The rush to national suicide
By John D. Turner
25 May 2008

In an effort to make absolutely sure that he hasn’t missed someone to offend, President Bush recently reversed his ANWAR policy, and has decided to put the area off-limits to drilling because of its “ecological sensitivity”. This of course, begs the question, “if we can’t drill in a postage stamp sized piece of land out in the middle of nowhere, where can we drill?”

Don’t expect any relief at the pump any time soon.

Not to worry. We are pressing on full-steam ahead on “alternative sources” of energy. You know, wind, solar, turning our food into fuel. At least its ethanol – we can drown our sorrows in it if it gets too bad. And according to the experts, wind generation alone is expected to provide a whopping 20% of our electricity usage. By 2050.

That’s good! That can replace the 20% we currently generate using nuclear power – a 20% that will only decline as old plants are decommissioned, new plants fail to come on line and our energy needs increase. We haven’t built a new plant in over 20 years. Net increase in electrical power generation – zero.

I call this President Bush’s “No American left unpissedoff policy.” Better ram another nail into the coffin – the party’s not quite dead yet. Who would have thought when Bush took office that he would end up doing to the Republican Party what Clinton did to the Democrats – only worse. The Liberals were wroth with Clinton for, according to them, acting like a Republican, and Conservatives have had it with Bush for acting like a Democrat. Seems he too is flailing about for a legacy in his last days; throw up enough issues and perhaps one will stick with historians 50-100 years down the road.

If we have that long left as a country that is.

Then there is Obama, hot on the campaign trail, the heir apparent to the Democrat nomination and the seat of power in 2009. And what’s his latest and greatest issue? How McCain is going to destroy Social Security by privatizing it. As if he could with a Democrat majority in Congress. Bush couldn’t even with a Republican majority.

Please. Does this hoary old chestnut have to be put on the fire every election cycle? That’s right. Once again, the Republicans are revealed as the party that wants to throw your grandma out into the streets and make her eat dog food. At least she can get prescription drugs now though!

Does Obama have a different plan? Does a bear – well, you know what I mean…

Yes, Obama has a different plan. Soak the rich. Have we heard that one before as well? Obama’s plan to fix Social Security is to “make higher-income workers pay more into the system.”

What does this mean? Well for starters, it probably means removing the cap on income subject to the Social Security tax, which is currently around $100K or so. Removing the cap would impose a 6.2% flat tax on every payroll dollar earned, with no deductions. Since most folks don’t make over $100K, this is bound to be popular with many who perceive that while they may be part of the problem, they will not be part of the solution. Of course, even though the number of people individually making over $100K may not be huge, the number of families with a combined income of over $100K, filing jointly, is much higher.

But wait, there’s more, as they say on TV. It would also impose an identical tax on business, as they also pay 6.2% of your salary to social security as well.

So, since businesses do not pay taxes, but simply pass overhead costs on to the consumer (that’s us), expect the cost of everything you buy, both goods and services, to increase as well. And probably, more jobs to go overseas where the tax can be avoided.

Oh yes, and don’t expect the “rich” to simply sit there and get soaked. Social Security is a payroll tax, remember? One counter to removing the cap is for them to make more of their income something other than payroll; stock options perhaps, or other esoteric financial instruments yet waiting to be dreamed up.

So when the tax revenue Obama expects to be generated by his Social Security scheme doesn’t measure up, what’s next? A graduated social security tax? Soak the rich even harder? That again would probably play well politically with the masses, but if a flat tax with no deductions doesn’t work, why would you expect a graduated one to?

Another possibility might be to broaden the tax. Instead of just taxing payroll dollars, make it apply to everything you earn. Profits on sale of stock. Profit on sale of real estate. Profit on sales of homes (with an exclusion for “the poor” of course). And, since there is no “employer” to pick up the other half of the tax, welcome to the wonderful world of the self-employed. Those brave souls who are so generous that they don’t just pay the 6.2% Social Security tax, they pay the full 12.4%; along with both halves of the Medicare/Medicaid tax.

You don’t need the money after all; the government will take care of you. Just as long as you are poor.

If all else fails, then they can always reduce benefits, or perhaps eliminate them entirely for some. Obama has said that he doesn’t support this, but what is left? He says he doesn’t support raising the tax rate either; only raising taxes on “the rich”. Evidently “the rich” are exempt from any considerations enjoyed by “ordinary” Americans. They are in a class by themselves; the class of cash cow.

Following the model he has set concerning Rich Americans, I would be willing to bet that when push comes to shove, his promises eventually fly right out the window; at least when it comes to “the rich.” It seems that Edwards was correct. There really are two Americas; those that pay and those who don’t; those that pay and those that get paid by those who pay.

