Born on This Day

13 Apr

thomasjefferson“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.”
~ Thomas Jefferson, November 13, 1787

Thomas Jefferson
Third President of the united States, author of the Declaration of Independence.
Born April 13, 1743, at Shadwell, Virginia; died July 4, 1826, Monticello

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14 Responses to “Born on This Day”

  1. Ron April 13, 2009 at 10:50 am #

    Ah, I was wondering if you would post a commemoration. Rather timely in light of the recent pirate incident.

  2. Kyle April 13, 2009 at 8:57 pm #

    Here’s a good one too.

    “Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the
    higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise.” –Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1785.

  3. Michael April 13, 2009 at 11:02 pm #

    Kyle, Jefferson also said:

    “Excessive taxation…will carry reason and reflection to every man’s door, and particularly in the hour of election.”
    Thomas Jefferson (letter to John Taylor, 1798)

    It obviously hasn’t made it to your door, but it’s been pounding on mine for some time now.

  4. Kyle April 14, 2009 at 10:24 am #

    I think that quote is also very true. If politicians create policies that result is excessive taxation, then the citizens can vote them out of office. The catch is we don’t currently and will not in the foreseeable future be excessively taxed by the government.

    Before you go off the hook, read this article – http://www.forbes.com/2009/04/09/tea-party-taxes-opinions-columnists-bartlett.html.

    Yes, there are some serious concerns around taxation and deficit spending that need to be addressed and will not be solved overnight. But the manufactured outrage and projection of moral superiority around these “Tea Parties” is not the solution and they will continue the trend of isolating conservatives from moderates and independents.

  5. Michael April 14, 2009 at 9:43 pm #

    First Kyle, rest assured that the outrage behind the TEA Parties is not manufactured. It’s been brewing for some time and Santelli’s speech was just the catalyst to get it off the ground. This is a groundswell of a movement that will not end tomorrow.

    As for your link(s), thanks but no thanks. Why? Because you fail to grasp the fundamentals. You ignore the principles. They don’t seem to matter to you. When you learn that lesson, then you can give me reading assignments.

    The irrefutable FACTS are that government TAKES too much and government SPENDS too much. And that, as I have said on numerous occasions, is regardless of party affiliation. Out of control policies and spending got us to this place. More of the same will not get us out.

    And the fact that you don’t believe that we are taxed excessively just shows that you clearly have no grasp on reality. But it does help me to know how to read your comments in the future.

  6. Kyle April 14, 2009 at 10:29 pm #

    To claim something as fact you need to support it with evidence. Nowhere have I seen solid evidence with numbers to support the statement the “government TAKES too much and government SPENDS too much.” That may be your strong opinion, which you are more than entitled to, but that does not make it fact.

    You claim that I ignore the principles and fail to grasp fundamentals and as such I could not possibly have anything of value to add to the conversation. If you took a moment to look at the link I provided you would see an article from Forbes.com (a conservative news source) showing with real numbers that in a group of 30 industrial nations the USA ranked 26th on the basis of total taxes as a share of GDP.

    But the teabaggers aren’t worried about numbers. Manufactured outrage such as this claims the TRUTH and will not listen to anything that says otherwise. I may have no grasp on reality, but you have been suckered.

  7. Michael April 14, 2009 at 11:06 pm #

    I DID look at the article Kyle. And again, you miss the principle of just because someone else does it wrongly there’s no justification for us doing it just as wrongly or more wrongly.

    If you didn’t pay so much in taxes, you could afford to buy a clue.

  8. Kyle April 15, 2009 at 12:27 pm #

    Why do resort to childish taunts when all I ask for is a legitimate, well thought out statement of how much we should be taxed in hard numbers. I have yet to hear any teabaggers say “the tax rate should be X% and here is the proof to back it up.” Instead all I hear is bombastic statements about how the government is taxing us into poverty.

    How much tax would you like to pay? It can’t be zero because without government there is anarchy. If you want to move to a country without a government I suggest you take a look at Somalia.

  9. Michael April 15, 2009 at 9:53 pm #

    Tsk, tsk Kyle. You chide me for childish taunts then come back with name calling using a sexually vulgar term like “Teabaggers?” I guess you got your Obamedia talking points today.

    Pot. Kettle. You know the drill.

    And, FWIW, I’ve not seen you ask me for what I thought the numbers should be until now. Certainly not on this thread or any others that I recall. In contrast, I’ve repeatedly asked you to tell me how much spending is too much. When will the government have too much money? Where does it stop? And you have repeatedly refused to answer.

    As it is right now by the time my 9-year-old is old enough to vote his personal share of the federal deficit will be somewhere around $65,000. This country can’t recover from debt like that.

    See, your problem is that you’re naive enough to believe that the government can actually fix things. that the government can actually effectively run a program. That would be laughable if it wasn’t so sad. The government is not the solution. It’s the problem.

