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3/27/09

The Post now goes through the Website (we are now located at squarewon.org).

THANK YOU SUPPORTERS!!!!

One of President Obama’s campaign promises- one that was greatly celebrated by the bleeding hearts- was to raise taxes on those families making over $250,000 in income. The outcome of the 2008 election shows that this was clearly a popular plan. Liberal class warfare is accepted by liberals and moderates alike (and even some conservatives) because most people, even most highly educated people, do not know where they stand, statistically, or even how the graduated income tax works. While it’s worthwhile to debate how much is Leftish wealth redistribution, Obama’s proposals can really be put into perspective by examining actual tax statistics that are provided by the Internal Revenue Service. For those of you who are tax professionals or have studied the subject, this is probably no surprise to you. However, it is our responsibility as American citizens to understand the system by which the government claims our income, and it our duty to share our knowledge with our fellow taxpayers. Here are the facts:

The IRS administers a progressive income tax, meaning that higher income dollars are taxed at a higher rate. A policeman who earns $50,000 a year pays the same amount of tax on his $50,000 income as does the doctor who earns $200,000 a year. However, the doctor will pay a higher rate on his income from $50,000 to $75,000, and a still higher rate on dollars from $75,000 to $100,000, and so on. This sets up a system in which the more the doctor works, the less he is “paid” for his work after taxes are taken out. Perhaps the next time you cannot get an appointment because your doctor has chosen to take the afternoon off, you should blame the graduated tax system.

The statistics tell of an even more insidious effect. The top 50% of earners shoulder 97% of the tax burden, meaning that the bottom 50% of earners pay about 3% of all taxes. To be in the top 50% of earners, a person need only make $30,881. Furthermore, the bottom 50%, in addition to paying almost none of the tax, are the citizens likely to be receiving government benefits (retirees, welfare moms, disabled people). Not only do these people get a free ride, but we’re paying them to take it.

In 2005, the most recent year for which such statistics are available, total individual income tax collected was $934,703,000,000 and the average tax rate was 12.45%. The statistics are compiled by return, meaning that a married couple is treated as one entity (so if the income is $40,000, this includes unmarried individuals who make $40,000 as well as couples for whom the combined income is $40,000). Also, the income amounts, in dollars, are pre-tax dollars (meaning that taxes are paid out of this amount).

• The top 1% of income earners paid an average tax rate of 23.13%.
• The top 5% paid an average tax rate of 20.78%.
• The top 10% paid 18.84%.
• The top 25% paid 15.86%.
• The top 50% paid 13.84%.
• Keep in mind that the top 50% rate includes and is averaged with the top 1% rate. So someone in the 50th percentile actually pays less than 13.84%, because his rate is averaged with the higher rates of those who earn more.

What is truly ridiculous is that the share of income that each group earns does not line up with the corresponding share of the taxes that the group pays. While the top earners do have a larger share of income, they pay a share of taxes grossly out of proportion with that income.

• The top 1% of earners claimed 21.20% of all income but paid 39.38% of the total income tax. These earners paid a share of tax equal to almost double their share of income.
• The top 5% of income earners made 35.75% of the income, but paid 59.67% of the taxes.
• The top 10% of earners got 46.44% of total income earned by individuals, but paid 70.30% of taxes.
• The top 25% of earners had 67.52% of the income but paid 85.99% of the taxes.
• The top 50% of earners claimed 87.17% of total income but paid 96.93% of the taxes.
• The bottom 50% of earners claimed 12.83% of income but paid only 3.07% of income taxes. People in this category were also significantly more likely to be receiving government benefits (getting money back from the government).

Liberals like to say that the “rich” get more income so they should be taxed more. The Left loves to write about taxing “the rich,” but “the rich” is a class they leave largely undefined. The statistics below show that “the rich” is not limited to those people featured by Robin Leech on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, but “the rich” actually encompasses much of the middle class.

