where religion and politics meet

Everyone has a worldview. A worldview is what one believes about life: what is true, what is false, what is right, what is wrong, what are the rules, are there any rules, what is the meaning of life, what is important, what is not.

If a worldview includes a god/God, it is called a religion. If a bunch of people have the same religion, they give it a name.

Countries also have a worldview, a way of looking at life that directs government policies and laws and that contributes significantly to the culture. Ours used to be Christianity. Now it is secularism, which is practical atheism.

Some of us are trying to engage the government, the culture, and the people who live here to see life again from a Christian perspective and to show how secularism is both inadequate and just plain wrong.

A religion is not a culture, though it creates one. It is not what you prefer, like your taste in music or your favorite movie. It is what you believe to be true. Because it deals with things like God, much of its contents is not subject to the scientific method, but the reasons why one chooses to believe in God or a particular religion certainly demand serious investigation and critical thinking.

Every human being has the duty to search for and learn the truth about life. Education and science used to be valuable tools in this search, but science has chosen to answer the foundational questions without accepting the possibility of any supernatural causes, and education no longer considers the search to be necessary or worthwhile.

poligion: 1) the proper synthesis of religion and politics 2) the realization, belief, or position that politics and religion cannot be separated or compartmentalized, that a person’s religion invariably affects one’s political decisions and that political decisions invariably stem from one’s worldview, which is what a religion is.

If you are new to this site, I would encourage you to browse through the older articles. They deal with a lot of the more basic issues,

For now I want to focus my writing now articles specifically addressed to Christians. So most of my new posts will be on my other website listed below. I will continue to write and post short responses to newspaper columns and letters and even other articles as the inspiration hits me.

Visit my other websites theimportanceofhealing blogspot.com where I talk about healing and my book of the same name and LarrysBibleStudies.blogspot.com where I am posting all my other Bible studies. Follow this link to my videos on youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb-RztuRKdCEQzgbhp52dCw

If you want to contact me, email is best: lacraig1@sbcglobal.net

Thank you.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Quinn's tax swap

Quinn's tax swap

Back in the early 90s when I had been out of work for a while, I got my property tax bill in the mail, and I realized the absurdity of the whole thing.  The value of a person’s property has little or no correlation to one’s ability to pay taxes on it.  About 2/3 of my property taxes were for schools, so I have been advocating since then for funding our schools through income taxes rather than through property taxes.
So I should have been pleased when Governor Quinn announced his plan to reduce property taxes while making the state’s temporary income tax permanent, all in the name of better funding public schools?
So why am I not enthused?  Actually I am angry with his proposal.  So what could be so wrong with it?
It is wrong for three reasons.
You have to ask the question: when this temporary tax hike was first proposed, did Governor Quinn and our other government leaders really believe that this would be temporary, that this temporary tax hike would do all that they were expecting it to do, that they had no real intention or hope of making it permanent?
The state had a backlog of $8.5 billion in unpaid bills when they proposed this tax (2011), and it had a backlog of $7.3 billion at the end of 2013.  So this new tax raised over $18 billion dollars, and they were only able to reduce the backlog of bills by about $1 billion.
I’m sorry, but I believe we were lied to.  We were betrayed by our elected leaders who only see money as a tool to be used by them to further their elected careers.  They spend money they don’ t have to buy political goodwill through all the ‘good’ they are doing, and then when the bills come due, they cry poor and make up baloney reasons to raise taxes.
I have some quotes about what we were told about this temporary tax hike, but I don’t have the original sources, so their value is diminished.  But they all emphasized the temporary nature of this tax hike to “pay our bills,” “pay off our debt,” and definitely “not to expand programs” or “do brand new things.”
So with all this current debt and backlog of bills, what does the Governor do?  He also recently proposed to fund early child education and to subsidize first time home mortgages. 
The state has no intention of paying off its bills.  Its goal is to create as much government dependency as possible, because this is the only way they are able to stay in office.  It is hoped that the voting base of those needing government assistance will permanently be larger than the base of those who don’t, so their political future will be secure.
Now I have actually written a plan about substituting, or swapping, property taxes for income taxes, and in my most recent version of it, I was quite willing to accept this permanent additional 2% income tax, but not this plan.  But I will get to that in reason three.
The second reason I reject this plan is that for everybody who makes over $25,000 a year, this is a permanent tax hike.  Quinn is offering a $500 rebate on property taxes, but this only offsets a person’s income taxes if they make less than this 25K a year. 
He is wording his proposal as a change in “the way Illinois schools are funded,” but in reality nothing is changing.  He is only adding to the backlog of bills he has to pay.  He already has the revenue from the 2% income tax, we still have $7.3 billion in unpaid bills, and now he wants to give every property owner a check for $500 as well?  So where is this money going to come from?  It will just put the state deeper in debt.  But he is hoping that property owners just see the $500, and since they already are paying the 2%, he hopes they figure they are coming out ahead.  It’s like the street hustler who has the three overturned cups, and you have to follow the pea to see which cup it is under.  It’s hard to keep track of the money trail.
The third reason.  In my proposal, which is on my blogsite poligion1.blogspot.com, I noted that the only way the income tax property tax swap will work is if the income tax revenue received for schools would be kept separate from general revenues.  But we learned a long time ago from the social security trust fund that politicians will never leave money lying around.  They will spend it with the promise of paying it back, which they never do.  Quinn’s plan throws all the money in one pot, so the ‘biggest’ bills get paid first, and property taxes will keep rising as the schools continue to get no help from the state.

So when all is said and done, the temporary tax becomes permanent, every property owner gets a bone, and schools are no better off than they were before.   The amount of that 2% tax will grow as your income grows, but that $500 rebate will stay the same for 15 years while the value of the dollar continues to shrink.  The goal is to get more tax money so they can spend it on things that buy them political capital.  And they think this will work.

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