Obama: He’s Not a Centrist, But He Plays One On TV

As I noted in an earlier post, Obama said:

…let’s go back to the rates that existed back in — during the Clinton era…

Let’s go back to the rate that existed under Ronald Reagan.

By saying “let’s go back to…”, Obama wants you to believe he is following previous precedent.

By invoking both Clinton and Reagan, Obama wants you to believe he is a “centrist”.

Obama may play a centrist on TV, but the reality is that he is farther left than Carter.  Carter allowed you to deduct the full amount of your charitable contributions, so your net tax on charitable contributions was 0%.  Obama wants an unprecedented new 11.6% net tax on charitable contributions made by the very people who give the most to charity.

President

Top
Tax
Rate

Tax
on
$100

Deduction
Allowed
For
$100
Charitable
Contribution

Tax
Credit
for
Deduction

Net
Tax
on
$100
Charitable
Contribution

Carter

70%

$70.00

$100.00

$70.00

$0.00

Reagan

28%

$28.00

$100.00

$28.00

$0.00

Bush 41

28%

$28.00

$100.00

$28.00

$0.00

Clinton

39.6%

$39.60

$100.00

$39.60

$0.00

Bush 43

36%

$36.00

$100.00

$36.00

$0.00

Obama

39.6%

$39.60

$70.71

$28.00

$11.60

Obama is not a centrist. He is farther left than Carter.

Under Obama’s plan, the more money the wealthy give, the more money the government is going to take away.

Someone who makes $1 Million a year, and gives 10% ($100,000) to charity, paid $0 tax on those contributions under Carter, Reagan, Bush 41, Clinton, and Bush 43. But they would pay $11,600.00 in new taxes under Obama.

Someone who makes $1 Million a year, and gives 20% ($200,000) to charity, paid $0 tax on those contributions under Carter, Reagan, Bush 41, Clinton, and Bush 43. But they would pay $23,200.00 in new taxes under Obama.

Got that? The person who gives away twice as much money gets “rewarded” by Obama with having to pay twice as much in new “charity taxes”.

Anyone who gives a rip about helping other people should realize that Obama’s plan penalizes generosity and will hurt charities.

Obama’s plan is not fair, and it’s not compassionate. It is cruel and unfair. And Obama, as the Community Organizer Communist Agitator that he is, is trying to stir up class warfare when he lies and says:

In that sense, what it would do is it would equalize — when I give $100, I’d get the same amount of deduction as when some — a bus driver who’s making $50,000 a year, or $40,000 a year, gives that same $100. Right now, he gets 28 percent — he gets to write off 28 percent. I get to write off 39 percent. I don’t think that’s fair.

That’s a lie.

Currently, both the bus driver and the wealthy person get to write off the same amount. They both get to write off 100 percent of their donation. They both pay $0 tax on that donation.

Obama wants to change things from fair to unfair.

Obama wants the bus driver to get to write off 100 percent, while the wealthy person would only be allowed to write of 70.71 percent. Obama wants the bus driver to pay $0 tax on their $100 donation, while the wealthy person pays $11.60 tax on their $100 donation.

That’s not fairness. And Obama is being anything BUT “open, transparent, and honest”.

UPDATE: Democrats and Republicans alike ask:
Will Obama’s Socialist Agenda Be His Undoing?

—————————

Other relevant posts:

The Parable of 10 Men in a Bar

Obama Explains “Spread the Wealth”

Obama’s Communist Global Poverty Act

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28 Responses to Obama: He’s Not a Centrist, But He Plays One On TV

  1. Jonah says:

    Actually, aside from the red text and screams about socialism and communism, I agree with pretty much everything you’ve said here. Oh, except this:

    Under Obama’s plan, the more money the wealthy give, the more money the government is going to take away.

    That’s not technically true. The nature of deductions is that the government will always take away less money the more you give to charity. The difference now is that those curves decrease at different slopes.

