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Thursday, November 27, 2014

What does Thanksgiving have to do with Capitalism?

THE FIRST THANKSGIVING CELEBRATED THE BOUNTY OF CAPITALISMPrintE-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Thursday, 27 November 2014

On Thanksgiving Day, Americans gather with their family and friends to celebrate the blessings that Providence has bestowed on their beloved country.

A deep appreciation of these blessings involves understanding that they were earned.  It is to understand the awesome truth of how "God helps those who help themselves" applies to the Mayflower Pilgrims and their First Thanksgiving at America's birth.

This is an appreciation and understanding of which those on the Left are incapable - for it would mean celebrating the capitalist freedom that made that original Thanksgiving possible.  This no liberal, no Democrat, no leftie can do.  Thus they must distort history instead.

The distortion starts in Kindergarten, with the childish make-believe of your kid's school play portraying the noble Squanto teaching the helpless Pilgrims how to feed themselves. So let's drop the curtain on the distortion and watch the real thing. Here it is.

The real history of the Mayflower Pilgrims was recounted by their leader, William Bradford (1590-1657) in his book Of Plymouth Plantation, completed in 1647. 

It is from Bradford that we learn of Squanto, who did indeed show the Pilgrims how to "set" or plant corn (a new unfamiliar crop for them).  Then we learn that the Pilgrims taught the Indians how to grow more corn than they ever had before:
"The Indeans used to have nothing so much corne as they have since the English have stored them with their hoes, and seene their industrie in breaking up new grounds therwith." 
Reading the real history of the Pilgrims is so revelatory that I want you to see it at length.  The Pilgrims landed in December 1620, suffered a horrible winter, figured out how to fish and hunt that spring and summer so that there may have been some sort of feast with friendly Indians in the fall of 1621 - although Bradford doesn't recount the incident.

But by 1622 they were starving.  There was no "Thanksgiving" that year.  There was the next - for 1623 saw the Pilgrims in well-fed abundance, and thus was the year of the real First Thanksgiving. 

What made the difference?  Here are Bradford's own words (albeit with modern spelling like "been" instead of "bene" - the original spelling is in the link above; the parentheses are his, the explanatory brackets are mine), describing Anno Dom.1623:
It may be thought strange that these people should fall to these extremities in so short a time, being left competently provided when the ship [the Mayflower] left them, and had an addition by that moyetie [portion] of corn that was got by trade, besides much they got of the Indians where they lived, by one means and other.

It must needs be their great disorder, for they spent excessively whilst they had, or could get it. And after they began to come into wants, many sold away their clothes and bed coverings; others (so base were they) became servants to the Indians, and would cut them wood and fetch them water for a cap full of corn; others fell to plain stealing, both night and day, from the Indians, of which they grievously complained. In the end, they came to that misery that some starved and died with cold and hunger...

All this while no supply was heard of, neither knew they when they might expect any. So they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery.

At length, after much debate of things, the Governor [Bradford] (with the advise of the chiefest amongst them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular [plant corn on his own private land], and in that regard trust to them selves; in all other things to go on in the general way as before.

And so [there was] assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number for that end, only for present use (but made no division for inheritance), and ranged all boys and youth under some family. This had very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted then other wise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content.

The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little-ones with them to set corn, which before they would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.

The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years, and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Plato's and other ancients applauded by some of later times -- that the taking away of property, and bringing in communities into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing, as if they were wiser than God.

For this community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For the young-men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine [complain] that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children, with out any recompense.

The strong, or man of parts, had no more in division [in amount] of victails [food] and clothes, than he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalized in labors, and victails, clothes, etc., with the meaner and younger sort, thought it some indignity and disrespect unto them.

And for men's wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc., they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could many husbands well brook it.

Upon the point all being to have alike, and all to do alike, they thought them selves in the like condition, and have as good as another; and so, if it did not cut off those relations that God hath set amongst men, yet it did at least much diminish and take of the mutual respects that should be preserved amongst them.

And would have been worse if they had been men of another condition. Let none object this is men's corruption, and nothing to the course itself. I answer, seeing all men have this corruption in them, God in his wisdom saw another course fitter for them...
By the time harvest was come [fall 1623], instead of famine, now God gave them plenty, and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God. 

And the effect of their particular planting was well seen, for all had, one way and other, pretty well to bring the year about, and some of the abler sort and more industrious had to spare, and sell to others, so as any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day [1647].
That is as effective a refutation of socialism and affirmation of capitalism as there has ever been.  The Pilgrims were starving, stealing and begging from the Indians under a no private property/everybody work for the common good economy.  They switch to a private property/everybody work for themselves economy, and within one season there is abundance for all.

But how can Lefties and Zero-Reid-Pelosi Democrats be thankful for this?  They cannot and are not.  Their goal is not abundance.  Their goal is deprivation - for where there is deprivation there must be victims, victims who can be manipulated to acquire power.

Bradford's history - the real history of Thanksgiving - is there in plain black and white, undeniable and irrefutable for anyone to see.  It is the history that should be taught to our schoolchildren but is not.  It is ignored and denied.  It likely is the very first time you yourself have ever seen Bradford's words.

Liberals, Democrats, and members of America's Fascist Left may very well be enjoying this day - enjoying good food, good wine, good friends and family.  Let's hope they are.  We should not begrudge them this moment of good cheer.

But what is impossible, or at least difficult for them is to enjoy being American, being thankful for America, to celebrate theabundance of America, the abundance of its material and spiritual well-being thanks to the private property capitalism that made the first Thanksgiving and all those that followed possible.

Any celebration of theirs is always a yes...but thankfulness.  "Yes, we have much to be thankful for on this day, but we must never forget what we did to the Indians and the slaves, that there is still too much poverty and racism in America, blah, blah, blah..."

The purpose of Thanksgiving is to be thankful for being American. This is the day to celebrate the goodness of our country - the moral goodness, the moral decency of American institutions, American history, and the character of the American people. Without any buts.

It's easy for conservatives to do this - it comes natural to us.  It's the opposite for liberals, who relish and revel in incessant guilt-mongering - and can't celebrate a Thanksgiving with no buts.

So this day, we can relish and revel in the capitalist freedom and abundance that Providence enabled the Pilgrims to choose, and create America thereby.

