When is a door not a door? When it’s ajar. Get it? When is transparency not transparency? When the Obama administration claims to be the most transparent administration in history. Get it? No? Well, that is okay. It is not really funny anyway. It’s more… creepy. Why would I say that? Well, read on, MacDuff, and I shall explain why. Continue reading
Archive for Obama administration
I am about to offend some liberals probably. Fair warning.
When I see the news about the debate over the Obama care law mandating that religious organizations are required to offer contraception coverage in their health care plans, I do not see liberals caring about people. I see liberals demanding government enforced adherence to an orthodox ideology.
I am going to offend liberals further by quoting from a David Harsanyi article (the one that inspired this post) at reason.com.
At some point, contraception was transformed from a — and I hope my Catholic friends will excuse the wording — godsend to those wanting to avoid unwanted pregnancy to a “public health” concern to a moral societal imperative that must be mandated, lest we abandon our daughters, science, decency, “choice” and freedom.
How does coercion become “choice”? I ran across a headline on the website of the left-wing think tank ThinkProgress that illustrates the awkward logic of this assertion: “Missouri Legislature Approves Bill Allowing Employers To Deny Access To Birth Control.”
So far as I know, no one but a pharmacist can actually deny someone access to birth control. Religious employers saying “we will not pay for it” does not bar the employee from access to birth control. An employer not buying you a car does not deny you access to automobiles. An employer not buying you shoes does not deny you access to shoes.
But there is this notion that somehow not having Catholic organizations pay for contraception is denying women access to contraception. Somehow we are to protect women by taking a legitimate and reasonable choice away from other people. This sort of liberal authoritarian paternalism is just as bad as the conservative kind that seeks to protect people by preventing gay marriage. And it stems just as much from orthodoxy.
I am not against contraception. I am in favor of women having it available. What I do not favor is forcing religious organizations opposed to it to pay for it.
And just to so you know, those programs where the government hands out money to religious organizations, I am opposed to that. I believe separation of church and state is a good idea.
According to a Yahoo News/ABC News article:
“The president’s secretary pays a slightly higher rate this year than the president on her substantially lower income, which is exactly why we need to reform our tax code and ask the wealthiest to pay their fair share,” Amy Brundage, a White House spokeswoman, told Yahoo News by email.
Sigh. There is no question of whether or not perhaps the secretary’s taxes are too high. Which to me would be the obvious question. Why does the secretary have to pay a higher tax rate? No, the White House says we need to “ask the wealthiest to pay their fair share.”
Fair according to whom? Why is what the POTUS paid in taxes deemed unfair but what the secretary paid deemed fair? If what you want is fair, then have a simple flat tax of no more than 10%. No loopholes, no constant fiddling with the tax code, no tax credits, none of that. Anything over a base income of, say, $20,000 per year, is taxed at 10%. Period. That would be fair. Because fair is to treat people the same. Punishing people for having more money is not fair.
And don’t give me that “but the wealthy ought to pay more” silliness. What is 10% of 20,000? Answer: 2000. What is 10% of 200,000? Answer: 20,000. What is 10% of 2,000,000? Answer: 200,000. And 200,000 is more than 2000. In fact is it 100 times more. So if the person making $20,000 is taxed at 10%, and the person making $2,000,000 is taxed at 10%, then the person making $2,000,000 is already paying more. Ta-da! The wealthy pay more, and the tax code remains actually fair. Problem solved.
So if the goal is fairness then why is the Obama administration not pushing for something like that? Because fairness has nothing to do with what the Obama administration wants. What the Obama administration wants is more control. The purpose of the current tax code is to provide government with control. And the Obama administration wants more of that.
No, it is not a vast conspiracy. It is simply what government does. Right-wing or left-wing, all politicians do it. Tax breaks for this. Tax credits for that. Reward for this. Punishment for that. All about control. Listen to the politicians talk. They want to buy votes. They want to control society. One way to accomplish this is via the tax code. Tax breaks and tax credits, reward this, punish that, all so they can control things. And they want to control things all for your own good. And it almost never actually is any good.
And we refuse to learn from this. We keep electing the “electable” candidate for “practical” reasons. Why rampant corruption of the republican (small ‘r’) process and ever more control in the hands of a minority which should rightfully be called the political class is considered “practical” when it produces demonstrably disastrous results over and over and over again, I do not know.
Over at The Caucus, the (a?) political blog at The New York Times, is a quote from a recent Joe Biden speech.
“Wealthy people are just as patriotic as middle-class people, as poor people, and they know they should be doing more,” Mr. Biden said. “We’re not supposed to have a system with one set of rules for the wealthy and one set of rules for everyone else.”
For the love of pizza… Really? Later on the Times blog post says,
But aides to Mr. Obama are hoping that Mr. Biden’s speech will begin to shift the debate about taxes on the wealthy from an abstraction to one that focuses directly on Mr. Romney.
Mr. Obama’s aides hope to achieve that by using the term “Romney Rule,” which they believe will force Mr. Romney to acknowledge that opposing the president’s proposals would benefit him personally.
So the Obama administration is supporting this speech. Clearly the Obama administration does not get it.
First of all, if some wealthy people want to be patriotic and give more money to the U.S. government, no one is stopping them from doing so. They are free to write the IRS a bigger check than required. They are, as even a lowly schmoe like me was able to find out, free to send money as a gift to the U.S. Treasury. For those of you wealthy folks who missed my earlier comments on this, the address is:
Gifts to the United States
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Credit Accounting Branch
3700 East-West Highway, Room 622D
Hyattsville, MD 20782
If you think I am making this up, feel free to go to the U.S. Treasury’s own website and see for yourself. http://www.fms.treas.gov/faq/moretopics_gifts.html
Yep, that is a .gov web address.
The point here being that if some wealthy people want to give more money to the U.S. government, then they should do so without insisting on higher taxes. If this is really about patriotism and supporting the country, then stop making it about taking other people’s money. Because when you push for taxes, you are exactly making it about taking other people’s money. The desire to tax—i.e. force—other people to do something you apparently cannot be bothered to do voluntarily is not patriotism.
Second, if we are “not supposed to have a system with one set of rules for the wealthy and one set of rules for everyone else,” then why is the Obama administration pushing for exactly that? A “Buffet Rule” by its very definition is a different set of rules for the wealthy.
I wonder if these politicians even care about the duplicitous nature of the things that come out of their mouths. They are brazen about it. The more they talk, the more convinced I am that they believe the American people are idiots. And for some reason, we keep propping these politicians up. So long as they promise us something for nothing, apparently we don’t care about the lies they tell either. Maybe we are idiots.