Government Gone Wild: The Demise of Freedom in Our Education System
It's time to get scared- very scared. Big government has run wild- and is trampling the rights of the American people (and parents). If the following story doesn't scare you- you deserve Big Brother as your master. And it's only going to get worse. The morality police are turning our country into a Nanny State. These government bureaucrats (most of whom couldn't get hired in the private sector) actually believe they know better than you or me about how to live our lives, educate and raise our children, and let's not forget the biggest one of all- how to indoctrinate our children (a nice way of saying BRAINWASH our children). Big Brother wants to control what women do with their own bodies; determine what Americans can do in the privacy of our own bedrooms; tell all of us what we are allowed to do on our own computers (Internet freedom); how and when we die (the Terri Schiavo government intrusion); they want to re-create Prohibition (by banning online gaming and poker); arrest us for using medicinal marijuana with a doctor's prescription (even in a state like California where it has been legalized by the voters); tell us what we can put into our own bodies (ban smoking, Trans Fats and Foie Gras- even in privately owned restaurants); banish guns from our own private homes (in violation of the constitution); and force us to immunize our school-age children- by threatening to banish them from the classroom. The list of restrictions on our liberties goes on and on.
This weekend I heard about the most ominous government intrusion yet- in Prince George County, Maryland, where school officials playing Big Brother have ordered parents to vaccinate their school-aged children, or the parents will be IMPRISONED. Yes I said imprisoned. Let's pause for a second, take a deep breath, and reflect on the quagmire called the public school system. First of all, our public schools are failing miserably compared to any other industrialized country in the world. Children are dropping out of high school in record numbers; and even those that pass high school are often promoted only due to grade inflation. Drugs and violence are rampant within public schools. Cases of teachers molesting and sexually assaulting under-age children seem to be in the headlines on a daily basis. Our children are far behind in math and science versus high school graduates from other countries. Public teacher unions demand raises and increased spending as a reward for horrible performance- and refuse any form of accountability or pay based on merit. And worst of all, powerful teachers unions hold our children hostage by refusing to allow competition. They will not allow a level playing field- by refusing to allow vouchers or parental choice (so that parents in even the worst schools in the country are denied the opportunity to choose private school, religious school, or home-schooling).
It's amazing- it makes you want to either laugh or cry at how ridiculous (and sad) it all is. No matter how bad our public schools get, there are three things that teachers and teachers unions demand- higher pay, more (wasted) funding, and no parental access to competition. The worse our schools get, the more funding they demand. The more schools fail, the more obstinate unions get about denying access to competition. "Things are so bad we can't possibly allow competition" they whine in mock horror. Name another industry in America with this kind of loser's mentality? The worst record in American business history has to be the auto industry- and even they have accountability (top executives get fired all the time) and allow competition (Japanese automakers have been chipping away at our market share for decades). Can you imagine if we gave auto workers automatic jobs for life with unaffordable pensions and health benefits? Oh right- we did. That's why our auto industry is almost bankrupt and few of us buy American-made cars anymore. But we didn't shield them from competition, give rewards for bad performance, or try to force the poorest among us to buy only American or else. Wouldn't that be un-American? That's exactly what we've been doing for over a century with our American public school system.
We've been giving jobs for life to teachers who have failing grades; suspending kids for bringing aspirin or nail clippers to school (yet somehow those same kids have no problem sneaking drugs and guns into schools); banning dodge ball because someone's feelings might be hurt; banning kids from school for the crime of touching or hugging others (thereby violating a no-touch policy); and throwing more money (hundreds of millions) down the rat hole of failing public schools- with even worse results for every extra dollar spent. That's what happens when you award a public school monopoly. That's what happens when you allow unions to bribe liberal politicians (with massive union campaign contributions, and union employees masquerading as campaign workers). That's what happens when you give power to people that couldn't get a job in the private sector. Now we've gone a step further: we have empowered these power-hungry bureaucrats with the right to imprison parents who don't force their children to do as they say. No wonder so many of the kids who manage to graduate public schools are prepared only for a life as an order-taker at McDonalds. How can you ever become an executive, business owner, boss, or leader of any kind, if all you've ever experienced in school is 13 years of baby-sitting and obeying orders without question, reason or debate (now imposed with the threat of prison for your parents).
My 3 children (with a 4th baby Root due on December 5th) are home-schooled. They are bright, creative, passionate, motivated to learn, and full of life and love. They have not been exposed to government-run brainwashing 8 hours a day. They value our constitution. They actually admire our Founding Fathers. They believe in the power of capitalism. They respect their parents. They don't do drugs. They aren't drugged with ADD drugs like Ritalin (that happen to enrich the bank accounts of public schools with federal government funding for each "disabled" child). They've never been in trouble in their lives. They love their country. They are able to pray to God without worrying about who that might offend. And they will only get the vaccines that their mom and dad (in consultation with our private physician- not doctors chosen by the government) have studied and deem necessary, proven, safe and effective.
No one from the government has to tell (or order) me, or my wife how to raise or educate our children. That's the job of caring, involved, passionate, loving parents. No one has to provide meals for my children- they are fed healthy meals by their loving mother every day of the year. That's the job of good parents. Isn't it interesting that my kids are motivated, ambitious, bright, score at the top of their class in nationwide exams, and how about this one- love learning, love to read, and look forward to school each day. How many public school parents can say that?
