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The Tentacle


April 3, 2008

Sense and Sensibility

Patricia A. Kelly

I just finished reviewing a recent speech by Newt Gingrich, a well known moral icon from government, who has been rewarded with lots of cushy commentator jobs for his incredible act of attempting to impeach a president while hiding his own very similar behavior.

 

In his speech, he mentioned, along with his concerns about terrorism, that it has taken 23 years to build another, much-needed runway at the Atlanta airport. Have you ever been to the Atlanta airport and seen for yourself how badly one was needed? Unfortunately, I have, and, unfortunately, I believe him.

 

If we can all vote instantly for the winner of American Idol, why do we need super delegates or the Electoral College? Doesn’t this system allow politicians, and not the population at large, to choose the major candidates, and, ultimately, the president? Does this system do anything good for anyone other than politicians?

 

If we had a flat tax, and taxed everyone except those whose income fell below a defined poverty line, what would happen? (I mean everyone, even charities and churches, with no deductions or incentives).

 

Would it end the need for the Internal Revenue Service, saving our government a fortune?

 

Would it save people the time and money they spend trying to figure out their returns?

 

Would it save people the time they spend trying to justify themselves as a church or a charity?

 

Would it eliminate a lot of lies?

 

Reduce the tax rate across the board?

 

Level the playing field?

 

Allow our legislators more time off?

 

If there were no tax incentives, would people do charity out of charity?

 

Would they create churches out of faith?

 

Would we be more tolerant of the existence if the “Church of the Flying Fruitcakes” if we knew it wasn’t getting a tax deduction?

 

What if we insisted that each bill passed in Congress were about just one thing, without additions, budget corrections, extra money allocations, etc?

 

Would that make it easy for us to know who was voting for what, not to mention what was being voted?

 

Have you ever tried to actually read a bill?

 

Have you ever heard of a murder that wasn‘t a hate crime?

 

Would it be possible to legislate against discrimination based on anything but ability or performance without continually adding new categories?

 

Could we all get the same government pension? That is, would it be a good thing if the House of Representatives, the Senate and the president got social security, Medicaid and Medicare, like we do, and were responsible for their own supplemental savings?

 

Could we use common sense, simplify things and still have them work?

 

Do things make sense, or work well now?

 

Could tax preparers find other work? They’re really smart.  Perhaps they could be hired by the government to organize our laws into one book that a layperson could read and understand.

 

Could our legislators, large and small, benefit from living in an open book world, and possibly even find more time to be with their families?

 

Would they choose public service out of a wish to be of service?

 

Oops, I’ve got to go. The alarm clock just went off.

 



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