Constantly under development. Suggestions are welcomed.
The opinions expressed on this page are solely those of me (Layne T. Rushforth) personally.
No opinion is expressed on behalf of any organization with which I am affiliated in any way. Updated
November 9, 2016
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FairTax: A national sales tax to replace all federal taxes and thereby eliminate the IRS and all tax-compliance costs.
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(Unendorsed; Intended solely for thought and humor; Attribution unverified)
Ineptocracy - [ĭn-ĕp-TŎK-ræ-sē] "A system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers." (Photo.)
The trouble with Socialism is, sooner or later you run out of other people's money." ~ Margaret Thatcher
"When you subsidize poverty and failure, you get more of both." ~ James Dale Davidson, National Taxpayers Union
"The more corrupt the state, the more it legislates." ~ Tacitus
"A Liberal is a person who will give away everything he doesn't own." ~ Unknown
The problem with political jokes is they get elected. ~Henry Cate, VII
We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.
If we got one-tenth of what was promised to us in these acceptance speeches there wouldn't be any inducement to go to heaven.
Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber. ~Plato
Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river. ~Nikita Khrushchev
When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it.
Why pay money to have your family tree traced; go into politics and your opponents will do it for you.
If God wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates.
Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel.
Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other.
I offer my opponents a bargain: if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them.
~Adlai Stevenson, campaign speech, 1952
A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country.
Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so.
I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.
~Charles de Gaulle
Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.
Illustration #1: Comparing National Finances to Personal Finances
U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000
COMPARISON TO HOUSEHOLD BUDGET
Let's now remove 8 zeros and view it as your household budget:
Annual family income: $21,700
Money the family has spent: $38,200
New debt that's been charged on your credit card: $16,500
Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
Total budget cuts so far: $38.50
Got It ?????
Illustration #2: Backed Up Sewer and the Debt Ceiling
Let's say that you come home and discover that there has been a sewer backup in your neighborhood. You find that your home has sewage all the way up to your first floor ceilings. What should you do? Raise the ceiling or pump out the sewage?
Illustration #3: Bar Stool Economics
Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. 'Since you are all such good customers, he said, 'I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20. Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.
The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?' They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay!
The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.
'I only got a dollar out of the $20,'declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,' but he got $10!'
'Yeah, that's right,' exclaimed the fifth man. 'I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!'
'That's true!!' shouted the seventh man. 'Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!'
'Wait a minute,' yelled the first four men in unison. 'We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!'
The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.
The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!
And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.
For those who understand, no explanation is needed.
For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.
Candidates I Want to Vote for -- I seek to elect those who support:
Limited government, especially a limited federal government;
A strong national defense;
The right of the individual citizen to bear arms;
Freedom of religion, not freedom from religion;
Laws that are truly neutral as to race, creed, political persuasion, or lifestyle, without affirmative action or other favoritism to special-interest classes or groups;
Economic and tax policies based on free-market principles that encourage businesses to invest and employ and that encourage employment, investment, and thrift, without unnecessary and unfair governmental intervention (including wealth re-distribution);
Construction of new power plants, including those powered by coal, nuclear energy, and natural gas, removing excessive environmental restrictions and roadblocks that have been put into place by politicians who adopt policies that have little basis in science;
A Congress that is subject to the laws and policies it adopts for the country (with limited exceptions related only to national security);
An immigration policy that truly protects our borders and does not reward illegal activity by giving those who are here illegally more benefits than law-abiding citizens;
The appointment or election of judges that interpret the laws but do not create new laws and that respects the Constitution as it was intended by the Founding Fathers, not as it might be fashioned by the ever-changing winds of political correctness;
Strong family values without being punitive to those who are in nontraditional relationships;
The adoption and enforcement of business regulations that are limited to those needed to prevent harmful, illegal, and immoral activities rather than the adoption and enforcement of business regulations intended to promote the social, political, or economic agenda of limited special-interest groups;
Local and state control of education, with more freedom of choice by parents as to the schooling, curriculum, and discipline of their children; and
A fair tax law that is intended only to collect revenue and not used to reward friends and punish enemies.
(If I were running for office, these points would probably be the core of my platform.)
Taxation -- The current tax system is unfair, unenforceable, and works against the productivity of individuals and businesses. The IRS has the benefit of the doubt, making taxpayers "prove their innocence" when accused of wrongdoing. To make matters worse, both major political parties use the tax system to reward their friends and punish their enemies. We cannot tax our way into national prosperity.
A flat tax system might be in improvement, but it solves only part of the problem. It still leaves the IRS and tax-compliance costs in place.
The best solution so far is the FairTax, a national, retail sales tax that would be implemented only after the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is repealed and all other federal taxes would be abolished.
