4th Of July Is America’s Highest Civic Holy Day


The Republic given us by our Founders 239 years ago today is among a handful of the greatest governing documents the world has ever known.

But it seems as if those of us who are the beneficiaries of their work too often forget, and take for granted, the document that embodies it. So we think it’s time, once again, to remind ourselves and our readers of the giants who gave it to us, and the risks to their own and their families’ “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

As American historian Walter A. McDougall so well described the importance of this day:

“It is a day when Americans, especially young ones, must reflect on how absurdly implausible the birth of this nation was, how its survival hung by a thread on many occasions, and how its Founders were emboldened because – be they Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Deists, or Freemasons – they believed the Author of History meant this to happen.”

And we take this opportunity to remind our local elected officials that, as Jefferson wrote: “Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.”

So whenever those elected officials intentionally hide from their constituents and hide what they’re doing from their constituents, those officials aren’t just disrespecting those constituents.

They are insulting the memory of the Founders and the spirit of their Declaration.

To read or post comments, click on title.

6 comments so far

While your views on specific issues are often dangerously shortsighted, you were the catalyst for lots of otherwise indifferent residents waking up and getting interested. Your contribution, therefore, cannot be overstated. Long may you wave, PubDog!

EDITOR’S NOTE Thanks, Class Warrior, but the “dangerously shortsighted” view on ALL Illinois, Crook County and Park Ridge issues belongs to you and your allies who want to sweep the mistakes of the past under the rug rather than take ownership of them and learn from them.

We and our allies, on the other hand, subscribe to Churchill’s view that “the farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see.” So we measure the present, and all plans for the future, against the mistakes and failures of the past that you and yours seem intent on repeating.

Once again you nailed it, PW. The Fourth embodies the values we should aspire to, and which some of our elected officials have lost sight of. That’s the context in which we should view all local government.

I don’t know what I’ve said that would lead you to believe I agree with sweeping decades of financial obligations (i.e. pensions) under the rug to avoid unpleasant discussions with voters. T’aint so. I do agree with Churchill’s quote, which is why I shudder at the predictable class war behavior you seem to believe will be forever consequence-free. Even a student under Ms. Heinz’s direction can easily scan a history book and see what happens when we confuse exactly who are the takers and who are the makers, in large numbers, for numbers of years. It is you and your allies who apparently think the rules of human nature don’t apply to you.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We believe that “the rules of human nature” apply to everyone, the makers and the takers alike. And we are painfully aware of the consequences – locally, nationally and globally – of fewer and fewer makers being forced to support more and more takers.

Hence, the National Taxpayers’ Union Foundation reports that the share of all personal U.S. income taxes paid by the Top 1% increased from 19.29% in 1980 to 38.09% in 2012, while the bottom 50%’s share decreased from 7.02% to 2.78% during that same period.

Ya just gotta love statistics. Here is a different way to look at it for you to chew on. In 1980, the year you reference, the highest marginal tax rate was 70%. For those filing jointly the bracket was over 215,400. In 2013 the highest rate was 39.6% and that was for over 450K. Those making 215K would be paying 28%…..compared to 70% in 1980. Even if you adjust for inflation the difference is still dramatic.

EDITOR’S NOTE: $215K in 1980 was the equivalent of $600K in 2013. And in 1980 there were 15 tax brackets between $0 and $215K, versus 7 between $0 and $450K in 2013. So your point is…?

But since you seem to be applauding the 1980 tax code, please explain what concept of fairness or justice you believe is served by the government confiscating 70% of anyone’s income, or any portion of anyone’s income?

I am not applauding the tax rate of 1980. Hell, I am not applauding today’s tax rate. You tossed out a statistic. I thought it was important to add a bit of perspective.

By the way, thanks for the 600K number… appears we are looking at the same data. Did ya notice I stated that “even if you adjust for inflation the difference is still dramatic”? So let’s do it this way. The 2013 highest rate was 39.6% for 450K. Ironically, this is close to the cut off line for being in the 1%. For that number, INFLATION ADJUSTED, the rate was 68% in 1980.

The real crux of the argument and where you show your hand is in the last sentence of your response to my post where you state “or any portion of anyone’s income”.

EDITOR’S NOTE: “The real crux” of your argument seems to be MIA, since you say you aren’t applauding 1980’s or today’s tax rate but you seem to be hinting at your support for higher taxes – at least for “the rich.” Or maybe just for those richer than yourself.

How convenient and typical.

But in case you’re unclear of where we are on this tax debate, we believe in a flat tax with no deductions or credits, except for people at or below the poverty line. So assuming for the sake of argument that the flat rate would be 20%, the person earning $1 million would pay $200K while the person earning $50K would pay $10K. Of course, the person paying $200K isn’t likely to be deriving 20-times (or $190K more) in government benefits than the person paying the $10K, but we’re sure that won’t prevent the class-warfare types (like yourself?) from beefing about how unfair that is to the person paying $10K.

You’re nuts, PD. The lower the person’s income, the more of it goes to basic necessities, not luxuries. Do you really not get that? Do you know that housing costs eat up HALF of the income of the millions who make less than the average US income? Or that these people work for companies that don’t provide paid sick days, insurance or any of the other “amenities” you take for granted? Oh, and if lobbying influence is any measure (hint: it is), the person paying $200K is definitely deriving 20-times more in government benefits in a myriad array of income-shielding, offshoring, no income tax over the first $125K, etc. etc. etc. C’mon. Let’s have a tad of that transparency you say you are so fond of, and less lies, damned lies and statistics.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Sorry, Class Warrior, we don’t “know” that, and neither do you – because we can find no official data to support it and, not surprisingly, you don’t provide any.

What’s the “average US income” and from where are you getting it? And what are the “housing costs” you’re beefing about, and where are you getting them?

The $200K in taxes we were talking about (for the $1 million earners) presumed a flat 20% tax with no deductions and exemptions; i.e., no “myriad array of income-shielding…[or] offshoring” of income in shelters.

Finally, we have to assume you know how radical/socialist your class warfare, eat-the-rich ideas are, and how unpopular they would be with the vast majority of the Park Ridge community…otherwise, given how proud you seem to be of them, we have to assume you would have come out of the anonymous closet by now to publicly claim them as your own.

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