Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Better Government Obama vs Limited Government Founders

Undecideds according to a TIPP poll cited comprise 10 percent of likely voters.

Listen and hear Barack Obama's words and beliefs to weigh your vote in favor or in opposition.

Text: Sen. Barack Obama Speech in Canton, Ohio ‘One Week’ The Closing Argument – October 27, 2008


C-Span rebroadcast Sen. Barack Obama Speech in Canton, Ohio ‘One Week’ The Closing Argument – October 27, 2008


As well listen and hear the words of our Founding Framers of the United States Constitution.

Founding Framers: United States Constitution

Article I, Section 2, prescribes for the means of APPORTIONMENT, or the method by which representatives are allocated to the states. Because political power would inevitably flow to the states with the most congressional representatives, this topic was controversial at the time of the framing of the Constitution. Whereas each state receives two votes in the Senate, the number of representatives each state receives in the House is determined by an enumeration, or census, to be conducted every ten years.

According to this same section, a state's population is to "be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons." Thus, an indentured servant was counted as a whole person, and an African American slave was counted as only three-fifths of a person. This last provision arose out of differences between slave and nonslave states. Counting slaves as equal persons would have given southern states a greater number of representatives and more power in Congress. Northern states vigorously opposed such a scheme, and the resulting compromise was called the Three-fifths Compromise.

Article I, Section 9, limits congressional powers, forbidding the passage of laws prohibiting the "Migration or Importation" of persons before the year 1808. This provision was designed as a concession to slaveholding states, ensuring that the practice of SLAVERY would not be challenged for at least 20 years. Section 9 also prohibits Congress from passing any EX POST FACTO, or retroactive, laws, and from granting any "Title of Nobility."


They Founded America

...Slavery is more or less sanctioned in the Constitution, due to the infamous 'three-fifths compromise' (which said that in order to determine the population of states for Congressional apportionment, a slave would be considered three-fifths of a person). There were some mistakes in the way the Founders set up the government, to be sure, but the fact is that the framework the US Government took was largely the product of playing politics...


The Myth About The Three-Fifths Clause

Posted Jul 3rd 2007 10:40AM by Dinesh D'Souza
Filed under: Political Correctness, History

On the eve of America's independence day, I'd like to dispel a politically correct myth about the American founders: that they regarded blacks as three-fifths of human beings. Even so eminent an historian as John Hope Franklin charged the American founders with "degrading the human spirit by equating five black men with three white men."

As I show in my book What's So Great About America, the origins of the clause are to be found in the debate between the northern states and the southern states over the issue of political representation. The South wanted to count blacks as whole persons, in order to increase its political power. The North wanted blacks to count for nothing--not for the purpose of rejecting their humanity, but in order to preserve and strengthen the anti-slavery majority in Congress.

It was an anti-slavery northerner, James Wilson of Pennsylvania, who proposed the three-fifths compromise. The effect was to limit the South's political representation and its ability to protect the institution of slavery. The great black abolitionist Frederick Douglass understood this. He called the three-fifths clause "a downright disability laid upon the slaveholding states" which deprived them of "two-fifths of their natural basis of representation."

So a provision of the Constitution that was anti-slavery and pro-black in intent as well as in effect is today cited to prove that the American founders championed the cause of racist oppression. Isn't it time to set the record straight and teach our children what really happened? As Jeane Kirkpatrick once put it, "We Americans must learn to face the truth about ourselves, no matter how pleasant it is."


Whichever may be the historical fact of our founding, one thing is clear as a bell tolling the hour the polls open on election day:

Barack Obama is not asking any one of us to feel sympathy for him and what is interpreted or actually was a grave mistake and error on the part of the Founders of this nation and the Framers of our United States Constitution.

That our Founding Framers included a clause that even mentioned a person for census reasons would be counted as three-fifths of a person is a blight on the historical past of this nation.

Barack Obama is not asking any one of us to vote for him because at one time in our nation's history, we as represented by our founding framers, codified in our nation's Founding document, an idea that appears on its face to be the exact opposite of the opening words of another founding document, the Declaration of Independence.

All men are created equal.

