Monday, November 17, 2008
13 November 2008
Hon. Representative Wittman,
I am writing to urge you to strongly oppose the recent proposal put forth by Speaker Pelosi to use taxpayers' dollars to bail out the "Big Three" automakers.
I wrote you previously on the "Bank Bailout," urging you to oppose it, and I appreciate the way in which you listened to your constituents and voted against it both times. I submit to you that this bailout of the auto makers is possibly even "more wrong" than the bank bailout. At least in the case of the banks, there was some view (however misguided) that the economy could collapse without any Congressional action. Here, we are simply talking about large corporations that have been performing at a substandard level for a long time now, long before the timeline associated with the mortgage and credit crisis. There is no threat to the national economy if they are made to face the consequences of their past decision-making. In fact, if they were to ultimately fail (signaling a failure on their part to successfully adapt to the market), it is quite believable that other more successful car companies could and would step in to purchase the manufacturing assets of these companies, with little to no loss of jobs from the transition.
By granting these companies a bailout, Congress would be effectively taking money from Mr. Joe Taxpayer and giving it directly to company shareholders. There's no other way to look at it. This would be an unconscionable dereliction of duty by any Congressman or -woman charged with the power of the purse. Additionally, it is not our job as a society to subsidize poor management and performance. When a company cannot make a profit, its management and its shareholders should pay the price...not the American taxpayer.
Recent political reactions to the "economic crisis" are quickly causing more and more people in this country to get accustomed to the idea of the government "saving the day" (which it rarely succeeds at). The more this happens, the more palatable it will seem when people on the extreme right or left move to socialize more and more sectors of our economy and/or society. We will all wake up one day and realize that it's a Brave New World (not a good thing). The time is now to draw the line and stand up to those who would benefit from making people more and more reliant on the government (those people being the ones with the power to make the decisions for everyone else).
I recognize that the elections are over, and as such, there is no immediate consequence from not heeding the wishes of your constituents (as there may have been with the bank bailout). That being said, I am certain that other citizens like me will begin keeping score for the next elections starting now. In the meantime, I implore you to fight this blatant catering to special interests simply because it is the right thing to do. Thank you for your time and consideration. Have a pleasant day!
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Well, that last letter to the editor never got published. I guess the Free-Lance Star was worried that it would reach too many people and open their eyes. Oh well.
Here is my latest submission, highlighting the fact that those of us who oppose socialist policies (and therefore will disagree with Obama's administration on a large percentage of issues) do not have to just sit round the campfire with the Obamaniacs, singing cumbaya while they systematically destroy our freedoms. We must lobby our representatives (state and federal) to provide opposition at every turn to freedom-destroying policies. Perhaps our state reps can have the courage to stand up to federal pressure. Maybe our Congressional reps can make the compromises needed to minimize the damage done by over-reaching federal programs. That is what we need. It's the purpose for our system of checks and balances -- so that a new administration is not simply given free reign to enact its programs. The checks and balances provided by Congress on the President (and by the States on the Federal) are currently the only means for the voices of freedom-loving Americans (i.e., those who didn't vote for Obama) to be heard.
The last part of the letter is another plug (as I will be trying to do as often as possible) for the FairTax - an issue we should all be lobbying for. Hope you enjoy the letter.
Letter to Editor, Free-Lance Star
To the editor,
Just because Obama has been elected doesn't mean those of us who didn't vote for him have to just take his socialist policies lying down. I say this not because Democrats' hypocritical calls for reuniting to work together to achieve Obama's stated goals ring hollow given their own howling and obstructive responses to past Republican victories. No, I say this because this is why we have checks and balances: to limit the extent that one group can abuse the power invested in a particular branch of government.
We still have people that can help represent our interests: our Congressional and State legislative representatives. Now more than ever, we need strong Congressmen and women willing to stand up for freedom. We need State delegates courageous enough to fight ever-expanding and ever-abusive federal power.
Keep up on the latest issues -- on the latest big-government initiatives the Obama administration is trying to shove down our throats (and keep an eye on the ever-dangerous Pelosi/Reid combo, too). Then, lobby your Congressmen and women (write, call, meet, etc.) to oppose these attempts to expand the government's insidious grip over our lives. Petition our
State delegates to fight for States' rights and combat the federal government's overreaching policies.
