Friday, July 30, 2010

Raising Taxes in a Fragile Economy

In today's WSJ and other publications it was reported that our economy slowed in the 2nd Quarter of this year.  According to the WSJ "The Commerce Department Friday said U.S. gross domestic product, or the value of all goods and services produced, rose at an annualized seasonally adjusted rate of 2.4% in April to June. In its first estimate of the economy's benchmark indicator, the government report showed growth was lifted by business investments and exports. Consumer spending, a key growth engine for the U.S. economy, made a smaller contribution to growth."

Reading some of the comments associated with this are fascinating....

Peter Klientje wrote: "I don't understand.... Where did it go wrong?


We all know that Socialism works. It works in Cuba, it works in North Korea and it did wonders for the people in the former Soviet Union. Socialism works every single time it is tried.

Why then is Socialism not working in the USA? We have the perfect shepherd for us, the sheeple; obama. We have the smartest, the most inspirational leaders in the House and Senate, pelosi and reid....

We have honesty and integrity in our government; rangel, geithner, sebelius, kerry...

And yet, despite all these blessings, there is no spark, no jobs, no economic growth. How can this be? July is practically over, when will the Summer of Recovery start?"
 
Jim Altfeld wrote:  "The administration can say and do anything it wants, but when it comes right down to it, nothing they are doing is working. It's a lot like building a bridge. It's hard to hide your mistakes when it's out there for everyone to see. More taxes can only lead to more government spending. Less taxes takes money out of government's pockets and puts it back into the pockets of corporations and We The People!! If turning this economy around will be done on the backs of the people, then let the people determine when and where they want to spend their money. Hey Government: Stop spending and stop taxing. You cannot and were never meant to cure all the ills that go on in our country."
 
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli pointed this out recently at a fund raiser for Patrick Murray.  This is backled up by a recent remarks by Ken Walker, CFE, chairman of the International Franchise Association and chairman and CEO of Driven Brands. 
 
His remarks included the following:  "Uncertainty is the theme for franchise businesses this summer. Uncertainty about new government regulations, uncertainty about availability of capital, and uncertainty about how quickly the economy will truly recover is stifling job and business growth.


Of course, there are many reasons for the current wave of uncertainly, but as Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher recently said, “Congress and the government have inhibited growth by creating uncertainty about business costs. We need clarity. You can’t eliminate uncertainty, but you have to reduce it as much as possible.”

As job creators, franchise business owners remain in the crossfire of a political agenda that increasingly threatens to stifle economic growth even further. Potential new taxes on both personal and business incomes, a continuing array of new regulatory burdens from health and energy reforms, and the failure to invest in common-sense solutions to help small businesses grow will certainly hamper job creation.

For example, we know that tax paperwork and compliance are already major expenses for small businesses, but buried in the new health-care law is a requirement for small businesses to report every business-to-business transaction that involve property and services in excess of $600 annually.

This would trigger the requirement to file a Form 1099 with the IRS and furnish taxpayer identification numbers (TINs) for all businesses and persons involved." (more)

The point is the that this uncertainty and additional burdens being placed on small businesses may be contributing to the drag in the economy.  That drag and the policies of the current administration and congress are making it increasingly difficult for businesses to create jobs and hire people.  It points them in the direction of seeking labor saving solutions overseas and in technology rather than hire people here.

What is needed is stability and policies that do not discourage businesses to invest and hire domestically.

My Thoughts, What are Yours?

Let Freedom Ring

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Good Judgment; Poor Judgment

My Dad use to tell me when I was growing up, if you want to know the heart of a man (or woman) watch what he does with his money.  Another Dad’ism was, “Always Follow the Money”.  Here he meant that you can predict a persons loyalties by considering where his money comes from.

I will state up front, I have worked for AT&T for over 15 years and many of my points of view, especially as it comes to questions associated with telecommunications, reflect a point of view that reflects my pride in my company, the offers that we have and our philosophical approach to the marketplace.  My opinions are my own and do not reflect official company positions, occasionally I disagree with company decisions and feel embarrassed with our mistakes, still my sympathies lie with the company that rewards my work.

My point in stating this is to acknowledge that it is human nature to, at minimum, be sympathetic to the sources of our funding.  That is why it is so important to disclose and try to avoid situations where our ethics may be compromised by the potential influence from whoever provides our funding.  As a private citizen, where I am not responsible for the people's money, the standards of ethics applied to me are at one level.   Disclosing who I work for and that it might influence my judgement is consistent with what most people expect of a private citizen.

