Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Don't reform the tax code, replace it

A few weeks back, the President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform released a report. It includes some good baby steps in the right direction, such as eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax. However, it does not go nearly far enough. It does not address the regressive employment tax, which is the largest tax payed by most workers. The tax code is the primary source of power for politicians, and well-funded lobbyists have worked for years to coerce, bribe, and otherwise manipulate corrupt Congresscritters to shape the tax code into something that benefits them and the people who hire them, but makes no sence for the nation as a whole. Tax considerations cause people to do things in a highly inefficient and unproductive way. The book The Greedy Hand by Amity Shlaes gives countless examples of unintended consequences of the convoluded tax code. Decades of tax code manipulation has resulted in a 17,000 page monster which is beyond reform. We need to throw it out and rebuilt the tax structure from the ground up.

Our current tax system punishes activities which benefit the country, benefit the economy, and benefit individuals: labor, saving, and capital. As a general principle, if you tax an activity, you decrease the activity. We want to increase the motivation for people to work and provide for themselves, to save, and to invest in our economy. Ronald Reagan summed up our current approach to taxation: "If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it." In combination with controlling and reducing government spending, we need to eliminate the tax on income and investment and replace it with a tax on consumption. Repeal the income tax, the employment tax, the capital gains tax, and the death tax, and remove these impediments to employment. Instead, tax consumption thru a national sales tax. Everyone would get an automatic pre-bate on the taxes paid to support a minimal standard of living. The poor would pay no taxes, income or employment. Money not spent on consumption would not be taxed, giving a great incentive to save and invest, driving down interest rates and providing investment capital to grow the economy. This would remove the maze of loopholes and hoops to jump through in our current system of tax deferred savings. All savings would be tax deferred. Small businesses and self-employed people would no longer be burdened with the impossible task of trying to cope with the complexities of the tax system. As interest rates fall, the economy grows, and employment rises, everyone benefits.

So why will Congress not make such a positive change? It would take away from their own power. The primary source of power for a member of Congress is the ability to take away the money that you earn and give it to someone who didn't earn it. Congress is unlikely to give up their own grasp on power, even if it is in the long-term interest of the nation.

The Fair Tax proposal is very similar to what I am proposing. For a great deal of information about how it would work and the benefits it would bring, visit

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Public education

Rebecca Beach, a freshman at Warren Community College in New Jersey, sent an email to the faculty of the college inviting them to a speech by Iraq War veteran Scott Rutter. She got a response from English professor John Daly, in which Daly advocated the murder of American military officers, argued the superiority of communism over capitalism, propagated bizarre lies about the number of children killed in Iraq and in America by lack of medical insurance, and expressed his desire to suppress the expression of Rebecca's opinions. Is this what our colleges have come to these days? I had a few wacky leftist professors when I attended University twelve years ago, but nothing like this. Can this be defended as a free-flow of ideas? I don't believe that advocating that American soldiers killer their commanding officers is a responsible or defensible action. And if Professor Daly was so committed to a free-flow of ideas, he would not attempt to squelch someone else's ideas.

Colleges and Universities have always been breeding grounds for leftist ideologies, as young, idealistic, and impressionable kids lacking experience and a grounding in reality are influenced by tenured professors who are more committed to advancing a political agenda than educating. They say that if you are not a liberal at age 20, you have no heart, and if you are not a conservative at age 30, you have no brain. I guess I was a heartless 20-year-old, but I am not a brainless 30+ year old. Around the world, Communism, Stalinism, and other forms of collectivism are failing and crumbling away, but they are alive and well on the college campuses of the United States.

People such as John Daly denigrate the blood of the people who died to protect the freedom that they trample under their feet as they spew their anti-American garbage.

The writing skills of the people who instruct our kids in English is a topic for another day.

Below is the full unedited text of the email from Professor John Daly to Rebecca Beach.

