Monday, July 03, 2006

Of taxes and freedom

I'm a big fan of Texas Congressman Ron Paul (R) who always looks first to the authority within the Constitution before casting a vote. He does a weekly column and this week's Texas Straight Talk column is entitled "A New Declaration."

His premise is that Congress has lost sight of what our founding fathers intended when they established this great country, especially when it comes to taxation ... and, as we celebrate our birthday, now is a time to look at where we are.

While I hope you'll read it in its entirety, he concludes the short essay with this:

"Everybody seems to agree that government waste is rampant and spending should but cut—but not when it comes to their communities or pet projects. So members of Congress have every incentive to support spending bills and adopt a go-along, get-along attitude. This leads to the famous compromises, but the bill eventually comes due on April 15th.

Our basic problem is that we have lost sight of the simple premise that guided the actions of our founding fathers. That premise? The government that governs least is the government that governs best.

When we cut the size of government, our taxes will fall. When we reduce the power of the federal bureaucracy, the cost of government will plummet. And when we firmly fix our eyes, undistracted, on the principles of liberty, Americans truly will be free. That should be our new declaration."

Happy Independence Day!


Lisa Renee said...

I re-read the declaration earlier today and was having some of those same thoughts. I'm not sure if it is comforting or disturbing that I'm not alone.

thinkingwoman said...

I agree completely. I also thought about the ability of others to take care of themselves if we will let them. That would be true freedom.

Kate said...

Good post Maggie. I took the children and grandchildren to see the Maumee fireworks tonight. They ooh'd and aaah'd. I enjoyed seeing them enjoy themselves.

I haven't told them the meaning of the fireworks yet - and I suppose that I should. This year, standing so close to Fort Meigs - and the discussions we've all had about responsible government lately - I stopped feeling bad over the hassle I've experienced recently.

So many people fought in horrifying conditions to establish the freedoms that we're merely supposed to be safe guarding :-)

And keeping government reduced to a size that is manageable by the people is one of those tasks.

At Ft. Meigs in 1813 for ten days the British attacked the fort. Cannon fire rained down on them from above. I remember when we studied cannon impact in history at OSU. It wasn't what I'd thought - that it was like a bomb with close proximity damage. The balls were heavy and when they hit they caused an incredible amount of shrapnel - mostly wood splinters - to fly through the air at great speeds for considerable distances.

We listened to a recording of an ominous whistle sound made by a cannonball traveling through the air. It just seemed to last forever. I can see, in my imagination, men and boys crouched down, listening to the cannons fire and then that terrible whistling sound as they had to just wait for the balls to hit and the terrible aftermath as wood fragments exploded under the weight of the ball.

It was the splinters that did the damage - tearing into flesh and bone. How brave they were to have volunteered and then stayed to fight the enemy that was lead balls raining down on them, leaving their trails of sparks as they came closer. In the attack at Ft. Meigs, the British heated the cannonballs red hot. What a frightening sight that must have been.

Fireworks were invented about 2000 years ago by the Chinese. After the battle of Baltimore, in the harbor near Ft. McHenry - Francis Scott Key wrote the words of a poem that later became our national anthem that following morning. He rose early with the troubling images of the 'bombs' in flight in the sky the night before. Many know these words -

O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming!
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there:
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

And we were inspired to take the Chinese fireworks to mark and remember the terrible sight of the 'bombs' of fire descending.

We are living a rich life carved out by that kind of courage I would not have had. I am thankful that they did.

But I'm not going to tell the children this year. Maybe next year :-)

Hooda Thunkit said...

Great post Maggie!

Regarding our taxing tax burden, I took a recent stab at this topic, but from a more local perspective, here.

Lloyd, you, I, and many others seem to be on the same track about this increasingly taxing problem ;-)

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