We have a problem in this country- too little personal (and parental) responsibility, and far too much government intervention. Schools will never improve because we spend more money. They will only improve when we give more rights, freedom, responsibility and choice to parents. Smart, motivated kids, who stay out of trouble, are not created by teachers, or administrators, or unions. It doesn't take a village (or a union) to raise a good kid. It just takes good parents. The answers to our crisis in public schools isn't bigger government, stronger unions, higher paid teachers, more mandatory vaccines, or prison sentences for parents. It's old fashioned parental involvement, parental choice, and most importantly, more competition. If public schools are failing, the answer isn't forcing parents to send their children top failing schools. The answer is giving parents the freedom to find a better alternative. More freedom and choice is the answer to all the problems that ail society. Imprisoning parents (or their children in dangerous and failing government run baby-sitting camps) is not the answer. Isn't freedom and personal choice why we fought a revolution in 1776? Isn't freedom, liberty and choice what this nation is based on? Isn't allowing competition what capitalism is based on? My proposal is simple and inexpensive: Let's give power back to the people and the parents. ROOT for Liberty. ROOT for Freedom. ROOT for America.
Wayne Allyn Root is a Libertarian Presidential candidate. For more about Wayne and his bold stands on important political issues, go to: www.ROOT4America.com
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( 3 / 2491 )
Defending Playboy: The Fight for True Freedom
By Wayne Allyn Root, Candidate for the Libertarian Party Presidential Nomination
Published reports say that religious leaders and anti-pornography groups are joining forces to demand that "pornography" be banned from military bases around the world. What an outrage! Don't we have enough to worry about in this world- our men and women in the military are dying at the hands of a vicious enemy in a war that many Americans don't support; our housing markets are crumbling; the stock market is crashing; gas prices are threatening to cripple our economy; many experts fear a depression as bad as the 1930's is fast approaching; Iran's threatening to join the nuclear club and wipe Israel off the world map; Putin and Russia appear headed to a new Cold War with America; we face a terrorist threat every day; and religious zealots are worried about whether our soldiers are allowed to read Playboy or not? You've got to be kidding me?
First of all, who defines "pornography"? This is a slippery slope we are headed for. One man's porn is another's entertainment. To be blunt, it's none of your damn business what any American chooses to enjoy or watch in the privacy of his or her bedroom. This is one of the big reasons why I left the GOP. I was a lifetime Republican supporter, voter, contributor (and former candidate). I was invited to the White House by President Bush. I attended parties at the White House. Yet I made a decision a year ago to morph from lifelong Republican to dedicated Libertarian. The decision was made because of the intolerance exhibited by religious extremists who have high-jacked the GOP.
This controversial issue reminds me of an old story about the Holocaust. It goes something like this: "First they came for the Jews...and I did not speak out. Then they came for the Communists...and I did not speak out. Then they came for the Catholics...and I did not speak out. Then they came for me...and there was no one left to speak out." Now extremist right-wing religious leaders and left-wing extremist feminists are joining forces to try to ban Playboy (and material like it) from our U.S. military bases. Who are these religious right-wingers and leftist feminists to tell me what I can watch or read? Who gave them authority to determine what materials are "allowed" on military bases? What gives them the right to define morality for G.I.'s? Who made them the arbiters of right and wrong? Who gave them the right to override the constitution and ban freedom of speech? Playboy plain and simple represents FREE SPEECH. It is none of anyone's business to tell our fighting boys (and girls) on military bases what to read or watch. It's called freedom. It's called choice. In case you've forgotten, it's at the heart of the American way of life. If a soldier is willing to risk his or her life on behalf of this country; if they are willing to die to protect my freedom and rights; then I think we owe it to them to protect THEIR rights; their freedom; their choice; their right to do and watch and read whatever they want in the privacy of their bedroom (or barracks or tent).
When you allow anyone (or any one group) to determine what is right, what is moral, what is allowed- you've driven down a slippery slope. Today it may be Playboy or online gaming that is deemed immoral and banned. Tomorrow it may be liberal atheists in power, and Christian activists may be outraged to find religious programming like TBN and 700 Club banned. In a society that values freedom of speech and expression, government should not ever be in a position to ban anything.
Last I checked, banning free speech (and yes, that includes pornography) is exactly what the Taliban does. Isn't that precisely why we're fighting a war against Islamic extremism- so that everyone everywhere can have the freedom of personal choice? Aren't we supposed to be different than the repressive Taliban? What if the personal choice of Iraqi's happens to be porn or Playboy? Do we ban it in the name of morality? If so, what makes us different than the repressive Taliban?
When we liberated Iraq, do you know the first thing that appeared in the streets? Pornography! It was banned under Saddam. Yet it was everywhere within days of liberation. Sorry my religious and feminist friends- that's the price of freedom and democracy. When intolerance rules, people feel suppressed. When freedom rules, all the things that were banned become instantly popular. Free people choose sexual freedom. It's a fact of life. We wanted to bring democracy to the Iraqi people. We did- and they choose pornography. Now we have to live with that choice. The choice of many of our men (and women) in uniform fighting the good fight for freedom is Playboy. Can you imagine that? The freedom fighters actually dare to want freedom for themselves? That choice is protected by the Constitution. And it happens to be a private choice that is none of anyone else's damn business.