Dear Rebecca:
I am asking my students to boycott your event. I am also going to ask others to boycott it. Your literature and signs in the entrance lobby look like fascist propaganda and is extremely offensive. Your main poster "Communism killed 100,000,000" is not only untrue, but ignores the fact that CAPITALISM has killed many more and the evidence for that can be seen in the daily news papers. The U.S. government can fly to dominate the people of Iraq in 12 hours, yet it took them five days to assist the people devastated by huricane Katrina. Racism and profits were key to their priorities. Exxon, by the way, made $9 Billion in profits this last quarter--their highest proft margin ever. Thanks to the students of WCCC and other poor and working class people who are recruited to fight and die for EXXON and other corporations who earning megaprofits from their imperialist plunders. If you want to count the number of deaths based on political systems, you can begin with the more than a million children who have died in Iraq from U.S.-imposed sanctions and war. Or the million African American people who died from lack of access to healthcare in the US over the last 10 years.

I will continue to expose your right-wing, anti-people politics until groups like your won't dare show their face on a college campus. Real freedom will come when soldiers in Iraq turn their guns on their superiors and fight for just causes and for people's needs--such freedom fighters can be counted throughout American history and they certainly will be counted again.

Prof. John Daly

Fitz reports

(11-19-2005) Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald dramatically unveiled the source of the leak of the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame in a press conference Saturday. "You know how you play that game in school where the teacher tells the first kid a message, and they pass it around the room, and by the time it is done, the message has changed? Vice President Cheney apparently told Karl Rove that Joe Wilson was involved with a CYA. By the time the message got to Robert Novak, it had changed slightly."

The person who leaked Valarie Plame's covert status to Valarie Plame is still at large.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Urban violence

Today French officials reported that urban violence fell to "normal levels."

Only 98 cars were torched last night.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

By what measure?

Democrats recognize that a successful War on Terror would mean that they would have no chance of gaining power in Congress or the White House. For this reason, they are hell-bent on convincing the public that the war is going badly. By doing this, they are emboldening the enemy and putting our soldiers in greater danger.

I have to ask the question: by what measure is the War on Terror going badly?

In the four years since terrorists crashed airliners into the World Trade Center and Pentagon, the Taliban has been removed from power, most of the command structure of al Qaida has been dismantled, with dozens of high-level terrorists captured or killed, Iraq is liberated from an evil dictator and is beginning to establish a working democracy, Saddam Hussein is in prison facing trial and he no longer controls stockpiles of chemical or biological weapons. Five years ago would anyone have believed that in 2005 Iraq would hold a free election to approve a Constitution establishing a democratic government? Even a year ago few people believed that the election would come off smoothly and the Constitution would pass.

The foreign terrorists and Iraqi Baathists who profited under Saddam's rule do continue to fight us, but did anyone really believe that they wouldn't? They think that there is a vacuum to fill, but freedom and democracy has already filled that vacuum, and it is a matter of time until it defeats the Islamofascists. The last thing we should do at this point is abandon the Iraqi majority who want freedom and let the Islamofascist minority impose their will on the majority. The insurgency does provide an opportunity to do significant damage to the forces of terror worldwide, as terrorists from throughout the middle east have converged on one spot, ready for our fine military to wipe them out. While our losses have been high, theirs have been much higher.

When you destroy a hornet's nest, you invariably stir up a bunch of hornets. The fact that they were not stirred up before doesn't mean that they were not there, or that they would not have stung you if you ignored them. Stirring them up is a necessary first step to wiping them out.

So I repeat the question: by what measure is the War on Terror going badly?

Let's talk about casualties. We won World War II, and along the way we lost 295,000 fine American soldiers. Our allies lost millions more. In Vietnam we lost 58,226 American servicemen. In the Civil War, at least 618,000 Americans died. By any historical standard, 2,000 casualties is a small number. Our modern society has had a major shift in expectations regarding the number of casualties we are willing to accept. We expect a Desert Storm style victory every time, when the reality is that a land war involves greater risk and more casualties. Not all objectives can be accomplished by air power alone. Although we never want to see any American soldier killed, it is a fundamentally American principle that freedom is worth fighting for. The winner is not always the side with the fewest casualties. In WWII, many more Allied soldiers died than Axis soldiers. In the Civil War, more Union soldiers died than Confederate soldiers. The key factors which lead to victory are the will to win, and the resources to win. Democrats who try to score political points by calling the war a failure are eroding away the will of the American people to win the War on Terror. Along with the liberal media, they have done more to help the terrorists and endanger our soldiers than you can imagine. CNN, the DNC, and the New York Times are the propaganda branch of al Qaida. We certainly have an advantage in terms of resources, so if we maintain the will to win, we have the opportunity to defeat one of the greatest threats in history and make the world a safer, freer place.

