Hillary's new simplified tax plan: Line #1 How much was your total $ income last year? __________ Line #2 Send it in.
It seems that politicians have things confused. They think that in order to create wealth, you must first distribute it. That makes no sense at all.
Well, they say, the government enables businesses to make the money they do. There is some truth in that. But, to say that businesses do not create wealth, government makes it possible, is a half truth.
The real whole truth is that you must first create wealth before you distribute it. Businesses create wealth and government distributes it. Once the money is made, taxes are collected, then distribution of wealth can begin.
How is wealth created? Let's take a scene out of real life to make an easy to understand illustration.
You are on your way to work early in the morning and you are hungry. So, you stop by the local McDonalds to get an egg McMuffin and some coffee. But, the McD's isn't open yet. So you are waiting the few short minutes before the crew comes in to open up.
As you sit there in your car, you see the restaurant, its windows and parking lot. You can see inside where there are cash registers and appliances waiting to be turned on. You know there are freezers in there with the frozen food you are waiting for the crew to prepare for your meal.
So, how much do you think the restaurant owners could get for the raw food just as it is right now, unprepared, still frozen? About what they paid for it, right? OK.
Now, the crew arrives, opens the doors, turns on the lights and appliances etc. and you walk in. You give your order, the food is cooked, you are served, and here comes another question. Now, how much did you pay for the food once it was cooked and served? Answer, on average, about four (4) times what they paid for the raw food.
The difference between the two prices is the wealth that was created when labor was added to capital (that is, all the human made and processed things used to create the wealth). Yes, you could throw in natural resources too. The point is that labor and capital/resources combined together to create the wealth.
Someone might jump in and say, "Well, the government provided roads, utilities, and regulations, etc." yes, but they paid for these things out of taxes already collected from both businesses and working employees who paid taxes to make it possible for government to do these things.
This is not a "chicken or the egg, which came first?" riddle. It is very logical and easy to see that money had to be made and collected before it could be passed around among government agencies.
By the way, neither poor people nor wealthy people enjoy getting less than they earned. Students in high school are shocked to find out that there are some taxes they cannot get back in refunds (such as FICA and Medicare contributions).
The creation of more government services may be a good thing or not, depending on circumstances and needs. However, let us be clear, government needs to get out of the way of those making and honest dollar and helping others to do likewise.
Hillary's plans to have government do more means paying for it out the the pockets of both the wealthy and the working poor. Everybody ought to get a load of that information.
The slight of hand of many magicians involves getting your attention on the moving, shiny object away from the strategic moves made to work the trick. It seemed to be the case on the 6th State of the Union Presidential address by Barak Obama. He spoke in glowing terms of the spotty improvements in the economy as justification for grand domestic policy moves. He virtually ignored some of the glaring problems we face.
The President appealed to some segments of America's population such as the college bound students and their parents and poorer people who cannot afford their own health insurance. He ignored other segments of America. He called for tax increases on the most productive segments in our economy for the benefit of the least productive segments. He deferred speaking to major news outlets after the address but interviewed with Youtube stars after the State of the Union address He ignored virtually all of us on other vital matters.
The southern border with Mexico has horrible security problems for us all. The release of prisoners from Gitmo pose a very real threat to the safety of every American. The continuing appeasement of radical terrorism around the world does not work and his avoidance of the term Al Qaeda in his speech is evidence of that appeasement. So is his absence from the recent march in Paris by international leaders showing solidarity against such terrorism as the attack on Charlie Hebdo. These international threats were largely missing from any reference to them as threats by the President.
The growing danger from homegrown terrorism is multiplied by refusing to label certain groups in the USA as terrorist even though their words and actions give "aid and comfort" to our terrorist enemies. The homegrown racial riots on our streets are encouraged by the attitudes and activities of this administration's use of the Department of Justice and the judicial system.
The dilemma of the Bengazi attack that killed our Ambassador there and three other State Department members has never been resolved. Equality under the law seems to have been permanently denied to their families.
