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Posted on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 7:33 a.m.

Rediscovering the Constitution as we drift into a nation of intolerance and greed

By Robert Faber

After eight-plus decades of searching for the right route for serving my family, my community and my conscience, I find there is no single path. In complex, uncertain times the message from the radical right is very appealing: just trust in the Word of the Lord. A few problems with that: Which word? Whose interpretation? And will it be in the original Aramaic or its English translation?

The problems of modern life are far too numerous and confusing to examine and evaluate each issue in detail, hence the temptation to follow the simple path of unquestioned Faith. For some, however, something more concrete is needed to identify and evaluate our nation’s higher and more beneficial standards of performance. We need a solid base on which to fashion goals for society, something more reliable, for example, than seductive political promises and comforting sound bites. We need a standard by which to measure the benefits and pitfalls and obligations of legislative proposals.


After well over two hundred years, the Constitution of the United States remains our nation's most honored document, the most reliable echo of the values shaped and articulated by our nation's Founders.

Dana Rothstein |

After well over two hundred years, the Constitution of the United States remains our nation’s most honored document, the most reliable echo of the values shaped and articulated by our nation’s Founders. It is the promise of that document to “promote the general Welfare” that provides the most trusted standard by which to gauge our legislative choices.

By that pledge our government assumed an obligation to care for the basic needs of all its citizens and while the precise nature of those needs may be vague, they must necessarily include food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, healthcare for the ill and infirm, education for the young, and security for the aged. It is those basic benefits that define the ideals and traditions with which we have gloried and in which we and the generations before us have taken such pride, and it is in the continuing pursuit of those goals that our legislation must focus.

Tax reduction, for example, has universal appeal and legislators dare oppose it at their peril, but measured against the blessings envisioned in our founding document’s solemn pledge of support for the welfare of the people, such opposition becomes responsible rather than expedient. Upholding the lofty goals of our Constitution by providing for the needy, too often dismissed as Liberal giveaways, is fully in keeping with the highest standards of the Constitution and is a proud reflection of our nation’s humanitarian principles.

In 1944, President Franklin Roosevelt suggested an all-inclusive “Second Bill of Rights,” designed to help all the people of the country. Nestling next to remedial programs for the disadvantaged was “the right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad.”

Roosevelt’s intention to aid and protect the needy and the more privileged alike echoes our nation’s original goal of creating a truly democratic and inclusive society in which all the people share in the hopes and benefits of freedom, one in which even the least fortunate can enjoy the benefits of a supportive and caring government.

Lately, we have been drifting into a nation of intolerance and greed, with Liberals and Conservatives pursuing different and contradictory agendas. In hopes of political gain, the Democrats have been soft-peddling their tradition of support for the most needy, while the Republicans, by definition and tradition a party “disposed to preserve existing conditions and institutions,” has been increasingly focused on improving the welfare of its more powerful and vociferous supporters.

By redirecting the country’s philosophic goals and legislative efforts away from “the general Welfare,” the primary losers would, of course, be the nation’s most poor and disadvantaged citizens, but joining them as victims would be our gloried reputation as a haven for “the wretched refuse of our teeming shore” ... and with it our country’s proud and beloved tradition seeking equality and justice for all.

Our need is to reexamine the words and purpose of the Constitution to keep its promise alive, to ensure the continuity of a philosophy and programs of help that only a compassionate and sympathetic government can provide. Those values that had for so long made our nation the envy of the world and the pride of our people are fading. Much political rhetoric is made of “moral values” by which is meant the narrow issues of gay marriage and abortion and public prayer, but little is noted of the larger moral values of satisfying the basic needs of survival for all our people according to the intent and authority of the Constitution. Rather than backing away from these debates we, both liberals and conservatives, should aggressively assume authorship of the true principles of “moral values” and challenge its detractors to define them differently.

The constitutionally mandated compassion of American democracy is perhaps unique in legislative history and has always been a major source of pride among our people, but that pride is turning to shame for some, fear for many, and is being redefined by others. Our obligation now is to reexamine our Constitution and recommit to the humanitarian goals and lofty principles that are its legacy.

