I have been thinking a lot lately of what it means to be an American and just how much liberty and freedom we are losing in this era. Now, the way I see it, I am a free man. I live in the greatest nation on earth, pay more than my share of taxes and generally am a good citizen. So, why isn't that enough for politicians? Let's look at a few ways our freedoms are being pushed aside for a nanny state where the decisions are being made for us. I am sure some of these are ways in which you have not thought of before.
"To force a man to pay for the violation of his own liberty is indeed an addition of insult to injury." - Benjamin Tucker
CAFE Standards: The Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standard is nothing new. It was first dropped in our lap in the 1970's during the "oil shortage" crisis. You may have heard that this process is a good thing because it mandates that fuel mileage increases are forced on the auto manufacturers. I totally disagree. Some of you may not be able to decide for yourself if between a car that gets 50 mpg or one that gets 5. Well, I can and I actually want that choice. The truth is that CAFE Standards have not reduced our dependence on oil, have not lowered smog or pollution levels and have not achieved one item set out in the charter. The only the standards have done is to give an advantage to foreign auto makers and to create less safe automobiles by forcing manufacturers to build them lighter and smaller to achieve the mpg standard. I want the freedom to make that choice.
Caps: More commonly known as Carbon Caps or Cap and Trade, the measure to reduce carbon emissions by evil American companies that is causing "Global Warming." Where to even start on this one? So, the government wants to save the planet by capping how much carbon can be released. They will set a baseline amount and when the company reaches its limit, it can "buy" or "trade" carbon credits from another company or from the government. This is purely a shakedown. This is nothing other than a tax on corporations and the cost will be passed on to you. The funny thing is that "developing countries" will not be held to the same caps as the U.S. will. In the liberal point of view, America is always the bad guy. Now for the truth. Carbon Caps will drastically increase the cost of energy and will send American jobs overseas to countries that have no standards for emissions. Any ozone saved? No. Any jobs lost? Yes. More money out of your pocket? Big time.
Restrictions: This one runs the gamut. We have restrictions on information, restrictions on business and even restrictions on how many times you can transfer your own money between accounts each month. What I want to focus on is the federal government's restrictions on private businesses. I am talking bail outs here folks. The fed gave AIG a big bail out. AIG is a company that made a lot of dumb moves and deserved to get knocked down a few pegs, but the employees are the ones that took the beating. The fed knew when it issued the bail out that some employees were due bonuses. The bail out went forward. These employees were working under a contract with the company and abided by that contract. The lawmakers caved to public pressure and knowing that they couldn't just steal the money back, decided to tax it at a rate of 90%. That is theft by law. When the government gets into the restricting mode on free enterprise, ugly things will happen. They have forced out CEO's and closed dealerships. They have not only restricted how business is done, they have restricted the entire market from doing its job.
Taxes. This may be my favorite subject to complain about. It was Will Rogers that said "It is a good thing that we do not get as much government as we pay for." How true those words are. We are taxed on just about everything we do or buy and the list gets longer everyday. The newest victim is sugar. Our benevolent government believes you don't know how to handle your sweets and plans to slow you down some. A planned tax on everything sugar is hitting the halls of congress and affects everything from soft drinks to cereal. Oh yeah, you are going to pay more for them. The government claims that this is to reduce the numbers for diabetes and related illnesses. But, at just 16 calories a teaspoon, are they really looking out for you or preparing you for socialized medicine. Then they will be able to regulate, read tax, everything you consume. They wanted more fuel efficient cars (see CAFE above ) and now the income from gas taxes has gone down. Now they want to tax you by how many miles you drive. The tax on cigarettes keeps rising and the poor disproportionally pick up the tab. Another industry taxed into extinction. Indiana's property taxes may eventually be capped, but the sales tax just went up. If you see the words license, fee, surcharge, or other such synonyms, just insert the word TAX. The American people are fed up with it and it shows. The tax day TEA Parties were a huge success. We are now saying enough is enough. The land of opportunity has turned into the land of broken promises were our children are burdened with the government's debt load. Robert A. Heinlein said "There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him." Most of the time the government does not know what is good for the average American. We know what is best for us and our families, and its not standards, caps, restrictions and taxes.