What is it that religious extremists and leftist feminists fear about Playboy? That it will be damaging to the psyche of our men in uniform? Can you even imagine what these G.I.'s see on a daily basis? Does anyone actually believe that after experiencing the horrors of war, that reading Playboy is dangerous or offensive to a soldier's well being? The reality is that giving our soldiers the freedom to read what they want (Playboy or otherwise) might serve to remind them of what they are fighting for- the idea that in our great country we have the freedom of personal choice. And as a bonus, seeing pictures of beautiful, sexy American women might raise their spirits in the bargain. Trust me- our All-American boys aren't fighting for Pat Robertson or James Dobson. They are much more likely to be fighting for Pamela Anderson and Carmen Electra. And if seeing a sexy picture of a beautiful woman makes our boys happy at night- well then I'm going to fight for that right until my last breathe.
Someone needs to say it out loud and perhaps it's time for a legitimate Presidential candidate to be honest for once. Many (if not most) All-American men actually like beautiful naked woman! We love America precisely because we have the freedom to read Playboy and admire the centerfolds. Some of us think it's one of the great things about freedom and democracy. We love America because no one throws us in prison for looking at naked women in magazines. Isn't that a good thing? Isn't that what freedom is all about?
Very plainly, this is why millions of Americans are turning off to today's GOP. Intolerance has turned the GOP from a majority to a minority party. Intolerance quashes freedom. Either we believe in freedom or we don't. Either we support free speech (and free expression) or we don't. Either we believe in "different strokes for different folks" or we don't. Either we're fighting for freedom and democracy in Iraq, or we're not. We can't support freedom for Iraqis, while we take away those same freedoms from our GI's. We can't ban Playboy, or any other freedom of expression, from the men and women who are risking their lives overseas- all the while telling the world that ensuring those freedoms is exactly why we're fighting (and dying in) this war. How absurd. How hypocritical. How un-American.
I don't care if you agree or disagree with my personal views about homosexuality, pornography, abortion, stem cell research, gambling, and a dozen other moral issues. Quite frankly, these are personal and private issues between each one of us, our conscience and God. However, what I do care about and what I'm willing to fight and die for is your freedom to have and express those views- WHATEVER THEY MIGHT BE! Whether I agree or disagree does not matter. I've never smoked a cigarette in my life- but I'd fight to the death for your right to do so. I'm not a drinker. I haven't drank so much as a beer in 25 years- but I'd fight for your right to do so. I'm not a nightlife afficianado. I'm home every night with my wife and kids. But I'd fight for your right to party every night. That's the strength of freedom and democracy. What is important is that I'd fight to the death to protect what you believe- whether I agree with it or not. And of course I expect you to do the same on my behalf.
By the same token, I'd fight for your right to watch TBN or Pat Robertson on television. I'd fight for your right to read the Bible, the Torah or the Koran. I'd fight for your right to pray. I'm a spiritual man myself. My children pray before every meal and kneel down before God at bedtime. I start every day with prayer. I've written about the power and importance of prayer in each of the 6 books that I've authored. The difference is- all of these acts need to be protected in the name of freedom- but never forced upon others. I will protect your choices and your beliefs- but I will never allow you to force others to choose what you choose, to believe what you believe. That's the point of freedom. You are free to read Playboy, or read the Bible- but not to shove your beliefs down my throat.
Free speech and free will are in place to insure that you have a right to make private decisions that do not affect the rest of us. Reading Playboy is certainly one of those decisions. I'm willing to fight and die for Playboy. I'm also willing to fight and die for your right to read the Bible. They go hand in hand. What these right-wing religious and moral zealots (and left-wing feminists) fail to see is that freedom is not for any one side or cause. Freedom is for everyone and everything. It knows no limits. It has no bounds. That's what makes America great and worth fighting for. God Bless America. And God Bless our men and women in uniform fighting around the world so that everyone of us can have the right to read the Bible and/or Playboy.
Wayne Allyn Root is a Libertarian Presidential candidate. For more about Wayne and his bold stands on important political issues, go to: www.ROOT4America.com
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( 3 / 4119 )
Is Warren Buffett a Big Fat Liar, or Just Ignorant About Money?
I was watching the NBC Evening News last night when up pops Billionaire Warren Buffett telling viewers how he is under-taxed and therefore "the rich" should be paying higher taxes. Buffett claimed that all his employees- including secretaries- pay higher tax rates than him. Of course the liberal media never bothered to question him on his assertion. They never bothered to point out how misleading his comments were. They never bothered to present a fair and balanced, non-biased counterpoint. It seems that only fiscal conservatives who support smaller government and lower taxes are ever "fact-checked" and face hostile questions in the interest of "fairness" by the left-wing news media. I should know. I've been there many times before. I served in the media as anchorman and host of five shows on CNBC (then known as Financial News Network). And since my days ended as a member of the media, I've been a guest on hundreds of television and radio shows in that same national media spotlight. It's so easy to spot the bias and hypocrisy- when liberals are interviewed by the media, they are treated with kid gloves. No hostile questions, no balancing of the story by reporting what others with a different point of view have to say. No objective for "fairness." Just allow Warren Buffett to slam the rich and demand higher taxes on success (otherwise known as "income redistribution"). Afterall a Billionaire couldn't be biased, could he? He couldn't have an ulterior agenda, could he? Certainly not if he's a LIBERAL Billionaire.
When conservatives are interviewed by the media, it's a completely different story. Conservative guests must be aggressively questioned and debated to create a "sense of balance." Suddenly a counter-point must be presented at all costs to avoid looking biased. But where's the need for balance and a counter-point of view when the liberal media agrees with their liberal guests? The answer is- there is none. Warren Buffett's interview on NBC was a great example of the disparity. Buffett's assertions went unchallenged by NBC, or the reporter for the segment Tom Brokaw (yes the old NBC anchor who recently retired).
