Stop the “Largest Tax Increase in U.S. History”

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You may not have heard that this friday a “Carbon Cap and Trade Bill” is coming up for vote.  Some analysts are saying the bill will represent the “single largest tax increase in U.S. history”.  So why haven’t we heard about it?

Is it because it really is true that the mainstream media is in bed with Obama?  I don’t know.  Given what we’ve already seen, it’s likely we’re merely the victims of clever political gamesmanship.  Obama’s administration is talking up his Healthcare plan, and quietly pushing this “Energy” bill through the back door.  It’s classic bait-and-switch.  It’s blatant deception, and a resort to the modus operandi, “if you can’t convince them, confuse them”.  It’s the reason the Greeks came up with a word to describe those who didn’t stay informed about politics.  That word was “idiot”.

As to the content of the bill…at 900+ pages, it’s about as long as the New Testament.  Many “Green” advocates have been critical of cap-and-trade legislation (which seeks to tax companies for each ton of carbon emissions they produce).  The European Union has had a cap-and-trade system for years, and they’ve found emissions weren’t curbed, in fact, they exceeded the levels of the Kyoto Treaty in many member nations.  This year, Europe’s carbon emissions have grown by 6% with cap-and-trade, while U.S. emissions are down 1% without it.

Cap-and-trade is a form of “stealth tax” that trickles down to every consumer and citizen by greatly increasing the cost of doing business.   Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz’s office has estimated the bill will cost each citizen several hundred dollars, and the average Utah school around $10,000 annually.   Such costs, while nothing to state-funded schools, pose significant burdens to private schools.

Because most of the businesses in the United States are small businesses (responsible for 50-52% of total GDP, according to the Labor Department), this bill will place a pressure on the people who are least able to pay it.  It will harm the economy immeasurably, and slow any recovery.

To give you a concrete example of how the government hurts us with these “stealth taxes”, I need only recount my experience working for the family business.  While in grad school, I was in charge of regulatory affairs and government relations.  One task included recycling 72 lbs. of paper generated by one year’s worth of state and EPA regulatory changes (yes, I weighed it), and trying to stay compliant with said changes.  The job also included EPA registration of our products in each state of sale.

The year Rod Blagojevich became governor of Illinois, he arbitrarily raised the cost of registration from $100 per product to $200, and raised the company registration fee from $200 to $400.  This meant that before we’d sold a single bottle of disinfectant or germicide in Illinois, we had to pay $1600 in fees.  Some states were more reasonable in their fee (Missouri, for instance, only charged $15 per product).  Combine the state fees together, and you’d probably be looking at money that could’ve created one or two new jobs.

Such “fees” and stealth taxes are barriers that prevent people from wanting to bring their business to states, or to start businesses.  They limit competition, innovation, and prevent the creation of jobs.  They push big companies overseas, to countries like Dubai where there is no corporate tax.  They leave small guys (like my father and his 14 employees) at a disadvantage, especially against large corporations.

I urge you to contact your congressman and senator through the links provided here, and tell them to vote against this expensive and dangerous bill.

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Dead Snow

Somehow this movie got by my summer roundup.  It’s a foreign flick that got accolades at the Sundance Film festival.  Two words; Nazi zombies.

References to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom?  Check.  (“Fortune and glory, kid.”)

Homage paid to Sam Raimi’s  Evil Dead series?  Check.

Righteous combat with the forces of darkness?  Check.

White Power?

algorebill

Near the end of May, President Obama’s Energy Secretary (a highly decorated physicist by the name of Stephen Chu) publicly stated that painting all building rooftops white would produce a benefit to the environment equivalent to removing every single car in the world from the roads for eleven years.

This proposal banks on elementary physics, as the albedo of a dark object is far less than that of a white object, and will thus result in the lighter colored surface absorbing less heat energy from the sun.  My father’s business converted to a white rooftop a few years ago, and experienced substantial energy savings during the summer.  Because the building absorded less heat, the AC units were not taxed as greatly.