That freedom and abundance is today being threatened as never before by a Fascist Left determined to destroy it. Now more than ever is the time to focus anew on all that we love about our country, to know that Providence has always smiled upon it - for we, like the Pilgrims have the capacity to choose capitalist freedom over socialist slavery.

With that choice, the original Americans created a civilization out of the wilderness.  With that choice, we Americans of today can rescue our civilization from the wilderness of the Fascist Left led by President Zero.

That choice liberates us from their power-lust and make us impervious to the poison of anti-America hate that eats at all liberal souls.  That is why we are what they are not:  grateful for our country, for the very existence of America, for the priceless privilege of being an American.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A short refresher course on the real Barack Hussein Obama

Kevin Dujan (who’s appeared on CNN, MSNBC, FOX and has been quoted by many well-known public figures) started HillBuzz when he was a Hillary supporter for her 2008 campaign. When she lost to Obama, he and a lot of his gay friends in Chicago campaigned for McCain and Kevin started writing about all the things the gay community had long known about Obama such as he and Rahm Emanuel’s lifetime memberships in Man’s Country (an upscale gay bathhouse in Chicago):

http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2013/04/obama-member-of-gay-bath-house-2622992.html

The pastor of the church the Obama’s attended for many years was the now-infamous “God damn America” Reverend Jeremiah Wright who not only ran a “down-low” club to marry off and give political and business “cover” to gay men, but also had strong Muslim ties and sympathies (and Obama spent ages 6-10 enrolled in a Muslim school in Indonesia after being adopted by Indonesian Lolo Soetoro):

http://www.wnd.com/2012/10/obama-didnt-join-wrights-church-to-follow-jesus/

“In late May [2010], Wash. DC-based investigative journalist Wayne Madsen [former U.S. Naval officer] had a bombshell revelation about Obama’s membership in a Chicago gay club, Man’s Country. Madsen also reported on Obama’s sexual relationships with other men, including named D.C. politicians and Donald Young, the openly-gay choir-director of the church in Chicago of which Obama was a member for some 20 years — Jeremy Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ black liberation theology. There were two other openly gay men in Wright’s church: Larry Bland and Nate Spencer. In late 2007, as Obama began his ascent to be the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee, in a span of 1½ months, all three men “conveniently” died:
  • Bland was murdered execution-style on November 17, 2007;

  • Young was murdered execution-style on December 24, 2007;

  • Spencer reportedly died of septicemia, pneumonia, and HIV on December 26, 2007. (Death certificates of Bland and Young, HERE [click on article link below].)
Now, Young’s elderly mother is speaking out about her suspicions that her son was murdered to protect Obama’s reputation and assure his political future as President. . .”
Read more at http://patdollard.com/2011/11/mother-of-obamas-murdered-gay-lover-speaks-up/#xdgTgTrd2odki02l.99
“In March 2008, contract employees for the State Department were caught breaching the passport files of the three still viable presidential candidates, Obama, McCain and Clinton.

While the media allowed Obama to pontificate about the sanctity of confidential records, they spared the public the knowledge that Obama’s file was uniquely visited on three occasions.

Worse, the media scarcely mentioned another crucial detail. CNN reported the following in a throw-away piece on March 22 (a date I correctly guessed as a Saturday):
“The CEO of a company whose employee is accused of improperly looking at the passport files of presidential candidates is a consultant to the Barack Obama campaign, a source said Saturday.”
That CEO, John O. Brennan, spent nearly 30 years in the CIA. Incredibly, he is now deputy national security advisor for homeland security and counterterrorism.

One of the many media scandals of the 2008 campaign was the hasty burial of this story. Remnick does not mention the incident in “The Bridge.” Nor do Mark Halperin and John Helleman mention it in “Game Change,” their definitive book on the campaign.

How hard would it have been for Brennan’s man to add a 1981 Pakistan-Indonesia stamp to Obama’s American passport? If not this, what the hell was he doing in the files and why is no one asking?”
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2011/06/305889/#gdueqeStBBDUeLkA.99

The key witness in this passport fraud case was found fatally shot:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/apr/19/key-witness-in-passport-fraud-case-fatally-shot/

“Lieutenant Quarles Harris Jr. was found shot to death in his car on April 17, 2008, just over a month after the last breach.”
Read more at http://freedomoutpost.com/2013/07/does-the-cia-director-have-barack-obamas-records-that-prove-he-is-ineligible-to-be-president/#4eD4T0MyG8vfpFb3.99

Obama lived a Harlem apartment (extremely far away from Columbia) with the guy in the picture who was an illegal cokehead from Pakistan:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/oct/03/barack-obama-wild-drugtaking-roommate

Attorney Orly Taitz researched this even further:
...Further records from the Student Clearing House show even more shocking evidence. In his memoirs and multiple speeches Obama wrote that he studied for two years at Columbia University September 1981-May 1983. He admitted that in summer of 1981 he traveled to Pakistan to visit his friends, but repeatedly claimed that from September 1981 until May of 1983 he resided in New York and studied at Columbia University. Taitz ran a check of his years of attendance at Columbia university and found out that Columbia official records show him attending Columbia university only for nine months September 1982-till May 1983 (Exhibit 3), which means that the President of the United States lied to the whole nation about his whereabouts for a whole year September 1981 until September 1982. One year absence is the best case scenario, as he could get his university credit by reciprocity or through extern studies.

28. As there is no record of Obama residing anywhere else in the United States from September 1981-September 1982, or attending any other university, by way of simple deduction it becomes clear that his visit to Pakistan lasted not a month or two, as he claims, but over a year.

29. In 1981-1982 Pakistan was ruled by a ruthless radical Muslim leader general Zia Ul Hac, who came to power as a result of a military coup, announced himself as a Chief Martial Law Administrator and ruled the country via the system of iron fist terror. Supreme court of Pakistan, apparently afraid for their lives found such rule to be acceptable due to a “necessity” doctrine. Based on verification of Columbia university records, Taitz found that Obama spent at least a year within the regime of general Zia Ul Hac.
http://www.orlytaitzesq.com/first-amended-complaint-submitted-today-in-dc-newly-uncovered-documents-show-that-obama-was-defrauding-the-nation-re-his-columbia-university-records-he-was-there-only-9-months-more-evidence-of-soci/


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

5 THINGS YOU MUST DO AFTER A SHOOTING

“The four or five minutes after a shooting may determine where you get to live for the next 20 years.”