    But you’re correct in that the net effect, wherein those in the top income bracket are disincentivized from giving to charities, is unprecedented and unacceptable. I’m also disturbed by the allusions to Reagan and Clinton; taking the tax rate from one and the deduction cap from the other undermines a comparison with either. Mathematically, the analogy makes no sense.

    Fortunately, we can take comfort in two things: (a) this plan is very far off, and there’s a lot that needs to happen before it’s anything close to official, and (b) you’re not the only one who’s outraged about it. So keep complaining (though I’d posit that you’ll be more effective if you drop the shouty rhetoric). Congress does listen.

  2. Jonah,

    Thank you for your comment. Even though we disagree on many things, I honestly would have been shocked if you didn’t agree with me on this.

    I agree with your critique that the quoted sentence is not technically true. The person making $1M and giving 20% away will still pay less taxes overall than the person making $1M and giving 10% away.

    But the person giving twice as much away would pay twice as much in new “charity tax” under Obama’s plan. The intention of what I meant is more clear if I add four words:

    Under Obama’s plan, the more money the wealthy give, the more money the government is going to take away in new “charity taxes”.

    I’m thankful that you agree Obama’s plan is unprecedented and unacceptable.

    I’m thankful that you are also disturbed by the allusions to Reagan and Clinton.

    Not only is Obama’s plan a horribly bad plan, but the way he is “selling” it is fundamentally dishonest.

  3. I think bipartisan opposition will prevent Obama from implementing what I call his “charity tax”, but there is a bigger picture here.

    Obama is most certainly exposing his dishonesty.

    Obama is most certainly exposing his Marxist mindset.

    Obama is most certainly exposing his Alinsky methods.

    Obama is most certainly trying to exploit class conflict.

    He is trying to make the bus driver feel that he is being exploited and being treated unfairly, when the exact opposite is true. The current deduction rules are fair to all. Obama wants to “CHANGE” them to be unfair and exploit the wealthy. And this exploitation of the wealthy would likely result in less charitable contributions and would have a harmful “trickle down” effect on the people being helped by charities. Obama claims to be fighting for the “little guy”, but his plans would actually hurt everyone including the “little guy”. Obama isn’t making things better, he is making them worse and stirring class conflict as he does so.

    This is nothing new for Obama. Over a year ago, the speech that everyone thought was about race wasn’t really about race. It was about using racism in order to form a more Socialist Union.

  4. Jonah says:

    It’s interesting that you bring up that speech again, because last time you and I tried to discuss race it got derailed pretty quickly. Perhaps we can do better this time.

    I’m not so naïve as to believe you’ll ever agree with me on issues such as, say, affirmative action. But the first step of this program is admitting that there is a problem, so let’s see if we can get to that point. I gather from your link that you don’t believe race to be a real issue in America. Manufactured is probably the buzzword of the moment. My suspicion still is that you think there’s nothing to talk about because you haven’t thought about it enough, and consequently you think that those who are talking about it must be racist.

    Let’s back up. You suggest frequently that race doesn’t exist, that we’re all one human race. Tell me where in the following chain of statements you start to disagree with me.

    • There exist adjectives “black” and “white,” possibly ill-defined, which refer to the color of one’s skin. More politically (but less geographically) correctly, one might say “African-American” or “Caucasian,” but the specific term is unimportant here. This is, of course, not a binary choice, nor does it encompass all (or even “almost all”) of the population, but the categories exist to the point where one can discuss statistics in a meaningful way.
    • To that end, the following statistic is disturbing: 41% of the United States prison population is black, though only 12% of the population at large is black.
    • To the extent that we should only address inequalities of opportunity rather than inequalities of results, the above inequality constitutes significant evidence of the former. If a man walks up to you on the street and offers to play a coin flipping game, then produces a quarter which lands on tails for the first hundred flips, it would be reasonable to suspect that this is not truly a fair coin.
    • Where inequality of opportunity exists, we should discuss it in order to better understand how to fix it. As such, since we have evidence of racial inequality of opportunity, discussions about race are not inherently wastes of breath. Rather, they are crucial to solving the problem.

    We’ll just stop there for now. Give me your thoughts.

