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John Adams warned of this

February 25, 2013

To the editor: In 1787 John Adams, one of our country’s founding fathers, wrote a treatise called “A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States....

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Feb-25-13 1:30 PM

Thomas Paine said, “Separate an individual from society, and give him an island or a continent to possess, and he cannot acquire personal property. He cannot be rich. So inseparably are the means connected with the end, in all cases, that where the former do not exist the latter cannot be obtained. All accumulation, therefore, of personal property, beyond what a man's own hands produce, is derived to him by living in society; and he owes on every principle of justice, of gratitude, and of civilization, a part of that accumulation back again to society from whence the whole came…the accumulation of personal property is, in many instances, the effect of paying too little for the labor that produced it; the consequence of which is that the working hand perishes in old age, and the employer abounds in affluence.” Seems our current difference have a long history. That history is filled with government based on compromises between different views like these, and we’ve done pretty well.

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Feb-25-13 1:31 PM

(cont.) Adams wanted to protect the system that allowed only property owners the right to vote. But most people understand that not all of those without land and wealth are “idle, vicious, and intemperate”; and some of those with land and wealth are.

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Feb-25-13 3:20 PM

It's good to see MT has moved on to something different from his anti-gay agenda.

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Feb-25-13 5:30 PM

And, what would good ol' John Adams think of the billion dollar lobbyist industry of today? Who do they work for? And how long have they been working for them? And what happens when Congress can be bought by the ultra-wealthy?

In an ideal world, we should honor the brilliance of the Founding Fathers. However, in 1787 they had no idea what 10,000 greedy fixers and peddlers and sleeze-bags in 2013 would do to the purity of their thinking.

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Feb-25-13 7:16 PM

MT: Acting and deciding profitably does not automatically mean acting morally or wisely, nor does being poor mean one is not a good person or wise. It is politically convenient to make judging people so simplistic, but life is not so simple.

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Feb-25-13 11:38 PM

(Trumpets sounding: bop-boppa-bahhh!)

And, the winner of a leather-bound set of the complete works of Ayn Rand, is my new best friend, MIT.

Did I mention the books are inscribed by Paul Ryan?

"To MIT: May we all go back 200 years. Keep up the good work. Deepest appreciation, P.R."

Just gives me goosebumps!

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Feb-26-13 8:20 AM

And vice versa, Auntydem.

The poor and/or down trodden don't hold a monopoly on being moral or wise. And being a person of great means doesn't mean that person doesn't have deep empathy for those truely in need.

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Feb-26-13 8:39 AM

“We’re going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that allow some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share. In theory, some of those loopholes were understandable, but in practice they sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying ten percent of his salary, and that’s crazy. Do you think the millionaire ought to pay more in taxes than the bus driver or less?” President Ronald Reagan June 6, 1985 The rich should not pay substantially higher rates but they should also not pay substantially lower rates. If someone making 5 Million Dollars a year through investments pays 15% (the current rate) and someone who makes 50 thousand a year pays 20-25% that is a problem. I am not sure if the answer is a flat tax or a national sales tax in place of income tax. What I do know is I see many letters to the journal about morality; well in my opinion when the rich pay less in tax than the middle class that truly is immoral.

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Feb-26-13 9:41 AM

Michael- Are you saying that government should NOT be responsible for deciding what is and is not moral? And you want us to take you seriously? You were all for government being the arbiter/enforcer when it came to gay marriage. Holy 180 Batman.

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Feb-26-13 10:18 AM

MT: Government exists for the common good. Food, water, shelter, health, education, safety are basic human needs that our government has always had some role in providing - ideally through our economic system and employment. But is not perfect. Some tax money goes directly to people for those basic needs, and more goes to business and banks to support the system. Both are necessary. There have and always should be rich people. No one has or is saying throw it all in the pot and hand out equal shares.

Your question - What is it that qualifies government to be a better judge of what is moral than private individuals?- is perhaps best answered by those who believe government should make marriage and reproductive decisions, yet oppose it supporting basic human needs.

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Feb-26-13 10:34 AM

It saddens me as a Christian to observe God's will spoiled by politics. It is God who places government (in it's various forms)over people to carry out functions that are beyond the scale of the church. If we had a unified Christian church that was not splintered by hundreds of denominations then maybe it could face the challeges that it's members face. I Peter 5:2 says "Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers -- not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve;". Our money and property are tools God has given us to help those in His kingdom and to carry out His ministry. Government is also controlled by God and is also a tool to carry out His Will. As a Christian focus on the caring, not the accumulating.