One issue that needs (and should have) our widespread lobbying and support (now more than ever) is the FairTax. This is an issue that shouldn't pit Democrats versus Republicans, but rather ordinary citizens versus special interests. By reforming the system by which federal revenues are collected, we will achieve much greater transparency in our government's expenditures while at the same time implementing a much more progressive method of taxation that is better for lower and middle class taxpayers. Politicians won't be able to grant their political favors to special interests under the guise of targeted tax credits and deductions anymore. Write your representatives and senators to demand their support for the FairTax.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Here is a letter I sent to the editor of the Free-Lance Star on this topic. We'll see if it gets published. Enjoy.
Letter to Editor, Free-Lance Star
To the editor,
Since the media won’t report it, I feel it must be said somewhere. When will people wake up and realize Obama’s economic policies are socialist, plain and simple?!
Some say he only wants to tax the “rich.” Well, his tax increases will hit small businesses and their employees in a big way. While a large percentage of small businesses are smaller enterprises that don’t net large incomes, 95% of small business employees work for businesses that would be hit hard by Obama’s tax scheme. That means cutbacks in wages, benefits, and even jobs. This just makes more people unemployed and dependent on the Nanny State to take care of them. And that’s just income taxes. Everyone’s tax burden will increase when Obama reinstates the Death Tax, raises capital gains taxes, and reinstates capital gains taxes on any and all profits from the sale of one’s home (try to guess the effect on an already slumping housing market).
I encourage your readers to check out the FairTax (and not just the negative spin from special interests who benefit greatly from our current behemoth of a tax system; go to www.fairtax.org and/or pick up The FairTax Book and FairTax: The Truth). The important distinction to learn about is between the principles behind the FairTax and the socialist principles of our income tax system.
A progressive income tax is #2 in Karl Marx's list of ten necessary precursors to a Communist society. While taxes are inevitable, they should be fair. Someone once said, “If you want less of something, tax it." Income taxes effectively tax productivity (income is what we receive in exchange for our productive work), which limits the growth of wealth for ALL.
Obama says he wants to "spread the wealth?" Obama is clearly right in step with, "From each according to their ability to each according to their need." It’s pure unbridled socialism, which ultimately leads to serfdom for everybody and slavery to the State.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
This is the body of a letter I wrote to my Representative (Rep. Wittman, VA-1). It contains some of the key reason I oppose a taxpayer-funded bailout.
26 September 2008
Hon. Representative Wittman,
I am writing to strongly encourage you to vote against any and all credit market bailout packages that are brought to the House floor. I understand the idea behind the Resolution Trust Corporation, and my problem with it is that it socializes the risk of all those bad loans, while the banks it helps get to privatize their profit. There is no reason why Wall Street cannot establish and finance their own RTC, and that is what they should do. If that is what is necessary, then that is what opportunistic investors will do. Some who support the government bailout note the potential for profit down the road. If there really is a decent chance for this, then there is no reason why private investors wouldn't form their own RTC. Also, what would the Congress end up doing with such a "windfall profit"? Give it back to us taxpayers? Not likely if Congress is still Democrat-controlled. It would more likely be used to fund more useless socialist programs.
This bailout goes against what conservatism is supposed to be all about. We should be showing the citizens of this country that they don't need a "Nanny Government" to take care of all their problems. As a registered Republican, it pains me to say this, but if I find that you vote for any type of bailout, I will be forced to vote for the Democrat running against you this November. You will have completely lost my trust to carry the conservative mantle.
Thank you for your time and consideration of your constituents' views.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Letter to Editor, Free-Lance Star
To the editor,
I am writing to urge all of your readers (and my fellow citizens) to ignore the media bias and sexist banter being thrown about at Sarah Palin’s expense and find out for themselves what this woman brings to the table. Since her announcement as McCain’s running mate, the media coverage has been absolutely abysmal.
