Thursday, May 11, 2006

Paying Taxes is Patriotic!

By ‘Downtown’ Lincoln Brown

George W. Bush has maintained a platform of lowering taxes, and I’m not opposed to lowering taxes if the government is acting in a fiscally responsible manner. It should be incumbent upon our elected officials to work to administer functions of the government in a manner which should be neither stingy nor lavish, but within the confines of necessity, reason and common sense.

The preamble of the constitution of the United States reads:

"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

“We the people of the United States;” is inclusive of every citizen of the United States whether born a citizen or those who have immigrated to this great nation. We the people of the United State should have a patriotic desire to pay taxes so we can establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.

The Constitution isn’t some “God damned piece of paper” it’s a contract that limits the authority of the Government and establishes a system of checks and balances. The Federal Government should be limited to administration, oversight, and operation of those functions of the Government that establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.

Americans should be very willing to pay taxes to establish justice, to maintain the courts, police forces, and jails, prisons, or even medical and mental health programs to help individuals overcome their addictions to drugs and alcohol. Paying taxes to help insure domestic tranquility and promote the general welfare may help to alleviate the cost of establishing justice, because those programs may help to give people hope and lead content lives where they may not turn to drug and alcohol use.

Americans should want to pay taxes to insure domestic tranquility, to pay for programs that help maintain the infrastructure of this great nation, to maintain the road ways, the national parks, to help keep the environment clean, to help fight disease, pestilence, famine, and poverty. Programs which help belay the cost of child care for single parents who want to work to make a better life for their children and their selves. We should desire to pay taxes to fund programs that provide for education to help raise the conscious of our great nation, to give our people basic skills that help ensure that our population and our great nation continues to survive and thrive. We should want to pay taxes that insure our elderly have a place to live and that their needs are seen too so that our citizens do not fear for our future. We should pay taxes so that these programs are fully funded so that we do not have a national debt that casts doubt upon our future and lays a burden at the feet of future generations. We should pay taxes to fund programs and research that ensures that our natural resources are not depleted leaving a burden for “our posterity” and we should find ways for our nation to be self reliant, yet still part of a world community that participates in free and fair trade.

It’s not only patriotic to pay taxes to provide for the common defense, but it’s patriotic to voluntarily serve in one of the branches of our nations armed services. If we do not maintain a military that is capable of deterring our adversaries, tyrants and despots may seek to overthrow our nation and subjugate the population. We should be able to defend our nation and render aid to those nations who enter into joint defense contracts with us. Our soldiers, sailors and airmen should not want for pay or have concerns about the capabilities of our equipment. We must be concerned that we do not obsess about our security, our ability to defend our nation to the point of bankrupting our nation or leaving a burden for our children and grandchildren, but we should maintain our forces at a level capable of response and deterrent. The constitution reads “Provide for the Common Defense” not “attack and overthrow nations and subjugate populations whose natural resources we desire.” Also patriotic Americans would want to pay taxes to help keep America safe from terrorism and would not allow our government to borrow over $5 billion a month from China to fund that war.

All Americans should want to pay taxes to promote the general welfare, to diminish the effects of poverty, to help those who cannot care for themselves, to give hope to those that have little or no hope, to ensure that we have trained and skilled medical professionals who can provide the necessary medical care that should be made available to ALL Americans, which is part of our constitutional responsibility as American Citizens. Once you’ve reached a point in your life where you have the basic necessities, where you have some additional conveniences and recreational opportunities, you should want to be patriotic and help others to achieve these austere goals. It’s also patriotic to try and rise above your situation; you should be willing to work to earn an income to provide for yourself and your family, to do your part in helping other Americans who are in need. Americans should want to pay taxes that help maintain these functions of our federal, state, and local governments, that operate these functions with the funding necessary to provide these basic services and goals as called for in the very beginning of the constitution. The reason these services should be fully funded by the taxes we pay is so as not to leave a burden for “ourselves and our posterity.”Operating the Government in a state of perpetual debt is non-constitutional, it should be made illegal. When William Clinton was President he called for a Balanced Budget Amendment to ensure that the United States operated within its budget, with the funds collected through taxation. Each year we could have a small surplus to help in times of emergencies, to give aid and comfort to other countries or peoples in need, and to help secure the blessings of liberty by having a reasonable national nest egg for ourselves and our posterity. I’m not calling for rampant over-funded social programs and I do not believe that our citizens should pay exorbitant taxes that do not allow them to live comfortable lives; our citizens should even have the ability to save for their old age and enjoy conveniences, entertainment, and recreation.
As Americans show our willingness to work towards the austere goals in the preamble, we should also hold our elected representatives accountable and ensure that they are not mismanaging the resources and providing reasonable services at a reasonable cost. I do not believe that we should spend on defense five times as much as any other nation, but to provide for the common defense and insure domestic tranquility I could see spending twice as much on defense as any other nation. The budget savings in decreasing the amount of defense spending would make hundreds of billions of dollars available to help fund these programs.

We should not elect politicians who are corrupt and fiscally irresponsible, who put their own self interest or those of “special interest” ahead of the interest of this great nation, their constituents, and our posterity.

We should as American Citizens want to pay taxes for those ideals spoken of in the preamble of the Constitution, we should want to make America a country where all citizens are treated equally by our government, where other peoples look upon our country as an example of what they desire their nation to be. These ideal expressed in the preamble are goals that all patriotic Americans should strive for and should be willing to pay for.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Be a Voice of Dissent. Demand Peace.

At this critical time in our history, we must lift our dissenting voices over the steady drone of our government's war machine. Do at least one thing every day to further the call for peace. Make it an important part of your day.

1. Talk to your family members, friends, and neighbors.

2. Call, write, or email your elected representatives. Tell them you expect them to bring our troops home from Iraq and keep them out of Iran.

3. Write a letter to your local newspaper. Tell your community why this war must end now.

4. Attend or create a protest in your community.