1. Point out Perpetrator to Police
2. Tell Police you will “Sign the Complaint”
3. Point out the Evidence to Police
4. Point out Witnesses to Police
5. Will give Full Cooperation in 24 hours After speaking with Attorney




GruberGate: Everything he said compiled into one, short video

Watch this rich (Democrat) man laughing at all the poor, stupid American people!
* 2.5 million from the NIH
* 1.7 million from the Justice Dept.
* $392,600 from HHS
* $103,500 from the State Dept.



Sunday, November 16, 2014

NYT: THE FACTS ON FRACKING


In sum, the experience of fracking in Pennsylvania has led to industry practices that mitigate the effect of drilling and fracking on the local environment.

And while the natural gas produced by fracking does add greenhouse gases to the atmosphere through leakage during gas extraction and carbon dioxide release during burning, it in fact holds a significant environmental advantage over coal mining. Shale gas emits half the carbon dioxide per unit of energy as does coal, and coal burning also emits metals such as mercury into the atmosphere that eventually settle back into our soils and waters.
Europe is currently increasing its reliance on coal while discouraging or banning fracking. If we are going to get our energy from hydrocarbons, blocking fracking while relying on coal looks like a bad trade-off for the environment.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Does this matter...or not?



You'd think it would. Even ABC NEWS is now reporting on what Jonathan Gruber previously said in his FIVE videos prior to 2014.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

How Ted Kennedy ruined America

NumbersUSA:
Until we change those policies, Ted Kennedy's immigration legacy will continue to deteriorate our American dreams of economic justice and environmental sustainability and individual liberty.
READ MORE

Towards the end, you will begin to comprehend the magnitude and extreme selfishness of all the do-gooders, liberals, progressives, and statists who (1) think they know what is best for everyone else and (2) are so addicted to finding ways of making themselves feel good about themselves that they end up not caring how they do it.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Another death to cover up Obama's real identity

A month before Fuddy died she had been named in an affidavit requesting that a Grand Jury launch an investigation into Obama’s forged birth certificate and Fuddy’s role, if any, in the production of it. xxvi There were nine souls on board the plane that day on December 11, 2013, and Fuddy was the only fatality. So you can see why those of us who are convinced that Obama’s birth certificate was forged, suspected foul play.
READ MORE

It's about the stuff, stupid

What If Other Presidents Spoke Like Barack Obama?

Sunday, November 09, 2014

The Case Against Liberal Compassion

William Voegeli

Senior Editor, Claremont Review of Books

WILLIAM VOEGELI is a senior editor of the Claremont Review of Books and a visiting scholar at Claremont McKenna College’s Henry Salvatori Center. After receiving a Ph.D. in political science from Loyola University in Chicago, he served as a program officer for the John M. Olin Foundation. He has written for numerous publications, including the Christian Science Monitor, City Journal, Commentary, First Things, the Los Angeles Times, National Review, and the New Criterion. He is the author of two books, Never Enough: America’s Limitless Welfare State and The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion.

The following is adapted from a speech delivered at Hillsdale College on October 9, 2014, sponsored by the College’s Van Andel Graduate School of Statesmanship.

Four years ago I wrote a book about modern American liberalism:Never Enough: America’s Limitless Welfare State. It addressed the fact that America’s welfare state has been growing steadily for almost a century, and is now much bigger than it was at the start of the New Deal in 1932, or at the beginning of the Great Society in 1964. In 2013 the federal government spent $2.279 trillion—$7,200 per American, two-thirds of all federal outlays, and 14 percent of the Gross Domestic Product—on the five big program areas that make up our welfare state: 1. Social Security; 2. All other income support programs, such as disability insurance or unemployment compensation; 3. Medicare; 4. All other health programs, such as Medicaid; and 5. All programs for education, job training, and social services.

That amount has increased steadily, under Democrats and Republicans, during booms and recessions. Adjusted for inflation and population growth, federal welfare state spending was 58 percent larger in 1993 when Bill Clinton became president than it had been 16 years before when Jimmy Carter took the oath of office. By 2009, when Barack Obama was inaugurated, it was 59 percent larger than it had been in 1993. Overall, the outlays were more than two-and-a-half times as large in 2013 as they had been in 1977. The latest Census Bureau data, from 2011, regarding state and local programs for “social services and income maintenance,” show additional spending of $728 billion beyond the federal amount. Thus the total works out to some $3 trillion for all government welfare state expenditures in the U.S., or just under $10,000 per American. That figure does not include the cost, considerable but harder to reckon, of the policies meant to enhance welfare without the government first borrowing or taxing money and then spending it. I refer to laws and regulations that require some citizens to help others directly, such as minimum wages, maximum hours, and mandatory benefits for employees, or rent control for tenants.

All along, while the welfare state was growing constantly, liberals were insisting constantly it wasn’t big enough or growing fast enough. So I wondered, five years ago, whether there is a Platonic ideal when it comes to the size of the welfare state—whether there is a point at which the welfare state has all the money, programs, personnel, and political support it needs, thereby rendering any further additions pointless. The answer, I concluded, is that there is no answer—the welfare state is a permanent work-in-progress, and its liberal advocates believe that however many resources it has, it always needs a great deal more.

The argument of Never Enough was correct as far as it went, but it was incomplete. It offered an answer to two of the journalist’s standard questions: What is the liberal disposition regarding the growth of the welfare state? And How does that outlook affect politics and policy? But it did not answer another question: Why do liberals feel that no matter how much we’re doing through government programs to alleviate and prevent poverty, whatever we are doing is shamefully inadequate?

Mostly, my book didn’t answer that question because it never really asked or grappled with it. It showed how the Progressives of a century ago, followed by New Deal and Great Society liberals, worked to transform a republic where the government had limited duties and powers into a nation where there were no grievances the government could or should refrain from addressing, and where no means of responding to those grievances lie outside the scope of the government’s legitimate authority. This implied, at least, an answer to the question of why liberals always want the government to do more—an answer congruent with decades of conservative warnings about how each new iteration of the liberal project is one more paving stone on the road to serfdom.