Monday, November 14, 2005

I'm sure its in there somewhere

Judge Alito drew criticism for his lack of knowledge of the Constitution, based on a letter in which he wrote that the Constitution does not guarantee the right to an abortion. Senator Barbara Boxer held the 1985 letter over her head as she railed, "I have based my entire career on the fact that the Constitution was written to guarantee all women an abortion any time they want one! How can this Alito guy claim to be a Constitutional scholar when he doesn't even think that this most sacred right is in there?"

When asked to point out where the provision for abortion was included in the Consitution, Senator Boxer answered, "We're still looking for it. Can I get back to you on that?"

Examination of the letter by Dan Rather's document validation experts is not yet complete, but initial analysis indicates that it was not produced by a laser printer using Office 2000.

Teens decry "stupid" parents

As the manhunt for David Ludwig, accused of killing a couple and abducting their 14-year-old daughter at gunpoint, expanded nationwide, teens everywhere recognized that the problem was that her parents were "just plain stupid."

Neighbors and friends of the family said that the parents often argued with their daughter about her curfew and dating 18-year-old Ludwig, who listed his greatest area of expertise as "getting in trouble" on his internet blog.

Randy Harris of Akron Ohio said, "Clearly these parents were not with the times. They should have listened to their daughter, because she obviously knew a lot more than they did."

Jennifer Lewis of Seattle Washington said, "Mrs. Borden must have had a big 'S' written on her forehead, just like my mom. I hate to say 'I told you so' but hormones are always a more reliable guide than experience and wisdom."

Sarah Westin of Boston said, "It is comforting to know that I am not the only one suffering under the unreasonable restrictions of old-fashioned parents who just don't get it."

Lititz Police chief Willyam Ecaes told reporters, "The lesson in this tragedy is that teens should ignore their clueless parents."

Appeasement is working

French President Jacques Chirac pointed to the decrease in burned out cars as evidence that his appeasement policy is working.

"A week ago, fourteen hundred cars were burned in one night. Last night, only two hundred eighty four vehicles were torched. Clearly this is a benefit of being in bed with Saddam Hussein, united against the violent American aggressor. I extend my hand of friendship to the insurgents who have recognized our partnership by burning fewer cars and schools."

President Chirac was eager to remind the public that Islam is a religion of peace. "Muslims are eager to be at peace in a world where all infidels have been wiped out in name of Allah."

Meanwhile, President Bush held emergency cabinet meetings to determine if America could still get the preferential treatment that France is receiving.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Global warming

Today's issue of Science Magazine has an article reporting that global warming caused a major shift in the foliage of certain regions. In particular, plants from warmer southern areas moved into the Bighorn Basin of Wyoming. More evidence that President Bush not joining the Kyoto Treaty was a big mistake? Perhaps it was caused by evil corporations and Republicans driving Hummers. Before you rush off in your Prius to mail a check to Earth First, read a bit further into the story. "An increase in the planet's temperature 55 million years ago prompted major shifts in plant distribution..." I suppose that if we can blame President Bush for supplying the faulty intelligence which led Bill Clinton to bomb Saddam's nuclear weapons development plant in 1998, we can blame him for causing global warming 55 million years ago. But if global warming happened without any human help millions of years ago, why would we not expect these natural cycles to continue today? If there was evidence that global temperatures are increasing (which there is not) how can we think that man is responsible for it, when it has been happening for millenia?

Grandma defends herself with handgun

Yesterday, a few miles from where I live, a grandma used a 38 caliber revolver to defend herself and her granddaughter from a criminal intruder.

Police tried to stop Christopher Lessner for speeding in a stolen truck, but he fled, abandoned the truck, and broken into the home of 66-year-old Susan Buxton. She heard the breaking glass when he smashed his way into her house, and she went to investigate, with her revolver in hand. Susan's granddaughter used a cell phone to call police. The intruder jumped out of a closet "like a jack in the box" and ignored her commands to get down on the floor. Instead, he lunged for her weapon. Buxton, who is well-trained in the use of her firearm, shot him in the leg. He fled through the front door, but was found by police cowering on the porch of a nearby house. Because Buxton aimed for his leg rather than his torso, this criminal will live to face charges for his actions.

