The number one story on FOX News for the past two days has consisted of hype for its GOP presidential candidates debate scheduled for tonight, and right behind that is the gloating over the cancellation of Donald Trump's debate that was scheduled for Dec. 27 on the ION cable network.
The number one story on FOX News should be this article http://www.infowars.com/indefinite-detention-bill-heads-to-obamas-desk/ but why let the erosion of our constitutional rights in the name of national security get in the way of a real story?
Perhaps I shouldn't be so critical, but I have difficulty expunging the memories of two decades working as a journalist from my professional psyche, and I keep having these flashbacks of sending reporters' copy back to them with huge question marks all over the place. ( I have worse memories of being the reporter whose copy was trashed by his editors, but we're NOT going there today.)
In the world of television news the Fox debate is a "real" debate and thus "news" while Trump's debate was denounced by media and political elitists alike as an "unreal" debate that is noteworthy only due to its demise.
Talking airheads all over the political universe were tut-tutting Trump's decision to host a debate, since he is after all a celebrity who was in the race himself for a while. He cancelled it, so he says, not because of the cowardice of the bulk of the GOP candidates who were too chicken to appear, but because he still may run as an independent if he doesn't like the final GOP choice. Right.
Only Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum ultimately agreed to appear on the Trump debate, but I'll tell you something, I would have watched anyway! Santorum constantly complains that he doesn't get enough face time, so this would have been a bonanza for him, and I could listen to Gingrich all night, especially when he isn't working against the negativism of Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Ron Paul.
I didn't hear anyone complaining when Fox personality Frank Luntz did an Internet "forum" a while back, that focused on the candidates' faith - except for Romney and another guy who are Mormons and apparently didn't feel comfortable sitting at the front of a room full of conservative Christians many of whom presumably were of the Evangelical persuasion. Luntz actually did a good job of hosting the forum for the rest of the top candidates, which included questions from the audience as well as the moderators, in a laid back, informative style that was long on information and short on made-for-TV pseudo drama.
If the FOX debate tonight is to give us any real insights into the candidates' plans for a post-Obama White House, someone should ask for some real details on where they are going with their so-called "Tax Reform" plans now that Herman Cain has been banished to the back of the bus along with his 9-9-9 plan. (I said that on purpose.)
Cain had the only plan that promised real reform because his plan was the only one that required a complete shift away from taxing the nation's best producers at increasingly higher levels, and instead taxing consumption - which would have spread the burden over everyone in this country not just the wage earners. I have been hearing for some time now that of the 140 million workers in the US, only about half actually pay income taxes.
If you go the the US Debt Clock website http://www.usdebtclock.org/ you'll see that the three components of income based taxation are Income taxes, Payroll taxes, and Corporate taxes all of which take money out of workers' pockets before they ever see it. The media regularly reports that about half of American workers get more back in tax refunds than is taken from their paychecks, but I have pointed out previously that even so, the government deducts taxes from those workers' pay all year long too, in effect giving the government an interest free loan before they get a refund the next year.
But that system also requires that the government tax people in higher income brackets at ever higher rates, meaning the harder your work, the better your education, the more you earn, the more you pay. What kind of screwed up system is that? Especially when the media constantly regurgitates the claims that "the rich" are getting away with murder while "the poor" are carrying the burden. Reality is like a cold shower in January isn't it?
Cain would have taken the load off the backs of the roughly 70 million wage earners who pay more in taxes than they get back in April, and instead would have put a lesser burden spread out over the 320,000,000 Americans and associates who got to the store every so often to buy things.
Cain's 9-9-9 plan was just the first step in eliminating the bulk of federal taxes - personal income taxes, payroll taxes, and corporate taxes, and replacing them with what is called the Fair Tax, a national sales tax which derives its name from the fact that everyone would contribute, not just those who work the hardest.
