Madison County Opinion...

MAY 7, 2003


Column
By Frank Gillespie
The Madison County Journal
May 7, 2003

Frankly Speaking
Wanting tax money returned is not greedy
Jay Bookman is a columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He is well known for his outrageous statements. But last week he out did himself.
Bookman contends that we hard working Americans who want a little of our tax money back are “greedy.” He refers to us as “the greedy generation.”
I am also a columnist who is sometimes accused of making outrageous statements. So I will add to my reputation by saying that Jay Bookman is out of his mind!
Here is an example of his twisted thinking: “The money that the tax cut would allegedly “return” to the taxpayer never came from the taxpayer in the first place. Every penny that taxpayers send to the federal government is spent by the federal government.
He said: “So how is it possible to ‘return’ what has already been spent? The same dollar cannot be spent twice. The myth of ‘return’ is a fiction, a cover story, concocted to soothe what little conscience we have left about such matters.”
Government has no way of generating wealth. Wealth can only be created by labor. Those of us who make things or provide services create the nation’s wealth. Every cent they spend, no matter what route it takes, comes from the pockets of working people. Therefore, Bookman’s statement that the money any tax cut would return never came from the taxpayers is total nonsense.
Later in his column Bookman argued that a tax cut would add to the national deficit. By making this statement, Bookman is ignoring economic history. Every time we have a major tax cut, income to government increases.
President Kennedy cut taxes and saw tax revenue jump dramatically. President Reagan cut taxes and saw the same thing. When the Republicans forced a major tax cut on President Clinton, it kicked off one of the longest periods of economic growth in our history.
The deficits occurred when government increased spending at a higher rate than the tax growth could cover. That happened especially during the Reagan administration. The Republican spending cuts during the “Contract with America,” led to dramatic reduction in the deficit. Government deficits come from spending policy, not tax cuts.
Finally, Bookman’s statement that taxpayers who want a bit of our money back are “greedy” is absurd. How can we be greedy because we want to keep our own money? Isn’t the greed on the side of those who want to take our money away for their own benefit?
The true greedy in this case are those who are driven by their own greed for power. After all, money is power and those who control the nation’s wealth are the true holders of power. As long as the political elite can take our money and tell us how it is to be spent, they have the power. If we the people can regain the right to determine how our money is used, we will regain the right of “Government by the People.”
Mr. Bookman, who clearly considers himself to be among the elite who know best how our money should be spent, is the one who is greedy. The more of our money he and his political friends can take away, the happier he is.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His web page can be accessed at www.mcga.net. His e-mail address is frankg@mcga.net.

Column
By Adam Fouche
The Madison County Journal
May 7, 2003

Guest Column
Move over Steve Irwin, here comes Fouche
Most of you have no doubt heard of Steve Irwin, AKA the Crocodile Hunter.
He’s the crazy Australian mate on those nature shows that wrestles with crocodiles, handles deadly snakes and travels the world over looking for the most poisonous reptiles known to man.
I saw him on TV the other night. He was running through a swamp in the Everglades, barefoot, jumping into the water after a small snake. It bit him twice. He wasn’t bothered.
A little while later, he spotted an alligator in trouble, its lower jaw torn. So he just leaps into the leech-infested swamp water and pounces atop the reptile to help out.
Maybe where he’s from, this activity is “Australian for party.” Over here, bye crockity, we call it “just plain stupid.”
But Steve’s little play date with crocodiles and snakes is nothing—next to me anyway.
I went horseback riding for the first time recently with my girlfriend. We need to talk about this a little.
We went on one of those deals up in the mountains that takes you out on a trail with three or four other people for about an hour.
First of all, they gave me a huge horse. At over six feet tall, I’m no small fellow. So I got a big, tall, manly horse. And sitting atop the saddle, I was more than a few feet off the ground.
This concerned me for three reasons. Number one, the way I figure it, there’s a high probability that the day I ride a horse is the day it decides to throw somebody off.
And number two, if this is the day, I’ve got a long way to fall. Third, I was worried about the horse’s ability to carry me, especially on a day after heavy rains, when the trail was little more than a really long mud hole.
The second reason this ride was such a feat pertains to the saddle. Now I know that men have been riding horses for centuries. Heck, this country was basically founded and forged on the backs of horses.
But riding in a saddle for an hour pounds a guy pretty good in an area that just doesn’t need to be pounded too much.
For you who haven’t been on a horse before, I equate it to standing at one end of a see-saw while a little kid jumps up and down on the other side, pounding you down there every time. It feels a little something like that.
Third, I got bit by one of the horses. Now our trail guide gave implicit instructions to keep the horses single file to prevent them from kicking and biting one another. I had no problem with these directions. I didn’t want any part of biting, kicking horses.
But some girl from Florida that I didn’t know who was riding with us (no doubt a University of Florida graduate from her blatant disregard of common sense) decided not to keep her horse in single file.
And so she passed me, more than once. And her horse went after mine, more than once. And the second time, my horse turned, and her horse bit my leg. It didn’t hurt, but it was startling.
And all the hoopla spooked my horse, and it took off running. Let’s get something clear here. I didn’t panic. And I wasn’t scared.
But for more than a few seconds, I was a little worried. I had never ridden a horse, and here it was starting into a full gallop. But my superior ability with animals allowed me to get the horse under control and diffuse the situation.
The remainder of the ride went without incident. I will say that despite my minor worries, I thoroughly enjoyed the ride and plan to do it again.
And my experience leads me to one conclusion, Steve Irwin’s got nothing on me. Sure he can wrestle crocodiles and alligators.
But I can ride a horse for about an hour, a feat that’ll no doubt put me on prime time on the Animal Planet soon.
Adam Fouche is a reporter for Mainstreet Newspapers. His email address is fouche@nbank.net.

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