Friday, January 15, 2010

Well, Actually.....

A five part series on some of the arguments against the Fair Tax. Taken directly from the horse's mouth, so to speak, the Americans For Fair Taxation website. If you disagree, go there and either register your disagreement, or research to find out why Fair Tax says what it does. In other words, don't argue it here, and do your own research!

Today, I'm offering the arguments. Every Friday for the next five weeks, I'll give the argument again, and the answer as provided by Fair Tax.

The FairTax Five

The gloves are off as critics try to pick apart the FairTax. Trouble is, it's just a replay of the same five FairTax myths:
  1. "The 23% rate is misleading. It's actually 30%"
  2. "It's not enforceable and evasion will be rampant"
  3. "It will not be revenue neutral at 23%"
  4. "The FairTax is not politically viable"
  5. "The FairTax is regressive and shifts the tax burden onto lower and middle income people"
What is the FairTax plan?

The FairTax plan is a comprehensive proposal that replaces all federal income and payroll based taxes with an integrated approach including a progressive national retail sales tax, a prebate to ensure no American pays federal taxes on spending up to the poverty level, dollar-for-dollar federal revenue neutrality, and, through companion legislation, the repeal of the 16th Amendment.

The FairTax Act (HR 25, S 296) is nonpartisan legislation. It abolishes all federal personal and corporate income taxes, gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare, and self-employment taxes and replaces them with one simple, visible, federal retail sales tax administered primarily by existing state sales tax authorities.

The FairTax taxes us only on what we choose to spend on new goods or services, not on what we earn. The FairTax is a fair, efficient, transparent, and intelligent solution to the frustration and inequity of our current tax system.

The FairTax:
  • Enables workers to keep their entire paychecks
  • Enables retirees to keep their entire pensions
  • Refunds in advance the tax on purchases of basic necessities
  • Allows American products to compete fairly
  • Brings transparency and accountability to tax policy
  • Ensures Social Security and Medicare funding
  • Closes all loopholes and brings fairness to taxation
  • Abolishes the IRS

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Exciting Announcement!

From Americans for Fair Taxation:

Michael Reagan, the eldest son of former President Ronald Reagan, has just agreed to act as the Honorary Chairman of the FairTax National Victory Campaign!

I wanted to tell you first.

Mike believes, and we agree, that if the FairTax had existed during his father’s time, President Reagan would have been a strong proponent.

It’s not a hard conclusion to reach given that his father said this: “Our federal tax system is, in short, utterly impossible, utterly unjust and completely counterproductive, it reeks with injustice and is fundamentally un-American... it has earned a rebellion and it's time we rebelled...”

Mike has now agreed to help us get the second American tax revolt moving into high gear. That means a lot of Congressional communications, media work, radio, telephone recordings and television. It means a broader base of supporters behind the beloved legacy of Ronald Reagan, one of our greatest Presidents.

We have needed a strong public “face” and voice for the FairTax and it is hard to imagine a better champion for our needed cause.

I’ve written you before that this will become the “Year of the FairTax” and this is a big step forward toward that goal.

I received this in email, so I have no idea where it originated (if anyone knows, please let me know so I can give proper credit). I already made a few changes even before I got this. I made some notes about my changes or just a thought or two about the suggestion.

It's certainly full of good ideas, so here it is:


1. Drink plenty of water. (I bought a Liv Pure Fit and Fresh water bottle so that I can get more water every day. It's hard; I just don't like the taste, or lack of taste, in water and adding a packet of something to give said water a different flavor just seems to defeat the purpose. The Fit Pure Fit and Fresh also has a filter cartridge and I'm not sure how an additive would be affected.)

2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar. (This one is easy on my work days. I eat breakfast and lunch at work in the employee dining room. I don't really feel much like eating at dinner time. I'm working on my off days.)

3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants. (Hard for me. I like my meat and potatoes, but I have added more veggies to my diet and reduced the amount of sweets.)

4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy

5. Make time to pray.

6. Play more games (I'm assuming this doesn't mean mind games, but board games, or card games and such with your friends and family)

7. Read more books than you did in 2009. (I am reading more, trying to incorporate a few non-fiction books in with the cozy mysteries I prefer.)

8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.

9. Sleep for 7 hours. (I'm trying to get more sleep. Before I started this job, I was able to stay up til midnight and still get 6-7 hours of sleep every night. Now,I have to be asleep by 9 to get seven hours. That goes against decades of midnight sleep times. Not easy to change, but I'm working on it.)