• To be in the top 1% of income earners, a taxpayer need only earn $364,657. A person in the top 1% will pay an average tax rate of 23.13% of his income (almost 1 out of every $4 goes to pay income tax).
• An income of only $145,000 qualifies one to be in the top 5% of income earners.
• The top 25% of income earners includes those people who make $62,068 per year. These earners pay 85.99% of all income taxes.
• To be in the top 50% of earners, one need earn only $30,881.
• To really put this in perspective, a person in the top 50% of earners, but not in the top 25% of earners, makes between $30,881 and $62,067 dollars per year and pays 10.94% of all taxes.

So what’s the point of all of these numbers? Basically, it’s to show that the vast majority of the “rich” to whom the Left refers are not business tycoons with houses on every continent or Paris Hiltons who shop at Gucci and live for the next fashion show. The “rich” are people who have nice house that’s by no means a mansion. The “rich” are people who work hard every day. The “rich” are people for whom raising the tax rate a “mere” 2% may seriously compromise their ability to send their children to the college of their choice or to obtain a necessary medical procedure that their insurance does not cover. The “rich” is you.

Statistics can be found at: http://www.irs.gov/taxstats/indtaxstats/article/0,,id=133521,00.html

Tonight I read one of the most powerful and, I believe, historical articles I have read that has been written in my lifetime. I will get to it in a moment, but first, let’s go over the background.

As many of us readers now know, Father Jenkins, President of Notre Dame, elected to welcome President Barack Obama to his university, even after the Council of Bishops instructed that no honor be given a Pro-Abortion leader.

The backlash has been nothing more than miraculous.

In the last two days, a Petition to un-invite Obama has become a nation-wide movement. Today the petition grew by nearly 60,000 signatures, almost reaching 100k (link to petition at the bottom of this article). This astounding feet has now been supported with a momentous and powerful letter by Bishop D’Arcy. To understand why this is such a big deal, you’ve really needed to be following American Catholicism…so I’ll give you some insight.

In the past forty years, many of the Priests and Bishops have either been silent, slow to move, or actually on the wrong side (the opposite side of the Church…so the wrong side especially for them) of social issues. Popular slogans like “What about the Death Penalty?” have been used to defend voting for what is a non-negotiable issue: the issue of abortion (vs. the Death Penalty, which is a prudential issue, and permitted under some circumstances, as Thomas Aquinas and Augustine so say…abortion is intrinsically evil). Unfortunately, we who have been championing dignity of every person have been somewhat missing the big guns, that being the Bishops…until recently.

Enter champions like Bishop Robert Baker of Birmingham and Bishop Chaput of Denver. These guys come to play ball, along with several others. But what just happened with Bishop D’Arcy, perhaps an extremely difficult decision, was HUGE, because he in effect publicly chastised the University that is supposed to stand for Catholicism: Notre Dame. He chastised it, he says, because the people there are choosing “prestige over truth.” WELL SAID.

I will not give a dissertation on the Bishop’s letter (I do have it posted, and will leave the reference at the bottom), except to say that in Bishop speak, which is very polite and eloquent, His Excellence told Notre Dame that they were not acting in the graces of the Church, that they are in real danger, and that Obama’s practice of condoning the radical abortion agenda is in effect killing innocent human beings.

And I thought Pope Benedict’s wrath on Pelosi was serious. This was far more…especially because its a Bishop in America.

And thank God. Thank God for your letter Bishop D’Arcy. We have been struggling…struggling for the culture of life, even though many “Catholics” snub their nose at us, even though “Catholic” politicians like Pelosi and Kerry and Biden stand for funding embryonic stem cell research, even though 54% of Catholics voted for Obama…FINALLY, at last oh Lord, let us protect these unborn!

For the Bishop to boycott the President is not only brave…IT IS A BEGINNING. It might even be an unprecedented event. If not, I am sure its rare.We now have public help from the Bishops in a HUGE way.

Thank you Bishop D’Arcy. Thank you. Thank you.

And for all those that have been bombarding this post…THANK YOU. We are really onto something. If we go do the Tax Tea Parties, and continue to protest Obama at Notre Dame…going as far as to protest on the Notre Dame’s campus (with CIVILITY mind you), we are truly going to change this country.