The scandal of the Justice Department in the case of firearms being allowed to be smuggled to Mexico and the resulting death of a US Border Patrol agent has never been adequately addressed.
The "stonewalling" of the Justice Department that denied information needed in Congressional inquiries was not addressed.
Equality seemed to be a theme in the President's message. But, the President did not address equality under the law in the case of the IRS systematic refusal to grant tax exempt status for conservative groups.
The economy was mentioned only in terms called "putting your best foot forward." The growing national debt is a real problem to all Americans, not just our grandchildren who will have to pay the interest on such overwhelming international debt, thus weakening America in other areas of welfare and defense, and even self-maintenance. The job growth he mentions are largely 30 hour a week or less jobs, not full time jobs with benefits. He talks about spending programs to benefit folks without regard to how we are already spending about 40% more (by borrowing) than we take in by taxes.
No mention was made of the declining ability of State and local governments to pay their bills. That has been because the tax base is shrinking. That is because people who work cannot pay as much tax as people who work 40 hours a week. Businesses that limit hiring to 49 people cannot pay as much in tax as companies that can hire 50 or more people without fear of health care laws. Companies already taxed the highest corporate taxes in the world, cannot pay more without harming their ability to create jobs and make taxable profits.
So much more can be identified which needed to be addressed long ago: government waste, squelching the coal industry, and more.
If you were to add up all of the disasterous policies of this government, if you were a disinterested observer who knew nothing of America but the results of the policies of this President, you might ask yourself the question: "Is this President trying to ruin his own country?" He could cause a lot of damage with his "shiny objects" and "slight of hand."
If you take out a $1 bill, then assume it was earned by honest labor, you can say something remarkable. This dollar is part of the substance of the person who earned it. That means this person devoted personal time, talent, opportunity, and effort to produce a product or service for which they were paid. Thus, the dollar represents the substance of who this person is.
This concept substance is important because it will guide our young to diligent productivity, it will help us all understand the issue of financial equality versus financial success, and how moral ethic can blend with work ethic, and how covetous greed is not the same thing as fair ambition in capitalism.
The idea of substance gives moral value to the principle of personal productivity and to the dollar that is earned honestly. To encourage children to thus earn money is to train them in honesty and diligence.
In an age where the value assigned to ease seems to surpass the value attached to productivity, it seems wise to encourage our children and students to consider the worthiness of trading the first for the second. But, young people will want to know, "why?"
The answer is that there is such a thing as deceptive wages. There are things that can be had dishonestly or by chance. These tend not to bring lasting value to those who obtain them. However, financial substance tends to be used wisely. So, it tends to multiply and to bring more lasting value to those who succeed.
There is always a tension between excellence and equality. There are times when equality is to be desured such as equality under the law. There are times when excellence is to be desired such as when a person is paid according to the level of their productivity. So, the idea of substance being valued gives reason to motivate people to excellence.
There is a temptation for those who value ease to desire equality of income. This would provide them with the same income as a person who was diligent.
The Bible speaks often about money. The idea of substance is found there. So is the idea of diligence, and of productivity. Because the Bible is the most reliable source of moral truth, it is also the most reliable source of ideas for building productive relationships, resulting in fundamental success.
The tenth commandment is to not covet. That means wishing to own what belongs to another. It is said that capitalism is the same as greed, that is, coveting. However, it need not be. Ambition can hope in reward of productivity. Ambition does not need to attach itself to the property of others. Competition can be diligence to win a fair contest for a prize. That is not greed. Greed would take what belongs by right to another.
The idea of substance is consistent with wholesome ambition. The idea of substance indicated that the money was honestly earned. That would also hold true for a prized promotion to higher responsibility and compensation. The idea of substance can combine the work ethic with the moral ethic. This is what professional exceptionalism can look like: substance.
