Tax And Destroy

Everyone has heard the famous quote “the power to tax involves the power to destroy” from Chief Justice John Marshall in an 1819 Supreme Court ruling that states could not tax the Federal government.  What about government use of taxation against the people it’s supposed to be working for?  What is that destroying?

For much of US history, taxes were collected to fund essential government services such as national defense, border security, law enforcement, public infrastructure, education, and resource conservation.  In fact Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said “taxes are what we pay for civilized society”.  Progressives have changed that through taxation for wealth redistribution and “social engineering”.  Social engineering typically involves the use of punitive taxes to discourage “wrong behavior” as defined by some omniscient Big Brother.  I’ll start with punitive taxation.

Billionaire Mike Bloomberg is pouring millions of dollars into local efforts to impose a punitive tax on sugary sodas.  OK, they’re not particularly healthy, but where does that process end?  Under the influence of UN Agenda 21 Denmark is seriously considering a tax on meat.  Once the USDA includes sustainability in diet recommendations it won’t be long before progressives want taxes on meat, and eventually dairy products.  This is about controlling people, and more control equals less freedom.  Eventually the only choice progressives will allow is for an abortion.  Bloomberg also pours millions into local gun control efforts, some of which include punitive taxes on guns and ammunition.  No ammo tax will ever stop a street gang, psychopath, disgruntled worker, or jihadist from unleashing mayhem.  What it will do is hurt honest shooting sports participants, particularly those involved in competitive target shooting.  It takes thousands of hours and probably close to a million rounds to reach Olympic level competitor status.  It’s those honest achievers who will be hurt, not the criminal who loads a “Saturday night special” to rob a convenience store.

(Hey Mike, why don’t you ever ask for more taxes on billionaires?)

President Obama wants a ten dollar per barrel tax on oil, even though it would raise prices of gas and heating oil and could send the economy into recession.  This is a punitive tax to punish those who insist on using fossil fuels.  As I pointed out in “Alternative Energy: The Missing Link”, however, we don’t have the technology to convert to renewable fuels overnight.  How many cities are 100% powered by renewable energy 24/7?  The answer is none.  How many all-electric vehicles have a 500 mile cruising range, or even a 100 mile range that can recharge during a 5 minute rest stop?  Again the answer is none.  An all-electric vehicle is a great choice for commuting from the suburbs to the city but would you want to set out to “see the USA” in one?  Incidentally if that electric vehicle doesn’t recharge from a renewable source it isn’t fully “green”.  He claims that the tax revenue would be used for research, and while some might be, some of it might also be used for global wealth redistribution.

So, what about wealth redistribution?  Within the US wealth redistribution is accomplished through various welfare programs and a widely abused tax credit program called EITC.  If you read my proposal for the ISIC welfare reform program you’ll know that I’m not opposed to welfare as a hand up for the unfortunate or as assistance for those who are unable to fully support themselves due to disability.  When children are starving in spite of school meal programs, SNAP, and WIC, however, something in the system isn’t working.  When a person who is fully capable of working decides to live off the labor of others and then jokes about it on social media welfare fraud has gone too far and reform is past due.  That’s an insult to every working family that’s struggling to support itself.  I’m also opposed to allowing foreigners to enter the US and immediately land on extended welfare.  Traditionally our immigration policy only admitted honest healthy people who were capable of supporting themselves within a reasonable time frame.  See my “Immigration is a Privilege, not a Right” post for more.  Global wealth redistribution is a recent concept arising from UN Agenda 21.  Third world nations are demanding billions of dollars from developed nations to “go green” under Agenda 21 while having no intent to meet the human rights objectives specified in that agenda.  See my post “UN Agenda 21 vs the Wealthy Wimpy West” for more.  I believe that global wealth redistribution is unconstitutional.  Nothing in our Constitution allows the government to send our tax dollars overseas or be taxed by any foreign entity.

So, what are the socialist progressives destroying with social engineering and Marxist wealth redistribution?  Essentially everything that made the USA exceptional: freedom (choice, not control); individual responsibility (the flip side of the rights/responsibility coin); the value of the family, and national sovereignty.

As many have pointed out, the US will never be conquered from without, it will destroy itself from within..  Progressives/socialists are leading the charge.

2016 Update:  Not unexpected: the UN has advocated for all nations to tax sugary drinks like sodas.

Unexpected: the UN also wants taxes on 100% fruit juices.  Who wants their morning OJ taxed?  It’s past time to tell the UN that we’re a sovereign nation, and while we’ll work with them on international issues, we will not surrender our rights or our freedom to them.