First, people who characterize Palin’s selection as McCain merely attempting to rake in disenchanted Clinton supporters are putting their own sexist beliefs on parade (or their own ignorance), as they are effectively dismissing Palin’s (and Clinton’s) candidacy as mere novelty. She was only selected because she’s a woman, they are saying. How about actually looking at the woman’s abilities and achievements?
On this note, I would advise ignoring the mass media outlets, as they seem enamored with focusing on the mundane – silly “scandals” like the alleged firing of Ms. Palin’s ex-brother-in-law. For one, this stuff doesn’t come close to selling strips of land from one’s front yard to campaign contributors (Obama) or plagiarizing speeches from British Members of Parliament (Biden), but that’s just an example of the media’s hypocrisy. One example where it would help to dig deeper than the superficial spin the media gives is regarding Ms. Palin’s “beauty pageant” history. While the connotation suggests dismissing her as a pretty face with no brains, the tone of the story changes greatly when one learns that she only entered the pageants in order to earn money for college, which she needed since both of her parents were “ordinary, working-class” people (a teacher and a school secretary). Coming from a similar humble background (enlisted military brat) where I had to apply myself in order to be able to afford to go to college, her dedication strikes a chord with me, and I imagine it would strike a similar chord with most people.
What the rest of the media (and many Obama-supporters, ironically) are harping on is Ms. Palin’s “lack of experience.” Here are a few observations I have made on this subject. First, Ms. Palin actually has more Executive experience than Obama, yet she’s only the nominee for the #2 spot. But we’re supposed to be comfortable with Obama’s lack of experience, when he’s running for the #1 spot?? This point aside, when one looks at the experience she does have, it’s pretty impressive what she has done in such a short time. She has rooted out corruption in the Alaskan Republican Party, successfully bucking the “good old boys” system while at the same time being able to work with both parties and get things done for the good of Alaskans. Her “inexperience” didn’t stop her then, and I doubt it would stop her now. Thirdly, as someone who prefers minimizing government intrusion in our lives, I would prefer that those at the top have as little experience as possible at creating those intrusions. She has demonstrated with her actions in office a similar dislike for government intrusion.
Her husband (non-college-educated) should appeal to the majority of Americans who do not have college degrees, and why shouldn’t he? College is not the “end-all be-all” of life’s educational experience. Both she and her husband share life lessons that most of us “ordinary Americans” (the ones clinging to guns and religion) have experienced (ask Obama or Biden when was the last time they shopped at their local grocery store), and what she may lack in “public service” experience she makes up for in “real world” experience.
From my read of her history, Ms. Palin seems a genuine throw-back to the true grassroots, conservative base that the majority of Americans share – this is what I urge your readers to consider when thinking about and discussing Ms. Palin’s selection as VP candidate.
Monday, May 12, 2008
To the editor,
I am writing to urge all of your readers (and my fellow citizens) to lobby our Representatives in Congress to propose and/or work to secure passage of a Constitutional Amendment establishing Congressional term limits.
This is an issue that any citizen should support, regardless of party affiliation. Congressional term limits can only have a positive effect on the responsiveness of our elected legislators, by establishing a set timeframe for them to attempt to deliver on promises. It will help deter politics as a career choice and bring the legislative branch back towards the citizenry.
For some nonpartisan history on the subject, Republicans pledged to establish Congressional term limits in their 1994 Contract with
Since the 1994 pledge, there has been some disagreement on what House term limits should be (three vs six), but an acceptable compromise has been proposed: setting a limit of three terms and allowing state legislatures to permit up to three additional terms if they so desire. Senators would be limited to two six-year terms.
We should all be calling on our Representatives to have the courage to speak up for this cause, propose the amendment with their fellow Representatives, work to secure the right amount of publicity for the issue, and vote to pass the amendment. Yes, there are other important issues facing our country, but this governmental reform would be a key first step to enabling progress in so many other areas.
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
To the editor,
There is currently a bill in the Virginia House of Delegates that would extend the HOV exemption for hybrid vehicles for another year (despite an original expiration of 2004). This affects a large number of people in the Fredericksburg area who commute up to the DC area. Those of us who commute smartly take vanpools or carpools, so as to reduce the number of cars on the road and to allow for a quicker commute. That is, after all, the whole point of the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes -- to encourage pooling of rides. This exemption for hybrids has the unintended consequence of clogging up traffic in the HOV lanes when vanpooling/carpooling should be rewarded with a faster commute for reducing the numbers of cars on the road.
