You Have No Idea How Much Your Boss Pays in Payroll Taxes

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America is suffocating under an amazing tax burden, but most Americans STILL underestimate how much their tax bill really is.  That’s because Washington has done a fantastic job of forcing employers to hide most of the taxes you pay.  If people had to see and deal with their total liability, the Democratic Party would be swept into the dust bin of history.

taxes

Here are some frightening facts from Rasmussen:

  • Only 54% of Americans are aware that employers pay payroll taxes on their behalf
  • Of those who do understand this, on 18% grossly underestimate the dollar amount of the taxes their bosses pay on their behalf
  • Only 10% of Americans have a basic understanding of the tax burden placed on their employer on their behalf

I heard a caller to Rush Limbaugh a few weeks ago.  He was a painting contractor who’d been in business for 20 years.  He is shutting down his company. The combination of a horrible economy and the burdens of even more taxes on business, the added regulation under Obama’s administration, the burden of an onerous Obamacare tax avalanche, have combined to make it almost impossible to run a small business—unless that business services the government.

These Are the Bill in Congress That Need Your Attention

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Even though Congress is winding down, there are dangerous bills on the desk.  I used Heritage Action’s Popvox program to tell Congressman (and future Senator) Todd Akin I oppose the FARM bill that does less for farmers and more for wasteful government statism.

Heritage-Action-Logo

Here’s the whole slate of bills you should write to Congress about:

Oppose the Big-Spending Farm Bill: Email Your Representative Now

Tell Blunt and McCaskill to Kill LOST—A Bill to Surrender US Sovereignty

Repeal Obamacare, Dammit!

Heritage Action does a great job of highlighting the greatest threats to liberty and good government before Congress.  Bookmark the sight and visit regularly.  Plus, our own Ben Evans is the regional coordinator.  If you’d like Ben’s help in coordinating action, or you’d like him to tell your organization about Heritage Action, here’s his complete contact information:

Ben Evans
STL Regional Coordinator
Heritage Action for America
Cell: 202-679-2354
Twitter: @HeritageActMO

ben.evans@heritageforamerica.org

www.heritageaction.com/stlouis

 

Tell Two People in West County About The After Party This Thursday at Sky Music Lounge

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A friend from Dallas just called me.  He said he met two conservatives from Ballwin who’d  love to be involved in movement conservatism . . . but don’t know how.

I was shocked. And a little embarrassed. How can someone in West County not know about St. Louis Tea Party Coalition and The After Party?  ‘

AfterPartyLogo_LG

Clearly, I’ve done something wrong.  I’m sorry.  But I can’t just throw my hands up and walk away.

We’re STILL fighing against Obamacare.  We’re STILL fighting against government growth.  We’re still fighting for a Constitutional Republic. We’re still fight FOR the American Ideal.  And we’re still the Tea Party, dammit!

So here’s the help I need from you. Bail me out.  Please. 

Don’t assume anyone knows anything.  Tell them to come to Sky Music Lounge on Kehrs Mill at Clayton Road in Ballwin, MO, this Thursday.  Arrive before 7:00 to get a great seat.

Bring strangers.  They don’t have to be Tea Partiers.  They don’t have to be registered voters.  They don’t have to be Republicans.  They just have to be open to the ideas of liberty, freedom, fiscal responsibility, and national defense.

We have a special badge for the first 100 people—commemorating 12 months of After Parties.

With Paul Ryan on the ticket, with the election 90 days away, with the conventions about take over TV and the news, with the USA dominating the medal count at the Olympics™, I’d be shocked if Sky Music Lounge wasn’t overflowing on Thursday.  Shocked and disappointed.  And embarrassed.

The next Tea Party After Party is this Thursday, August 16, at Sky Music Lounge in Ballwin.  Here’s the map.

If We Don’t Flip Some Toss-Up States, Romney, Ryan, and the USA Are Screwed

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Choosing Paul Ryan as his running mate was a great Romney move. Looking ahead, Romney sees movement conservatives working hard right up to the election—even if he or his advisors continues to say stupid things.  That was necessary.

SCROLL DOWN FOR TWO IMPORTANT EVENTS THIS WEEK

But it wasn’t enough to win the election and unseat America’s first anti-American president.  To do that, we must find a way to win over the selfish middle. (I know, writing things like “selfish middle” doesn’t help, but I hate lying to them.)

RealClearPolitics - 2012 Election Maps - Obama vs. Romney Create Your Own Electoral Map

Here’s the reality: the Electoral College, which once favored Republicans, is now the exclusive property of the DNC.  That’s because “moderates,” who vote for candidates promising to give them stuff, have moved into formerly conservative states.  In the map above, Obama needs only 33 electoral votes to win.

