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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Greenberg at Little Rock TEA Party

Dan GreenbergRep. Dan Greenberg: If you weren't at the state Capitol on April 15, you missed quite a show. Over a thousand Arkansas citizens showed up to protest high taxes and big government. If you like old-style speechmaking, here is an excerpt of about half of my remarks that day.
“When you wake up in the morning and drink that first cup of coffee, you’ve paid a sales tax. To start your car, you’ve paid an automobile tax. Drive to work, you pay a gas tax. At work, you pay an income tax and a payroll tax. You get home at night and you pay a property tax. Flip on the light – you are paying an electricity tax. Turn on the TV – you pay a cable tax. Make a telephone call - you pay a utility tax. Brush your teeth, you'll pay a water tax. Even when you die, you pay a death tax.

“I have just one question: Have you had enough?

“Most of these taxes are passed along to the consumer. Over a quarter of the cost of bread: taxes. About 50% of the cost of a phone call: taxes. Over 50% of a gallon of gas: taxes. And I am sure that you recall that in this very building right behind me, majority of legislators voted earlier this year to raise the taxes on milk.

“I am sure you remember the Boston tea party: a tax protest that was a response to a failed and unresponsive political system. A government out of touch with the people that was doing just the wrong thing in response to a crisis. Does this sound familiar?

“Winston Churchill said: For a nation to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing on a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.

“If you suddenly discovered you were much poorer than you thought, would your first reaction be to run up your credit card debt as high as it would go? I would call that stupid. What do they call it in Washington? A stimulus program!

“I would say that Congress is spending like a drunken sailor: but that is unfair to drunken sailors.

“Did you read the newspaper article about the city government nearby receiving a stimulus check for hundreds of thousands of dollars? Do you know what the city manager said? He said: this is great news, but we don’t know how we’re going to spend it yet. Think of that. When the people get taxed to pay for these things, they have plans to spend money too, but I guess that the stimulus has taken care of that.

“The deficit spending we have at the federal level leads to the worst and most dangerous and least visible and least accountable and most unfair tax of all. A trillion dollars of extra spending by government creates the danger of inflation: people with savings will have their savings completely destroyed by the inflation caused by government spending. Inflation is a less obvious way of going into everyone's savings account, forcibly removing the money, and giving it to everyone else.

“Is paying more taxes the patriotic thing to do, as the vice president has told us? His cabinet members apparently don’t think so.

“What is true patriotism? Well, it has to do with being in touch with reality. A good example comes from the 1980s, when Ronald Reagan reduced the top tax rate from 70% to 28%. The amount of income reported by the rich jumped by a huge amount between 1980 and 1988. The increase in taxable income was so immense that the amount of tax collected at a 28% tax rate was larger than the amount of tax collected with a 70% tax rate.”
I have spoken to a few people who find the spectacle of citizens demonstrating in favor of lower taxes a little frightening. Personally, I think it’s great.
Dan Greenberg is an Attorney-at-Law and State Representative (District 31), Arkansas General Assembly. Although he directly represents northern Saline County, he also represents all Arkansans with public stands for limited, transparent and responsible government.

Tags: Arkansas, Dan Greenberg, legislature, Little Rock, Representative, tea party To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 6:00 PM - Post Link


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