Monday, October 27, 2008

Reponse to Father Johnson

The following is my response to Father Johnson's Fox News post found at:

Excuse me Father,

I thought it was a common conservative belief that truth is black and white. There are no SIDES to truth, Father Johnson. If you and your platform Fox News actually believed that I think that real journalism would still exist. Just to introduce you to some new lingo, Liberals refer to these alleged ’sides of truth’ as ‘personal perspectives’ and we generally expect everyone to have their own.

The TRUTH that conservatives seem to be avoiding is that what is most consistent is not always the best choice. There is no one way to cure all of our problems at all times. We are in the middle of an economic crisis. Continuing to wait for the current system to correct itself has proved ineffective and now the problem is too grave to ignore. I’m not saying that I like what Obama wants to do, I’m saying that it’s the only plan that is any different than what is already going on. I’m willing to give it a shot. Living in a democracy requires a degree of flexibility that you sir seem to lack. If we have to drift towards what you call ’socialism’ for a few years where we rely more heavily on the government (as we did during the Great Depression) in order to survive the failings of our current president, then so be it. We’ll let the rich have their money back when the rest of the country can afford to put gas in their cars to get to work.

I keep hearing the argument from conservatives that rich people work hard for their money. So do poor people! And I would argue that poor people probably work even harder. Fiscal conservatives seem to think that everyone starts off on the same level of opportunity for success. The TRUTH is that we don’t. Some people are born on welfare and have to work twice as hard and twice as long to ever be presented with the same opportunities that the rich receive. Some of those people will NEVER get those opportunities for the same reason that some people will never vote for a candidate who is black or muslim. You may not believe me, but based on the upward numbers for Senator Obama in the polls right now, it seems to me that you and others who agree with you are becoming the minority in the this country. Though I may never be able to change your mind, Father Johnson, I hope someday that the voice of the hard working poor people out there will ring much louder than yours.

I hope that your ideals bring you peace of mind as mine do,


Ibn Meno said...

First things first. His name is Father Morris. Jonathan Morris.
There are several faults with in your editorial that I wish you would clear up.

I'm a little confused about this statement: "Some of those people will NEVER get those opportunities for the same reason that some people will never vote for a candidate who is black or muslim."
I don't quite know what point you are trying to hit with this other than the fact that you are attempting to throw a cheap line in there to talk about the racist qualities within our electoral system, which doesn not belong in this article. Just as many black men will vote for Obama only because he is black, than whites will because he is black. It is a weak attempt to slide in a seperate, but pointed opinion that utterly discredits the entirity of what was a very good article.

2)The fact that many believe that because the majority of the population agrees with this tax plan means that it is right, throws a towel up in the face of our country. If that is the case, then I assume slavery was wholly moral and right up until it was abolished. If that is correct, I assume the killing of Jews in Germany was wholly right until they were forced to quit. Just because it is popular amongst the American people does not make it right.
The purpose of Democracy is to allow people to decide the methods and laws under which they live. If the American people decide to go with a tax plan then let them decide this for themselves. But it does not make it smart, moral, nor correct.

3) If you read and listen to Father Morris on the Fox News channel, his opinion is not given credit in your article.
His opinion is thus: He is disgusted with the large gap between the wealthy and the poor in America. However, he feels that one cannot righteously take money from someone that lawfully earned it. He thinks that the government should endorse programs that encourage the wealthy to help out their poor neighbors, but not TAKE it. Father Morris states "I don’t doubt Senator Obama’s good will. In fact, he is right about many things."

4) Your mentality that we should go with Obama and "give it a shot" seems a little naive. Although the next president will only be in office for 4 years max. before the next election, the impact is enormous. The next president will decide our stance on the war, the route of the economy, our relations with other countries and what stance we plan to deal with them which can therefore deal with our foreign relations and our economic ties with other countries and the global market.
He could also decide 3 potential Supreme court justices, the key way that presidents can stretch their influence over decades. This will have an amazing impact on domestic issues.
If your mentality is to give his plans a shot, then let him stay in the Senate, write his first piece of legislation ever and try to get it passed through Congress.

5) Your rush to call Father Morris inflexible shows an arrogance that you believe that he is too rigid. Whether it is because he is a priest or because he does not see eye to eye with you, shows you are quick to throw labels.