Robert Faber is a regularly contributor to, writing about aging, politics and other issues. A resident of Ann Arbor since 1954, Faber and his wife, Eunice, owned a fabric store and later a travel agency. He served a couple of terms on the Ann Arbor City Council. He may be reached at



Mon, Mar 5, 2012 : 5:08 a.m.

Unions should be unconstitutional.

Charles Stevens

Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 9:53 p.m.

The saying that, "those that ignore history are doomed to repeat it" can certainly be applied in this case. If the Argentinean economic history is investigated it will be found that Argentina was one of the top economies in the world in the early 1900's then programs similar to what is being proposed and instituted in this country at the present time were incorporated by a new "Fundamental Change" federal government these changes were continued under the next administration. Over the period of several years the Argentine economy declined because they borrowed money to support the programs and taxed the rich. When the taxes from the rich were not enough to cover the cost of the programs they taxed those that were middle class but had accumulated some assets. Then they printed money to pay their bills, this de-valued their currency which caused run-away inflation. I will stop detailing the fall of Argentina at this point, but rest assured there is much more bad to the story. Citizens of the United States need to heed the story of Argentina because their history is what is occurring in this country with the present administration. We now should insist in the federal government not spending more that it takes in, balanced budget. Since the common defense is in the Constitution it should be funded. Cuts in defense can be found but it shouldn't be cut to a level where it is insufficient to provide an adequate level of defense. Social Security and Medicare has been funded by payroll taxes for years and therefore should be funded. Both could be revised to save funds. Welfare is not defined in the Constitution and has not had payroll funding, therefore, should be cut in order to balance the budget. Taxes should be revised in order to cause an increase in jobs, but that is a whole other story.

Charles Stevens

Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 9:52 p.m.

This is in response to the "Rediscovering the Constitution …" article in the Thursday, March 1 edition of Ann Arbor.Com by Robert Faber. What his article is more like is; Redefining the Constitution. Mr. Faber's article is an excellent look at the way the Liberals interpret written documents so that they can make the people more dependent upon the government for their sustenance and way of life. I too, have accumulated 8+ decades upon this planet and have, since LBJ, been searching for the basis of the liberal interpretation of the Constitution. The example, as presented by Mr. Faber, is the perfect description of a Communistic State. Everyone works for the common good. The Constitution does state what Mr. Faber shows, the problem is, words mean things, "promote the general welfare" does not mean "provide the general welfare". The Founding Fathers were very particular in choosing their words. If the federal government would promote the general welfare by making it easy for individuals to support organizations that help the poor by not taxing any contributions, regardless of the amount, it would probably help reduce poverty. The citizens that work and are responsible, for the most part, feel that the federal government taxes them so much for its welfare programs that they are contributing to the poor enough so that they do not need to support the numerous programs that are either private or church supported. Also, poverty should be redefined to not be so inclusive of those that are just lazy. If the poor people in the 1930's and early 1940's had half, let's make that one-forth as much as those in the "poverty level" do now, they would have considered themselves living like kings. The only way to get people out of "poverty" is to, as Ben Franklin is supposed to have said, "make them uncomfortable in it." In the 1930's and 1940's there were few jobs, much like now, but people searched to find what ever they could find to keep food on the table and shoes on the feet.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 2:01 p.m.

The more conservative leaning the state the greater the welfare need. Now that's true conservatism in action.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 4 p.m.

Obviously you've studied Michigan's nation leading unemployment rate under Granholm's reign of failure, kicking the can down the road, refusing to make any hard decisions that would upset her union buddies and do little but pass out cash we didnt have? The state was such a mess that it was referenced as THE example of disastrous management for years! Compare that to how Alaska was run under your hero, GOVERNOR Sarah Palin! ..OUCH!! Accordingly, I imagine you have far more respect for Governor Palin then granholm!? ...but conservative leaning Americans are the problem 'cause they're adults who won't suck up to the unions or spend money we don't have. They have the nerve to expect Americans to work and support prosperity for everyone rather then "free stuff" paid for by "others"?? ...yea, I see how you have a big problem with those "conservatives". Now that's the democrat party in action!

