The President wishes to see the tax cuts already passed by Congress accelerated and made permanent. I commend him for this. He is absolutely right in saying that the best way to make sure Americans have the funds they need is not to tax it away. But Mr. Bush must go further. He must repeal not only the tax on dividends, but the corporate income tax itself - so that businesses can use that money to create the very jobs he seeks. He should also drastically reduce personal income tax levels. In doing so, he must vigorously defend against the charge that he is merely helping "the rich." In this country today, the more one makes, the more one's money is taxed away. That isn't the American dream. It's a socialist ideal first advanced by Karl Marx himself. The so-called "progressive" income tax should be cast into the dust bin of history - just as the viability of socialism was over a decade ago.
As the President pushes these tax cuts, he also seeks to keep spending in line. An excellent goal, to be sure - but I'll believe it when I see it. And I doubt I'll see it, given the massive new Federal programs Mr. Bush proposes. Not only are these new measures fiscally foolish, they contravene the law of the land. Social Security, which should more properly be termed "Socialist Security," should not be strengthened or reformed. It should be eliminated. The idea of retirement accounts controlled and owned by those who pay the taxes into them is a step in the right direction, they should not be backed by the Federal government, nor should citizens be compelled to contribute to them. The President should send the Congress legislation that repeals Socialist Security and refunds to taxpayers every penny they have paid into the system, plus interest.
Mr. Bush terms Medicare "a binding commitment of a caring society." It's also an unconstitutional one. In fact, the Tenth Amendment specifically reserves to the states any powers not specifically given to Congress. Nowhere in the plain language of the Constitution is Congress empowered to authorize spending for health care. The skyrocketing costs of medical care in this country cannot be solved by the government - because they have been caused by government intervention in the free market. When people don't have to directly bear the costs, it's only natural that they'll ask for the most expensive services available - services paid for by the taxpayers. Only when government is extricated from the health-care industry will there be the opportunity for real change.
Congress should not subsidize research in energy or any other field. If the American people want hydrogen-powered cars, or genetically-modified foods, or non-stick tape, let them give their own money to the automobile companies or laboratories to conduct the necessary research. Those who do not support such endeavors should not be forced at gunpoint to subsidize them.
The President's call for his fellow citizens to give of their time and energy is a noble one. But he should remove government impediments to charity, not place more in its way. The so-called faith based initiatives he proposes are dubious under the First Amendment's protection of freedom of religion. When money intended for good ends is funneled through the United States Treasury, an awful lot of it seems to get lost. By abrogating government's role as the middle man, Mr. Bush can help individuals and organizations assist more people in more ways. That would be a true act of compassion.
While drug addiction is an unfortunate problem facing our society, more government is not the answer. Larry Elder said it best: "The war on drugs is the new Vietnam - and we're losing this one, too." The government has not only taken fundamental freedoms from the citizenry in its attempt to prosecute this war, it has lied and deceived the American people. The reason drug dealers reap huge profits in the first place is the black market created by the government's prohibition of drug possession and use. The legalization of drugs will eliminate this market once and for all. A free person should have the right to determine what property to own and what substances to use. Through its paternalistic approach to drugs, the government has fostered irresponsibility and disrespect for legitimate laws prohibiting murder, rape, and theft. This must end now.
The President has asked for our compassion by appropriating billions of dollars to fight AIDS in lands far from our shores. To state the obvious: compassion extracted form one who is looking down the barrel of a gun is no compassion at all. Again, if people wish to buy drugs to aid those in need in Africa and the Caribbean, let them do so with their own money. Don't force those who disagree with this position to support it with their tax dollars.
The war on terrorism is one we will never win so long as terrorists have reasons to hate us. And contrary to what Mr. Bush said to Congress immediately after the attacks of 11 September 2001, terrorists do not hate us because we are a free people. He's dead wrong. They hate us because we meddle in their affairs, force our values upon their peoples, and most of all, because we occupy their soil with our armed forces. We can do something about that immediately, by withdrawing our forces from all foreign soil. And I mean all: Saudi Arabia, Europe, Japan, the Korean Peninsula, and anywhere else they may be. This is the single most important thing the United States can do to reduce its exposure to another terrorist attack.
Once the United States completes a defense against ballistic missiles, neither Saddam Hussein nor any other rogue dictator or state with weapons of mass destruction poses a threat to us. And when I say "us", I don't mean "us and our allies"; I mean the United States of America - its citizens and its territory, nothing more or less. We should not invade Iraq or any other nation simply because of their possession of weapons of mass destruction. If America is so hell-bent on other nations not having these weapons, it should practice what it preaches - and immediately commence total nuclear disarmament. At the same time, we should not prohibit private individuals and groups from funding or volunteering for opposition groups. Let the people of Iraq disarm Saddam the right way - from within.
America is a truly great nation, founded on what Mr. Bush called "the right of every person and the future of every nation" - freedom. Yet today, as has been the case for the last seventy years, a small cadre of Washington elites wants to deprive ordinary Americans of this most basic of rights. It's time that both the President and the Congress realized once again the true nature of America - a republic, based on limited governmental power, to unleash the immense creative abilities of its citizens. Mr. Bush must dedicate this country to a new era of true freedom at home - and if he does not, the people should replace him with someone who will.