  5. You suggest frequently that race doesn’t exist, that we’re all one human race.

    Scenario: Each of a person’s four grandparents are from different continents. Let’s just say the grandparents are from Kenya, Indonesia, Brazil, and Ukraine, respectively.

    Question: What “race” is that person?

    the following statistic is disturbing: 41% of the United States prison population is black, though only 12% of the population at large is black.

    Disturbing? Yes. Unequal outcome attributable to skin color? Don’t jump to that conclusion. There are other factors involved here. If everything about our population was uniform, yet a certain segment of the population was disproportionally represented in prison due to their skin color, then yes, that would would be an injustice that needed to be corrected.

    But everything about our population is NOT uniform. There are significant differences in things like the percentage of biological fathers who are married to the biological mothers and are actively involved in raising the children. I say that the presence or absence of fathers and other mentors in a child’s life makes a much bigger difference than “race” in determining whether or not a child will grow up to commit crimes and go to jail.

    One thing that makes a huge difference in helping fathers to take responsibility and “be a real man” in regards to their family is faith in Jesus Christ.

    Get the fathers “saved” and you’ll help save the entire family. That’s true regardless of “race” or skin color.

    People are sent to prison because they committed a crime. In an ideal world, skin color doesn’t even factor into the equation. From what I see, when skin color is a factor, that racism leads to guilty people being set free (like O.J. Simpson’s murder trial) as often, if not more often, as it leads to innocent people being jailed.

    There is racism in this country. And it goes more than one direction. Yes, there are some “whites” who are racist against “blacks”. There are also some “blacks” who are racist against “whites”. And some Latinos who are racist against Puerto Ricans (the hairstylist who cut my hair this week is an example of such, and this was the first and last time that I will let her cut my hair).

    Where inequality of opportunity exists, we should discuss it in order to better understand how to fix it.

    Agreed. And I would argue that that inequality of opportunity exists right now in the way government contracts are issued. Companies owned by white males are discriminated against, and pretty much everyone knows it and acknowledges it. If a company is owned by a minority, they get no-bid contracts and preferential treatment. Often, the company owned by the white male is only allowed to be a subcontractor, contracting though a company that is owned by a minority. The minority-owned company gets to make a profit off the labor of the employees from the white male-owned company, and for no other reason than racism. Minus physical abuse (which I do NOT make light of), it is like a modern day plantation, except the historical roles are reversed and the “blacks” run the plantation while the “whites” work on the plantation.

    Which brings me back to the role that “plantation mentality” plays in leading to a disproportionate “black” population in prison. I strongly suggest that you read the following book, written by a man who was once a radical “black” student at Berkeley:

    It’s OK to Leave the Plantation : The New Underground Railroad
    by C. Mason Weaver

  6. Jonah says:

    Actually, stop right there, because you’re misunderstanding me.

    Disturbing? Yes. Unequal outcome attributable to skin color? Don’t jump to that conclusion. There are other factors involved here. If everything about our population was uniform, yet a certain segment of the population was disproportionally represented in prison due to their skin color, then yes, that would would be an injustice that needed to be corrected.

    Of course there are other factors. That’s the point. If, as you suggest, the percentage of families comprising two parents differs wildly between races, is that not something to be concerned about?

    No matter how you cut it, this statistic has a cause, and getting to the bottom of it is the very goal of talking about race.

  7. Jonah says:

    (And your “scenario” is exactly the reason I peppered my first bullet point with all those disclaimers. Yes, it’s a very imprecise category. Yes, some people fit into several groups. Some fit into none. But to a certain extent the category has meaning, and though we may argue about the finer points, its overall usefulness as a statistic is valid.

  8. No matter how you cut it, this statistic has a cause, and getting to the bottom of it is the very goal of talking about race.

    But it’s not about race. It’s a spiritual battle. I know that you, as an atheist, have a very different worldview than I do about this. But when a man or woman commits a crime, it’s not because of the color of his or her skin – it’s because of the condition of their spirit.

  9. But to a certain extent the category has meaning, and though we may argue about the finer points, its overall usefulness as a statistic is valid.

