(Following is an excerpt from the speech I gave at the July 4th Tea Party protest in Roanoke.)
For my column and my radio show, I get to interview some of the best experts from around Virginia and the country on today’s political issues. If you want to know why America is broken and is only getting worse, some extremely knowledgeable people can give you a few of the reasons…
Scott Hodge of the Tax Foundation says that part of the reason government is growing so big is because 50 percent of American households don’t pay taxes. In fact, most of those households actually get checks and benefits from the government. So why would they ever vote to make government smaller?
Stephen Moore, senior economics writer with the Wall Street Journal, says that by the time we add up the money we’re borrowing to pay for the federal stimulus package, plus the interest on that money, we’ll be three to four trillion dollars in debt from that obligation alone. Even if the economy turns around, we’ll never have enough money to pay off that debt with just economic growth – it will require higher taxes for the next two to three generations. Yet knowing that, we are now talking about passing another stimulus package that could double that debt!
Chris Horner, an expert on environmental policy, says that the cap and trade bill that recently passed the U.S. House of Representatives has nothing to do with reducing “greenhouse gases” in the atmosphere. Since Europe instituted cap and trade, they have pumped more carbon dioxide into the air than before. Cap and trade is just a tax scheme. In fact, if it passes the Senate and becomes law, it will be the largest tax increase in American history.
Chris even went so far as to bring two European parliamentarians to meet with Congressman Rick Boucher, a chief sponsor of last year’s cap and trade bill. They told him from firsthand experience that cap and trade would not work. It would not reduce greenhouse gases. It would only destroy jobs as companies left America to escape the confiscatory taxes it creates. It would also burden American households with new taxes averaging $3000 to $4500 annually.
When he was told this, Boucher raised his hand to stop the Europeans from speaking. He said he didn’t want to hear about their experience, because it was “too early to call cap and trade a failure in Europe,” and he thought it could work here in America.
And finally, Pete Sepp from the National Taxpayers Union shared with me NTU’s ratings of our Congressmen and Senators based on how often they voted with the taxpayers last year (ie. voted in favor of lower taxes, less spending, and smaller government). In Virginia, the BEST scoring politician we have is at 73 percent (he votes in favor of taxpayers only 73 percent of the time – that’s a “low C”). The worst is Senator Webb, at 3 percent.
This information makes me angry. Politicians are voting on an almost daily basis to take away our money, our property, and our rights, and to make us subjects rather than sovereigns. But we can’t just blame the politicians. We have to hold the people who vote for them accountable, too. When people you know are voting for thieves and thugs as our leaders – whether it’s out of ignorance or they subscribe to the same destructive philosophy – you need to have a serious talk with them about it. You can’t be shy anymore and follow the old adage that politics is not polite conversation (Miss Manners would assure you that voting for someone to take away my freedom is a lot less polite). You have to make the effort to educate and change the minds of your friends and relatives by explaining to them the facts about the issues, to counter the propaganda they’re fed by power-hungry politicians and a go-along media.
The only way we’re going to stop America’s destruction is to recruit enough of your neighbors to our side to vote the bad guys out of office. A lot of us have been waiting for some “white knight” politician to come along and do the recruiting for us. That may never happen. So, in this month where we celebrate our independence, we must each dedicate ourselves to fighting for freedom once again. But it doesn’t require risking your life in battle, as it did for our founders. All it takes is risking a little initial awkwardness to get that conversation started with a friend.