10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile. (I walk on a treadmill at least 30 minutes a day every day I work - seven out of 14 days. Not much, but it's a start. I'm working up to more. And if it will warm up just a bit, I want to walk outdoors on my days off. Sorry, this is Florida, and when the temps are in the 30's during the afternoon, it's just too cold for this girl!)


11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

12. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

13. Don't over do. Keep your limits.

14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.

16. Dream more while you are awake.

17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with His/her mistakes of
the past. That will ruin your present happiness.

19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.

20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.

21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

23. Smile and laugh more.

24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.


25. Call your family often.

26. Each day give something good to others. (Even if it's just a smile or a cheery "Hello!". You never know when something as simple as a smile could make a difference in someone else's life.)

27. Forgive everyone for everything. (Don't hold grudges. They are too heavy to lug around for the rest of your life).

28. Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.

29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
(Would you be any happier knowing someone doesn't like you than thinking they do? And you won't waste time trying to make them like you.)

31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.


32. Do the right thing! (Sometimes it's harder to do what's right. But it's so much better to do what's right because you don't have to remember to keep your story straight, or whom you told what. When you do the right thing, you only have to remember what you did.)

33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful. (I can speak to personal experience. Being a pack rat, a hoarder, or whatever you want to call it doesn't make you happy. I'm sorting our my house and getting rid of things I don't need, isn't useful to me, or doesn't make me happy. I feel so much better every time something leaves the house. It's hard, but I'm learning that I don't need most of these things to make me happy.)

34. GOD heals everything. (Another thing I've learned. But...if you are sick, you should see a doctor. God did provide us with the knowledge to know that there are times when seeing a doctor is a very good idea.)

35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up. (The only time you shouldn't show up is if you are sick and contagious. You don't need to spread the germs.)

37. The best is yet to come. (The Power of Positive Thinking. It WORKS!)

38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.

39. Your Innermost is always happy. So, be happy.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

If You Can Find a Better Deal, Take It!
by Ann Coulter
Posted 01/06/2010 ET
Updated 01/06/2010 ET

Someone mentioned Christianity on television recently and liberals reacted with their usual howls of rage and blinking incomprehension.

On a Fox News panel discussing Tiger Woods, Brit Hume said, perfectly accurately:

"The extent to which he can recover, it seems to me, depends on his faith. He is said to be a Buddhist. I don't think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. So, my message to Tiger would be, 'Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world."

Hume's words, being 100 percent factually correct, sent liberals into a tizzy of sputtering rage, once again illustrating liberals' copious ignorance of Christianity. (Also illustrating the words of the Bible: "How is it you do not understand me when I speak? It is because you cannot bear to listen to my words." John 8:43.)

In The Washington Post, Tom Shales demanded that Hume apologize, saying he had "dissed about half a billion Buddhists on the planet."

Is Buddhism about forgiveness? Because, if so, Buddhists had better start demanding corrections from every book, magazine article and blog posting ever written on the subject, which claims Buddhists don't believe in God, but try to become their own gods.

I can't imagine that anyone thinks Tiger's problem was that he didn't sufficiently think of himself as a god, especially after that final putt in the Arnold Palmer Invitational last year.

In light of Shales' warning Hume about "what people are saying" about him, I hope Hume's a Christian, but that's not apparent from his inarguable description of Christianity. Of course, given the reaction to his remarks, apparently one has to be a regular New Testament scholar to have so much as a passing familiarity with the basic concept of Christianity.

On MSNBC, David Shuster invoked the "separation of church and television" (a phrase that also doesn't appear in the Constitution), bitterly complaining that Hume had brought up Christianity "out-of-the-blue" on "a political talk show."

Why on earth would Hume mention religion while discussing a public figure who had fallen from grace and was in need of redemption and forgiveness? Boy, talk about coming out of left field!

What religion -- what topic -- induces this sort of babbling idiocy? (If liberals really want to keep people from hearing about God, they should give Him his own show on MSNBC.)

Most perplexing was columnist Dan Savage's indignant accusation that Hume was claiming that Christianity "offers the best deal -- it gives you the get-out-of-adultery-free card that other religions just can't."

In fact, that's exactly what Christianity does. It's the best deal in the universe. (I know it seems strange that a self-described atheist and "radical sex advice columnist f*****" like Savage would miss the central point of Christianity, but there it is.)

