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Posted: July 20, 2011

America’s moral compass

A list of things we must remember

John Heckers

The ideologues in Washington are getting very close to causing our country to default on many promises it has made to many people. This will dramatically affect your job, whether you have a job now, are in business now, or are looking for employment. People will lose jobs, the economy will go into a double dip recession (or worse), and businesses will go bankrupt - maybe yours - as billions are pulled out the economy.

There are some important things I believe we have forgotten as a nation. These forgotten things are what made this nation great. If we do not remember them, we will, indeed, be nothing better than a Third World America. Here is a list of the things I believe we, as a nation, must remember.

1). The needs of the vulnerable must trump the needs (and wants) of the powerful. The unemployed, the poor, the disabled, children, battered women, elders, and others who are the most vulnerable must be looked after before multi-millionaires and billionaires. It is plain wrong that the deficit is being balanced on the backs of these folks when some in Congress are unwilling to close tax loopholes for the very wealthy, corporate jets, and the nation's most profitable corporations. It is shameful that we are giving corporations welfare when we, as a nation, are unwilling to help the vulnerable among us. It is both immoral and un-American.

2). Jobs matter more than light bulbs. Do you know what Congress was doing last week while the nation's solvency hangs in the balance? They were debating the repeal of a Bush-era law that is phasing out energy-hogging incandescent light bulbs. Yep! Instead of fixing our debt problem or putting together a program to get Americans back to work, Rep. Peter King of NY introduced a repeal of this law, saying that it infringed on "personal freedom" to save the country billions of dollars in energy costs through phasing out an inefficient, heat producing and often dangerous product. Please!

3). "Personal Freedom" is not absolute. There are some in this country who narcissistically believe that they should be able to do whatever they wish to do in the name of "personal freedom." I hate to tell you this, but that is not patriotism. That is anarchy. All of us who live with others have many limits and boundaries, rightfully so, to our personal freedom.

4). Everyone must pay his or her fair share. There is not one person in America who does not pay taxes in one form or another, including the homeless. But there are those whose income is taxed at a very low percentage rate, or even at a 0 percent rate. It is the very wealthy who have lawyers and bought and paid for elected officials to keep them from having to pitch in. Anyone with two working brain cells knows that this is immoral and wrong. So why do our elected officials keep them from paying taxes? To quote Ross Perot, "Follow the money!"

5). Government is not always the solution, but sometimes it is. There is a belief among certain folks that private industry is somehow sacred and government is always evil. Sometimes the private sector is the solution. Sometimes government is the solution. Sometimes either government or the private sector are the problem. But this ideological fanaticism that sees everything the private sector does as right and everything government does as wrong is just crazy.

6). It is time for a jobs program. People need to work. If we wait for "the market" we'll be waiting a very long time. Our government has a responsibility to "the general welfare." That is from the most radical and liberal document ever written: The United States Constitution. Putting people to work should be the absolute priority of our government, not reducing the deficit, not debating light bulbs, and not discussing Michelle Obama's hamburger choice.

7). We cannot have a good economy with crumbling infrastructure. America is crumbling! This means that people, especially those who can afford it, will have to pony up some taxes to keep bridges from collapsing (as many have) and highways from falling apart. America needs repair!

I am sure that these reminders of what America should be will not sit well with everyone. But I'll bet they sit well with the majority of Americans. In fact, polls show that they do. Elections, indeed, have consequences. Let us hope that the consequences do not include the destruction of the United States of America.

Join John and Nicole Heckers and Nicole Raphael Monday, July 25th at the DAC, for "Making Money and Finding Success Through Real Spiritual Principles." For more info and to register go here.

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John Heckers, MA, CPC, BCPC was an Executive, Relationships, Life and Spiritual Coach in Denver with 30 years of experience  helping people with their lives, relationships and careers.

