Online Tax Revolt

Online Tax Revolt - March For AmericaI was in a meeting the other night and one of the guys cheerfully proclaimed, “I’m getting a tax refund this year!”

I tried to explain that the government was only sending him back his own money, less any interest he could have earned on it. He wasn’t being given anything. But, it didn’t seem to matter. He was getting a check from the government.

I came home and logged on to Facebook. There was a post by my niece, “Yay!! We’re getting our tax refund on Friday!”

I don’t get it. How have we allowed ourselves to be convinced that a tax refund is a good thing? That means that during the past year you paid more taxes than you should have. The government used your money, or more properly misused it, and now they are going to send you a little portion of it back. And forget about the interest you could have made on that money. The Gov doesn’t pay interest. That’s just gone. Except, of course, that they earned interest on it while they had it, and they keep that money.

Why are we still putting up with this nonsense? Income tax was not part of the original plan. Every system of taxation that exists today existed back in 1787. If income tax were a good idea it would have been included in the Consitution from the beginning. But, it’s not a good idea. In fact, it is a horrible idea. The harder you work, the more they take. The more you earn, the more they take. The more you have, the more they take. It punishes us for striving to do what our natural instincts drive us to do, succeed.

It’s time to stop the madness. In 1913 the government pulled the wool over the eyes of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers when they convinced them that a tax on income was necessary. Now, generations later, we are still wearing that wool. Only now it’s grown wet and stinky and too heavy to carry any longer. It’s time to say, “Enough.”

There is an Online Tax Revolt going on right now, and you can join in and add your voice to those of your family, friends and neighbors from all over the Country. It’s free to join. It’s a virtual march on Washington that began last week and will culminate with an actual march that will take place on April 15. You can participate in the virtual march online or you are most welcome to actually go to Washington and be a part of the historic event in April. Do one, or do both, but for the sake of our Country and the future of our grandchildren please do something.

Go to Online Tax Revolt.com and sign up right now.

Join the Online Tax Revolt today!

Cordially,

Tim Couch

Frog in Hot Water Experiment

Wanna see who can handle the heat?Here at the CowChows we take nothing at face value. We do our own research and experiments until we’re satisfied that every stone has been turned. So, when I heard the story about the frog I had to see it for myself.

The story goes that if you drop a frog into a pot of boiling water it will immediately jump out to save its life. However, if you place a frog into a pot of cool water and then slowly raise the temperature of the water the frog will stay in the pot and die.

So, I got me a frog, and a pot, and some water. I brought the water to a boil and dropped the frog in, and sure enough that little sucker came out of there like he’d been shot out of a little frog-cannon.

Next, after finally catching the frog, I filled the pot with cool water and placed the frog in it. Then, I slowly turned up the heat under the pot. The frog continued to swim around in the pot even as the water grew hotter and hotter. I waited long enough to satisfy the experiment but not long enough for the frog to die because that would be cruel, and frogs aren’t easy to find in February.

Next, I placed a copy of the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Mark Levin’s “Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto”
into the pot with the frog. After a couple of days I again slowly increased the heat under the pot, and once again the frog just swam around until he was almost frog soup.

So one more time, I filled the pot with cool water and placed the frog inside. I set the television to the Fox News channel and tuned in talk radio. After a couple of days I returned and once more turned up the heat. The water grew warmer and warmer, and I could see that the frog was increasingly uncomfortable but yet he continued to swim. Then, just as steam began to rise from the pot the frog swam over to the side, climbed up onto the rim, and hopped down onto the counter-top. He turned, looked up at me and slowly shook his head from side to side. He hopped over to the knob on the stove-top and turned the burner under the pot off. He raised one little wet frog-finger and with it he drew a coiled rattlesnake in the condensate moisture, and below the snake he wrote, “Don’t Tread On Me.” And then, he hopped back into the pot. Thus, proving conclusively once and for all that frogs don’t read.

Don't Tread On Me

Obama’s New Golf Czar

Image of Obama's unidentified Golf Czar
Who is Obama's new Golf Czar?