From an emissions standpoint, hybrids operate completely on gasoline when in “highway mode.” Environmentally speaking, a carpool of three people is going to have a better effect than three people in separate hybrid cars. In fact, three 51-mpg hybrids will use the same amount of gas round-trip as one 17-mpg SUV with three people in it. We need to encourage carpooling and vanpooling, and the way to do this is to allow the hybrids exception to expire. The hybrid owners are also certainly capable of forming carpools with their more efficient cars.
We need to start demanding common sense from our state government. I encourage your readers to write letters and emails to our local delegates demanding that they vote against this exemption.
What this story does not say at all is whether the "rebate" is going to come out of next year's tax returns (the way the last one did), thus reducing next year's return by that same amount. Not much of a rebate if it isn't an actual tax cut. If so, are those people who get $300 despite having no income tax burden going to have to pay that money back, since they normally would not have even paid $300 in taxes throughout the year? This is utterly ridiculous. It promotes a nanny state mentality...and then there's the Dems complaining that unemployment isn't being extended. Like we need actual hardworking Americans footing even more of the bill for people who haven't bothered to get a job in 26 weeks to continue to sit on their asses. Yeah, that'll help stimulate the economy!! What stimulates an economy is more productivity...not less. Hence, the tax breaks for capital investments actually makes some semblance of sense, though I still have a problem with the government getting involved at all. They're only getting involved with that type of thing because they're already too involved as it is. And then there's Rangel (good old Rangel, who wants to reinstate the draft!) saying he cannot "accept" the resistance of President Bush and Republican leaders to including an extension of unemployment benefits for those who are without work through no fault of their own?!? Apparently, no one acts of their own accord anymore. Apparently, people don't choose where they are going to work, and thereby don't have to deal with it when their workplace cannot afford to continue to employ them. Apparently people cannot make a choice to go out and get a job. And apparently, people are *entitled* to live a life without risk, as the government is SO willing to spend *other people's money* to provide such risk reductions! But, this is the Party of No Accountability we're talking about here. This is the Party of Collective Mentality (yes, there is a paradox there, since there is no such thing as a collective mind), the Party of the Nanny State.
Also, while I don't agree with the rebates in any form, I especially disagree with the argument that says giving these rebates to the poorest is going to stimulate the economy by encouraging them to spend. The majority of people are going to use this money to pay a bill, rather than go out and buy something material. If anything, it would be people that are more well off who would likely use the extra disposable income to consume. The key phrase there is disposable income. Many of the poorest people don't have much disposable income to begin with. And, economics tells you that productivity will stimulate an economy, not consumption.
I grow sicker and sicker of the socialist mentality of so many "leaders" in this country. If you made it this far, thanks for putting up with my rant. I copied you all on this so that, in case this makes sense to you, it might give you some ammunition for writing your legislators to oppose this before it's too late. It's probably too late anyway. I'm done now. :)
Friday, January 18, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
The common sense here is almost too much to take! ;) This article could apply in so many other areas of our lives. For example, getting rid of the monopolistic regulatory power of the FDA, making it at most a certifying authority (but not the ONLY one allowed). Why should they have the monopoly on deciding what is "right" for each and every individual?! If a person dying of cancer wants to take a risk on a potentially life-saving drug (and also potentially help others by becoming a case for its success), why can they not do it? Answer: Because the FDA hasn't allowed the drug to be used yet. If anything, make the FDA a certifying agency, like Underwriters Laboratories, who privately inspects and certifies electrical equipment (just look for the UL emblem). That way, if a person saw that the FDA had certified a certain drug, it might give them more confidence in the drug, just as people look for the UL emblem on electrical equipment. I'm sure private certification agencies could do the job more efficiently than the FDA, but since it already exists, why not take advantage of its existence while at the same time reducing the role of governmental interference in our personal lives?