Pensacola Tea Party – April 15, 2009

I attended one of the two Pensacola, FL tax day “tea parties” on April 15th.  Considering that there were only 6 people confirmed to attend this on Facebook, I was pleasantly surprised when I drove up to 500+ people attending this.  Granted, this crowd was nothing compared to the 15,000+ in Atlanta, but I thought this crowd was pretty good for Pensacola.  The rally was in front of University Mall on N. Davis Highway and stretched a good 1/3 mile from one end of the party to the other.

Patriotic music was playing and there was an overall good spirit during this rally.  The entire time I was there, cars were driving by honking their horns in support.   I saw plenty of FairTax signs and plenty of people handing out literature regarding various causes.

The unfortunate thing about the nationwide mainstream media and their coverage of this event which happened in over 700 cities across this country was their focus on who attended these rallies rather than why they occurred.   The reporting of this was more about supposed “extremist right wing groups” coordinating these rather than the fact that people are genuinely opposed to the Democratic congress and Obama’s outrageous spending in the past 10 weeks or so.  People at these rallies aren’t against all forms of taxation, but just the type that punishes success and thus leads to less overall growth.

Make no mistake about it, liberals are genuinely afraid of what is going on here.  Otherwise, they wouldn’t have spent so much time denouncing these on TV and referring to them as an obscure homosexual practice (tea-bagging).  In fact, no one actually participating in these rallies called them tea-bagging parties.  I’m amazed at how many anchors on CNN and MSNBC show surprising familiarity with the term, which is one that I’ve never heard before a few days ago.

The total estimated attendance of all tax day tea parties is now at 618,000 according to PJTV.  Not bad considering getting conservatives to rally for a cause is next to impossible.

Below are some pictures that I took with my iPhone of the rally to give various perspectives.  I look forward to the next time one of these occurs.  I feel confident these will occur on a regular basis until 2012 or whenever Obama is out of office.

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Exxon Mobil Setting New Records In Income Tax

Exxon Mobil reported this week that it set an all time new record— not in earnings or profit, but in income taxes paid to the government in a single quarter. Exxon Mobil paid $9.32 billion in income taxes in the first quarter of 2008 alone, which is a record for U.S. corporate taxes. Profit was $10.89 billion, which was the second highest ever for a U.S. corporation in one quarter. Total overall tax burden for Exxon Mobil this quarter was $29.3 billion if you include income taxes, sales taxes, and “other” taxes, which turns out to be a 25% total tax rate when you examine total revenue ($116.85 billion). Taxes paid by Exxon Mobil was nearly triple what they made in profit.

Exxon Mobil

With oil prices and gas prices through the roof, this warrants some examination. If you haven’t already noticed, the discussion of corporate taxes is an acute political issue. On one side, you have the Republicans, who are for tax cuts for pretty much everyone (including businesses). On the other side, you have Democrats who claim they want tax cuts for the poor and want to stick it to businesses (like Exxon Mobil) and the “rich”. While “tax cuts for the rich” tugs at the heart-strings of every person with wealth envy in this country, it doesn’t really make much sense in the end. Who are the “rich” in this country? They are the small business owners, the big purchasers, and the people who employ the rest of us. What sense does it make sticking it to them? When the so-called “rich” get nailed by taxes, they make cut backs like the rest of us. They hire fewer people and they don’t buy as many nice things. Jobs and retail sales suffer and the economy slows down.

As for corporate taxes, here is the big myth debunked: Corporations don’t pay taxes! They don’t now and they never will. Corporations COLLECT taxes only. When a corporation is taxed, the corporation figures it into the cost of goods sold and it is passed onto the consumer. Only the consumer pays taxes. That’s how it is now and that’s how it will always be. Every business, including oil companies, does this. This is a stealth tax on consumers. By some estimates, this stealth tax averages out to 22% on everything we purchase. On gas purchased from Exxon Mobil and other American oil companies, it’s more like 25%. That’s 25% of every gallon going right to the federal government.

Yet, 25% isn’t enough for liberal politicians. Just a few days ago, Barack Obama called for an additional $15 billion per year tax on oil companies. This is a statement from the Obama campaign as reported by Bloomberg.com:

“The profits right now are so remarkable that one could trim them 10 percent or so, which would turn out to be somewhere in the $15 billion range,” said Jason Grumet, an adviser to the Obama campaign.

Oil companies would still have ample reason to “continue to pursue production, while at the same time providing relief to consumers,” Grumet said.

Relief to consumers? Are you kidding? How does raising taxes on oil companies by $15 billion provide relief to consumers? Does Mr. Grumet honestly believe that gas prices are going to fall after the government confiscates more money from oil companies? Of course not, this $15 billion is going to show up right at the gas pump when the national price of gas jumps an additional 15-20 cents a gallon. See the twisted logic of liberals?

There is a giant disconnect between liberals and basic economics. Yet, it gets them votes on election day because of the ignorance of the public. The myth of corporate taxes continues to prevail among the masses and people think that by taxing oil companies that somehow it doesn’t affect them. It does, and it is probably one of the most devious methods our government uses to tax us–the stealth tax.

