Do we care enough to make a difference

Thursday, July 2, 2009

It's easy to get discouraged about the way things are going, especially if you or your friends or family are out of work and you've watched your chance for a comfortable retirement evaporate with Wall Street's bull market.

We've looked on with alarm as the government takes over banks and two of the former "big three" automakers and old family franchises disappear. We're alarmed over the possible effects of the "cap-and-trade" energy bill and equally worried about the prospects of government-run health care.

California is on the verge of collapse, and those of us who follow conservative Midwestern values, dutifully balancing our own state budgets, worry about being forced to pick up the tab for someone else's irresponsibility.

Beyond that, many are concerned about Washington's new leftward tilt on same-sex marriage, abortion and other social issues.

But Saturday's Fourth of July celebration should be a reminder of how much America still has to offer. Citizens, for the most part, are limited only by their own imagination, willingness to take risks and work hard.

If we're not happy about the direction our country is going, we have every right to speak out, organize others of like mind, and elect candidates who share our values.

The budding TEA (Taxed Enough, Already) Party movement is one example, planning a Fourth of July gathering at 7 p.m. on the southwest side of the ballfields at the Red Willow County Fairgrounds.

Another was the recent visit by Rebekah Davis, who seeks the Democratic nomination to represent Nebraska's 3rd District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

It's encouraging to see such grassroots organization and retail politicking going on.

If enough of us are willing to get involved enough to make a difference, then we'll really have something to celebrate this Independence Day.

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  • California is so broke, Mexico is considering repossessing their illegals.(>8

    -- Posted by Navyblue on Thu, Jul 2, 2009, at 5:43 PM
  • California's plight is the direct result of the great CONSERVATIVE DRIVE more than 30 years ago to secure passage of Proposition 13, which froze property taxes at late 60s levels.

    This scam was sold to mostly older, conservative homeowners as protection to keep them from being taxed out of their homes.

    Reality -- the vast majority of commercial property and the huge residential estates (Pebble Beach) were placed in corporations before Prop. 13 took effect.

    Since then, those corporations have been transferred to new stockholders, but the real estate remains within the corporation and is still taxed far below current market value.

    Meantime, working families buying at current value have been routinely paying ten, fifteen, twenty and forty times as much tax on the same property, AS WAS PREVIOUSLY PAID.

    An 1800 sq. ft. home purchased by a working couple from an estate, is taxed at ten times the rate for an 8,000 sq. ft. Country club mansion in the same school district. (Try $15,000 annually for a small homes property taxes.)

    An L.A. office building sold for $90-Million in 1960 and was placed into a corporation. The corporation was sold in 2001 for $950-Million.

    Taxes remain exactly the same, because the real estate did not leave the corporation.

    This mess in California was predictable as soon as Prop. 13 passed, which is why many of us "old conservatives" sold out prior to 2006 and left California for good.

    The former land of the best public educations, now ranks dead last in per student spending for public education. Mississippi was below them, but not now.

    That's the price California is paying for CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL ACTION.

    -- Posted by HerndonHank on Thu, Jul 2, 2009, at 6:41 PM
  • Actually HerndonHank, Prop 13 froze the real estate tax at 1% of the full cash value. So as the real estate market values sky-rocketed, the real estate tax (1% of the full cash value) went up accordingly. The real problem CA had was spending.

    -- Posted by Hugh Jassle on Thu, Jul 2, 2009, at 8:19 PM
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