When you are a public official, I submit, you must operate at a much higher ethical level.

A tale of two politicians

This morning, it was reported that Virginia State Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, has decided to give up the questionable donations made to him by Bobby Thompson, a Florida man who served as a director of a charity under investigation in at least four states, including Virginia.

This demonstrates, principled good judgment on the part of Cuccinelli so that he can avoid both the substance and appearance of improper influence by this man under investigation.

Moran[1]Sadly, this same kind of principled good judgment can not be said by our 8th District Congressman, Jim Moran.  Hiding under the cover of recent exoneration by the Democratically controlled, House ethics committee, Congressman Moran continues on his path of accepting contributions by business leaders associated with companies he obtained millions of dollars in federal earmarks.

Again, as my Dad use to say, “you want to know how a person is likely to behave, follow the money.”  It is a pretty strong bet that Congressman Moran will have sympathies for these companies and will look for opportunities to funnel more federal dollars to them.  Bringing home the bacon has been a time-honored political practice, but when your campaign accepts donations back from these companies, it strains credibility that your judgment will not be compromised, just ask former Congressman Randy Cunningham.

I ask the voters in the 8th District to join me in demanding that Jim Moran stop the practice of accepting donations from companies he has delivered earmarks to and return the money he has already accepted.  I mean, who do you want your congressman working for, you, or a small handful of local businessmen?

Let Freedom Ring.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Earmarks, Donors and Jim Moran

Henry Hazlitt in his brilliant "Economics in One Lesson" talks about the dangers of funnelling government funding of projects into specific areas.  He argues that while the impact on the local region is very positive, one has to consider the dollars that are not spent in other places.  This means that while the local area benefits, there are projects and investments NOT made in other parts of the country.  So, the value created in one place is offset by the lack of value not created in another.

This can lead to an environment where corruption is easily bred.  Why?  Because, those who are the beneficiaries of the funding become dependent on the official who provides them.  Further, it leads to a cozy "I will scratch your back, if you scratch mine" relationship between the official and those who benefit most from the funding.

The late Congressman Murtha was the master of this.  He was so good at it, that he had an airport built in the middle of nowhere that required full time TSA staffing and maintenance for what amounted to two flights daily.  His constituents loved him for it and re-elected him over and over in spite of suspicion of corruption that at one point led to questions of ethics brought against him by the house.

Nonetheless, he turned his river of money that came from you and me into one of the best "loyalty" programs ever.  (American Express Rewards had nothing on Murtha).  One could almost argue that he corrupted an entire district and made them dependent on his largess.

Moran Tops US Congressmen in Contributions from Earmark Recipients

Could we be seeing something similar right here in our own backyard?    Recently in a June report by two nonpartisan organizations generally critical of earmarks, Taxpayers for Common Sense (TCS) and the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), it was reported that Congressman Jim Moran of Northern Virginia was the House leader in campaign contributions received from earmark recipients.  The report showed Democrat Jim Moran got $89,600.

According to virginiawatchdog.org"Moran received more than $80,000 from executives, political action committees and lobbyists of companies to whom he’s directed earmarks. In total, Moran has received $82,700 total from these committees and individuals, according to Federal Election Commission reports. MobilVox, Inc. tops the list of donors, contributing $8,300 to Moran and receiving a $2 million earmark.


(Further) Moran requested earmarks for donors totaling more than $50 million. The largest earmark requests were $3 million each, requested for EM Solutions, Inc., Argon ST and DDL Omni Engineering. All of the earmarks given to donors of Moran were defense appropriations.


Finally, it’s true that more than 20 percent of Moran’s $396,952 in donations last year came from these committees and individuals."

To be clear, at this point there is no reported evidence of corruption here.  It currently appears that all of this has been reported correctly.  Still, where there is a close connection between the people receiving the earmark and those who contribute to a campaign, it can give the appearance of a payoff.  At any rate it is logical that those who are the beneficiary of this largess, would be motivated to see Mr. Moran re-elected.  At the very least, this calls into question the congressman's judgement.

This also creates a less than fair playing field for candidates to compete for voters attention and votes.  Could we be seeing the seeds planted for a Murtha like abuse of privilege?  The greed of a handful of local people who benefit from this transfer of money from other parts of the country to here may be great for our local citizens but could be bad for our country. 

I believe our local citizens are smarter and more honorable than that.  When they realize that Congressman Jim Moran is not only playing this shell game with the people's money, but setting up this mutual admiration and reward "society", they will be giving second thoughts about whether someone with this kind of judgement deserves another term in Congress.