McCain Finally Makes Some Sense

I am utterly disappointed with John McCain and the way he is running his campaign. My displeasure with Senator McCain has been going on for about twelve years now, so I can’t say that I am all that surprised by the fact that I don’t agree with him on most things now. Republicans that voted for McCain solely for his “electability” may not even get what they ask for if he keeps up this class warfare and global warming nonsense. If he doesn’t change his tune and take a conservative stance on the majority of issues, he risks completely isolating the conservative base of the Republican party. And no matter what anyone tells you, there isn’t a politician in the history of America that ever won the Presidency while isolating the base of his own party.

With all that said, McCain finally made a little sense today as he called for the suspension of the federal gasoline tax. Thank God! All we ever hear about is how GREEDY the big bad oil companies are and how they are soaking all of us. Very few people realize that the government makes more on a gallon of gas than the oil companies do. The oil companies search, drill, refine, ship, research more types of energy and better ways to maximize the use of oil and gas and make about 9-12% profit. On the other hand, the government sits around and talks about how big and bad and evil these companies are, and the government taxes an average of $.47 per gallon of tax nationally (state and federal combined), or between 12-15%. The federal tax is 18.4 cents per gallon on gas and 24.4 cents per gallon on diesel. So government bureaucrats don’t do anything for the process other than criticize the oil companies and pass laws making it harder to do their job, but the government actually soaks the American people more than the oil companies do.

Eliminating the gas tax would have a tremendous effect on the economy, much more than any nonsense stimulus package that gives each of us between a few hundred to a little over a thousand dollars this spring. Eliminating the gas tax would not only help us out a little at the pump, but it would stimulate the economy by decreasing transportation costs (planes, trains, automobiles). Decreased transportation costs would ultimately help drop the price of good in the stores (because they don’t cost as much to ship to the store). Now, just eliminating the gas tax wouldn’t turn a failing economy around, but it would at least help ours and I think much more than anything else the government is offering right now.

McCain’s problem is that he doesn’t go far enough. He should call for a permanent repeal of the federal gas tax and not just a summer vacation from it. He should call on states to repeal their gasoline taxes as well. He should adopt some new ideas like the FairTax plan to overhaul the federal tax system. If McCain ran on a true platform of tax reform and decreased government spending, he might just have a real shot at winning this thing. The problem is, I don’t think McCain really believes in real tax reform. It’s pretty hard to believe that he’s sincere when he spends half his time spouting Democratic talking points about class warfare.

What the Heck is Huckabee Doing?

I must admit, I was at one time a Mike Huckabee fan, but my ignorance only lasted for a few weeks until I found out where he really stands on policies. He is extremely well spoken and comfortable in front of the camera, which is something that has been lacking in the White House lately. This alone fooled many conservative voters who don’t keep up with presidential politics more than watching ten minutes of a debate before casting a vote. Huckabee articulates social conservative values better than anyone in the Republican field did this year. Many “values voters” supported him simply because of his social conservative values, but there remains a small contingent of people that voted for him because of his support of the Fair Tax. However, besides witty one-liners, the Fair Tax, and his staunch support of sanctity of life issues, there is little from his record to suggest that he would govern conservatively.

HuckbearSome Americans are “one issue voters”, whether it’s a stance on abortion, foreign policy, immigration, or taxes. Huckabee gained a lot of ground this year because he portrayed himself as only “Christian” candidate, while preaching the dangerous rhetoric of populism. This led many people to vote for him because of identity politics. Identity politics happens everywhere—blacks vote for Obama because he’s black, women vote for Hillary because she’s a woman, Christians vote for Huckabee because he’s a Christian. It’s a dangerous way to vote and it clearly exists.

While governor of Arkansas, Huckabee demonstrated throughout his governing that he is not a fiscal conservative by raising both government spending and taxes overall in the state. On foreign policy issues, Huckabee called the Bush administration’s foreign policy an “arrogant bunker mentality”. Much of his political speech closely mirrored John Edwards populist message. But all this is moot because he likely won’t be the nominee.

So back to my original question…what the heck is he doing? According to an article posted just yesterday by Jim Forsyth, Huckabee is shooting for a brokered convention. In other words, he’s hoping that John McCain doesn’t get the required number of delegates needed by September, leading to a debate and vote at the convention as to who wins the nomination. This same interesting scenario is also playing out among the Democrats between Hillary and Obama.

Others have speculated that Huckabee is shooting for a Vice Presidential spot, but it appears that won’t happen since he’s attempting to spoil McCain’s nomination process. But what definitely appears obvious is that Huckabee is building himself up for a run at the presidency in 2012. By hanging around and garnering more support now while he can, perhaps people will remember him in 4 years when either Hillary or Obama occupies the White House. But is his staying in the race now actually building up more support for him or is it just demonstrating the conservative distaste for John McCain? Huckabee is more of a social conservative than McCain, but it’s laughable when either claims to be carrying the banner of conservatism.

Huckabee’s mantra in this campaign of “I’m the candidate of miracles” is getting old. He has overstayed his welcome and has become annoyingly optimistic. Even though many conservatives don’t care for John McCain and probably never will, Huckabee drawing this out is just leaving everyone with a bad taste in their mouth. While his presence has contributed to an interesting and ultimately disappointing 2008 Republican nomination process, hopefully the Republicans can find a genuine conservative candidate in 2012.

Article: Is Huck Still Running for ’08 or ’12?