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The following article The Act Of Being Politically Correct Has Gone From The Sublime To The Ridiculous was authored by David G. Hallstrom, Sr. and was taken from http://www.resourcesforattorneys.com/politicallycorrectarticle.html

The Act Of Being Politically Correct Has Gone From The Sublime To The Ridiculous

By: David G. Hallstrom, Sr.

Please note: This article is not about being civil, having manners or being kind to others. This article is about taking things too far. There are thousands of examples that could have been used about political correctness being misused. Some of you may not agree with the examples I have used and others may know of much better examples, but in the end it all ends up being the same thing, extremism.

There was a time that being politically correct meant speaking and acting in a considerate manner to others. Now it means speaking and acting in a manner acceptable to the Hollywood and politically elite who have appointed themselves as the arbitrators of what is proper and what is not proper.

For instance Christmas is a legal holiday and was made a legal holiday in order to celebrate the birth of Christ. It is now, however, politically incorrect to say Merry Christmas because you might insult non Christians and atheists. We are told that the correct greeting is now Happy Holidays. Department and other stores that make most of their money selling Christmas gifts now advertise Holiday gifts, wish us Happy Holidays and play Holiday music that does not mention Christmas, Christ or God. God forbid they should insult anyone and lose a sale. It doesn’t matter that they are insulting Christians, because Christians, by nature of their beliefs, are forgiving. Teachers are teaching young students to say Happy Holidays because many teachers now believe that it is politically incorrect to bring religion into school and that it is okay to deny God but it is not okay to irritate atheists. If I were Jewish I would want to say Happy Hanukkah, not Happy Holidays. If I celebrated Kwanzaa I would want to say Happy Kwanzaa not Happy Holidays. Why can’t I say what I want without getting into trouble?

A janitor is now a custodial engineer and a garbage hauler is now a sanitation engineer even though neither has an engineering degree. An American Indian is now called a Native American. A person who is deaf is now hearing impaired. A blind person is now visually impaired. A handicapped person is now physically impaired. A pet is now called an animal friend. A person who is slow to learn is now mentally challenged. Orientals are now Asians. Anno Domini (AD) is now Common Era (CE) in many schools. A prison is now a House Of Corrections. An illegal alien is now an undocumented immigrant or an undocumented worker. Terrorists are now called insurgents even though the definition of an insurgent is a rebel and a rebel does not usually kill innocent people. Punks and delinquents are now called environmentally challenged youths. People are no longer laid off, they are now downsized. Merry Christmas is now Happy Holidays. Happy Thanksgiving is now Happy Turkey Day (don’t laugh I received several Happy Turkey Day cards from young nieces and nephews last Thanksgiving, all written in school.). Even Valentine’s day is now being called Friends Day in some elementary schools. I’m not saying that all of the foregoing descriptions are bad and I have nothing against others using them but I don’t like being told that I can’t decided for myself which description to use and I don’t like it when my wife and I give our Grandson a Valentine card and he advises me that his teacher says that it should be a Friend’s Day card because St. Valentine is a religious symbol and saying Valentine’s Day can be insulting to other people.

Don’t say “under God” when saying the Pledge of Allegiance, because you might make an Atheist uncomfortable and then the Atheist might sue. I don’t care if Atheists leave under God out why should they care if I leave it in?

It’s funny when Whoopi Goldberg, Barbra Streisand, Jay Leno, David Letterman and others insult President Bush and call him stupid, but it’s not funny if you make fun of Whoopi Goldberg. The fact that President Bush is the elected leader of this country and that when they insult him they are insulting the Office Of The President and thereby insulting this country, doesn’t seem to matter. The fact that their insults are read and heard by people in other countries who use the insults as fodder to justify their dislike of us, doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that they don’t like President Bush and they hope that if they insult him enough, people will start believing that the insults are true facts and not just jokes. I know that many of you will disagree with me on this one but I have never made fun of or insulted a sitting President. I may have thought certain things but I have never said them out loud to others. There are far better ways to get a point across that the use of insults. The point I am trying to make is that it is now politically correct to insult and make fun of our President, whomever he or she may be.