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Readers Respond

The range of comments to John Heckers’ column is a reminder of how far apart we as a people have become. Too many folks accept as the gospel truth -anything- in print, in their inbox or on the airwaves. Opinion is routinely accepted as fact. Vitriol passes for debate. A discussion of American politics is appropriate in a business publication, especially in light of current events. Our 536 elected officials in D.C. are about ready to crash the “good ship Uncle Sam” on the rocks...which will take out jobs and prosperity in the process. Interestingly, American political philosophy has shifted far to the right in the last 50 years. What used to be thought of as "conservative" and/or "good government" are now considered far left or even socialist. For example...President Eisenhower called for a massive investment in this country's infrastructure, rebuffed the idea of large tax breaks for the richest Americans (while defending high tax rates which were only on a portion of income), and warned anyone who would mess with Social Security to keep their hands off. He also said workers have a right to organize and to bargain collectively. Ike called a strong, free-labor movement an invigorating and necessary part of our society. Surprisingly, the Republican Party platform of 1956 called for an expansion of Social Security, broader unemployment insurance, and better health care for all of our citizens. It called for increasing the minimum wage to cover more workers, improved job safety, and equal pay regardless of gender. If Eisenhower wanted to run for office today, he’d have to run as an independent (with Bernie Sanders at his side). At the end of the day, though, the morality of our government will be measured by how we value and treat the weakest and most vulnerable among us. By Tony Peccolo on 2011 07 23
"Emigrate to Somalia. You'll love it. No taxes or anyone telling you what to do. No wasteful social programs. Just good old every man for himself freedom and no real government interference in your life. Just watch out for the pirates." Seriously, this is pretty daft. Of course we need government to protect us from violent criminals, invasion, etc. But do we really need $7 TRILLION a year of government? Did LA *have* to build a $500M high school? Do the Feds have to blow billions a year subsidizing *sugar*? Should millionaires get Social Security and Medicare checks? Should Obama be spending money to buy assault weapons for Mexican drug lords? We need to identify our priorities and cut everything else. The left isn't even trying. Obama could and should identify $100B a year in easy cuts in the same way the states are - but can't be bothered to do so. Apparently, neither can any liberal, as no left winger has bothered to provide a single serious plan to cut any government fat. Obama has even refused to implement something easy like a pay or hiring freeze. This is absolutely incompetent management. Worse, actually - all he cares about is punishing his political opponents through higher taxes and rewarding his political friends through government handouts. That is utter corruption. It's not Republican's proposed cuts that will destroy this country - it is the use of taxpayer money to buy votes that will end us. We're not saying to throw the baby out with the bathwater. But the government simply cannot be a source of easy cash for everyone with a politician's ear. By Jawaid Bazyar on 2011 07 21
Great piece, John. As much as the Anthony case was a tragedy, I wish people were half as outraged by the behavior and issues you raised. As far as a number of the "rebuttals" made to your points, I would make this suggestion. Emigrate to Somalia. You'll love it. No taxes or anyone telling you what to do. No wasteful social programs. Just good old every man for himself freedom and no real government interference in your life. Just watch out for the pirates. By Fred on 2011 07 21
Jesus, in the church that He established in the meridian of time, and in His church today did not and does not use government as the vehicle to care for the poor (next time you are in Salt Lake City, visit Welfare Square for a prime example). John Gimple in his comment here has it right - when in a position of need, whether temporary or permanent, an individual's first recource is his family, second is his church. This is the hard reality. As prophesied by Isaiah in the same Bible already quoted here, we have made good evil (rejected, marginalized and demonized religion) and evil good - government IS the religion of a growing number. Mr. Heckers, are you a member of a lame church that is unable to do anything for the poor? To transfer responsibility for the poor to the government is to strip oneself of charity and truly represents a loss of moral compass - as well as common sense! I'm not concerned about losing this argument. Government has spent billions and (barring a default) will no doubt continue to spend billions in it's effort to "eradicate poverty" and has failed, is failing, and will always fail. I'm not inclined to keep throwing good money after bad (see the definition of insanity). Mr. Gimple is right. You feel a different motivation when you know you are going to have to ask your family for assistance than when your plan is to file for government assistance and game the system for up to 99 weeks. By Matthew Lewis on 2011 07 21
Once again Heckers runs away without dealing with even one of his factual inconsistancies. Of course that's after he goes to a really "high place" to make us all unChristian and unholy. Plus, regarding "disingenuous", there's a picture in the dictionary next to that word: it's John Heckers. Perhaps we should be glad he's retiring because there's no discernable value in interacting with him anyway. By Robert on 2011 07 21
