Archive for January, 2013

In a recent email to PCOs, the new CCRP Executive Board weighed in regarding the ongoing 2nd Amendment debate which has been raised to a fever pitch in the wake of recent mass shootings at schools, shopping malls, and theaters. In response to proposed gun-control legislation and a bevy of new executive orders put forth by President Obama, the board will seek to pass the following resolution at the next Central Committee meeting:

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WHEREAS The Constitution of the United States is a legal document, and;

WHEREAS terms in a legal document carry a consistent definition throughout, and;

WHEREAS the term “The People” in our Constitution has identical meaning in the Preamble, the 1st Amendment, 2nd Amendment, the 4th Amendment, 9th Amendment and the 10th Amendment, and;

WHEREAS the right to keep and bear arms to hunt for subsistence or sport, and the right to keep and bear arms to defend one’s life and property are Natural Rights, existing prior to the Constitution, and affirmed and guaranteed by the Bill of Rights in its 9th Amendment, and;

WHEREAS the individual right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of defending ourselves from any government who might usurp any of our rights is a Natural Right existing prior to the Constitution, and affirmed and guaranteed by the Bill of Rights in its 2nd Amendment, and;

WHEREAS the Washington State Constitution states “The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired”, and;

WHEREAS any infringement or impairment of these rights is an offense to our unalienable right of Liberty, and is an assault on rights “endowed by our Creator”, all of which are affirmed and guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Washington, and;

WHEREAS, any holder of public office who would infringe upon these rights violates our Constitution and their oath of office;

THEREFORE, be it RESOLVED that:

The Clark County Republican Party may refuse to support and may condemn and/or recruit opposition to, any holder of public office and any candidate for public office who the Board finds has taken any action to infringe, impair or usurp our Natural and Constitutional right to keep and bear arms, regardless of their party affiliation.

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The text of this proposed resolution has already been included in a press release, and is expected to sail through the vote by the PCOs in February. The message is clear: Candidates, including Republicans, oppose the right to bear arms at their political peril.

Like the vast majority in the Liberty movement, I am a strong advocate of 2nd Amendment rights and am, as always, opposed to the government telling private citizens what they are allowed to own and what privileges must only be afforded to a few special people who have been deemed acceptable by the State. I find this policy to be adverse to the ideas of freedom that our country was founded upon. It also seems reasonable to assume that the more firearms are regulated and controlled, the easier it will be for the populace to also be controlled.

On another level, however, I confess that it is strange to me that conservatives in general can watch the systematic robbing of their country via the Fed and inflation, massive corruption in the banking industry and well-documented collusion among elected officials on both sides of the aisle, TSA agents molesting innocent passengers before they board flights, and parabolic increases in taxes and spending that lead to higher and higher costs of living and increasing slavery to debt among our populace…all of these things being supported by Republican elected officials, and the issue that finally incites them to speak out against other Republicans with implied threats to oppose them in primaries is the prospect of someone taking away their right to buy an AR-15. I guess my question is, if Jaime Herrera comes out with a pro-AR-15 stance, does this mean that her votes in favor of wire-tapping and detaining American citizens indefinitely, taxing and spending us over the fiscal cliff, and borrowing us all into slavery are tolerable? I guess I don’t see the point in being the most well-armed nation ever to go bankrupt. I’m also not quite sure how much good an AR-15 will do if the well-funded Department of Homeland Security shows up at your house with a SWAT team carrying submachine guns and their cache of hollow-point bullets . It seems like demanding candidates to oppose legislation like the Patriot Act that allows SWAT teams at people’s houses in the first place would be the more effective approach.

In summary, I am in favor of this resolution, but I would like to see more…a lot more in terms of personal liberty and economic freedom from our party. I hope that this is only an auspicious beginning to a long list of strong resolutions.

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With ‘Fiscal Cliff’ negotiations and the predictable ‘compromise’ that resulted in more soaking of the rich, there is one change that may have gone unnoticed for many wage earners – that is, until they get their first paycheck of 2013. On January 1st, the Social Security tax increased from 4.2% back to its 2010 level of 6.2%. This 2% increase in taxes means that someone who earns $50k a year will pay an extra $1000 in taxes over the course of the year.

This tax hike brings to my mind the infamous leaked video of Mitt Romney in a rare moment of candor talking about his views of the portion of America who pays no federal income tax:

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.

In one statement to a group of rich potential donors, Romney probably did away with any chance he had of winning the election, but the sentiment is a common one among conservatives, who feel that a large portion of the country has no ‘skin in the game’ when it comes to tax policy and should not be allowed to vote on the fate of others who do. This has been a losing argument for Republican candidates in general for one simple reason: it isn’t true.

While not categorized as ‘income tax’ by the IRS, payroll taxes are federal taxes based on income and are paid directly by the wage-earner, and indirectly by matching funds from the employer. The total for the Social Security/Medicare portion of payroll taxes alone is 15.3% of a worker’s wage up to $110,100, after which no tax is levied. The percentage, therefore, decreases the more income is earned over that amount, making it a regressive tax. Investment income, or ‘unearned income’ is also not subject to this tax. This is how Romney himself was able to only pay 14% effective tax rate on his income while nearly all of the working poor pay a higher percentage.

In addition to the 15.3% payroll tax that everyone with a job pays, workers and their employers are also subject to unemployment tax, excise taxes on gasoline, car registration fees, and state and local taxes (sales tax), including property taxes, which are either paid directly for homeowners or baked into the rent payment. When all of these taxes are taken into account, the tax burden for even the lowest 20% of earners is at least 16% , and goes up from there. While there is an increasingly large contingent of people who receive various kinds of government welfare, and even some who refuse to work, this number is nowhere near the 47% that Romney was caught demeaning in the video.

Part of the effort to raise up a new generation of grassroots conservatives must be to reach the working poor, a demographic who is hurt every bit as much as the middle class by big-government policies and the resulting high taxes. Giving them no credit for paying significant portions of their paychecks in taxes is not the way to accomplish this. The 2% raise in payroll taxes is another reminder to any worker that government is inefficient and erodes at the ability of everyone to enjoy the fruits of their own labor. The fact that Social Security is likely to be completely gutted by the time many of us are old enough to receive back the money we paid in is also a testament to the failure of government to meet our needs. We want smaller government, not so that poor people can pay even more taxes, but so that everyone can pay less.

When asked by a reporter about the half of the Americans who don’t pay income taxes, Ron Paul said, “Good! We’re halfway there!” The answer is not more class warfare, but a populist uprising that unites people who all want Liberty and the capacity for self-determination restored. This is the way forward for the Republican party in the wake of tremendous losses and constant capitulation from establishment leaders like Boehner and McConnell.