First of all, Buffett is either dead wrong or being purposely misleading. It's a fact that facts lie all the time- anyone can twist facts to fit the point they are trying to make. Isn't it the media's job to point that out? Isn't it the media's job to present both sides of the argument? Buffett worded his claim in such a way that it appeared to viewers that he pays less taxes than his secretary. If I pay a 10% tax rate on $10,000,000 of income and you pay 20% tax rate on $30,000 of income, it is true that you're paying a higher rate. But that's completely misleading. My lower tax rate adds up to $1,000,000 in taxes paid. Your supposedly higher rate adds up to $6000 of taxes paid. Shouldn't someone at NBC News have bothered to point this out? Wouldn't you call that comparison of tax rates a bit misleading? Wouldn't you say that the rich guy that pays $1,000,000 to the government is paying his "fair share" compared to his employee paying $6000?
Shouldn't someone have pointed out that the employee paying $6000 per year in taxes will only pay about $240,000 (after working 40+ years) in his or her entire lifetime. That means that their rich boss pays 4 times more in taxes in one year than his or her employee will pay in a lifetime. Perhaps pointing that out might have made this story a bit more "fair and balanced." But Tom Brokaw never bothered to question Warren Buffett's contention. Not a peep. Not one objection. Not one word of protest to try to balance the story. Brokaw even went so far as to ask one of Buffett's longtime employees about taxes and if this disparity favoring the rich is fair. He asked the question right in front of Buffett- his boss. Wow that's pretty tough investigative journalism, huh? Gee, we're guaranteed to get an honest answer from Buffett's employee of 30 years, right in front of his ego-maniacal billionaire boss, aren't we? That will really balance the story, huh? Of course, Buffett's employee took the courageous route and responded with words something like this, "Aw sucks, I'd defer to Warren on anything about money or taxes. He's a pretty smart guy. If Warren says so, it must be true." Not too much bias there, huh? No obvious butt-kissing towards billionaire bosses allowed on the NBC Evening News, huh?
But wait. I'm only getting started. If you want to be objective and fair and present a balanced point of view, why not ask Warren Buffett exactly what kind of tax rates he's referring to? Afterall, it's a fact that rich people do pay higher tax rates than others on the lower end of the income scale. A secretary earning $50,000 or below probably pays tax rates of about 25% to 30%. Her boss that earns $150,000 a year (let alone a cool billion like Buffett) automatically (before legal tax deductions) pays a rate of close to 40%...plus higher sales taxes (because he quite naturally spends more)...plus higher property taxes (because he most certainly has a more expensive home)...plus higher state income taxes (on a higher income)...plus payroll taxes on all his employees. So what the heck is Buffett talking about? Is he ignorant or purposely being misleading? Buffett not only pays far more tax dollars than his employees, he also pays higher tax rates than his employees. Something doesn't add up here.
It took me awhile to figure it out- but it finally dawned on me. Buffett is a Billionaire (with a capital B). He probably takes no salary. He probably earns 100% of his income from capital gains investments (interest, dividends, sale of businesses, stocks and real estate investments). Capital gains are taxed at 15% versus income from your job that is taxed at 25% to 40%. So Buffett was comparing completely different tax rates. He was comparing apples to oranges. Yet Brokaw never bothered to point out this misleading trickery. Buffett's sleight of hand was never questioned or disclosed to viewers. The reason capital gains tax rates are lower is because that comes from money left over after you've already paid your taxes. To tax capital gains at all is DOUBLE TAXATION. That is why so many thriving countries all over the world offer capital gains tax rates of zero. To pay 15% capital gains tax rates is already paying 15 percentage points too high. To raise the rate higher is logic that only an ignorant fool...or an out-of-touch billionaire would advise. Or perhaps a deceptive liberal billionaire with an agenda.
The money I use to invest in homes, rental properties, stocks, bonds or to start businesses is the money that I have left after I've already paid my income taxes. Why should I be taxed again? Neither Buffett nor Brokaw bothered to mention that argument. Money I invest in those kind of capital gains deals is pure "risk money." I could lose it all (and I have on numerous occasions). Those kind of investments are what power the entire booming American economy. We want Americans of all income levels to invest in homes, stocks, bonds, small businesses. That's precisely how you create prosperity. And of course more wealth and prosperity creates more tax revenues. It's not higher rates that create more taxes- it is lower tax rates that creates more prosperity and therefore more tax revenues! How could you encourage more Americans to take huge risks with their savings by raising the taxes on these kinds of investments? I would never buy a stock or rental property...risking my life savings...if I was taxed at 50% or higher on my profits. But motivate me by offering me low capital gains taxes- now I'll risk everything I've got on the very investments that power the U.S. economy- stocks, bonds, real estate, small businesses.
That's the reason that Warren Buffett's argument is stupid, ignorant or just plain misleading. Billionaires are out of touch. He's already got his $50 Billion (give or take a billion or two). But young, newly-minted, self-made millionaires like me are still struggling and risking it all every day so we can build our fortune. So we can create our own version of the American Dream. We need our capital gains taxes low enough to encourage us to risk big and invest in America. And we deserve lower tax rates on those investments simply because we've already paid our high tax rates on our incomes. Capital gains is our reward- our only chance to build true wealth. Our only chance to invest in something that earns money while we sleep. Buffett has it all backwards- capital gains shouldn't be taxed at all. The tax rate should be zero.