All, except for... other than whites and women, and native Americans...

the Founding Framers were dead wrong to consider for one moment they needed to appease a certain segment of our nation which believed in slavery and expected a government to carry out and protect slave ownership for economic purposes.

Dead wrong. Good riddance.

And that is what Obama embodies. A finality to the mistaken notion that we are not all equal. (Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin, too, despite odd views and odd intelligence quotient, respectively, and respectfully)

We are all equal.

And by a vote of majority or super majority and potentially a super majority of Electoral College votes, it may well be Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States of America.

However, should one not vote for Obama, do not feel sorry for Barack Obama.

All are equal. One and all.

Barack Obama does show a grasp of the concept that we are all equal and we are all equally responsible for the betterment of our own lives.

After all, he's got major support from the guru-ess of transformational psychology, Oprah Winfrey. Oprah would not support a fake believer in ones-self and the responsibility that goes with being ones-self.

Obama appears to understand government is not the solution to all problems, and he stated just that in the Canton, Ohio Closing Argument speech.

Obama appears to understand the Middle Class is not only dwindling, it is disappearing into non-existence, a common complaint of numerous conservative thinkers.

Obama apparently understands the skewed taxation system wherein the Middle Class is collectively paying more in actual taxation than are the wealthy 1 percent who are taxed at a higher rate on paper, but who are enabled to obtain tax-breaks or tax credits reducing their overall taxation.

But there is much Obama doesn't see. (Neither do many conservative Republicans, but that's for another time)

Obama clearly said:

The choice in this election isn’t between tax cuts and no tax cuts. It’s about whether you believe we should only reward wealth, or whether we should also reward the work and workers who create it. I will give a tax break to...

Barack Obama does not understand - we the collective people of this nation in whom we place our trust called the public trust in our government do not have a right to reward wealth or reward the work and workers who create wealth.

It's understandable Obama wants the Middle Class to receive the same tax benefits as does the wealthy. That is laudable, but it isn't yet enough to convince the likes of some undecideds including me to vote for Barack Obama.

Individuals own themselves, and all that goes with themselves, including the choice of work they do and the wealth they create.

An individual is not an economic slave to the government of the United States of America.

Created wealth is ours collectively and we the people in our representative government give our acquiescence for government to use that wealth as our 'representatives' see fit in our best and collective interest.

That is wrong. That is as wrong as the three-fifths compromise.

In all good conscience, I cannot vote for anyone who does not understand:

Our Founding Fathers got something wrong when they crafted our original United States Constitution.

That the Three-Fifths Compromise was abolished is testimony to the hope factor and the efforts of those to fulfill that hope.

Our Founding Fathers got something right when they crafted our United States Constitution.

One thing our Founding Framers left out was an 'income tax.'

It is simply not in the original document.

It was pay as you go for our Founding Framers. And the government our Founding Framers created was based on specific and defined duties, limited government, and unenumerated individual rights.

An individual's hard earned wealth is not the government's to tax and it certainly when imposed is not the government's to tax differently.

That is the idea embodied in our nation's original United States Constitution.

What about candidate tax plans? Can we find enough give in Obama's to weigh in his favor?

repeating Obama's own words:

The choice in this election isn’t between tax cuts and no tax cuts. It’s about whether you believe we should only reward wealth, or whether we should also reward the work and workers who create it. I will give a tax break to...


Giving a tax break to anybody is a problem with John McCain whose plan would give more benefit in taxation to those in a higher income bracket.

That basic idea is no less a problem for Barack Obama who would give more benefit in taxation to those in a lower income bracket.

What they'll do to your tax bill


Undecideds have a life-changing decision to make. At one point, my own was leaning one way, now it is leaning another way.

Because there is something else the Founding Framers of the Constitution left out and rightly so.

The United States Constitution does not reference God, a Creator, or Higher Power...

Meanwhile, of course the First Amendment announces a protection of an inherent right to religious belief and religious affiliation and practice.

first amendment: an overview
The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference. See U.S. Const. amend. I. Freedom of expression consists of the rights to freedom of speech, press, assembly and to petition the government for a redress of grievances, and the implied rights of association and belief. The Supreme Court interprets the extent of the protection afforded to these rights. The First Amendment has been interpreted by the Court as applying to the entire federal government even though it is only expressly applicable to Congress. Furthermore, the Court has interpreted, the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as protecting the rights in the First Amendment from interference by state governments. See U.S. Const. amend. XIV.

