Thursday, March 31, 2005

A National Sales Tax -by George Will

There is a serious assault on the 16th Amendment going on today, let's help it! Write your congressmen and tell them that you support it! - IC


A National Sales Tax

George Will

March 31, 2005

WASHINGTON -- The power to tax involves, as Chief Justice John Marshall said, the power to destroy. So does the power of tax reform, which is one reason why Rep. John Linder, a Georgia Republican, has a 133-page bill to replace 55,000 pages of tax rules.

His bill would abolish the IRS and the many billions of tax forms it sends out and receives. He would erase the federal income tax system -- personal and corporate income taxes, the regressive payroll tax and self-employment tax, capital gains, gift and estate taxes, the alternative minimum tax and the earned income tax credit -- and replace all that with a 23 percent national sales tax on personal consumption. That would not only sensitize consumers to the cost of government with every purchase, it would destroy K Street.

K Street” is shorthand for Washington’s lawyer-lobbyist complex. It exists to continually complicate and defend the tax code, which is a cornucopia from which the political class pours benefits on constituencies. By replacing the income tax -- Linder had better repeal the 16th Amendment, to make sure the income tax stays gone -- everyone and all businesses would pay their taxes through economic choices, and K Street’s intellectual capital, which consists of knowing how to game the tax code, would be radically depreciated.

Under his bill, he says, all goods, imported and domestic, would be treated equally at the checkout counter, and all taxpayers -- including upward of 50 million foreign visitors annually -- would pay ``as much as they choose, when they choose, by how they choose to spend.” And his bill untaxes the poor by including an advanced monthly rebate, for every household, equal to the sales tax on consumption of essential goods and services, as calculated by the government, up to the annually adjusted poverty level.

Today the percentage of taxpayers who rely on professional tax preparers is at an all-time high. The 67 percent of tax filers who do not itemize may think they avoid compliance costs, which include nagging uncertainty about whether one has properly complied with a tax code about the meaning of which experts differ. But everyone pays the cost of the tax system’s vast drag on the economy.

Linder says Americans spend 7 billion hours a year filling out IRS forms and at least that much calculating the tax implications of business decisions. Economic growth suffers because corporate boards waste huge amounts of time on such calculations rather than making economically rational allocations of resources. Money saved on compliance costs would fund job creation.

Corporations do not pay payroll and income taxes and compliance costs, they collect them from consumers through prices. So the 23 percent consumption tax would allow taxpayers to stop paying the huge embedded cost of corporate taxation. Linder says the director of the Congressional Budget Office told him it costs individuals and businesses about $500 billion to remit $2 trillion to Washington. And studies show that it costs the average small business $724 to collect and remit $100.

In 1945, corporations paid more than one-third of the government’s revenues. Now they pay only 11 percent because corporations, especially multinationals, are voluntary taxpayers. In a world increasingly without borders that block capital movements, corporations pay where the burden is lowest. Linder says $6 trillion in offshore accounts would have an incentive to come home under his plan.

Furthermore, by ending payroll and corporate taxes, America would become the only nation selling goods with no tax component -- such as Europe’s value added tax -- in their prices. With no taxes on capital and labor, multinationals would, Linder thinks, stampede to locate here, which would be an incentive for other nations to emulate America. “This,” Linder says, “would unleash freedom around the globe.”

Critics argue that ending the income tax, with its deductibility of charitable contributions, would depress giving. Linder says: Piffle. In 1980, when the top personal income tax rate was 70 percent, a huge incentive for giving, individual charitable contributions were $40.7 billion. In 1986 the top rate was reduced to 28 percent, and by 1988 charitable giving was $86.7 billion. The lesson, says Linder, is that we give more money when we have more money.

When Speaker Dennis Hastert published a book last year, he was startled that interviewers were most interested in talking about Linder’s bill, which then had 54 co-sponsors. This year Hastert added Linder to the Ways and Means Committee. Linder cheerfully says his bill would reduce Ways and Means to ``a B committee” by ending the political fun of making the tax code ever more baroque for the benefit of K Street’s clients. Bliss.

©2005 Washington Post Writers Group

Contact George Will | Read Will's biography

Friday, March 25, 2005

Starved for Justice - by Ann Coulter

If I could say it better than she does I would; but, I can't, so you got her! - [IC]

Starved for justice

Ann Coulter (archive)

March 24, 2005

Democrats have called out armed federal agents in order to: 1) prevent black children from attending a public school in Little Rock, Ark. (National Guard), 2) investigate an alleged violation of federal gun laws in Waco, Texas (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms), and 3) deport a small boy to Cuba (Immigration and Naturalization Service).

