Time to Pay the Piper? The First Hint of a European-Style VAT

Making Sense, by Michael Reagan

Democrats in Washington haven’t wanted to be terribly forthcoming as to how they intend to pay for the new health care entitlement program and other massive spending programs being passed. It seems our national debt ceiling is now raised every few months, and the federal deficit is higher than it’s ever been — exponentially so.

taxes irs value-added tax vat

Cartoon by Daryl Cagle - msnbc.com (click to purchase)

Well, we can now see why the liberal establishment hasn’t wanted to address the issue head-on with the American people. At a private event the other evening, it has been reported that one of the Obama Administration’s lead economic counselors, Paul Volcker, indicated the support for a Value-Added Tax (VAT) may be more achievable than in the past.

This statement does not surprise me in the least. You see, in order to fund the record spending of the federal government, hard-working families and small businesses are going to be required to foot more of the bill. It is that simple. After passage of a nearly $1 trillion health care bill, the Obama administration cannot longer deny this. The only question in my mind has been how much will our taxes be raised — and when.

A VAT is a tax that is added to a good at each stage of the production process. So when a hypothetical widget’s first component is put together a tax is added. That’s just the start. At each further stage of assembly, development and distribution, a new tax is added, all the way through until final sale. Not surprisingly, VAT taxes are not borne wholly by the producers themselves. Rather those incremental taxes are passed along to consumers in the form of higher prices.

Even most troubling, this tax comes with a complete lack of transparency. Unlike a sales tax, which the consumer sees as a line item on their sales receipt beyond the retail price, a VAT is simply a hidden tax. It is another way for the federal government to take our money and deliberately leave taxpayers in the dark about their share of footing the bloated federal budget.

Now keep in mind, the addition of a VAT would be on top of our already overly burdensome federal tax system — meaning that you would continue to pay your federal income, payroll, capital gains, and estate taxes. Don’t be deceived into seeing this as a sister to the FairTax reform. This is an entirely new accounting which will significantly increase the price of every good you buy.

Some will argue that this unofficial statement by Mr. Volcker was merely just an administration official discussing possible new revenue streams with a friendly audience — not portending things to come. Not so. Things rarely happen from our leaders in Washington by accident. This was the first salvo in what many of us have feared — Democrats gearing up to increase our tax burden by creating a new form of federal taxation.

Those of us who believe that the federal government should learn to do its job with less money, just as the private sector is forced to do, must begin to prepare for this battle. We almost stopped the passage of health care reform despite little time to gear up a national effort in opposition. Short of a procedural maneuver, we would have succeeded.

Here, we have the advantage of time on our side and we must get ready to fight. Fight for smaller, smarter government; fight to keep more of our hard earned dollars; fight against yet another policy that moves us closer to the European Socialist model.

Join me at Reagan PAC at www.thereaganpac.com to join a grassroots force that will help lead the charge in keeping the VAT in Europe from being imported to our shores.

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Mike Reagan, the elder son of the late President Ronald Reagan, is spokesperson for The Reagan PAC (www.thereaganpac.com) and chairman and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation (www.reaganlegacyfoundation.org). Look for Mike’s books and other information at www.Reagan.com. E-mail comments to [email protected].

©2010 Mike Reagan. If you’re not a paying subscriber to our service, you must contact us to print or Web post this column. Mike’s column is distributed exclusively by: Cagle Cartoons, Inc., newspaper syndicate. For info contact Cari Dawson Bartley. E-mail [email protected], (800) 696-7561.

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Watching Sausages

Raging Moderate, by Will Durst

Otto von Bismarck said, “Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.” Sausages? We would have loved to have seen some sausages. We would have killed for sausages. As any Wisconsin boy can tell you, sausages cooked indirectly over mesquite coals until crispy blistered, then slathered with Stadium Sauce and nestled in butter- grilled buns under a layer of fried onions can taste pretty darn yummy.

tea party hate fear

Cartoon by Pat Bagley - Salt Lake Tribune (click to purchase)

What we got was cut-rate, irate hot dogs. The ugly spectacle of Congressional wieners pummeling each other over health care was as appetizing as mixing snail guts and lizard tripe and cephalopod eyeballs with sour cream and yellow food dye then serving it on a fungus-covered bark chip. And no, I’m not talking about the spinach dip at The Olive Garden.

