwise right their fiscal ship.

To date, there has been only one Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin, with the stones to stand up to the onslaught of leftist attacks. In my opinion, he may be the only true public servant in the country. By that I mean, he stood up for what he believed was right without regard for his job. He knew he could have lost it all, yet he persisted. That is the founders view of a public servant. 

I understand the public fear of the federal government, especially this one. If left unchecked, they will find a way to curtail North Dakotas oil production.

What I don’t understand is the overarching fear of the loss of excess tax revenue. The state has proven they don’t need the revenue yet the voters still rejected it by about a 3 to 1 margin. Do they not get that there is no such thing as excess revenue in government? If money is coming in, it will surely be spent, thereby, simply expanding the baseline of the state budget. If, in the future, there is a disruption in oil revenue, what happens? Taxes will then have to be raised even further to accomodate for that shortfall.

By rejecting the amendment, they have potentially made it worse for their state. Instead, they should have accepted the amendment, doing away with the property tax. If, for whatever reason, the oil revenue does evaporate, the state can always go back to the polls and reinstitute the tax.

The moral of this story is a sad one. If a state that can afford to, but won’t cut taxes, what chance do the rest of us have? How far have we fallen. Could we really not survive without government?

Maybe we really have become a cradle to grave Nanny State society.

Anyone Interested in the VMT?

by: Tim Brown & the Common Constitutionalist

It never ceases to amaze me how government can come up with new ways to milk people of their money, but find it impossible to cut their spending.

 Such is a new method that states are trying to come up with by tracking the mileage on your car and taxing it appropriately.

The new technology is already being explored by Minnesota and Oregon. The GPS-like box would be mounted inside a person’s vehicle and they can purchase “miles” ahead of time.

 “As the (national vehicle) fleet becomes more fuel efficient … we’re going to lose a lot of revenue from the gas tax. If it’s not replaced, we’re going to see our transportation infrastructure deteriorate,” says Joshua Schank, president of the Eno Center for Transportation in Washington, D.C.

He expects to see a state vehicle miles-traveled (VMT) tax within the next 5 to 10 years.

“We’re seeing a lot of interest in VMT as one of the potential solutions to transportation funding gaps that states are dealing with,” says Jaime Rall, senior policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Many say the greatest obstacle to a miles-traveled tax has been privacy concerns. When Oregon ran a pilot program six years ago, motorists’ major objection was to in-vehicle boxes used to track miles driven, said James Whitty of the Oregon Department of Transportation. “They didn’t like the government boxes. They didn’t like the GPS mandate,” he says.

Of those 2 words, GPS and mandate, my guess is they objected more to ‘mandate’.

So let’s see if I have this right. In most states, we purchase a vehicle and pay a tax to either the city or town & the state. Then we must register it; another tax. Then we buy gas for it and pay tax on the gas. We then pay a toll to drive on the road; that’s a tax. Now they’re going to tax us on the miles we drive due to diminished revenue because they have forced us into more economical cars with escalated fuel costs and bogus CAFE standards?

 Next, some state or federal bureaucrat will propose a new tax (actually more of a penalty) for non-mass transit users. An additional fee when you register your vehicle. By purchasing a car, it is assumed you will not be using mass transit. The intent of said bureaucrat is to nudge people toward the use of trains and buses.

 If the program has any success, the government will soon discover the revenue shortfall was caused by it’s own action & must then invent another tax or fee to subsidize that shortfall.

 This is what governments do. They constantly cause more problems than they ever solve.

Does Legal = Moral?

Immoral Beyond Redemption

by: Walter E. Williams:

Benjamin Franklin, statesman and signer of our Declaration of Independence, said: “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” John Adams, another signer, echoed a similar statement: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Are today’s Americans virtuous and moral, or have we become corrupt and vicious? Let’s think it through with a few questions.

 Suppose I saw an elderly woman painfully huddled on a heating grate in the dead of winter. She’s hungry and in need of shelter and medical attention. To help the woman, I walk up to you using intimidation and threats and demand that you give me $200. Having taken your money, I then purchase food, shelter and medical assistance for the woman. Would I be guilty of a crime? A moral person would answer in the affirmative. I’ve committed theft by taking the property of one person to give to another.

Most Americans would agree that it would be theft regardless of what I did with the money. Now comes the hard part. Would it still be theft if I were able to get three people to agree that I should take your money? What if I got 100 people to agree — 100,000 or 200 million people? What if instead of personally taking your money to assist the woman, I got together with other Americans and asked Congress to use Internal Revenue Service agents to take your money? In other words, does an act that’s clearly immoral and illegal when done privately become moral when it is done legally and collectively? Put another way, does legality establish morality? Before you answer, keep in mind that slavery was legal; apartheid was legal; the Nazi’s Nuremberg Laws were legal; and the Stalinist and Maoist purges were legal. Legality alone cannot be the guide for moral people. The moral question is whether it’s right to take what belongs to one person to give to another to whom it does not belong.

Don’t get me wrong. I personally believe that assisting one’s fellow man in need by reaching into one’s own pockets is praiseworthy and laudable. Doing the same by reaching into another’s pockets is despicable, dishonest and worthy of condemnation. Some people call governmental handouts charity, but charity and legalized theft are entirely two different things. But as far as charity is concerned, James Madison, the acknowledged father of our Constitution, said, “Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.” To my knowledge, the Constitution has not been amended to include charity as a legislative duty of Congress.

Our current economic crisis, as well as that of Europe, is a direct result of immoral conduct. Roughly two-thirds to three-quarters of our federal budget can be described as Congress’ taking the property of one American and giving it to another. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid account for nearly half of federal spending. Then there are corporate welfare and farm subsidies and thousands of other spending programs, such as food stamps, welfare and education. According to a 2009 Census Bureau report, nearly 139 million Americans — 46 percent — receive handouts from one or more federal programs, and nearly 50 percent have no federal income tax obligations.

In the face of our looming financial calamity, what are we debating about? It’s not about the reduction or elimination of the immoral conduct that’s delivered us to where we are. It’s about how we pay for it — namely, taxing the rich, not realizing that even if Congress imposed a 100 percent tax on earnings higher than $250,000 per year, it would keep the government running for only 141 days.

Ayn Rand, in her novel “Atlas Shrugged,” reminded us that “when you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good.”