Expect means testing to raise its ugly head. Obama won’t support benefit cuts for lower income Americans, but the rich? They don’t really need that social security money anyway. They can make do with less; perhaps, with none at all. If they ever do become poor, then they can feed at the trough with everyone else.

That’s “fair”, isn’t it, to pay for something all your life and then be told that you don’t need it – but keep on paying anyway, or else!

On both sides of the isle, there seems to be a rush to see how soon we can get it all over with. Obama wants to throw another log on the fire by promising universal government healthcare. Not to be out done, McCain wants to blow trillions on “global warming”.

And it isn’t even just about spending. We can’t even be bothered to secure our national borders. It is considered racist by some to even insist on checking to be sure that those voting in our elections are actually citizens of our country. There is a claim by some that the millions of people here in our country illegally are really a benefit, not a burden. That somehow, the taxes they pay on the “jobs Americans are not willing to do” are greater than the amount they siphon out of our social systems. It makes no logical sense, but since when does logic enter into the picture?

Obama says if he is elected president, he will talk with anyone, even our enemies, with no preconditions. After all, talk is better than war, right? McCain says this is nonsense – then addresses a La Raza convention, the Hispanic version of the KKK. A group whose motto is “For La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada”. “For the race everything, outside the race nothing.” Sounds ecumenical to me!

Why would a presidential candidate even consider addressing a group that calls itself “The Race”; a group that is dedicated to establishing a separate “Hispanic homeland” in the southwestern United States? You know, those states we stole from Mexico in the 1800’s? Can you imagine a presidential candidate addressing a meeting of the Aryan Nation?

Does McCain really think they will think he is “their guy?” And if he does, what does that say about McCain? And I am supposed to believe that he has “heard the people’s voice” on border security and illegal immigration and is now on board with the majority that believe this is what we need to do? Hah!

Well, what the heck? Perhaps we would be better off without Texas, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona (McCain’s home state), New Mexico and Colorado in the Union. Did I miss one? Is Oregon supposed to be on the list as well? Never let it be said we are not magnanimous; throw it in as well!

Our country is hemorrhaging money like a sieve. Our money is becoming worth less every day. Taxes just keep increasing; every government entity in the country seems to be going crazy, taxing everything in sight. Food prices continue to go up. Gas prices continue to skyrocket. We consider ourselves fortunate today if the prices relent for a week and gas only costs $3.50/gal instead of $3.60.

And do our leaders or prospective leaders have a plan? Not really. They are great about telling us what we can’t do, and throwing out vague ideas about things that may come to fruition in 20 or 30 years, or may never. They talk about how the other guy/gal is going to screw up the country and somehow don’t seem to understand that as far as most people are concerned, the country is screwed up already.

The Democrats in Congress love to trumpet President Bush’s abysmal approval rating, currently running at around 29%. “The worst president in American history”, they proclaim. What does that say about their approval rating of 18%? Lawyers are better regarded!

Of course, the Democrats blame the Republican’s and President Bush for this, the absolute worse approval rating in American history, since Gallup started compiling the statistic 34 years ago. Only in America can a party in power (they do in fact control the House and Senate, and set the rules and agendas) blame their low regard on the party out of power – and expect people to believe it. So if President Bush, at 29% is the worst president in American history, is the current Congress, led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid the absolute worst Congress in American history?

Meanwhile, as the finger pointing continues and things continue to deteriorate. Neither side seems to get it anymore. There is a sense among many that, at the top at least, it isn’t about the country anymore; it’s about personal political power. It’s about winning. It’s about grinding your opponent into the dirt. It isn’t enough to argue the issues – I need to personally demonize my opponent and destroy them as a human being.

If we don’t get past the name calling, the political posturing, the toadyism, the race baiting, the “its all about me” attitude, the “no compromises, no quarter” mentality and start actually finding a way to fix the problems threatening to tear our country apart, we will soon be joining the former Soviet Union on the ash heap of history.

And if you think things are bad now, when deprivation is defined as missing your favorite TV show, wait until you have no money, no food, no job, and no hope – like millions of others living in third world countries around the world, as you sit in the shambles of what used to be the most powerful country on the face of the Earth, and wonder what happened.

Every empire and opulent nation in the world has believed, right up until the end that “it can’t happen here”. History has proven time and again that it can. The barbarians are always at the gate. Why do we think we are any different?

It’s apparent, on both sides of the isle that our government has decided on national suicide. It is starting to look like it is only a matter of when, not if, the axe will fall.

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