Liberals love the income tax; it's where they get their power over everyone and the money with which they can line their pockets and direct social & economic change in our country. Their mantra has become "paying one's fair share" despite the obvious evidence to the contrary in their policies. The upper income earners in this country pay the largest majority of income taxes received by the federal government. It's undeniable although the liberals are very good at denying facts and getting people to believe them. In 'honor' of April 15th, let's take a look at the income tax in this country.
The modern day income tax began in February of 1913 when Congress passed the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution, thanks to the administration of Republican William Howard Taft. The amendment had come to life in 1909 when the Republican controlled House of Representatives passed the amendment on a 318 to 14 vote. I wish I could thank those 14 for standing up for us.
The first tax bill came from the Woodrow Wilson administration. Wilson had made the income tax a key issue in his campaign, while the Republican party platform was silent on the income tax in 1912 but championed it in later years. A significant portion of the Republicans in 1912 wanted a pro-income tax plank in the party platform but it was defeated.
So now we've had 102 years of income tax. In 1913 the top tax bracket was 7%, with a range beginning at 1%. Can you imagine having to only pay 1%? Now our top tax rate is 39.6% with a minimum rate of 10%. The top tax bracket threshold was $11.8 million (in 2015 dollars) while today if you earn more than $464,850 you pay the top rate. Total tax revenue in that first year was $16.9 billion while today it will exceed $3 trillion and we'll be at $4 trillion by several estimates next year.
The standard deduction for a family was $94,837 while today it's only $12,600. And can you imagine there were only 400 pages of tax laws?! Today there are almost 74,000. There is no way anyone can honestly say they know the tax code or could enforce it evenly.
IF the liberals were truly fighting for the middle class, as they claim to be, then why don't we go back to a standard family deduction of $94,000? Then they really would be getting the 'rich' to pay their 'fair share' and if we went back to a tax bracket range of 1%-7%, the middle class would be keeping a huge chunk of their paycheck. Then they could likely afford to send their kids to college, pay their bills, take vacations, and live the life that we desire.
And the economy would take off; small businesses would be opening left and right, taking people off of the public dole by creating jobs. But instead we have a system that punishes success, that makes it difficult to succeed in the early years especially. That takes capital out of the hands of the middle class and encourages big businesses to expand, merge and drive small competitors out of business. I was talking to a client/rancher this week and they are worried about leaving their ranch to their kids when they pass away. The taxes could be a huge burden for the heirs to bear, forcing them to borrow money to pay them and put an additional expense on an already strained budget.
Richard Byrd, in 1913 the Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, gave a prediction of what he imagined the new income tax system would become, turns out he was spot on. He said:
A hand from Washington will be stretched out and placed upon every man’s business; the eye of the Federal inspector will be in every man’s counting house. The law will of necessity have inquisitorial features, it will provide penalties, it will create complicated machinery. Under it men will be hailed into courts distant from their homes.
Heavy fines imposed by distant and unfamiliar tribunals will constantly menace the tax payer. An army of Federal inspectors, spies and detectives will descend upon the state. Who of us who have had knowledge of the doings of the Federal officials in the Internal Revenue service can be blind to what will follow?
Boy was he prophetic.
I was reading another story about the Iranian nuclear 'deal' that really isn't a deal but more of a capitulation. General Hossein Salami announced on state T.V. that inspectors will not be allowed on any military sites and any inspection of military run sites in Iran would be the equivalent of "selling out" and "we will respond with hot lead to those who speak of it." He went on, "Iran will not become a paradise for spies. We will not roll out the red carpet for the enemy." It seems he was responding to a fact sheet put out by the Obama administration saying sanctions would only be lifted after the IAEA had established Iran's compliance with the agreement.
Iran's leaders have said they want the sanctions lifted on day one of the accord, not treaty, implemented. The General said allowing inspectors into the military sites would be tantamount to "occupation" and would "endanger military and defense secrets." So far, Iran's leaders have disagreed with just about everything Obama has claimed to have achieved in the agreement.
It just makes one really wonder, as failure after failure piles up, if Obama and his staff are really that incompetent. In the alternative, they have to be deliberately abandoning our allies, encouraging our enemies, and accomplishing nothing that he promised to achieve or claims to have done for that matter. He hasn't been able to get most of his legislative agendas passed, instead using executive actions to 'pass laws'; he has ruined our foreign relations; made the world less safe; run up more debt in six years than all other President's combined; it just boggles the mind that he is so completely and totally unaware of how to do anything but act like a petulant child.