This isn’t a “pox on both their houses” deal either. Like psychic vultures sensing imminent putrefaction, Republicans amplified their pontificating protestations to a high- pitched squeal; piercing enough to annoy canines all across this great Northern Hemisphere of ours. In the throes of a pseudo-religious ecstasy, one Texas Republican chummed the waters by calling a Michigan Democrat “Baby Killer” on the floor of the House, frenzying his posse of nitwit accomplices into hurling the N-word, the F-word, half a dozen bricks, a handful of death threats, several mouths full of red hot spittle, gum wrappers, a jewel encrusted black ceramic bird (the stuff that dreams are made of, two faxed nooses and possibly a bullet.

The conservative party-line claimed their Neanderthals were simply playing catch-up to the health care proponents’ lead-mitten handling of the issue, and they suggested Democrats kill the bill to quell the rising tempers. That’s right. Fan the flames of stupidity then blame the other side for the scorching climate (different from global warming). If Republican gall were congealable, we could dam the Caribbean.

And it’s STILL not over. To say the GOP is not taking this defeat lying down is like saying freeze-dried mustard clumps make for substandard Q-Tips. Within 10 minutes of the president signing the bill, a deluge of 14 state legislatures began to challenge the bill’s constitutionality. And you wonder why getting anything done in this country is like trying to shovel sand with a pitchfork.

Republicans vowed to go down swinging, and they’re probably not talking about hiking the Appalachian Trail with each other’s wives. Let’s be frank: not a single member of the minority voted for the health care bill. Not one. That’s not a political party, that’s the Borg. “RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.” The reanimated Halloween pumpkin that is Sen. Mitch McConnell remains determined to continue the construction of his cement wall of obstructionism turning “The Party of No” into “The Party of Hell No,” veering dangerously close to “The Party of Screw You!”

People may mock Obama for his Messianic glaze, but you got to relish this resurrection of health care which makes Lazarus risen look like a third-grade magician’s trick. Focus a telescope and you can make out the scuff marks on the bill’s knees from where it climbed out of the morgue drawer. Maybe now we should try handing the president seven loaves and seven fishes and see what he does with that. Or better yet, seven loaves and seven sausages.

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Will Durst is a San Francisco-based political comic who writes sometimes, this being an example. His new CD, “Raging Moderate,” released this week from Stand-Up Records, is available both on ITunes and Amazon. And don’t forget, he’s hosting Showtime’s “The Green Collar Comedy Show” on Thursday, April 22 at 9 p.m.

Copyright ©2010, Will Durst, distributed by the Cagle Cartoons Inc. syndicate. Call Cari Dawson-Bartley at 800-696-7561 or e-mail [email protected]. Will Durst is a political comedian who has performed around the world. He is a familiar pundit on television and radio. E-mail Will at [email protected]. Check out willandwillie.com for the latest podcast. Will Durst’s book, “The All American Sport of Bipartisan Bashing,” is available from Amazon and better bookstores all over this great land of ours. Don’t forget to check out his rooftop comedy minutes at: http://www.rooftopcomedy.com/shows/BurstOfDurst.

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Game On!

Making Sense, by Michael Reagan

Well, Democrats in Washington did it. They unilaterally passed a $938 billion health care plan that was overwhelmingly disapproved by Americans.

But not to worry, the United Nations Health Organization proclaimed our leaders courageous for their actions. I will prefer to call them extinct.

Voters fought, called, protested, and debated up until the moment of the vote. With willful blindness, many in the Democratically-controlled Congress simply chose to ignore their constituents.

Biden F-bomb ObamaCare

Cartoon by Nate Beller - Washington Examiner (click to purchase)

It is easy to argue that the health care bill was the wrong prescription for our ailing economy and growing deficit. It is just as easy to argue against such a seismic shift to the size and influence of our government; anything that required so much intra-Democratic Party arm-twisting, threats and bribes to get it through their own caucus can’t be good for our nation. But Democrats in Washington aren’t satisfied there. Today our banks, auto industry, student loans all join our health care as being instruments of the federal government.

We’ve watched as, one by one, new segments of the economy have moved into the government’s balance sheet. The American people have been overlooked in favor of new power, new control, and new taxes. We’ve seen rough economic times, are still seeing them, but in spite of inappropriate government action we will make it through.

And come this November, voters will have a choice. A choice between a Republican Party that hopefully will have returned to its roots of smaller and limited government and responsible fiscal policies versus a Democratic Party that will stop at nothing to grow our government and grow our debt.