So how about a Republican governor sending in the National Guard to stop an innocent American woman from being starved to death in Florida? Republicans like the military. Democrats get excited about the use of military force only when it’s against Americans.

In two of the three cases mentioned above, the Democrats’ use of force was in direct contravention of court rulings. Admittedly, this was a very long time ago – back in U.S. history when the judiciary was only one of the three branches of our government. Democratic Gov. Orval Faubus called out the Arkansas National Guard expressly for purposes of defying rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court and lower federal courts.

The decadent buffoon Bill Clinton sent armed agents from the INS to seize a small boy from an American family – despite rulings by the majestic and infallible Florida courts granting custody of the boy to that very family.

None of these exercises of military force has gone down in history as a noble moment, but that’s because of the underlying purpose of the force, not the fact that force was used.

To the contrary, what has gone down in history as a glorious moment for the republic was when President Dwight Eisenhower (Republican) called out military force of his own. In response to Gov. Faubus’ abuse of the National Guard, Eisenhower simultaneously revoked Faubus’ control of the National Guard and ordered the 101st Airborne Division to escort black students to school. (Minutes later, Democrats pronounced the Arkansas public schools a “hopeless quagmire” and demanded to know what Ike’s exit strategy was.)

As important as it was to enforce the constitutional right to desegregated schools, isn’t it also important to enforce Terri Schiavo’s right to due process before she is killed by starvation?

Liberals’ newfound respect for “federalism” is completely disingenuous. People who support a national policy on abortion are prohibited from ever using the word “federalism.”

I note that whenever liberals talk about “federalism” or “states’ rights,” they are never talking about a state referendum or a law passed by the duly elected members of a state legislature – or anything voted on by the actual citizens of a state. What liberals mean by “federalism” is: a state court ruling. Just as “choice” refers to only one choice, “the rule of law” refers only to “the law as determined by a court.”

As a practical matter, courts will generally have the last word in interpreting the law because courts decide cases. But that’s a pragmatic point. There is nothing in the law, the Constitution or the concept of “federalism” that mandates giving courts the last word. Other public officials, including governors and presidents, are sworn to uphold the law, too.

It would be chaotic if public officials made a habit of disregarding court rulings simply because they disagreed with them. But a practice borne of practicality has led the courts to greater and greater flights of arrogance. Sublimely confident that no one will ever call their bluff, courts are now regularly discovering secret legal provisions requiring abortion and gay marriage and prohibiting public prayer and Ten Commandments displays.

Just once, we need an elected official to stand up to a clearly incorrect ruling by a court. Any incorrect ruling will do, but my vote is for a state court that has ordered a disabled woman to be starved to death at the request of her adulterous husband.

Florida state court Judge George Greer – last heard from when he denied an order of protection to a woman weeks before her husband stabbed her to death – determined that Terri would have wanted to be starved to death based on the testimony of her husband, who was then living with another woman. (The judge also took judicial notice of the positions of O.J. Simpson, Scott Peterson and Robert Blake.) The husband also happened to be the only person present when the oxygen was cut off to Terri’s brain in the first place. He now has two children with another woman.

Greer has refused to order the most basic medical tests for brain damage before condemning a woman to death. Despite all those years of important, searching litigation we keep hearing about, Terri has yet to receive either an MRI or a PET scan – although she may be allowed to join a support group for women whose husbands are trying to kill them.

Greer has cut off the legal rights of Terri’s real family and made her husband (now with a different family) her sole guardian, citing as precedent the landmark “Fox v. Henhouse” ruling of 1893. Throughout the process that would result in her death sentence, Terri was never permitted her own legal counsel. Evidently, they were all tied up defending the right to life of child-molesting murderers.

Given the country’s fetishism about court rulings, this may be a rash assumption, but I presume if Greer had ordered that Terri Schiavo be shot at her husband’s request – a more humane death, by the way – the whole country would not sit idly by, claiming to be bound by the court’s ruling because of the “rule of law” and “federalism.” President Bush would order the FBI to protect her and Gov. Bush would send in the state police.

What was supposed to be the “least dangerous” branch has become the most dangerous – literally to the point of ordering an innocent American woman to die, and willfully disregarding congressional subpoenas. They can’t be stopped – solely because the entire country has agreed to treat the pronouncements of former ambulance-chasers as the word of God. The only power courts have is that everyone jumps when they say “jump.” (Also, people seem a little intimidated by the black robes. From now on we should make all judges wear lime-green leisure suits.)

