Conceding Our Dependence on Independence Day
- 5 July 2009 by Author 0 Comments
America, I hardly Recognize You Now
By Richard Larsen
Published – Idaho State Journal, 07/05/2009
Freedom! How sweet the word, and how profound the meaning. Men have died, and been willing to sacrifice all they had, for freedom. Our Fourth of July celebrations are based on that Declaration to the English throne, “And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”
To all freedom loving Americans, William Wallace’s cry of “Freedom!” stirs our souls as he was beheaded by Longshanks’ minions in “Braveheart.” We are moved by the images of bravery against seemingly insurmountable odds, as Benjamin Martin rallies the revolutionary forces with a war-torn flag in the “Patriot.” But the real-life heroes, political and military alike, who have fought for, and defended individual liberty and freedom touch our collective consciousness with profundity unmatched by depictions on the silver screen.
I approach this Independence Day celebration with sadness commensurate with my aforementioned respect and gratitude, for our freedom is being sacrificed, one bill at a time, by an out-of-control federal government. With each bill passed and signed, government grows. With such expansion of government, control over our individual lives increases exponentially, and the erosion of personal freedom and liberty is unmistakable. This erosion has accelerated at a dizzying pace in the first six months of the year. As 1776 marked the birth of American freedom, 2009 may well mark its demise.
A quadrupling of the budget deficit places not just this generation, but future generations in financial thralldom. Current tax receipts collected by the treasury will barely be enough to cover the yearly interest on the new federal debt.
So to expand receipts, more taxes need to be levied and collected. The declared intent to allow expiration of the Bush tax cuts will amount to the largest tax increase ever imposed on the country as the average American will see a tax increase between $2100 and $5600 annually, according to the Wall Street Journal.
But wait, there’s another bigger tax increase threatening us. The Waxman-Marky “cap and trade” bill will impose another $1600-$2400 annually in increased cost for all of our energy consumption. And that’s regardless of income bracket, thereby constituting the largest regressive tax ever imposed on us. Speaking of energy, remember what Obama has said, “We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times…” Looks like he meant it. The government means to tax us into behaving the way it thinks we should.
The more the government withholds from our paychecks or requires from our quarterly tax filings, the greater the infringement on our financial liberty. What are you willing to give up from your person standard of living in order to pay an energy tax fraudulently sold to us in the name of “saving the planet?” Since our incomes are largely fixed, what will you sacrifice? A car? Your house? A yearly family vacation? Who can deny that our freedoms are severely impinged upon by such ludicrous and unwarranted governmental expansion? Perhaps only the clueless or the ideologues.
For generations, America has attracted the most gifted and visionary minds of the world. Not just for the individual freedom available here, but for the financial freedom afforded men and women of great talent and vision in seeing their work yield fruits of pecuniary bounty. But by targeting the most successful amongst us for increased tax burden, and even seeking to limit compensation by the appointment of a “Pay Tsar” in the White House, our freedom to earn is under assault.
Federal usurpation of our health care constitutes an erasure of personal freedom of unparalleled proportions. When the government defines benefits under their plan, they can set the terms for participation in the benefits. They make the life and death decisions for us, and our ability to choose is negated. As President Obama said last week, “Maybe you’re better off, uhh, not having the surgery, but, uhh, taking the painkiller,” when referring to end-of-life health care decisions for the elderly or the terminally ill. Granted, our freedom may be limited by current insurance coverage in making such decisions, but to completely abrogate that right and have the government make such decisions for us is unconscionable, and dare I say it? Un-American. That brings them one step closer to telling us how to live our lives, what to eat and drink, and mandating “risk-free” behavior.
And in true Orwellian fashion, “Newspeak” is being codified into federal law. Just as George Orwell’s “1984” defined acceptable and unacceptable speech in order to “narrow the range of thought,” so likewise passage of hate crime legislation, and universal distribution of Department of Homeland Security encyclicals seek to coerce politically correct speech and thought, further infringing upon our First Amendment rights. According to DHS, all who disagree with the administrations’ official policies are regarded as enemies of the state.
Our majestic “Old Glory,” which has stood as a symbolic ensign of freedom and liberty to the world, is being trampled upon by the very stewards elected to “preserve us a nation.” As our banner is sullied and loses its luster, I sorrow at the apparent demise of a great nation once dedicated to the protection of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” America, I have loved you and what you have stood for, but I hardly recognize you now.
Award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board. He can be reached at email@example.com.