Drug addicts are victims not criminals, even though they broke the law by using illegal drugs and even though they are aiding drug pushers by giving them money, because many of the Elite also use illegal drugs and they don’t consider themselves to be criminals.

Don’t call God a him, because certain women will be angered. The fact that no one has ever actually seen God and the fact that no one really knows if God is a he, she or it, doesn’t matter. The fact that Christ is alleged to have said that God was his Father, doesn’t matter. All that matters is that certain celebrities and activists don’t like to hear God called a he and since they don’t like it they feel insulted.

It’s not only okay, it’s comical, to lump all Priests together and label them pedophiles like Jay Leno does, but don’t you dare say a teacher might be incompetent. If you do, a teacher’s union will jump down your throat. It doesn’t matter that the vast majority of Priests are kind, caring and honorable men or that a large percentage of teachers can’t teach their way out of a paper bag. All that matters is that Priests won’t fight back so it’s okay to lump the good ones with the bad ones and make fun of them.

We are no longer Americans, we are now African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Asian-Americans, Italian-Americans and a whole bunch of other -Americans. How can we hope to remain ‘one country, under god or not under god, indivisible’ if we are already dividing ourselves by ethnicity and prior nationality. I am solely an American. My ethnicity or the nationality of my ancestors does not affect my being an American. I can be proud of my ancestry without hyphenating my Americanism. My wife was born and raised in Mexico. She says that she is an American of Mexican descent. She is proud of her Mexican heritage but since she is now an American citizen she answers to American or American of Mexican decent not Mexican-American. And what is with this African-American bit. According to most biblical scholars and most scientists, the human race started out in Africa. If that’s true, then all of us are descended from people who lived in Africa and all of us could be called African-American. Additionally, what do you call a person, of African descent, who lives permanently in this country but is a French citizen and not a citizen of this country. You can’t call him an African-American as he is not an American. Do you call him an African-Frenchman or do you call him an African-Frenchmen who resides in America? You can’t call him a Black because no one is actually black. What if he is dark brown or light brown, do you call him a Brown. I am called white but in actuality no one is white and some so called whites are darker than some so called blacks. Why do we need to use color or ethnicity in order to tag people. I can see using complexion, ie: pale, dark brown, olive, etc. as a person’s description, but I can’t see using it as part of their identity.

Political correctness is fine to a point, but like anything else, take it too far and it becomes ridiculous. We have taken it too far and it is now ridiculous. Stop listening to the Hollywood elite and start thinking for yourself. Don’t be stupid. Oh; I apologize, should I have said don’t be mentally impaired? Be kind, be polite and have empathy for others. Don’t, however, let others tell you what to think and say.

About The Author

David G. Hallstrom, Sr. is a retired private investigator and currently publishes several internet directories including http://www.resourcesforattorneys.com a legal and lifestyle resources directory for attorneys, lawyers and the internet public. For more lifestyle information see http://lifestyle.resourcesforattorneys.com, the Lifestyle directory from Resources For Attorneys.

This article was posted on December 8, 2005

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Obama has said, proudly and often, “I am going to give health insurance to 47 million Americans who are now without coverage.” Are 47 million “Americans” without coverage? The 47 million statistic includes illegal immigrants, who virtually all lack insurance. In fact, about one in four of those lacking insurance is here illegally.

About 15 million of the remaining uninsured are eligible for Medicaid but haven’t signed up. There may be a number of reasons for this, e.g. fear of the doctor, uninformed of eligibility, not sick enough to go to the doctor. If and when they choose, they can enroll in Medicaid and taxpaying Americans will pick up the full tab for their health care.

