I've been reading Glenn Beck's "Common Sense" book. I can't put it down, but I don't want to read it so fast I don't have time to absorb each chapter individually. In one of the chapters he talks about taxes, and how the government shouldn't be able to use it as a weapon to the people. If someone does something they don't like, they simply start threatening audits and tax crap. Glenn Beck says, "It's time we take away the ability of the Congress to bribe or punish companies by using the tax code. If a company breaks the law, use the criminal code, not the tax code, to punish them." He continues to point out that the "tax code has never really been about raising revenue as much as it is about punishing opponents, helping friends, or as President Obama says, instituting a system of 'fairness'." For an example he says to consider the following:
- The US House of Representatives used its power to target a group of AIG insurance executives who collected a bonus they were contractually and legally allowed to receive by passing a bill that would have imposed an almost 90% retroactive tax on their bonus money;
- New York state attorney general Andrew Cuomo threatened to reveal the names of AIG employees who were paid a contractual bonus and wouldn't voluntarily return that money;
- GM was required to fire its CEO as a prerequisite to receiving any additional federal bailout money even though the CEO didn't engage in any criminal or corporate malfeasance;
- Banking executives were threatened to accept government bailout funds or risk increased scrutiny and audits;
- Government officials are seeking authority to seize and company the could pose-in their sole opinion-a "systemic" economic risk;
- The sacrosanct "secret ballot" is under assault by union leaders who feel it's more important to get new members than protect free elections;
- The government has suggested it will force states to accept the federal stimulus money even if they don't want it;
- The state of Connecticut has considered legislation that would retroactively raise the state income tax on high wage earners;
- The rich are being vilified and targeted because they are rich. (Class warfare is always politically popular, but common sense tells us that people won't work if they can't keep what they earn. It also tells us that what starts as the government taking on the "rich" always trickles down-remember, in 1913 the income tax was applied to only the wealthiest 1 percent.);
- Executives at AIG, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac are all on the federal dole and have received billions in corporate welfare. Executives at all companies received bonuses, but while AIG executives were targeted by Congress and unions, executives at Fannie and Freddi received scant attention due to their ties to government.
It's time for these abuses to stop! "Wake up, America! You have bought into the lie that capitalism is only about money, corporations, greedy businessmen, and corrupt politicians who cut backroom deals. Capitalism isn't about money, it's about freedom-the freedom to try and fail that made the United States the richest industrial nation in the world by 1905 and the freedom that has kept us there ever since."