MINOT, NORTH DAKOTA —Our government is broken. Our leaders continue
the business-as-usual policies of tax and spend, instead of acknowledging
the lack of discipline, vision, and leadership in our nation’s
capital. Until we fix this, our economic problems will persist no matter
how we tax.
Our leaders at every level are relentlessly confiscating more of our
wealth and inhibiting our productive capabilities. While the President
calls it “Remaking America,” we are embarking on a spending
and rulemaking orgy that will end in one of two ways. The first is
a dramatic and negative decline in our standard of living, coupled
with a vastly more powerful and intrusive government. The second is
a revolutionary change in how we govern ourselves.
When elected officials have no idea what to do, they draft more laws,
impose tighter controls on us, and increase taxes and spending. Instead
of tempering the raging economic meltdown, they are fanning the flames
driving it. Instead of acknowledging government failures as the prime
cause of our problems, they legislate new sure-to-fail measures. This
Remaking of America is alien to everything that was responsible for
the high standard of living this country brought to the world.
The rhetoric is measured, even soothing. The wolf is at our door bringing
with it taxes, regulations, unimagined spending, and irresponsibility.
The rhetoric cloaks this wolf in sheep’s clothing, and the general
public seems to buy it. While the “tea parties” on April
15 brought hope, our leaders do not appear to have listened or cared.
We are told that taxes will decrease for 95 percent of us. Even a
poor public education should be sufficient to inform us such a promise
is about as sincere as saying, “I’ll respect you in the
morning.” The Obama Administration is calling for hundreds of
billions of dollars a year in fees on energy production and pretending
these fees are not a tax. The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing
billions more in fees on our agricultural production. Again, they tell
us these are not taxes. The truth is that these policies will confiscate
what we earn.
If higher taxes were a solution to what ails our country, they could
be tolerable. However, they are not. In fact, they are a major contributor
to the problems we face.
Our leaders see no connection between what they do and do not do and
our economic mess — millions of illegals in our country, rampant drug
use, massive welfare, family breakdown, out-of-wedlock births, a failed
public education system, out-of-control health care costs, and our
declining industrial base.
Rather than attend to these structural problems, our leaders promote
racial division, class hatred, and impending global nightmares. If
the consequences were not so dire, these petty political games and
posturing might be laughable. However, there is nothing funny about
We need to dramatically and quickly reform our broken political system.
The first step is to cut federal spending by 25 percent now and by
50 percent over the next 10 years. Anything less will be inadequate.
Next, we need to put an absolute limit on how much of our wealth the
government can take. Combined federal, state, and local taxes should
be limited to no more than 15 percent of earnings. It is time we again
constitutionally abolish income taxes and include a prohibition on
Every citizen must be responsible to pay a share of the cost of government
— every citizen. The tax system we have in place is worse than a ponzi
scheme. It penalizes those who create wealth, and it rewards those
who contribute the least.
Forty percent of the people in our country pay no taxes, yet they
elect those who promise to take from the producers and give to them.
If this does not stop, the United States will end up like every other
nation in history — a historical footnote destroyed by an irresponsible
government and destructive tax system.
While we still have a working democracy, let us implement these reforms.
A Voice from Fly-Over
A Voice from Fly-Over Country is copyright © 2009 by Robert
L. Hale and the Fitzgerald Griffin
All rights reserved.
Robert L. Hale received his J.D. in law from Gonzaga University Law
School in Spokane, Washington. He is founder and director of a non-profit
public interest law firm. For more than three decades he has been involved
in drafting proposed laws and counseling elected officials in ways
to remove burdensome and unnecessary rules and regulations.
See a complete biographical sketch.
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