What about the rest of the uninsured pool? Almost all the children in this group are eligible for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. Some aren’t enrolled because the parents haven’t bothered, but most are eligible. That leaves about 20 million uninsured adults who are US citizens or legal immigrants. Of these 7.3 million come from families with incomes of $75,000 or more, and an additional 6.9 million earn between $50,000 and $75,000, according to 2006 census estimates. A recent analysis by the New America Foundation, a Washington policy group, found that 16 percent of the patients who received uncompensated medical care in 2004 had family incomes of at least four times the federal poverty level (which means they currently earn about $41,600 for an individual and $84,800 for a family of four).

Judging from the numbers alone, it would seem that there are far better ways to handle the medical needs of the uninsured than to turn our entire health-care system upside down.

Free Health care for illegal immigrants might be the biggest unmet medical need in our nation, and Obama’s program targets it squarely. But do we really want to give them federally paid coverage equal to what US senators get, as Obama proposes? Illegal immigrants now get free emergency-room treatment for life-threatening and other conditions, as any other American who’s entered an ER in an area with lots of illegal’s recently well knows. (Three-quarters of the illegal-immigrant population is concentrated in five states: California, New York, Florida, Texas and Illinois.)

Covering illegal immigrants adds dramatically to the cost of any health care program. Under Obama’s plan they’d be eligible for the entire range of medical services, all free of charge. Undoubtedly, this would encourage more folks to enter the United States of America illegally.

Furthermore, Obama’s plan will likely have a horrific effect on some local health-care systems. An influx of millions of the currently uninsured would likely cause severe rationing of needed medical services. And puts bureaucrats in charge of deciding who gets to see an oncologist, who can have an MRI – and even who can have bypass surgery and who’d die for lack of it.

These decisions would be made not on the basis of legal status but on the brutal facts of triage: Treat the 19-year-old illegal with his whole life to live before you spend scarce resources on an overweight, diabetic, 50-year-old citizen with high blood pressure, who works hard and paid taxes his whole life.

John McCain hasn’t raised this issue, perhaps for fear of offending the Latino vote. This is a tactical mistake: polling suggests the case against rationing of health care would be as persuasive to Hispanic-American citizens as it is all American citizens. Nobody wants to die waiting in line – especially not behind someone who snuck in ahead of us.

History has shown that socialism has been mortally discredited on economic grounds, this has been apparent in the economies of every socialist country in the world. The recent downturn of the American economy and the subsequent resulting downturn of the world markets show that their socialist economies rely on American capitalism. But for many people and as poll numbers show this has not been discredited on moral grounds. It is ironic how often people say, while socialism doesn’t work in practice it is good in theory.

How is this possible? If something is disproven in practice how can it make a good theory? This is akin to a scientific hypothesis failing repeated experimentation and people still wanting to test it. One would think that a system which needed secret police and censorship of press would be morally disqualified.

People regret that socialism doesn’t work because deep down they believe in fairy tales. They want a utopian dream, where people are truly altruistic. The regret about socialism turns out to be regret about human nature.

Originally socialism promised a superabundance of goods — so much of everything that no one would have to do without anything. Sharing would be unnecessary because scarcity would be abolished. Wasn’t that an appeal to acquisitiveness, even gluttony?

Socialism of course did promise to reconstruct humanity, but the message was always mixed. It promised to subordinate the individual to society while liberating him to be fully himself — free of the necessity to make a living. Leon Trotsky wrote that “Communist man . . . will become immeasurably stronger, wiser and subtler; his body will become more harmonized, his movements more rhythmic, his voice more musical. The forms of life will become dynamically dramatic. The average human type will rise to the heights of an Aristotle, a Goethe, or a Marx.” But the nice Bolshevik also said, “In a country where the sole employer is the State, opposition means death by slow starvation. The old principle: who does not work shall not eat, has been replaced by a new one: who does not obey shall not eat.”

Was the new Socialist Man to be a self-centered achiever or group-centered worker bee? It was never clear how both could be accomplished.

Maybe people when they lament socialism’s impracticality, is because they held out hope for an end to material inequality. I think that people long for fairy tales and children’s stories. Where Robin Hood steals from the evil rich and gives to the good poor, where Scrooge has a life changing experience and gives away the money he’s viciously hoarded. In reality, if the scrooges of the world gave away all their money, the next thing they’d do is fire all their employees, because they wouldn’t be able to pay them.