The time is now for us to act. Each of us has a responsibility to get engaged, help Republicans get elected and demand that Washington recoil from its massive expansion. I will do my part as well. Our PAC, Reagan PAC, is dedicated to finding and supporting Republican candidates that recognize the contemporary conservative principles of Ronald Reagan and are committed to their realization. We will target Democratic candidates in key swing districts across the nation who recently voted in support of this dangerous health care legislation, and seek to find qualified conservative candidates in these districts and states and others who can help return America on a path to prosperity.

We will also be working to defend the Republican candidates who have stood for sound, limited government in the face of an overwhelming big-government presence so that our worthy elected officials can stand against the volley liberal Democrats are sure to fling their way. And throughout this country, I will be on the ground working with activists, both conservative and independent, to build a new coalition for individual liberty.

I am eager to get to work, to further my father’s legacy and restore the greatness of this country.

This fight is important. This fight will not be easy, but the outcome will determine the shape of our nation for decades to come. This fight cannot be won without all of us becoming engaged come this November. I ask that in the coming days you visit www.thereaganpac.com to join the fight to renew America.

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Mike Reagan, the elder son of the late President Ronald Reagan, is spokesperson for The Reagan Nation and chairman and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation (www.reaganlegacyfoundation.org). Look for Mike’s books and other information at www.Reagan.com. E-mail comments to [email protected].

©2010 Mike Reagan. If you’re not a paying subscriber to our service, you must contact us to print or Web post this column. Mike’s column is distributed exclusively by: Cagle Cartoons, Inc., newspaper syndicate. For info contact Cari Dawson Bartley. E-mail [email protected], (800) 696-7561.

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Life Before Politics

Making Sense, by Michael Reagan

Anyone that knows my politics understands that I consider myself pro-life; however, as I have written often, I also recognize that millions of Americans feel differently than I do and that we must continue to respect each other as Americans even though we share this fundamental difference of opinion.

But today I am deeply concerned about the use of tax dollars to fund elective abortions.

Earlier this week, the House Budget Committee narrowly defeated the inclusion of language from the Stupak-Pitts amendment in the health care reconciliation bill. That language, drafted by Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak of Michigan, would have effectively prevented any use of federal funds for abortion in the package of “fixes” being considered for the Senate bill.

In November 2009, pro-life members of both parties were able to defeat the misleading Capps amendment to the final House bill, which would have allowed federal funding of elective abortions through a loophole regarding direct funds. This was yet another progressive, Liberal trick to use our hard-earned tax dollars to support elective abortions and more federal mandates on an issue that pro-choice folks ironically say is a matter of private reflection rather than government control.

The Stupak-Pitts amendment replaced the Capps amendment, but the language of the Senate bill — the bill House members are being asked to accept through the ambiguous “reconciliation” process — undoes many of the strides made by Bart Stupak. It, in fact, offers little more protection than the Hyde amendment, a temporary law attached to the budget which could be thrown out during any year and which too many insurers and pro-choice legislators have already figured out how to dance nimbly around.

Thankfully, the Stupak-Pitts amendment may get the attention of the full House of Representatives later this week, and it is imperative that Americans from across the nation let their representatives know that regardless of their position on the issue of life versus choice, it is entirely inappropriate for our tax dollars to be used to pay for these procedures.

We’ve had decades of debate over abortion, and we are likely to see decades more. In our courtrooms and legislative chambers, this heated issue has far to go, and we must see that debate through.

But what we cannot, must not, debate or tolerate for one single moment is the spending of our federal tax dollars to subsidize purely elective abortions. In that, the question is no longer a matter of an individual’s choice but about the full involvement of society. I am not alone in my staunch objection. In fact, the overwhelming majority of Americans clearly support this position.

A recent poll taken by Quinnipiac University showed that voters oppose public money in the health care bill to pay for abortions by 67 percent to 27 percent. Other polls have consistently shown a majority of Americans opposing federal health care dollars for elective abortions. These Americans, all 67 percent of them, need to have their voices heard now or it will be too late.

While I do see this as a matter of life and death, I also see it is a matter of an increasingly intrusive federal government that is forcing a nation that is divided on the issue of abortion to use our collective monies to pay for them.

This is no small matter, and no small majority. Given the opposition Democrats are already facing from the American public with their attempt to ram this health care legislation down our throats, I find it even more amazing that they seem content to move forward with elements that would expand health coverage to women seeking elective abortions.

This is stupid politics. This is bad governance. This is immoral.

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Mike Reagan, the elder son of the late President Ronald Reagan, is spokesperson for The Reagan Nation and chairman and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation (www.reaganlegacyfoundation.org). Look for Mike’s books and other information at www.Reagan.com. E-mail comments to [email protected].

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