    I disagree. I think categorizing people by their skin color is not right, and not useful. I call categorizing people by their skin color RACISM.

    Let’s remember the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream:

    I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

  10. Please be sure to re-read my comment from 6:57 pm above, because I was adding more to it when you posted your two follow-on comments. I responded to your comments, but you may not have realized that I added more text to the 6:57 pm comment.

  11. Jonah,

    Actually, aside from the red text and screams about socialism and communism, I agree with pretty much everything you’ve said here.

    Whether or not you believe Obama is a Socialist or Communist, can you not see that Obama, in the professed interest of “fairness”, is promoting the same bad tax policy that a Socialist or Communist would promote?

    And this isn’t the first time…

    Obama’s redistributionism on capital gains taxes

    Obama stumbles on capital-gains tax again

  12. Jonah says:

    But when a man or woman commits a crime, it’s not because of the color of his or her skin – it’s because of the condition of their spirit.

    Yes, obviously. But that’s not what we’re saying. The fact is that over a broad spectrum of statistics, black people consistently get the short end of the stick. Whether this is because of racism or not is irrelevant. The statistics are racially skewed, and it is our job as humans who care about the world to try to figure out why.

    I disagree. I think categorizing people by their skin color is not right, and not useful. I call categorizing people by their skin color RACISM.

    Do you think that referring to someone’s gender is sexist? Is it homophobic to talk about homosexuality? Can one discuss religion without inciting a holy war?

    This whole notion that we cannot acknowledge our differences without “judging” each other is absurd. Racial colorblindness is an impossibility, and it’s myopic to suggest that we should strive to ignore something so culturally loaded. Black culture exists whether you want it to or not. Personally, I think it’s worth talking about.

  13. From a DNA perspective, gender is binary. XX or XY.

    Skin color is the result of widely varying amounts of melanin.

    The statistics are racially skewed, and it is our job as humans who care about the world to try to figure out why.

    I agree, and I’ve already shared with you why I think this is. I encourage you, in your quest to “figure out why”, to not reject something that you think is irrelevant. Try studying the inverse relationship between Biblical morality and crime.

  14. Jonah says:

    From a DNA perspective, gender is binary. XX or XY.

    Skin color is the result of widely varying amounts of melanin.

    Are you suggesting that something is worth studying only if it’s very easily defined? As a mathematician I’m flattered, but I know some economists, lawyers, doctors, physicists, historians, political scientists, sociologists, linguists, writers, teachers, and artists who would probably disagree with you.

    I encourage you, in your quest to “figure out why”, to not reject something that you think is irrelevant.

    I don’t reject your hypothesis as irrelevant, but I do find it hard to accept as a complete answer when the percentage of blacks who consider themselves Christian is so much higher than that of whites. And I find it hard to reconcile your thesis with crime and religious affiliation in the United States and Sweden: the former has twice the homicide rate of the latter, but America is (as you say) a very Christian nation and Sweden is one of the most predominantly atheistic countries in the world.

  15. 1) Gender, from a DNA perspective, is very objective.

    2) Race is very subjective. Sure, there is differentiation in the gene pool (a gene pool that started with Adam and Eve, and branched out from there), but the concept of “race” is not an objective, biological differentiation… it is a man-made division.

    3) There is a big difference between merely “consider themselves Christian” and “study and apply Biblical morality”.

    Sadly, many people who “consider themselves Christian” never read the Bible.

    As for homicide rates, I don’t have all the data, but I know that places like Washington, D.C. are worse than Bagdad, Iraq. But I wouldn’t say that Washington, D.C. is a very Christian city. Have you ever studied the differences in homicide rates in “red” districts versus “blue” districts? If you see a difference, have you studied the differences in weekly church attendance rates in those same districts? You might find a correlation.

  16. Jonah says:

    [T]he concept of “race” is not an objective, biological differentiation… it is a man-made division.

    Yes, and so what? I don’t care where the distinction came from. I care that cultural distinctions exist now.