And usher in the Culture Of Life.

Thank you Your Excellency. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

For Bishop D’Arcy’s letter and other information concerning this issue, click here.

The original Notre Dame Protest Post has become MASSIVE with information. Therefore, I moved my original article to this post, simply for clarity. For all Protest updates, click here.

Here is my original article:

A few days after President Obama was elected, the Council of Catholic Bishops announced that they will fight the heavily touted Freedom of Choice Act, a Planned Parenthood initiative that would literally wipe all Abortion restrictions off the books. The Bishops announced their frustration at Obama, because I’m guessing politics and fear, after the election. Now we have an all out assault against human life and natural law…everything that Pope John Paul II stressed was important for a flourishing society. He had a phrase for the culture that is quickly becoming the standard in our country: the Culture of Death.

So I was happy about the Bishops’ recent statement that any  Catholic Organization should refrain from giving awards to anyone that is Pro-Choice. It was at least a step in the right direction.

I suppose Notre Dame didn’t get the memo.

Just announced is something so disgusting, so hypocritical, so embarrassing, that I am at a loss of words, and seething…President Obama will be delivering the commencement address at Notre Dame, and will be receiving an honorary doctorate from this the alleged Catholic School in the United States.

Notre Dame was founded on faith in Christ, and while our country is merely encouraged to receive Grace, Notre Dame is commanded to do so. The name of the University honors a woman who went through a difficult crisis pregnancy with total faith. Her name is Mary, and Catholics are supposed to honor her name, not slander it.

Years from now, when abortion is considered one of the great injustices of the world, and outlawed as ferociously as slavery, people will be able to point at this Catholic School, and say the same thing that people say about the Catholic Church under so many circumstances: what in the heck is the difference between Catholicism and other institutions? In a social sense, I’m wondering the same thing for the United States Church.

Its funny, cause the Protestants are fighting what we promise to fight. The Christian Right takes it in the face for protecting unborn children. But those in the Catholic Church, who are supposed to be heralded for their decisions, don’t receive these awards. No. They are shoved in the back so we can put Obama on stage. They are underfunded. They struggle. I know them. I watch them, frustrated. *Update. Mary Ann Glendon will also receive an award. Apparently ND has been feeling the heat off their decision to pick Obama. This award does not appease, nor does it diminish the lack of foresight with their decision to have President Obama.*

But I tell ya, if I were Obama I’d receive the award and honorary degree too. It seems that he is claiming his triumph over the Catholic Church in the United States. “I, Obama, have overcome the power of Benedict’s words for the Catholic Church.” I think he’s got a point.

In 2008 54% of Catholics voted for Obama, contrary to the teaching and instruction of the Catholic Church. Just a few weeks ago, Nancy Pelosi, a self-proclaimed “ardent Catholic,” who was recently and sternly warned to protect the sanctity of life by Pope Benedict XVI, publicly applauded Obama’s decision to fund embryonic stem cell research, and was videoed in St. Anthony’s Church (in San Francisco) saying that Border laws were unAmerican. WHAT?! Perhaps she hasn’t read any Catholic teaching on a state protecting its borders. Neither have the Priest’s at St. Anthony’s apparently.

Meanwhile, we who are trying our best to live by the standards of the Church are screaming at the top of our lungs that the Church demands the Sanctity of Life, we think we are gaining ground…and then Notre Dame goes and does this.

My question to all leaders in the Catholic Church is simple: how are we supposed to continued to be disparaged and made fun of, defending the name of our Church, when you stand by and let this injustice go on?

Bishops…PLEASE forbid this. This is something that is an international scandal for the Catholic Church. It is your duty to stand up for those that cannot speak. It is better to be poor and alive than dead. You are supposed to defend this principle. That is your job. You are eternally accountable for this, more than the rest of us. It is the cross you were called, and this is NOT politics, this is about the LIVES of your flock.

