Thursday, May 17, 2007

Public Service

As has become tradition I attended the annual public service awards dinner at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs last night. The institute is located at the University of Minnesota and serves as a monument to the "Happy Warrior" if you ask me ( Since the institute seeks to "advance the COMMON good" I want to see them advocate a flat rate personal income tax but there haven't been too many cold days in Hell that I know of - perhaps due to global warming? :-)

Former US Senator/Ambassador John Danforth was the keynote speaker -- not only is he an eloquent speaker but he is very personable as evidenced by the one to one conversation we had when he walked by my table. Not only did I have fun talking with him but I got a free copy of his book so watch for my traditional end of the year review of books I read this year -- always posted in the December 31st time frame.

Perhaps the most telling moment of the evening was when the master of ceremonies asked anyone in the audience (of over 300 people) who is currently serving in the military or has a family member serving today to "please stand to be recognized." At this point there were probably six (6) people standing in the entire room!! That is pretty amazing as my fellow table guest noted upon seeing so few people standing -- "........that is because it is a room filled with elites and our military is dominated by personnel from lower income families........." to which I asked, "so should we bring back the military draft to ensure all segments of American society bear the burden of military service.......?"

Personally I would rather see two policies adopted in tandem with each other instead of a military draft:

1.) The elimination of the federal personal income tax, and
2.) The creation of a "war tax" (a flat percentage of income) to solely fund our defense operations

Such a coordinated public policy change would provide -- greater personal privacy and greater transparency in government spending. Then if Congress needs more and more money the "war tax" would have to be voted to higher levels -- 15% to 19% to 22% perhaps to fund expanding military operations. So at some point voters would simply say -- "ENOUGH WAR" -- by electing new Members of Congress in the next November elections.

We need more free trade not bigger government.


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