Two clauses in the First Amendment guarantee freedom of religion. The establishment clause prohibits the government from passing legislation to establish an official religion or preferring one religion over another. It enforces the "separation of church and state." Some governmental activity related to religion has been declared constitutional by the Supreme Court. For example, providing bus transportation for parochial school students and the enforcement of "blue laws" is not prohibited. The free exercise clause prohibits the government, in most instances, from interfering with a person's practice of their religion.


Freedom from religion is not expressed in the Constitution, but silence in that area is indication the Founding Framers knew of what they were doing.

Because there in the Bill of Rights is the Ninth Amendment.

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.


How about judicial appointments and potential Supreme Court justices. Can we find reason enough with Obama appointments who may view interpretation duties along the lines of Barack Obama's notions of constitutional law.

Therein may be a an opening for the limited government proponent. May, but is it Obama?

It's unlikely Obama will appoint a Justice of the Supreme Court who will return prayer to the public schools, and who knows where else. What recourse would parents who don't favor state-led prayer have should conservative John McCain appoint similar minded Justices?

Or what about the teaching of creation science in public schools. Which way might a conservative appointed Justice judge versus an Obama appointed Justice?

Separation Church State


My internal conflict rests on Obama's central expressed idea

we don't need bigger government and we don't need smaller government, we need better government.


is that enough?

Because in principle, and as pronounced by Harry Browne and other libertarian thinkers, government itself is the problem, not the solution.

Even if Obama enables a 'better' government, will that government be less intrusive? Will government return to its limited role under Barack Obama?

(It won't under John McCain)(It might not under any President in our lifetimes or the future)

As an alternative what does Bob Barr, the choice of the Libertarian Party, offer?

Unfortunately, he too gave us the Patriot Act and likely may have been defeated in 2002 because of dissatisfaction with that supportive vote in Congress.

Plus, Barr, like virtually all before him, has a book to plug this election, and it's very unlikely Barr would appoint anywhere near an atheist sympathizer to the Supreme Court.

Just send in your donation and buy his book, too, real Libertarians. Forget while a Congress-critter he voted in support of the Patriot Act.

Bob Barr on supreme court appointments
July 18, 2008


Maybe Barr's Libertarian Party Vice Presidential choice Wayne Allyn Root is the one.

Positions Wayne Allyn Root



Wayne Allyn Root religion

I call the 2 parties: big and bigger, dumb and dumber! Both parties want to make government bigger so they control more power, more money, more spoils to handout to their voters. It’s outright bribery–and it’s disgraceful.

The second reason for my switch is that I’m a fiscal conservative in the mode of Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan and Ron Paul. But when it comes to social issues, I’m a pure Libertarian. Unfortunately the GOP has morphed into Big Brother when it comes to social issues and personal freedoms. They have decided it’s okay to use big government to force religion and morality on the American people. I couldn’t disagree more strongly.

Third, while I believe the war on terror is real and I strongly support it, I believe Bush and the GOP have completely screwed it up. The Dept of Homeland Security is just a new bungling bureaucracy.

Making me take off my shoes and getting rid of my toothpaste won’t prevent terrorism. Neither will hiring hundreds of thousands of new government employees- most of whom could never find a good job in the private sector.


Maybe none of the above?

Barack Obama continues, however, to give a sliver of hope...

Line by line, Obama says, he will go through the federal budget, line by line, and eliminate the programs that DO NOT WORK. (Pennsylvania rally, Oct. 28, 2008)

Is that hope and reason enough?

Then there is Christopher Hitchens and his endorsement of Barack Obama. Hitchens is an avowed atheist, and it's puzzling he's willing to support an Obama presidency because... of temperament, judgement... yet, Obama may just direct monies towards more of the same religious and faith-based community programs as Bush policy has supported.

Whatever his reasons, we have an obligation to view overall what would this nation look like in four years. That's what Barack Obama has asked us to do.

Don't ask are you - yes you - better off after the past four years of a Republican presidency. Instead, ask - will you - yes you - personally - be better off after the next four years with Barack Obama as President of the United States.