    And, please show me where, anywhere in the last 50.5 years I’ve EVER said we shouldn’t pay any taxes? You’re also misguided in the sense that you think this is only about taxes. It’s also about runaway spending. I want responsibility. I want accountability. I want transparency.

    And before you come back with “but the Republicans…” Let me just say once again that this is not a partisan issue. I have repeatedly said that the Republicans are part of the problem. But no one has been as reckless or maniacal in their spending than our current President who is managing to spend more in his first few months than the previous 42 Presidents combined.

    How much do I think the government should take? I’m not ready to offer a number. But I do believe that the Fair Tax, and or the Flat Tax should be given serious consideration. I believe that all government programs should have a sunset provision. I believe that all government agencies should have to justify their spending and their results.

    You say you haven’t heard any of the TEA Party participants saying what they believe about the tax rate. Well again, you’re just not paying attention. Mike Huckabee (whom I did not support) make the Fair Tax a signature piece of his campaign, and continues to advocate for the plan. That’s just one example.

    And, I believe in term limits for politicians. It’s career politicians of all parties who get to D.C. and lose their collective minds. We send good people there, but they become so obsessed with getting reelected and lose the reason we sent them there in the first place. If they knew their time was limited and that nothing that they voted for could extend that, we’d get some responsible legislation.

    I don’t want no government Kyle. I want good government. I want government by the people and for the people.

    If we’re talking about moving, you love your socialism so much, why don’t you check out Europe? You’d love the tax rates.

  10. Kyle April 18, 2009 at 12:55 am #

    I’ll admit the “teabaggers” was a low blow. The comment was made out of extreme frustration with over-the-top BS that I saw coming out of the tea parties. From the out side looking in here is what I saw: A large group of mostly white middle-age men from the middle and upper middle class complaining that the government taxes too much of their income on the same day that the President talks about simplifying the tax code and has already lowered taxes for a large majority of the protestors. This crowd says that it is wrong for the government to increase the deficit in order to fight the major world-wide threat of economic recession, but it was right to double the national debt to fight a war against a minor dictator who turned out to be an almost insignificant threat. Additionally this mob of protestors claims to be “non-partisan” but a good number of the protest signs demean, attack and vilify our President. They blame a man who has been in office less than 100 days for our nation’s problem with debt, but our debt problem has been growing for thirty years. Furthermore, elected politicians were making serious statements about having their state secede from the Union!

    From your writing I know that you are concerned and knowledgeable about the real problems our country faces, but from what I saw, these tea parties were just sour-grapes, pity parties about losing Republican control of the government and having to accept that the Democrats will use their power to advance their ideas (as they should because they were elected by the people to do so).

    You may disagree with some of my observations but I hope that we both can agree that threatening to secede is going too far. If conservatives want to have a say in the process they need to drop the bombastic rhetoric and fomented outrage over every little thing that the Democrats do.

    How Much is Too Much – While I agree that there is a limit to how much tax the a healthy economy can bear, we are not now near that point nor will we reach that point in the foreseeable future (even with the bailouts). The US economy has thrived and grown under larger tax burdens than we have now. In the the ten years leading up to 9/11 (an event that impacted the economy more severely than taxes), the federal tax averaged just above 19% of the GDP while the economy grew nearly 60% over that time period. This year federal taxed will be 15.5% of the GDP. As much as conservatives like to make fun of Europe, the combined economies of the European Union are larger that that of the USA, they compete well against us for growth and they collect upwards of 35% to 40% of their GDP in taxes.

    Once this recession passes, I think it is safe to say that our economy can withstand a higher tax rate.

    Government as the Problem – Your absolute certainty that government is incapable of running programs or solving problems puzzles me. While I will be the first to admit that there are inefficiencies in the government and there is room for improvement, the government solves problems and runs programs successfully 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. I am not too naive to think that the government is the solution to all of our problems, but to think that it is useless and cannot do anything right is stupidity.

    Responsibility. Accountability. Transparency. – These are issues that Obama has pledged to improve upon. While he has made advances on some of these issues, I will agree he still has work to do. At least he has said to wants to work toward these goals and things are improving. He has been in office less than 100 days, it is going to take some time to right the ship.

    The Fair Tax – I agree that the Fair Tax concept should be given consideration. Under the right conditions it could potentially be a viable substitute for our current tax code. The problem is that one of the goals of the Fair Tax is to be “revenue neutral.” As such the total amount of tax would not change and it would in effect resemble the graduated tax scale we have now. That solution wouldn’t seem to mollify our tea party friends. For the record, I didn’t see the Fair Tax promoted in any of the coverage of the tea parties, nor did I see Mr Huckabee.

    Term Limits – I wholeheartedly agree.

    Europe – Not by his own choosing my fairly conservative brother-in-law had to live in Europe (his fiance earned her PhD at a prestigious university in Sweden). He went there expecting to hate the “terrible” socialist government. The funny thing is even with all of its kinks he came to believe that it wasn’t all that bad and by many measures the quality of live there is better than life in the USA.