I support encouraging people and businesses to make the transition, for no other reason than energy conservation (I’m not worried about “Global Warming”).  Such gentle persuasion should take place through the mechanism of tax breaks or benefits, but I disagree with Chu’s assertion that we should “make people paint their roofs white”.  Chu’s willingness to use government force in areas of life like one’s choice of rooftop color reflects a disturbing trend toward micromanaging individual civilians.  It is a trend that is socialist, entrenched in both parties (though perhaps moreso among Democrats), and extremely dangerous.  It can lead to the death of liberty, if allowed to continue.

Prayer Request

Today I was informed my “great aunt” Pearl (actually my 2nd cousin) passed away last night.  She’d just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given an estimated 2-3 months to live.  She was a kind and generous person, caring for many lost and hurting people and animals over the years.  Her cheer, humor, and willingness to speak truth openly will be greatly missed, and any prayers for the repose of her soul would be appreciated.

News Medley

A friend from a now-defunct blog used to do a summary of five ridiculous stories from the last week.  I thought I might experiment with that format, but in an abbreviated form.

1.  Slim-Jim Plant Explodes After Employees “Snap Into It”

Apparently, there is some truth in advertising.  I’m sure the workers at the plant could “feel the excitement” a little more than they might have preferred.

2.  Homicidal Maniac Butchers Logic, English Language

islamic militant

Personal statements, including his admission of guilt in the brutal attack on an Arkansas military recruitment center, were released today by the suspect in the shooting.  Saying his attack was not murder, because it was an “act of retaliation against the U.S. military,” Muslim convert Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad went on to claim his actions were “Islamic justified”.

If I were inclined to a bout of irrationality equal to Mr. Muhammad’s, I’d suggest he be given the death penalty on the grounds that it is “grammatically justified”.  Upon hearing his actual statements, one wonders if he had the requisite intelligence to actually read the Koran.

3.  Fisherman Hooks Missile; Keeps as Pet

Rodney the Unstable

Florida fisherman Rodney Salomon caught a military missile while fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.  After keeping it aboard his boat for 10 days, petting it, feeding it, and taking pictures with it, Rodney called the authorities to dismantle the rabid beast.  After dismantling it in an abandoned parking lot, the bomb squad from MacDill Air Force Base commented that it was live, corroded, and in an unstable state.  Just like Rodney.

Poor Beastie!

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Last night, after working a 13 hour security shift at Six Flags, a deer struck me on the way home.  Saw her a split second before her poor head hit the wheel well just above my front passenger tire.  Luckily, I didn’t lose control of mighty Nago, my “strong and beautiful” SUV (if you’ve seen the movie Princess Mononoke, you might get the reference).  

At the next exit (Pacific), I pulled over to assess the damage and call the state highway patrol.  Two dents, and a line of fur (but no blood) gave me the hope she’d only been struck a glancing blow and might’ve made it to safety, but I still felt the need to call lest she did expire in a lane on the highway and cause another accident.  

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It’s a strange paradox, that I’ve remembered and regretted every animal I’ve ever accidentally struck or killed with my vehicle, yet have fewer qualms about injury or fatality to certain human beings.  Though I’m well acquainted with firearms, I don’t hunt and never have. I’ve taken pains to move insects and animals outside rather than merely kill them for inconveniently being in my abode.  

But I’ve criticized animal rights extremists for caring more for animals than human beings, or erroneously treating them as though they had equal rights or dignity.  What then makes my own feelings on this matter different?  Have I too little respect for the “image and likeness of God” in which even a person like Saddam Hussein was made?

Perhaps it has to do with innocence and free will.  Animals do not choose to be evil, and every one I’ve inadvertently injured was doing nothing more than follow its nature.  The tragedy is that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.  That’s a very different thing than willfully choosing to act against one’s God-given dignity and nature and perpetrate horrible evils against others.   God gave us the ability to become something other than what He is–we can make ourselves into monsters.  Hence one of the few things Nietzsche got right, “Those who would hunt monsters should beware, lest they become monsters themselves.”

I hope the poor doe isn’t suffering, and I’m grateful to have walked away from the encounter without injury.