After all, the man is standing out in the rain in Pennsylvania to deliver his words, directly to us.

And though at times, as does John McCain, Barack Obama ends his speeches with:

God Bless you

Thursday, August 28, 2008 at 08:00 PM
Barack Obama, IllinoisThursday, August 28, 2008 at 08:00 PM

...America, now is not the time for small plans.

Now is the time to finally meet our moral obligation to provide every child a world-class education, because it will take nothing less to compete in the global economy. Michelle and I are only here tonight because we were given a chance at an education. And I will not settle for an America where some kids don't have that chance. I'll invest in early childhood education. I'll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries and give them more support. And in exchange, I'll ask for higher standards and more accountability. And we will keep our promise to every young American - if you commit to serving your community or your country, we will make sure you can afford a college education.

...Individual responsibility and mutual responsibility - that's the essence of America's promise.

...America, our work will not be easy. The challenges we face require tough choices, and Democrats as well as Republicans will need to cast off the worn-out ideas and politics of the past. For part of what has been lost these past eight years can't just be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits. What has also been lost is our sense of common purpose - our sense of higher purpose. And that's what we have to restore.

We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. Passions fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers. This too is part of America's promise - the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.

...America, we cannot turn back. Not with so much work to be done. Not with so many children to educate, and so many veterans to care for. Not with an economy to fix and cities to rebuild and farms to save. Not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend. America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone. At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future. Let us keep that promise - that American promise - and in the words of Scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.

Thank you, God Bless you, and God Bless the United States of America...


would Barack Obama ask you to stand and pray aloud at the opening of a public meeting? Would he make appointments to the United States Surpreme Court who would codify that in the law of the United States?

would an Obama Presidency spend as Bush taxpayer resources on faith-based initiatives, or community initiatives?

First Amendment - Religion and Expression


...likely so.

July 1, 2008
Obama to expand Bush's faith based programs
The Associated Press

April 15, 2008
Obama Would Keep Faith-Based Office at White House
The Roundtable on Religion and Social Welfare Policy


Yes, he will. And he will because he can.

Barack Obama endorses faith-based initiatives


And maybe an Obama appointed Justice will veer to upholding such expenditures.

One thing is fairly sure, the next President will likely fill several supreme court vacancies, as Fox News is now reporting.

And what does Obama say about his criteria for selecting judges? He voted against Justice Alito, for instance.

Obama to Vote No on the Nomination of Judge Alito to the Supreme Court


Alito's Libertarian Streak
by Ilya Somin

Ilya Somin is an assistant professor at the George Mason University School of Law.

Added to cato.org on November 11, 2005

This article appeared on Spectator.org on November 10, 2005.


The Next Supreme Court Justice
By Tom Traina

...Nominations to the Supreme Court are truly one of the longest lasting legacies of a President. While the effects of any given nomination are hard to predict, largely because the issues nominees will face are hard to foresee, it is still important to take into consideration what kind of Supreme Court a president will help mold...


Obama and religion


On June 28, 2006, Senator Barack Obama delivered a controversial speech on religion and politics to the Call to Renewal conference sponsored by Sojourners, a respected Christian progressive organization.

His remarks set off a firestorm among liberals as he stated that they must put aside their religious biases, and reach out to others, including evangelical Christians, as an reconciling essential in a democracy.


Barack Obama on the Separation of Church & State: Support or Misinformation?
Barack Obama's real opinions about secularism are either confused or simply unknown — he has expressed both sentiments which can be construed as pro-secularist and sentiments which can be construed as anti-secularist. These contradictions might charitably be interpreted as typical political posturing: telling everyone what they want to hear in order to avoid offending anyone. On the other hand, maybe he himself is sincerely confused due to conflicting impulses...


Barack Obama on Secular Atheists: Does Obama View Atheists as Equally Moral?
If Barack Obama's position on secularism and church/state separation is confused at best, what does he think about secular atheists? We've already seen him willing and able to attribute falsehoods to "secularists" — the same falsehoods that are so popular with the Christian Right — so what will stop him from attributing common misrepresentations to atheists? Perhaps nothing, because some comments do suggest acceptance of bigoted myths about atheists.