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Alternative Energy: The Missing Link

Those who accept the idea of climate change caused by human activity call their opponents “deniers”, yet in one way they are also deniers, of technology. Both solar and wind energy have one insurmountable (at this time) disadvantage: the electricity must be used as it’s generated. You can use a battery to power an electric car for some distance and then recharge it (although it takes much longer than filling a gas tank). There is, however, no battery storage system large enough to store the power required by even a small city at night or when the wind doesn’t blow. The technology simply doesn’t exist. Transfer systems that convert electricity to mechanical energy and then back to electricity aren’t practical either due to losses at every stage. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be researching electricity storage, we should, but we can’t assume we’re on the verge of an earth-changing breakthrough, because we’re not. Scientists have been “on the verge of a breakthrough” in fusion power for decades but those super expensive devices have yet to produce a sustainable and commercially viable power output in excess of their input.
This means that a transition to alternative energy sources will happen gradually, not instantaneously. Politics can’t force science or alter the laws of physics. Attempts to do so, like President Obama’s proposed $10 per barrel tax on oil, will not materialize new technology, they will just hurt the people and the economy of the USA while generating more tax revenue for liberals to squander. On the other hand, the goal of UN Agenda 21 is to drag down developed nations, and our president is fully on board with that.
The rational, i.e., apolitical, approach is to plan the dual transition. Start by replacing the dirtiest fuels, like coal, with cleaner burning natural gas. Focus on energy conservation to reduce demand. Simultaneously implement alternative sources on a scale where current technology permits and continue improving that technology.
As for the types of technology, solar power is the cleanest. Wind farms are unsightly, kill birds, and emit low frequency vibrations that can make neighbors sick. That’s a well documented fact, not hypochondria. Another clean power source that does produce electricity 24/7 is hydroelectric power. It’s been a mainstay in eastern Canada for decades. They even have excess capacity that they would gladly sell to energy hungry New England if the environmentalists who demand clean energy would allow the transmission lines to be built. Expansion of hydroelectric power in the US is unlikely as efforts are underway to remove dams, not build them. Harnessing tidal power might benefit coastal cities but this is still experimental technology. What about biofuels? Except for capturing methane (natural gas) from landfills as a transition fuel it’s a dead end. Producing liquid fuel from crops removes food sources that are needed to feed a growing population, and when burned, emit CO2 just like oil from the ground.

The subject of hydroelectric dams raises the question of when does harnessing something change it. People don’t like dams because they substantially change the river. How many wind farms could be placed in one area without altering local wind patterns? How many tidal turbines could be placed in a harbor without altering the currents? Solar energy wins on this one. No number of solar panels on earth could alter the sun.

There are deniers on both sides but one thing neither can deny is that the world will eventually run out of fossil fuels, notably oil.  This reality was first brought to the attention of petroleum producers in 1952 by M. King Hubbert.  As an important raw material oil will eventually become too expensive to burn. The transition to alternate energy sources is, therefore, inevitable. It just won’t be driven by emotions, socialism, or surrender to a corrupt organization like the UN.

Iran: No Nukes Are Good Nukes

The theocracy of Iran says it only wants nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, e.g., power generation.  Even if we’re naïve enough to believe that Iran won’t pursue development of nuclear weapons and missiles for the purpose of eradicating Its neighbors, why would we want them to have nuclear power plants?  Liberals and environmentalists haven’t allowed nuclear power plants to be built in the USA for decades, so if they’re bad for the environment here they’re just as bad over there.  If solar energy is the way of the future tell Iran to buy solar panels.  They certainly have enough sunlight and solar arrays don’t produce radioactive materials that could be used by terrorists in “dirty bombs”.  The world doesn’t need a nuclear arms race in the already unstable Mideast.

Why do we support deals that benefit hostile nations?  Iran has proven that it can’t be trusted, so any deal that enables them to build nuclear weapons or advance terrorism in the future is a bad deal for future generations.

If the Science is Real, the Politics Are Lies.

We all accept the fact that air pollution is bad for human health.  Now if we take the word of those who say that pollution, including ubiquitous CO2, is also bad for the global climate what do we find?  We find hypocritical politics, that’s what.  The US-China agreement on “climate change” says that the US must start reducing CO2 emissions immediately while China gets a 15-year grace period during which it can continue using coal-fired power plants.  Hey, the atmosphere is global and no science can prove that pollution from China or India is less hazardous than pollution from the USA or western Europe.

What we find, once again, is UN Agenda 21.  It requires developed nations to reduce pollution faster than emerging nations so they can catch up and make the world fairer.  Putting developed nations at an economic disadvantage is one way to redistribute global wealth, isn’t it?  Even though China is an economic powerhouse that’s buying up US land as fast as it can it’s still considered an emerging nation so it can get away with this ruse.  India would fare even better.

Progressives like to ridicule “science deniers” but their own hypocrisy betrays them.  They would be far more convincing if they demanded that every nation play by the same rules.

Is there any reason to reduce our consumption of oil as a fuel without getting into the climate change debate?  Actually there are two indisputable and apolitical facts: eventually the world will run out of oil and petroleum is an essential raw material for millions of products used around the world every day.  Evidently the UN didn’t worry about these because they don’t support wealth redistribution..

Global threats require global responses, nothing less.