But just look at the situation in Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan; all areas where we had begun to rid the world of Islamic terrorists. ISIS, al Qaeda, and the Taliban are taking control again. They are going even further than they did at any other time in our history. Iran is shipping arms to them, backing them in their efforts to establish an Islamic caliphate and attack us and our allies. All while we essentially go through pathetic motions to make it seem like we are opposing them.
At some point you have to say it's not just incompetence but it's deliberate. If there is anyone in the administration telling Obama he's doing it wrong or might want to change course, they are being ignored or dismissed. That makes it harder and harder to believe he isn't doing this deliberately, that he isn't the Manchurian Candidate.
Sometimes you have to wonder why. Well, a lot of times I wonder why, but business decisions can seem odd. With GE deciding to rid itself of all non-industrial related businesses in order to focus on it's core philosophy, Jet Blue has decided to expand, into the hotel business. Jet Blue is in talks with the Port Authority of New York to develop the old TWA terminal at JFK International Airport into a hotel. Maybe it makes sense to have a hotel on the airport property where pilots, flight crew and business travelers can get a quick turnaround instead of leaving the property, but Jet Blue as the owner? I can just see it now, "there will be a one hour delay getting into your room due to maintenance issues".
Annah Sophia Stevenson, 26, took her young son, Luca, to McDonald's for dinner. She says they rarely go for fast food as she prefers to eat healthy meals, but it was a busy day and she hadn't gone shopping. Now, she say's they'll never set foot in a Mickey D's again after her experience. They got home and she took a couple of bites of her Big Mac, then realized something wasn't quite right. She took the second bite out of her mouth, rummaged around the half chewed food and found half of a cockroach. What's worse than finding half a cockroach? Not finding the other half. She quickly pulled apart the remaining portion of the sandwich and realized she had consumed the other half in the first bite. To think, in some parts of SE Asia, you have to pay extra for the cockroach.
BMW is recalling almost 92,000 Mini-Coopers saying a faulty sensor might not trigger the front passenger side air bag during a crash. The company says the sensor in a detection mat might not recognize that there is a passenger in the front seat and fail to deploy the air bag in an accident. The affected models are the 2005-06 Mini Cooper and Cooper S vehicles. It's taken them so long to identify the problem because most people who own Mini's don't have any friends.
Obviously I am aware of what goes on in this country politically, not too mention on a state and local level,but I have not been active in local party politics. I have gone to a number of political events and taken action to support specific candidates, but have stayed away from being active in my party for a number of reasons. Several years ago, I was asked to become party chair but declined due to other commitments. This year I was asked again to run for the party chair. This time I agreed.
After being involved in the 'process' for just a few weeks, I can tell you that it disgusts me and reinforces my belief that many of the people involved, while starting out with good intentions, become enamored with or more concerned about the power and lose sight of their vision. As with many of our elected representatives, they seem to forget that they represent all members of their constituency and not just those that agree with them.
When I agreed to run, I was asked to visit with the nominating committee, who had concerns about some of my opinions and asked very good questions. The committee was supposed to make a decision but there was apparently some disagreement upon the slate, which is to be expected. So the chairperson disbanded the committee to get rid of the dissenting opinion; I might add the dissenting opinion was held by the committee chair. Isn't that what we've all come to expect and why many of us hate politics? If there is only one dissenting opinion, have a vote and that person is overruled. But maybe it's also a way to tell other members to get in line. I'm just speculating as I don't know the opinions of every member but it's still odd at best, corrupt at worst.
It was interesting to me, that one of the questions I was asked was, if the party nominated a candidate that you did not support or agree with, how would you, as chairman, handle the situation? My answer was along the lines, that as chairman, I would put aside my personal concerns and do everything to support the party's candidate, since the membership had chosen that person. I believe that is what a chair is supposed to do, with few exceptions. It seems that as party chair, you would invite more participation and discussion, not quash it.
Then come the rules governing the county convention and election of officers. As with any group there are rules that govern the operation of the group and political parties are no different. But the rules allow for the creation and implementation of 'special rules' to govern or alter the process for election of various officers. While the permanent rules say that such special rules should be promulgated by the Central Committee, meeting at least 28 days prior to the convention, this is politics and there are 'interpretations'.
So basically, whomever is currently in charge can create special rules, altering the election process and giving them the best chance to retain power and control. AND the rules don't have to be finalized or handed out until the day of the convention. So if anyone does decide to run from the floor for a position, they don't know the final rules until the day of the election. Sounds very fair and even handed doesn't it?
This happens with every political party, Republican, Democrat, Socialist, and so on. It's the way things are done. But that's why so many people have become disgusted with politics as usual. That's one of the reasons we are in this mess, the same people remain in charge because they can bend the rules to favor themselves and essentially ignore those who may want to change things or have a differing opinion. I would think that we should have well established rules, open and available for all to see and allow everyone to participate on an equal footing. Maybe I'm naive, politics is a dirty business but one can dream, can't one?
