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The distinctive principle of Western social philosophy is individualism.
It aims at the creation of a sphere in which the individual is free to think, to choose, and to act without being restrained by the interference of the social apparatus of coercion and oppression, the State. All the spiritual and material achievements of Western civilization were the result of the operation of this idea of liberty.
- Ludwig von Mises
In order to strengthen democracy and restore freedom in America, it is imperative that every American have the liberty to contemplate, believe, associate, communicate, exchange, labor and own the fruits of his or her labor.Catholics Sue for Freedom
An extremely powerful coalition of Catholic organizations have sued the federal government because ObamaCare mandates that Catholic institutions must provide contraceptive coverage to their employees. Invoking the freedom of religion and citing the First Amendment, a website representing the plaintiffs explains:
"This lawsuit is about an unprecedented attack by the federal government on one of America’s most cherished freedoms: the freedom to practice one’s religion without government interference."
The Archdiocese states the following on the site:
"It is not about whether people have access to certain services; it is about whether the government may force religious institutions and individuals to facilitate and fund services which violate their religious beliefs."
The federal government has unleashed its oppressive power against these charities to enforce a political agenda. Professor Mary Ann Glendon of Harvard Law writes in the Wall Street Journal:
The main goal of the mandate is not, as HHS (Health and Human Services) claimed, to protect women's health. It is rather a move to conscript religious organizations into a political agenda, forcing them to facilitate and fund services that violate their beliefs, within their own institutions.
Prior to the ObamaCare mandates, Glendon cites two incidents where the government threatened to withhold financial grants from charities that did not abide by government’s political dictates.
Like most Americans, the bishops have long taken for granted the religious freedom that has enabled this nation's diverse religions to flourish in relative harmony. But over the past year they have become increasingly concerned about the erosion of conscience protections for church-related individuals and institutions. Their top-rated program for assistance to human trafficking victims was denied funding for refusing to provide "the full range of reproductive services," including abortion. For a time, Catholic Relief Services faced a similar threat to its international relief programs. The bishops fear religious liberty is becoming a second-class right.
Thus, the Catholic schools and charities are suing for “…the freedom to practice one’s religion without government interference…" Realize, most if not all of these schools and charities continue to seek government money to support their missions. For the last couple of decades, these benevolent institutions have been increasingly relying on taxpayers’ money. At least indirectly, these institutions have encouraged the expansion of taxes to finance their missions.
Ludwig von Mises, an Austrian economist and one of the great thinkers of the 20th Century, understood the perils of coerced philanthropy.
Government is not, as some people like to say, a necessary evil; it is not an evil, but a means, the only means available to make peaceful human coexistence possible. But it is the opposite of liberty. It is beating, imprisoning, hanging. Whatever a government does it is ultimately supported by the actions of armed constables. If the government operates a school or a hospital, the funds required are collected by taxes, i.e., by payments exacted from the citizens.
Presently, the federal government is intentionally trampling on the freedoms of very powerful charities and schools. Simultaneously, the government taxes and mandates are restricting the freedom of every American. Without a doubt, the increased taxes extracted from the taxpayers reduces the freedom to choose and to act. Additionally, ObamaCare mandates forced on individuals and businesses restrict the freedom of every individual to think, to choose, and to act. These coercive taxes and mandates will greatly impact the culture and character of America. Again, von Mises:
The distinctive principle of Western social philosophy is individualism.It aims at the creation of a sphere in which the individual is free to think, to choose, and to act without being restrained by the interference of the social apparatus of coercion and oppression, the State. All the spiritual and material achievements of Western civilization were the result of the operation of this idea of liberty.
The lawsuit filed by these powerful Catholic institutions is a serious and extremely important challenge to imperious government. Initially, religious leaders of all faiths must realize that their advocating for more government programs and financial grants has expanded the power of government. These spiritual leaders must reflect, debate and articulate a means of controlling governments oppressive powers.
Hopefully, the leaders of faith-based institutions will recognize the importance of individualism - the individual is free to think, to choose, and to act without being restrained by the interference of the social apparatus of coercion and oppression of the State. Hopefully, many religious leaders will support a smaller, limited and community focused government, which is essential for personal freedom.
Personal Freedom and Power 101: Personal PowerThe distinctive principle of Western social philosophy is individualism.
The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced. If the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt, people must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.
-- attributed to Marcus Tullius Cicero, 55 BC
The American voter has a single vote to choose a person to represent them in Congress, the Senate and the Presidency. The citizen has no vote on policy.
With the growth of the federal government, it is imperative for a citizen to understand the process. Only through an appreciation of our government can “We the People” begin to seek a means of beneficially controlling the power of government.Decision Week for the Super Committee Czars
Six Democrats and six Republicans need to reach agreement on reducing the deficit by $1.2 billion or legislatively imposed cuts will occur. Congress and the President have arbitrarily mandated cuts to necessary and big budget items, e.g. defense. Congress and the President intend to force the Super Committee to agree to a combination of tax increases and program cuts.
