Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Citizens' Rights & Citizens' Responsibilities

Everyone needs to listen to this talk. If you can say that "rights without responsibilities" is still a valid statement, you might want to listen to it again:

Dallin H. Oaks - Provo Freedom Festival Address 1994
Just right-click on the MP3 and download it.

Some notable Quotations:

  1. "A democratic republic needs patriotic citizens who are fulfilling their responsibilities as well as claiming their rights.

    No society is so secure that it can withstand continual demands for increases in citizen rights, without producing corresponding increases in the fulfillment of citizen responsibilities.

    Responsibilities, like honesty, respect for personal and property rights, self reliance, and willingness to sacrifice for the common good, are basic to the governance and preservation of our nation."

  2. "We know that our national government cannot continue indefinitely to spend more than it receives.

    If the citizen voters of this nation continue to demand the current level of government expenditures that produces our deficits, then our citizen taxpayers must accept the tax increase necessary to fund them.

    If we won't raise taxes, we shoud accept cuts in various expenditures.

    We cannot continue much longer to fund our current levels of government expenditures by increased borrowings.

    This problem cannot be solved by the popular but superficial action of merely opposing all tax increases, and it cannot be solved by the phony solution of proposing spending cuts on every government program except OUR various personal favorites."

Aaahhhh. It's all so clear now!

Yes, this is the Senate Majority Leader...our beloved Harry Reid. The Democrats have it all figured out, don't they.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Welfare State and Defense

First, the Welfare State.

For a long time, I've heard people talking about all these government programs that are left over from WWII, specifically, Social Security. I have been paying Social Security since I was 14, and now I'm seeing that I will never see a dime of what I put in. What we have is a program that FORCES, yes, I said it...FORCES the redistribution of wealth. I can't get out of it.

If I had the chance to check a box that said:

"I agree to never receive any entitlements from the Social Security Program. I hereby withdraw and relinquish my right to receive entitlements from Social Security, Medicare, or MedicAid."

I would do it. Here's why:

I believe in working for what I get. I also believe in being charitable to others at my discretion, and I feel I do a pretty good job. I try to give a couple of bucks to they guy I see on the street. I also give 10% of my total income to charity. I think that's pretty substantial. I don't say that to brag. What I do say it for is to prove that I believe most people are like that - good hearted citizens that will help each other when needed. But when I work hard for what I do, and I see a LOT of my pay getting deducted from my check without my consent to go to people and programs that I have not approved, I get angry. Not because I don't think we should be charitable, but because I don't think it's the government's job to force me to be charitable. That is for me to decide. I can do a better job helping people with my money than the government can. I don't have to pay accountants to give money to people. I don't have to pay for office buildings that house employees to go through each and every welfare case. Sometimes I wonder what percentage of my "charity" actually gets to the people that need it. If it were just me, it would be 100% of my charity.

Ezra Taft Benson, Secretary of Agriculture under Dwight Eisenhower, said that "Charity that is forced is not charity at all." I agree with that statement.

How does this tie into Defense Spending. Well, watch these videos and you might just see that we are "barking up the wrong tree" when we think that defense spending is out of control.

Heritage In Focus: Myths About Defense Spending: Part 1
Heritage In Focus: Myths About Defense Spending: Part 2
Heritage In Focus: Myths About Defense Spending: Part 3
Heritage In Focus: Myths About Defense Spending: Part 4

And here's a great little piece of info:

Thanks to the Heritage Foundation for this information.

A Little Bit of Perspective....

So...People don't want to drill in ANWaR. Here's a little diagram that shows just how bit the drilling area would be: