by Stephen Spooner (with a HEFTY bit of editing by moi, SB. Stephen Grande is a busy guy.)
Most of my friends, including my wife, would have never described me as an activist. I have certainly never felt like one. However, last weekend I attended the Nine Twelve protest in Washington D.C. I went with 55 people, none of whom I knew prior to the trip. We left from Prattville, Alabama Friday afternoon and drove on a bus through the night. I made some very interesting new friends (42 hours together will do that).
The purpose of the event was to join citizens from all over the country and protest the expansion of our government. Attendance was high, estimate around 1.2 million. I was amazed at how many "normal" salt of the earth folks were there. Sure, there were a few lunatics recruiting for the militia but according to the capitol police there was not a single arrest made. The march was not an anti Obama rally, though the media showed many signs to that effect (including Fox). The march was primarily about the direction of our fundamental values as a nation and opposition to the expansion of government.
I attended this protest because I strongly oppose "big government." And I believe it is harmful for 2 main reasons.
One...Because it increases the dependence of the people on the government and therefore threatens our personal freedom. When people depend on the government for their basic needs they become slaves to the government and the fundamental freedoms that we are born with are stripped away.
and Two... In order for the government to expand, it must increase revenue (raise taxes).
I do not make enough money to be a significant contributor to our government's revenue. However, I am a small business. And because of this I pay over 40% of my profits to taxes (including state taxes) because I am technically self employed. This does not include the fees for filing my LLC at start up or the state "privilege tax"of $200 I am assessed every year. Also, I pay 7.5% more than the average employee for social security and FICA (self employment tax).
Shouldn't hard work and entrepreneurship be rewarded and not penalized?
I disagree with the idea that someone has the right to take a portion of my money, my prosperity, and my hard work and give it to someone else. Certainly we should take care of our fellow man, but we do him no favors by subsidizing his lack of initiative and responsibility.
Yes there are victims of poverty. But they are so often victims because of someone's worthless lifestyle.....i.e. their parents poor life choices and lack of work ethic. Ask my wife, a nurse, who sees this every time she goes to work.... children born into irresponsible families and consequently raised to be drains on society because that is what their parents did. They are caught in an unfortunate cycle. It is a shame, but it is not my fault nor is it my responsibility to pay for or in any way encourage, whether directly or indirectly.
The quote on the sign below, sums up my feelings on the matter.
So what must we do in order to not be taxed into oblivion?
And what must we do if we are to keep the freedom we have enjoyed for so many years?
My hope is that this is only the beginning. I am already amazed at the speed this movement is building. People are buzzing and the country is waking up.
My suggestion for young citizens (since we are the ones that have to live with the government decisions being made now) is to be involved. Do your research. Learn on your own about what direction we should be heading. Go back and read some of the material written by our founding fathers, read how we became what we are and why we are the most innovative country on the planet. (I know one thing for sure, without capitalism the I phone would have never existed.)
And I don't care if you are a democrat or a republican (I can honestly say I am neither), you should care about fiscal responsibility. Regardless of your views on social issues, you should care about our deficit, about the value of our dollar and about the health of our small businesses because they ARE the backbone of our country, not our government, not our colleges and certainly not our politicians.