Let Freedom Ring

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Tree of Liberty is Planted in Alexandria Virginia

Virginia Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli arrived later than expected by a surprisingly large crowd at the home of Kimberly Newman of Alexandria, Virginia last night.  However, it was not too late to help plant the seeds of Liberty with this enthusiastic crowd of supporters of US 8th District Congressional Candidate Patrick Murray.

Both AG Ken Cuccinelli and Candidate Murray spoke of the "job-killing uncertainty" that exists in the marketplace today.  According to Cuccinelli and Murray, there is a direct link between the lack of job creation and the policies of President Obama with the support of current Congressman, Jim Moran.  Discussion by this crowd centered on what is needed to set this country right again.



video


While many last night acknowledged that unseating Jim Moran will be difficult, all seemed enthusiastically up for the challenge as the Attorney General and the candidate pounded on the themes of:

  • Free Enterprise
  • Fiscal Responsibility
  • Fueling our Great Economic Engine
  • Restoring a better balance in Washington

Liberty, properly nurtured, can lead to exciting progress.  A new "Liberty Tree" may have been just planted in the unlikely city of Alexandria, Virginia.

Let Freedom Ring

Monday, July 26, 2010

Freedom of the Press

In a commentary, published in the Washington Post, this morning by E.J. Dionne Jr., wrote “The mainstream media and the Obama administration must stop cowering before a right wing that has persistently forced its propaganda to be accepted as news by convincing  the traditional journalists that “fairness” requires treating extremist rants as “one side of the story”.

My posted response to his commentary was:

Mr. Dionne, why do you (and others) accuse Fox of “persistently forcing propaganda as news” as if they are the only ones doing it.  Yesterday as I was listening to CNN, I heard a panel make essentially the points you did in your article.  It appears that both you and CNN want to make FOX the story and not the trigger happy administration.  What was interesting was that no one on the panel expressed any viewpoint other than this was all a conspiracy by FOX News.

Let’s review some actual facts.  First, for the record, on my post last Thursday, I made it clear that I have sympathies for Ms Sherrod.  This was a clear case of recklessness where the guilt is borne by many.  However this is not the way CNN, MSNBC, the Washington Post and New York Times are reporting it. 
Fox, on the other hand, is the only major network that is presenting a true vibrant debate in which advocates harmonious with your position are interviewed along with others who defend conservatives and new media.  For example, yesterday on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, both Howard Dean and Jesse Jackson were interviewed and, in the case of Howard Dean, he accused FOX News of being “racist”, on FOX News.  I thought that interesting and remarkable that he made many of the same points you did in your article on the very network that was broadcasting it.  Jesse Jackson made similar arguments and there is a full spectrum of commentary that is expressed by many on the network.  I am not sure that I see your point about FOX news, especially when, a telling of the full story does not appear to be expressed on the other networks/newspapers.

For example, where on MSNBC was it reported that FOX news only ran the video AFTER the administration had fired, Shirley Sherrod?  Where on CNN was it reported that O’ Reilly not only made a mistake, but then confessed to the mistake and apologized for it.  Where, beside the Huffington Post, was it reported that Sheppard Smith said “"We here at Studio B did not run the video and did not reference the story in any way for many reasons, among them: we didn't know who shot it, we didn't know when it was shot, we didn't know the context of the statement, and because of the history of the videos on the site where it was posted, in short we do not and did not trust the source."

Where on MSNBC was it reported that Fox News president cautioned his staff to “go slow” with the story and make sure that all the facts were straight before running it.  (Advice ignored by Bill O’Reilly and according to him, Bill O’Reilly alone.)  Finally, where in the New York Times was it reported that in spite of the poor judgment overall that Bill O’Reilly displayed, he only ran the story AFTER Ms. Sherrod had been fired by the Administration?

I enjoy listening/watching many sources.  This “Freedom of the Press” gives me a way to view/hear many points of view.  (It is one of the reasons why I read the Washington Post and commentaries such as your own along with MSNBC, PBS and CNN.)  I value this rich diversity of opinion.  It saddens me a bit when the so called mainstream media does not present all sides of the story, but appears to have an agenda of its own.  It seems that MSNBC, CNN and you are guilty of the very thing you accuse FOX News of.

With Fred Barnes recent story that suggests collusion in the liberal media and an organized effort to discredit the source(s), I keep coming back to the power that is embedded with the notion of racism.  It appears that whenever things don’t seem to be going the way the left wants it to go, a “let’s make this about racism” seems to crop up, over and over.

