"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

A Progressive Vision of American Liberty

Tom Daschle finally decided to visit “his home” for the first since losing his senate seat to give a speech at the University of South Dakota. Daschle's speech was titled "The Politics of Freedom: A Progressive Vision of American Liberty."

President Bush and some Republicans view freedom as only protection from government intrusion, but it also must include the economic security people need so they can hang on to their freedom and independence, Daschle said.

Daschle said older Americans who lose their homes because they cannot afford the high cost of prescription drugs also lose their freedom to live their lives as they wish.

"We have allowed our notion for freedom in all of its gifts to degrade somewhat," Daschle said. "But in an age of such remarkable wealth and affluence, could we not as a nation work together to include economic security that makes freedom real?"

He said a key aspect of freedom is protection of the minority from the tyranny of the majority. Quoting President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Daschle said people need not only freedom of speech and worship, but also freedom from want and fear.

Economic security comes from the right to own property and to retain the fruits of one’s labor. It comes from laws and government policy that treat all citizens equally, not from a government that picks winners and losers.

Is there real freedom and independence when government works to control an ever larger percentage of our economy, while at the same time becomes the arbiter of who deserves what and how much? How does economic dependence on the government give anyone a sense of freedom and independence? The freedom we see is the freedom of politicians to take from one person to buy the vote of another. "The power to tax is the power to destroy."

Last year’s new “millionaire tax” in New Jersey was a perfect example of using the the power to tax to buy votes. Former Govern McGreevy submitted a budget calling for a $4 billion increase in state spending, but lacked the money for the popular property tax rebates. So what did he do, he took a poll and found 59% of people favored imposing a new tax on “millionaires” to fund their tax rebates.

No phony, baloney government program to protect the weakest among us, no terrific new government service and no “investment” in our state and our children’s future. Nope, it was just a flat out take money from one person to give to another. Is that right? Is it fair that a majority of voters can take by law the property of others? Apparently the Democrats think so; it seems to be the guiding principle of their party.

The government’s job is to protect the rights of the minority from the tyranny of the majority, indeed. That concept of government seems to have degraded somewhat in the “progressive vision of American liberty”, Mr. Daschle. There’s no freedom from fear of the taxman’s tyranny under your progressive vision of liberty.

So back in the "progressive" state of New Jersey, the older folks continue to lose their homes because they can’t afford the high property taxes and millions of New Jersey citizens deprive themselves because the taxman must be paid first. Living their lives as they wish? No, living their lives at the whim of the government and political greed.

But hey, it’s only fair you know, the "progressive" Daschles and Corzines have decided New Jersey citizens are “rich” and don't really need the money. We may only receive 57¢ in return for every tax dollar we send to Washington, but we should consider ourselves lucky. You see, we’re in the minority, the majority could vote to take it all. Now that's "progressive"!


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