The ugliness of socialist theory now comes into focus. Under individualist and capitalist theory (and practice) each person is free to determine his own needs and, through the division of labor and voluntary exchange, to produce what’s required to satisfy them. Under socialist theory the individual’s needs are determined and satisfied collectively. Dissent and venturing out on one’s own are not options. As Trotsky acknowledged, everyone is an employee and tenant of the collective — that is, the state.

It’s a mystery why anyone would find that theory beautiful or regret that it doesn’t work in practice.

The 2008 Presidential election is approaching fast. This year’s theme seems to be about change; Americans want change. Before you vote, please look at Barack Obama’s Blueprint for America at www.barackobama.com. It’s a 60 page pdf full of his proposed change for America. After you read it, please contrast it with this definition of Socialism below.

“Socialism is defined as following Lord Keynsian economic ideas whereupon government operates and runs the important means of production such as health care, banks, utilities, transportation, and other social services that are important to the country. The European community, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore and many other countries have a socialist parliament government without campaign financing by special interest who buy the govt. and the party delegates. This is socialism and practiced in Canada our closest neighbor. Free enterprise exists but not in an industry which is vital to the country. Social welfare and employees benefits are generous in providing the consumer with money and jobs to stimulate the economy by spending and circulating the money to the retailers to stay in business by having consumer spending and working.” Source, Socialist National Committee, Socialist Party USA Campaign Clearinghouse.

In my opinion if you look at Barack Obama’s Blueprint for America it isn’t clear that he isn’t running for the Socialist Party. He espouses every one of the ideas listed above. If you know economics, Keynesians believe that fiscal policy should be directed towards the lower-income segment of the population, because that segment is more likely to spend the money, contributing to demand, than to save it. In my opinion this promotes financial irresponsibility, which I believe is the cause of the mortgage meltdown which has had such devastating effects on the economy.

Now, most of you reading this will think I am a crazy, ignorant, ultra-right fool who thinks all democrats are socialists. I have alienated many a friend this year with my seemingly unpopular belief that life isn’t meant to be fair. That it isn’t the government’s responsibility to make sure everyone succeeds. That health and wealth is a personal responsibility not a national responsibility. That no matter how much we try to get the government to intercede there will always be homeless, hungry, people who live in poverty. Foremost, I believe people and companies should be allowed to fail.

Norman Mattoon Thomas, six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America said “The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism, but under the name of liberalism, they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day America will be a socialist nation without ever knowing how it happened.”

If you love freedom in this country as I do, please think about whom you’re going to vote for. Please do not vote based on the last president’s administration or policies. Please don’t vote based on the performance of the democrats under the Clinton years. I would point out, that for every Clinton there is a Carter, and for every George W. Bush there is a Reagan. Perceived success can come from presidents under any political party. Please evaluate the choices you have and decide who is best not just for your personal situation today, but for the future of the country we love.

 

A lot of people when countering Christianity and politics say that the founding fathers were “deists”. They go on to use this notion when they argue to eliminate Christian principals from law, or to claim that new laws based on Christian principals are unconstitutional in spirit with the beliefs of the founding fathers.

Let’s examine whether the “Founding Fathers” were not Christians after all. I will use their own words as evidence.

John Adams certainly spoke harshly of anti-Christian propaganda. He said, “The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue equity and humanity…”  Adams defended the Bible as the basis for government in a Christian nation, he said “Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God…. What a Utopia, what a Paradise would this region be.”