President Obama has now appointed a Golf Czar. The identity of the newly appointed czar is still unknown but announcements were just made of major rule changes to the game of golf. These changes are expected to become effective March 2010 and may be retroactive in southern States. This is only a preview as new rules, regulations and legislation are still being finalized. Here are a few basic changes:

Golfers handicaps:

  • Below 10 – greens fees will be increased by 35%
  • Between 11 and 18 – no increase in greens fees
  • Above 18 – player will receive a $25 check for each round of 18 holes.

Dollar amounts placed in bets will be as follows:

  • For handicaps below 10, an additional $10 will be assessed
  • For handicaps between 11 and 18, no additional amount
  • For handicaps above 18, players will receive the total amount in the pot even if they do not play.

The term “gimme” will be changed to “entitlement” and will be used as follows:

  • For handicaps below 10, no entitlements
  • For handicaps from 11 to 17, entitlements for putter length putts
  • For handicaps above 18, if the ball is on green, no need to putt, just pick it up.

These entitlements are intended to bring about fairness and, most importantly, equality in scoring.

In addition, a Player will be limited to a maximum of one birdie or six pars in any given round. Any excess must be given to those fellow players who have not yet scored a birdie or par. Only after all players have received a birdie or par from the player actually making the birdie or par, can that player begin to count his pars and birdies again.

The current USGA handicap system will be used for the above purposes but the term ‘net score’ will be available only for scoring those players with handicaps of 18 and above. This is intended to ‘redistribute’ the success of winning by making sure that in every competition, the above 18 handicap players will post only ‘net score’ against every other player’s gross score

These new Rules are intended to CHANGE the game of golf. Golf must be about Fairness. It should have nothing to do with Ability.

Obama – Hope and Change – You asked for it

A Most Perfect Valentine’s Day

Image of Pudgy Granpa Valentine Bear
Pudgy Granpa Valentine Bear

I know as men we don’t tend to get as caught-up in Valentine’s Day as our more sentimental counterparts do, but I gotta tell you I am having just the most perfect Valentine’s Day ever.

It all started several days ago when I began to take notice of all the Valentine’s Day advertising. First, I was told that only diamonds really say, “I love you.” I thought about getting Barbara Gayle a big old diamond, but knowing her as I do she would rather I got her a briquette of coal with a card saying, “Squeeze me tight for a very long time.”

Then I heard about this teddy bear from Vermont that I could personalize just for her. I checked it out and they had the Love Bandit Bear, and the Lover Boy Bear, and the Huggable Hunk Bear, but none seemed just right. So, I thought I would design the perfect bear for her. I was going to call it the Pudgy Grampa Bear, but it turned out looking more like the Road-Kill Bear. So I scrapped that idea, too.

Then I thought I’d write her a love poem. It was actually going pretty good until I got to the part that said, “Our love is an endless and perfect circle.” The only word I could find to rhyme with circle was hurkle. I tried and tried but once you use a word that means, “to cower with pain or cold,” in a love poem things kind of fall apart from there on.

Finally I thought, rather than show up empty handed, I would get her some flowers. This is not as easy as you might think on February 14. I stopped at several places but all the flowers that said, “I Love You!” were gone and the only ones left said, “I know I’m old and wrinkly and near dead, but please take pity on me because I tried.” Not really the message I wanted to send.

So, I walked in the door with nothing in hand. Since at the very least I wanted to say it first, I blurted out, “Happy Valentine’s Day!”

And, my beautiful wife turned to me, stared at me for a long second, and then said, “Oh, that’s right. It is Valentine’s Day. Dinner’s almost ready why don’t you go wash up.”

I have to admit. It brought a little tear to my eye.

Wishing you a most perfect Valentine’s Day ever, as well.

Cordially yours,

Tim Couch

Statists vs Thinkers: This is War

Every time I listen to the news for very long I end up scratching my head and mumbling to myself, “What are they thinking?” Thankfully, there are brighter minds than mine around to shed some light on just what it is, “they” are thinking.

The Obama administration and the Democrat controlled Congress have continually and repeatedly done things that simply make no sense. However, I recently read a National Review Online article by Victor Davis Hanson that brings the big picture into focus.