Readers could have concluded that liberals are never satisfied because they get up every morning thinking, “What can I do today to make government a little bigger, and the patch of ground where people live their lives completely unaffected by government power and benevolence a little smaller?” And maybe some liberals do that. Perhaps many do. The narrator of “The Shadow,” a radio drama that ran in the 1930s, would intone at the beginning of every episode, “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?”

Well, the Shadow may have known, but I don’t. The problem with this kind of explanation for liberal statism is that very, very few liberals have been compliant or foolish enough to vindicate it with self-incriminating testimony. Maybe they’re too shrewd to admit that ever-bigger government is what they seek above all else. Or maybe they don’t realize that’s what they’re up to.

Such arguments trouble me, however. The great political philosophy professor Leo Strauss insisted that it is a grave mistake to presume to understand important political philosophers better than they understood themselves, unless one had already put in the hard work necessary to understand them as they understood themselves. Perhaps this good advice can be democratized, I thought, and applied as well to Elizabeth Warren and Rachel Maddow as to Aristotle and John Locke. If we make that effort—an effort to understand committed liberals as they understand themselves—then we have to understand them as people who, by their own account, get up every morning asking, “What can I do today so that there’s a little less suffering in the world?” To wrestle with that question, the question of liberal compassion, is the purpose of my latest book, The Pity Party.

Indifference to Waste and Failure

All conservatives are painfully aware that liberal activists and publicists have successfully weaponized compassion. “I am a liberal,” public radio host Garrison Keillor wrote in 2004, “and liberalism is the politics of kindness.” Last year President Obama said, “Kindness covers all of my political beliefs. When I think about what I’m fighting for, what gets me up every single day, that captures it just about as much as anything. Kindness; empathy—that sense that I have a stake in your success; that I’m going to make sure, just because [my daughters] are doing well, that’s not enough—I want your kids to do well also.” Empathetic kindness is “what binds us together, and . . . how we’ve always moved forward, based on the idea that we have a stake in each other’s success.”

Well, if liberalism is the politics of kindness, it follows that its adversary, conservatism, is the politics of cruelty, greed, and callousness. Liberals have never been reluctant to connect those dots. In 1936 Franklin Roosevelt said, “Divine justice weighs the sins of the cold-blooded and the sins of the warm-hearted in different scales. Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.” In 1984 the Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives, “Tip” O’Neill, called President Reagan an “evil” man “who has no care and no concern for the working class of America and the future generations . . . . He’s cold. He’s mean. He’s got ice water for blood.” A 2013 Paul Krugman column accused conservatives of taking “positive glee in inflicting further suffering on the already miserable.” They were, he wrote, “infected by an almost pathological meanspiritedness . . . . If you’re an American, and you’re down on your luck, these people don’t want to help; they want to give you an extra kick.”

Small-d democratic politics is Darwinian: Arguments and rhetoric that work—that impress voters and intimidate opponents—are used again and again. Those that prove ineffective are discarded. If conservatives had ever come up with a devastating, or even effective rebuttal to the accusation that they are heartless and mean-spirited: a) anyone could recite it by now; and, b) more importantly, liberals would have long ago stopped using rhetoric about liberal kindness versus conservative cruelty, for fear that the political risks of such language far outweighed any potential benefits. The fact that liberals are, if anything, increasingly disposed to frame the basic political choice before the nation in these terms suggests that conservatives have not presented an adequate response.

A first step in that direction is to note a political anomaly pointed out by Mitch Daniels, the former Republican governor of Indiana. Daniels contended that disciplining government according to “measured provable performance and effective spending” ought to be a “completely philosophically neutral objective.” Skinflint conservatives want government to be thrifty for obvious reasons, but Daniels maintained that liberals’ motivations should be even stronger. “I argue to my most liberal friends: ‘You ought to be the most offended of anybody if a dollar that could help a poor person is being squandered in some way.’ And,” the governor added slyly, “some of them actually agree.”

The clear implication—that many liberals are not especially troubled if government dollars that could help poor people are squandered—strikes me as true, interesting, and important. Given that liberals are people who: 1) have built a welfare state that is now the biggest thing government does in America; and 2) want to regard themselves and be regarded by others as compassionate empathizers determined to alleviate suffering, it should follow that nothing would preoccupy them more than making sure the welfare state machine is functioning at maximum efficiency. When it isn’t, after all, the sacred mission of alleviating preventable suffering is inevitably degraded.

In fact, however, liberals do not seem all that concerned about whether the machine they’ve built, and want to keep expanding, is running well. For inflation-adjusted, per capita federal welfare state spending to increase by 254 percent from 1977 to 2013, without a correspondingly dramatic reduction in poverty, and for liberals to react to this phenomenon by taking the position that our welfare state’s only real defect is that it is insufficiently generous, rather than insufficiently effective, suggests a basic problem. To take a recent, vivid example, the Obama Administration had three-and-a-half years from the signing of the Affordable Care Act to the launch of the healthcare.gov website. It’s hard to reconcile the latter debacle with the image of liberals lying awake at night tormented by the thought the government should be doing more to reduce suffering. A sympathetic columnist, E.J. Dionne, wrote of the website’s crash-and-burn debut, “There’s a lesson here that liberals apparently need to learn over and over: Good intentions without proper administration can undermine even the most noble of goals.” That such an elementary lesson is one liberals need to learn over and over suggests a fundamental defect in liberalism, however—something worse than careless or inept implementation of liberal policies.

That defect, I came to think, can be explained as follows: The problem with liberalism may be that no one knows how to get the government to do the benevolent things liberals want it to do. Or it may be, at least in some cases, that it just isn’t possible for the government to bring about what liberals want it to accomplish. As the leading writers in The Public Interest began demonstrating almost 50 years ago, the intended, beneficial consequences of social policies are routinely overwhelmed by the unintended, harmful consequences they trigger. It may also be, as conservatives have long argued, that achieving liberal goals, no matter how humane they sound, requires kinds and degrees of government coercion fundamentally incompatible with a government created to secure citizens’ inalienable rights, and deriving its just powers from the consent of the governed.