Once again, I assert that the true issue that we should all be fighting for here is FREEDOM!  In a free society we CAN have a vibrant debate.  Freedom deserves to be nurtured and protected.  I for one will strive to keep this focus and avoid, if I can, this attempt to distract from this main message.
Let Freedom Ring.

Friday, July 23, 2010

What's In It For You?

Last night I had the privilege to meet Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling at a gathering of Republicans in Falls Church, VA.  The purpose of the occasion was to support the candidacy of Patrick Murray for congress.  These people were all gathered at a wonderful home on a pleasant, if a little muggy, evening for a "no pork" luau.

Mr. Bolling provided a few brief comments and proudly announced that the state of Virginia had gone from a fiscal deficit to about 400 million dollar surplus in the year since Governor McDonnell had been elected.  The conversation for the evening by this very nice crowd was passionate and generally drifted to  the common themes we hear from Republicans, less taxes, smaller government, fiscal discipline and so on.  With all of the hoopla associated with Mr. Murray's campaign to "RetireJimMoran", I was thinking....

So What!

I was pondering this dilemma.  I suspect that most people couldn't care less about lower taxes or "fiscal discipline" or "smaller government".  If I was them, I would be thinking...

What's in it for me?

It is a legitimate question, especially if you are part of the reported 60% of Americans who pay little or no taxes.  I mean, why should I care if lower taxes is not affecting MY wallet?

Ah my friend, but it does.  What is at stake here is Freedom!  Last night I was asked, "What do you mean, "Freedom"?  I loved the question.  It was the right question.

We live in a world of imperfect men and women.  Our founding fathers knew this.  In their wisdom, they created a system of government that created an environment of many competing centers of power.  From the federal to the state to local governments, each center of power "competes" with the other to be both a check against power abuse and as a laboratory of new ideas.  The ideas here in Virginia, some of which directly challenge the federal government, provides a powerful crucible in which ideas become better.  When proven, these ideas become models for others. 

Further, private initiative with the risk and ultimate reward for the best ideas provides a platform for innovation in which new and different ways to solve problems can flourish.  Can you imagine what Facebook would look like if it was "invented" by a subcommittee of the FCC?

Every time we empower a federal agency AND take money from the private sector, we take away the funds that fuel innovation and lead to economic activity.  Every time we create a government agency with rules and regulations, we make things more difficult for innovative ideas to flourish because they are stifled with rules known and unknown that choke off the idea before it has had a true chance to prove itself in the marketplace. 

When we keep money in the pockets of people, prosperity flourishes and leads to an accumulation of dollars that individuals and enterprises are free to invest into creative solutions.  This investment of both time and treasure, is ultimately followed with new and better approaches to the issues we face every day.  Often it is messy and there are failures, but this crucible keeps bubbling up new ideas that address real problems and tackle problems unimagined.  If it is done well, it is rewarded with people willing to pay for those solutions... and that, my friend, leads to the creation of jobs and meaningful work.

So, what's in it for you?  Jobs that pay fair wages.  Creative solutions to our problems.  Freedom to pursue our own hopes and dreams.  ...and in that "pursuit" where we are building a future both individually and together, we more often than not discover.... "happiness".

Let Freedom Ring.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

When Tag Turns into a Nasty Game

When I was a child one of my favorite neighborhood games to play was tag. My friends and I would run around our neighborhood in Whittier, California often into the twilight and early evening hours running and chasing each other with shouts of "Your IT!" when the IT person tagged someone else.


Often there would be a refrain, a sort of rule we would use called "no tag backs" meaning we would not be able to quickly tag back the person who had just tagged us. This, of course, made the game more interesting. Though we had a great deal of fun. The game was essentially pointless. It was simply a lot of running, shouting, and figuring out who we could "tag" and how we could "tag" them.

We seem to be playing another version of this today. Also with a great deal of shouting and running around. None of which accomplishes much, but can give the illusion of excitement. That is not to say that people don't ever get hurt. Like the childhood game where sometimes in the exuberance of tagging someone, your enthusiasm would get the best of you and when you tagged another, they would fall down. If it happened on the pavement, scuffed knees and tears would sometimes be the result. Today's version of "tag" can have consequences and sometimes innocent people, who did not even sign up to be in the game get hurt.

I am speaking, of course, about the on-going tempest associated with the NAACP, the tea party movement, Shirley Sherrod. The back and forth between the tea party movement and the NAACP led up to the embarrassing debacle of the firing of Shirley Sherrod on Monday. It appears that nearly everyone from the blogger, to the administration to the media, to Bill O'Reilly and I say even the NAACP itself, had a role to play and contributed to this unnecessary ugly incident.