Buffett is out of touch. He's fat and happy. Taxes are meaningless to billionaire liberal fat cats like him. It wouldn't affect him if rates were 79% or 99%. He wouldn't even notice. He's already got his $50 Billion salted away. Perhaps that's why he wants taxes raised- money is meaningless to him. Or perhaps he isn't the saint that the liberal media (and his publicists) portray him as. Perhaps he's not the wonderful, benevolent philanthropist he portrays. Perhaps his goal (like most rich liberals) is greed- by raising tax rates he keeps you and me out of his Billionaire Boys Club. He can keep us begging for scraps. Buffett's already got his $50 Billion. He knows we CANNOT possibly catch him unless tax rates are low enough to encourage risk and entrepreneurship. And of course the bonus in this equation is that low tax rates create a booming economy. That's our best shot at accumulating our own fortune- low taxes and a booming economy that creates unlimited opportunities for upward mobility and wealth. But raise tax rates and the window of opportunity shuts closed on millions of ambitious, courageous, entrepreneurial risk-takers.
High tax rates will prevent the rest of us from achieving our American Dream. If tax rates are high enough, it's virtually impossible to save enough to invest in real estate or stocks, or open a new business. The higher tax rates are, the lower your odds of ever attaining wealth. Prime example: France. High taxes mean fewer jobs, less investment, and far lower rates of entrepreneurship. Few Frenchmen invest in anything. They just want to work at a safe job (guaranteed for life), with a safe, steady weekly paycheck, with a 35 hour workweek and 6 weeks vacation. No wonder France's economy is in shambles. High tax rates are proven to eliminate upward mobility and destroy ambition.
Warren Buffett made his billions during periods of low tax rates and booming economy (no coincidence there). We all know that he's no dummy- he clearly understands that. Raise rates dramatically, ruin the economy, take away 50% or more of my profits, and it's assured that I'll never catch up to Buffett. By raising tax rates on investments, Buffett is killing the American dream. He's trying to turn America into France. France is a land where fairness and equality rule the day. No question about that. Everyone is equally poor and miserable. Except for a few billionaires who dominate French business. That's the kind of country (and economy) Buffett wants to create. One where he is the billionaire king- and the rest of us beg for scraps.
This "tax the rich" philosophy that Buffett espouses isn't to help the little guys of the world- it's to screw the little guys! High tax rates prevent the rest of us from ever becoming rich like Warren Buffett. He wants to be alone in the rarified air of his "Billionaire Boys Club." He wants to put up big obstacles to keep the rest of us out. High tax rates are the single biggest roadblock to success for smart, ambitious, young, self-made Americans. Poor people and immigrants can't move into the middle class because of high tax rates. The middle class cannot become millionaires because of high tax rates. And millionaires can't become billionaires because of high tax rates. High tax rates screw everyone- except those who already have their billions. Liberal Billionaires like Buffett aren't on your side. Warren Buffett is only interested in making sure he's always the king. And he wants to make the rest of us his servants and serfs, begging for scraps. Funny how Brokaw and the liberal media never bother to point that out.
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( 3 / 1928 )
THE BIG LIBERAL LIE: Liberal Lies & Distortions About Capital Gains Taxes & "The Rich."
I am so fed up with the liberal lies and distortions about capital gains and "giveaways to the rich." Liberal Presidential contenders like Barack Obama, John Edwards and Hillary Clinton are jumping over each other to announce new tax increases for "the rich." They say it as if being "rich" is a dirty word. As if being "rich" is something Americans deserve to be punished for. We all know that certain words are off limits- curse words, ethnic slurs, derogatory stereotypes, etc. Maybe it's time to declare the "R Word" a slur and declare it off-limits. Maybe we should replace that dirty, negative, demeaning word "rich" with more positive terms like successful, high-achiever, super-achiever, or "All-American role model." Now you can clearly see how important wording is. The masses support "taxing the rich." But few Americans would rush to support punishing "successful high-achievers." No one wants to punish "All-American role models." It's all in the wording and presentation. You may hate and envy "the rich," but we all aspire to become "successful."
Liberals use negative wording to try to pit the classes against one another to stir up anger, jealousy, envy, resentment- and most of all VOTES. That's how liberal Democrats get elected- by dividing Americans by income, class or race. And what's their number one whipping boy? Capital gains. All the Democrat Presidential candidates want to raise taxes on capital gains. Why? Once again, it's all in the wording. Liberals position capital gains as "dirty" and negative. This is money that rich people use to get richer. How evil! "We can't allow this" the liberals cry, whine and protest. Worse, they say, is the fact that capital gains are taxed at a lower rate than your income. GASP. "We cannot allow this" liberals cry, whine and protest. They position it this way so that poor people, blue collar workers, union members, and lower middle class Americans will all grow to hate rich people- but most of all, they'll grow to hate the investments of rich people. "How dare rich people invest in homes, stocks, and small businesses- while I barely have enough money for food and rent. It isn't fair. And worst of all- the rich get taxed lower on their passive million dollar investment returns, than I do on my $700 weekly paycheck for working 40 hours a week." What a powerful (and effective) sound bite. But it's also a complete distortion of the facts. I call it THE BIG LIBERAL LIE.