I don’t reject any of those possibilities, or deny the evidence and logic adduced in support of each. But my assessment of how the liberal project has been justified in words, and rendered in deeds, leads me to a different explanation for why, under the auspices of liberal government, things have a way of turning out so badly. I conclude that the machinery created by the politics of kindness doesn’t work very well—in the sense of being economical, adaptable, and above all effective—because the liberals who build, operate, defend, and seek to expand this machine don’t really care whether it works very well and are, on balance, happier when it fails than when it succeeds.

The Satisfaction of Pious Preening

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the Latinate word “compassion” means, literally, “suffering together with another”—it’s the “feeling or emotion, when a person is moved by the suffering or distress of another, and by the desire to relieve it.” Note that suffering together does not mean suffering identically. The compassionate person does not become hungry when he meets or thinks about a hungry person, or sick in the presence of the sick. Rather, compassion means we are affected by others’ suffering, a distress that motivates us to alleviate it. As Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote in Emile, “When the strength of an expansive soul makes me identify myself with my fellow, and I feel that I am, so to speak, in him, it is in order not to suffer that I do not want him to suffer. I am interested in him for love of myself.”

We can see the problem. The whole point of compassion is for empathizers to feel better when awareness of another’s suffering provokes unease. But this ultimate purpose does not guarantee that empathizees will fare better. Barbara Oakley, co-editor of the volume Pathological Altruism, defines its subject as “altruism in which attempts to promote the welfare of others instead result in unanticipated harm.” Surprises and accidents happen, of course. The pathology of pathological altruism is not the failure to salve every wound. It is, rather, the indifference—blithe, heedless, smug, or solipsistic—to the fact and consequences of those failures, just as long as the empathizer is accruing compassion points that he and others will admire. As philosophy professor David Schmidtz has said, “If you’re trying to prove your heart is in the right place, it isn’t.”

Indeed, if you’re trying to prove your heart is in the right place, the failure of government programs to alleviate suffering is not only an acceptable outcome but in many ways the preferred one. Sometimes empathizers, such as those in the “helping professions,” acquire a vested interest in the study, management, and perpetuation—as opposed to the solution and resulting disappearance—of sufferers’ problems. This is why so many government programs initiated to conquer a problem end up, instead, colonizing it by building sprawling settlements where the helpers and the helped are endlessly, increasingly co-dependent. Even where there are no material benefits to addressing, without ever reducing, other people’s suffering, there are vital psychic benefits for those who regard their own compassion as the central virtue that makes them good, decent, and admirable people—people whose sensitivity readily distinguishes them from mean-spirited conservatives. “Pity is about how deeply I can feel,” wrote the late political theorist Jean Bethke Elshtain. “And in order to feel this way, to experience the rush of my own pious reaction, I need victims the way an addict needs drugs.”

It follows, then, that the answer to the question of how liberals who profess to be anguished about other people’s suffering can be so weirdly complacent regarding wasteful, misdirected, and above all ineffective government programs created to relieve that suffering—is that liberals care about helping much less than they care about caring. Because compassion gives me a self-regarding reason to care about your suffering, it’s more important for me to dosomething than to accomplish something. Once I’ve voted for, given a speech about, written an editorial endorsing, or held forth at a dinner party on the salutary generosity of some program to “address” your problem, my work is done, and I can feel the rush of my own pious reaction. There’s no need to stick around for the complex, frustrating, mundane work of making sure the program that made me feel better, just by being established and praised, has actually alleviated your suffering.

This assessment also provides an answer to the question of why liberals always want a bigger welfare state. It’s because the politics of kindness is about validating oneself rather than helping others, which means the proper response to suffering is always, “We need to do more,” and never, “We need to do what we’re already doing better and smarter.” That is, liberals react to an objective reality in a distinctively perverse way. The reality is, first, that there are many instances of poverty, insecurity, and suffering in our country and, second, that public expenditures to alleviate poverty, insecurity, and suffering amount to $3 trillion, or some $10,000 per American, much of it spent on the many millions of Americans who are nowhere near being impoverished, insecure, or suffering. If the point of liberalism were to alleviate suffering, as opposed to preening about one’s abhorrence of suffering and proud support for government programs designed to reduce it, liberals would get up every morning determined to reduce the proportion of that $3 trillion outlay that ought to be helping the poor but is instead being squandered in some way, including by being showered on people who aren’t poor. But since the real point of liberalism is to alleviate the suffering of those distressed by others’ suffering, the hard work of making our $3 trillion welfare state machine work optimally is much less attractive—less gratifying—than demanding that we expand it, and condemning those who are skeptical about that expansion for their greed and cruelty.
*****
Those of us accused of being greedy and cruel, for standing athwart the advance of liberalism and expansion of the welfare state, do have things to say, then, in response to the empathy crusaders. Compassion really is important. Clifford Orwin, a political scientist who has examined the subject painstakingly, believes our strong, spontaneous proclivity to be distressed by others’ suffering confirms the ancient Greek philosophers’ belief that nature intended for human beings to be friends. But compassion is neither all-important nor supremely important in morals and, especially, politics. It is nice, all things being equal, to have government officials who feel our pain rather than ones who, like imperious monarchs, cannot comprehend or do not deign to notice it. Much more than our rulers’ compassion, however, we deserve their respect—for us; our rights; our capacity and responsibility to feel and heal our own pains without their ministrations; and for America’s carefully constructed and heroically sustained experiment in constitutional self-government, which errs on the side of caution and republicanism by denying even the most compassionate official a monarch’s plenary powers. Kindness may well cover all of Barack Obama’s political beliefs, and those of many other self-satisfied, pathologically altruistic liberals. It doesn’t begin to cover all the beliefs that have sustained America’s republic, however. Nor does it amount to a safe substitute for those moral virtues and political principles necessary to sustain it further.