President Andrew Jackson is supposed to have said of a Supreme Court ruling he opposed: “Well, John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it.” The court’s ruling was ignored. And yet, somehow, the republic survived.

If Gov. Jeb Bush doesn’t say something similar to the Florida courts that have ordered Terri Schiavo to die, he’ll be the second Republican governor disgraced by the illiterate ramblings of a state judiciary. Gov. Mitt Romney will never recover from his acquiescence to the Massachusetts Supreme Court’s miraculous discovery of a right to gay marriage. Neither will Gov. Bush if he doesn’t stop the torture and murder of Terri Schiavo.

Ann Coulter is host of, a member group.

©2005 Universal Press Syndicate

Contact Ann Coulter | Read Coulter’s biography

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Down with the 16th Amendment!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Down with the 16th Amendment!

Somebody’s actually doing something about the 16th Amendment (Income Tax) and a few other things (simultaneously). I listed the items below but you might want to visit their website and read about what and why they’re filing suit against the Government (and winning!).

You can find them and their brief and a petition, etc. at: (I like the name.)

I disagree with their grievances vis-à-vis the Iraq Resolution (perhaps they have a point on the method?) and the Patriot Act (although I could be swayed at some time to join in on the fight against the Patriot Act, now is not the time.) Nevertheless, they are fighting the good fight against the IRS and the Federal Reserve (we should own our currency, don’t you think?)

I’ve been hopping on the 16th Amendment for some years now and I was very well pleased to find someone who is making headway with the fight against it. Unless you agree that the Government has a right and a claim on any and all of your labor and the fruits therein, you should give these people a good long read. Schedule some time, an hour at least, and click on over to them. Read the petition and don’t be discouraged by the long, long list of names at the beginning (over half the 90 page document [PDF]), the brief actually starts on page 65 of the PDF document at: ).

I am considering signing their petition, regardless of the connections to the Patriot Act and the Iraqi War. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, no good can come from any body, any group, or any Government that has access to (virtually) limitless funds. The 16th Amendment gives access to those endless amounts of money.


The core of the petition:

Plaintiffs have petitioned defendants for a Redress of Grievances relating to:

a) The taxing clauses of the Constitution and the direct, un-apportioned tax on labor.

b) The war powers clauses of the Constitution and the Iraq Resolution.

c) The money clauses of the Constitution and the Federal Reserve System.

d) The “privacy” and due process clauses of the Constitution and the USA Patriot Act.


Here is my previous blog from my former blogsite (which is still active at ==>

Finally, we have a President who wants to completely overhaul and balance out the Federal Income Tax monster. Praise God, and pray that there will finally be fairness instilled on the outrageous current system.

As my long-term readers know, I have been calling for an outright repeal of the sixteenth amendment for a long, long time now. As I was reading the Washington Post today I saw the following story:

and by an odd coincidence (is there really such a thing?) I had shown what I have written to date on the subject to a new friend (who I met at a party, yadda, yadda…). So, here we are. I think I’ll post what I have written, so far, on my blog site. Please, comments are welcome – for, against, and/or ideas for embellishments and enhancements.

(I think I will be changing my position on a military draft, for example; my position on that has actually changed 180° and I do feel that there should be a mandatory draft of every high-school graduate who is physically and mentally able, no other exceptions. The well-to-do can just steam, their precious little, silver-spoon-fed, precocious little brats will have to go too. The only thing that needs polish on that concept is the duration. I will look into how Switzerland does it, they seem to have their shit together.)

Here are my nascent thoughts to date:

A Proposal to Regain the Government for the American People.

Our Government has been so out of control for so long, and so insidiously, that altogether too many people have become so acclimated to those excesses, and for so long, that most of the things the government does seems normal to them (and the rest of us) - almost.

By comparison, our government today is more heinous to its population than George III’s was to the colonists in 1776. Of course no one cares now or even notices it because of the way that the changes have evolved. For example there was a second American Revolution that was lost on February 12, 1913 - when the sixteenth amendment to the constitution of the United States of America went into full force and effect. Our country, as it was established and defined by our founding fathers, died that day and the enslavement of all of the people in it became effective.

In my opinion, we need to implement an amendment to the constitution that disallows the government from circumventing the original core issues of the constitution; those that are defined in the original document even before the “Bill of Rights” was amended to it.

We then need to amend the Constitution so that any proposal that effects the people directly needs to be approved by popular referendum.

We then need to implement an amendment to either repeal the sixteenth amendment outright; or at least to modify it so that all people are taxed equally (either by amount or percent.)

