The staff and residents of Big Meadows Nursing Home would like to thank everyone that attended the Annual Easter Egg Hunt this year. This was our biggest crowd ever! We would like to thank those that donated eggs and candy to help make this hunt a success including Sullivan’s Grocery Store, Annie Leitzen, Ann and Raymond Delp, Erma Richter’s family, Heather Franzen Struve, Pam Hebeler, Cindy Barnhart, the Wilbert Spencer family, Melody Charneski, Linda Parks, and Ben and Mary Kay Reibel. We are already planning for next year to make a bigger and better Easter Egg Hunt. If you would like to donate unwanted plastic eggs to assist with next year’s Easter Egg Hunt please drop off at Big Meadows. We look forward to seeing everyone next year so mark your calendars for April 14, 2014.
Big Meadows Nursing Home
On April 4, a group of five residents from Big Meadows and 2 staff went to lunch at Kountry Kettle. When it came time for us to pay we were informed that all of our lunches had been paid for by another patron. This really made the residents day and they stated that it made their lunches even better. This shows that there are still good people out there and we would like to thank that person for making a difference.
Republicans Need To Grow Up About Taxes
By Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson
Republicans are flailing about these days, trying to rebrand themselves before the next election cycle. A certain amount of introspection and internecine debate is inevitable after suffering a stinging loss against an opponent with a dismal record. One thing the GOP needs to do to gain greater acceptance among voters is to improve their credibility by outgrowing a tiresome, unthinking opposition to any and all tax increases.
This is anything but a recommendation that Republicans “go moderate” and tack for the political center. Being to the right of 99.9 percent of Republicans on taxation, I agree that Americans are overtaxed and for decades have favored zero capital gains tax; advocated zero taxes on corporate profits; and called for a low, flat, income tax.
What bugs me now, and what should concern Republicans who worry about their image, are the recent objections raised by some Republican legislators in Michigan and Maryland to their respective governors’ proposals for higher gasoline taxes to pay for road and bridge repairs. In a fairly typical comment, Maryland state delegate Susan Krebs complained that motorists would bear the cost of the tax hike.
But why shouldn’t motorists—the users of roads—be the ones to pay for the repair and upkeep of those roads? For Republicans to take the position that someone other than motorists should subsidize road maintenance is to adopt the ethos of progressives—that people should consume the economic goods they want and then stick somebody else with the tab.
There is a different, honest, and straightforward approach that Republicans can take if they believe that motorists should not have to pay as much as their governors propose for road maintenance: They could privatize the roads and let the new owners worry about how to cover the considerable costs of providing such a valuable product to drivers.
Republicans did similar damage to their reputation with their reflexively anti-tax ideology in 2010 by assenting to Obama’s 2 percent FICA (Social Security) payroll tax reduction. The GOP may talk a lot about “saving Social Security” for future generations, but they made hypocrites of themselves by voting to reduce Social Security revenues at the very time when current revenues no longer matched payouts, and they themselves were warning about the dangers of Social Security’s long-term underfunding.
As with road repair, if Republicans believe that government should be involved in its citizens’ retirement, they should authorize the collection of sufficient revenue to pay for the commitments they legislate. Alternatively, if they rebel at covering the expenses of a particular program, they should privatize it. In the case of Social Security, privatization would not be the sham privatization proposed by George W. Bush—i.e., diverting part of Social Security withholdings into government-approved private investments. A genuine privatization would deposit payroll deductions directly into an account in the employee’s name where the federal government can’t control or spend it.
In both the recent opposition to raising taxes to pay for upcoming road repairs and in the two years of Social Security tax cuts, Republicans have made a mockery of their professed concern about fiscal responsibility and government deficits. Reducing the revenues for specific spending projects and programs without reducing the corresponding spending is a formula for increasing deficits. Too often, Republicans pick the low-hanging political fruit of tax reductions without doing the hard—and more important—work of reducing government spending. The result is that Republicans end up weakening their brand.
Democrats have an advantage. They know who they are. They are single-minded in their relentless, unapologetic desire to maximize government spending. They don’t give a hoot about deficits. They know that the more they spend, the more power and control they have. As repugnant as this mindset is to those of us who value liberty, this unwavering commitment to the ever-increasing bestowal of federal largess motivates a large number of voters to go to the polls and vote Democratic.
Republicans, by contrast, project ambivalence and insincerity. They claim to be more fiscally responsible, but show a willingness to support underfunded expenditures. They claim to believe in limited government, and then do their best to make the Democrats’ welfare/transfer state work, rather than proposing to dismantle it. The result is cognitive dissonance. How can voters be sure about what Republicans really believe, other than the importance of winning elections?
My recommendation to Republicans: Work harder to differentiate yourself from progressives and Democrats by forging a clear, unambiguous brand as the party of smaller government. If you remain the party of Big Government Lite, work less at reducing too-high government spending than at reducing too-high taxes, and are unwilling to devolve government programs to the private sector—in other words, if you persist in business as usual—you will deserve the electoral defeats you will bring upon yourselves.
— Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson is an adjunct faculty member, economist, and fellow for economic and social policy with The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College.
By Jim Sacia, State Representative, 89th District
“But how much do they have left?” I grew up believing in the American dream. Work hard and you can create anything you desire - you can build it, you can barter for it, you can educate for it, you can invent it. Nothing can stop you. This is America. Great people come to mind – Thomas Edison, John Deere, Cyrus McCormick, Henry Ford, Ray Kroc, Sam Walton, Steve Jobs, and so many others. Where else but in America could a person start out with little more than the clothes on their back and build dynasties that employ thousands and improve the standard of living many, many fold. God, I’ve loved this ride - “only in America.”
I’ve had the opportunity to play my small part – building a farm equipment business was always my dream. I spent a career in law enforcement before I even started. It took off on its own. It was supposed to be a little “mom and pop” for Jenny and me in my retirement years, and our oldest son Jerry. I asked the government for nothing. Yes, I created one of those evil corporations. It continued to grow, today employing ten good people paying taxes, all making decent wages, with insurance paid and a 401K plan. For what it’s worth, Jenny takes no salary so we can keep the business in the black. Someday maybe we can pass it on to our family.
We are far from rich, but we have our dream - thank you America.
2008 comes along, and on the national stage comes Barack Hussein Obama. He is propelled by many who see the world quite differently than I. He talks of redistribution of wealth and “he didn’t build that.” One of his mentors of twenty years preaches “not God Bless America but God Damn America”. I sense a change in America. While serving as an Illinois State Representative I write weekly articles and watch the world change. I find disconcerting – not the world changing, but America changing. We have always been that one bright light for a world of heartache. “If only I could get to America and build my dream”. Through the years many have clung to that dream. I pray they still do.
I recognize change is in the air. When more people vote than work, the American dream will drift away. Have we reached that point?
In a conversation this past weekend with a person I respect greatly but who sees the world very different than me – states my opening sentence as we discuss income versus taxation on those who have been successful. He responds with “but no one ever mentions the third point - How much do they have left?” It hit me like a ball bat up the side of my head. That’s exactly it. These folks would steal the American dream and make it into “what will the government give me”. The downward spiral begins. Whatever is left belongs to the masses. God help us all and the American dream.