Now, take out all the toss-ups by giving the gray states to the candidate currently with the lead in polls in that state:

RealClearPolitics - 2012 Election Maps - No Toss-Ups

If the election were held today, America would be screwed.

It’s possible, perhaps likely, that Romney could win a sizable popular majority and STILL lose an Electoral landslide.

Here’s what we need to do if we don’t want to be the generation that lost America:

  1. Shore up Romney’s lead in the red states like Missouri
  2. Sweep statewide races in red states like Missouri
  3. Ensure a Republican Congress (both houses)
  4. Adopt a toss-up state to work

Here are the toss-up states (electoral votes):

  • Colorado (9)
  • Florida (29)
  • Iowa (6)
  • Nevada (6)
  • New Hampshire (4)
  • North Carolina (15)
  • Ohio (18)
  • Virginia (13)
  • Wisconsin (10)

By “adopting,” here’s what I mean:

  • Choose only ONE state to adopt so you can focus your energy
  • Lobby friends and relatives who live in the state
  • Donate to state candidates in your adopted states hoping they have coattails
  • Comment on newspapers and blogs that focus on your adopted state, even if not directly political
  • Call radio talk shows in your adopted state, using their internet broadcast to listen in
  • Pray

Quite honestly, the Electoral College is stacked heavily against Romney. That means it’s stacked against America’s future, as well.  A landslide for Romney in Missouri won’t help Romney in Florida or Virginia.

Yet we still need to elect Ed Martin, Todd Akin, Shane Scholler, Cole McNary, Peter Kinder and the other Missouri candidates.  We need to elect a solid House delegation. And we need to prevail on statewide and regional referenda.

That’s a lot to do.  And only about 90 days to do it.

TWO IMPORTANT EVENTS THIS WEEK

You can get involved beginning this Wednesday, August 4, at 4:00 p.m. in Valley Park at the Victory Bus Tour Rally.   All statewide and local candidates will be at the Victory Fieldhouse.  They will making a stop on the Victory Bus Tour and with this being the statewide HQ, it needs to be full!  Please forward this on to everyone you can.

Victory Bus Tour Rally – ALL Statewide and Local Candidates

Wednesday August 15th – 3:45 – 5 pm
Victory Fieldhouse
932A Meramec Station Rd
Fenton, MO 63088

If you’d like to discuss this further, come out to Sky Music Lounge this Thursday, August 16, at 7:00 pm, for the next St. Louis Tea Party After Party. The scheduled topic is Voter Fraud, but we’ll be talking a lot of election strategy, too.

Finally, I need say this:  in 2012, yelling at people, telling them they’re wrong, won’t work.  Sitting the election out because your favorite candidate didn’t win would be like surrendering to the Soviets.  Your children and grandchildren deserve to live as free men and women.  If we lose freedom now, it won’t come back in their lifetimes.  Winning this election might not keep you from the chains of slavery to government, but losing will weld the shackles shut.

 

Romney-Ryan Have a Vision They Can Talk About

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Why did murder skyrocket in Chicago as soon as Rahm Emanuel became mayor? Why have Americans become nastier and meaner since Barack Obama became president?

Romney-Ryan

As Michael Dukakis told us, a fish rots from the head down. Obama surrounds himself with people who thrive on decay and death.

After four years, Obama has nothing to say for himself. Nothing. He can only cut and attack and lie and sneer and mock like a high school bully. He tries to hide his own inadequacies and failures by belittling others’ success.I

The greatest contrast between the Republican ticket and the Obama regime is here. Romney’s team stands for something. It has a vision it is proud to share with the American people. Romney and Ryan want America to do better, for Americans to excel, for American exceptionalism to mean empty welfare rolls and zero poverty.

When you have a vision like, you can talk about it.

gary-indianaBut when your vision for America is a vast wasteland covered with dilapidated building and police crime scene tape—Gary, Indiana, from sea to shining sea—you have to talk about something else.

If Obama told us what he really wishes for America, we’d drive him out on a rail.

Get a Romney-Ryan sticker on your car. This isn’t about party; it’s about survival.

Primary Grades

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I was surprised to learn that Sarah Steelman conceded the GOP Senate race at 10:00. I’d talked to Todd Akin at my polling place on Tuesday morning, and he confirmed my suspicion the Missouri Republican race for US Senate would be close. It really wasn’t.