    I am not calling for a complete European style of socialist government here in the US, but it is time for the Republicans to acknowledge that socialism is a viable form of government (all of our closest allies have socialist aspects of their government) and that some aspects of it may work here. By making socialism out to be the boogeyman, conservatives are losing relevance because people can see that it is working in other countries. Following the path of these tea parties will only serve to isolate and minimize the impact of the Republican Party.

  11. Chester Patriots April 18, 2009 at 7:17 am #

    Kyle: Is this acceptable?

    OR

    OR

    http://perotcharts.com/2009/02/projected-budget-deficit-congressional-budget-office-baseline-plus-stimulus-bill/

    How can taxes stay low or conccurrently the dollar retain its value?

    Time to wake up Kyle…

  12. Michael April 18, 2009 at 5:32 pm #

    Okay Kyle, I’ll try to answer your comments as you made them.

    First, your characterizations of the Tea Parties are all wrong. You really need to branch out from the Main Stream Media which is where I must assume you get your news. The rallies were far from being just middle-aged white men (although I happen to be one). But more importantly they were NOT, in any way shape for form “Republican” events.

    Yes, there was a lot of anti-Obama sentiment there. After all, in spite of his win, some 58 million of us did not want him to be President. But the overriding theme was government was broken, they’re all crooks, they all need to go. Signs I saw (and included some pictures of) said things like “Vote them All Out,” or “Vote the Bastards Out.”

    Those signs are not just referring to Democrats. In fact, among the Tea Party participants (some half million nationwide on a rainy workday) the overriding sentiment is that Republicans bear as much, if not more of the responsibility for this mess we’re in. If we’re talking socialism, we know this slide started under George Bush. It’s just escalated exponentially under Barack Obama.

    Go back to my round up of Tea Party stories and watch the clip of Glenn Beck in San Antonio. When he says “Democrats suck” there’s a huge cheer. But when he says “Republicans also suck” the crowd explodes. See, as much as you try to pin this on “us” Republicans, you’ve got to stop pointing to the rank and file. We know that our elected leaders have betrayed Republican values and principles. And that is as strong a motivating factor as anything.

    As for the anti-Obama stuff, c’mon, it can’t surprise you. Like I pointed out above 58 million of us didn’t vote for him. Plus we endured 8 years of EVERYTHING being George Bush’s fault. One of the favorite phrases bandied about during the Bush years was “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” You don’t hear liberals shouting that much anymore.

    FWIW, I’ve never advocated secession. It didn’t work so well the last time. 🙂

    As for the rest of your comments? No, government is not entirely useless. But it is incredibly ineffective and overbloated. And you can be sure that any government estimate should be multiplied substantially to get the real cost.

    But I adamantly believe that government is too big. And I believe that socialism is a dangerous way to go. It’s never worked well for the people, in spite of what you hear on CNN.

    It was Margaret Thatcher who said “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples money.”

    And no, this country can’t stand a higher tax rate and survive (see my references to three jobs). Spending AND taxation have to be brought under control. If that can’t happen, the America’s best days are truly behind her.

  13. Kyle April 20, 2009 at 1:09 pm #

    I still agree that dissent is a vital component of the democratic process. What is lacking from conservatives are productive ideas for solving our problems. As much fun as it is to say “Vote the bastard out,” it is not a solution. Conservatives need to put forth well thought out ideas that can be integrated with ideas from the Democrats. And they need to accept that as the minority they are not going to get everything they want.

    I’m still not convinced that Socialism is the boogeyman that conservatives make it out to be. Let me reiterate I’m not interested in the full blown European style Socialism, but is it really that bad? People in Europe are not living in poverty under government oppression. Their economies are growing. They have high standards of living. Is there an industrialized socialist country in the world where living conditions are intolerable?

  14. Michael April 20, 2009 at 6:10 pm #

    Voting them out is not the solution. But it’s a start. Let’s continue by not raising taxes anymore. I’d be happy (or at least temporarily content) with a freeze on taxes. Work with the money you’ve already got. The President is actually making a small start in telling his cabinet agencies to cut $100 million from their budgets. That’s a start. It should be a weekly process.

    As for conservatives getting “everything they want” in this climate, I don’t think even the most delusional expect that. At the same time, the prospect of losing the particular battle is no reason to sit in silence. At least not if you can believe the example of the left over the last eight years.

    Socialism is inherently unfair, and it’s never worked in the long run. Why should the government have the right to steal out of my pocket to put it in yours? That’s not the way this country was founded. That’s not what made this country great. And by far, it’s not what made this country rich.

    Europe is a beautiful place. But I don’t think it’s the utopia you believe it to be. And they haven’t been living under those “high standards” for that long. Twice in the last century the United States had to step in to stop Europe from blowing each other off the map.

    There’s a lot to be said for a free society. Economically and otherwise.

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