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Feb-26-13 12:59 PM

MT-do you mean freedoms like the freedom to marry who you wish? Or the freedom of a woman to decide what is best for her body? Are those the freedoms of which you speak?

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Feb-26-13 2:35 PM

Romans 13 verses 8-10 states: "Let no debt outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, "Do not commit adultery,""Do not murder,""Do not steal,""Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Government is a servant of God, government is divinely established by God. God does use government (both good and bad) for the common good of His people. There is no slippery slope when love for our fellowman compels us to use government as a tool for compassion.

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Feb-26-13 3:00 PM

MT: The topic widened when you asked about the role of government to enforce morality, and your statement that government exists to enforce freedoms. ZM's questions are fair and on topic.

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Feb-26-13 3:13 PM

The wealthy fear their neighbors will use government to rob them of their wealth? Goodness, with all the oppressive taxes they paid while moving up, however did they manage to accumulate wealth? Remember when all the wealthy were made poor by taxation? When was that again? Or is this robbing thing new because of the newness of this particular president? Do they fear the government when they take tax breaks, grants, contracts, etc. from it? That guy with wealth who lives in fear that his neighbors will use the mechanism of government to rob him of the fruits of his labors sounds bit paranoid given the reality of our history and the actual tax proposals made.

Gee, thanks for explaining that “welfare” means more that handouts. I believe the GENERAL welfare of a nation is well-served when all its citizens have basic needs met and opportunity to better their lives. There will be rich, poor, and in-between; but none will be suffering.

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Feb-26-13 3:16 PM

Just because something is worthwhile, that doesn't mean it must be done by the gov't.....except for keeping the gays and the ladies on the "right path"?

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Feb-26-13 3:24 PM

Auntydem ,explain to me if the rich are as greedy as you say , by using their own money to invest in themselves,taking the risk of going broke ,etc. what is it called when you wish to take that money away from them and divide it among yourselves? At least they worked to get it , and if it is so easy , why don't you go do it also? What are you going to do when you run out of their money? Real easy to take somebody elses money instead of working for it.

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Feb-26-13 3:57 PM

I hear everybody complaining about the capital gains rate of 15%-that is available to everyone that invests ,I believe it should be the same as ordinary income,but it is something that anyone can do. Your categorizing everyone that is making money as only paying 15%- this is totally untrue.If you own a business you pay up to 39.6% federal and 8% state tax. Plus you pay property tax on your building , 1/2 of your employees S.S. and Medicare and sales and use taxes associated with your business,perhaps up to 90% of your employees healthcare,pay into their retirement plan,provide vacationand or sick time,bonuses ,life insurance.. You wonder why new business start ups are falling every year? Better be careful who you are demonizing , they may walk away from the table you eat from and leave you to fend for yourself.

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Feb-26-13 4:07 PM

In 1960 the poverty rate was 22.4%, it is currently 15.1, For those over 65 years of age it went from 35% to about 10%,and this is bad?

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Feb-26-13 4:13 PM

deerhunt-In 1997 half of the Forbes 400 inherited their fortune-what did they risk? And if they invested in gold and offshore accounts-what did they contribute?

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Feb-26-13 4:17 PM

just a fyi for the christian right-did not jesus say-"Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

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Feb-26-13 4:21 PM

Deer: Never did I say the rich are greedy, bad, or anything negative. Having money or not has nothing to do with character. Never did I propose taking their money and dividing it among us.

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Feb-26-13 4:31 PM

Z- thou shall not covet thy neighbors possesions would also be fitting. If you were rich and wanted to give it to your children (after you had payed taxes on it during your life)would you mind if i got a share ? How does investing in an offshore account become evil? Are you saying if you make money in America you are not allowed to invest overseas? You still have to pay taxes on the money you make here.Quoting the bible for your gain can be dangerous also, I don't remember Jesus saying to build temples ( I believe he spoke against it) but yet we have churches> I believe we need churches ,but trying to say some one will not get into heaven because they have money ? I believe that is between them and God.

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Feb-26-13 4:37 PM

Auntydem , that is what taxation is , not saying we shouldn't have any , but you are taking (it is not an option)and dividing for some good use and some bad uses. This whole problem could be solved if both sides would get together and agree on the bad uses. Some feel there is no bad uses and want to simpply increase spending and taxes.

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Feb-26-13 4:39 PM

deerhunt-How is asking the rich to pay the same rate as everyone else "coveting". And I did not say investing offshore was evil-just a way to avoid taxes. And the biblical quote was for those who have quoted the bible for their own purpose.

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