I am most sympathetic to Ms Sherrod. Here she was trying to make a point about overcoming bigotry, to do the the right thing and a knucklehead with an agenda pulls out a snip of her talk, out of context, and displays it for all to see so that he can make the point that bigotry is not one-sided. I also blame the NAACP itself for creating this environment in which members of the tea party movement felt compelled to "tag back" after they were "tagged" with the brush of racism.

Racism has nothing to do with the fundamental tenants of this movement.

The Tea Party Movement is most fundamentally about freedom.

The goals of limiting the government (especially the federal government), keeping taxes low, minimizing regulation, etc. are all means to maintain that core American value - Freedom.

Charges of racism and racist remarks do not belong in this conversation. I am troubled and sad that people involved in this from both people associated with the tea party to the NAACP with the support of news organizations of all persuasions, have allowed the conversation to be hijacked into this senseless shouting match in which, not only is no one listening to the other, but they are not even having the right conversation.

If I was a cynical man, I might think that this was the agenda of the perpetrators all along.

In this world of imperfect men, Freedom is a fragile thing that needs to be protected, nurtured, respected and if maintained, represents our best hope for a future or wondrous innovation, prosperity and progress. Let us strive to stay on this message and not allow ourselves to be sidetracked with pointless games of "tag". Perhaps we can avoid skinned knees, bruised egos, and knee jerk reactions that devastates the lives of our citizens who are simply trying to do the right thing.

Let Freedom Ring

For something a little different, consider my thoughts on State of Independence

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Home Ownership Under Attack

A lesson in the pride of home ownership.

Some of you may know that we own a home in the Lehigh Valley, just south of Allentown.  We have owned if since 1999.  For the past two and half years we have been leasing it out to a very nice family from Japan who was in the US working as an executive at the US headquarters of Olympus. 

As nice and wonderful as these people were, it was clear that they did not have the same commitment that we do regarding maintenance and care for the home.  It wasn't that they were bad.  In fact, I would classify them as "good" tenants.  They simply did not invest themselves into the home the way we would as owners. 

Recently we have been having a debate as to how much we are willing to work on this place since it is unclear whether we will return there or not.  If we do, then it makes sense to really get it "in-shape".  If not, then we will do only what is necessary so that we can get it sold.

Ownership makes a difference.

A news article in this morning's Washington Post caught my eye. Next up for reform: Housing finance. In the article, HUD Secretary is quoted as saying "For many Americans, renting will continue to be the only or preferred option".

This is a troubling shift for the government as it could be construed as a reversal of the policy of this country going back to at least the time right after World War II, when the government provided support for thousands of returning GIs and their families for home ownership. This, coupled with he affordability of the automobile and improved roads began the migration of families away from the inner city and to a land where individuals and families could create a positive mark for the future.
Aristotle wrote, "What belongs in common to the most people is accorded the least care: they take thought for their own things above all, and less about things common, or only so much as falls to each individually." And we all observe that homeowners take better care of their houses than renters do. That’s not because renters are bad people; it’s just that you’re more attentive to details when you stand to profit from your house’s rising value or to suffer if it deteriorates.

David Boaz wrote, "Just as home ownership creates responsible homeowners, widespread ownership of other assets creates responsible citizens. People who are owners feel more dignity, more pride, and more confidence. They have a stronger stake, not just in their own property, but in their community and their society".

As I have noted in a previous post, the concentration of power (at any level), is a threat to freedom. Our framers understood this. They designed a system of government based on a free society with many epicenters of power (including private enterprise and ownership) such that these would act as a balance against the temptations of tyranny that are often the ugly consequence of the concentration of power.
Home ownership is a fundamental tenant of the American Dream. Without respect and support of this noble striving, we put at risk not only an orderly society, but our hopes and dreams for a better future for ourselves and our children.

Our policies should responsibly nurture and support home ownership as fundamental to maintaining a free and orderly society.