    There is a big difference between merely “consider themselves Christian” and “study and apply Biblical morality”.

    Yes, I do agree that those who apply Biblical morality are much less likely to commit homicide. I believe in tautologies, you know. But I don’t accept that those who don’t believe in God but apply secular morality are any worse. Consider, once again, Sweden.

    As for homicide rates, I don’t have all the data, but I know that places like Washington, D.C. are worse than Bagdad, Iraq.

    You should find the data. It’s pretty easily available. Just glancing at Wikipedia, it looks like the murder rate in D.C. is about 30 per year per 100,000 people, and in Baghdad it’s about 900.

    Have you ever studied the differences in homicide rates in “red” districts versus “blue” districts?

    Yes, I do agree that urban areas suffer from more crime than rural ones.

  17. But when a man or woman commits a crime, it’s not because of the color of his or her skin – it’s because of the condition of their spirit.

    Yes, obviously. But that’s not what we’re saying.

    That is what I’m saying.

    The fact is that over a broad spectrum of statistics, black people consistently get the short end of the stick. Whether this is because of racism or not is irrelevant. The statistics are racially skewed, and it is our job as humans who care about the world to try to figure out why.

    I agree, and I’ve already shared with you why I think this is. I encourage you, in your quest to “figure out why”, to not reject something that you think is irrelevant. Try studying the inverse relationship between Biblical morality and crime.

    I don’t reject your hypothesis as irrelevant, but I do find it hard to accept as a complete answer when the percentage of blacks who consider themselves Christian is so much higher than that of whites.

    There is a big difference between merely “consider themselves Christian” and “study and apply Biblical morality”.

    Sadly, many people who “consider themselves Christian” never read the Bible.

    A 20th Century Democrat President appears to have agreed with what I have been saying here.

    The most important business in this Nation–or any other nation, for that matter-is raising and training children. If those children have the proper environment at home, and educationally, very, very few of them ever turn out wrong. I don’t think we put enough stress on the necessity of implanting in the child’s mind the moral code under which we live.

    The fundamental basis of this Nation’s law was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings which we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul. I don’t think we emphasize that enough these days.

    Today, most people would think those were the words of a “radical right-winger”. Less than 60 years ago, they were the words of a Democrat President.

  18. Jonah says:

    First off, Democrat is a noun, not an adjective. I know many Republicans are loath to refer to us as “Democratic”, but it there’s no sense in eschewing good grammar just to make a point.

    And I absolutely agree, as someone invested in improving urban education, that much of the differences we see today between blacks and whites are caused by how children are raised and taught. I encourage you to think seriously about whether the policies you support are helping or hurting in this regard.

  19. Jonah says:

    And, naturally, I insert an unnecessary “it” in a sentence about grammar. I believe there’s some fundamental law of the internet that says this always happens.

  20. And I absolutely agree … that much of the differences we see today between blacks and whites are caused by how children are raised and taught. I encourage you to think seriously about whether the policies you support are helping or hurting in this regard.

    I’m glad you agree that much of the differences we see today are caused by how children are raised and taught.

    The policies I support help in this regard. I, like Democratic President Harry S. Truman, support teaching children Biblical morality both at home and at school. And when we do this, very, very few of them ever turn out wrong.

    I repeat, for emphasis:

    The most important business in this Nation–or any other nation, for that matter-is raising and training children. If those children have the proper environment at home, and educationally[!], very, very few of them ever turn out wrong. I don’t think we put enough stress on the necessity of implanting in the child’s mind the moral code under which we live [the Bible and Biblical morality].

    The fundamental basis of this Nation’s law was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings which we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul. I don’t think we emphasize that enough these days.

    – Democratic President Harry S. Truman,
    February 15, 1950

    Do you know what book used to be used to teach reading in our nation’s schools?

    The Bible.

    The First Amendment does not ban Bibles from schools. The First Amendment does not ban the endorsment of Christianity. It prevents Congress from creating any law establishing (founding, owning, and operating) a state-run religion.

    The words “establishment” and “endorsement” have very different meanings.