Barack Obama on School Prayer
School prayer is a divisive issue because the Christian Right works hard to reintroduce it into public schools. Christian Nationalists blame the elimination of state-written and state-mandated prayers as a major cause of all America's ills. Barack Obama has said that "Having voluntary student prayer groups use school property to meet should not be a threat, any more than its use by the High School Republicans should threaten Democrats." There is, however, no effort to eliminate completely voluntary religious groups which pray. It's only prayer that's given official endorsement that's objected to...


Tim: Of all the candidates running, Barack Obama is the only one who genuinely talks about mobilizing people to return power to where it rightly belongs - to the people.


Don't Vote As I Vote
Everybody's got a reason for voting, and they all stink
Tim Cavanaugh | October 28, 2008


The Campaign for Secularism

We are chagrined that during the current U.S. presidential campaign, secular Americans cannot point to a single candidate who is willing to maintain a clear distinction between religion and public policy, insisting on the strict separation of church and state.

On the GOP side, this is not altogether surprising, given the way in which many Republicans have sought the support of religious fundamentalists in the past. John McCain says that America is a Christian nation. Mike Huckabee, who quit the race after the March 4 primaries, declared that “My faith doesn’t influence my decisions, it drives them.” Of course, the Bush administration has spent almost eight years injecting faith into politics.

Alarmingly, leading Democrats are waxing pious too. The party of Howard Dean, who once insisted that “my religion doesn’t inform my public policy,” has hurled itself into the arms of that old-time religion. Hillary Clinton says “I am very dependent on my faith” and, jarringly, that “works without faith cannot be sustained.” Barack Obama claims to be “a devout Christian” and asserts that “secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering into the public square.”

Regrettably, all the presidential candidates now seem to support President Bush’s faith-based initiatives, which enable federal funds to support religious charities. John McCain has affirmed that he would use federal monies to support faith-based charities, especially in education...

...Hillary Clinton sees no contradiction between “our constitutional principles” and “faith-based initiatives.” And Barack Obama depicted faith-based programs as a “uniquely powerful way of solving problems,” especially for substance abusers.

The faith-based initiatives were never enacted into law by Congress but rather were created by George W. Bush’s executive order. A new president could end them with the stroke of a pen—but apparently that will not happen...


I am taken with Obama's evidence of personal understanding.

I'm not asking you to believe in my ability to bring change, but in your ability to bring about change, Obama said.

Your ability.

In other words, Barack Obama believes in you. Do you believe in yourself, with or without the assistance of others, from whatever resource or source?

That is the question, the final question that will lead you or enable you if you are going to vote, to decide to vote for...

Net the Truth Online

The 7 Never-to-be-Forgotten Principles of Government by Harry Browne

7. Government must be subject to absolute limits. Because politicians have every incentive to expand government, and with it their power, there must be absolute limits on government.

The Constitution provides the obvious limits we must reimpose upon the federal government. Until the Constitution is enforced, we have no hope of containing the federal government.

The present system of unlimited power is like giving a drunken stranger a set of signed, blank checks on your bank account. You are reduced to relying on the honesty and integrity of people you don't even know — and they abuse that trust again and again.

Whether you think government should be bigger or smaller than the limits specified in the Constitution, the first step is to restore absolute limits, and then — if you like — work to change those limits to ones that would be more to your liking.


Obama Unveils His "Left-(Un)Libertarian" Credentials
(Why aren't you reading this at the new website?)

Take each boondoggle separately:

--Tax cuts are not "per se libertarian." Indeed, targeted tax cuts to politically favored subgroups (notice that Obama uses the Democrat code word "worker" rather than "taxpayer") are about as un-libertarian an economic policy as can be imagined. It's merely the reciprocal of pork and earmarks. Meanwhile, making an obscenely progressive tax code even more progressive is also not a pillar of libertarian fiscal policy. (Again, "workers" and not "taxpayers" get help -- so do you think the overall tax distribution would become more or less progressive under this plan?)

--The entitlement elderly, who are already crippling the federal budget, get even more under Obamanomics. This is new thinking (i.e., "orthogonal to the traditional liberal-conservative axis") by a Democratic politician -- how?

