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Monday Brief

Income Redistribution Day

Apr. 15, 2013

The Foundation

“Would it not be better to simplify the system of taxation rather than to spread it over such a variety of subjects and pass through so many new hands.” –Thomas Jefferson

Government

“It’s Tax Day. Most Americans dread Tax Day, and for good reasons. Beyond the huge tab Americans pay to the government, the tax code is so complex that it’s difficult to figure out what we owe to the IRS. This is a pain for taxpayers and a huge drain on the economy. According to the federal Taxpayer Advocate in its 2012 report, Americans’ cost of complying with today’s complex tax code totaled $168 billion in 2010. That’s almost as large as the impact of the Obama tax hikes in fiscal year 2013, and twice the size of sequestration this year. It takes taxpayers 6.1 billion hours – or 51 hours per household – to complete all the required filings. That’s more than six full eight-hour working days per household! The compliance burden comes on top of the direct financial cost of $3.5 trillion in federal spending. In 2012, Washington collected $20,000 in taxes for every household in America. But Washington spent nearly $30,000 per household. … 45 percent or almost half of all spending went toward paying for Social Security and health care entitlements. … Growing government spending threatens current and future taxpayers with higher taxes. Congress should reduce spending and prevent any more tax increases. Congress also needs to reform the tax code so it is less of a burden on the American people. Tax day is a real drag, but it doesn’t have to be this bad.” –Heritage Foundation’s Romina Boccia and Curtis Dubay

Re: The Left

“Maybe it’s a measure of progressives’ refusal to look back, to always move ‘forward.’ Otherwise, they should be celebrating right now. In fact, President Obama and fellow modern progressives/liberals should be ecstatic all this year, rejoicing over the centenary of something so fundamental to their ideology, to their core goals of government, to their sense of economic and social justice – to what Obama once called ‘redistributive change.’ And what is this celebratory thing to the progressive mind? It is the progressive income tax. This year it turns 100. … For … Obama and allies, a federal income tax based on graduated or progressive rates embodies and enables government’s primary ‘job’ and ‘purpose.’ They embrace a progressive tax for the chief intention of wealth redistribution, which, in turn, allows for income leveling, income ‘equality,’ and for government to do the myriad things that progressives ever-increasingly want government to do. … Here in 2013, 100 years henceforth, the wealthiest Americans … will be paying more in taxes this year than any time in the last 30 years. For progressives, this is justice. But it is also bittersweet: As progressives know deep inside, it still isn’t enough. For them, it’s never enough. … For progressives, getting it implemented was a huge triumph. Their success in making it a permanent part of the American landscape is a more stunning achievement still.” –professor Paul Kengor

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For the Record

“[T]he BLS says that in 2012, on average, only 114,809,000 Americans worked in full-time … jobs. Of those 114,809,000 full-time workers, 17,629,000 worked full-time for government. That means there were only 97,180,000 people working full-time in the private sector. If you add the 71,700,000 who enrolled in Medicaid last year to the 17,629,000 who worked full-time for the government, that gives you a combined 82,329,000 who were enrolled in Medicaid or who worked full-time for government. That means that for every person who either enrolled in Medicaid or worked full-time for the government, there were only about 1.2 full-time workers in the private sector. And those 1.2 full-time private-sector workers who were supporting the Americans on Medicaid or the government’s full-time payroll included however many full-time private-sector workers occupied the approximately 14.5 million private-sector health care jobs. We have not gotten there yet, but we are fast approaching the point where the combination of people who work full-time in health care, and who work full-time for the government, and who are enrolled in Medicaid outnumber the people who work full-time in the private sector in non-health-care jobs. When Obamacare falters from the great costs it is about to impose on this nation, some will declare that the answer is to fully nationalize the health care system. Had that been done in March 2013, 26.9 percent of American jobs would have been government jobs.” –columnist Terence Jeffrey

Opinion in Brief

“Here’s the number to keep in mind: $763 billion. If enacted, Barack Obama’s latest budget would mean that in just ten years, interest payments alone on the national debt would begin pushing the trillion-dollar mark: $763 billion a year by 2023. That may be a rosy estimate: It assumes that interest rates, currently near historic lows, do not rise a great deal over the next ten years as the Treasury continues to pile up new debt. If interest rates do climb a bit higher … then those interest payments easily could be more than $1 trillion a year. But let’s stay with that $763 billion a year for now. How much money is that? It is more money than the federal government spent on anything in 2011: The largest single spending item in 2011, Social Security, amounted to only $725 billion. … If you believe the welfare state is too expensive now, or that we spend too much money on the military, consider that President Obama proposes to spend more than that merely making interest payments on all the debt his budget would help pile up. How much debt? How about $8.5 trillion in new debt over the next decade, for a total of more than $25 trillion in national debt. At 6 percent interest, it would cost us $1.5 trillion a year to service that debt: about the size of President Clinton’s entire proposed budget for 1995.” –National Review’s Kevin D. Williamson

Insight

“Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people’s money. It’s quite a characteristic of them. They then start to nationalize everything, and people just do not like more and more nationalization, and they’re now trying to control everything by other means.” –British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013)