First, one must recognize that American politicians were not always honorable or adult enough to make reasoned and necessary decisions. Hence, 536 Senators, Members of Congress and the President delegated the enormous power to 12 politicians.
These "Beltway Czars" will make decisions affecting every American...our children and our grandchildren. This is a horrific indictment of the federal government. Tragically, the federal government is morally and institutionally incapable of governing. Why? The federal government, violating Constitutional restrains, has usurped societal functions best managed and tended to by family, neighbors, community organizations and local governments.
Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal writes about the ongoing negotiations of the 12 Czars. They are contemplating raising taxes, raising taxes on the rich, raising the retirement age for Social Security and Medicare, indexing the cost of living increases for Social Security and Medicare, seeking repatriation of out of county corporate profits, capping tax deductions on charitable gifts, home mortgages, state and local taxes, reducing corporate taxes, stopping green energy tax breaks, and the list goes on.
Obviously, the federal government confiscates and controls much of the time, energy and productivity of Americans. The federal government is too big and too burdensome to be competent. Notice, repealing ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank and restricting and reducing the bureaucracy and their pernicious rules is not being discussed. Why, you wonder. Politicians loathe to cut programs. No, government is incapable of cutting programs. Again, government is too big to be competent, and the politicians are too deficient to be principled. So, America awaits the decision of the 12 czars.
What does Stephen Moore expect from the 12 Beltway Oracles? Not much. He writes about his discussion with Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) in the Wall Street Journal:
If there is no deal, there will be a $1.2 trillion sequester of spending over the next 10 years with nearly $600 billion coming out of the defense budget. Mr. Hensarling fears the military cuts would be "draconian," but he adds, "I have a hard time believing a 10-year sequester of national defense of that magnitude would ever happen." He continues to state, "At some point the American people will rise up and say 'Wait a second, we continue to live in a dangerous world, this is not smart.'"
Does Mr. Hensarling think there will be a deficit agreement? "Our backs are finally against the wall," he says, and both sides are "finally starting to get serious." Still, his expectations are modest. "We're not going to be high-fiving each other over any deal that's reached."
The 12 Czars will do little. Again, it will be up to We the People to propose big cuts. Fortunately, Freedomworks and the Tea Party Debt Commission will propose big and beneficial cuts. When enacted, these cuts will help the federal government focus on their defined Constitutional responsibilities.
On November 17th, the Tea Party Debt Commission will issue its report. Stay tuned for very significant proposals that will truly reduce the size, scope and the intrusion of the federal government.
Democracy and Power 116: The citizen’s vote The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced. If the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt, people must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance. -- attributed to Marcus Tullius Cicero, 55 BC
The American voter has a single vote for a person to represent them in Congress, the Senate and the Presidency. The citizen has no vote on policy.Jubilant tea party eyes GOP with suspicion
Politics is about power. The politician craves power. Fortunately this week, the voters have exercised their individual but minuscule power and many members of Congress were removed from power.
The next gigantic step for the Tea Party revolution is to force Congress and the President to enact legislation reducing the size and scope of government, which will facilitate opportunities for all Americans to invest time, talent and money. This is essential for freedom and prosperity.
First, We the Citizens must appreciate the power of independent voters and Tea Party organizations. Frank Lutz recently analyzed the growing power of the Tea Party: “Given this new data, the tea party is just as viable as the Republican and Democratic parties. It’s vibrant, it’s sustainable,”
Dick Armey, former Republican Majority Leader of the House, knows and has witnessed that politicians fear their constituents - a united group of voters, who time after time influences public policy. Armey, now Chairman of FreedomWorks, was recently interviewed by Kenneth Vogel of Political:
“The fact of the matter is most of the most prominent people in the Senate have within the past four months been in touch with me to try to figure out ways in which we can have a better working relationship,”
…. I’m seen as a liaison to the tea party. And (lawmakers) are saying ‘you know, these folks are carrying a pretty big influence across this country and I sure want them to love me.’ So all of a sudden, I’m a matchmaker,” said Armey, whose group was among the earliest national supporters of victorious tea party Senate candidates Marco Rubio of Florida and Mike Lee of Utah….
Unfortunately, the establishment remains overbearing Big business, labor and a hoard of special interest will always attempt to buy the vote of all elected officials. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) warns incoming members of Congress: “The establishment is much more likely to try to buy off your votes than to buy into your limited-government philosophy.”
The countervailing power for the independent voter is to continue participating with action organizations that monitor proposed policies: Tea Party organizations that reward politicians for good policy and punish politicians voting for harmful policy.
Vitally, the Tea Party movement must continue to spontaneously unite to collectively exert their power to influence good public policy.
Democracy and Power 116: The citizen’s vote The American voter has a single vote for a person to represent them in Congress, the Senate and the Presidency. The citizen has no vote on policy.