God sent his only son to get the crap beaten out of him, die for our sins and rise from the dead. If you believe that, you're in. Your sins are washed away from you -- sins even worse than adultery! -- because of the cross.

"He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross." Colossians 2:14.

Surely you remember the cross, liberals -- the symbol banned by ACLU lawsuits from public property throughout the land?

Christianity is simultaneously the easiest religion in the world and the hardest religion in the world.

In the no-frills, economy-class version, you don't need a church, a teacher, candles, incense, special food or clothing; you don't need to pass a test or prove yourself in any way. All you'll need is a Bible (in order to grasp the amazing deal you're getting) and probably a water baptism, though even that's disputed.

You can be washing the dishes or walking your dog or just sitting there minding your business hating Susan Sarandon and accept that God sent his only son to die for your sins and rise from the dead ... and you're in!

"Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9.

If you do that, every rotten, sinful thing you've ever done is gone from you. You're every bit as much a Christian as the pope or Billy Graham.

No fine print, no "your mileage may vary," no blackout dates. God ought to do a TV spot: "I'm God Almighty, and if you can find a better deal than the one I'm offering, take it."

The Gospel makes this point approximately 1,000 times. Here are a few examples at random:

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16.

"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God." Ephesians 2:8.

"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23.

In a boiling rage, liberals constantly accuse Christians of being "judgmental." No, we're relieved.

Christianity is also the hardest religion in the world because, if you believe Christ died for your sins and rose from the dead, you have no choice but to give your life entirely over to Him. No more sexual promiscuity, no lying, no cheating, no stealing, no killing inconvenient old people or unborn babies -- no doing what all the other kids do.

And no more caring what the world thinks of you -- because, as Jesus warned in a prophecy constantly fulfilled by liberals: The world will hate you.

With Christianity, your sins are forgiven, the slate is wiped clean and your eternal life is guaranteed through nothing you did yourself, even though you don't deserve it. It's the best deal in the universe.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Harry Reid’s Corrupt Christmas Present
by Newt Gingrich
Posted 01/06/2010 ET

The Democratic leaders of the House and the Senate reportedly are planning on finalizing their differing health care “reform” bills in secret.

That’s right. They’re kicking out the C-SPAN cameras and planning on huddling behind closed doors with a few Obama Administration power brokers to transform the American health care system.

Not that anyone should be surprised by this, of course. “Secret” and “corrupt” are the two words that best describe the process by which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid produced his trillion-dollar government takeover of our health care system.

A First Look At Harry Reid’s Corrupt Christmas Present

The American people didn’t have much of a chance to get a good look at Senator Reid’s corrupt Christmas present before it was passed. The legislation would dramatically expand the power and scope of the federal government -- and fail to fix any of the problems we face.

That continues the course of action that Democrats have taken this entire year on health reform. Every bill that has been introduced, from the House Tri-Committee bill this summer to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee to Harry Reid’s latest bill, the recipe is the same: More regulation, higher taxes, bigger government, less control for you.

Here are just a few of the Reid bill’s details:

• 2,409 pages (by comparison, the legislation that created Social Security was just 82 pages long)

• $518 billion in tax increases (Joint Committee on Taxation and the Congressional Budget Office)

• $466 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid (CBO)

• Many costs of the legislation won’t begin until 2014, but taxes will be imposed immediately (CBO)

• Federal outlays for health care would increase by about $200 billion between 2010-2019 (CBO)

• $26 billion of unfunded mandates to states over the next 10 years that will likely result in higher taxes (CBO)

• Would increase non-group premiums by $300 per individual and $2,100 per family (CBO)

• Up to 10 million people will lose their current health insurance coverage under the bill (CBO)

• Adds a 10% tax on indoor tanning services (Section 10907)

No Christmas Miracle, Just a Lot of Washington Payoffs

As I mentioned before, Harry Reid didn’t need a Christmas miracle to pass this massive bill. Instead he used an approach more appropriate for "The Sopranos" than for the nation’s capital: payoffs. There may not have been any smoke-filled rooms, but there were plenty of shady deals.

The most egregious were those for Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska. He was the final holdout. Without his support, the bill would have been stopped. But Ben buckled under the pressure.

He was particularly pliable on his demands that no federal funding go to cover abortions. Instead he accepted a watered down compromise that allows individual states to prohibit plans that cover abortion services -- a compromise that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and numerous pro-life groups denounced as paving the way for federally funded abortions.

