Monday, November 17, 2008


"The Republican party is made up of people from lots of different walks in life. There are people who are Christians, Jews, Atheist, Agnostic, straight, gay, some are socially conservative, some are fiscally really can't put a "one size fits all" label on us. I think, however, that most of us would agree that we already pay a LOT in taxes (despite Vice President-elect Biden saying it's "patriotic" to pay more taxes!), and don't see that the government has done a very good job in managing what we've given to them. I don't have at my fingertips the stats for how much the Federal Government has actually spent on welfare since the inception of The Great Society, but it's in the hundreds of trillions of dollars. What was once seen as a "helping hand" for people who were down on their luck, has become a "hand out" for millions of people...there are some families who are 3rd & 4th generation welfare recipients. I would suspect that the "overhead" in managing such programs far exceeds any actual benefit that goes to the individual(s) needing help.

It is correct that "helping others" is a core belief for Christians, no matter what the denomination. However, I think for the most part, private organizations do a better job at this than does our favorite Uncle. There are many groups that refuse to take money from the government because they don't want the government intrusion in what they do ... SOME, Central Union Mission, Salvation Army, The Smile Train, etc. Many refuse government help because they want the freedom to bring religion into the mix...they know that a person who has a drug or alcohol problem is going to need "something/someone/higher power/God" to help them gain control in their lives. The government tends to meddle when they are holding the purse strings and won't let the organization bring religion into the picture.The Bible does talk about our obligations to the poor, and has plenty to say about those who will not work (not cannot, but will not!) but this is not to be mandated by the government.

Most Americans are generous to a fault, not only with charities in this country, but around the world when disaster strikes. There are missionaries from many denominations who really do sell all (or almost all) and dedicate their lives to making the lives of others better. My Grandfather was a missionary to Africa. He buried his first two wives on that continent. My dad was born in Nigeria while his parents (my grandfather & his 3rd wife) served there for many years. After my grandfather contracted African Sleeping Sickness, the family was traveling by ship to Liverpool, England, where my grandfather was to receive treatment. Just as they entered the harbor, the ship was torpeedoed by a German sub. They were the only family saved in its grandfather was lowered into the life boat in his wheelchair, and my grandmother sat in water up to her waist as they awaited rescue. She held my dad, just a few months old, over her head to keep him out of the frigid water...she was told it would be better to toss him overboard for a quick death than to try to save him.

Look at the number of young people who forsake the pleasures of the world and go join a monastery, convent, or other such outreach of not only the Catholic Church but other denominations. God expects us to build into our budgets monies to help others who cannot help themselves. There are some people, unfortunately, who don't want to help themselves, and expect someone else to do it for them. You likely didn't see the woman at one of the Obama rallies (it's available on you tube) who was beside herself with happiness at the prospect of Obama being elected..."Obama will put gas in my car, and Obama will pay my mortgage. If I help him, he will take care of me!" The government is far too free to throw around only need look at the earmarks and pork that politicians haul back to their districts that help them get reelected every 2 or 6 years. A lib friend of mine lives in John Murtha's district...he told me that Murtha is thought of as a "god" in his congressional district for all the pork he brings there.

A poor person has never created jobs that can employ much as we hear how awful "big business" is, think of the hundreds of millions of people who are employed because of big & small businesses ~ people who pay taxes, are good citizens, do for others, and help to keep other businesses in the black! I don't quite remember the exact stats, but Exxon (vilified so much) has approximately a thousand smaller companies that supply them with goods and services, and I think there are well over 1 million people who have jobs because Exxon exists. Obama's call to tax people who make over $250,000 a year is a call to stifle job creation and ingenuity. While that seems like a LOT of money to me, there are many small businesses that gross that amount.