    If I “establish” a restaurant that is totally different than if I “endorse” a restaurant.

    If I “establish” a restaurant, I create it, I own it, and I operate it.

    If I “endorse” a restaurant, I am just a customer who likes it enough to tell someone else about it.

    The first Amendment prevents Congress from making any law respecting an “establishment” of religion. Our Government is not allowed to create, own, or operate a religion (as was previously done by the Government in England with the Church of England).

    The first Amendment does NOT prevent Congress from making any law respecting an “endorsement” of religion. Our Congress has always “endorsed” Christianity, from the moment of the opening prayer at the very first session of Congress.

    When the President gives the State of the Union address, do you know what is above his head, LITERALLY CARVED IN STONE?

    In God We Trust”.

  21. Jonah says:

    Your false wording of the First Amendment seems to be causing some confusion here:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    The ban on “respecting an establishment of religion” is much stronger than a ban on merely “establishing religion.” And it’s this distinction that was behind, say, Lemon v. Kurtzman. Perhaps you should read the majority opinion on that case? It might give you a better understanding of how the issue stands constitutionally.

    Now, this is not to say that you’re necessarily wrong about the importance of teaching Biblical morality in schools. Of course, I think you’re wrong, as I consider myself both a successful and moral person who also is an atheist. But regardless of whether you’re correct in this matter, you are on the wrong side of the Constitution. Think about that for a while.

  22. Congress shall make no law respecting
    an establishment of religion,
    or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
    or abridging the freedom of speech,
    or of the press;
    or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    The word “respecting” modifies the word “law”, not the phrase “an establishment of religion”.

    Our government has a long history of endorsing Christianity. See this and this. Endorsing Christianity is not an establishment of religion. The Church of England was a state-established religion, and that is what the founders were trying to prevent with the “establishment” clause.

  23. Now, this is not to say that you’re necessarily wrong about the importance of teaching Biblical morality in schools. Of course, I think you’re wrong, as I consider myself both a successful and moral person who also is an atheist.

    As a math major, I’m sure you understand this:
    If p–>q is true, then that means !q–>!p is true, but it does not guarantee that !p–>!q.

    p is teaching Biblical morality to children
    q is children grow up to be moral

    Now, of course, it is not always true that teaching Biblical morality to children results in children who grow up to be moral. But the results are better when you do than when you don’t. And that does not imply that atheists are always immoral (!p does not imply !q).

    But I am saying that the higher rates of jail inmates from a segment of society may indeed reflect that that segment of society was less educated in Biblical morality.

    Once again I find myself blogging far more than I should be right now.

    Later…

  24. Jonah says:

    The word “respecting” modifies the word “law”, not the phrase “an establishment of religion”.

    Oh, whew. It isn’t a real discussion about the Constitution until it devolves into a debate about grammar.

    I really disagree with your reading, and certainly the Supreme Court has done the same several times throughout the 20th century. I don’t think the authors of our founding documents would use such faulty parallelism as the reading you suggest. But the good news is that I don’t actually have to rebut you here. The Lemon decision does that well enough.

    p is teaching Biblical morality to children
    q is children grow up to be moral

    Apologies; it seems that I was misreading your argument here. I’m still skeptical of the claim, but it’s not really something one can dispute with statistics.

  25. I really disagree with your reading, and certainly the Supreme Court has done the same several times throughout the 20th century. I don’t think the authors of our founding documents would use such faulty parallelism as the reading you suggest. But the good news is that I don’t actually have to rebut you here. The Lemon decision does that well enough.

    If you want to compare and contrast the Supreme Court to the authors of our founding documents, I suggest you read about the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Read what he had to say about “a Christian nation“.

    If you want to talk about Supreme Court decisions, how about Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, 143 U.S. 457 (1892) which included the following observation:

    These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation.