Here are the facts folks. Anything invested in what's called "capital gains" has already been taxed. To tax it again is DOUBLE TAXATION. When I buy a home, stocks, bonds or invest in a new business, I'm taking gigantic risks with my savings. I could lose it all. Every penny. And I'm taking these risks with money I've already paid taxes on. We all pay income taxes. "The rich"- those terrible people you hate and are envious of- already pay 80% (or more) of America's income taxes. They are only able to invest in real estate, stocks, bonds, and businesses with the money they have left AFTER paying high tax rates. What's wrong with that? What our liberal Democrat friends aren't telling us is that the only way out of poverty in America (or anywhere in the world) is through investment...is through risk...is through capital gains. You must invest (risk) your after-tax monies in something that will produce profit while you sleep. Why would you have to be punished for that? Why would government want to discourage people from investing in America? Why would liberal politicians want their voters to ignore the only opportunity they have for upward mobility? Could it be because keeping voters poor, hopeless, helpless, clueless, ignorant and angry at "the rich" also keeps those same voters motivated to support liberal Democrats? Now that's evil.
Capital gains is the only ticket out of poverty. The only ticket to success and upward mobility. You must find a way to get your money to work for you while you sleep. To earn interest and appreciation 24 hours a day while you're working, playing, eating, shopping, and sleeping. There has been only one proven way out of poverty for since the day that America was founded- investment into real estate, stocks, and small business. You must invest your after-tax money to succeed; to save; to build success and wealth; to beat inflation; to pay for your kid's college education; to pay your taxes and have anything left for retirement. Is that bad? Shouldn't we strive to encourage investment of after-tax savings to create generations of productive, upwardly mobile Americans? Why would we want to discourage that? Punish that? All this investment is good for America. Turn off the faucet and slow (or stop) investment by raising capital gains taxes (so the risk is no longer worth it) and stocks plunge, real estate collapses, business stagnates, jobs are lost by the millions. You know what you call that? France.
Or let's take an extreme example of liberal philosophy gone terribly wrong- Cuba. No one worries about capital gains in Cuba- because in a high-tax socialist or communist country, after government takes their cut, there is nothing left to invest. Liberals talk all day about "fairness." Life is completely fair in communist or socialist countries. In liberal utopias like that, taxes are so high that EVERYONE lives in poverty and misery. Everyone lives in broken down shacks, drives cars from 1950, buys groceries in ramshackle supermarkets with bare shelves, rations food, and rations health care. Isn't fairness grand? That's what happens when liberal ideas are taken seriously.
America is the richest nation in the world because we encourage risk, we reward investment, we honor wealth (except for self-hating liberals), we reward success. Thank God for capitalism and democracy. Thank God for low tax rates that motivate citizens to risk their savings by investing in IBM, Microsoft, Exxon and McDonalds. That willingness to risk our life savings in real estate, stocks and business is what has created the greatest economy in world history. That is why we have created more small businesses, more jobs, more home ownership, and more self-made millionaires (including me) than anywhere else in the world. That's why a fat, negative, unappreciative, liberal slug like Michael Moore is able to make $100 million by creating films that attack, demean and denigrate his own country (and capitalism).
Can you imagine? Michael Moore is the greatest example of how great our country is. In Cuba you can support your government and your reward is a lifetime of rationing, sacrificing, misery and poverty. In America you can demean and denigrate everything this great country stands for and yet you are rewarded with a fancy mansion in Beverly Hills, servants by the dozen, daily massages, and vacations at Four Seasons Resorts. And of course the bonus is the undying admiration of bleeding-heart, limosine-liberal, Hollywood hypocrites. What a great country!
But I digress. Back to capital gains taxes. Liberal ideas are so foolish, ignorant, and naive. Obama, Edwards, Hillary and their liberal friends want to raise capital gains tax rates. They position it as punishing "the rich." I see it very differently- they are punishing all older Americans. They are making life miserable for those 55 and older. They are making college unaffordable for the children and grandchildren of millions of over-taxed Americans. They are making retirement impossible, or at best, postponing it for an entire generation of 50 year olds. They are ruining the golden years for those older Americans already out of the rat race. Higher taxes on passive investments (capital gains, dividends, interest) are an unmitigated disaster for anyone nearing retirement or already retired.
In reality we should be eliminating capital gains taxes altogether. I propose the elimination of capital gains taxes for all Americans 55 and older. That would mean that Americans could retire with far lower taxes, far lower burdens, far lower stress, and a far lower "monthly nut." Why should we not reward older Americans for a lifetime of hard work and sacrifice? After working a lifetime- often working ourselves to death- why shouldn't the reward be lower taxes- which creates extra money for peace of mind, for golf, for cruises, for eating out every night, for paying for our grandkid's college educations. Let's stop punishing people for saving (and slaving) their whole lives. Let's reward them with lower taxes so they can retire early, or retire with peace of mind.
Elimination of taxes on capital gains, interest and dividends for Americans 55 and older would encourage all Americans to work hard, save, invest, and look forward to retirement. It would boost the entire American economy. It would eventually trickle down to all of us- in the form of a robust stock market; thriving real estate market; more investment in small business which translates to more jobs; more spending by older Americans which translates to economic prosperity; and of course upon their death- more money for their children, grandchildren and charity. What an economic boom. What a win/win.