Copyright © 2014 Hillsdale College. The opinions expressed inImprimis are not necessarily the views of Hillsdale College. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided the following credit line is used: “Reprinted by permission fromImprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College.” SUBSCRIPTION FREE UPON REQUEST. ISSN 0277-8432. Imprimis trademark registered in U.S. Patent and Trade Office #1563325.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

The Progressive Income Tax: A Tale of Three Brothers



[Hat tip: American Enterprise Institute]

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

From A-Z: The Complete Guide To Obama’s Scandals, Lies, And Blunders

The Daily Surge:
With so many scandals and failures within the Obama White House, it’s hard to keep up with all of them because there are so many. The good news for you is that I’ve compiled an A-Z listing of Obama’s scandals and failures. The bad news… Obama is still the President.
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Christian Couple Beaten, Burnt Alive by Muslim Mob — Pregnant Wife Had Legs Broken So She Couldn’t Escape Oven

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information about a horrifying incident of a Christian couple being burnt alive on charges of Blasphemy in Pakistan’s Punjab Province. According to information, the couples’ legs have been broken so that they cannot escape the burning. The young Christian couple has been severely beaten and were both thrown into burning kiln by an enraged mob of about 2000 to 3000. This large mob had been instigated by the owner of a kiln in Kasur District in the Punjab Province, where the Provincial Government permits any person, especially organized mobs to do as they please, with impunity to those religious minorities such as Christians, Ahmadi’s etc. This incident too has taken place with full police presence and connivance.
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Washington Post: "On just about every level, this claim is ridiculous."

Washinton Post:
...the president’s claim makes little sense no matter how you do the numbers.
Four Pinocchios for Obama’s claim that Republicans have ‘filibustered about 500 pieces of legislation’

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Make sense?


Sunday, November 02, 2014

Groaners


1. Two antennas meet on a roof, fall in love and get married.  The ceremony wasn't much, but the reception was excellent. 

2. Two hydrogen atoms walk into a bar. One says, "I've lost my electron." The other says, "Are you sure?" The first replies, "Yes, I'm positive..." 

3. A jumper cable walks into a bar. The bartender says, "I'll serve you, but don't start anything." 

4. Two peanuts walk into a bar, and one was a assaulted. 

5. A sandwich walks into a bar. The bartender says, "Sorry we don't serve food in here." 

6. A dyslexic man walks into a bra. 

7. A man walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm and says: "A beer please, and one for the road." 

8. Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other: "Does this taste funny to you?"  

9. "Doc, I can't stop singing 'The Green, Green Grass of Home.'"  "That sounds like Tom Jones Syndrome." "Is it common?" Doc says, "It's Not Unusual."  

10. Two cows standing next to each other in a field, Daisy says to Dolly, "I was artificially inseminated this morning." "I don't believe you," said Dolly. "It's true, no bull!" exclaimed Daisy. 

11. An invisible man marries an invisible woman. The kids were nothing to look at either.  

12. A man takes his Rottweiler to the vet and says, "My dog's cross-eyed, is there anything you can do for him?" "Well," says the vet, "let's Have a look at him." So he picks the dog up and examines his eyes, then checks his teeth. Finally, he says, "I'm going to have to put him down." "What? Because he's cross-eyed?"  "No, because he's really heavy."  

13. I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I couldn't find any.  

14. I went to the butcher's the other day and I bet him 50 bucks that he couldn't reach the meat off the top shelf. He said, "No, the stakes are too high."    

15. I went to a seafood disco last week...and pulled a mussel.  

16. What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh.  

17. Two termites walk into a bar. One asks, "Is the bar tender here?"

Where did all the yellowcake go?

The answer will really scare you.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

BLOCKBUSTER: Obama’s Border Policy Fueled Epidemic, Evidence Shows - UPDATE

The Daily Caller:
The deadly EV-D68 enterovirus epidemic, which struck thousands of kids this fall, was likely propelled through America by President Barack Obama’s decision to allow tens of thousands of Central Americans across the Texas border, according to a growing body of genetic and statistical evidence.
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Shamefully deliberate and deadly behavior by the man who was elected to protect the citizens of the United States of America. Our CHILDREN have suffered and died this year because him!!

UPDATE:

Investor's Business Daily:
Is CDC Hiding Enterovirus Link To Illegal Alien Kids?


Friday, October 31, 2014

The 2014 campaign brings a fresh focus on candidates with fervently held, evidence-free beliefs


The Top 10 Liberal Superstitions


A hallmark of progressive politics is the ability to hold fervent beliefs, in defiance of evidence, that explain how the world works—and why liberal solutions must be adopted. Such political superstitions take on a new prominence during campaign seasons as Democratic candidates trot out applause lines to rally their progressive base and as the electorate considers their voting records. Here’s a Top 10 list of liberal superstitions on prominent display during the midterm election campaign:
1. Spending more money improves education. The U.S. spent $12,608 per student in 2010—more than double the figure, in inflation-adjusted dollars, spent in 1970—and spending on public elementary and secondary schools has surpassed $600 billion. How’s that working out? Adjusted state SAT scores have declined on average 3% since the 1970s, as the Cato Institute’s Andrew Coulson found in a March report.
No better news in the international rankings: The Program for International Student Assessment reports that in 2012 American 15-year-olds placed in the middle of the pack, alongside peers from Slovakia—which shells out half as much money as the U.S. per student.
Someone might mention this to North Carolina Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, who is knocking State House Speaker Thom Tillis for cutting $500 million from schools. Per-pupil K-12 spending has increased every year since Mr. Tillis became speaker in 2011, and most of what Ms. Hagan is selling as “cuts” came from community colleges and universities, not the local middle school. Mr. Coulson’s Cato study notes that North Carolina has about doubled per-pupil education spending since 1972, which has done precisely nothing for the state’s adjusted SAT scores.
2. Government spending stimulates the economy. Case in point is the $830 billion 2009 stimulus bill, touted by the Obama administration as necessary for keeping unemployment below 8%. Result: four years of average unemployment above 8%. Federal outlays soared in 2009 to $3.5 trillion—a big enough bump to do the Keynesian trick of boosting aggregate demand—but all we got was this lousy 2% growth and a new costume for Army Corps of Engineers mascot Bobber the Water Safety Dog. Every Senate Democrat voted for the blowout, including the 11 now up for re-election who were in Congress when it passed.
3. Republican candidates always have a big spending advantage over Democrats. Majority Leader Harry Reid took to the Senate floor recently to deride the Koch brothers as “radical billionaires” who are “attempting to buy our democracy.” Yet the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has raked in $127 million this cycle, about $30 million more than the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and Democrats have aired more TV ads than Republicans in several battleground states, according to analysis by the Center for Public Integrity. Meanwhile, Mr. Reid’s Senate Majority PAC has raised more than $50 million. As this newspaper has reported, between 2005 and 2011, labor unions—linchpins of the Democratic Party—spent $4.4 billion on politics, far outstripping any conservative rival.
4. Raising the minimum wage helps the poor. The president wants to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10 from $7.25, with the tagline “Let’s give America a raise.” The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the hike would cost 500,000 jobs, one blow to the low-wage earners it claims to help. Employment aside, only 18% of the earnings benefits of a $10.10 hike would flow to people living below the poverty line, according to analysis from University of California-Irvine economist David Neumark. Nearly 30% of the benefits would go to families three times above the poverty line or higher, in part because half of America’s poor families have no wage earners. Minimum-wage increases help some poor families—at the expense of other poor families.