--The housing bailout is merely another expensive program that rewards the "correct" people (homeowners) and the "correct" industry (housing). The fact that almost all these "correct" homeowners were, contrary to the histrionics of malcontents, not the victims of any "fraud" or "predation" (and many were in fact the perpetrators of fraud against their lenders) is overlooked. I see lots of "left-" and not much "libertarianism" here.

--Block grants to states, whatever the structure and whatever the excuse, are insolent violations of fiscal federalism and are per se anti-libertarian abominations. Nothing more need be said there...




Passed by Congress on July 2, 1909, and ratified February 3, 1913, the 16th amendment established Congress's right to impose a Federal income tax.

16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Federal Income Tax (1913)


What they'll do to your tax bill
McCain and Obama want to change the bottom-line effects of the tax code. Here's a dollars-and-cents breakdown of what their plans could mean for you.McCain: The average taxpayer in every income group would see a lower tax bill, but high-income taxpayers would benefit more than everyone else...

Obama: High-income taxpayers would pay more in taxes, while everyone else's tax bill would be reduced. Those who benefit the most - in terms of reducing their taxes as a percentage of after-tax income - are in the lowest income groups.

Under both plans, all American taxpayers could pay a price for their tax cuts: a bigger deficit. The Tax Policy Center estimates that over 10 years, McCain's tax proposals could increase the national debt by as much as $4.5 trillion with interest, while Obama's could add as much as $3.3 trillion.

The reason: neither plan would raise the amount of revenue expected under current tax policy - which assumes all the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts expire by 2011. And neither plan would raise enough to cover expected government costs during those 10 years.

"Distributionally, they're markedly different. But in terms of their impact on revenue, the two plans are not terribly different," said Roberton Williams, principal research associate at the Tax Policy Center and the former deputy assistant director for tax analysis at the Congressional Budget Office.

A closer look
In addition to making the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent, McCain says he would double the exemption for dependents, lower the corporate tax rate, make expensing rules more generous for small businesses and lessen the bite of the estate tax and Alternative Minimum tax.

The net result: compared with their tax bill today, taxpayers on average would see their tax bill cut by nearly $1,200. That means their after-tax income would rise by 2%.

But those in the lowest income groups would only see their after-tax income rise by less than 1% (or between $19 and $319). By contrast, the highest-income households - those with incomes of at least $603,000 - would see a boost in after-tax income of 3.4%, or more than $40,000.

Obama's plan would keep the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts in place for everyone except those making more than roughly $250,000, and he would increase the capital gains tax.

Obama would also introduce new tax breaks for lower and middle-income groups. Such breaks include expanding the earned income tax credit, giving those making less than $150,000 a $500 tax credit per person on the first $8,100 in income, giving those making under $75,000 a 50% federal match on the first $1,000 of savings, and exempting seniors making less than $50,000 from having to pay income tax.

Like McCain, Obama would lessen the bite of the estate tax and the Alternative Minimum Tax, but to a lesser degree.

The net result: compared with their tax bill today, taxpayers on average would see their tax bill cut by nearly $160 under Obama's plan. That means their after-tax income would rise by 0.3%.

But those in the lowest-income groups would enjoy the biggest after-tax income rise as a percentage of income - between 2.4% and 5.5% (worth between $567 and $1,042). By contrast, the highest-income households - those with at least $603,000 in income - would see a dramatic decline in their after-tax income - a drop of 8.7%, or $116,000.


clips from Barack Obama One Week speech Canton, Ohio



Twenty-one months later, my faith in the American people has been vindicated. That’s how we’ve come so far and so close – because of you. That’s how we’ll change this country – with your help.



I know these are difficult times for America. But I also know that we have faced difficult times before. The American story has never been about things coming easy – it’s been about rising to the moment when the moment was hard. It’s about seeing the highest mountaintop from the deepest of valleys. It’s about rejecting fear and division for unity of purpose. That’s how we’ve overcome war and depression. That’s how we’ve won great struggles for civil rights and women’s rights and worker’s rights. And that’s how we’ll emerge from this crisis stronger and more prosperous than we were before – as one nation; as one people.