Now my opinion. Sen Obama's ideas on taxes goes against nearly everything our founding fathers believed in. Whether you think it is because we need a break from this "awful, horrible, demonic" (throw whatever adjectives the left wants to in there) current president, there can be no escape that it flies in the face. So here are my questions to you: How long would you keep these taxes on there? And how much would you tax and how would you decide who to tax and how much?
Most leftists say 50%. A very round number and it seems it would leave them with enough to feed their families.
Let us get this fact out on the ground now. There will always be poor people. I will not say it is a good thing, but I will not say it is wrong. There will always be poor people. You do not take money from the rich and give it to the poor and make everyone rich. You cannot even give money from the rich to the poor and make everyone middle class. You take money from the rich and give it to the poor to make everyone poor. Think I'm wrong? Look at the Soviet Union. Not what America wants you to. Really look at it. Still don't agree? Look at Cuba's failing economy. Sure they have universal health care. Everyone gets awful health care from other countires organizations such as Red Cross. Look at North Korea. Their people are dying from starvation everyday because of their economic plans of "spreading the wealth." We want to tax corporations more. Why? Most naive, ignorant people compare our system to Europe's. German has the highest tax rate on corporations with 25%. Obama wants ours to be 38%. The key is to stop spending so much money on social programs that have very little effect on everyday Americans. We need to allow business to be free and open, but carefully watched.
Also, when you punish people for being successful, you will have less people that are successful. That is just human nature. If there is no real reason for me to work hard I will not work hard. Just take those powerful CEOs out of companies and put someone else in there. How hard can it be? Let's find out.

I encourage everyone to read Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged". Although I don't see eye to eye on all her views of egoism and fully open morality, her views on social programs revert back to what the founding fathers thought.

C+C said...

Here's what I don't understand. Why is taxation always about stealing from the rich and giving to the poor?

Welfare programs account for a very very very small portion of the national budget.

Taxes pay for wars, for infrastructure, for salaries of people who run the government. They don't JUST help people who need it. Just because wealthier people are in higher tax brackets, doesn't mean they're paying to support poorer people. If there were a flat tax in the United States, it would have to be approximately 27% in order to keep the same amount of revenue. I made $10,800 last year. Should I really have to pay $2,916 in taxes? Is that reasonable?

And, as a single mother who is trying her best to provide a future for her child, I have an interesting take on welfare type programs anyway. Personally, I don't receive any sort of aide from the government. But, it's there for me if I need it, which I might at some point in time. Imagine these programs didn't exist? Am I suppose to rely on some rich person feeling generous? And suppose some rich person DOES help me out. What about the other children? Do they just starve??

If I would have dropped out of college when I had Cate, I could have gotten a job. I'd probably start out making $25,000/year. But, I stayed in school, and the Big 4 firms start you out at approximately $50,000/year when you have a degree. Isn't it better for the country (and economy) as a whole to help me out while I graduate from school so that I can contribute in the future???

Ibn Meno said...

OK. Before the thought of income tax came into play in the 1920's, it was illegal, nay unconstitutional for the government to take tax out of someone's income. Taxes were taken out of sales tax and taxes on certain goods as well as imports and exports. The view at that time was along the lines of this: You pay taxes to pay for services that the government rends to you, such as police force, a standing army, firefighters, official offices, etc. Since everyone benefits from these services in an equal manner, then everyone paid for taxes. However, along came FDR in a very much needed time to enact social programs. However, the cause came as to how we pay for these social programs. What came about in a time such as the Great Depression was to pull the country out together.
However, now that time has passed yet we have kept the same social programs in play and even gone so far as to create more. The majority of these programs do not benefit the wealthy because we consider the wealthy able to take care of themselves. Also, it has gone so far that 40% of Americans cannot even pay taxes for basic services given by the government. So here is the point we have come to: Take money from the wealthy to fund a large number of social programs that do not benefit them. Sound a little similiar? Although Obama had the nuts, or lack of intelligence, so say something like "redistribution of wealth," this practice started with Woodrow Wilson and FDR and has continued.
In the endstate, America has become to see kindness as a more valued virtue than honety and justice. I am perfectly fine with people giving to charity, but I am not fine with someone taking my money and giving to charity. I can decide perfectly well who I should give my money to if I feel so incline.
And your point that you should have to

Ibn Meno said...