On October 11th, 1798 he also said “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Benjamin Franklin proposed a Day of Fasting in Pennsylvania, which a true separationist would never do. He proclaimed:

“It is the duty of mankind on all suitable occasions to acknowledge their dependence on the Divine Being. . . .”

and he prayed that

“Almighty God would mercifully interpose and still the rage of war among the nations and would put a stop to the effusion of Christian blood . . . [that] He would take this province under His protection, confound the designs and defeat the attempts of its enemies, and unite our hearts and strengthen our hands in every undertaking that may be for the public good, and for our defense and security in this time of danger”

The public nature of Franklin’s prayer runs counter to the ACLU’s version of “separation of church and state,” and no Deist believes that God “interposes” and “confounds” and “defeats” any human undertaking. This is not the act of a Deist (as the word is popularly understood).

In 1749, he wrote:

“History will also afford frequent opportunities of showing the necessity of a public religion. . . and the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern.”

Franklin’s words, directed to George Washington as recorded by James Madison during the Constitutional Convention of 1787,

“We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, since we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of government, and examined the different forms of those republics which, having been formed with seeds of their own dissolution, now no longer exists. And we have viewed modern states all round Europe, but find none of their constitutions suitable to our circumstances. In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights, to illuminate our understandings—In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor. To that kind Providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that “except the Lord build the House they labour in vain those that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded; and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter, from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing governments by human wisdom, and leave it to chance, war and conquest.

I therefore beg leave to move—that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service.”

Are these the words of a “Deist”? Certainly not as the word is used today. Note the “Father of Lights” reference is to James 1:17, which states “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” NKJV Also to note are references, to Psalm 127:1 “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain”, and Babel in Genesis 11:4.

Samuel Adams said in a speech delivered at the State House in Philadelphia, “He who made all men hath made the truths necessary to human happiness obvious to all… Our forefathers opened the Bible to all.”

And in October of 1790, “Let divines and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, unite their endeavors to renovate the age by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating their little boys and girls, inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity… and leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system.”

John Quincy Adams said during the Forth of July speech at Newburyport, Ma, 1837 “Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day [the Fourth of July]?” “Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity”?

Alexander Hamilton, said that there were two things that made America great.

“The Christian Constitutional Society, its object is first: The support of the Christian religion. Second: The support of the United States.”

On July 12, 1804 at his death, Hamilton said, “I have a tender reliance on the mercy of the Almighty, through the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am a sinner. I look to Him for mercy; pray for me.”

“For my own part, I sincerely esteem it [the Constitution] a system which without the finger of God, never could have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interests.” [1787 after the Constitutional Convention]

“I have carefully examined the evidences of the Christian religion, and if I was sitting as a juror upon its authenticity I would unhesitatingly give my verdict in its favor. I can prove its truth as clearly as any proposition ever submitted to the mind of man.”

John Hancock said on April 15th, 1775, “In circumstances as dark as these, it becomes us, as Men and Christians, to reflect that whilst every prudent measure should be taken to ward off the impending judgments, …at the same time all confidence must be withheld from the means we use; and reposed only on that God rules in the armies of Heaven, and without His whole blessing, the best human counsels are but foolishness… Resolved; …Thursday the 11th of May…to humble themselves before God under the heavy judgments felt and feared, to confess the sins that have deserved them, to implore the Forgiveness of all our transgressions, and a spirit of repentance and reformation …and a Blessing on the … Union of the American Colonies in Defense of their Rights [for which hitherto we desire to thank Almighty God]…That the people of Great Britain and their rulers may have their eyes opened to discern the things that shall make for the peace of the nation…for the redress of America’s many grievances, the restoration of all her invaded liberties, and their security to the latest generations.”

Patrick Henry, “Orator of the Revolution” said in a speech to the House of Burgesses in May 1765, “It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason, peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”

John Jay, said ” Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” Source: October 12, 1816. The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, Henry P. Johnston, ed., (New York: Burt Franklin, 1970), Vol. IV, p. 393.

“Whether our religion permits Christians to vote for infidel rulers is a question which merits more consideration than it seems yet to have generally received either from the clergy or the laity. It appears to me that what the prophet said to Jehoshaphat about his attachment to Ahab [“Shouldest thou help the ungodly and love them that hate the Lord?” 2 Chronicles 19:2] affords a salutary lesson.” [The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, 1794-1826, Henry P. Johnston, editor (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1893), Vol. IV, p.365]

Thomas Jefferson, said ” The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend to all the happiness of man.”

“Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern which have come under my observation, none appears to me so pure as that of Jesus.”

“I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus.”

“God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever.” (excerpts are inscribed on the walls of the Jefferson Memorial in the nation’s capital) [Source: Merrill . D. Peterson, ed., Jefferson Writings, (New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1984), Vol. IV, p. 289. From Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVIII, 1781.]

James Madison, said “We’ve staked our future on our ability to follow the Ten Commandments with all of our heart.”

“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We’ve staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity…to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” [1778 to the General Assembly of the State of Virginia]

Thomas Paine, who wrote the “Age of Reason” attacking Christianity and religion in general, was still a believer in both God and Heaven.

“I believe in one God . . . and I hope for happiness beyond this life.” (Age of Reason)

” It has been the error of the schools to teach astronomy, and all the other sciences, and subjects of natural philosophy, as accomplishments only; whereas they should be taught theologically, or with reference to the Being who is the author of them: for all the principles of science are of divine origin. Man cannot make, or invent, or contrive principles: he can only discover them; and he ought to look through the discovery to the Author.”

“The evil that has resulted from the error of the schools, in teaching natural philosophy as an accomplishment only, has been that of generating in the pupils a species of atheism. Instead of looking through the works of creation to the Creator himself, they stop short, and employ the knowledge they acquire to create doubts of his existence. They labour with studied ingenuity to ascribe every thing they behold to innate properties of matter, and jump over all the rest by saying, that matter is eternal.” “The Existence of God–1810”

 

Myth #1 Rich people don’t pay taxes

Often I’ve heard someone ignorant say “rich people don’t pay taxes.” I guess the question is what defines “rich” and what taxes are you talking about? If you’re talking about adgusted gross income and federal income taxes, then it shows how ignorant that statement really is.

The top 50%    earns    $29,019(avg)   and pays           96.54% of the Income Tax total

 The top 25%    earns    $57,343(avg)   and pays           83.88% of the Income Tax total

 The top 10%    earns    $94,891(avg)   and pays           65.84% of the Income Tax total

 The top  5%     earns    $130,080(avg) and pays           54.36% of the Income Tax total

 The top  1%     earns    $295,495(avg) and pays           34.27% of the Income Tax total

 

The Bottom 40% of American earnings $36,300 typically paid no income tax and received money back from the Government.  Compare that with the top 50% of Americans who pay 96.54% of all Income Tax.

Myth #2 The Mega Rich pay less taxes

Now let’s look at the mega rich… Do they pay their fair share? Warren Buffet for example, is taxed at a lower rate than most people. Most of Buffett’s income is derived from dividends and capital gains, which are taxed at only a 15% Federal rate, as opposed to a Federal rate more than twice that for ordinary income, bonuses, etc. What did he pay in taxes? In 2003 his company Berkshire Hathaway paid $3.3 billion in tax or about 2.5% of all the taxes paid by all U.S. corporations in 2003. What about personally? In 2006 he paid 17.7 percent of 46 million dollars or about $8,142,000. Now before, we say, that’s not fair. He paid so little percentage wise, only 17.7%. His secretary paid 32% of her money in tax. We’ll I paid 30% as well, and it was still more than $8.1 million less than Mr. Buffet. Why is this important? Does Warren Buffet benefit more for the taxes he pays to Medicare/Medicaid, Social Security, Welfare, etc. than the average person? I can bet that the 40% of the of the population that pay no taxes benefit more for the taxes Mr. Buffet paid.

Myth #3 The Military is bankrupting the country

Let’s look at a breakdown of how the Federal government spends our tax dollars.

 

Even though these are 2008 numbers, they might not actually reflect the real cost of defense, i.e. some of these costs may be hidden. But still, even going as high as anti-war liberal estimates of 36%, the “socialist” spending is out of control. Medicare, Medicaid, Social security account for 53% of the tax budget, and this is rising due to the aging population and immigration.