Now, I don’t believe that government can or should try to solve all our problems. I know you don’t either. But I do believe that government should do that which we cannot do for ourselves – protect us from harm and provide a decent education for our children; invest in new roads and new science and technology. It should reward drive and innovation and growth in the free market, but it should also make sure businesses live up to their responsibility to create American jobs, and look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road. It should ensure a shot at success not only for those with money and power and influence, but for every single American who’s willing to work. That’s how we create not just more millionaires, but more middle-class families. That’s how we make sure businesses have customers that can afford their products and services. That’s how we’ve always grown the American economy – from the bottom-up. John McCain calls this socialism. I call it opportunity, and there is nothing more American than that.

Understand, if we want get through this crisis, we need to get beyond the old ideological debates and divides between left and right. We don’t need bigger government or smaller government. We need a better government – a more competent government – a government that upholds the values we hold in common as Americans.



The choice in this election isn’t between tax cuts and no tax cuts. It’s about whether you believe we should only reward wealth, or whether we should also reward the work and workers who create it. I will give a tax break to 95% of Americans who work every day and get taxes taken out of their paychecks every week. I’ll eliminate income taxes for seniors making under $50,000 and give homeowners and working parents more of a break. And I’ll help pay for this by asking the folks who are making more than $250,000 a year to go back to the tax rate they were paying in the 1990s. No matter what Senator McCain may claim, here are the facts – if you make under $250,000, you will not see your taxes increase by a single dime – not your income taxes, not your payroll taxes, not your capital gains taxes. Nothing. Because the last thing we should do in this economy is raise taxes on the middle-class.


Obama I won’t stand here and pretend that any of this will be easy – especially now. The cost of this economic crisis, and the cost of the war in Iraq, means that Washington will have to tighten its belt and put off spending on things we can afford to do without. On this, there is no other choice. As President, I will go through the federal budget, line-by-line, ending programs that we don’t need and making the ones we do need work better and cost less.

But as I’ve said from the day we began this journey all those months ago, the change we need isn’t just about new programs and policies. It’s about a new politics – a politics that calls on our better angels instead of encouraging our worst instincts; one that reminds us of the obligations we have to ourselves and one another.


16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Federal Income Tax (1913)
Passed by Congress on July 2, 1909, and ratified February 3, 1913, the 16th amendment established Congress's right to impose a Federal income tax.

Far-reaching in its social as well as its economic impact, the income tax amendment became part of the Constitution by a curious series of events culminating in a bit of political maneuvering that went awry.

The financial requirements of the Civil War prompted the first American income tax in 1861. At first, Congress placed a flat 3-percent tax on all incomes over $800 and later modified this principle to include a graduated tax. Congress repealed the income tax in 1872, but the concept did not disappear.

After the Civil War, the growing industrial and financial markets of the eastern United States generally prospered. But the farmers of the south and west suffered from low prices for their farm products, while they were forced to pay high prices for manufactured goods. Throughout the 1860s, 1870s, and 1880s, farmers formed such political organizations as the Grange, the Greenback Party, the National Farmers’ Alliance, and the People’s (Populist) Party. All of these groups advocated many reforms (see the Interstate Commerce Act) considered radical for the times, including a graduated income tax.

In 1894, as part of a high tariff bill, Congress enacted a 2-percent tax on income over $4,000. The tax was almost immediately struck down by a five-to-four decision of the Supreme Court, even though the Court had upheld the constitutionality of the Civil War tax as recently as 1881. Although farm organizations denounced the Court’s decision as a prime example of the alliance of government and business against the farmer, a general return of prosperity around the turn of the century softened the demand for reform. Democratic Party Platforms under the leadership of three-time Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, however, consistently included an income tax plank, and the progressive wing of the Republican Party also espoused the concept.

In 1909 progressives in Congress again attached a provision for an income tax to a tariff bill. Conservatives, hoping to kill the idea for good, proposed a constitutional amendment enacting such a tax; they believed an amendment would never received ratification by three-fourths of the states. Much to their surprise, the amendment was ratified by one state legislature after another, and on February 25, 1913, with the certification by Secretary of State Philander C. Knox, the 16th amendment took effect. Yet in 1913, due to generous exemptions and deductions, less than 1 percent of the population paid income taxes at the rate of only 1 percent of net income.

This document settled the constitutional question of how to tax income and, by so doing, effected dramatic changes in the American way of life.