Our dear friend, Bob, likely grosses (not nets) that amount...he pays himself, two mechanics, and his office manager, gives them a generous raise each year, and keeps up to date with equipment and book knowledge so he can be one of the best mechanics in the area. Part of his "giving back" is that he does all the work on the vehicles for the Montgomery Humane Society at his cost. That allows the Humane Society to spend more of their money taking care of animals, rather than putting it into vehicle repair. An increase on his taxes would likely mean a cutback on what he was able to do for others. I'm sure there are even more things that he does like this, but this is the one example that comes to mind.

When the Reagan tax cuts went into effect, instead of less money coming into the US Treasury, receipts exploded. It was no longer worth trying to figure out how to hide money off-shore, and people were able to use the extra money they had to expand businesses and hire more people, which resulted in more tax payers added to the coffers.Sharing with the unfortunate IS a core foundation of Christianity...the VOLUNTARY sharing of our money is a very good thing. When the money is taken from me by coercion, it's not money that is given willingly, and certainly won't be blessed by God if I don't have a good attitude. The other evening I heard a brief interview with Rev. Rick Warren, who wrote the bestselling book, The Purpose Driven Life . He said that it becomes part of our personal development when WE give rather than having the government taking our money & giving it away. I make it a goal to set aside pretty close to 10% of income to give to various churches and other organizations that help the less fortunate. I feel like a local agency (SOME, Salvation Army, Central Union Mission, Feed the Children, etc.) is in a better position to know who needs financial assistance, food, clothes, housing, than is a government agency.

I'm not saying that the government agencies shouldn't exist, but there are some real horror stories coming out of social welfare agencies...the latest is the 10 year old girl who jumped out of a second floor window at her home in Lusby, MD, and got to someone who could help her. Her foster mother had beaten her severely, and when the home was searched, they found the remains of two other foster children in the freezer. This took place in the past 4-6 weeks.One of my friends recently sent me this poem about taxes which I shall include at the end of this this point you are probably sorry that you asked a simple question. I guess it boils down to not wanting the government in my life any more than is Constitutionally mandated. I want the freedom to decide where I put my money to help others...not have the feds make that decision for me. When I make those decisions, I research to find out who will be a good steward of my meager means. For instance, The Smile Train can correct a cleft palate on a child in a third world country for $250, which gives them a new lease on life. Wealthy benefactors (Cindy McCain is one) pay all the overhead costs of transporting medical personnel, hospital space, etc., and the gift of any amount from someone like me goes 100% to the purpose at hand. Central Union Mission can serve a Thanksgiving meal to a homeless person for about $1.70. Operation Gratitude sends boxes filled with all sorts of things to our military overseas and in hospitals at Christmas time. There are so many really wonderful, worthwhile charities out there, just waiting for help from people like you and me.

As far as the idea of selling everything we have and giving it to the poor, who, then, will support us? If the lions were hungry, should we walk into the lions den to become their food? The problem is that selfishness is always hungry and self-perpetuating. I read recently of a Monastery where the men had taken a vow of poverty and a pledge to help the poor. Trouble was, they had no funds to help the poor. So, they developed products they could sell, and while they still live a simple, no frills life, they are bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars per year that they can use to help others. There will always be those who, while calling themselves Christians, do not adhere to the basic tenants of their faith, but there are many, many more who go about life in their own quiet way, making life better for so many that they touch, either personally or via an organization in the community.

Here's the poem about taxes...At first I thought this was funny...then I realized the awful truth of it.Be sure to read all the way to the end!
Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the tableAt which he's fed.

Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.

Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for peanuts

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.

Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,
If he cries
Tax his tears.

Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass.

Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won't be done
Till he has no dough.

When he screams and hollers,
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He's good and sore.

Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he's laid.

Put these words
upon his tomb,
' Taxes drove me to my doom...

'When he's gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Excise Taxes
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax (42 cents per gallon)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
Liquor Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Personal Property Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Sales Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Non-recu rring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local TaxTelephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility TaxesVehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY?Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation was the most prosperous in the world.We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.What in the hell happened? Can you spell 'politicians????!!!!'And I still have to 'press 1' for English!?!?!?!?"

BIG HAT TIP to Piano Girl who shared this explanation of true charity with me.

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