The article is not new but it is very much on-point, and it helped open my eyes to the fact that we are not simply in a series of battles over health care, unnecessary and superfluous stimulus packages, government bailouts, and tsunami tax increases. We are in an all-out war for the very survival of our Country and the freedoms that our Constitution guarantees us. This is not a war between Republicans and Democrats regardless of how far in either direction they may lean. This is a war between the Statists and the Thinkers. A Thinker is anyone with any hope or desire to think for themselves and make their own decisions. A Statist is someone who believes the government should make all the serious decisions and control the outcome. The Statists are at the gate and that should send shivers down the spine of every free Thinker in America.

Please read Hanson’s article below and if it doesn’t ring true, tell me why by leaving a comment. I’d really like to know.

Obama and ‘Redistributive Change’
Forget the recession and the “uninsured.” Obama has bigger fish to fry.

The first seven months of the Obama administration seemingly make no sense. Why squander public approval by running up astronomical deficits in a time of pre-existing staggering national debt?

Why polarize opponents after promising bipartisan transcendence?

Why create vast new programs when the efficacy of big government is already seen as dubious?

But that is exactly the wrong way to look at these first seven months of Obamist policy-making.

Take increased federal spending and the growing government absorption of GDP. Given the resiliency of the U.S. economy, it would have been easy to ride out the recession. In that case we would still have had to deal with a burgeoning and unsustainable annual federal deficit that would have approached $1 trillion.

Instead, Obama may nearly double that amount of annual indebtedness with more federal stimuli and bailouts, newly envisioned cap-and-trade legislation, and a variety of fresh entitlements. Was that fiscally irresponsible? Yes, of course.

But I think the key was not so much the spending excess or new entitlements. The point instead was the consequence of the resulting deficits, which will require radically new taxation for generations. If on April 15 the federal and state governments, local entities, the Social Security system, and the new health-care programs can claim 70 percent of the income of the top 5 percent of taxpayers, then that is considered a public good — every bit as valuable as funding new programs, and one worth risking insolvency.

Individual compensation is now seen as arbitrary and, by extension, inherently unfair. A high income is now rationalized as having less to do with market-driven needs, acquired skills, a higher level of education, innate intelligence, inheritance, hard work, or accepting risk. Rather income is seen more as luck-driven, cruelly capricious, unfair — even immoral, in that some are rewarded arbitrarily on the basis of race, class, and gender advantages, others for their overweening greed and ambition, and still more for their quasi-criminality.

“Patriotic” federal healers must then step in to “spread the wealth.” Through redistributive tax rates, they can “treat” the illness that the private sector has caused. After all, there is no intrinsic reason why an auto fabricator makes $60 in hourly wages and benefits, while a young investment banker finagles $500.

Or, in the president’s own language, the government must equalize the circumstances of the “waitress” with those of the “lucky.” It is thus a fitting and proper role of the new federal government to rectify imbalances of compensation — at least for those outside the anointed Guardian class. In a 2001 interview Obama in fact outlined the desirable political circumstances that would lead government to enforce equality of results when he elaborated on what he called an “actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change.”

Still, why would intelligent politicians try to ram through, in mere weeks, a thousand pages of health-care gibberish — its details outsourced to far-left elements in the Congress (and their staffers) — that few in the cabinet had ever read or even knew much about?

Once again, I don’t think health care per se was ever really the issue. When pressed, no one in the administration seemed to know whether illegal aliens were covered. Few cared why young people do not divert some of their entertainment expenditures to a modest investment in private catastrophic coverage.

Warnings that Canadians already have their health care rationed, wait in long lines, and are denied timely and critical procedures also did not seem to matter. And no attention was paid to statistics suggesting that, if we exclude homicides and auto accidents, Americans live as long on average as anyone in the industrial world, and have better chances of surviving longer with heart disease and cancer. That the average American did not wish to radically alter his existing plan, and that he understood that the uninsured really did have access to health care, albeit in a wasteful manner at the emergency room, was likewise of no concern.

