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I Believe

An Assessment of Beliefs and a Comparisson with Barack Obama

I came up with a few statements that I want you to consider. They are in the form of “I believe…” statements. As in, “I believe in equal protection,” etc. I want you to read them and consider whether or not you agree with these statements.

Here they are, in all their glory:

1) I believe I should be able to enjoy the fruits of my labor.

2) I believe I should take responsibility for myself and not impose upon others for support.

3) I believe government should have minimal say in how I live my daily life.

4) I believe I should be allowed to invest in my future without penalty.

5) I believe my property is mine, and if it is taken I should be fairly compensated for it.

Think about these statements. Do you agree with them? Are these not the basic tenants of liberty?

If you agree with me; if you believe these statements are true and are among the basic foundations of freedom and growth, then you may be in for a shock: You’re not an Obama supporter.

Enjoy the Fruits of My Labor

As we work harder and take risks, we as human beings expect greater reward for our labors. If I work 40 hours, I will be compensated less than if I work 60 hours and more than if I work 20 hours. If I do better work that is more valuable to my employer, again I should receive greater compensation than someone who half-asses their work.

If I start my own business, I am taking a huge risk. If I succeed, I expect to be compensated in relation to my success. Otherwise, taking the risk really isn’t worth it.

Obama wants to raise taxes on people earning more than $250,000. In 2007, over 900,000 people reported incomes in excess of a quarter-million dollars. Of these, more than two-thirds were small business owners. These business owners took a risk to open their business and continue to take risks by keeping the business open. Now Obama and the Democrats are telling these small business owners that they are earning too much money and need to “spread the wealth around,” as Obama put it.

Simply put, Obama and the Democrats want to punish people for hard work and success, a violation of the beliefs listed above.

Responsibility for Self

In the same manner as being rewarded for taking successful risks, we must take responsibility for taking unsuccessful risks.

Taking responsibility for our actions used to be one of the important life lessons we had to learn when growing up. If we throw a toy out a window and it broke, we learned to not throw toys out our window. Likewise, if we didn’t study and failed a class, we had to repeat that class. This taught us about our later life: Don’t pay your bills and they shut-off your electricity. Spend your money on an expensive car and you can’t afford diapers.

Obama wants to change this formula to a new one with his above-mentioned tax plan. Obama is offering “refundable tax credits,” which means that no matter how much money you actually owe and paid in taxes, you get a refund for the full amount of the credit; you could actually receive back more money than you paid in (this already exists–Obama’s plan is to greatly expand this form of welfare).

Minimal Government Interference

In order to life a life of liberty and freedom, we must be allowed to live our lives in the manner we choose, without the government interfering. Obama’s plan is to inject more government into our lives. The Obama plan is to greatly expand government health care programs, early-childhood education, social security, civil rights programs for minorities and the disabled, and welfare programs. He cannot do this without more government involvement in our lives.

If we have more regulations on disability access, for example, then we will spend even more time trying to comply with regulations and have less time to ourselves. Every place the government touches, it must control in some way. It must take some of our liberty away. Government regulates behavior because our individual behavior does not fit the narrow mold of law. In order to make things easy on government, it limits freedom. Each law, each regulation takes away our freedom. Each new government program requires new laws and regulations.

Obama has proposed dozens of new programs. Is he really a friend of freedom and liberty?

Investing in the Future

Living only for today without considering our future is a losing endeavor. We invest in our future by getting an education and purchasing a house. We buy stock and mutual funds. We put our earnings into a 401(k) or IRA.

Obama wants to give more tax credits for college expenses. Fine. Lower taxes are a good thing. However, he wants to raise taxes on capital gains, the income earned by selling investments at a profit. When we sell stock we pay taxes on our profit. If we buy a house and sell it within a short period of time we pay taxes on our profit. Obama’s plan is to raise the capital gains tax from its current 15% to 28%.

Not only does this reduce our incentive to invest in our future, it reduces the incentive for foreign investment. We have a significant trade deficit. A trade deficit is the amount of money we spend on imported goods that is more than the amount of goods we export. The reason this deficit is not a problem is that most of that money then comes back to the United States in the form of investment in our businesses and public debt.

Raising the capital gains rate increases the incentive to invest elsewhere or to invest in low-risk, low-paying tax-free municipal debt. Either way, businesses lose out and so do we.

In the mid-1990s, the Democrats proposed a one-time tax on all privately-held pensions (401(k), IRA and other similar plans). Only the Republican Revolution of 1994 stopped it. With a filibuster-proof Congress and a Democrat in the White House, does anyone think this idea won’t resurface?

Obama’s plan is to punish investment. Investment drives our economy.

Fair Compensation for Property

There are lots of ways that Obama explicitly and implicitly threatens property rights. For space reasons, I will list them but limit my explanations.

1) Higher taxes. Your money is your property. Obama wants to raise taxes, “spread[ing] the wealth” and shifting property from its owners to the community.2) Obama’s “spread the wealth” ideology can be easily extended to justify greater private property confiscation through eminent domain. After all, redevelopment raises land value, increasing the tax base and providing more funds for government to take care of us.3) Obama supports greater civil rights and disability rights legislation. Civil rights and disability rights laws already violate the rights of property. Lawsuits over jobs, access and speech violate the property owner’s rights to maintain, use and sell property as they choose.

Conclusion

Ask yourself now, “Do I really believe that i have a right to life, liberty and property? Or do I believe that these rights must be curtailed for the ‘greater good?’”

If you answered that you believe in life, liberty and property (or, if you must, the pursuit of happiness), then you should not vote for Obama.

That is not to say you should vote for McCain. Clearly, both McCain and Obama supported some kind of bailout for the financial sector (fat lot of good that did). Clearly, both Obama and McCain want to limit free speech (Obama with the fairness doctrine, McCain with campaign finance reform). Neither candidate is a perfect choice for individual freedom.

Between the two major candidates, McCain more consistently supports greater individual economic freedom over communal rights, while Obama more consistently supports greater communal rights over individual freedom. The remaining candidates include Libertarian Bob Barr, Green Cynthia McKinney, and independent Dennis Kucinich. Only Barr consistently supports individual freedom, while the other two consistently support communal behavior.

A vote for Obama is a vote against your individual rights. Obama does not want freedom. He wants government to have more responsibility so that it can have more power over you and me.

Not freedom. Subservience.

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