State of OUR Union: June 3rd 2013

John Stossel [Gas Myths] A Testament that it is government that is cheating Americans, not oil companiesThe oil business is fiercely competitive. If one company charges a penny too much, other companies steal its business. Apple’s profit margin is about 24 percent. McDonald’s makes 20 percent. Oil companies make half that. Per gallon, Exxon-Mobil makes about 7 cents. Governments, by contrast, grab about 27 cents per gallon. That’s the average gas tax. If anyone takes too much, it’s government. … Almost no one seems to speak up for a true free market in energy, with competition, innovation and unfettered consumer choice. People say regulation is needed to counter industry ‘greed.’ But if anyone’s greedy here, it’s government — and unlike oil companies, government doesn’t have to work hard and compete to give you good service at the lowest possible price. Government just sits there, telling companies to charge less, telling car companies to make smaller and more dangerous cars, mandating and subsidizing alternative fuels like ethanol — and then telling us that we benefit from the politicians’ efforts. The truth: We rarely benefit.

If you think what is happening in America [and Europe] is something new in history, think again. Cicero, Roman philosopher/statesman, 106-43 BCWe are taxed in our bread and our wine, in our incomes and our investments, on our land and on our property not only for base creatures who do not deserve the name of men, but for foreign nations, complaisant nations who will bow to us and accept our largesse and promise us to assist in the keeping of the peace — these mendicant nations who will destroy us when we show a moment of weakness or our treasury is bare, and surely it is becoming bare! … When a government becomes powerful it is destructive, extravagant and violent; it is an usurer which takes bread from innocent mouths and deprives honorable men of their substance, for votes with which to perpetuate itself.

After a legal fight won at the Supreme Court, the Boy Scouts of America just signed its own death warrant, as columnist Rebecca Hagelin explains in her article: Boy Scouts: A Disheartening BetrayalThe recent decision by the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America to allow ‘openly gay’ youth to become members of the Boy Scouts was nothing short of a betrayal — a betrayal not only of the values scouting has represented for decades but also of the families whose support for the Scouts has spanned generations. … It’s worth noting that the law does NOT require the change in Scouts’ policy: the ban on homosexual members was upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court, which affirmed the right of the Boy Scouts to remain true to their mission and decide, on a principled basis, who may become a member of their group. How ironic: After years of successful battles to maintain timeless principles, the BSA has fallen by their own hand. … [A]ll parents should use this sad moment to explain to young people, in particular, that the freedoms we hold dear will not survive if the moral fabric of our country continues to crumble. As those of us who have left scouting and now mourn the death of the BSA, let’s bind up our broken hearts and resolve to continue to honor the many leaders, families and churches who worked so hard over the years to build the character of young men through scouting. And to all former scouts — especially the Eagles — I urge you to write down your own treasured scouting memories so that you can share with your own kids one day what it was like when the Boy Scouts of America stood for principle and truth. RIP, BSA.

Obama administration’s misuse, political use of information, illegally gathered in the form of Big Brother government, has occurred since the first administration. Republicans cry foul, but do not seem to be able to follow up and institute constitutional impeachment proceedings. Hillary Clinton resigned with no answers to her incompetence, and Eric Holder is still the US Attorney General, still stonewalling, committing perjury, and putting himself above the law. Obamacare ‘Navigators’: Another Sibelius Snitch Brigade? – by Michelle MalkinIn August 2009, HHS and the White House Office of Health Reform called on their ground troops to report on fellow citizens who dared to criticize their federal health care takeover. Team Obama issued an all-points bulletin on the taxpayer-funded White House website soliciting informant emails. Remember? ‘If you get an email or see something on the Web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to,’ the Obamacare overlords urged. … Texas GOP Sen. John Cornyn protested at the time that ‘these actions taken by your White House staff raise the specter of a data collection program.’ The flagging operation was shut down, but a plethora of federal disclosure exemptions protect the Obama administration from revealing what was collected, who was targeted and what was done with the database information. White House lapdogs dismissed the concerns of conservatives as paranoid delusions. Now, fast-forward three years. In light of the draconian IRS witch hunt against tea party groups and the Justice Department’s plundering of journalists’ phone records and email accounts, every tax-subsidized Obama ‘outreach’ initiative warrants heightened scrutiny.

