CAMPAIGN REFORM URGENTLY NEEDED BEFORE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES INJURE UNITED STATES DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS
ATTACK ON FRED THOMPSON: GUILT BY ASSOCIATION SMEAR TACTICS

SIN: BAD FOR YOU, GREAT FOR THE GOVERNMENT

We have all seen examples of self-righteous politicians who look down their noses and label everything with which they do not agree as sin. Whether attempting to control things that are deemed harmful to personal or public welfare, they attempt to modify your behavior with "restrictive" taxation and costly fines and penalty assessments -- all while laughing as they fuel government coffers and increase the size of their individual bureaucracies. The political hypocrites who continue to have a vested interest in making the public "wrong."

Tobacco can kill... Is there anybody left that believes that tobacco is not highly addictive and can lead directly and provably to cancer? Probably not. So why does the government tolerate the public use of tobacco, with all of its associated costs, and avoid placing it on the "controlled substances list?" Could it be that the special interests provide campaign funding to these very same politicians and that an untold amount of tax revenue is directly attributable to this "killer weed?" Could it be that these funds are being diverted to the control of liberal "do gooders."

Like the egregious example of tobacco funds allegedly being misused by Rob "Meathead" Reiner by diverting funds from a tobacco tax-funded organization to fund a California pre-school initiative which was said to be little more than a babysitting service for illegal aliens.

According to one California State Senator...

By passing Proposition 10 in 1998, California voters agreed to increase tobacco taxes by fifty cents per pack to create the First Five Commission. Revenue generated from the tax increase was to be used for anti-smoking programs, health care, quality child care, parent education and effective intervention programs for families at risk, among other aspects. Instead, the tobacco tax revenue was used by Rob Reiner and his political operatives toward the advancement of universal preschool, including running advertisements while simultaneously qualifying Proposition 82, which failed to pass during the June 2006 election.

"Senator Dave Cox (R-Fair Oaks) today requested the Joint Legislative Audit Committee to authorize a formal audit by the Bureau of State Audits into the use of the use of millions of taxpayer dollars by California First Five Commission Chair Rob Reiner. News reports detailed how Mr. Reiner used taxpayer dollars intended for First Five Commission activities to finance a $23 million 'public relations' media campaign on the issue of universal preschool. Mr. Reiner’s paid political consultants simultaneously worked to qualify his Universal Pre-School for All initiative. The initiative, known as Proposition 82, has qualified for the June, 2006 ballot."

“'The timing of these ads, as well as the less than scrupulous relationship between Mr. Reiner and his consultants, violates the spirit if not the letter of the law which clearly prohibits the use of taxpayer dollars for any political campaign activities,' Senator Cox said. 'Mr. Reiner’s activities as reported in the media, and his direct role with Proposition 82 represents a clear conflict of interest. We have a duty and responsibility to the people of California to ensure that taxpayer funds are used in the appropriate manner, and to maintain a firewall against any misuse of such funds for anything less.'”

According to the Los Angeles Times, 'Under Reiner's leadership, the commission has:

  • Spent $23 million for the "Preschool for All" ads, which ran from November to mid-January, making it one of the largest state-funded advertising campaigns ever in California. In January, Reiner's new initiative, also called "Preschool for All," qualified for the June ballot as Proposition 82.
  • Given $230 million in advertising and public relations contracts — including the preschool ad blitz — to firms that helped Reiner create the First 5 commission. As companies competed for the business, Reiner wrote a letter recommending one firm, which won.
  • Paid $206,000 of the tax money to three political consultants, though they had no contract. One of them — Benjamin Austin, a former Los Angeles deputy mayor — said they helped coordinate the government activities of Reiner, the First 5 commission and the media consultants. Austin and the others subsequently joined the Proposition 82 effort, with Austin as campaign manager.'”

So can alcohol?

What about alcohol with the increasing incidence of fatal "drunk driving" incidents? Another highly taxed proposition. Sort of makes you wonder about those "do-gooders" who demand overly-restrictive legislation on the notion that life is precious and ... "if it only saves one life, it is all worthwhile?"

... Recreational drugs!

In a sense, recreational drugs are not taxed directly. It is an indirect tax on every citizen of the United States as the government at all levels; local, state and federal, feeds the ever growing governmental industry which requires "crime" in order to prosper. These are the "big crime" industries associated with law enforcement: lawyers, judges, jail workers and those who protect us against the effects of drug-addled criminals.

... And, Restrictive parking zones, speed traps, and red light cameras...

There is no question about using automated safety devices where there are legitimate safety concerns. However, when the use of these safety devices is subverted to raise municipal revenues, it becomes an affront to citizens everywhere. Speed traps, red light cameras, stop sign cameras, automated parking devices that reset the minute a car leaves the parking space so you can't piggyback on a payment left by another citizen... do virtually nothing for large-scale safety concerns other than to raise revenue for municipalities and other revenue-hungy organizations.

In the "good ole days" control over parking was a necessity to keep non-customers from monopolizing the parking spaces in front of commercial establishments and to control the parking traffic in residential areas located next to popular attractions and other high-traffic areas such as universities. One need only look at those parking services in desirable locations which charge $5.00 to $15.00 for the convenience of parking close to your intended destination. Not only are most of these parking services controlled by large companies or property developers, but a quick check of the contributor's list also reveals that these parking operators are a great source of campaign funds and may receive substantial tax breaks while they patiently wait to convert that parking lot into a mega-buck high-rise office or commercial development.

