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Jewish World Review /March 4, 1999 / 16 Adar 5759

Cal Thomas

Cal Thomas Proving myself to
President Clinton

(JWR) --- (http://www.jewishworldreview.com) I AM NOT ON WELFARE, nor do I receive any other direct payments from government. The bargain I have with government is that I send them up to half my income and in return they promise not to put me in jail. God asks for only 10 percent. The total government take is 50 percent. Wouldn't more get done if the numbers were reversed?

Last week, something as rare as a solar eclipse happened. The state of Virginia sent me a check for $237.50. It was a reimbursement under the Personal Property Tax Relief Act for the outrageous and perpetual tax I am forced to pay on my automobile. Gov. Jim Gilmore is delivering on a promise that delivered him to Richmond. He is reducing for some, eliminating for others, the car tax. I knew it was supposed to be coming, but it was still a shock to see government giving my money back.

President Clinton doesn't believe we can be trusted with our own money, which is why he opposes tax cuts. He says if government gave some of it back we might not spend it wisely, as if the wisdom of government is better than the wisdom of people who earn the money.

I got to thinking: here is a chance for me to prove to President Clinton that I can handle my rebated tax dollars in a way that might even please him. Perhaps I can demonstrate he can trust me to act responsibly if he and Congress allow me to keep more of my money rather than sending it off in growing amounts to "compassionate'' and "wise'' government authorities.

I can always spend the $237.50 on myself, thus proving to the president that I lack compassion. Suppose that I donate the rebate to a charity that might be a favorite of liberals? Perhaps I'll give it to my local rape crisis center in honor of Juanita Broaddrick. No, too political.

How about a gift to the National Organization for Women and its campaign to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace. I could honor Paula Jones for all that she has endured. Or Kathleen Willey. Or Gennifer Flowers. The gift could be in the name of all the "Jane Does'' who might yet step forward and tell their tearful stories.

I could also invest the money. Even in the volatile stock market, I will probably make a profit, which eventually will be taxed. But by investing it in American companies, I will be contributing to the economy, producing jobs for workers and more tax revenue for government.

The idea that I can't be trusted with my money is offensive. I don't father children out of wedlock or take drugs. I stay married. My kids turned out OK. And I work every day, expecting no one to pay me unless I earn it. I'm not entitled to anything, except freedom and the opportunity to be all that I can be. I save my own money for retirement, not relying on Social Security, and have a medical savings account to take care of health needs. Americans used to be rewarded for right decisions and right behavior. Now they are penalized, and those who make wrong decisions and engage in bad behavior are subsidized with the money those who make right decisions earn.

You want to talk fairness?

In her book The Greedy Hand ", Amity Shales reminds us of the criminal tax code and how it subtly, but effectively, robs us not only of present enjoyment but our future.

She writes: "It is not that Americans don't want to pay taxes; they do. It is that they feel that taxes have moved out of proportion to what is fair or appropriate. Even if we approve of certain government-spending projects, we sense that the whole affair has moved out of control. We all say we wanted a smaller government, yet each year Americans are compelled to hand over to our treasury $1.48 trillion, or a sum of money equal to the size of the economy of Great Britain. Nobody who is working today signed on for this.''

Indeed. That's why I'm putting my $237.50 in my mutual fund. With luck, it might grow faster than government's ability to spend it.