A graduated tax is a political instrument that encourages class warfare and in reality, over taxes the very people that it pretends to assist. The money in any society is, after all, dispersed among the middle class; the larger the population group the larger the total money held by them. The individual may see himself and his peers as poor but, in fact, they hold the monetary reigns of the government.

Then, as the classes are fighting each other, the government is free to oppress whomever they will; and they have done that, all too often.

I am certainly not a proponent of any socialist scheme; quite the contrary: I am a capitalist, a Libertarian, and specifically a proponent of the way our government was before it had access to more money than any man or group of men could possibly handle benignly.

I have some serious doubts as to the usage of the sixteenth amendment, the one that gives the federal government the right to collect an income tax. The one that was so abhorrent to the authors of the constitution that it was addressed, and excluded, as a means to collect revenue in the body of the constitution.

Article 1, section 9:

The migration or importation of such persons as any of the states now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each person.

The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.

No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

No capitation, or other direct, tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any state.

No preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one state over those of another: nor shall vessels bound to, or from, one state, be obliged to enter, clear or pay duties in another.

No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law; and a regular statement and account of receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time.

No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.

It is also interesting to note that the government used the constitution here to circumvent the constitution. That is, they changed it, against the people, on there own; 2/3 of congress and ¾ of the states’ legislatures without it ever appearing on a ballot for the people to review. Slam, Bam, Thank-you ma’am, we’re all enslaved to the federal government. (1/7th to over 1/3rd of all income sounds like a strong-arm partner to me. Nothing short of the old ‘protection racket’ and what are you going to do about it except pay, and maybe argue whether or not you should get some of your money back?)

The Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution:

Amendment XVI

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

There are plenty of ‘conspiracy theory’ nuts orbiting this one, and no wonder. According to the records of the states it may not have been passed at all, at least not as it was written. Even so, something so hideous as repealing, not just a previous amendment, but a section of the body of the original constitution should have been passed by the people, don’t you think? Just how close to 3/4th of the states do you think would have passed this on an open referendum? Consider the question on the ballot…

Do you want the federal government to take any amount of what you make, that they see fit to take, by way of a payroll deduction tax?

Oh, yeah, I think I know how I would’ve voted – OH, please, take it all, take it all!


Pretty simple isn’t it? Where does the idea for a graduated tax structure fit in? It surely doesn’t seem like equal treatment under the law. It’s more like the class warfare as outlined in the communist manifesto. Consider the 14th amendment:

Amendment XIV

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the executive and judicial officers of a state, or the members of the legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such state, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such state.

Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Now, the 16th doesn’t mention a “graduated tax” and the 14th guarantees ‘equal protection.” How then is the current system of a graduated income tax legal? (Well, of course, the government says they can so I guess they can.)

Well, how is it that not only you, but your employer has to disclose the most private details about your financial being when the 4th amendment says:

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Right, try and not tell the IRS anything they want to know. And speaking of that what about the 5th amendment?

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Since when is an IRA audit considered “due process?” (except by the IRS?) … private property taken, without just compensation… I guess my money isn’t private property, nor is yours!

Now consider how the IRS has leave to deal with you in private and without due process…

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Yes, they audit you, declare you ‘guilty’ and assess any and all of your property. Any lawyer you are allowed to have will work under the understanding (as will any judge and jury, if you can get one) that they will be audited next if they get in the way. Just how do you go about finding an impartial jury when dealing with the IRS?

[POP QUIZ: How do you get a fair trial against the IRS when all the lawyers, jurists and judges are under their dominion? ]

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.


The Constitution and the Bill of Rights has been eroded so much and are under continuous attack by “The Government” (that those documents were supposed to protect us from) that I propose the following Amendments be necessary in order to roll-back those encroachments.

1- That the Constitution not be amended except by ratification of the people, not just the State legislatures, by binding referendum in each state, passed by a 2/3 majority of the people in each state; and a ¾ majority of all of the states be necessary for that ratification.

This is to insure that the government can no longer pass amendments which are good for it but detrimental to the people.

2- The repeal of the 16th Amendment, re-invoking the original wording of the Constitution as worded in Article 1, Section 9.

This is to insure that the government no longer has free access to as much of the people’s property as they want, nor will they have unlimited funds to do what they will with.

3- That no military draft be imposed on the people except in times of War as declared by the Congress. Nor shall any member of the United States Armed forces be pressed into duty under any flag or uniform except that of the United States of America.

So that debacles such as “The Vietnam War” will not happen; also that our military will not be loaned or sold for use of any other nation or group of nations (such as the United Nations.)