The Nebraska Exemption to Higher Medicaid Costs

But when Harry Reid needed his vote, Sen. Nelson took the money and ran -- $100 million to be exact. Nebraska will be the only state in the country where the full costs of Medicaid expansion will be covered by the federal government. Specialty hospitals in Nebraska will be exempted from new regulations. The state’s largest insurers will be shielded from new regulations. Here are the details of the Nebraska Exemption:

• Federal government fully finances Medicaid expansion for two years and then increases its matching funds (known as FMAP) thereafter to 100% -- in perpetuity (Section 10201), totaling about $100 million

• Reid bill specifically identifies Nebraska for higher federal matching funds, fully funding its expansion for an additional year

• Carve outs for physician-owned hospitals in Nebraska

• Physician self-referral exemptions within Nebraska

• Nelson’s abortion compromise: a state may elect to prohibit abortion coverage in qualified health plans offered through an exchange if the state enacts a law to prohibit it

• Shields two Nebraska insurers from taxes that other plans will pay: Mutual of Omaha and Blue Cross/Blue Shield (language crafted so it only affects these two in Nebraska)

The Roll Call of Shame: Senator Nelson Wasn’t the Only Senator Bought Off

But Sen. Nelson wasn’t the only senator to be bought off by Majority Leader Reid. More than a dozen other states received special goodies, including:

• Louisiana
$300 million in additional Medicaid funding

• Vermont
2.2% FMAP increase for 6 years for Vermont Medicaid program
$600 million in additional Medicaid funding (CBO)

• Massachusetts
0.5% FMAP increase for 3 years for their entire program
$500 million in additional Medicaid funding (CBO)

• Hawaii
Restores DSH funding eliminated in the past to expand Medicaid eligibility

• Michigan
Adjusts payments to hospitals according to local wage levels, which when adjusted aids Michigan
Exemption for non-profit insurers in the state from large excise tax

• Connecticut
$100 million earmark for construction of a University of Connecticut hospital

• Montana
Medicare coverage for individuals exposed to environmental health hazards in or around the geographic area of Libby, Mont., subject to an emergency declaration as of 6/17/09

• South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana
Adds 1% hospital wage index
Adds 1% practice index for physicians to cover geographic cost differences

A Massive Bill, Compiled in Secret and Negotiated Through Corruption, Will Now Be Finalized in Secret

And so it has come to this: A massive bill, compiled in secret, negotiated through corruption, and passed by a party-line vote, will now be finalized in secret.

Americans deserved better for Christmas.

Reports are that House and Senate Democrats will go around the normal legislative process of a formal, transparent conference to iron out their differences. (This chart written by Democratic staffers provides a good summary of both bills, though it also includes a lot of spin.) But rather than a representative group of lawmakers from each chamber negotiating in good faith in the open, House Speaker Pelosi, Senate Leader Reid, and White House officials are planning to do the work themselves, locking out the vast majority of lawmakers -- from both parties.

If these secret proceedings are not stopped, the American people, through our representatives in Congress, will be presented with a done deal. If 2009 is any guide, the final vote will then be called before many members of Congress or the public has a chance to read, understand, and debate the details of the final bill. And in the end, the American people will be left to speculate as to the corrupt bargains that were required to see this monstrosity through to final passage.

Turn on the C-SPAN Cameras

But this does not have to be the outcome. Americans do not want our lawmaking to be done in secret. In 2008, then-candidate Obama condemned “negotiating behind closed doors” and instead called for “bringing all parties together, and broadcasting those negotiations on C-SPAN so that the American people can see what the choices are, because part of what we have to do is enlist the American people in this process.”

In this spirit of candidate Obama, C-SPAN Chairman Brian Lamb asked congressional leaders this week to let the American people have a seat at the table where decisions affecting every single American will be made and to allow C-SPAN to cover the health care negotiations among Senate, House, and White House representatives.

President Obama was right in 2008 as a candidate. Brian Lamb is right today. These health care negotiations should be held in the open and C-SPAN should be allowed to provide coverage so that all Americans can see how health legislation will affect their lives.

Open, honest government should be an American birthright. Joining Brian Lamb in requesting our elected leaders to live up to a minimum standard of openness and honesty is one New Year’s resolution that every American can agree on.

Your friend,