Essential Liberty

“[Margaret] Thatcher believed in capitalism and freedom, in rewarding risk-takers and encouraging entrepreneurs, in low taxes and private ownership. She loved her country, she cherished Anglo-American civilization, and she despised appeasement. She had a visceral abhorrence of communism, and rejected the accommodationists who saw Soviet ascendancy – and the West’s slow decline – as a permanent fact of life. ‘The essence of Thatcherism was to oppose the status quo and bet on freedom,’ The Economist noted in its obituary this week. ‘She thought nations could become great only if individuals were set free. Her struggles had a theme: the right of individuals to run their own lives, as free as possible from the micromanagement of the state.’ That was the essence of Reaganism too. … It can be perversely tempting at times to imagine that our problems are too ingrained to fix, that the erosion is too far gone to reverse, that our enemies are too strong to defeat. But history is not predetermined. ‘Malaise’ can give way to ‘morning in America.’ The ‘sick man of Europe’ can be restored to health. Besides everything else they accomplished, Thatcher and Reagan remind us that things can change for the better, and great leaders can change them. It wasn’t foreordained that Britain and America would revive from the despondency of the 1970s. But voters in both countries elected leaders of conviction, not consensus. That made an extraordinary difference, and achieved a world of good.” –columnist Jeff Jacoby

The Gipper

“I know too that many of you seriously believe that a nuclear freeze would further the cause of peace. But a freeze now would make us less, not more, secure and would raise, not reduce, the risks of war. It would be largely unverifiable and would seriously undercut our negotiations on arms reduction. It would reward the Soviets for their massive military buildup while preventing us from modernizing our aging and increasingly vulnerable forces. With their present margin of superiority, why should they agree to arms reductions knowing that we were prohibited from catching up?” –Ronald Reagan

Culture

“A basketball coach who shoves and curses at his players merits constant coverage by a media also transfixed by Newtown. But a Philadelphia doctor on trial for murdering a woman and seven babies? It’s ignored. Those who get their news from the three major networks have probably not heard of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, now on trial in Philadelphia, charged with seven counts of first-degree murder and one count of third-degree murder for killing seven babies who survived abortions and a woman who died after a botched pain-killer injection. Everybody has heard of Mike Rice, the disgraced former Rutgers basketball coach who was fired after video surfaced of him shoving, kicking and yelling at his players, throwing basketballs at them and – most damning – using ‘homophobic slurs.’ According to the Media Research Center, in one week Rice received 41 minutes, 26 seconds of air time on ABC, CBS and NBC in 36 separate news stories. Gosnell received zero coverage. So much for the media adage that ‘if it bleeds, it leads.’ … If Dr. Gosnell had walked into a nursery and shot seven infants with an AR-15, it would be national news and the subject of presidential hand-wringing.” –Investor’s Business Daily

Reader Comments

Margaret Thatcher was an outstanding statesman (stateswoman) who exuded confidence and leadership qualities; we long for those same assets in our rogue government today. Oh, for her presence along with Ronald Reagan to lead us out of the quagmire which the diabolical forces are foisting upon us.” –Kenneth in Evansville, Indiana

“People like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher believed in people – in the individual’s ability to overcome. Socialists don’t. They say they are for the people but they do not fundamentally believe in people – maybe in anything. I believe in people and know that they have to walk on their own or it isn’t really walking. May God bless us with those who will right the course again.” –Dan in North Carolina

“It turns my stomach to read about this abortion clinic and the lack of attention from the MSM. Obviously they are afraid that this will expose the abortion industry for what it really is and possibly change some minds. We need to do two things. First, pray for our country and the babies that are being murdered as well as the people that are responsible for those murders. Second, write letters to the editors of every newspaper and get the word out on this. Edmund Burke wrote, ‘All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.’” –Tim in Wisconsin

Universal background checks are what the left-wing gun-grabbers are really seeking. But these ‘background checks’ are useless without a national registry of firearms and their owners. When the NeoComs get the registry of guns and owners, confiscation in the name of public safety will inevitably follow.” –Jim in Richburg, South Carolina

The Last Word

“‘There is only one thing that can stand in the way of change,’ Obama said, ‘and that’s politics in Washington.’ Members of Congress have a simple choice to make, he explained: ‘What’s more important to you – our children, or an A grade from the gun lobby?’ This crass attempt at moral intimidation … is the essence of his case for new gun restrictions, which relies on emotional manipulation rather than logical argument. … Obama refuses to entertain the possibility that his opponents, like him, are doing what they believe to be right. … This from a man who says mass shootings, which remain thankfully rare, are becoming ‘routine’; who falsely asserts that Lanza used a ‘fully automatic weapon’ and habitually conflates military-style semi-automatics with machine guns; and who claims background checks have ‘prevented more than 2 million dangerous people from getting their hands on a gun,’ when in fact we don’t know how many of those people were actually dangerous or how many were actually prevented from obtaining firearms. … He worried that ‘both sides of the debate sometimes don’t listen to each other’ and wondered, ‘How do you build trust?’ Here’s one way: Stop trying to claim the moral high ground by clambering onto the bloody corpses of children.” –columnist Jacob Sullum

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team

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