4- That neither Congress nor the States may pass any law impeding a citizens right to keep and bear arms except where a person be a convicted felon or declared mentally incompetent by due process; and that any armament employed by any part of the government or armed forces also be available to private citizens.

To reinforce Alexander Hamilton’s idea that the people will have the ability to dissolve the government if and when it becomes so offensive to the people and by outright revolt if that becomes the last resort. In a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, the people must have the final power over the government.

5- Except during a war declared by the Congress the military budget shall be no greater than (percent to be determined) of the nations GNP.

To limit the size of the peacetime military/industrial complex. (This may not be necessary due to #2)

6- That all bills passed by the Congress shall have a statute of limitation attached to it so that no law becomes permanent. Any law or Bill that is deemed to be necessary and permanent should be ratified by binding referendum of all the people as a simple majority in each state and a simple majority of states.

All laws will be periodically reviewed for validity as the needs of society grow and change. Any permanent law needs to be approved by the states and by the people of the states.

7- That any Senator or Representative may be recalled by a referendum vote of 3/5th of the people of the state that elected them.

So that when their representatives depart from the ideals and the platform that were elected on, then the people can send someone else who will represent them.

8- All Supreme Court Judges to serve no longer than 16 years, but need to be re-confirmed by the Senate, without committee, every 4 years. (A no-vote within a time to be specified will constitute a confirmation.)

So that they are accountable and unable to usurp legislative powers.

9- All judicial appointments must be settled within one year by the Senate or they are seated automatically.

So that there will no longer be appointments simply withering on the vine.

Sneak-a-taxes - by Herman Cain (on

[It is always good to be exonerated by contemporary, recognized writers. Here is someone calling for the repeal of the 16th Amendment; does he sound familiar to you? -IC]


Herman Cain

March 23, 2005

ATLANTA, March 19 (UPI) -- April 15th marks a national springtime ritual that has nothing to do with April flowers. It's the official due date to file our federal returns for taxes we know about and those we never see coming until after they hit us.

Sneak-a-taxes are taxes buried in the 9-million-word tax code mess. Some of these sneak-a-taxes start out as temporary, but Congress conveniently forgets to end them. Or maybe they just pretend to forget.

Consider the withholding of income taxes. Congress enacted automatic withholding in 1943 as a way to fill the U.S. Treasury coffers each month and mask the true cost of federal spending. Congress explained to the public that, since the United States was busy fighting World War II, automatic withholding was necessary to fund the war effort in a timely fashion.

Congress also promised that withholding would end as soon as the war was over. That war ended 60 years ago.

Automatic withholding is a sneak-a-tax. When you receive a refund check, it means you gave the government an interest-free loan. Many workers have more taxes withheld throughout the year than they will owe on April 15th to avoid writing Uncle Sam a check or incurring an underpayment penalty. They then seem overjoyed that they receive a big refund check from the U.S. Treasury. We are so conditioned to celebrate our sudden windfall from the government that we forget that it is our money in the first place.

The alternative minimum tax is another sneak-a-tax that should have been repealed years ago. The AMT laws were enacted in 1969 by a Democratic-controlled Congress to sock it to the so-called rich.

The AMT is a calculation that assigns an alternate tax amount due if your regular income tax liability is not as high as Congress would like it to be. It is simply an unfair way of forcing people to pay more taxes, even if they follow all the rules and mandates in the convoluted tax code.

Each year, the AMT bandit holds up more and more of the so-called rich. In 2004, an estimated 2.6 million taxpayers fell prey to the AMT. By 2010 33 million, or an estimated one-third of all taxpayers, will be subject to the AMT. All because you and your spouse worked hard enough to earn at least $75,000, which in 1969 was considered rich.

The AMT does not consider inflation, a family's decision for both spouses to work, nor the promotion you received because you worked a little harder last year. The AMT punishes people for investing, working harder and growing their small businesses.

More sneak-a-taxes include corporate income taxes, which lead to higher consumer prices, the double taxation on dividends and corporate earnings, taxes paid on Social Security benefits, raising the maximum income subject to payroll taxes, lowering the maximum limit for certain taxable deductions, limiting the equipment expensing amount for small businesses, and the many taxes, fees, and surcharges hidden in your monthly phone bill.

In fact, one of the most ridiculous sneak-a-taxes is the Federal Excise Tax. The Federal Excise Tax, which is figured at 3 percent of your phone bill, was enacted in 1898 to help pay for the Spanish-American War. That war ended 107 years ago.

The federal tax code is filled with bandits, loopholes and limited deductions. Most people can't afford to find all the loopholes and deductions, but the tax-code bandits find everybody.