The VAT tax is the worst of all tax system, and is now being proposed in addition to existing taxes. The VAT tax system would destroy American businesses.
Even the proposed "Buffet rule" would cost jobs and hurt business. It is just wealth redistribution advocated under the "mantra" of fairness.
Corporate taxes are not the answer because they are simply passed down to consumers because corporations who do not consider taxes when setting prices for goods and services go out of business.
Affirmative Action -- Affirmative action has always been the wrong solution. If there is a group of people who do not get admitted to college, get hired in choice positions, or get promotions or advancements in their employment, discriminating against others is not the solution. The solution is to offer the educational and training assistance to those who do not qualify so that they can qualify. We would help the person more by helping him or her meet higher standards than we would by lowering standards.
Hate Crimes -- "Hate crime legislation" is just another form of governmental discrimination that should be unconstitutional.
Making the punishment for a crime worse when the crime is committed against one group of people and not others simply makes some people "more equal" than others. That is Constitutionally unacceptable.
We do not need laws that give special status to the elderly, gays and lesbians, or specific ethnic groups. We simply need laws that reflect the viciousness of the crime in relation to the power of the victims to defend themselves. The problem with granting special status to Jews, blacks, or gays is that we leave out Mormons, whites, and heterosexuals.
Every American should have the same status. If a vicious crime is committed against an elderly Hispanic woman, the penalty should be based on the viciousness of the crime, while the age, ethnicity, and gender of the victim should be irrelevant. The victim's defenselessness and the viciousness of criminal's actions are relevant. If a gang beats up on a gay man, they should be punished for the severity of his injuries and the depravity of their acts.
If the same gang beats up on a heterosexual man in the same way, why should the punishment be different? Is the gay man of greater value to society? Is the crime against the heterosexual somehow more justified or less evil?
My position is that there should be no difference.
To see an interesting illustration of the "hate crime" problem, click here.
Illegal Immigration -- People who are here illegally should not be given the same status as those who came here legitimately. People who are here illegally should not have more rights and better benefits that our country's own citizens.
While it may be impractical to deport everyone who is here illegally, it is practical to deny them welfare benefits, drivers licenses, voting privileges, jobs, and especially citizenship.
A child of someone who is here illegally should not be considered to be here for purposes of citizenship or other privileges.
The federal government's failure to police our borders and enforce immigration laws has led to collateral problems relating to trafficking in drugs and human trafficking, and it has created significant economic hardship for the states that border with Mexico.
The federal government should not be suing Arizona for its attempt to protect its own sovereignty.
We need to protect our borders, enforce existing immigration laws, and work to improve our laws. Ignoring illegal aliens in the name of political correctness is clearly the wrong approach. We should not react to the criticism of foreign countries who want us to give the citizens of their country more rights than they are willing to give the citizens of our country.
Gay Marriage -- I support equal rights for gays, but I do not support gay marriage. Nevada's domestic partnership law, NRS Chapter 122A, gives domestic partners the same rights and duties as married couples.
I support the Nevada domestic partnership law. When the rights are equal, there is no justification for changing the meaning and use of the term "marriage".
I have no objection to either (A) removing marital status from the Internal Revenue Code and other provisions of federal law or (B) treating domestic partners, civil unions, and same-sex marriages (where legal) as married couples for tax purposes.
My primary opposition to gay marriage is rooted in the desires of extremists who want to deny the freedom of religion and freedom of speech to those who assert that sex outside of traditional marriage is condemned by God, contrary to the laws of nature, or otherwise inappropriate.
These extremists have forced the closure of adoption agencies sponsored by the Catholic Church because they refused to promote adoptions by gay couples.
They have argued that any organization that refuses to perform gay marriages should be denied charitable status for property tax exemptions and the deductibility of charitable contributions. (See the proposed Amicus brief of The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty for some of the legal arguments.)
Extremists demand tolerance but they demonstrate intolerance in the way they want to enforce it. No one should be forced to participate in or otherwise condone conduct that is contrary to their religious beliefs, and churches should not be forced to conduct a gay marriage or even rent their facilities for a gay marriage.
Abortion -- I oppose abortion except in the case of rape, incest, and endangerment of the life of the mother. Adoption is a better alternative to abortion. The U.S. Constitution was intended to give rights to minorities to protect them from the tyranny of the majority, and the life of an unborn child should be protected by the Constitution. Roe v. Wade is a prime example of judicial legislation. In that decision, the Supreme Court did not merely decide whether or not a law was Constitutional, it decided what the law should be, putting its own judgment ahead of the legislative branch. Judicial legislation on any topic is inappropriate.