As it stands now, America's tax system penalizes the best and brightest so the worst and dumbest can sit on their asses doing nothing, collecting income they didn't earn, which comes from the taxes levied on those who get up every day and go to their jobs. This includes millions of Americans who create their own jobs instead of whining that "the government" isn't doing enough to keep them employed shuffling papers and making up things to do.
When most Americans join the labor force it is safe to presume that an overall goal is to work their way up the ladder of knowledge and responsibility with the promise of greater rewards coming on the heels of greater effort.
But we now seem to be in sort of a Reverse Aristocracy, where instead of kings and nobles taxing the middle class, we have the lumps and humps sitting around whining that someone who has actually spent their life PRODUCING thinks they have the right to keep what they earn.
Should any of the GOP candidates take up where Cain left off and seriously explore moving our tax system to a consumption base rather than a production base, they certainly will get my support. But it seems that one thing the media and political elitists fear the most with a true revision of the tax system is that the general public will no longer be subjected to the iron fist of the Internal Revenue Service and its tens of thousands of pages of tax codes, but instead will have a significant measure of CONTROL over how much they spend and thus how much they are taxed.
If a person who is well off wants to buy a $100,000 car and spend $20,000 on taxes, that is their business. If a person who doesn't have that much money wants to buy a $10,000 car and spend $2,000 on taxes, that also is their choice. The great thing about the Fair Tax is that the purchase of a new automobile will be taxed once and that is that.
Later on, if those cars are sold as used vehicles there will be no tax. I like that a lot. I also like the fact that every illegal alien in this country and every tourist who graces our shores would contribute to our tax base!
I like the fact that I could cut some trees on my property and burn wood at no tax expense to myself, except for chainsaw gas and oil, instead of buying fuel. Or I could grow a big garden and save on buying produce at the grocery store. Control ladies and gentlemen, control. That is what this is all about and I believe it is way past time for control to return to the people where it belongs.
In its pure form the Fair Tax also addresses the concept that it would hurt the poor more than the rich, a concept with which I strongly disagree by the way, by providing a monthly "prebate" which would provide families below certain income limits with the equivalent of what they would pay in taxes that month. So much for whining that "the rich" are taking advantage of the poor. What a car load of communist crap.
The true aristocracies that Communism was originally intended to oppose have been long gone from Europe and never had a place in American society. Thus, structuring this argument in rhetoric from the 1800s is pure nonsense - and won't lead to real solutions. Yes, I know full well that there are people who think they are aristocratic but usually they are full of hot air and exist on a cushion of false premises.
The great thing about America is that anyone with brains and initiative can overcome economic drawbacks and succeed to levels that are unthinkable in other societies. Why else do we have so many people trying to get in and so few clamoring to get out?
How many recent immigrants do you think participate in this "occupy" nonsense? How smart is it to keep labor union members off their jobs in American ports in an effort to destroy the very structure that provided those jobs in the first place? Not smart at all in my estimation, especially just before Christmas, which is celebrated in some form or another by more than 80 percent of Americans.
Keep people from working only weeks before Christmas morning when everyone who believes likes to see a little something under the tree? Wow, what a great strategist thought that one up.
Look, I understand that a transition to the Fair Tax would take real work and a lot of cooperation, and in some cases would involve neutralizing the people who believe in the status quo because they are lined up at the feeding trough provided by the American taxpayers too. We would have to work to make sure that today's unsustainable and unconscionable government spending sprees are returned to common sense levels and we will never escape the requirement that we keep an eye on our elected representatives and self-anointed bureaucrats alike.
But like abolitionist Wendell Phillips once stated, "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." (No it wasn't Thomas Jefferson.) No one ever said that once a government is formed, those who formed it or live in its shadow can just relax and go about their business.
There is a constant ebb and flow to the human condition, and so far, fortunately, we have risen above the ebb every time to ever greater heights. But that takes work, not indolence. I hope someone brings that up at tonight's FOX News debate. I'll be watching just to find out.
Thursday, December 15, 2011