Wednesday, July 27, 2011

IRA and 401k Confiscation

Nearly two years ago I wrote about how I was reconsidering the legitimacy of IRA and 401k accounts for retirement.  My concern stemmed from the fact that the government limits your ownership of the money until retirement as well as the prospect of government confiscation.  Since then I've seen countless articles discussing the possibility of the government confiscating individual retirement accounts and forcing the money into treasuries.

Today I encountered one from a relatively unlikely source, The American Thinker.  I don't read The American Thinker often, in fact, I only do so when get linked to it.  My impression is that they are a fairly mainstream conservative site, not conspiratorial or fringe-libertarian.  I suggest you read the article yourself and rethink your willingness to participate in these government programs.

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Friday, July 15, 2011

The Sorrows of Empire

I recommend this Gonzalo Lira blog post about the decline of America.

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Michele Bachmann: The Tax Man

I've wondered recently, about Michele Bachmann's past as an attorney for the IRS.  The thought of a "conservative" Republican presidential aspirant as a former tax attorney for the IRS simply seems hypocritical.  As it turns out, Salon and The Atlantic both have articles today, concerning this seeming contradiction.

Is it not curious that a former IRS tax-hound, could ever seriously be considered a contender for the Republican presidential nomination?  I hope that this is something she is forced to reckon with as she seeks the nomination, as I believe this all but disqualifies her in my mind, without an explanation of how she could reconcile her past with the IRS, her convictions as a Christian, and as an outspoken critic of federal taxes.  But of course, I doubt this will go very far, as questioning the legitimacy of the IRS is surely socially disruptive radicalism.


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Friday, July 08, 2011

Socially Disruptive Radicalism

Former George W. Bush speechwriter, Michael Gerson, is a well known evangelical political thinker.  He writes for the Washington Post, and has previously criticized the libertarian views of Congressman Ron Paul.  The most recent critique I'm aware of was his reaction to Ron Paul's views on the drug war as stated at the South Carolina Republican Primary Debate.  You may read my comment concerning that blog here.


Gerson's most recent critique of Paul exposes the foundation of his rigid ideology as post-biblical theology.  A bold statement, no doubt.  Here is the critical passage from his recent critique:

Paul is sometimes viewed as a naive but fearless conservative role model — implying that other Republicans are timid or compromised. But the project of reversing the Great Society, the New Deal and progressive reform is not ideological purity; it is socially disruptive radicalism.

Now, this is why Gerson's "conservatism" is post-biblical.  As you might expect, Herbert Schlossberg has something to say on the matter:

"We take a wrong turn and find ourselves in what appears to be an endless bog.  We decide to turn around and retrace our steps to discover the correct route to the destination.  However, someone in our party has read his Hegel and tells us that we want to turn back the clock back.  The reply to that is that to go straight ahead will take us deeper into the bog without knowing how many miles it stretches or what lies beyond, that the destination is elsewhere, and that the only way we shall find it is to discover where we made our mistake.  Thus, the turning back has to do with space and not time.." (Idols For Destruction, p. 17)


If you didn't catch that, Schlossberg is arguing that those who want to "turn back the clock" have bought into Hegelian philosophy, implicitly, if not explicitly.  Gerson is arguing that a return to the sort of Constitutional Republican values our nation was founded upon is "socially disruptive radicalism."  I can hardly believe someone of Gerson's reputation would utter such a notion.  
 As Schlossberg points out, you can't get out of the bog by going further into it, you must turn around!  Again, this is precisely why we Christians find ourselves in the political bind we are in--we listen to men like Gerson, and we find ourselves deeper and deeper in the bog.  But Gerson would have us follow that bog into Mordor (to borrow another illustration), rather than back to the Shire.  Let us ignore the "useful idiots" such as Gerson, and seek the third way--a return to Constitutional Republicanism.

I should add that Hegelian philosophy, as C. Gregg Singer observes in his book A Theological Interpretation of American History, is the foundation for the anti-Christian movements of the 19th and early twentieth centuries, that oversaw the demolition of the Republic and the transformation into the democratic totalitarianism of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  The Hegelian Dialectic reached its apotheosis in the communism of Marx.  Just sayin'.

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Friday, July 01, 2011

Augustine's Ponzi Scheme

Those willing to critically read Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's letter to Senator Jim DeMint, will realize that Geithner has essentially confessed to the reality that the United States Government is running the largest Ponzi scheme in the history of the world.  Here is the critical confession:



If investors chose not to purchase a sufficient volume of new Treasury securities, the United States would be required to pay the principal on maturing debt, and not merely the interest, out of available cash. Yet the Treasury would be unable to make these principal payments without the continued confidence of market participants willing to buy new Treasury securities. 


Now, consider a Ponzi scheme, such as that run by Bernie Madoff.  He was forced to find new investors to continue to fund the "growth" of previous investor;s investments.  He took Peter's money to pay Paul.  Then he had to find a Stephen to pay for Peter, and then a Jane to pay Stephen, and so on.  How is this fundamentally different than what the United States government is doing?

This reminds me of a quote from Augustine's City of God.  Augustine writes, "that was an apt and true reply which was given to Alexander the Great by a pirate who had been seized.  For when that king had asked the man what he meant by keeping hostile possession of the sea, he answered with bold pride, “What thou meanest by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, whilst thou who dost it with a great fleet art styled emperor.”


Bernard Madoff should have used this defense in his trial.  He could have said something like this: "What thou meanest by fleecing the whole earth; but because I fleece only a few whilst in New York, I am called a robber, whilst though who dost from Washington, art styled the Treasury."

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