This is not the end of this. There will be civil protest. I will keep you updated…and to all non-Catholics who want to help protest, welcome. We appreciate your help and support.

A recent Fox News article I read online got the ol’ wheels turning about one of the many areas in which the conservative movement, in recent years, has failed America. The article, which I recommend checking out after reading this piece, can be found here. It simply related some of the latest poll numbers the news agency had on President Obama and his policies, but it revealed some enlightening, but not the least bit surprising inconsistencies.

About seventy-seven percent believe Obama is increasing the size of the government, and fifty-six percent believe government is too big already. Despite this, President Obama retains a sixty-three percent job approval rating and forty-nine percent say the country needs the economics of Obama rather than the economics of Reagan. Also in another apparent contradiction, Americans also overwhelmingly believe that “you cannot make the rich poor by making the poor rich,” (seventy-two percent), and sixty-nine percent believe raising taxes during a recession is a bad idea. Tell me I’m not the only one who sees the obvious logical fallacies within these numbers.

There can only be two conclusions. The first and simplest would be that Americans have gotten too ignorant to understand the defiance of their politics by the left and see only “hope” and “change,” voting for it blindly because they don’t know any better. That would be the cynical view, and while I believe there to be some merit in it, I cannot believe that we as a country are there yet. The only other explanation is also two-pronged – first, that the conservative movement has failed to pin these inconsistencies on the left and particularly on President Obama and that, also, our party has failed to become the truest form of opposition to the left and has not made them accountable for their ridiculous and un-American positions.

And what happened? We all know the story – when we had a Republican in the White House and control of congress, the true conservatives watched in horror while our government expanded entitlements and increased the deficit. The GOP became a slightly less scary version of the Democrats, and we all continued to watch as they took over all three houses and exposed the Republicans for exactly what they had become.

If there is to be any true remedy for the right, we must both return to form to battle the Dems on spending and we must expose them for who they are – self-important hypocrites who want to take your money, give it to your undeserving neighbors in an obvious scheme to manipulate votes, and expand their power base by making every American dependent on government.

This Post has become massive with information, and tons of people have visited, and continue to (and send me updates). For clarity’s sake, this post now holds just updates…not the original protest article. For that article, click here.

FOLLOWUP ARTICLE, click here AT http://www.squarewon.org/2009/03/30/notre-dame-conservative-catholicism-and-the-tv-show-house/

For a Personal Thank You to Bishop D’Arcy, click here.

BISHOP D’ARCY, WHO HAS OVERSEEN ND’s GRADUATION FOR 25 YEARS…BOYCOTTS OBAMA’S SPEECH!!!!

*JOIN THE FACEBOOK GROUP, SIGN THE PETITION TO PROTEST, READ RELATED ARTICLES…AT THE BOTTOM*

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Catholic Church…wow!  While the leaders at Notre Dame continue to herald their decision to give Obama an honorary doctorate and commencement speech honors…the people are rising up!

Things you need to know:

The Notre Dame Scandal Petition is over 165,000! With the right effort, we could have 200k by the end of the week. Keep working! (link below)

The Facebook Group Now has over 700 members (link below)

National Right to life has called for Obama’s invitation to be rescinded. (link below)

George Weigel, biographer of Pope John Paul II has recently relayed his severe distaste of having Obama speak. (link below)

When people say “All Presidents are asked to speak at Notre Dame,” two things: 1. Only EIGHT President’s have received the honor Obama is receiving…only EIGHT. 2. The Bishops just released the statement saying that all Catholic Institutions must refrain from honoring pro-abortion leaders.

Civility. Always Civility. We must relay our message powerfully, rationally, and kindly. Catholics and supporters of this Catholic cause MUST do so courageously, with conviction, and with proper prudence.

Let’s keep it up!!!

Join the Facebook Protest Group, Click Here.

Sign the Petition to Send to Notre Dame Protesting, Click Here.

For the article announcing his speech, Click Here.

To protest, write the President of ND, Click Here.

Father Jonathan Morris of FoxNews weighs in.

