A Better Economic Stimulus Deal ⋆ Politicrossing
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A Better Economic Stimulus Deal

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Soon, $1,400 dollar “stimulus” checks may arrive to millions of Americans. This comes after a previous $600 check and a $1,200 one prior to that. In the past several months, many Americans will have received over $3,200 in direct payments from Uncle Sam. One thing that these various checks have in common is that many financially struggling American’s waited tensely for news of their arrival. With each iteration, people tune in to Washington’s political theater. Google searches for the terms “stimulus check… Stimulus deal…when will stimulus checks arrive…” spike. Democrats and Republicans, Presidents, House Members, and Senators all take their turns grandstanding as the wheels of our democracy slowly turn.

It is all a show designed to get American citizens to buy into a few false premises: 1). That “the nice and caring government is going to send us some money to help us.” 2). Our chosen politician or political party is fighting to get us the money we need. 3). The government has money to give away. Let’s examine these ideas a little more closely. The problem with these premises is that the government produces nothing, the government does not earn money. The government can only confiscate money from productive citizens via taxation and the threat of violence.They then re-distribute this money as they see fit. Further, while the possibility does exist some politicians may care about some of their constituents, in most cases, politicians and bureaucrats don’t even know you. How could they possibly care about you?

Another motive behind sending a majority of the US population 3 direct payments in less than a year is to grease the wheels for the goal of getting the populace hooked on a Universal Basic Income. Several leading politicians have promoted the idea with great charisma and convincing over the past few years. A story in the Washington Post recently revealed a Democrat plan to send $250.00 a month per child payments to millions of American families.

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Like the stereo-typical drug dealer, our politicians just want us to “have a little taste” of these payments knowing that many will come back wanting more. As of this writing, they provide these direct stimulus payments to individuals with no strings attached. That won’t last. Just as you have to behave in certain government approved ways to get tax breaks (have children, get solar panels, drive an electric car, etc) so will you eventually have to behave in specific government approved ways to be eligible for future direct stimulus checks or a Universal Basic Income. What machinations will our ruling class devise in order for us to receive these future handouts? What behaviors will get us a reward from our all knowing leaders? Proof of a COVID-19 Vaccination? Proof of an “acceptable” internet browsing history? Direct payments from the Federal Government are the crack cocaine of the ruling elite, and politicians and bureaucrats will clamor at the opportunity to be our dealers.

Proponents of direct payments to individuals from the federal government never stop to ask, how did so many Americans survive for over 200 years without these checks from the government? How did Americans survive through World Wars, a Great Depression, several recessions, and a 2008 financial crisis without this “help” from politicians? How did Americans build the greatest economic and military empire in the history of the world without these stimulus checks? The answer lies not in stimulus checks and the dependence they can create or in help from the government. The answer is in freedom, rugged individualism, and less government interference and regulation in people’s lives. When people are free to dream and innovate and to take risk and fail or succeed, they learn valuable lessons that not only strengthen the individual, they strengthen all of society and our entire economy.

Each time there is talk amongst the political class of a stimulus deal, we watch as politicians haggle over how much money will go out and who it will go to. Will we get a check too or do we make too much money? Will there be “direct payments” in this stimulus deal or will it just go to small businesses and the unemployed? If the President of the United States really wanted to get money into the Pockets of hardworking Americans, there is a great way to stimulate the economy without having to deal with Congress at all. Just as both President Trump and President Biden issued an executive order temporarily suspending the repayment of student loans, they could do the same thing with taxes. They could “deal” some freedom back to the American people.

The President could issue executive orders to the Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Service suspending the collection of payroll taxes, income taxes, capital gains taxes, and the federal gasoline tax. The current federal tax on gasoline is 18.4 cents per gallon. Suspending the collection of these taxes for 90 days would immediately allow people to hold on to more of their hard earned money and it would save weeks if not months of political theater and grandstanding.

Unfortunately, such an approach is unlikely to happen for several reasons. First, suspension of having to pay income taxes would let a dirty little secret out of the bag. The “rich” pay more in taxes than everyone else. According to a 2018 Bloomberg story, “the top 1 percent paid a greater share of individual income taxes than the bottom 90 percent combined.” Former Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney was correct when he infamously said that 47 percent of the American people pay no taxes. Second, whether it is a Democrat or a Republican, many politicians rely on fanning the flames of class envy as a method of pushing whatever their agenda is. Further, the government doesn’t want to awaken a significant change in the general populace. The political class knows that way too many people think they are “getting money from the government” when they get a tax return or a stimulus check. The truth that it was never the government’s money to give away in the first place is lost on most.

The majority of people don’t stop to think about the 18 cents per gallon that goes to the federal government every time they fill up the tank. We don’t inspect how much they take out of our paycheck each payday. If politicians in Washington gave us 90 days of a taste of getting to keep our own money, they know we would miss it once they eventually resumed collecting it. They also know that we might ask what the money is being spent on. These are questions that our rulers don’t want asked. Far safer it is for them to put on a show and send us a check.

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Mini-Movie Reviews, 6

Two out of three ain’t bad

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Here are three movies, each having received at least one Oscar nomination:

All Quiet on the Western Front — here is a remake of the 1930s classic, and I was prepared to have this be the same old trench warfare, with all the accompanying platitudes. Instead, I was surprised. This was well done, with decent acting, and a few hand-to-hand combat sequences unlike anything I have previously seen, some truly touching. It is a German production, but all in English. Although it’s on the long side, I think it is worthwhile.