(Sorry I had to go to class and accidentally sent that post.)

Your merely talking about "welfare programs" but you must also consider that if one person pays 50% of his salary in taxes while another pays nothing, that is a form of welfare in itself.

To get to the point of children, we all make decisions and we will and should reap the rewards and hardships for our actions. I am a big believer in the non-transferable quality of guilt. It is not something that is transferred from one person to the other because of lack of action. My decision to allow parents to care for their own children and to allow people to reap the consequences of their actions does not mean that the guilt of someone's child leading a hard life falls on my shoulders. I am completely separated from this issue of your child.

Now let us return to the issue of tax rates. So you are going to explain to me that a businessman who has built is company from the ground up should pay 800,000 dollars in taxes while someone who reaps benefits from basic government services and social programs gets a tax cut? And you think that is fair? You think that is just? It is theft. Plain and simple there is no other way around it. Attempt to explain it away as you want, but in the end the rich people in this company have become the backbone of paying for nearly every basic service that poor people recieve. One day these rich people will grow tired of this and take their money to some other country. Then what will the poor do? Finally have to pick up after themselves? Our country is riding a horse that will not go forever.

On a side note, this is very interesting. The center for journalistic excellence is one an independent and heavily relied on source for studying journalism.

Tattoos Are Forever said...

In response to this: "The purpose of Democracy is to allow people to decide the methods and laws under which they live. If the American people decide to go with a tax plan then let them decide this for themselves. But it does not make it smart, moral, nor correct."

I totally agree with you, but I add that you cannot forget the flexibility. When both sides are adverse to change, democracy cannot accomplish anything.

In every endeavor there is a designer and there are executers. Those who design have nothing without the executors, those who execute would be doing nothing without the designer, they are equally dependent upon each other. Why should the quality of life of the executors suffer because there are more of them than there are designers?

The change that needs to happen is that the designers need to care about the executors. If people at the top cared a little more about social justice in this country there wouldn't need to be any government involvement, however, because they don't care as much as they NEED to (proved by the growing wealth gap) the government has a responsibility to step in before everyone falls flat on their face. What would have happened if FDR would have left the people to fend for themselves? Pardon the cliche, but divided we fail. In times of crisis, we have to find a way to forget our differences of principle and act to ensure survival.

This is where that flexibility that was talking about comes in. Though I do like it better when the government stays out of my business I do recognize that there has to be consideration for the immediate issues at hand. This is not a time to be hung up on principles of our forefathers. Our forefathers didn't know about the stockmarket or sub-prime mortgages when they wrote the constitution. This is a time where if we don't move fast, we could lose everything. It's not and IDEAL situation, but it's the situation we're in.

Think about it.

Minnesota has some of the highest taxes in the country. Because everyone chips in their share, the quality of life here is consistently high. Minnesota is consistently rated of the top ten greatest places to live. They are in the top ten for education in the country and they have state-funded health care programs for low income families.

There are fundamental differences between communism and socialism. If this were Cuba, there would be no taxes, because everything already belongs to the government. In the U.S. we adjust how much the government takes based on the situation at hand. This decision is left up to the voters, not to a dictator. If you don't like that plan you vote against it. If you lose, you'll get another chance in a few years. Doesn't sound too bad to me.

I must make a short comment to C+C. I think your decision to take on the responsibility of being a single mother and not seek handouts from the government is honorable.

However, I don't think that people who do rely on welfare are inherently bad people. As Senator Obama said when I saw him speak at the Target Center earlier this year, that's not someone else's child, that's everybody's child. To not invest in the future of every single child is to ensure the downfall of our country. We can have money, technology, military, old wrinkly rich people, and what have you, but if we do not have a well-prepared future generation to continue our prosperity, we have nothing. Regardless of anyone's parents' mistakes, children should always be a government priority. I really don't see how you can argue with that.

And IBN, I read your views on tax policy. I will never understand why the oppressed defend their oppressors, but if that is the path you choose, I hope your ideals bring you peace of mind as mine do.