(Information excerpted from Milestone Documents in the National Archives [Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995] pp. 69–73.)


First Amendment Religion


B.A.T. Archives: On Roy Moore on the Motto
April 7th, 2007


For all these reasons, on February 12th, I will be voting for a Democratic Presidential candidate for the first time in my life, and I will be voting for Barack Obama.

Does this mean I would vote for Obama in November if he’s the nominee ? No, and, frankly I probably wouldn’t. I also won’t vote for John McCain. But the Democrats deserve to have their best candidate as their nominee, and they deserve to have the Clinton machine destroyed, and if I can help in that process I am happy to.


John McCain and Barack Obama Split on Supreme Court Judges in Forum


Secular Humanism a Religion?


What is Secular Humanism?
Ethics of a Philosophy Focused on Humanity and Human Needs
By Austin Cline

...What differentiates secular humanists from other sorts of humanists can be found in the nature of the concept of secularism. This term can be used in more than one way, but two of the most important are found in the concept of secular humanism.

In the first place, secular humanism is necessarily non-religious. This doesn’t mean that secular humanists are anti-religious — there is a difference between non-religion and anti-religion. Although secular humanists are certainly critical of religion in its various guises, the central point of being non-religious simply means that it has nothing to do with spiritual, religious, or ecclesiastical doctrines, beliefs, or power structures.

The “secular” of secular humanism also means that, as a philosophy, it does not give any place to the veneration of things holy and inviolable. Acceptance of humanist principles lies in a rational consideration of their value and appropriateness, not in any sense of their having a divine origin or of their being worthy of some form of worship. There is also no feeling that those principles themselves are “inviolable,” in the sense that they should be beyond critique and questioning but instead should simply be obeyed.

Secular humanism also commonly makes advocacy of secularism a defining principle. What this means is that secular humanists argue for a separation of church and state, for a secular government that gives no special consideration to any theological or religious systems, and for a secular culture that values diversity in religious viewpoints.

Such a secular culture is also one where critique of religious beliefs is accepted rather than pushed aside as “rude” and inappropriate on the notion that religious beliefs, whatever they are, should be placed above criticism. Secularism in this sense becomes a close companion of the humanist principles which value freethinking and free inquiry, no matter what the subject.


'Most generous spirit'

September 9, 2007
BY SCOTT FORNEK Political Editor


Debate on Christianity Versus Secular Humanism - Part 1 of 3Featuring: Dr. Paul Kurtz, Dr. Norman Geisler


Wayne Allyn Root

I support ANYTHING that cuts income taxes and reduces the tax burden on American taxpayers- rich, poor and everyone in-between. My preference would be for a flat income tax, but I would ENTHUSIASTICALLY support a “Fair Tax” if it was up for a vote. I also support the elimination of “death taxes,” as well as the elimination of taxes on capital gains, interest, and dividends. I support dramatic cuts in government spending and entitlements to make massive tax cuts possible.

As to why I favor a flat income tax, it has been a huge success in many countries around the world- including many former Soviet Republics such as Estonia and Georgia. Taxes are dramatically down
and the result is that their economies are booming. On the other hand, many more liberal European countries have adopted VAT taxes (a national sales tax similar to the proposed “Fair Tax”)- and those countries are in an economic downfall. Why? Because liberal politicians will always find a way to add back an income tax after eliminating it in favor of a national sales tax- leaving taxpayers with BOTH.

I am also skeptical of national sales taxes because taxpayers don’t feel the pain. When I hear taxpayers complain about taxes, it is always income taxes or property taxes that they complain or protest about- because they actually feel the pain. These taxes come out of their paycheck (income tax) or arrive in the mail in the form of a bill from the government (property taxes). But sales taxes are rarely seen by taxpayers- so they don’t feel the pain or notice the rip-off by government. I want taxpayers to always feel the pain and therefore protest against excessive taxation.

Having said all that, I’d support a “Fair Tax” in a nanosecond if it would reduce the burden on U.S. taxpayers- and more importantly, if it would eliminate the I.R.S.


Bob Barr Bringing Down Goliath: The People's Battle Against Big Government, Big Candidates and Big Spending on BizRadio