Here are a few important questions to ponder. Are liberals against old people? Do they think older Americans should pay higher taxes that force them into miserable golden years? Or force them to never retire? Are liberals against older Americans enjoying life? They must be. Why else would they support older Americans paying more taxes on dividends, interest, investments, and capital gains? Passive investments are what older people live on after retirement. Remember, they no longer have a job. Elminate capital gains taxes and instantly, older Americans could retire on half the income. What a wonderful gift to the people that have worked and sacrificed and slaved to create a better life for themselves and their families.
Anyone 55 or older would have to be crazy to vote for any liberal Democrat politician. Afterall, these politicians want to punish you, tax you to death (literally), force you to work until the day you die. They don't want you to play golf, or take a cruise, or eat out with your own hard-earned money. They think your money is THEIR money. They think your retirement is better spent slaving away until the day you die- all the while paying higher tax rates on everything you earn. After you've worked, slaved and paid high taxes your whole life- liberals want to raise tax rates on the money you have left! They want to DOUBLE TAX you to death (literally right to your grave).
It's time for a new way to think about taxes. High tax rates are about slavery. They make you work harder, work longer, work forever- all for the government. It's YOUR money. It's YOUR property. You deserve to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Liberals are lying, distorting and scheming to steal more of your hard-earned money; to force you to work more hours to pay for their spending; to force you to postpone or eliminate retirement. Why do liberals want to spend ever higher amounts of your money? So they can buy the votes of people too ignorant to understand that the very policies they are voting for are keeping them poor, helpless and hopeless. Don't let them do it. It's time for a change in thinking. It's time for a change in political leadership. It's time to fight to keep more of your own money. It's time for a 21st century Boston Tea Party. It's time to abandon the failing 2-party system that is screwing you- the taxpayer. It's time to vote Libertarian for the first time in your life. It's time to ROOT for Liberty. ROOT for freedom. ROOT for America.
Wayne Allyn Root is a Libertarian Presidential candidate. For more about Wayne and his bold stands on important political issues, go to:www.ROOT4America.com
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The Democrats Are Up to Their Old Tricks- Stealing Taxpayer Money!
Democrats are alot like Robin Hood. They claim it's a good deed to steal from the rich to give to the poor. But guess what? No matter how you explain it, defend it, or twist the meaning around like a pretzel, it's still called STEALING! They try to say that it's no different than Republicans giving tax cuts to the rich- they call that a "giveaway." They call tax cuts "unfair." But Democrats have lost sight of one little fact- that money belongs to the taxpayers in the first place! It's not a "giveaway" when you allow someone to keep a little bit of their own money!
Let's use children playing marbles as a good example. Wayne has 10 marbles. His friend John steals 5 of those 10. Then he takes pity on Wayne and gives him back 2 of his own marbles. Is that a "giveaway" to Wayne? Was John being nice to "allow" Wayne to take back ownership of 2 of his own marbles? Weren't they Wayne's property in the first place? What a generous fellow that John is- he allows you to keep some of your own property. John is obviously a Democrat. He certainly thinks like a liberal Democrat about money, taxes and the concept of property.
Yes, the GOP lost me with their incredibly stupid Nanny State views on freedom and individual rights issues such as warrantless wiretaps, abortion, gay rights, right-to-die (Terri Schiavo), online gaming, medicinal marijuana- the list goes on and on. And of course their short-sighted spending orgy and unprecedented expansion of the federal government was the straw that broke the camel's back. No I did not leave the Republican Party. The GOP left me.
But as I hear the litany (and variety) of tax increases proposed by Democrats over just the past few days, I feel like vomiting. Let's examine just a few of the draconian tax increases proposed by the party that desperately wants to rob Peter to bribe Paul (because Paul is voting Democrat).
Hillary of course wants to roll back the tax cuts on the "rich" (as if being rich is a dirty word) to pay for her Universal Healthcare (actually the correct description is Socialized Medicine). So let's take a small businessman that earns a nice sized income of $500,000. That's a huge hit on his income- perhaps $25,000 or more. What will he do to make up for that loss? Close his business...fire key employees...cut back on hiring...sell off his property at a loss...stop going out to eat? Or perhaps raise prices to pass the higher taxes onto his customers? Does it occur to Democrats that all of those are bad things for the economy? Multiply those negative choices by millions of small businessmen and you see the pattern developing- it's called a recession. Worse, if this small businessman dies while a Democrat President is in office, his family will suffer a far worse fate at the hands of Big Brother. Democrats want to bring back the death tax (which dies a richly deserved death in 2011 thanks to President Bush)- so his family could stand to lose millions of dollars to the IRS and an over-reaching federal government.
John Edwards and many other Democrats also want to raise the taxes on capital gains, dividends and interest. Who does that tax increase hit? The rich? Well yes. Our small businessman friend above owns a business, stocks, retirement accounts, and of course bank accounts. He gets hit by all these tax raises on virtually everything he owns. But if he suffers, so do you. He either has to stop hiring new employees, fire old ones, or raise prices to make up for this added cost of doing business. But worse, when Democrats aim tax increases at "the rich," middle class taxpayers had better grab their wallets. A tax increase (perhaps doubling) on capital gains, dividends and interest is aimed squarely at every person in America over age 50. It literally ruins the retirement plans of millions of Americans. It cripples many retirees. It means retired people will need to go back to work. I believe this is a formula for disaster. We should be doing the opposite- eliminating all capital gains taxes so retirees pay zero taxes on interest, dividends and the sale of their properties (capital gains). Wouldn't that be the right thing to do for those above age 55, who have worked their whole lives to achieve the American Dream. Shouldn't people like that be able to live out their golden years tax free?