The issue again was larger, and involved a vast reinterpretation of how America receives health care.  Whether more or fewer Americans would get better or worse access and cheaper or more expensive care, or whether the government can or cannot afford such new entitlements, oddly seemed largely secondary to the crux of the debate.

Instead, the notion that the state will assume control, in Canada-like fashion, and level the health-care playing field was the real concern. “They” (the few) will now have the same care as “we” (the many). Whether the result is worse or better for everyone involved is extraneous, since sameness is the overarching principle.

We can discern this same mandated egalitarianism beneath many of the administration’s recent policy initiatives. Obama is not a pragmatist, as he insisted, nor even a liberal, as charged.

Rather, he is a statist. The president believes that a select group of affluent, highly educated technocrats — cosmopolitan, noble-minded, and properly progressive — supported by a phalanx of whiz-kids fresh out of blue-chip universities with little or no experience in the marketplace, can direct our lives far better than we can ourselves. By “better” I do not mean in a fashion that, measured by disinterested criteria, makes us necessarily wealthier, happier, more productive, or freer.

Instead, “better” means “fairer,” or more “equal.” We may “make” different amounts of money, but we will end up with more or less similar net incomes. We may know friendly doctors, be aware of the latest procedures, and have the capital to buy blue-chip health insurance, but no matter. Now we will all alike queue up with our government-issued insurance cards to wait our turn at the ubiquitous corner clinic.

None of this equality-of-results thinking is new.

When radical leaders over the last 2,500 years have sought to enforce equality of results, their prescriptions were usually predictable: redistribution of property; cancellation of debts; incentives to bring out the vote and increase political participation among the poor; stigmatizing of the wealthy, whether through the extreme measure of ostracism or the more mundane forced liturgies; use of the court system to even the playing field by targeting the more prominent citizens; radical growth in government and government employment; the use of state employees as defenders of the egalitarian faith; bread-and-circus entitlements; inflation of the currency and greater national debt to lessen the power of accumulated capital; and radical sloganeering about reactionary enemies of the new state.

The modern versions of much of the above already seem to be guiding the Obama administration — evident each time we hear of another proposal to make it easier to renounce personal debt; federal action to curtail property or water rights; efforts to make voter registration and vote casting easier; radically higher taxes on the top 5 percent; takeover of private business; expansion of the federal government and an increase in government employees; or massive inflationary borrowing. The current class-warfare “them/us” rhetoric was predictable.

Usually such ideologies do not take hold in America, given its tradition of liberty, frontier self-reliance, and emphasis on personal freedom rather than mandated fraternity and egalitarianism. At times, however, the stars line up, when a national catastrophe, like war or depression, coincides with the appearance of an unusually gifted, highly polished, and eloquent populist. But the anointed one must be savvy enough to run first as a centrist in order later to govern as a statist.

Given the September 2008 financial meltdown, the unhappiness over the war, the ongoing recession, and Barack Obama’s postracial claims and singular hope-and-change rhetoric, we found ourselves in just such a situation. For one of the rare times in American history, statism could take hold, and the country could be pushed far to the left.

That goal is the touchstone that explains the seemingly inexplicable — and explains also why, when Obama is losing independents, conservative Democrats, and moderate Republicans, his anxious base nevertheless keeps pushing him to become even more partisan, more left-wing, angrier, and more in a hurry to rush things through. They understand the unpopularity of the agenda and the brief shelf life of the president’s charm. One term may be enough to establish lasting institutional change.

Obama and his supporters at times are quite candid about such a radical spread-the-wealth agenda, voiced best by Rahm Emanuel — “You don’t ever want a crisis to go to waste; it’s an opportunity to do important things that you would otherwise avoid” — or more casually by Obama himself — “My attitude is that if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s gonna be good for everybody. I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

So we move at breakneck speed in order not to miss this rare opportunity when the radical leadership of the Congress and the White House for a brief moment clinch the reins of power. By the time a shell-shocked public wakes up and realizes that the prescribed chemotherapy is far worse than the existing illness, it should be too late to revive the old-style American patient.

— NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.