The only solution to locking up the tax-code bandits and making sure they never escape is to first repeal the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, which gives Congress the "power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived." Second, we must replace the federal income tax code with a national sales tax, also known as the FairTax.

Under the FairTax, all citizens will see an increase in their personal incomes and in their ability to save and invest for their future and their children's futures.

Credit must go to President Bush for bringing long-overdue debate on overhauling the tax code mess to the forefront of the national political agenda. But Congress will not take action without a vocal and persistent demand from the voters in between elections, and not just on election days.

Let's put the tax code bandits out of business. Ask your members of Congress to replace the tax code with the FairTax. If they say no, or do nothing, then it's time to replace them. And that will not be a sneak attack.

Herman Cain is chief executive officer of T.H.E. New Voice, Inc. and New Voters Alliance, and host of the nationally syndicated radio talk show The Bottom Line with Herman Cain. He is past chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, and past chairman and CEO of the National Restaurant Association.

©2005 Herman Cain

Friday, March 18, 2005

Putin, European Leaders Agree on Iran Nuclear Program -- by Bloomberg

You just gotta love these guys; they won't believe Iran is building bombs until a few go off in Western Cities; and then, maybe!(It isn't easy refraining from inserting comments into the story; most of you will figure them out anyway.) -- Ichabod Crane
Putin, European Leaders Agree on Iran Nuclear Program (Update3)
March 18 (Bloomberg) –

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and French President Jacques Chirac said Russia’s $1 billion project to construct a nuclear-power plant in Iran is not in conflict with their attempts to dissuade Iran from pursuing a nuclear-weapons program.

``We have a common interest in Iran not having atomic and nuclear weapons,’’ Schroeder said at a news conference in Paris today after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chirac and Spain’s Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. ``The Russian policy is in this spirit.’’

Russia is building a nuclear reactor in the southern Iranian city of Bushehr to generate electricity. The U.S. has urged Putin to abandon the project, arguing that Iran, the Middle East’s second-biggest oil producer, doesn’t need nuclear energy and is building the reactor to help it develop nuclear weapons.

France, Germany, and the U.K. have been seeking to persuade Iran to limit its nuclear program through negotiations and economic incentives. The United Nations atomic watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, has criticized Iran for failing to cooperate fully with the body’s inspectors.

``There’s no contradiction between the Russian position and the position that the U.K., Germany and France are trying to negotiate,’’ Chirac told the news conference. He denied that the three European Union countries are coming under pressure from the U.S. over the issue, saying negotiations are being held ``in a spirit of total transparency toward our U.S. friends.’’

Putin repeated today that he is convinced Iran’s recent actions prove the nation isn’t seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

`Transparent Policy’

The Iranian government wants ``to have a transparent policy,’’ Putin said.

``We have signed a very important contract with Iran on the return of nuclear waste to Russia. In agreement with this treaty we are going to observe in a very close manner the approach of the Iranian authorities in this field.’’

Iranian President Mohammad Khatami said March 12 that other countries are viewing the Iranian nuclear program ``with double standards.’’

``Iran has the right to peaceful nuclear technology,’’ Khatami said.

``However, we are ready to cooperate with the world to give more assurances that we’re not pursuing the construction of nuclear weapons.’’

Russia took over the Bushehr contract after Ukraine pulled out of an agreement to supply turbines for the plant in 1998 because of pressure from the U.S. and Israel.

Energy Meeting

Russia, which supplies about a quarter of natural gas annually consumed in Europe, will hold a meeting with energy ministers from France, Spain and Germany in two months in Moscow, Zapatero said.

``Russia is a very much respected and reliable supplier’’ of energy, Schroeder said. ``It’s in our best interests to strengthen this cooperation.’’

Putin also said he is keen to for Russia to work more closely with the EU on aerospace projects. European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. is in talks to buy a 10 percent stake in OAO Irkut Corp., a Russian maker of Sukhoi fighter planes that agreed Dec. 21 to sell $200 million of components to Airbus over 10 years.

``We have good perspectives for military cooperation,’’ Putin said. ``We also have good perspectives for building medium-haul planes.’’

Syrian Troops

The four leaders issued a statement urging the ``complete withdrawal’’ of Syrian troops from Lebanon. International pressure for Syria to withdraw has been mounting since the Feb. 14 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, a billionaire businessman.

Syria will withdraw all its troops and intelligence agents from Lebanon before parliamentary elections are held by the middle of May, acceding to a U.S. demand not to make the pullout conditional on formation of a new government, the United Nations said yesterday.