Scandals, scandals, here and there, but no relief in sight. However, the IRS scandal should be the instrument for Congress to finally do something, and “reforming” the agency viewed as the American Gestapo ain’t the solution – getting rid of the unconstitutional, intrusive, and unfair income tax system [which will rid us of the IRS] IS the solution. Victor Davis Hanson [Nixon IS a Fair Comparison] … I think when one adds up Benghazi, the AP mess, the IRS scandal, the politically correct laxity about domestic terrorism and radical Islam, the deliberate leaking of classified documents to preapproved in-house reporters, and what Kathleen Sebelius is trying to do, the impression given is Nixonian to the core: scores of ‘blindly’ ambitious underlings, competing with each other to outdo the next, in order to gain attention or brownie points from the man at the top, who lets it trickle back down that he is in a virtual push-back war with certain Americans (e.g., the Tea Party, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, the NRA, the post-2010 Republican House, and assorted conservative groups). … Everything Nixon did was suspect, often with good cause, and seen through the prism of his excesses; in the case of Obama, from Fast and Furious to Solyndra to the EPA and NLRB freelancing to the selective enforcement of the law, the press has more often been an enabler, working to explain why a scandal or an excess is really some sort of right-wing obsession, emanating from suspect or even racist motives. Something very scary started in 2009-10 — and that this new way of doing business was supposedly done for the proverbial ‘people’ to ensure ‘fairness’ has made it even more insidious and far more difficult to come to terms with.

Patriot Post, Our Liberal Tax CodeOur great nation has retreated a long way from the American Revolution, rooted in a three-pence tax on a pound of tea, to the populist Sixteenth Amendment and its provision “to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived.” The consequence of this assault on Liberty is the rise of the Socialist Democratic Party and the current NeoCom regime. … The current debacle of progressive taxation is the result of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s class-warfare decree: “Here is my principle: Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay. That is the only American principle.” We beg to differ. Roosevelt’s “principle” was no more American than Obama’s. Roosevelt was merely paraphrasing Karl Marx, whose maxim declared, “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.”

Jason Riley at Wall Street JournalLiberals are waving around a new Congressional Budget Office analysis that shows higher earners benefit most from tax breaks in the federal code. ‘The 10 major tax expenditures considered here are distributed unevenly across the income scale,’ reports CBO. ‘In calendar year 2013, more than half of the combined benefits of those tax expenditures will accrue to households with income in the highest quintile (or one-fifth) of the population.’ Predictably, Democratic leaders in Congress are drawing the wrong conclusions. ‘This shows that we could achieve a significant amount of deficit reduction by limiting the preferences to the highest income earners,’ said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, according to Reuters. Actually, what the report shows is that when you have in place a system where the top 20% of earners pays nearly 70% of federal income taxes — and the top 1% pays 37% — it follows that tax breaks will disproportionately benefit higher earners. Nearly half of American households pays no federal income tax at all.

The Lois Lerner Defense by Mark Steynalthough the commissioner of the IRS, Douglas Shulman, visited Obama’s White House no fewer than 157 times, which is 156 times more than his predecessor Mark Everson ever visited the White House, we know that this was for legitimate Easter-egg rolls, as he testified to Congress, and meetings to discuss Obamacare. The Easter Bunny, one should note, visits the White House two to four times as often as the average IRS commissioner did before Mr. Shulman came along. But you can’t make a health-care omelet without breaking Easter eggs: It is one of the many distinctive features of Obama-style ‘health’ ‘care’ ‘reform’ that, while it has not led to the hiring of a single additional doctor, nurse, or hospital janitor, it did require the biggest expansion of the IRS since the Second World War. So, when he wasn’t rolling Easter eggs and advising the moppets on whether they needed to declare the luxury Belgian white chocolate balls with praline filling, he was participating in vital meetings on how many extra SWAT teams he was going to need to enforce the new colonoscopy non-compliance penalty.

And that is the State of Our Union, June 3rd, 2013.