Everything Everywhere All at Once — starring Michelle Yeoh, and receiving 11 Oscar nominations is alternatively amusing, excessively noisy, clever, confusing, and lacking boundaries. It is without a raison d’être, as with other movies during this awards season, notably The Banshees of Isherin and Tár. Everything Everywhere is getting rave reviews, but I say “skip it.” As one reviewer put it, the plot seems to suggest “that what makes life meaningful is the recognition that because there is no inherent meaning, all things and moments are equally meaningful.” Oh, sure thing….

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Aftersun — a subtle but touching recollection of a 30-year old woman, when she was on a long vacation with her divorced father, 20 years earlier, before the new school year starts. Not much happens, yet we are drawn to this twosome, and the screenplay and the director skillfully lead us to an articulated but implied conclusion. Newcomer Paul Mescal, as the father, received an Oscar nomination and (Miss) Frankie Corio, as the 10-year old daughter, is equally good. Aftersun is not for the masses, but I found it to be worthwhile.

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Faith

The Left Is Fueling a New Racism

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It’s my firm belief that the number of Americans holding racist views is small, whether white, black, or Hispanic. At this point in our history, the vast majority of Americans try to live up to the challenge delivered by Martin Luther King Jr. on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. We keep moving toward the hard-fought dream he envisioned of an America where a citizen’s character would mean more than the color of their skin.

We are a different country today. I’ve presented leadership programs to hundreds of companies over the last 40 years. I’ve seen the work they’ve done to embrace diversity and advance capable employees and leaders from all races. Many minority members have advanced and earned their rightful place in making this great American economy work. At a time we should be celebrating and furthering our progress, our American culture is under attack from the left. Angry race-baiters are doing everything they can to increase our racial divide through pushing the 1619 Project, CRT, and BLM. They make extreme racist claims with a clear goal—to expand the government gravy train that only racial “victims” can justify.

I lived in pre-civil rights Atlanta where there were separate schools, separate bathrooms, and the baseball team was the Atlanta Crackers! Today, it’s more likely that leftist blacks are the ones who want separate schools, separate rights, and special reparations for their race.

As one anonymous post asserted, “Only in America can an ethnic group of black awareness month, black holiday, black only colleges, black only dating sites, and black only bars and clubs…and turn around and call everyone else racists!” You don’t have to look far to find evidence of extreme black racist demands.

In California, the San Francisco African American Reparations Advisory Committee released a report calling on the city to pay every qualifying black California resident $5 million and absolve them of their outstanding personal debt. This is madness. California was a free state and did not condone slavery, but the committee is doing all it can to justify reparations: “While neither San Francisco, nor California, formally adopted the institution of chattel slavery, the tenets of segregation, white supremacy and systematic repression and exclusion of Black people were codified through legal and extralegal actions, social codes, and judicial enforcement.” To the left, this “failure” warrants millions of innocent California citizens being forced to pay higher taxes to fund exorbitant benefits to one race they haven’t abused in any way.

In Washington, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) is proposing a law that could codify black racism in America. There is a common mantra in her political speeches: White America is defined by institutional racism, systemic racism, white supremacy, and white nationalism. She attacks “white” America and seems to see the clan in the face of every white citizen. Such general attacks are evidence of a new racism—black racism.

Read for yourself Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s proposed law, the Leading Against White Supremacy Act of 2023. The legislation promises to criminalize criticism of any minority that is subsequently used to incite anybody else to commit a hate crime. The law reads: “A conspiracy to engage in white supremacy inspired hate crimes shall be determined to exist between two or more persons, at least one of whom published material advancing white supremacy, white supremacist ideology, antagonism based on ‘replacement theory,’ or hate speech that vilifies or is otherwise directed against any non-White person or group could, as determined by a reasonable person, motivate actions by a person predisposed to engaging in a white supremacy inspired crime.”

This is a chilling attack on freedom of speech against one race—caucasians. In short, if you criticize a minority and another person states that your statement was all the motivation needed to do a hate crime, you may be jailed because your criticism “motivated” a hate crime you did not commit. Get the message—be silent and conform or we will put you away.

Black racism is real and just as evil as white racism. Both must be soundly rejected by responsible citizens. As a Christian, I affirm my Savior’s claim that all God’s children matter! No responsible citizen should be shamed into silence by the irresponsible racist attacks of the left. Be proud of yourself and of America. Whether black, brown or white, success as a small business person or advancement as a good employee had to be earned by hard work, long hours, and diligent sacrifice. As with Americans for generations, it was not handed to you. You didn’t depend on government handouts to get ahead, you had to find a way to earn your own American Dream.

Reparations will never happen! Politicians can’t even afford to fund the entitlements they’ve already promised. Special black racist demands are unethical, divisive, and risk fueling a new racism backlash. Politicians from the left keep making the promises to fuel racist anger and secure special interest donations and votes.

Don’t fall for their racist rants and demands. Depending on government entitlements is never the answer. Instead, get busy following the models and learning from citizens of all races who have made America work for themselves and their families.

Let’s reclaim the American Dream Martin Luther King, Jr. affirmed. Do not judge a fellow citizen by the color of their skin. Celebrate the character of the vast majority of good American citizens you meet. Keep rejecting racism of any kind. It’s time to stand proud and applaud hard work and success wherever we find it, no matter what the race. May it always be so in this great republic we treasure…America!

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