We should give Susan Buxton a medal for being prepared to defend herself and for doing it so effectively. If she lived in New York or Massachusetts, she would be arrested for daring to defend herself and her granddaughter. Fortunately, in Texas we still have a Second Amendment.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Conflict of interest?

Judge Samuel Alito has come under fire recently for ruling in a case involving Vanguard mutual fund company, when he held shares of Vanguard funds. Democrats are trying to make this out as a conflict of interests. The reality is that the performance of a mutual fund is completely unrelated to the profitability of the company which manages it.

A conflict of interest is created for a judge when his personal interests will be affected by a ruling in a case. For example, if a judge owned a million dollars of Microsoft stock, ruling in a case which would significantly affect the profitability of Microsoft would be a conflict of interest. If the judge ruled in favor of Microsoft, the decision could be called into question.

Senators certainly understand the distinction between investing in a company's common stock and investing in a mutual fund managed by a fund family. They are raising this issue because they count on a large percentage of the population not understanding the distinction. Judge Alito did not invest in Vanguard stock. In fact, Vanguard is not publicly held, so there is no Vanguard stock to invest in. Judge Alito invested in mutual funds managed by Vanguard. The money is invested in the stock of hundreds or thousands of companies. The performance of his investment is determined by the performance of all these stocks. His ruling has no impact at all on the value of his investment.

Judge Alito demonstrates great financial savvy by investing in Vanguard funds. My IRA is invested in Vanguard funds because it is one of the best fund families out there, ranking near the top in fiduciary responsibility, low expenses, and breadth of investment options. An investment in the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index is perhaps the investment which is least subject to conflict of interest of any investment. This fund tracks the Wilshire 5000 index, which is essentially the entire domestic stock market. The performance of this fund is tied to the strength of the entire American economy. Because the fund owns shares in several thousand American companies, the impact on the fund of a court ruling involving any one company is negligible. What is best for the country as a whole is what produces the best investment performance. Just as we would hope, the private interests of the judge are aligned with the interests of the nation. Most public officials' investment portfolios are riskier, return less, carry higher expenses, and are more subject to conflict of interest.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Calling in a You-Owe-Me

I have intercepted a letter from beseiged French president Jacques Chirac to Osama Bin Laden in his subterranean office complex. As a service to the reader of this blog, I present the text of his missive.

Mon cher ami,

Je suis tres fromagged off.

Pourquoi et vous bothering les Frogs? Nous sommes votre premier ami, Osama. Remembre vous que je ne attackez vous pas? En Afghanistan et Iraq je suis su votre side. Je dis "Fuckez vous" a cowboy American Presidente Busch. Je seulement sendez votre ami les bucketez du francs pour votre oile. Comment vous repaidez moi? Vous dit "merci" et burnez mon auto? Pourquoi? Vous desire que je surrenderez encore? Je surrendere! Seulement ne burnez mon palace, si vous plait. Je t'aime, mon petite Osama. Nous allons way back, mon ami.

Baisez vous,

Votre Jacques

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Mission Accomplished

When George Bush was sworn in as President of the United States in January 2001, Saddam Hussein was a dangerous tyrant who was violating UN resolutions by having and developing chemical and biological weapons and attempting to gain a nuclear capability. He had used those weapons ten times since 1983, in some cases against his own people. And he would have used them again. He was an international threat, who had attacked his neighboring countries on more than one occasion.

Some will say that these are lies spread by George Bush. However, these claims do not hold up to inspection. First of all, it was well known long before George Bush was President that Saddam Hussein was developing these weapons.

Tell the Kurds who Saddam gassed that Saddam didn't have chemical weapons.

How is it that Bush was lying, but Clinton was telling the truth when he bombed Saddam's nuclear site in 1998 and said "If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program." (Feb 17, 1998) Was Clinton passing on George Bush's lies three years before Bush became president?

How is it that Bush was lying, but Clinton's National Security Advisor Sandy Berger was telling the truth when he said "He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983." (Feb 18, 1998) Was George Bush providing faulty intelligence to mislead Berger?