Opinion Journal Video

Assistant Editorial Page Editor Kate Bachelder debunks the biggest liberal myths of this midterm election cycle. Photo: Getty Images
You won’t hear that from Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, who in September lived on $79 for a week to show his public-relations solidarity with minimum-wage earners. Keep in mind: Only 4.7% of minimum-wage earners are adults working full-timetrying to support a family, and nearly all would be eligible for the earned-income tax credit and other welfare programs.
5. Global warming is causing increasingly violent weather. Tell that to Floridians, who are enjoying the ninth consecutive season without a hurricane landfall. The Atlantic hurricane season in 2013 was the least active in 30 years. Oh, and global temperatures have not increased for 15 years.
Still, something must be done! On Monday, the Hill reported that an internal memo circulating among five environmental groups detailed plans for spending to support candidates “who want to act” to combat climate change. “We are on track to spend more than $85 million overall including more than $40 million in just six Senate races,” the memo said. The beneficiaries include Sen. Mark Udall (D., Colo.), who got $12.1 million, and Rep. Bruce Braley (D., Iowa) with $7.2 million.
6. Genetically modified food is dangerous. Farmers have been breeding crop seeds for 10,000 years, but the agricultural innovation known as genetic modification makes liberals shudder. Not a single documented illness has resulted from the trillions of meals containing “genetically modified organisms,” or GMOs, that humans have consumed since the mid-1990s. The technology has been declared safe by every regulatory agency from the Food and Drug Administration to the European Commission.
But insisting on labeling food containing GMOs has turned into a liberal cause. The California Democratic Party platform in 2012 added a demand for GMO labeling; more recently the Oregon Democratic Party climbed aboard. In May 2013, self-described socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont introduced a farm-bill amendment that would allow states to require GMO labeling for food; co-sponsors of the amendment, which failed, included Sens. Mark Begich (D., Ala.) and Jeff Merkley (D., Ore.).
7. Voter ID laws suppress minority turnout. More than 30 states have voter-ID laws, which the left decries as an attempt to disenfranchise minorities who don’t have identification and can’t pay for it. Yet of the 17 states with the strictest requirements, 16 offer free IDs. The Government Accountability Office this month released an analysis of 10 voter-ID studies: Five showed the laws had no statistically significant effect on turnout, four suggested a decrease in turnout (generally among all ethnic groups, though percentages varied), and one found an increase in turnout with voter ID laws in place.
The Democratic Senate candidate in Kentucky, Alison Lundergan Grimes, has nonetheless been running radio ads in urban areas claiming that “Mitch McConnell and the Republicans are trying to take away our right to vote,” based on a 2007 voter-ID amendment the minority leader introduced.
8. ObamaCare is gaining popularity. President Obama said in a speech earlier this month that fewer Republicans were running against ObamaCare because “it’s working pretty well in the real world.” Yet the law’s approval rating hovers around 40%, and 27% of people told Gallup this month that the law was hurting them, up from 19% in January, while only 16% reported it was helpful.
Don’t even ask doctors about it: 46% of physicians gave the Affordable Care Act a “D” or “F”, according to a recent survey by the Physicians Foundation, and less than 4% of respondents gave it an “A.” Yet some Democrats are die-hards: 36% of their House candidates have voiced support for ObamaCare on the campaign trail, according to a recent analysis by the Brookings Institution.
9. The Keystone XL pipeline would increase oil spills. Let’s check out what President Obama’s State Department had to say: In 2013 pipelines with a diameter larger than 12 inches spilled 910,000 gallons. Railroad tankers spilled 1.5 million gallons. Yet pipelines carry 25 times the oil that tankers do, as environmental analyst Terry Anderson has noted in these pages. Blocking Keystone and forcing more oil to be shipped by rail guarantees more harm to the environment. But on the campaign trail emotion often overrules the facts, and so we have Rick Weiland, the Democratic Senate candidate in South Dakota, adamantly opposing Keystone (“If I lose because of this issue, so be it,” he told the Nation magazine last week). Colorado Sen. Mark Udall is running for re-election after having voted against Keystone in the energy committee in June.
10. Women are paid 77 cents on the dollar compared with men. The mother of all liberal superstitions, this figure comes from shoddy math that divides the average earnings of all women working full-time by the average earnings of all full-time men, without considering career field, education or personal choices. When those factors are included, the wage gap disappears. A 2009 report commissioned by the Labor Department that analyzed more than 50 papers on the topic found that the so-called pay gap “may be almost entirely” the result of choices both men and women make.
Yet here’s Colorado’s Sen. Udall: “It is simply unacceptable for businesses to pay women less than men doing the same work,” citing his support for the Paycheck Fairness Act, which might be better titled the Trial Lawyer Paycheck Act. One irony: The Washington Free Beacon did a little number crunching and discovered that women in Sen. Udall’s office earn 86 cents on the dollar compared with men. Whoops.

Kate Bachelder

Assistant editorial features editor, The Wall Street Journal.

Kate Bachelder is an assistant editorial features editor for The Wall Street Journal. She joined the Journal in 2013 as a Robert L. Bartley Fellow after graduating from Hillsdale College with a bachelor’s degree in Political Economy. She is a graduate of the college’s Herbert H. Dow II Program in American Journalism


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Marijuana Is Harmful: Debunking 7 Myths Arguing It’s Fine

Don’t believe the hype: marijuana legalization poses too many risks to public health and public safety. Based on almost two decades of research, community-based work, and policy practice across three presidential administrations, my new book “Reefer Sanity” discusses some widely held myths about marijuana:
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[Just think of the "Choomg Gang" ...and how great our country is doing right now...NOT!]

