The Re-Distribution of Wealth Debate in 1894: An Excerpt from The Last Jeffersonian


On December 19, 1893, William L. Wilson, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, rolled out a new tariff reform bill, which passed the House on February 1, 1894 by a significant margin, 204 to 140.  Tariff duties were modestly cut by 15 percent.  However, to make up for any projected loss of revenue, the final House version of the bill included a provision for an income tax.  The young Democratic congressman from Nebraska, William Jennings Bryan, introduced the tax amendment and vigorously defended it.  “There is no more just tax upon the statute books than the income tax,” he told the House.

Though not a new concept, a tax on incomes had been first enacted in 1862 to help finance the Civil War, and, despite the Constitution’s prohibition against direct taxes, federal courts had left it alone as a war revenue measure.  The original act created the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the forerunner to the IRS, to collect the tax.  It covered all incomes over $600 a year at two graduated rates.  Income above $600 and up to $10,000 was taxed at three percent, while everything over $10,000 at five percent.  In 1864 the top rate was increased to ten percent.  When applicable, the federal government had actually withheld the tax from people’s income, such as government salaries, dividends and interest from bank stocks and bonds, as well as from railroads and other corporations.  By the end of the war, some 15 percent of households were paying the tax.  In 1872, the law expired and Republicans were content to leave it dead, as the tariff was continually pouring money into the federal treasury, making additional taxes unnecessary. Continue reading

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The Case Against President Obama


Regardless of what anyone thinks of Barack Obama’s term in office, it simply cannot be argued that he has fulfilled any of his campaign promises.  The soaring rhetoric of his historic 2008 run for the presidency was nothing more than a well-orchestrated marketing campaign.  He said what he had to say in order to be elected.  What puzzles many is the fact that he has as much support in the polls as he does.

His campaign promises, as well as those he made once in office, were legion and his failures to achieve those goals are nearly as numerous, much too lengthy to detail here, so let us look at some of the major ones. Continue reading

Exposing Liberal Attacks


In every election cycle liberals pull out their ancient political playbook and bag of tricks, running the same old plays against conservatives.  And every election cycle many of our citizens fall for it.

In 2008, Obama the candidate ran as a new contender for president, pledging to change the fractured and divided nation and to end the old politics, which was a great part of his appeal to so many voters.

In his inaugural address he pledged a new beginning:  “On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.  On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics.”

He had built his career around that theme.  Who can forget his 2004 DNC speech:  “I say…tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America – there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America – there’s the United States of America.”

And during his Greek column-themed nomination acceptance speech in 2008:  “Because if you don’t have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.”

Yet Obama the president has not lived up to the hype.  He has divided us, chosen fear over hope, and, with no record to run on, tried to paint Mitt Romney as someone to run from.  He’s done the exact opposite of everything he ever said prior to the 2012 race. Continue reading

Died of Politics


Confederate President Jefferson Davis remarked during the War for Southern Independence that “If the Confederacy fails, there should be written on its tombstone:  Died of a Theory.”  President Davis was referring to the political theory of states’ rights and how it was undermining the war effort, as state governments were constantly resisting repeated calls for cooperation with Richmond.

Should America fail, our tombstone should read:  Died of Politics.  As the nation stares a serious fiscal crisis in the face, most of the political talk in the last couple of weeks has centered around a Missouri US Senate candidate’s stupid remarks about rape, as the Democratic Party and its allies in the media attempt to tie the comments to every single Republican, including Romney and Ryan.

Our political culture has become so inundated with petty, partisan politics that it is becoming more and more difficult to get much-needed reforms enacted because any serious discussion of major policy changes is meet with the usual litany of demagogic attacks designed to scare one group or another in order to score political points. Continue reading

Why Do Liberals Compare Conservatives to the Nazis?


For decades it seems liberal Democrats have tried to pin the label “Nazi” on conservative Republicans.  And I don’t mean the beatniks in the street waving ugly signs with George W. Bush’s image depicted as Hitler.  I’m talking about high-ranking Democratic elected officials and office holders.

During the national conventions the last two weeks, new Nazi vile came spewing out of liberal mouths.

John Burton, the California state Democratic chairman, compared Republicans to Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels.  “They lie and they don’t care if people think they lie…Joseph Goebbels – it’s the big lie, you keep repeating it.”  Paul Ryan told “a bald-faced lie and he doesn’t care that it was a lie. That was Goebbels, the big lie.”

To his credit, Burton apologized.

South Carolina’s Democratic Party chairman, Dick Harpootilian, compared the Palmetto state’s Republican governor, Nikki Haley, to Adolf Hitler’s mistress, Eva Braun.  Governor Haley held a press conference recently from the basement of a building in Charlotte, site of the DNC.  Harpootilian responded that Haley “was down in the bunker a la Eva Braun.”

Unlike Burton, Harpootilian has refused to apologize, despite repeated calls from both parties.  “Hell no. What am I apologizing for?” he told CNN.  “This is fake. Nikki Haley is feigning [outrage]. There is not a sincere bone in her body.”

So, let us examine to merits of this claim, that conservatives are more closely aligned with National Socialists. True conservatives believe in constitutional government, with a strict interpretation of that sacred document, as well as the rule of law. True conservatives believe in individual liberties safeguarded by the Bill of Rights.  True conservatives believe in laissez faire economics, that government should keep its hands off the private sector.

Did Hitler believe in constitutional government and the rule of law?  NO.  Did Hitler believe in individual rights?  NO.  Did Hitler maintain a Bill of Rights to protect German citizens from the government?  NO.  Did Hitler believe in laissez faire economics and keeping his hands off the private sector?  NO.

Nazi comparisons are wrong and should never put used by anyone against political opponents, BUT, while we are on the subject and considering the facts, which party would align itself more closely with the Nazis?

A New Slogan for the People: We Refuse!


American history is filled with slogans.  Our independence was forged, you might say, because of a powerful mantra that rang out across the colonies:  “No taxation without representation!”  It was on the lips of nearly every American who believed in liberty.  In light of our betrayal by the Supreme Court on the Obamacare bill, I want to propose a new one.

Recently I gave a speech to the Jones County Tea Party group on the subject of the Mississippi lawsuit against Obamacare.  Since I am an original plaintiff, they sought my views on the chances that our suit might have for success.  For the record, I think we have a great case and a shot at having the Court overturn it, yet in light of the curveball the Chief Justice recently threw us, your guess is as good as mine.

So what if we do lose the case and Obamacare remains law?  What if President Obama is re-elected or a President Romney fails to live up to his promises of repeal?  We must not lose heart.  We must resist. Continue reading

On the Edge of the Fiscal Cliff


Serious political talk centered last week on the latest Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report that warned of an oncoming “fiscal cliff” if the Bush tax cuts expire and previously agreed to spending cuts are implemented in January.  The CBO estimates that if those two things occur, then the economy could plunge into another recession.  Unemployment would hit 9 percent and the economy would shrink by 0.5 percent.

Frankly, I see no fiscal cliff in the CBO’s report if the spending reductions are enacted or even if the tax cuts expired.  A rise in unemployment from 8.3 percent to 9.0 percent and an economic slowdown of less than one percent is in no way an economic crisis.  The good news is the deficit would be cut nearly in half.

But the CBO analysis is flawed, given its findings, for it is the continued accumulation of massive deficits and debt that will drag us over the cliff.  Our economic history does not show that cutting spending during hard times will cause a recession.  It didn’t happen for Martin Van Buren, Grover Cleveland, or Warren Harding. Continue reading