Tuesday, April 28, 2009

This is old new, but...

I know this is about a week late, but I had to get it out. Last week, our President asked his cabinet to find $100 million in cuts. I think most Americans hear the words "million, billion and trillion" but don't really pay attention. I always found that seeing the figure helps it hit home.

Thousand - $1,000
Million - $1,000,000
Billion - $1,000,000,000
Trillion - $1,000,000,000,000

Now, when our President asks for cuts amounting to $100,000,000, excuse me for thinking it is a political stunt when our government passed a $3,500,000,000,000 budget. Look at these numbers and decide for yourself.

Spending Spree

I watched this short "news" story, and something slapped me across my face. Did you know that today, each American's portion of the national debt is $35,000! That means that each American will have to generate $35,000 just for the US to be debt free. Of course, this assumes that we will not add on more debt, which seems impossible with the Federal spending and decreasing tax revenue. Also, a citizen must work to generate $35,000 in taxes, which increasing number of Americans are having difficulty doing. An amazing burden is being put on our citizens.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Is the Federal Government Too Big?

First of all, I am sorry I didn't post anything last week. Time has been getting away from me lately.

I came across this article in a Minnesota newspaper I thought hit the nail right on the head. Almost every point is based on one basic assumption - people can organize and solve problems much better than our government can. This is not to say our government is ineffective, but that most of what needs to be accomplished can be accomplished with little or no government assistance.

Please read this short article. Let me know what you think.

Friday, April 17, 2009

"It is not a left or right issue"

As a follow up to yesterday's post, watch this. Why can't people get past party affiliation. Matthews actually asks who Santelli voted for!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Democrats and Republicans

Every once in a while I have a revelation. Actually, that term might be a little strong, especially once you hear about what these revelations are. For example, while running one day, I realized that if I jogged slower I could run farther. Wow, brilliant stuff, right?

Well, recently I had another one. I discovered that Republicans don't like Democrats, and Democrats don't like Republicans. Of course this sounds obvious, but here is the amazing thing. Even a casual supporter of one party won't even listen to the other's ideas. Let me give an example.

A few months ago, I heard about The Fair Tax. The Fair Tax is a concept where citizens would pay taxes through a national consumption (sales) tax instead of the current system of taxing income. The Fair Tax is revenue neutral, meaning the government would receive the same amount of income under the current plan. The big benefit to citizens is that they would no longer have to spend countless hours complying and filing under a tax code that most don't understand (including our government "leaders"). No cuts in government departments or programs (other than the IRS), just a change in the way taxes are collected. I presented the thought to a politically knowledgeable friend of mine, who just happens to be a Democrat. After a quick Google search, they discovered that this idea was being pushed by Republican Senator John Linder, and conservative talk show host Neal Boortz. By association, the idea was discounted already.

To be fair, I fall into this all the time. I find myself having trouble listening to anything Ms. Pelosi, VP Biden or President Obama say without extreme prejudice. I analyze every sentence and start screaming about the Democratic agenda. But did I really hear what they said? Is everything they say really that different than what had been said in government for the last 20 years? Probably not.

The real problem in this country is that the citizens keep feeding money and energy into the two party system. We keep pumping each one up so they can battle each other. However, THEY ARE BOTH ON THE SAME SIDE! The problem isn't with Democrats or Republicans, but with the system of government we have in place. Both sides talk about reducing the deficit, slashing unnecessary spending, and balancing the budget, but their actions show otherwise. And no, this rant is not due to the bailout or stimulus packages approved over the past few years. This rant is due to the fact that government spending across the board has increased. In current year dollars, our government has increased spending from $1 trillion in 1990 to $2.1 trillion in 2005. Increases occurred when Democrats were in power AND when Republicans were in power. According to the latest figures, government spending will go to at least $3 trillion in 2011. Frightening, right?

So how do we get out of this cycle? A group of (mostly) conservatives are holding a "Tea Party" today across the country to express the growing sentiment of frustration with the government. They are staging a type of "revolution." But of course, these are Republicans, so the Democrats are discounting this as a publicity stunt. Protests on the Democratic side have calmed down because they are in power. Do we need a third party to break things up? Is that even realistic?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Happy Tax Day!

I will let this article speak for itself. There are some pretty scary trends going on here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Economy Contracts, Government Expands

"Hurray, he is not talking about income taxes anymore!" No, today I'm taking the day off from that rant. Below is a link to a brief little commentary by Ron Paul and how our government has responded in this tough economy. Please notice - although he does commend the Republicans in the beginning, he criticizes them later.

Remember, the expansion of government is being caused by both parties, Democrats and Republicans.

Read the Ron Paul article.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Voluntary Tax System

I don't want this blog to be only about the US Tax System, but it is that time of year and I can't help myself.

Please watch this video. Like someone once said, if you can't dazzle them with brilliance, dazzle them with _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _. Enjoy!

Fair Tax Advertisement

Not much to say here, but here is a link to an advertisement put out by the supporters of The Fair Tax. Disclaimer, it is an advertisement, not an open discussion of the pros and cons of the idea.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

When Are Taxes Fair?

I have posted on this blog a few times about The Fair Tax, and my support of it as a means of reforming our tax code. More importantly, The Fair Tax would (hopefully) remove some of the frightening power the federal government has over its citizens.

However, there is a bigger question here. One small part of the problem in the US is with how taxes are taken from us. The larger issue is how much, in aggregate, the government should be taking. To put in different words, how much do we want our federal government to do?

The tenth amendment to The Constitution reads, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Does this sound like the structure of our country today?

I found an interesting article that discusses The Flat Tax and The Fair Tax. The revenue neutral nature of these tax plans do skip over what I perceive the real problem this country is having, which is the size, scope and control of the federal government.