In contrast to President George W. Bush, who last month pressed Putin to fulfill his country’s commitment to democracy, Chirac, Schroeder and Zapatero took a more conciliatory approach, stressing the importance of the EU’s partnership with Russia.

Putin’s stepping-up of government control of his country’s media and an end to the direct election of regional governors have drawn criticism from other countries over the past two years.


The bankruptcy of OAO Yukos Oil Co. after the government demanded $28 billion in taxes and the Kremlin’s attempt to consolidate control of the Russian energy industry before allowing foreigners to buy more of natural gas company OAO Gazprom have also raised concerns Putin is seeking to tighten control of business.

The EU leaders also sought to soothe Russian concerns over their relationship with Ukraine. Schroeder said that during a visit to Germany March 9 President Viktor Yushchenko spoke of his country’s ``close’’ relations with both the EU and Russia, with whom the Ukraine has an ``eternal partnership.’’

``There are special relations between Russia and Ukraine -- there are some industries in our economies that can not survive without each other,’’ said Putin, who backed Yushchenko’s opponent Viktor Yanukovych in December’s disputed presidential election, while Yushchenko was supported by western countries.

Russia is Ukraine’s biggest trading partner, and about 85 percent of Russian gas exports to Europe go via Ukraine.

To contact the reporters on this story:
Emma Vandore in Paris at ; Halia Pavliva in Paris at 7714 or .
To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Catherine Hickley at ; Chris Kirkham at Heather Harris at .

Last Updated: March 18, 2005 17:07 EST

Lawrence Summers And The Left’s Thought Gulag - By David Limbaugh

Lawrence Summers And The Left’s Thought Gulag

March 18, 2005

It’s time we call political correctness what it is: a liberal code of thought, speech and conduct. Anyone who thinks conservatives are behind any of this lunacy is either uninformed or being dishonest.

The Faculty of Arts and Science (FAS) at Harvard University issued a no-confidence vote this week condemning university president Lawrence H. Summers. The stated reasons for the censure, according to the New York Times, were “longstanding dissatisfaction with his management style and, to a lesser extent, his remarks in January about women in science.”

To a lesser extent? Right. How many believe Dr. Summers would have incurred the wrath of the academics had he not opened his mouth in a closed meeting in which he threw open for discussion the theory that women, in general, have less aptitude in science and math than men?

Do you not remember the uproar that ensued following his remarks: the outrage of women and the emotional response of one female academic leaving the room in a huff? Are you aware that Dr. Summers has been spending the last several weeks, perhaps months, groveling to the individual members of the FAS, trying to prostitute himself back in their favor?

The action of the FAS is disgraceful and serves as a damning indictment of the state of academic inquiry among our universities today. We are not talking about some ragtag junior college here, folks, but the most celebrated, august, nonpareil Ivy League university in the universe: Harvard.

The FAS just could not abide the suggestion that women might have different intellectual strengths from men. It not only wouldn’t accept Summers’ apology, it virtually demanded his head and permanently tarnished his reputation.

The dirty secret -- at least it’s a secret to liberals -- is that political correctness, emanating as it does from a liberal mindset, is not open-minded, it’s not inviting, and it’s not progressive or enlightened. It is the antithesis of what liberalism claims to be all about.

No, the liberal code is illiberal, it’s close-minded, censorial, tyrannical, oppressive, uncompassionate, intolerant, anti-libertarian, anti-intellectual, anti-academic inquiry, arrogant, proud and unforgiving.

One outspoken professor, J. Lorand Matory, a professor of anthropology and African and African-American studies, was quite clear to reporters following the meeting that the beleaguered Summers should step down. “There is no noble alternative for him but resignation,” said Matory.

But not all the condemning FAS members were willing to go on the record, or even to disclose their position publicly. These FAS paragons of free and open debate insisted on having a secret ballot, making it that much easier for the cowardly thought police to affect their dirty work.

If they felt so strongly and justified about their stance, why couldn’t they do so out in the open? Don’t give me any “fear of administrative retribution” garbage. It’s obvious that Summers isn’t the one doing the intimidating here, though you wouldn’t know that by listening to the faculty bullies.

In an ironic twist, one of those faculty members lambasted Summers for “intimidating faculty members and squelching debate.” “There is a widespread dissatisfaction with his substantive decisions as well as style,” said Professor Waters.

Now isn’t that special: the intimidating faculty condemning Summers for squelching debate when they just got through blistering him for trying to open academic debate on a subject they unilaterally deemed to be so offensive as to be beyond discussion. I wonder if it ever occurs to them that they work against their own purposes when they adopt this smothering, patronizing attitude about women, treating them as if they’re just too delicate to be discussed. Their hypocrisy and lack of self-reflection knows no bounds.