John, I must have missed the part of the Bible where Jesus said that you should practice charity by first stealing the money from others. In fact, I believe there is a very clear proscription against "robbing Peter to pay Paul". There is a world of difference between *voluntary* charity, which is what all your Jesus quotes refer to - and compulsory, coerced "charity". What kind of "charity" is it that requires the use of force against an unwilling "donor"? Be generous -- or else? That was not Jesus' message and you are being disingenuous for trying to claim that it is. By Jawaid Bazyar on 2011 07 21
While I am not going to respond to individual comments, there are a couple of quotes I'd like to share. The person who said these is the major inspiration for my belief system on these issues. "Then the king will say to those at his right hand, "Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me." He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. 43 Then he called his disciples and said to them, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. 44 For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on." "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man's table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. He called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.' But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. Does anyone know who this "left of Lenin" guy is who said these things? This is the last comment I will make. Have fun guys! By John Heckers, MA, CPC, BCPC on 2011 07 21
Mr. Heckers: The moral compass has been lost, but I would say that it has more to do with government than not. The ever increasing number of government social programs has turned the government into the surrogate family. Instead of family members helping each other, every perceived hardship is now that of the government and ultimately the taxpayers. This has the effect of people taking less responsibility for their actions. It is much easier to ask a faceless government entity for help than it is of a friend or family member. If the family member's situation is due to a lack of motivation or habitual bad choices, the family can wise up and stop support. The government doesn't and never will have the resources to know when a dead beat is a dead beat, so they just create another program. Charity comes from morality. Is forced charity through taxation moral? By John Gimple on 2011 07 21
Dave Lucia: where did *you* get the right to take unlimited and unaccountable amounts of money from your neighbors? And, can you explain to me why taking 50% of everything isn't enough for you? Government takes 50% today. Do you think it needs to be more? In that case, you need to explain *how much* more and *why*. Otherwise, I would be a fool to keep giving you more money, wouldn't I? This is like the teenager who comes to his dad every day: Son: I need $50 Dad: ok (next day) Son: I need another $50 Dad: why? Son: just cause (next day) Son: I need another $50 Dad: I just gave you $100. Why do you need another $50? Son: to help the poor! Do you see how this argument wears thin? How it wears thin after 75 years of complaints that we're not taking care of the poor? How can we possibly NOT be "taking care of the vulnerable" with $7 TRILLION a year taxed away and spent by Government? After 75 years of socialism in America, it's time for us to wake up and stop the madness. By Jawaid Bazyar on 2011 07 20
As always, I find your article direct,to the point and wonderfully written. This is what needs to be said. I look forward to your future articles. By Joy Dillon on 2011 07 20
Typical Heckers response. Hilarious if it were not so sad and disappointing. First he writes a clearly ideological piece then goes into hiding and then when confronted, claims his piece is resonant with some kind of non-ideological majority of Americans. Of course, he ignores the comments on his many columns that clearly establish his ideology as somewhat to the left of Lenin. He also does not provide "the facts" about this supposed poll, it's context, who commissioned it and its intent. There are many comments today that don't "scream" and demand a factual response and dialogue. Heckers won't do this because he can't. His mind is made up so don't confuse him with facts. And speaking of "wisdom," his condescension, his on high pronouncements about us "trolls" and his reminders about his many creditials don't change the reality of his consistent avoidance of true debate. By Robert on 2011 07 20
I fully agree with you, John. Further, congratulations on having that special courage required to say even the most basic truths that progressives hold in a country where Ronald Regan would be left of center in most of today's debates. If the right's goal is to make life intolerable for anyone that disagrees with their nihilism, they are certainly achieving it. And now they not only cause embarrassment, they are threatening the rest of us with serious financial loss when America's credit is gone and the stock market, and indeed the whole economy, come crashing down. Where did the likes of Michelle Bachmann get the rigth to do that? By Dave Lucia on 2011 07 20