Former star tight end for the New England Patriots, Aaron Hernandez, was convicted of first degree murder this week. I don't think there is any doubt that he was involved in the murder, which was pre-meditated and carried out, it seems, at the direction of Aaron Hernandez. However, I wonder if he really was the killer.
Think about the case that was presented by the prosecution. There was testimony that Hernandez was mad at the victim for some inane reason like talking to the wrong person. He called two friends to come to his home, they lived 2 hours away. He apparently purchased the gun(s) and ammunition. He, with his accomplices, the jury believed, called the victim and lured him by inviting him to a party. They instead took him to a parking lot or warehouse and killed him, shooting him multiple times. His fiancé testified that Hernandez gave her a box, with something heavy in it, to dispose of telling her to not look in the box, dispose of it in a place that it couldn't be found and to forget where she put it. She then was told to give one of his friends $500 in cash, which she did.
Now think about this, there wasn't any weapon, no video of the crime, no social media posts bragging about the killing. The prosecution claimed Hernandez pulled the trigger but there wasn't direct testimony that he did it; there was hearsay testimony that Hernandez told someone else that he might have killed or did kill the victim. Is that enough? Would you want to be convicted on evidence that is circumstantial and second hand?
Again, I have no doubt that Hernandez was involved and probably orchestrated the entire thing; it might be that he did pull the trigger but that's a tough call that I don't think I'd want to be convicted using that type of evidence.
So the President of Iran has come out and said he doesn't want the U.S. Congress to become involved in the negotiations of the treaty Obama is negotiating or to have any say in approving or disproving the agreement. That should tell you all you need to know about how one sided the treaty really is...
Prior to leaving her post as Secretary of State, a Congressional committee sent her a letter; one of the questions she was asked was if she had a personal email account. She refused to respond to the question in any manner. That my friends is the moral equivalent of lying. She knew she was not supposed to use a personal email account for official business because it likely did not meet the security requirements for use by government personnel. By failing to respond, she is concealing the truth and that is lying. If it was not a big deal, as she and her staff have claimed, then why not answer the question?
It's an interesting thought, but did you realize that taxation is theft? Legal stealing. From a moral standpoint it is theft if one party to the transaction is forced to comply or give up property. The only moral transaction is one in which both sides exchange goods or services voluntarily. I'm not saying it's illegal, it's not, but from a moral standpoint, since you do not have a choice to participate, it's theft.
Why is it that when we want to put 'labels' on a group of people, we usually choose the worst things with which to characterize them? Think about it: lately we've been told that all white people are racist; some seem to think that we're all members of the KKK. Too often we tend to think of all black people as gang bangers or having grown up in gang infested neighborhoods. Why don't we attach positive stereotypes? Why don't we take the characteristics of George Washington Carver or Billy Graham and attach them to that demographic?
Jason Whitlock once again pushed the boundaries of racism a bit further. Whitlock was talking about the racial slur used by a Kentucky basketball player towards a Wisconsin player, first he seemed to agree with a question asked of him as to the 'n' word used by the black player towards a white player as not being a slur. Yes it was, pure and simple. You don't say "fuck that nigger" in a nice way. It was derogatory and was meant to be derogatory. Then Whitlock attempted to explain away the statement as being said out of frustration, which no doubt was probably the state of mind of the Kentucky player. However, Whitlock inserted race once again by saying that the Kentucky player was probably frustrated because a group of black players had just been beaten by a group of white players in a sport where black players dominate and expect to dominate. So you're telling me that if my skin is white, then I'm expected to be an inferior basketball player and if my skin is black, I'm expected to be better. Thinking that way is racist, pure and simple.
Gary Harrington is going to jail, for collecting rain and snow runoff on his property. The Medford OR man was convicted of having 3 illegal reservoirs, aka ponds, in which he collected snow melt and rain. The Oregon Water Resources Department claims Harrington has been violating the state's water use law by diverting water from streams that run into the Big Butte River.
Harrington will now serve 30 days in jail and pay over $1500 in fines, but he says he's not backing down and will continue to do what he's been doing, collecting water that flows or falls naturally onto his property. The state claims that water belongs to them, but I'm not sure when the state took ownership over the water that falls out of the sky.
It's not surprising since the government at all levels seems to want control of every aspect of our lives and control of all property. I can just hear their 'logical' argument: "the water that falls out of the sky and onto the ground will eventually flow into the Big Butte River if left unimpeded; but since Mr. Harrington has built collection areas, he is stealing our water and that's illegal."