Total Government spending, Federal, State and Local:

Here’s another view, considering all levels of government, federal, state, and local spent $4.1 trillion in 2007.

About 66% went to the federal government, and the remaining third going to state/local.

The largest chuck of tax dollars, 22% goes toward income security such as Social Security, welfare, disability payments, and unemployment insurance.

The next 20% goes for health care including Medicare and Medicaid.

That’s right 42% is entitlement programs. So the bottom 50% pay little or no taxes, but 42% of the actual tax payer’s money goes to entitlement programs that don’t really benefit the 50% on top.

Public safety, which includes the Military and Police, Fire Fighters, Prisons, and the court system make up 20%.

Education including primary, secondary, colleges, libraries account for 16%.

The cost of managing all levels of government takes up another 14 % of tax dollars, with the largest portion (63 percent) being the interest paid on borrowing. Other government costs include salaries, expenses, and the cost of actually collecting taxes. Can you say government / bureaucratic waste?

That leaves just 8% of taxes that goes to pay for roads, agriculture, airports, air and water quality, the space program, and recreation.

 

 

I ran across this interesting tibit by John Gibson and found it interesting.

“Lehman Brothers collapse is traced back to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two big mortgage banks that got a federal bailout a few weeks ago.  Freddie and Fannie used huge lobbying budgets and political contributions to keep regulators off their backs.  A group called the Center for Responsive Politics keeps track of which politicians get Fannie and Freddie political contributions. The top three U.S. senators getting big Fannie and Freddie political bucks were Democrats and No. 2 is Sen. Barack Obama.  Now remember, he’s only been in the Senate four years, but he still managed to grab the No. 2 spot ahead of John Kerry — decades in the Senate — and Chris Dodd, who is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.  Fannie and Freddie have been creations of the congressional Democrats and the Clinton White House, designed to make mortgages available to more people and, as it turns out, some people who couldn’t afford them.  Fannie and Freddie have also been places for big Washington Democrats to go to work in the semi-private sector and pocket millions. The Clinton administration’s White House Budget Director Franklin Raines ran Fannie and collected $50 million. Jamie Gorelick — Clinton Justice Department official — worked for Fannie and took home $26 million. Big Democrat Jim Johnson, recently on Obama’s VP search committee, has hauled in millions from his Fannie Mae CEO job.  Now remember: Obama’s ads and stump speeches attack McCain and Republican policies for the current financial turmoil. It is demonstrably not Republican policy and worse, it appears the man attacking McCain — Sen. Obama — was at the head of the line when the piggies lined up at the Fannie and Freddie trough for campaign bucks.  Sen. Barack Obama: No. 2 on the Fannie/Freddie list of favored politicians after just four short years in the Senate.  Next time you see that ad, you might notice he fails to mention that part of the Fannie and Freddie problem.”

Combine this with the real problem.

Democratic opposition of the Bush Plan to regulate Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in Sept of 2003.  That’s right five years ago Bush proposed a plan for oversight over these two giants, before the mortgage crisis.  Here’s the New York Times article below.


September 11, 2003

New Agency Proposed to Oversee Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae

The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.

Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, 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 the authority, which now rests with Congress, to set one of the two capital-reserve requirements for the companies. It would exercise authority over any new lines of business. And it would determine whether the two are adequately managing the risks of their ballooning portfolios.

The plan is an acknowledgment by the administration that oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — which together have issued more than $1.5 trillion in outstanding debt — is broken. A report by outside investigators in July concluded that Freddie Mac manipulated its accounting to mislead investors, and critics have said Fannie Mae does not adequately hedge against rising interest rates.

”There is a general recognition that the supervisory system for housing-related government-sponsored enterprises neither has the tools, nor the stature, to deal effectively with the current size, complexity and importance of these enterprises,” Treasury Secretary John W. Snow told the House Financial Services Committee in an appearance with Housing Secretary Mel Martinez, who also backed the plan.