Mr. Akin won handily, considering the 3-way race. John Brunner’s remarkably negative, nasty, angry campaign should have made the race much closer. It didn’t. Sarah Palin‘s endorsement of Ms. Steelman probably helped her, but not enough.

, member of the United States House of Represe...
, member of the United States House of Representatives. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the end, Missouri Republicans recognized Todd Akin’s consistent conservatism and rare decency. (Todd Akin is one of the nicest and most honorable people you will ever meet.) Even though I was surprised–and even though Sarah Steelman impressed me throughout the campaign–I believe Missouri made the right choice. Todd Akin was the was the most conservative, viable candidate. I’m glad I voted for him.

I’m also glad I voted for Peter Kinder. Lieutenant Governor Kinder and his chief opponent Brad Lager ran disappointing campaigns. Both candidates attacked the other with half-truths and ridiculous stretches. Still, Lt. Governor Kinder is a loyal and faithful supporter of St. Louis Tea Party and many other great causes. I like both men, but personal loyalties matter.

I’ve met Cole McNary a few times, and I thoroughly enjoy talking to him. Cole’s bright and cheerful and dedicated to public service. We need more people like that in politics, and Cole will make a great Treasurer.

My favorite vote of August 7 was for Missouri’s next Attorney General: Ed Martin. Ed will make a fantastic Attorney General as the battle lines between the states and the government in Washington become more important. If you need to get involved in a race, jump in with Ed. You’ll thank yourself later.

I was heartbroken to learn that Lee Presser lost his bid for Republican committeeman for Queeny Township. Lee would have made a difference in the county Republican party. Maybe the victor will, too, but I know Lee would have. Perhaps God has greater plans for Mr. Presser. I hope so.

If you didn’t vote on August 7, you have about 90 more chances to make a difference. Put up a yard sign, put some stickers on your bumper, join a lit drop, knock doors, make calls, tell friends, tweet, facebook, blog, comment. Every word of support for a candidate helps. Don’t underestimate the power of your voice.

Thanks to the Candidates Who Took My Survey

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Thanks, so much, to the candidates who took a moment to respond to my survey.   Here are the results, including the candidates’ verbatim responses.

I will oppose tax credits for private development except for extreme cases, such as recovery from disasters.

Agree 3 100%
Disagree 0 0%
I will reject federal funds that come with strings attached.

Agree 2 67%
Disagree 1 33%
I will resist federal mandates that violate the original intent of the Constitution.

Agree 4 100%
Disagree 0 0%

I will work to reverse Washington’s centralization of power over education.

Agree 4 100%
Disagree 0 0%

Why Are You Running?

Missouri needs a US Senator who isn’t owned by out of state interests, money, power, or influence. I am that candidate.

–Mark Patrick Lodes

Not running until 2014 but just wanted to let you know where I stand. Thanks for all you do.

–John Lamping

I am leaving my seat as a Congressman to run for Senate because the Federal Government has overstepped its constitutional bounds and is spending future generations into debt. I am rated the most conservative Congressman in MO and we need a US Senate with conservatives who are serious about cutting the government back. I am Pro-Life, support traditional marriage and strongly support our Second Amendment rights. www.akin.org. Notes: Q1 &2 are really State level and not Federal Government. I strongly support State’s rights and will work to prevent funding with strings. Q4 we should eliminate the Department of Education.

–Todd Akin

Sending the same political families to DC year after year is not working. Healthcare and insurance for every American is a big issue. I have worked with health insurance over 25 years. Our federal debt is out of control. Small Main Street businesses need the same breaks that big businesses get. We need sound money, our borders secured, and common sense. Career politicians seem to be there to protect their job, not represent the area. It is time to end pensions for elected officials; it should be an honor to serve. It is time for a fresh start.

–Robyn Hamlin

 

 

In Search of Loyalty

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**Long**

To what and whom do we owe loyalty, and how should we express it?

Generational historians William Strauss and Neil Howe describe a generation of “nomads” in their prophetic book The Fourth Turning.

“The 13th Generation (Nomad, born 1961-1981) survived a hurried childhood of divorce, latchkeys, open classrooms, devil-child movies, and a shift from G to R ratings. They came of age curtailing the earlier rise in youth crime and fall in test scores—yet heard themselves denounced as so wild and stupid as to put The Nation at Risk. As young adults, maneuvering through a sexual battlescape of AIDS and blighted courtship rituals, they date and marry cautiously.”

Howe, Neil; Strauss, William (2009-01-16). The Fourth Turning (Kindle Locations 2810-2812). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

While Strauss and Howe avoid the word “disloyal,” their description hints at a generation of individuals loyal almost exclusively to themselves.