So if you have cistern to collect rain water running off or your house, then you use it to water your yard or garden, you'd better get rid of it, because that water would have flown into a state owned water system at some point and you are now stealing.
Let's see, Yemen is under the control of terrorists, who caused us to have to abandon our embassy. Saudi Arabia is trying to fight ISIS, as is Egypt but they are being denied military equipment by the U.S. administration. The deal Obama made with Iran allows them to keep their complete capacity to enhance nuclear material into weapons grade uranium. There aren't any provisions for inspecting the facilities, which can now be moved underground, to ensure that Iran's leaders are keeping their promise to not build a weapon for 10 years. A promise they deny making by the way.
Russia has taken over a large part of the Ukraine, threatened the Baltic States and now has made a move that poises them to dominate the Arctic by taking over a Norwegian scientific base putting military personnel at the facility.
But it gets even better; Putin has signed a decree lifting their so called 'self-imposed ban' on sending the S-300 anti-missile rocket system to Iran. The deal between Iran and Russia had been signed in 2010 and some of the systems had been delivered but Putin backed down under pressure from European countries and with the belief at the time that the U.S. would deliver the anti-missile defense system it promised to build in Eastern Europe.
Now that Obama has essentially let Iran off the hook, with the help of Russia, Putin will send the remaining components of the missile system to Iran in exchange for oil; $20 billion worth of oil. The Russians are hopeful that they now have the inside track to opening trade deals with Iran, including deals for wheat and other military systems.
Russia's defense ministry said the S300 systems are defensive and pose no threat to Israel. But of course that's disingenuous since that reduces the ability of Israel to conduct offensive operations against Iran's offensive missile systems thus protecting Israel.
Think about it, we started putting stupid warning labels on just about everything and we've banned lawn darts because of few water headed morons couldn't figure out they were dangerous when used improperly. Bring it all back; let people put the hair dryer in the bathtub, and don't let them sue the manufacturer when they die. If you want to sue someone, sue the schools for promoting you without requiring you to learn something, at least you felt good about yourself before you fried your brain. Then we wouldn't have stories about people like this lady reproducing; well, not as many because God does let some stupid people live...
Several people watched in horror as a woman dangled her 2 year old son over the railing of the cheetah exhibit at the Cleveland zoo. These days you can't say anything to her or attempt to stop her for fear of being called a racist, beaten to a pulp or sued by a bottom feeding mud sucker. Of course the worst happened; the woman lost her grip on the child and he fell about 10 feet into the enclosure.
Give her credit, she and her husband jumped into the exhibit and were able to lift him out to safety. The cheetahs just sat there watching them and never made a move towards the trio. That probably upset mom since she was trying to get a settlement out of the zoo for failing to anticipate that someone would toss, err dangle, their kid over the fence into the enclosure. Otherwise they'd have built a taller fence. But since the kid wasn't hurt... oh, who am I kidding, they'll probably sue anyway for emotional distress and PTSD.
The Cleveland authorities are going to seek child endangerment charges against the mom. She'll blame it all on an abusive parent creating an inability that she can't differentiate between dangerous behavior and just having fun. Oprah will cry, Al Sharpton will blame it on racist police and Obama will call for a national referendum racist cheetahs.
Whether you like it or not, the male and female of the species are different; we have different genetic makeups and often that skews our perceptions. Not to mention that kids have no experiences to draw from so often what they see and what is reality don't quite match up; or does it? Kids often tell the truth. Some young kids are asked their thoughts on marriage and dating and this is what they said:
What do most people do on a date?
Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough. Lynnette - age 8
On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date. Martin - age 10
How would the world be different if people didn't get married?
There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there? Kelvin - age 8
How would you make a marriage work?
Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a truck. Ricky -age 10
What would you do on a first date that was turning sour?
I'd run home and play dead. The next day I would call all the newspapers and make sure they wrote about me in all the dead columns. Craig - age 9
How do you decide who to marry?
You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like that you like sports and she should keep the chips and dip coming. Alan - age 10
No person really decides before they grow up who they are going to marry. God decides it all way before and you get to find out later who you're stuck with. Kristen - age 10
What is the right age to get married?
23 is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then. Camille - age 10
No age is good to get married at. You got to be a fool to get married. Freddie - age 6
When is it OK to kiss someone?
The rule goes like this: if you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It's the right thing to do. Howard - age 8
The law says you have to be 18, so I wouldn't want to mess with that. Curt - age 7
When they're rich. Pam - age 7
Is it better to be single or married?
It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them. Anita - age 9
What do you think your mom and dad have in common?
Both don't want any more kids. Lori - age 8
How can a stranger tell if two people are married?
You might have to guess, based on whether or not they seem to be yelling at the same kids. Derrick - age 9