24 September 2009


Barack Obama campaigned on the promise that he would not raise taxes.

There is much discussion about the net that he is going to do exactly that, in the form of additional fees on a lot of things. During a 5 show whirlwind tour last weekend President Obama used the defense that since they weren't called "taxes" then they weren't, in fact, taxes. This is largely regarded as lipstick on a pig.

All of the legislation passed since his ascension, in addition to the bailout passed in the time of his predecessor, adds to the bill that will eventually come due, as all bills eventually do.

But, in his defense, he is absolutely right. He will not raise any taxes, in the same way that George W. Bush (and Ronald Reagan before him) never cut any taxes. He will only approve (or veto, fat chance) the legislation mandating those tax increases that passes over his desk.

So, who will it be that actually increases your taxes? For the answer, let me direct your attention to this document:

"The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States"
US Constitution, Article 1, Section 8

The main problem with the United States today lies with the fact that the American people are unaware of how their government is actually supposed to work. In large part they cannot number the branches of government, much less name them. Listing the responsibilities, duties and limitations of each branch is right out.

If you don't know how it's supposed to work, how can you tell if it is, in fact, working (or not working, as the case may be)?

If there is another person in the room as you read this, ask them the following questions. For that matter, answer them yourself. Chances are, unless they are a nerd like me or a naturalized citizen, they will not be able to answer them.

1. How many Senators represent each State?
2. What Congressional district do you live in?
3. How many Congressional Representatives are there for that district?
4. Name the people referred to in questions 1 and 3.

Not only can most Americans not answer the preceding questions, most of them cannot be bothered to care about the answers. All of them complain, and since everyone knows who the President is, for good or ill, he gets the blame (or credit).

If you don't know who is responsible for what, how can you be expected to vote intelligently? That is the underlying reason for all the problems the US now faces. And the inevitable result is this.

And yes, I can answer all four questions. Without looking it up.

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