A few short comments: 1. the stimulus was sold as repairing America. Where did that $800mm go? The social programs you implied were underfunded. 2. In the real world (the one we all live in), when we spend more than we bring in, there is no fairy godmother (millionaires and billionaires) to tap for more money. We must reduce spending. The government's problem is not that there is insufficient revenues, it is that the spending appetite is insatiable. 3. Regarding #5, if you want something done efficiently, correctly and on time, do you trust the government to do it? 4. Regarding the rich who don't pay their fair share, I do wonder how much is fair to most liberals. Rationally, do you not see the inherant danger to our system when more than 50% of the population pay little to no taxes? Of course I want more "stuff", it cost me nothing. By Michael on 2011 07 20
I will respond to Robert. I am very happy in an appropriate forum to pit my positions and knowledge of history against anyone who truly wants to enter into dialogue, and not simply scream. This is not an appropriate forum to do so. These sorts of arguments tend to descend into name-calling and pettiness. My positions seem to be that, according to polls, of a large, non-ideological, segment of America. Those with extreme ideological opinions will not be persuaded. So, the cost of such an argument, which is nastiness and vitriol is simply not appropriate for this forum. It is not a "lack of courage," but a "surplus of wisdom." By John Heckers, MA, CPC, BCPC on 2011 07 20
Let's see if I understand this correctly. Heckers writes a column unabashedly expressing his uber liberal views and asserts various "facts." No problem so far--it is still a somewhat free country. Then he informs us that he will not respond to readers in public. There's a problem. He knows that he cannot defend his positions with logic and fact (never has and never will) so he removes himself from the playing field after committing an egregious foul. I'm anti name calling so I'll say this carefully: JH openly displays a stunning lack of courage and an inability to argue his positions. Anyone taking him seriously needs to review their thinking processes, knowledge of history and available information. By Robert on 2011 07 20
One thing I must note. The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone. ColoradoBiz Magazine publishes a variety of views. I have seen the more Conservative view expressed many times. A free and open press is proud and pleased to present a wide spectrum of views...even ones that make some angry or uncomfortable. ColoradoBiz Magazine is truly an "old fashioned" publication in that it does not try to mandate one point of view like so many "journalists" are doing today. By John Heckers, MA, CPC, BCPC on 2011 07 20
I normally respond individually to my readers who are gracious enough to comment. I will not do so on this article, however. If you want an individual response (and you're not a Troll), please write me individually at jheckers@heckersdev.com. I will not respond to abusive or nasty letters. Thanks for reading my articles, as always! By John Heckers, MA, CPC, BCPC on 2011 07 20
To Audrey - You note the middle class purchasing power has not increased in the past 10 years. This is true. Do you know WHY this is true however? You don't have to look far. Total government spending as a percentage of GDP has increased from 30% in 1980 to 50% (yes, FIFTY!) today. Every advance the middle class made was confiscated by the government. That's the bottom line. You are paying it all in taxes - though they've been hidden from your view by "soaking the rich" and "making businesses pay their fair share". Now they want to soak your children too before they're even born! But the numbers don't lie. HALF of everything you pay, HALF of the cost of all goods and services you purchase, go to taxes. You might want to consider that before calling for even more of the same. By Jawaid Bazyar on 2011 07 20
Thank you for a thoughtful article. I hope all the people who are ready to gut our government are also ready to take care of their parents and their children. Remember no one will be able to afford an education and social security will be nil. Very few of us will have jobs. What will your tax burden be then? By Michele Jones on 2011 07 20
Last one. Hecker, if you don't think the 50% (yes, FIFTY PERCENT) that government (Fed, State, and Local combined) takes from us every year is enough - then what, precisely, is your proposal? Is it 60%? Is it 70%? Maybe 90% is what you want. Instead of vague platitudes about how we're not chipping in (which is an obscene insult given the FACTS), how about you provide us some specifics as to why there are still poor and unemployed when government is taking HALF OF EVERYTHING, and, how taking 60%, 70%, or 80% will fix it? I await your response. By Jawaid Bazyar on 2011 07 20
Note that in Hecker's "moral compass" he fails to note: 1) Personal responsibility 2) Thrift 3) Productivity and hard work Hecker seems to think "from each according to their ability, to each according to their need" is what made America great, even though it destroyed Russia, Eastern Germany, Britain, the Scandinavian states, ad naseum. By Jawaid Bazyar on 2011 07 20
I am speechless. Well, not entirely. Light bulbs - how can you seriously call Edison light bulbs "dangerous" when the replacements are full of toxic, poisonous mercury? What about the jobs lost to Americans whose product was banned? Banned, in order to provide a political payout to Obama's cronies at GE? Pay their fair share? The rich are paying far more than their "fair share". We must have different definitions of "fair". I guess to you, "fair" would be to take every last dollar from the productive, and give it to the unproductive. (Hello, Karl Marx) The "needs" of the vulnerable? Really? Hundreds of billions in corporate welfare? That's the "vulnerable"? Tens of billions to Democrat union allies, which they coercively take back from their members to use to re-elect Democrat politicians? That's the "vulnerable"? Personal Freedom IS absolute. Freedom from what is the question - America's answer was "freedom from coercion". Socialists have turned that on its head, and use the government to coerce everyone every day, instead of protecting us from coercion. "the general welfare"? Do you think the Founders truly intended mass government theft and redistribution when they wrote those words? They are not an invitation to do anything the government wants! CO Biz Mag is turning into CO Socialism Mag. Ridiculous. If there's justice in the world, you'll end up like Newsweek. I will certainly never consider advertising my business in a magazine that is actively agitating to destroy my freedoms. By Jawaid Bazyar on 2011 07 20