Let Freedom Ring

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Double Standards? Black Panther Thugs vs Tea Party Patriots

Today Eugene Robinson wrote an article titled, "The Tea Party Poison".  In it he, like many liberal writers, continues to attempt to make the connection between this grass roots organization and a charge of racism.  I don't see it.  The Tea Party movement is about freedom.  It's stated purpose is as follows; "We are dedicated to uphold the Constitution and our rights as citizens of these United States of America. It is in our best interests to join in the "Tea Party Movement" to speak out and voice our thoughts on what we need to do in the United States to ensure our children have the ability to sustain this wonderful country. We are committed to keeping government from excessive spending and becoming so overpowering that we would lose our individual rights." Taken from http://www.jointheteaparty.us/aboutus.html. Can someone point out where anything about race is mentioned?  A commitment to freedom and stand against oppression is what I see, read and hear.  Are you kidding me? This should be a shared commitment honored by all thinking human beings regardless of color, class, race creed, sexual orientation and religion.

He asserts as proof of his allegation that , "On Saturday, the National Tea Party Federation announced it had expelled one of the movement's most prominent figures -- a California blowhard named Mark Williams -- because of the outrageously racist things he had said about the NAACP."

Now, let me get this straight.  Mr. Robinson considers the organization racist (or having racist elements) because it kicks out someone who is a moron and expresses himself in a racially insensitive way that would suggest a racist intent????

Hmm.  Let's compare this to the recent decision by Attorney General Eric Holder to the Black Panther incident in which our federal government decided to drop the case against members of Black Panther party who were engaged in voter intimidation.  Oh, wait a minute, perhaps you think I am making this up.  Well, here are two videos that show the incident.  I leave it up to you to decide whether this is racism or voter intimidation (a federal offense, I believe).





Now, here is my question for Mr. Robinson, "If you are committed as you say you are to balanced reporting and a society free of bigotry, where is your outrage not only for this incident, but more problematically, towards Attorney General Eric Holder dropping this investigation and prosecution of what appears to be not only racist rhetoric, but voter intimidation?"

I see no evidence, on any official tea party website or documentation that is officially connected to the tea party movement is there any discussion about race.  This movement is about freedom.  Limiting the size and role of the federal government and empowering private enterprise hearkens back to our founding fathers goals.  They intentionally designed a government system in order to reduce the likelihood that our country would ever drift back to tyranny as exemplified by the grievances listed against King George of England in our Declaration of Independence.  Despots can take many forms and a precursor to tyrants be they 18th century kings or modern day despots is the concentration of power.

Recently, we have seen an unprecedented concentration of power into the hands of relatively fewer and fewer men, mostly associated with our federal government.  This path is fraught with danger because as Nobel laureate, Milton Freedman said, ""Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it."

That is the mission of the tea party.  That is what drives these patriots to committed action.  This is something that men and women of all races, creeds, sexual orientation, or religion should be supportive of.  For it is ours and their freedom we are standing up for.

This attempt to discredit the tea party movement by tarring it with the brush of racism is disrespectful at best and dishonest at worst.  Mr. Robinson, I ask you to 1) Bring balance to your commentary, if you are going to point out racism, point it out without regard to race.  (Racist behavior is not limited to Mark Williams or King Samir Shabaz, but both need to be called out) 2) Just as King Samir does not speak for all African Americans, or the NAACP, Mark Williams does not speak for White Americans or the Tea Party Movement.  So any attempts to make those connections dishonors the work and intentions of many noble patriots.

Let Freedom Ring!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I Am Proud to Say NO!

In response to the following cartoon in this morning's Washington Post, I offer the following commentary.....



In the Hippocratic Oath, physicians are sworn to "first do no harm". Therefore, doing nothing can sometimes be noble, just, and heroic (and maybe the right thing to do). The answer to our challenges does not always lie with a government program.

Nobel prize winner Milton Friedman once said, "As 'liberals', (commentator note, not the interpretation commonly used today) we take freedom of the individual, or perhaps the family as our ultimate goal in judging social arrangements. Freedom as a value in this sense has to do with the interrelations among people."

Preserving the ability of private enterprise to create solutions based on market driven principles allows for multiple centers of power and acts as a balance against the potential for tyranny and abuse that is often the result of concentrating power into the hands of relatively few men.


According to Dr. Friedman, that concentration of power no matter how well intentioned becomes the mechanism by which people who are tempted begin the process that ultimately leads to tyranny.


I, for one, am proud that some principled Republicans are standing together and saying NO in a loud voice against the most sweeping concentration of power into the hands of our federal government we have seen in at least a generation.


I am deeply concerned for the implications of this concentration of power. Maintaining the distribution of power into the hands of many places (state, local, private enterprise, families) is the best chance to preserve our freedom, maintain our pace of innovation and strengthen our economy.

We all need to take a giant chill pill here and slow down this runaway, out of control Democratic machine that no matter how well intentioned will inevitably leave us a poorer, less diverse, and ultimately oppressed society.