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A tax system that might cause the Founders to reach for their muskets

Until recently, when I read about the Revolutionary era, I devoted most of my attention to my three favorite Founders, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, studying less the events which inspired them to rebel, focusing instead on the ideals which inspired them to establish our republic.

In recent years, I have expanded that list of favorites to include not just the father of our country, but also a man dubbed the “First American“, Benjamin Franklin.  And in studying these two great men, I considered not just their actions during and after the American Revolution, but also in the period which lead up to it.  As I read (and listened via Books on CD) to their biographies I learned why both Washington and Franklin, once loyal British subjects, broke with the “mother country.”

Fighting in the French and Indian War, Washington learned that a “colonial” could not advance in the ranks as could a counterpart born in Britain, particularly one born there wealth and privilege.  One’s birth, not one’s merit, determined the rank to which he could rise — and the leadership posts he could assume.

Building his own business from scratch, Franklin learned that in a “Proprietary” colony, there were two sets of laws, one which applied to certain families, the other to everyone else.

They believed that the law should make no distinctions based on class.

Yesterday, in the Wall Street Journal, Harvey Golub, a former chairman and CEO of American Express, responding to Warren Buffett and the president, critiqued the current American tax system and showed that it now privileges certain favored “classes”:

. . . the extraordinarily complex tax code is replete with favors to various interest groups and industries, favors granted by politicians seeking to retain power. Mortgage interest deductions support the private housing industry at the expense of renters. (more…)

Still hoping to change the Washington Blame Game, Mr. Obama?

Hope:

“And one of the things that I’m trying to break is a pattern in Washington where everybody is always looking for somebody else to blame. . . .  the key thing is for everybody just to stay focused on doing the job instead of trying to figure out who you can pass blame on to.”  –Barack Obama, March 2009.

Change:

“As Failures Grow, Obama Blames Others.” (Via Ed Driscoll, via Glenn Reynolds.)  And as I noted last night, “Mr. Obama blames policies inherited from his predecessor’s administration for the soaring debt.

So, Obama’s Jobs Speech Won’t Include a Specific Plan to Move America Forward?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 9:27 am - August 23, 2011.
Filed under: Economy

On Thursday, I wondered if the president’s “big speech” on jobs would “just be another one of his big speeches, a lot of platitudes, emphasizing broad points, but providing no specifics“.

Looks like I was onto something.

Yesterday, having listened to the public statements of Obama advisors, Philip Klein wonders if that “very specific plan” to crate jobs has “already been downgraded to an outline“:

That is, at least, the impression I got watching Obama advisors Robert Gibbs and David Axelrod on yesterday’s Sunday morning shows.

The president is going to outline a short-term plan to accelerate the economy,” Axelrod said on ABC’s This Week. . . .

On Meet the Press, Gibbs used similar language, “The president is going to outline some ideas, the president has outlined ideas every day he’s been in the White House.”

Read the whole thing.  So, guess he’s not just “willing to make those tough choices” necessary “to move America forward.”