Mr. Heckers I have always enjoyed your columns and expect to continue to do so. I appreciate your point of view and do not mind you expressing it - thanks for doing so. I also feel a repsonsibility to care for the poor among us, some of whom will need our care from cradle to grave. However, I am concerned that so many have concluded that the best entity, or even the only entity capable of caring for them is our federal government (or even our state government). What a sad state to be in. I cannot express how thankful I am that my hope is not in government (I think I might have an idea of where your hope is and that it is not first in government either). If we are to have any hope of sparing ourselves and our children the squandering of billions of dollars and avoid the destruction of our economy, it will be imperative that we understand that the government cannot create jobs. It can only work to foster an environment where people like you and me can do so. We need more tax payers. Let's get them hired. Although I do not agree with you on several points you have made here, I may actually now be more likely to join you on the 25th - it's ony $35, I'm likley to meet some great people, and I'm curious to get to know you better. By Matthew Lewis on 2011 07 20
Well John, at the beginning I was expecting an article I could find agreement with, but in some cases you missed the boat. Example: everybody keeps talking about "billionaires". There are only 400 to 500 in our country. Compared to the total number of taxpayers, it's a tiny number. The majority of the "rich" (another relative term) are hard-working Americans who built their businesses from the ground up. Most, driving American cars and looking like average Americans. They are the primary source of jobs. The real problems are Washington, perceptions, and our bloated tax system. Another example, you harp on “jets” like they are some evil luxury. Washington beat up on auto execs when they flew in company jets to congressional hearings. Do you understand that a person that is qualified fix and operate GM is on a very short list. Not very many of them in the whole world. If I was a GM investor, I would not want him or her wasting time taking a United flight anywhere. Put that valuable resource in a jet and move them around as fast as possible so they can accomplish as much as possible (and create as many jobs as practical). Here is part “B”: The United States is the largest producer of business jets in the world. High paying American jobs. Some of those went away when the economy slowed, many more after our “we need jobs” congress blackened the image of any corporation flying jets. That industry is still struggling to recover. Our tax system: a mess. A simple flat tax and/or sales tax would level the board. Better yet, close the IRS, push taxes to the states where they can be better managed and have the states decide how much tax revenue to send to Washington. By Tony Galluzzo on 2011 07 20
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity, by legislating the wealth out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work, because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation. By Linda K Sommer on 2011 07 20
I do not subscribe to this magazine to get a political view. I think there is enough other topics about improving business that can and should be discussed. Disappointed. By Sarah Byars on 2011 07 20
I agree with Betty. It is obvious that YOUR compass is broke. Yes our country has lost it's way. Years and years of more and more liberalism have led us into a nanny state mentality, moral decay and growing dependency on government - fewer value add - wealth creating private sector workers carrying more government. And the solution from our liberally controlled government is more government, costly regulations on the job creators and higher taxes on employers and workers. The net result is fewer opportunities and incentives for America's entrepreneurs and workers. The government should be halved and only perform the primary functions that the country needs - not the micromanagement of our lives and economy. By Bill on 2011 07 20
Thank you for your insight and I agree with you. It is a good piece because many are so highly critical of your perspective. Perhaps, we should add that focus should be long-term rather than short. Crumbling infrastructure is a vestige of the direction American business has taken. We no longer provide the steel needed for many of our product because management did not desire to funnel profits into new plant and remain competitive with foreign steel producers. This short-term focus is pervasive in business, government, and our private lives. Perhaps too much Glee and not enough Northern Exposure has made us a little indifferent. By George on 2011 07 20