Mr. Snow said that Congress should eliminate the power of the president to appoint directors to the companies, a sign that the administration is less concerned about the perks of patronage than it is about the potential political problems associated with any new difficulties arising at the companies.

The administration’s proposal, which was endorsed in large part today by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, would not repeal the significant government subsidies granted to the two companies. And it does not alter the implicit guarantee that Washington will bail the companies out if they run into financial difficulty; that perception enables them to issue debt at significantly lower rates than their competitors. Nor would it remove the companies’ exemptions from taxes and antifraud provisions of federal securities laws.

The proposal is the opening act in one of the biggest and most significant lobbying battles of the Congressional session.

After the hearing, Representative Michael G. Oxley, chairman of the Financial Services Committee, and Senator Richard Shelby, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, announced their intention to draft legislation based on the administration’s proposal. Industry executives said Congress could complete action on legislation before leaving for recess in the fall.

”The current regulator does not have the tools, or the mandate, to adequately regulate these enterprises,” Mr. Oxley said at the hearing. ”We have seen in recent months that mismanagement and questionable accounting practices went largely unnoticed by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight,” the independent agency that now regulates the companies.

”These irregularities, which have been going on for several years, should have been detected earlier by the regulator,” he added.

The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, which is part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, was created by Congress in 1992 after the bailout of the savings and loan industry and concerns about regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which buy mortgages from lenders and repackage them as securities or hold them in their own portfolios.

At the time, the companies and their allies beat back efforts for tougher oversight by the Treasury Department, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the Federal Reserve. Supporters of the companies said efforts to regulate the lenders tightly under those agencies might diminish their ability to finance loans for lower-income families. This year, however, the chances of passing legislation to tighten the oversight are better than in the past.

Reflecting the changing political climate, both Fannie Mae and its leading rivals applauded the administration’s package. The support from Fannie Mae came after a round of discussions between it and the administration and assurances from the Treasury that it would not seek to change the company’s mission.

After those assurances, Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae’s chief executive, endorsed the shift of regulatory oversight to the Treasury Department, as well as other elements of the plan.

”We welcome the administration’s approach outlined today,” Mr. Raines said. The company opposes some smaller elements of the package, like one that eliminates the authority of the president to appoint 5 of the company’s 18 board members.

Company executives said that the company preferred having the president select some directors. The company is also likely to lobby against the efforts that give regulators too much authority to approve its products.

Freddie Mac, whose accounting is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and a United States attorney in Virginia, issued a statement calling the administration plan a ”responsible proposal.”

The stocks of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae fell while the prices of their bonds generally rose. Shares of Freddie Mac fell $2.04, or 3.7 percent, to $53.40, while Fannie Mae was down $1.62, or 2.4 percent, to $66.74. The price of a Fannie Mae bond due in March 2013 rose to 97.337 from 96.525.Its yield fell to 4.726 percent from 4.835 percent on Tuesday.

Fannie Mae, which was previously known as the Federal National Mortgage Association, and Freddie Mac, which was the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, have been criticized by rivals for exerting too much influence over their regulators.

”The regulator has not only been outmanned, it has been outlobbied,” said Representative Richard H. Baker, the Louisiana Republican who has proposed legislation similar to the administration proposal and who leads a subcommittee that oversees the companies. ”Being underfunded does not explain how a glowing report of Freddie’s operations was released only hours before the managerial upheaval that followed. This is not world-class regulatory work.”

Significant details must still be worked out before Congress can approve a bill. Among the groups denouncing the proposal today were the National Association of Home Builders and Congressional Democrats who fear that tighter regulation of the companies could sharply reduce their commitment to financing low-income and affordable housing.

”These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ”The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

Representative Melvin L. Watt, Democrat of North Carolina, agreed.

”I don’t see much other than a shell game going on here, moving something from one agency to another and in the process weakening the bargaining power of poorer families and their ability to get affordable housing,” Mr. Watt said.