How is it that Bush was lying, but Democrat Senators Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others were telling the truth when they wrote to President Clinton "We urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs." (Oct 9, 1998)

How is it that Bush was lying, but House Democrat Nancy Pelosi was telling the truth when she said "Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process." (Dec 16, 1998)

And how is it that Bush was lying, but Clinton's Secretary of State Madeline Albright was telling the truth when she said "Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies." (Nov 10, 1999)

How is it that Bush was lying, but former Vice President and failed Presidential candidate Al Gore was telling the truth when he said "We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country" and "Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power." (Sept 23, 2002)

How is it that Bush was lying, but Vietnam War Veteran John Kerry was telling the truth when he voted for the war before he voted against it, saying "I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force -- if necessary -- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security." and "Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real..."

How is it that Bush was lying, but Senator Hillary Clinton was telling the truth when she said "In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members ... It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons." Does Hillary even recognize that the man whose coattails she rode into the Senate is responsible for the inspectors leaving Iraq in the first place, giving Saddam four years to develop those weapons and hide them?

And finally, how is it that Bush was lying, but Ted Kennedy was telling the truth when he said "We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." (Sept 27, 2002) Uncle Ted debunks the myth that weapons of mass destruction were a myth created by lies of President Bush by saying that we have known about Saddam's weapons development for many years.

Numerous intelligence agencies, including the British, Saudi, and Israeli, had independently verified that Saddam Hussein was developing chemical and biological weapons and was trying to obtain nuclear weapons. To this day, the British government stands behind the statement which Joe Wilson claims to have debunked: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." Joe Wilson spent eight days in Niger "drinking sweet mint tea and meeting dozens of people" as he put it. He did not find proof that Iraq obtained uranium, but he found ample evidence that Iraqi agents had been there and were hoping to obtain uranium, just as Bush said. In 2004 I spent 15 days in Africa and also drank tea and spoke to dozens of people. Given twice the time that Wilson spent, I found no evidence that Joe Wilson was ever there, so Wilson's trip must be a fabrication.

Perhaps the most compelling proof that President George Bush did not lie about the presence of Weapons of Mass Destruction is that it would have been self destructive. My young son tells lies which are easily disproven. He does not stop to think that the truth is bound to become apparent, and his lie will be exposed. This is not a mistake that the President of the United States makes. If he knew that no weapons of mass destruction would be found in Iraq, he would not have based the argument for going to war on those weapons. There are certainly many other reasons for removing Saddam Hussein from power. He was a menace to his own people and to the world. President Bush had absolutely no reason to make a case for the war which he knew would be found faulty.

We know for sure that Saddam Hussein had stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons. We know that he was actively working to obtain the materials to create nuclear weapons. We know that as little as two years before the war that he was busy building and storing these weapons. We know that he had used those weapons against his own people and against other countries. We know that he supported terrorist organizations in numerous countries. The only thing we don't know is what he did with those weapons before we liberated the country. He may have hidden them somewhere in Iraq or in Syria. He may have destroyed them. We don't know specifically what he did with them. We do know why he no longer has them. It is because he knew that we were coming. And we also know for sure that he no longer has control of the weapons, because he is sitting in a prison awaiting the justice that he denied his enemies.

Four years ago, Saddam Hussein controlled an arsenal of weapons which could have killed millions of Americans. Today he does not control those weapons, because one American President had the intestinal fortitude to do something about it.

Mission Accomplished.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Prop 2

The pro-homosexual forces are hard at work, trying to defeat Proposition 2. They know that no honest approach to defeating this good proposition is going to succeed, so they are using lies and deception. Thousands of people have been receiving recorded messages claiming to be from a Christian, pro-family group "Save Texas Marriage". This organization does not exist, and the person speaking on these recorded messages is not Attorney General Greg Abbott, as he claims. The calls are actually originating from the office of Glen Maxey, former legislator and homosexual activist who is leading the fight to defeat Proposition 2. These fraudulent calls claim that Proposition 2 will make all marriages illegal in Texas. The reality is that Attorney General Greg Abbott sent a letter last week calling these claims "baseless and frivolous". Anyone has the right to oppose a ballot initiative, but to do it using fraud and deception shows that they have no real arguments to support their cause.