Read HotAir Article, Click Here.

Read Article at Boston.com, Click Here.

LifeNet Article, along with Bishop’s addresses, Click Here.

Blog Entry, vote in support of un-inviting Obama, Click Here

Article where ND President Jenkins says that all President’s are invited to speak the University, and fails to mention that Obama is ONLY THE 9th President to receive the honorary doctorate, Click Here.

Theologian George Weigel weighs in, Click Here.

Another great article, Click Here.

Another Great Blog: Mary’s Anawim, Click Here.

American Papist Weighs in, Click Here.

AP Press Announcement: ND Spokesman says “I don’t foresee a circumstance in which we would rescind the invitation…” WE DO!!!

National Right to Life Calls for Obama invite to be rescinded.

When you hear all the poverty groups…keep in mind the corruption and the fact that many of them are population control…a.k.a. abortion. I’m hoping these Hollywood people just don’t know.

Hollywood people “Pledge…”

Now we know some very specific people to NOT support in film.

http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?mkt=en-us&vid=98d1744c-be9d-4db3-b26a-ca8f421cb600

*Update*

President Obama called the head of the Special Olympics and apologized. Thank you Mr. President.

Its snowing in major cities today, and since its the first day of spring, we now have proof that the Earth is warming.

“Its an offhand remark making fun of his own bowling, is what Obama’s PR guy said about Obama comparing his own bowling career to the Special Olympics.

I’m watching people this morning push this comment aside on the news…and I’m wondering why. I’m also trying to wrap my head around what would have happened had if Bush had said this, or the headlines that Coulter, a known satirist received, when making a slur against John Edwards’ sexual preference.

I’m also considering what this means: our “politically correct” system applies to one party. Well, we all knew that right? What’s worse however, is that Obama can say “I was making fun of my bowling,” and people say, “Ok, no big deal, you were making fun of your bowling,” when he was making fun of his own bowling by using a very specific part of our society, those that struggle harder to succeed…and do succeed.

The Special Olympics is something that our “entertainment” has been quick to tease and laugh at, and certainly Sarah Palin’s child was a topic of fun for all those people out there with their noses up.

Here’s what I see with the Special Olympics: I see success. I see potential. I see the representation of a group of people who work their hardest, taking their best qualities and work to achieve. Further, I see a group of people who might have trouble scoring well on the LSAT, but have no trouble giving someone a huge hug that they do not know. Isn’t that what all the liberals love? I suppose not.We needed a simple apology, and Obama is not giving it, and the press is not willing to call him on this.

President Obama, in all his “glory,” will probably not lose votes over this “gaffe,” but while he might not, what he should recognize is that this comment goes beyond politics…its about decency. Instead of thinking about whether his statement will affect his policy, he should look at the fact that he insulted a lot of Mothers and Fathers who are working hard to take care of their children…and yes, President Obama, they should have the children as opposed to an abortion.

Our dignity rests not in our race, color, greed, “gender,” or capacity to learn. Our dignity rests in the fact that we are humans. I imagine that if Mr. Obama had insulted a large constituency race, like say, Hispanics, the apology comes immediately. Apparently those “special” in our society are not a large enough constituency group.

Unfortunately, it looks like the press is going to gloss over this statement, but to me it says a lot about what President Obama really cares about. Take away politics, take away money, what was said was rude, and even if its a release, an apology is needed.

In the last article, I touched briefly on the natural law/perpetuation argument of why Proposition 8 is logical. A well-meaning comment shifted my plan for Part II, redirecting me to elaborate here on the “due process” argument. The Prop 8 opponents here suffer from another logical fallacy, that of over-generalization. I’ll boil it down.

Here’s the background to understand the marriage argument. Back several years ago, a group of physicians and terminally ill patients in Washington sought for the Supreme Court of the United States to declare that the patients had a constitutional right for the physician to intentionally prescribe them an overdose of drugs to facilitate ending their lives. The question they offered to the court was whether they had a constitutional right to determine how to end their life.  The case was Washington v. Glucksberg.