03/01/99: The feminist raping of America
02/24/99: New slaves to a new slavery
02/22/99: Character-plus
02/19/99: GOP losers tell winner how to win
02/17/99: The Clinton legacy
02/10/99: More a man, less a president
02/08/99: Mr. President: Tear down this wall
02/03/99: Guess who's coming to breakfast
02/01/99: NBC gets the message;is CBS missing it?
01/25/99: Let's not make this deal
01/25/99: Gov. George Bush's 'responsibility era'
01/19/99: Prophets without honor
01/12/99: The Senate's predicament and opportunity
01/08/99: ‘Compassionate conservatism’ is redundant
01/06/99: Don't give my regards to 'Narroway'
01/04/99: In culture war, a parking space trumps sex
12/28/98: Until we've learned our lesson
12/24/98: Peace in Bethlehem!? Something to think about during Xmas
12/22/98: The slime machine brings Apocalypse Now
12/15/98: The 'moving finger'
12/11/98: This sorry president
12/09/98: The eclipse of principle
12/03/98: Destroying Jewry on the installment plan
12/07/98: Before the Age of Clinton
12/01/98: Apathy and ignorance
11/19/98: Ken Starr's moment of truth
11/19/98: The fall of journalism's empire
11/17/98: Republicans drift while conservatives float
11/13/98: Supreme Courtupholds freedom of school-choice
11/10/98: The revolting Republican 'revolution'
11/06/98: Hulk Hogan for president?
11/03/98: Clinton's greatest peril isn't Monica
10/30/98: Mother Teresa was right about killing
10/27/98: Clinton to Netanyahu: 'You're despicable'
10/21/98: A 'peace' agreement: Wye not?
10/19/98: Vanity Fair snubs some of the greatest women 'leaders'
10/14/98:The mean machine
10/09/98: Impeachment: an outside perspective
10/07/98: The corruption of the Secret Service
10/02/98: Land erosion in Israel
10/01/98: The race panel: lies in black and white
9/18/98: The Clinton strategy and the Clinton legacy
9/18/98: Stopping him before he sins again
9/15/98: Repenting when the end is near
9/11/98: Faithfully executing: Congress vs. the President
9/10/98: The degrees of separation between Dan Burton and Bill Clinton
9/08/98: Joe Lieberman and the Democrats' conscience
9/04/98: Clinton vs. Reagan and the struggle for power
9/02/98: If only Bubba had been a Boy Scout
8/31/98: Liberal clergy and the Lewinsky affair
8/27/98: Combating the terrorists among us
8/25/98: The president as 'Chicken Little'
8/20/98: That was no apology
8/18/98: Big government's crab grab
8/14/98:Untruths, half-truths and anything but the truth
8/12/98: Lying under oath: past and present impeachable offenses
8/10/98: Endangered species
8/04/98: In search of an unstained president
7/31/98: The UK is ahead of US in one area...
7/28/98: Murder near and far
7/21/98: Telling the truth about
homosexual behavior
7/17/98: One Nation? Indivisible?
7/14/98: Who cares about killing when the 'good times' are rolling?
7/10/98: George W. Bush: a different 'boomer'
7/08/98: My lunch with Roy Rogers
7/06/98: News unfit to print (or broadcast)
6/30/98: Smoke gets in their eyes
6/25/98: Sugar and Spice Girls
6/19/98: William Perry opposed
technology transfers to China
6/19/98: The Clinton hare vs.the Starr tortoise
6/17/98: The President's rocky road to China
6/15/98: Let the children go
6/9/98: Oregon: the new killing fields
6/5/98: Speaking plainly: the cover-up continues
6/2/98: Barry Goldwater: in our hearts
5/28/98:The Speaker's insightful remarks
5/26/98: As bad as it gets
5/25/98:Union dues and don'ts
5/21/98: Connecting those Chinese campaign contribution dots
5/19/98: Clinton on the couch
5/13/98: John Ashcroft: another Jimmy Carter?
5/8/98: Terms of dismemberment
5/5/98: Clinton's tangled Webb
4/30/98: Return of the Jedi
4/28/98: Desparately seeking Susan
4/23/98: RICO's threat to free-speech and expression
4/21/98: Educating children v. preserving an institution
4/19/98: Analyzing the birth of a possible new nation
4/14/98: What's fair about our tax system?
4/10/98: CBS: 'Touched by a perv'
4/8/98: Judge Wright's wrong reasoning on sexual harassment
4/2/98: How about helping American cities before African?
3/31/98:Revenge of the children
3/29/98: The Clinton strategy: delay, deceive, deny, and destroy
3/26/98: Moralist Gary Hart
3/23/98: CNN's century of (liberal) women
3/17/98: Dandy Dan
3/15/98: An imposed 'settlement' settles nothing
3/13/98: David Brock's Turnabout

©1998, Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Inc.