Yet William C. Kirby, the dean of FAS, had the audacity to suggest in a statement that the last few weeks had demonstrated “how willing we are to engage in a process of self-examination, for the betterment of this institution. … I value the views of the faculty, and of President Summers, and I believe we are all committed to moving forward in a constructive fashion.”

How can anyone take such people seriously? They not only don’t value President Summers’ views (or those of anyone else who runs afoul of the “code”), they won’t even let him bring certain subjects up for discussion. This isn’t just thought control, it’s thought prison.

The Left is increasingly intellectually bankrupt and delusional. But worse, it has become boorishly dictatorial, not even sparing would-be allies, like Clintonite Lawrence Summers, from its hellish wrath, if they dare not just to disagree with their dogma, but to express a willingness to consider ideas the “code” forbids.

This page copyright David Limbaugh 1994-2005

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Who's watching you and what do they know about you?

Wow, I haven't been here in a while, I hope that changes soon. I'm looking for a place to live (again) and hope to have something of my own soon. Then I'm sure I'll find plenty to write about. Soon, God please, let it be soon.

Anyway, here is something that Diane T. sent me and my response to it. I feel it is light and trite, but what else would've rhymed? RSVP


Make sure your sound is up and watch this little skit about buying pizza in the future. (Of course, it isn’t just about pizza, just an example after all.) Then read on…

This scenario is troubling on several levels. First off, I’m not sure there is reason for any concern at all; but still I feel alarm. Who we are, where we live & work, and our shopping habits are things that are known to many people now. The phone book has a few of them; those discount cards we use (some of us, anyway) at the supermarket & drugstores & elsewhere, track our shopping habits, and, of course, anyone who verifies your credit card will know if it is maxed out, won’t they? So, how ‘futuristic’ is what this is showing you anyway?

Of course, having your SSN (you don’t give that out to anybody but the Federal Government and your employer, do you?) would be very alarming; that is the beginning of identity theft. Your driver’s license is also troublesome, and for the same reason, but you have to show that when you pay by check, don’t you? (I have to show either my SSN or drivers license when I get some Rx’s, like narcotics.) When clerks write that info on your check (or Rx) does that go into their computers too? I wouldn’t like that.

The other troubling thing there is the medical information that crops up with the pizza order. This is probably the most troubling after information needed to steal your ID (and I didn’t see that – SSN, Driver’s License, and/or Passport number). I can see why the insurance companies would like that. The information used in this example is ‘good for you’ and if he elected to stay with his pizza then a premium would go to his insurance company. This is what makes it hard to know where to draw the line. It is easy to argue that this would be a good thing, after all why should everybody have to share the cost of other people’s risky behavior? If the cost would go down for people with good habits, as would be obvious on their medical records, and people with bad habits (double meat pizza’s, hi cholesterol, etc.) would pay penalties on their medical insurance, why not? After all, premiums on life insurance are adjusted along those lines. Medical records and lifestyle are definitely used to determine you premiums for life insurance, why not medical insurance? It has been shown that money is a great motivator, maybe we’d have a healthier population if that were done?

Of course, the insurance companies would love to increase premiums for people with the bad behavior; but can you even imagine them lowering anything for anybody? This sounds like an idea that looks good on paper but may not be realized in practice; something like Federal involvement in Education. (That will need to be addressed in another issue.)

Who would have access to all that information is the real problem, isn’t it? Look at all the stories in the news just recently about stolen private information; that is enough to give pause to this whole scheme. There is the rub, another idea that looks great on paper but reality has a way of turning it around. (Like all of the social engineering projects done at the Federal level; they looked good, sounded good, but turned into a major disaster when implemented. Things like Social Security, Medicaid, Welfare, Federal involvement in Education, etc. If implemented at all, these programs should be implemented and funded at the state level. Are we or are we not an Federation? As it is and the way it is going, there is little need for state government; and, that is a very bad thing.)

Then there is the acne laden adolescent at the pizzeria that is seeing all that information, isn’t there? Someone could pay them to collect info on people, couldn’t they? When I worked briefly in retail, I was amazed at the information that I could have harvested if I had a mind to; and, I’m sure there were people who must have. Having too much personal information available for trivial purposes can’t be a good thing, can it?

Maybe I should look at this as an opportunity… I could use a new identity! Hell, I’m thinking of just publishing my vitals just to get some dummy to steal it; maybe I would come out better after I got it straightened out? Ha, ha.

Let me know what your thoughts are on this, I need more understanding.