KEEP US DOWN AND KEEP US BROKE
By Jim R. Schwiesow
I have been entirely too serious lately. After a couple of weeks of watching the president make an ass out of himself in Central and South America by groveling in front of third world government pipsqueaks, and trying to thread his way through a continual stream of lies by which he endeavored – unsuccessfully – to assure these pipsqueaks that he would continue to ignore the law-breakers of their countries who have infiltrated our borders illegally while at the same time trying to deceive the more discerning citizens of this country who are onto his devious crap relative to immigration, I have decided this week to ignore our ignorant president and an equally unenlightened Congress and concentrate on the unlettered activities of local politicians. There is plenty of material in this regard; the local newspaper provides an ample amount of such on a daily basis.
The headline in my newspaper today blared the following: “Cigarette tax takes effect immediately” The lead-in line, which followed the headline, crowed, “Jubilant supporters say lives saved.” The jubilant supporters being a host of self-appointed guardians of the public welfare who wish to supplant the views of others with their own views, which they deem to be sacred and superior. They are the do-gooders of society who continually inveigh against our freedoms in order to protect us from ourselves, and who do nothing good, but instead complicate the lives of millions with their infernal meddling.
All of this hoopla emanates from the state’s neophyte governor’s campaign for a one dollar tax add-on to a package of cigarettes, which brings the grand total of taxes on a single package of cigarettes to one dollar and thirty-six cents. The article goes on to say that this little old revenue maker will fatten the state’s treasury by some one hundred thirty million dollars annually. I use the term treasury grudgingly as the word treasury should denote a repository where funds are stored for safe keeping and wise handling, but it has always appeared to me that the states’ and federal treasuries are in reality no more than temporary pass-through catchments into which the fruits of the people, which have been siphoned from them without mercy or letup, flow in and just as quickly flow out to fund goofy projects and programs that society could very well do without and suffer no adverse consequences. I am absolutely convinced that the people, who are squeezed like lemons for the wherewithal to fund these boondoggles would, if given the alternative, elect to keep their money and spend it upon that which would actually benefit them, and their families.
These special taxes and other legislative inventions are of course just another way for the dim-bulbs that we elect to represent “our interests” to steal our money and appropriate it to their own use for pie-in-the-sky dreams
Last month the headlines extolled the virtues of a yearlong seat belt enforcement program that was billed as a Valentine gift to our children, those “little pumpkins” who we are supposed to keep wrapped in a cocoon until they are 4’ 9” in height. The next thing that you know we will be forced by the idiot fringe, and their government enforcers, to keep our kids in a child seat until they are eighteen years old, that way they can just migrate from a baby’s seat to the drivers seat. The bureaucratic rocket scientists who write these press releases actually labeled this seat belt enforcement campaign as a gift to the children that is better than chocolate bunnies or Easter eggs. Did you ever hear such ignorant drivel in all your life? They most certainly did not consult the children, or the adults who will be soaked for millions in fines, or they would not have made such a dizzy and completely asinine statement. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that the article contained a stern warning from the chief of the state patrol to the effect that officer friendly would be extracting from the pockets of those who he supposedly protects eighty-nine dollars per person for each and every person found to be not properly strapped in and buckled up in his or her seat. Wow! Eighty-nine dollars here and eighty-nine dollars there, and pretty soon we’re talking about some real money. A single carload of such malefactors could fund the gasoline for a patrol car for a month. Why is it, I wonder, that the state also needs the income and sales taxes that it extorts from us.
All of this reminds me of the trooper who once came into my office and exultantly fanned out before me, like a deck of cards, the thirteen minor traffic citations that he had written during his twenty-five mile motor jaunt to the law-enforcement center, and exclaimed, “I’m rich thirteen citations in twenty-five miles, I’m filthy rich.” I don’t know if he actually saved any lives by writing those citations, but I do know that he derived a ton of pleasure and self-satisfaction from the writing thereof, and he also brought a hell of a lot of grief into the lives of thirteen people. Contrary to popular belief one does not have to always inflict pain to alter bad driving habits. Many times a pleasantly administered admonishment will achieve, except in the case of severe repeat offenders, as much in the way of rehabilitation as emptying out the pockets of some poor schmuck who is trying to make a living and support his family.
Anyway back to the governor and his gift from the legislators, at the peoples’ expense, of a one dollar per pack cigarette tax. The governor opined that the many millions taken away by force of law from his hapless constituents would be used to expand access to health insurance and help defray the costs of smoking-related illnesses. Sure it will! If you believe that sludge I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I would be willing to sell to you.
Now, we come to the part of this article that should drive people who value their liberties up a wall. It seems that the politicians of this day and age have no concept whatever of free agency and free choice. That individual’s are supposed to have the freedom within reasonable limits to make their own choices in life in regard to personal prerogatives completely escapes them. I used to be a smoker by choice, and I am now, also by choice, a non-smoker. Some people who smoke live to be one hundred years old and some live to be forty. The same goes for non-smokers. Tobacco is a legally packaged and marketed product. And it used to be when we lived in a free society – definitely past tense here – that one had the right to either use or not use legally marketed products. Ironically the pharmaceutical companies hawk products, which kill 200,000 people annually, and they are not taxed out of existence. Indeed that would be too much to ask of our politicos who see themselves as the kings and queens of the world. And hey! If that were to happen who would provide them with their mad money? Product killing taxes are reserved to kill off the products of those who do not contribute to the coffers and well-being of entrenched politicians.
But, I digress let’s get back to our know-it-all governor who said, and I quote: “Today we can all celebrate a hard fought victory, 20,000 people will stop smoking and 40,000 young people will never pick up the habit.” Oh yeah, who says so Mr. Governor? I imagine that 60,000 people will now purchase their tobacco products from Native American vendors and other sources, via the Internet, and do it tax free. But, then I don’t suppose that this alternative ever occurred to the do-gooders or to the governor. As Bugs Bunny would say, “What a maroon.”
What, I wonder, will be the next moneymaker for Mr. Governor, the crusader, and the ladies and knights of the legislative round table? There must be several thousand more taxes and many more minor transgressions that we can levy fines against to ensure a continual stream of money from the pockets of the people to those flow-through catchments spoken of previously. And I know for a certainty that there is a myriad of social programs, which have been dreamed up by the half-baked social reformists among us who – unfortunately – seem to multiple like rabbits, and who have a plentitude of sappy projects that beg to be funded.
All of which brings me to this statement to our so-called political leaders, “keep us down, keep us broke and make us dependent upon the whims and caprices of idiots, we deserve it because we were dumb enough to put you into office.”
© 2007 - Jim R. Schwiesow - All Rights Reserved
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Jim Schwiesow is a retired sheriff with 46 years of law enforcement service. He served with the Unites States Army with the occupation forces in post war Berlin, Germany, and has a total of nine years of military service, which includes six years in the U.S. Army Reserve.
His law enforcement service includes: three years in the military police, fifteen years as an Iowa municipal police officer, and twenty-eight years as the duly elected sheriff of Sioux County, Iowa.
Jim has written a number of articles, which have been published in various professional law enforcement journals.
They are the do-gooders of society who continually inveigh against our freedoms in order to protect us from ourselves, and who do nothing good, but instead complicate the lives of millions with their infernal meddling.