Looking forward is what we want to know about the impacts of ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as IS, the Islamic State, and ISIS, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, all names of the same Islamic jihadist regime). What about the life and death security of Americans? What about the lives of others? What about the impact on our economy if the oil fields under ISIL are somehow lost or destroyed in their production of oil? What about impact on our friend, Israel? What will our President say that will affect these matters?
The President is not likely to stray much further from what he has done in the past. He may do small things to inch toward the direction he feels pressured to pursue. However, such movement toward the destruction of ISIL will be very measured. The President will use rhetoric in dramatic fashion to make it seem larger than the actual steps taken. Those steps will include increased use of US Air Power, support of anti-ISIL ground forces in Iraq and Syria, support for the government of Iraq, and the announcement of names of other nations joining in concert with the USA against the "extremist" ISIL regime.
What the President will not say is anything about confronting jihadism in any other organization except possibly a mention of Al Qaida. That is doubtful, however. The President will not take a stand against any organization favored by the Muslim Brotherhood because Muslim Brotherhood members form an important group of advisors to the President.
ISIL will not be threatened strategically by what the President will say, no matter what the President's rhetoric may be. ISIL is headquartered in Syria, not Iraq. The broad areas ISIL has captured in Iraq are comprised mostly of small towns and lots of desert. Syria is heavily populated. To attack ISIL directly in Syria would cause a lot of collateral damage, i.e. civilian casualties. This, the President is not willing to do because it will not coincide with the policies of the Muslim Brotherhood and will give the appearance of illegitimate inhumane evil war motives. As long as ISIL remains strong in Syria it will remain intact for the forseeable future.
This means that ISIL along with Al Qaida and other jihadist groups will have a shot at causing damage and death in the USA. The President will not take strong enough action to preclude this. ISIL will have at its desposal monies it has collected in taxes from the areas it now controls and from revenues from the oil fields it has captured. (If the President acts in accordance with US military advice and with Arab allies, those oil fields may be recaptured.) However, the oil fields are not likely to be destroyed because of an impact on world oil markets.
However, without US troops in action on the ground to re-take those oil fields, the revenues of ISIL will remain viable in the near future. And, that means ISIL will be well funded to carry out attacks on the USA. That also means ISIL will be able to purchase military equipment and to hire military technicians and even mercenaries to win more victories and to create more victims in the areas it controls and conquers.
Israel temporarily is indirectly benefited by the struggles of Arabs, one against another. As long as Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and others are battling against ISIL, they cannot use the same resources against Israel. Once the ISIL matter is settled, however, a re-unification of resources of all of these players, perhaps including ISIL, can be directed against Israel. This would be horrific for Israel because of the number or resources and the barbarity that would be leveled against it. Only a miracle of God could protect Israel from destruction at that point.
The USA would be well served with minimal expense to arm, equip, and help to maintain Israel. The practical reason is that Israel is a bulwark of defense against jihadist regimes that hate the USA. That, however, is not the policy of this President.
To say, as many do, that to offend the Islamist jihadists who hate the western way of life, who hate Christianity, who hate the history of imperialism represented by the USA, that to offend these by supporting Israel is unwise. To them I say, you are cowards. You have the mindset of the wimpy victim of the bully. That mindset says, "Please don't hit me any more. I'll give you my lunch money." The wuss hopes to minimize the damage to his body but ignores the damage to his honor, The wuss hopes to survive by being a coward. Survival and cowardly defense are mutually exclusive.
The President is not being a wuss. That is because he is not acting out of a cowardly attitude. His attitude, along with his advisors from the Muslim Brotherhood, is a sympathy with the philosophy of jihad. His political supporters, however, suffer from wussism. They believe that cowardly defense is the best defense. Why they do so is a different discussion. In practical matters of foreign policy, the liberal wussism and the philosophy of the President result in the same actions or lack of them.
That is why the President will announce this evening 9/10/14, on the eve of 13th anniversary of 9/11/2001, that he is doing incremental things couched in forceful language. All show, not much "go".