Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Commentary from Gary

Are Americans Under-Taxed?
Apparently liberals in Congress think that what America really needs is more taxes. Of course, they couch their proposed hikes with class warfare – we’re going to “sock it” to the “rich” or the oil companies or the drug companies. But history is fairly clear: as taxes go up, the economy suffers and, at the end of the day, the middle class takes the hit. A lot of the tax hikes pending in Congress are just plain stupid. At a time of high energy costs, the Tax-Them-Until-It-Hurts crowd wants to raise taxes on energy companies. Taxes are already a major part of the price of a gallon of gas. In fact, the government makes more on each gallon sold than do companies like Exxon Mobil. Then there is the proposal to raise the capital gains tax rate from 15% to 28%. Whom would that hit? People who invest in the stock market, and a bear market that hurts U.S. wealth creation would inevitably follow. Finally, there is an idea circulating to raise the income ceiling for Social Security taxes. Who would that hurt most? Entrepreneurs and the self-employed – the folks most responsible for the growth in job creation!

Mexico, The Eco-Defender!
Our neighbor to the south, Mexico, is coming to the defense of the environment and wildlife, hoping an alliance with liberal environmentalists can prevent the border security fence from being built. The Mexican government now insists that sensitive eco-systems and wildlife habitats are at risk. Roaming populations of jaguars, black bears and the Sonora Pronghorn, an endangered antelope-like animal, will be cut-off and isolated. Clearly, the Mexican government is getting desperate if it is now trying to raise environmental issues against us. But if the Mexican government’s green campaign fails to stop the fence, the Mexican environment minister insists his nation is prepared to file a complaint with the International Court of Justice! Here’s an idea: If the Mexican government got its act together and took care of its own problems, perhaps the Mexican people would actually want to live in their own country and we wouldn’t need to build a fence. But so long as hundreds of thousands of people are trying to come across our border during a time of war, I believe our national security outweighs any concerns about Sonora Pronghorns.

True Martyrdom
Two weeks ago, 23 South Korean missionaries, including 17 women, were taken hostage by Taliban thugs in Afghanistan. Two have been killed after deadlines issued by the Taliban for the release of terrorist prisoners passed. Were these Christians inciting violence in Afghanistan? No. Unlike the Taliban, they were actually trying to help improve the lives of Afghan citizens and were there providing volunteer medical aid.

What have the “main-stream” media and groups such as Amnesty International or the United Nations done? Virtually nothing. The United Nations calls the situation a “concern,” and a visit to Amnesty International’s website turns up nothing – not even a press release. If an Israeli rocket inadvertently killed a Palestinian civilian who was in or near a militant compound, or if an American jet accidentally bombed a farm house in a strike against Al Qaeda terrorists, these groups would be up in arms, and the talking heads would be reporting the incident with furrowed brows. In the past month alone, Amnesty International has issued two press releases blasting the United States – demanding we shut down the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and condemning executions of convicted murderers in Harris County, Texas. Yet, when Christian missionaries are executed by Muslim extremists, there is a collective yawn from leftwing groups and the media. Their silence speaks volumes.

But, my friends, here’s the bigger point: This episode is one more example of why it is so important for civilized nations to fight and defeat the Islamofascists. The South Korean Christians were willing to risk their lives to help total strangers. Two have now died as martyrs for their faith and good deeds. This enemy has its own view of martyrdom – dying while waging jihad for Allah and killing as many infidels as possible. Where we celebrate life, they worship death. That is one of the defining differences between the civilized world and radical Islam. And as tragic as war is, losing Western Civilization to this cruel enemy would be immoral, and it would invite a second Holocaust.

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