The court already had process for dealing with those claims to “rights.” They ask two questions: first, is the alleged “right” properly defined; second, is the alleged “right” deeply rooted in the history and tradition of our nation. As for the patients, the court concluded that the “right” was properly defined as the “right to physician-assisted suicide.” The court remarked that yes, defining it properly has a lot to do with the outcome. It referenced the Dred Scott decision, remarking that in order to avoid the narrow preliminary question of “can one person ‘own’ another,” the pro-slavery folks asked the court “Can the court interfere with someone’s property rights.” When viewed this broad, surely the chance for a successful attack was minimized.

Prop 8’s opponents presented a similar strategy. Instead of “can a person marry another person of the same sex,” the appropriately narrow question, they have expanded it against any attack by describing it as “the right to marry a person of one’s choosing.”  More on this later.

This segues into the second question: is the alleged “right” is deeply rooted in the history and tradition of our nation? The answer here is categorically no. Gay marriage is a recent fad. The historical record is absent of the right to marry a person of the same sex.
And the state has made exceptions since the beginning of our nation’s history, as noted in Part I: blood relationship (commonly referred to as “consanguinity” in legal jargon); consent; and age (children or folks generally under 18, or 16 with parental consent—referred to as “infancy” in legal jargon). Why can’t sex be a defining characteristic?  (To be addressed in Part III).

But back to the alleged “right” again as defined by Prop 8 opponents, the “right to marry a person of one’s choosing.” If this really was the question, and no further analysis was required, what could possibly not be encompassed within that definition? Nothing, really.

“[You should] fight for same-sex marriage and its benefits, and then, once granted, redefine the institution of marriage entirely. The most subversive action lesbians and gay men can undertake is to transform the notion of ‘family’ entirely.”
— Homosexual Activist Michelangelo Signorile, “Bridal Wave,” OUT, December 1993 – January 1994.

And,

“[We] will dethrone the traditional family based on blood relationships in favor of the families we choose.”
— Homosexual Activist William Eskridge, “The Case for Same-Sex Marriage,” 1996.

And that’s the unstated goal—the right to make a family of whatever composition desired.  This notion sounds like true “freedom.”  But what is freedom?  Does freedom involve knowledge?  For example, I can opine all day long about the politics of, say, Nicaragua, but the more I actually know about Central American politics, factually, the “less” free I am to say whatever willy-nilly thought comes to mind and the more constrained I am by the truth.  With marriage, it is no different.  The less I understand about marriage, I can claim any intrusion upon the free ability to marry anyone is unjustified.  The more I know, however, about the function of a family, why a family exists, what the purpose of a family is, the less able I am to freely redefine its structure.  Once the qualities and attributes of a family are known, then one can see why true freedom is best served by Prop 8, a freedom addressed in the California Constitution: to “secure and perpetuate [freedom’s] blessings,” given by God.

Part III will discuss the the functions and qualities of a family and how Prop 8 is suitable to perpetuate freedom’s blessings within that context.

This morning Drudge’s headline states that Duke Coach slams Obama, telling the President to focus on the economy, not the Basketball picks. My sentiments exactly. But there’s more going on out there than Jay Leno and the Final Four.

Today we will find out how much the Obama administration and Geithner actually knew about the 165 mil that AIG received in funds. Its hilarious, because in policy matters, the government NEVER should have bailed out anyone. But because they did, the Democrats are in real trouble, because they have been complaining on what they actually knew: that AIG would be receiving these bonuses. Now the Dems have placed themselves in a Catch-22, because they created this beast, and now are feigning to destroy it. Chris Dodd is certainly eating the Democrats decision to keep Republicans out of the Stimulus decisions, as Republicans can now cry foul

The thing is…the blood is in the water, and you can see the sharks coming. That whole honeymoon of Obama’s is wearing off quicker than I expected.

However it might not matter…

Obama now has the Census in the Whitehouse, and ACORN overseeing it. In other words: Viva Hugo Chavez.