FairTax Plan is Straight Up American

Like so many others I try my hardest to keep up with the important issues and current events of the day. But, with all the demands that work, family and community place on our time it’s near to impossible to actually keep up. I sometimes suspect that we are all too busy to remain fully informed by design, but that’s a political conspiracy theory I’ll save for another day.

I’ve come to realize, though, that by trying to keep up with every issue I am not truly keeping up with any. While I may be somewhat familiar with the issues surrounding border security and immigration, terrorism and terrorists, tax reform, the economy, the environment, our health, our military conflicts, education, the oil spill in the gulf, and the ongoing tragedy of Lindsay Lohan, just to name a few, I can not hope to become and remain fully informed on all of them. So, what’s a voter to do?

I have decided that for the time being and for the foreseeable future I’m going to pick one as my primary issue. I’ll still follow the other important issues, of course, but my primary issue will be my focus. And, this primary issue is going to be tax reform, or more specifically the FairTax.

The November elections will soon be upon us and all the candidates will march about saying all the things they think we want to hear. Their position on most issues is predictable. No candidate is going to come out against border security, or for terrorism. Their positions on most issues will differ only by degrees and approach.

But, the issue of the FairTax is a line in the sand. The FairTax specifically proposes the abolishment of the federal income tax, and its replacement with a national consumption tax. American citizens, tourists, immigrants, anyone who spends money in America at the retail level will contribute to our national coffers. We determine how much tax we pay by how much we spend, and everyone pays the same percentage amount. The government’s ability to control the Country by manipulating the tax code goes away. And, any political candidate who supports handing the reins of the Country back over to the citizens of the Country by passing and enacting the FairTax is worthy of serious consideration.

I chose this as my primary issue because I am convinced that passing the FairTax plan is the single most important step we can take in preserving this republic of the United States of America. Our politicians and our government have become corrupt beyond reason and they will not correct themselves. Only by forcing them to relinquish their power to manipulate the flow of money can we hope to find equilibrium.

This is not to say that the other issues we face are not equally important, but I believe the FairTax is our best chance of returning our Country to prosperity through government by the people.

So, in the coming months we will be looking more closely at the FairTax plan and how it is meant to work. We will also look into the political candidates who support it or don’t support, as well as those who merely claim to support it as a bid for your vote.

If you want to learn more about the FairTax I urge you to visit the Americans for Fair Taxation Web site at www.FairTax.org.

My Spanish Language Lesson

So, I was sitting in the cafeĀ“ enjoying a cup of old fashioned coffee and a piece of homemade apple pie. We still do that here in the heartland. The young couple sitting in the booth behind me was carrying on an animated conversation, in Spanish. They seemed to be having a great time; they certainly had a lot to say; and, it all sounded as if it were probably very interesting. Not for the first time, I found myself wishing I knew Spanish or conversely that they knew English. It wasn’t that I necessarily wanted to eavesdrop but they were two feet away and I couldn’t understand a word. For all I knew they were planning anything from a double date with friends to kidnapping the Taco Bell Chihuahua.

Patty, the waitress, came over to ask if they wanted anything else before delivering their check, and suddenly the young man in the booth was speaking clear and quite understandable English.

Huh, I thought, maybe they were speaking Spanish because the girl doesn’t speak English. But then, I heard her say something to Patty in plain and clear English. They conversed momentarily and after Patty left the two slipped easily back into Spanish.

I couldn’t help being impressed. These two were very young, and as our town is not at the height of cosmopolitan style it was impressive that they should be fluent in two languages at this age. My curiosity got the better of me and I turned and struck up a conversation.

They were polite and respectful, even to the point of calling me sir which seldom happens these days. They became obviously uneasy when I asked where they were from so I didn’t push it. We chatted for a bit, and I complimented them on their English and asked where they had learned to speak the langauge so well. The young man, Joe was his name, shrugged and told me they had learned here, in the school.

It turns out that our public school offers English language classes to those students for whom English is not their native tongue. I also learned that our community offers, free of charge, a similar class for non-English speaking adults. Rosa, the young lady, told me her mother attends the class at the local library. I thought this very interesting; I wished them a nice day and went back to my pie and coffee.

As I was leaving the cafeĀ“ I was thinking about these classes and wondering why I hadn’t heard about them before. I was headed for my truck when the question popped into my head like a single kernel of popcorn.

I cut across the square and climbed the steps to the library. As I approached the counter the pimply faced kid imitating a librarian looked up from his computer screen.

“Hi,” I said, “I’d like to sign up for the next Spanish class.”

“Excuse me,” he said, looking more than a little confused.

“Yeah, I just heard ya’ll have free language classes over here and I’d like to learn Spanish. So, sign me up.”

“We don’t.. have a Spanish class,” he said.

“Huh. Well, that’s okay. What other languages do you have? As long as it’s free I might as well learn one. I’ll just take whatever you got.”

“We don’t… I don’t know… Umm…”

“Well, what language classes do you have?”

“The only language class we have is the English one,” he managed to stammer while looking around for somewhere else he had to be.

“Huh,” I said on my way out the door.

On the drive back to work I pondered this for a while and finally just had to chuckle at the irony of it. People come to this Country unable to speak the language and in order for them to better assimilate into society our tax dollars are used to provide classes for them. The net result is that they become bilingual while we remain mono-ignorant. Is this a great Country or what?

Here’s my idea. Let’s use our tax dollars to provide classes to Americans so that we may learn the languages of the immigrants. Because we will be better able to communicate and explain the ways of American society they will more easily assimilate through direct and daily interaction. And, if they do not wish to assimilate we will be better able to understand that when they’re sitting behind us in a booth talking in a language they think we don’t understand.