Mr. Heckers, the title of your article is misleading to say the least. Government cannot instill a moral compass on America. Social justice imposed from the top down or by force is antithetical to our country's moral founding. The more Government does, the less it's citizens do for each other. I find it interesting that you advocate Government solutions in a business centered blog. Everything that Government tries to fix, only makes the problem worse. We have more (bigger) Government than we have ever had in our history and our moral compass is completely lost, our economy is in the ditch and our confidence as a society is lower than it has ever been. Case in point, our Government is actually considering defaulting on it's debt. This is not the place to look to when finding a moral compass. Advocating more Government as the solution to our problems will only result in bigger problems with our economy and our morality. Your last point says it all ...you actually believe that infrastructure improves the economy. Mr. Heckers, increasing private sector jobs, gets more people paying taxes which then pays for more infrastructure. Not the other way around. By Shannon b on 2011 07 20
Good article John. All the naysayers re: your valid points remind me of the old Styx song, "Grand Illusion" which starts out "Welcome to the grand illusion!" Since 2000, our leaders, mostly GOP have: -Squandered a budget SURPLUS left over by the Clinton administration -Started two "wars" while at the same time reducing our country's revenue stream, 'borrowing' from social programs to pay for the 'wars', and reducing taxes for those with deeps pockets: mainly corporations and the super wealthy. -Created fewer jobs than any recent administration (2000-2008). Our current Commander in Chief inherited a dung pile taller than the Sears tower and now his opposition group(s), who created the mess in the fist place, wants inherent changes from the people, as you mentioned, can least afford to pay; the old, sick, disabled, and poorly educated, while the fat cats keep getting more breaks. A 5th grader in Junior Achievement class could have predicted the calamity our country is in right now. By DD on 2011 07 20
I had great hopes when I started reading this article, but the leftist slant discouraged as soon as I was a paragraph in. The American moral compass is indeed a topic worth exploring. However Mr. Heckers gives us unsubstantiated blather rather than any thought-provoking insight on the subject. By Allison K on 2011 07 20
Hi John - Thank you for clearly identifying how we've lost our way and must get over our narcissism and total self-interest if we want to be a great country again. I've noticed the two respondents so far have regurgitated the right wing position. Let my just point out one reality that is deeply affecting our economy and taxes. In the last 10+ years the income of the top 1% has risen 40% - while the incomes of the middle class and lower class have not increased at all. Meanwhile, seems to me things were better 10 yrs. ago. We can argue about what's fair and disagree. But what is clear is that revenues are a problem and you can't get money from people who don't have it. Our moral failing is that we have lost a commitment to the greater good - our country, and often to our families. Commitment to the greater good (not fairness) is essential if we're to stop our coming apart at the seams. By Audrey Brodt on 2011 07 20
Hi John: You have made some good points but I think your liberal bias is showing through a bit at least as it applies to taxes. Here is an excerpt from an article published by the Tax Foundation... --Despite the charges of critics that the tax cuts enacted in 2001, 2003 and 2004 favored the “rich,” these cuts actually reduced the tax burden of low- and middle-income taxpayers and shifted the tax burden onto wealthier taxpayers. Tax Foundation economists estimate that for tax year 2004, a record 42.5 million Americans who filed a tax return (one-third of the 131 million returns filed last year) had no tax liability after they took advantage of their credits and deductions. Millions more paid next to nothing.--Number of Americans Outside the Income Tax System Continues to Grow by Scott A. Hodge; June 9, 2005. The article goes on to show historical data related to the number of citizens who actually pay tax. I think our biggest problem is that our president has not shown any leadership when it comes to fixing our debt problem. As usual he spends more time "blaming" than fixing. God help us. By Perry J. Vasquez on 2011 07 20
AMEN BROTHER!! I wish that I could join you on Monday! By Betty Morgan on 2011 07 20
Mr. Heckers, you really should do your homework. If the rich have all these loopholes and aren't paying their fair share, according to you, how do you explain the fact that the richest 10% of Americans pay 40% of the taxes and the poorest 40% of Americans pay no taxes? If that's not fair, then how much is fair? You're just regurgitating all the lies this administration keeps shoving down our throats. No original thought in your article at all. Instead, we have the typical emotional, not-based-in-facts tripe we get everywhere these days. How has more government spending ever had a good affect on us? There have been welfare and other entitlement programs in place for decades. If they are so effective, then how come we have so many people in poverty? How efficient are government-run programs? And why do you sneer at individual freedoms? If someone doesn't like what you have to say, you still have the right to say it. But based on your logic, maybe your right should be taken away as it could be deemed to be playing to this administration's narcissism. I hate to tell you this, but your spewing the same old garbage and lies the rest of the media is spewing isn't patriotism, either. Please get your facts straight. By meme on 2011 07 20
Thank you for this. By Rob Layton on 2011 07 20

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