    If you want to understand how and why the Court changed in the 20th century, look to “progressive” FDR…

    President Franklin D. Roosevelt attempted to expand the Court in 1937; his plan would have allowed the President to appoint one additional Justice for each existing Justice who reached the age of 70 years 6 months but did not retire from the bench, until the Court reached a maximum size of fifteen justices. Ostensibly, the proposal was made to ease the burdens of the docket on the elderly judges, but the President’s actual purpose was to add Justices who would favor his New Deal policies, which had been regularly ruled unconstitutional by the Court.[7] This plan, usually called the “Court-packing Plan,” failed in Congress. The Court, however, gradually softened its opposition to Roosevelt’s New Deal programs and thereby removed the President’s need to alter it. In any case, Roosevelt’s unprecedented tenure in the White House allowed him to appoint eight Justices total to the Supreme Court (second only to George Washington) and to promote one Associate Justice to Chief Justice.[8]

    FDR tried to pack the court with “progressives”. While his intial plan failed, in the end he succeeded because he broke Presidential precedent, ran for President four times, and he was able to outlast the conservative justices and replace them with “progressives”.

    The first Court decision to showcase this new “progressive” mindset and move away from our Christian heritage was in 1947:

    Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947) was the seminal United States Supreme Court case in Establishment Clause law in the United States. In addition to incorporating the Establishment Clause (applying it to the States through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment), Everson was the beginning of a powerful separationist drive by the Court, during which many programs and practices given government sanction were found to have religious purposes or effects and thus invalidated.

    In his dissent, Potter Stewart argued that the majority’s background narratives regarding England, the Book of Common Prayer, and the separation of church and state were irrelevant, as England had then and has now an established religion. Stewart believed that the real issue was on prohibiting those who want to begin a school day with prayer from doing so. Moreover, he argued that phrases like “the wall of separation” are nowhere in the Constitution and Black used them uncritically. Stewart then listed the religious references in the three branches of the federal government and on American coins, in the National Anthem, in the Pledge of Allegiance, and in one of the court’s recent decisions, Zorach v. Clauson. He argued that neither these examples, nor the voluntary prayer in New York established a religion.

    The Lemon v. Kurtzman decision you cite was written in 1971. Roe v. Wade was 1973. They represent “progressive” decisions. But you can’t claim that either of those decisions represent what the founders believed, or what the majority of supreme court justices during the first 150 years of our country believed.

  26. Jonah says:

    Sure, much of modern law is quite different than what the founders would have expected. So is the existence of airplanes. But what you’re arguing is that if the founders were alive today they would have wanted something different, and I don’t think that’s a serious claim.

    What I’m really struggling with is what you even mean by endorsing Christianity. Are you suggesting that public school teachers should tell their students that following Christ is the only way to be saved? I don’t think that’s practical. And from personal experience, the only teacher I ever had who tried it later told a friend of mine “you Jews are all the same” when he turned in an assignment late. Her method didn’t work too well, and she’s no longer teaching.

    While I don’t think I can extrapolate from that experience to make a general statement about religion in the classroom, I do feel confident in saying that it’s impossible to endorse Christianity as a teacher without alienating students who aren’t already Christian. And if your message is only getting through to the believers, what’s the point? Why preach to the choir?

    If instead you’re suggesting that we teach Biblical morality in the form of, say, condemning homosexuality, or arguing (like the Pope) that condoms increase the spread of AIDS, then I only have this to say: your “morality” is anything but moral, and the smaller the role it plays in the education, public or private, of the next generation, the better off humanity will be.

  27. I think (but don’t know for sure) that the following source is legitimate and accurate:

    http://www.taxfoundation.org/publications/show/151.html

    Reviewing that for the Reagan years actualy shed some light on the different numbers. Reagan was in office January 1981 – January 1989. When Reagan took office, the tax rates were at the Carter levels… top tax rate 70%.

    In 1981, the top tax rate was 70%.
    Reagan actually lowered taxes three times…
    In 1982, the top tax rate was lowered to 50%.
    In 1987, the top tax rate was lowered to 38.5%.
    In 1988, the top tax rate was lowered to 28%.

    Personally, I think that the government should not be allowed to ask for more money than God instructs us to give to the church in tithes:
    TEN PERCENT.

    (with additional offerings above that as we feel led to give)

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