Then there's my old Columbia College classmate Barack Obama. He has the most onerous tax increase of all in mind to cripple high-income taxpayers. His goal isn't just to punish successful people- it's to punish them BADLY! Barack wants to "save" Social Security by extending FICA taxes from a present cap of about $100,000 to INFINITY. Did you hear me? Yes, I said infinity. Under a Barack administration, high-income earners would pay monstrous FICA taxes on all their income- no matter how high it goes. Presently a $500,000 earner (who owns his own business or is classified as an independent contractor- ie any professional) pays about 15% of the first $100,000 of his or her income. That's a total of $15,000. Keep in mind that theororetically they get most or all of it back someday- in the form of Social Security payments.
But under Obama that same unlucky fellow would owe 15% of his entire $500,000 income- that's $75,000. Yes, you heard me. $75,000 would come off the top of a $500,000 income BEFORE you pay your huge federal income tax bill (plus state taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, etc). That's a $60,000 tax increase on a $500,000 earner. That's a five fold increase in taxes. That's the kind of shakedown we throw mobsters in jail for. That's the kind of userous rates that causes us to name street lenders "Loan sharks." Remember, that $60,000 tax increase comes on top of the $25,000 income tax increase on "the rich"... plus higher taxes on capital gains, dividends and interest. It's enough to make the rich, poor. There's nothing left by the time these scoundrels have picked your pockets clean.
Worst of all, it means Social Security is no longer a retirement savings program. It is a regressive soak-the-rich tax windfall for the federal government. If you're talented and bright and creative and tenacious (everything we want our citizens to be) and manage to make a million dollars this year, under Barack Obama your FICA taxes alone would be $150,000. That's probably more than Social Security will pay out to you in all your lifetime of retirement. That was never the intent of Social Security.
But wait, we're not done yet. Democratic Congressman Dingell has proposed the most absurd tax increase of all. I knew Democrats would find creative ways to punish "the rich" for global warming. Dingell proved me correct. Dingell wants to pass a multitude of new taxes to pay for his unproven global warming theories- including huge new gas taxes. Is there global warming? I think most everyone agrees there is- heck it was almost 90 degrees in New York, Philly, Chicago and Detroit over the past few days. Yes, I think there is global warming- duh! But is man the one causing it, or is Mother Nature responsible for 99% of this warming crisis? Are our contributions so miniscule that we cannot make one iota of a difference- no matter how much we sacrifice, no matter how many jobs we destroy, no matter how much we choose to damage our economy? Well Congressman Dingell doesn't care. He's throwing caution to the wind. The centerpiece of his "global warming punish-the-rich crusade" is the wholesale elimination of your homeowner's mortgage deduction- based on the size of your home. Yes, you heard me. Dingell wants to use global warming as an excuse to screw "the rich." And he gets to punish many millions of middle class suburbanites as a bonus.
Anyone with a house larger than 3200 square feet loses most of that valuable tax deduction. Anyone who dares own a home 4000 square feet or bigger loses every penny of the tax deduction under Mr. Dingell's plan. Instead, why not tax everyone equally? Because the poor people, union workers and government employees that vote for liberal Democrats like Dingell don't want to pay a dime of their money to solve the problem. They want to spend your money and mine. Why not? Afterall, we're "the rich." We deserve to be punished for our success.
So now on top of the dramatic federal income tax increases under Democrats; and the gigantic out-of-this-world FICA increases; the doubling of capital gains taxes; and huge new gasoline taxes; successful Americans now get to lose the biggest tax deduction they have- their mortgage deduction. And of course as the Democrat "bonus"... the real estate market for houses larger than 3200 square feet collapses; the price of million dollar homes drops 30% overnight (without the tax deduction they are unaffordable); and in the midst of a foreclosure crisis, millions of Americans living comfortably and happily in large suburban houses are now unable to afford the mortgage payments without the tax deduction- thereby causing millions more to lose their homes to foreclosure.
If Democrats had their way, by the time you add all these increases up, you'd owe more in taxes than you made. But not everyone. Only successful people and small business owners shall be punished by Democrats. These groups vote Republican, so they must be punished, their wealth redistributed, and their lifestyle cut down to size. Like Jimmy Carter in the 1970's, today's liberal Democrats want to limit your dreams. They don't believe you have a right to dream big, earn big, and enjoy the American Dream. God forbid anyone in America should actually want a nice car or a big house. The global warming hysteria is allowing Democrats to show their Socialist colors again. Like that wonderful old country formerly known as the Soviet Union, Democrats want us all to drive drab-colored small cars and live in small apartments. Afterall, we'd be saving the planet by living in cramped quarters and driving small cars (with little energy used). What's the new Democratic campaign slogan? "Sacrifice for the common good." Just a nice way of saying "Misery equally for all."
If you thought Bush and the GOP was bad, boy do I have a news flash for you! The sequel "Hillary in Charge" is even worse. If you earn a good income; if you've built a successful business; if you own a home or stocks; if you own anything that produces interest or dividends; if you live in a nice sized home- get ready to defend your property and your lifestyle. Bar the doors to your country club and hold on to your wallets. The Democrats are coming. Be scared. Be VERY scared.
Wayne Allyn Root is a Candidate for the Libertarian Party Presidential Nomination. You can read more about his opinions on important issues at www.ROOT4America.com.
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