Visit http://www.highwayrobbery.net to see the full extent of your local and state government's attempt to generate revenues with speed traps, bogus safety devices like red light cameras and other such illegal folderol.

$10 TAX PER CIGAR?

Now the same people who believe that they can simply tax people into healthy behavior are at it again. This time with a proposed Federal increase of taxes on cigars... 

According to James Thorner, reporting for Tampabay.com ...

"Here's the source of the controversy: The Democrat controlled Congress has sought an extra $35-billion to $50-billion for the state children's health insurance program. The program distributes payments to the states to help buy coverage for kids not poor enough for Medicaid."

"Cigarettes, which accounted for more than 95 percent of tobacco tax collections last year, are the main focus of the bill. Federal taxes on a pack would jump from 39 cents to $1."

"But the legislation has dragged cigars along for the ride. The industry operates under a 4.8 cents-per-cigar tax cap."

"Under the proposed bill, taxes on "large cigars," a category that includes all but the tiny cigars sold in 20 packs like cigarettes, would rise to 53 percent."

"A U.S. Senate version of the bill under consideration today in the Finance Committee sets the maximum tax per cigar at $10."

Let's check out some of the pending tobacco-related legislation...

Using a lofty-sounding title of "Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act of 2007" and justified by everything from child health protection to terrorism, let us see what Congress has found...

    Congress finds that--

      (1) the sale of illegal cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products significantly reduces Federal, State, and local government revenues, with Internet sales alone accounting for billions of dollars of lost Federal, State, and local tobacco tax revenue each year;

      (2) Hezbollah, Hamas, al Qaeda, and other terrorist organizations have profited from trafficking in illegal cigarettes or counterfeit cigarette tax stamps;

      (3) terrorist involvement in illicit cigarette trafficking will continue to grow because of the large profits such organizations can earn;

      (4) the sale of illegal cigarettes and smokeless tobacco over the Internet, and through mail, fax, or phone orders, make it cheaper and easier for children to obtain tobacco products;

      (5) the majority of Internet and other remote sales of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco are being made without adequate precautions to protect against sales to children, without the payment of applicable taxes, and without complying with the nominal registration and reporting requirements in existing Federal law;

      (6) unfair competition from illegal sales of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco is taking billions of dollars of sales away from law-abiding retailers throughout the United States;

      (7) with rising State and local tobacco tax rates, the incentives for the illegal sale of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco have increased;

      (8) the number of active tobacco investigations being conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives rose to 452 in 2005;

      (9) the number of Internet vendors in the United States and in foreign countries that sell cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to buyers in the United States has increased from only about 40 in 2000 to more than 500 in 2005; and

      (10) the intrastate sale of illegal cigarettes and smokeless tobacco over the Internet has a substantial effect on interstate commerce.

    (c) Purposes- It is the purpose of this Act to--

      (1) require Internet and other remote sellers of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to comply with the same laws that apply to law-abiding tobacco retailers;

      (2) create strong disincentives to illegal smuggling of tobacco products;

      (3) provide government enforcement officials with more effective enforcement tools to combat tobacco smuggling;

      (4) make it more difficult for cigarette and smokeless tobacco traffickers to engage in and profit from their illegal activities;

      (5) increase collections of Federal, State, and local excise taxes on cigarettes and smokeless tobacco; and

      (6) prevent and reduce youth access to inexpensive cigarettes and smokeless tobacco through illegal Internet or contraband sales.

Note that the consideration of children comes last, after all of the real reasons for the legislation" control over lost revenue.

While another Senate bill, S.625, the "Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act"  discloses the health risks associated with tobacco and the solicitation of new underage users, all of the lofty purposes also give way to revenue collection, more resources for enforcement and to tighten governmental control over tobacco distribution. This is a classic study in governmental hypocrisy.

What can YOU do?

Recognize the hypocrisy of using the "Children" and other lofty health, educational and safety issues to increase government control, expand the existing bureaucracy, and generate substantial revenues from the taxpayers and citizens.

Recognize that your government has a vested interest in "making you wrong" and criminalizing everyday activities to further their own control and revenue generation agenda.

Realize that only an "awake and aware" citizenry can prevent these minor tyrannies from escalating to an unannounced dictatorship where the government will ignore your constitutional rights and "rule by regulation."

Vote against those who vote against the people's inherent right to choose their own time and method of destruction keeping in mind that only an individual's activities which immediately impact their fellow citizen's rights are even worthy of legislation. That is to say, legislation should be reserved for maximizing our personal rights so long as they do not impact adversely on our fellow citizens. Legislation should not be used for social engineering or other nefarious purposes not contemplated by our founding fathers. If at all possible, rules and regulations should be developed and enforced at the local level, leaving Federal laws to deal with such national mattes as national defense, border protection, infrastructure protection and those things which cannot be accomplished easily or effectively by the states themselves.

Your rights are diminishing each and every day in favor of restrictive legislation promulgated by special interests and championed by politicians with their own personal profit and power agendas. Use the one right that you have left -- that of a secret ballot -- to vote those that would subvert the safety and security of the United States for personal or political gain out of office.

-- steve

A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…

References: 

Red light Cameras - You are highly encouraged to visit the definitive site relating to illegal Red Light cameras and other restrictive traffic activities at www.highwayrobbery.net/.

Reiner Audit

Proposed Legislation (S.1027)

Proposed Legislation (S.625)


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell


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