“In jobs, they embrace risk and prefer free agency over loyal corporatism. From grunge to hip-hop, their splintery culture reveals a hardened edge. Politically, they lean toward pragmatism and nonaffiliation and would rather volunteer than vote. Widely criticized as Xers or slackers, they inhabit a Reality Bites economy of declining young-adult living standards [emphasis added].”

I am among the oldest of the current generation of “nomads” in America: Generation X. I bear many tell-tale signs of the generation sandwiched between the idealism of our Boomer brothers and sisters and the “get along” camaraderie of our Millennial children. I have seen loyalty from both sides, now, and the idea still confused me.

I think I recognize disloyalty when I see it, but I lack a ready touchstone for its opposite. Worse, I’m not sure that disloyalty is always wrong or loyalty always right. I stammer over cases where loyalties lie in opposition: a friend to principle; an allegiance to an organization. Politics compounds my confusion.

I believe that government which governs least governs best, that local government is a better guardian of our rights than distant government, and that government has no legitimate powers but for those expressly and narrowly delegated by the people.

Nothing new there. Problem is, others who would stand and lend full-throated, passionate support for the principles expressed in the last paragraph will disagree with me completely on any number of specific cases. When they do, they’re not being disengenuous, I don’t believe; they’re being loyal to the competing principle of pragmatism.

A development tax credit is one example. Credits involve providing private business with taxpayer funding to encourage economic development. Pragmatically, tax credits sound great. In practice, they destroy economies and communities while failing to return the promised benefit for the taxpayers’ dollars. Tax credits boil the blood of small government people like me. Loyalty to my principles means fierce opposition to tax credits, always and everywhere (more or less).

Supporting credits are many politicians to whom I feel a very strong personal loyalty. They have defended me, my friends, and our cause with little hope of a political ROI for themselves. In some cases, their support for me risked years of bridge-building to particular communities of voters. In other words, they’ve helped me when I could do nothing for them.

So when personal loyalties conflict with principles, which should win? Before you answer, consider this.

To the Generation X nomads, loyalty may be of little value. We’re fierce individualists. But somewhere in our species and in our culture lies an appreciation for loyalty, not to principles, but to people. In fact, I think the concept of loyalty applies first to people, then to ideas. Loyalty buttresses trust, and without trust, no two people can work effectively for a higher purpose.

Loyalty to people, then, must be a noble principle itself. So how do we resolve the conflict between loyalty to people and loyalty to principle?

I think people can reach different answers. Xers might say that principles trump people because, without firm loyalty to principles, no one will ever know where we stand. Besides, people can forgive, but principles can’t. And true friends would never let you abandon your principles for them.

Millennials, and their GI Generation ancestors, would probably answer the opposite. When the chips are down, you need human allies, because principles can’t really protect you. Plus, loyalty to people lets you continue to champion your principles, but once you’ve cast aside friends over principle, there’s no going back.

So how do we choose between two candidates, one whose political principles mirror our own but has shown no personal loyalty, and another who sometimes strays from our strict political principles but has been a fierce and public defender?

I have played this moral dilemma both ways at different times, to be honest. Sometimes, I’ve risked friendships to advance a higher principle. Other times, I’ve let the principle of personal loyalty triumph. Neither choice felt completely right or completely wrong. I felt dissatisfied with both. I still do.

The best answer I can find, for now, provides no more satisfaction. I will try to be loyal to people and true to principle by broadening the field of principles involved. And I’ll try to be understanding of those who disagree. I’ll try to be honest with those who undoubtedly feel betrayed when people choose between competing loyalties.

The specific cases that inspired this post involve various primaries in Missouri. In several of the races, the candidates who have been great champions of causes important to me and to the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition are running against candidates whose approach to government more closely resembles our own.

Friends have taken strong positions on some of these races. Some demand fidelity to the most philosophically perfect candidate. Others demand loyalty to those who’ve stood by us. All the candidates are capable of winning the general election, so electability is no answer. I can’t just say, “I’ll vote Smitherton, since Applebaum doesn’t have a chance in November.” And none of the candidates is so far out of sync or so unscrupulous as to be disqualified.

I have weighed the possibility that past support for me and my friends resulted from a cold political calculation. I believe political calculation was involved sometimes, but in other cases, only a handful knew.

Still, I struggle between loyalty to ideological purity and loyalty to people who’ve proven loyal to me.

Why am I telling you this? Because I’d like to hear your thoughts about loyalty, people, and principles. Specifically, do you consider loyalty to people a principle?