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF LIBERALISM

Written by John Hawkins:
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF LIBERALISM


1) It doesn’t matter whether you’re yelling at someone who never knew you existed five minutes ago, lying about a conservative because you don’t agree with him or even throwing a brick through a strore window, you are always the poor, oppressed victim.

2) By default, liberals can’t be racist, sexist, or homophobic by virtue of being liberal. In other words, if a socialist like Hitler were around today, not only would he deny he is anti-Semitic, he’d be calling OTHER PEOPLE anti-Semitic.

3) The only bad, wrong and immoral thing you can do is being judgmental enough to label an activity bad, wrong, or immoral. That makes you sound like Rick Santorum and even if you turn out to be right about a lot of things over the long term, is it worth it if you sound like Rick Santorum?

4) Women, blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, gays, Jews, Asians — pretty much everyone but straight white males — are weak, hapless, sad victims who are barely capable of tying their own shoes without a liberal writing a government policy that does it for them.

5) There is no such thing as the failure of a liberal policy; there are only well meaning left-wingers doing wonderful things. If they don’t turn out as expected, there must be evil, awful conservative Republicans causing it somehow — probably George W. Bush or alternately, if he’s busy planning new wars, Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, Ted Cruz or Sarah Palin.

6) Liberalism is a jealous god and it will not tolerate anything, especially Christianity, being put before it. If Jesus wants to be a significant part of your life, He better call for gay marriage and a carbon tax first.

7) It’s better to bankrupt a city like Detroit, cause the deaths of millions in Africa by banning DDT, or destroy the American health care system with Obamacare than to be called “mean” for choosing policies based on whether they work or not.

8) Not only should you go ahead and covet your neighbor’s possessions, you should encourage other people to do it, too. Then, you should call for the government to take their possessions and redistribute them. After they get done, there may not be much of anything left, but then you’ll all be equally poor and miserable and there’s a lot to be said for that.

9) Disagreeing with a black Democrat? Racist. Opposing Affirmative Action? Racist. Think we pay out too much in welfare and food stamps? Racist. Don’t like the IRS? Racist. Republican? Racist. Wait, what are we talking about? Racist!

10) Money is no object — taxpayer money, of course, not your own. Your money, you want to keep. But, when other people’s money is on the line, it’s worth spending any amount, no matter how large, to achieve any good, no matter how small.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cringe-worthy Obamaisms

American Thinker: The Sayings of Barack Obama

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

HOW CONGRESS CAN STOP IRS VIOLATIONS OF FREEDOM AND THE LAW

HOW CONGRESS CAN STOP IRS VIOLATIONS OF FREEDOM AND THE LAWPrintE-mail
Written by Richard Rahn   
Tuesday, 28 October 2014

After last week's ruling wherein a federal court failed to permanently bar the Internal Revenue Service from targeting conservative groups, there can be no doubt that liberty and the IRS are incompatible.

The IRS continues to seize bank accounts of individuals and businesses without a court determination of wrongdoing.

The IRS is supporting the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) initiative to the automatic exchange of individual and business financial account information in tax matters between governments.

The IRS code is now so complex -- something like 77,000 pages no one can understand -- that everyone is at risk.

Officials of the Obama administration and the IRS have demonstrated time and time again that they are willing to misuse their powers for partisan political purposes. Now, in essence, the court has said it is OK, provided they promise not to do it again. If there are no consequences for bad behavior, one would be naive to believe it will not be repeated.

Congress has the power to correct the above-mentioned abuses. If Democrats continue to hold one or both houses of Congress, it is almost a certainty that no real reform will occur, because it is not in their political interest to do so.

The Republicans could and should make the necessary reforms, but even if they control both houses of Congress, they may be too timid to do so. Still, there is at least a chance they will do the right thing.

What is a voter to do -- if one wants to try to preserve what remains of liberty? One who votes for almost any Democrat for Congress is likely voting for continuing and perhaps expanding the IRS offenses -- so those who value economic liberty have no choice but to vote against the Democrat.

Congress needs to pass legislation that gives the right to taxpayers to hold individuals within the IRS personally accountable for political targeting or other improper uses of power.

That is, IRS employees must have their sovereign immunity protections taken away from them.

The potential problems an IRS employee might have with the loss of such protection is of far less danger to the republic than the danger that politically corrupted, irresponsible and renegade IRS employees pose to the public.

IRS employees should be no more protected than are people in the private sector who misbehave. Also, every IRS communication to any taxpayer should be signed by the individual in the IRS who is specifically responsible for the content and accuracy of the communication -- no more anonymous letters and phone calls.

Most IRS employees are very well paid, and thus it is not unreasonable that they should be expected to take personal responsibility for each of their actions.

The new Congress needs to take action regarding the abuse of asset forfeiture, particularly at the IRS, which has gone on far too long. No American should have his bank accounts or other assets seized without being convicted of wrongdoing in an appropriate court of law. The basic function of government is to protect person and property, not steal property from innocent citizens as the IRS and other government agencies have been doing for decades.

As noted above, the OECD has been pushing for automatic exchange of tax information between governments, and this proposed protocol has been enthusiastically supported by the Obama administration.

If the protocol is ratified by the Senate, it would be up to the administration to decide which countries would be privy to our private financial and tax information -- Russia, China, Venezuela or others.

This would subject American citizens to blackmail, extortion, identity theft and other injustices by foreign governments and individuals within those governments who may be hostile to Americans.

Officials in the administration assure us that they will protect the confidentially of our personal information and not share it with countries that will not protect it. Have they not heard of Edward Snowden?

Private companies and individuals can be held liable for not protecting confidential information. There should be no lesser standard for those in government. It is called being accountable for one's words and actions.

Congress could quickly get rid of many of the IRS outrages mentioned above if it would go to a territorial system of taxation (only taxing income earned inside the country's borders), which the vast majority of countries have done. It would eliminate the need for most cross-border information-sharing.

Congress should immediately prohibit the IRS from asset forfeiture before conviction of wrongdoing.

Nonprofit organization tax exemption or deduction should be automatic with the IRS only being allowed to take away exemptions after clear evidence of wrongdoing.

Finally, if the current tax code were replaced with a simple flat-rate income or consumption tax, most of the abuse problems would go away -- and much liberty would be restored.

Richard W. Rahn is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth.

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