Richard Wickboldt

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 12:52 a.m.

People let's get real. Being wealthy with tens, hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars is way over the top and more than any person needs to live well. Even to live very well. Especially when it is just sitting in the bank or investments given special tax breaks. Everybody would just love the opportunity to work hard on an even playing field to also become wealthy. Plain fact not everybody can be wealthy. Reason being wealth doesn't just come by working hard. There are so many other factors involved. We the people is the federal government. We the federal government should be doing five things to allow everybody the pursuit of happiness. Protect all citizens right to freedom as noted in the Constitution. Make all the laws and the playing field equal to everybody. Facilitate and support a good education for all. Maintain a strong support system for those in need. Lastly have a tax system which is fair and appropriate, which can pay first for our county's defense and second a support system without going into debt. The rest can and should be taken by government at the state level.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 7:58 p.m.

The US Constitution is to promote and protect our liberty. No where in the document does it say that its suppose to provide monetary welfare to people. With freedom comes responsibility. I'm not seeing that demonstrated in Washington, DC. Too many people think they should get everything free and Mr. Obama's latest comments promotes this attitude.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 5:38 p.m.

Wow, this editorial completely mischaracterizes the intent of the U.S. Constitution to the point of parody. If you disagree with the Constitution, fine. But it would be nice if progressives and well-meaning but misguided people would refrain from claiming the Constitution is something that it's not. The General Welfare clause (as well as the Necessary and Proper clause and the Commerce clause) have been cited to justify a virtually unlimited Federal government. If you simply apply common sense, if these clauses truly gave the Federal government the powers that decades of politicians, justices and academics have ascribed to them, the Constitution (and especially the Tenth Amendment) as a whole is useless. Why put together a whole document limiting the powers of the Federal government just to insert a few clauses that defy all limits? These terms had very specific meanings for the framers, and none included an obligation to provide food, shelter, etc. to all citizens. Please read the Debates on the Constitution, the state ratifying conventions or a book that properly examines them (something you're not likely to find in most of today's history classrooms, unfortunately). Then, if you disagree, great - make your argument for something else. But at least get your facts straight. The ratifying conventions are the best place to seek original intent - this is what the sovereign states saw as the contract that formed the Federal government.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 4:35 p.m.

it's very simple, if you want to help your fellow man give your first 10% as God commanded by tithe or offering to your church, churches have less bureaucracy than the gov't therefore a higher % goes to the actual cause, gov't wastes money! If you don't want to give to a church than find a cause you like and donate to it. You don't need to stop at 10% either, you can donate material items or your precious time as well. You want to feed people, empty your pantry. (or volunteer at the shelter) You want to help children get an education, donate pencils, notebooks and reading material. (volunteer to tutor) You want to help animals, donate blankets, towels, cleaning supplies to the animal shelter. (volunteer to walk a dog) the local organizations usually have items needed listed on their websites. don't expect others to be doing it, don't demand others do it and don't ask for it to be legislative to force others to do it. people with more money in their pockets are more likely to a)spend it b) share it and c)donate it. the government shouldn't be the ones holding the purse strings for things regular folk could be doing for thier own neighbors.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 8:45 p.m.

maybe I don't need YOU to ask me to do anything. I do what I can because I am a follower of Christ, not because someone demands more money in taxes. By myself I am able to decide which specific organizations I want to support and which places will better utilize my donations to do the most for where it is going. Gov't programs have too many overlap, lack in oversight and have much more waste, it is just commonsense that monies and materials impact the intended people as effectively as possible.


Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 4:57 p.m.

To ask you to do anything for another human being would be too much I see.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:19 p.m.

I knew the the conservatives would have problems with this article. Too much leaning towards helping people. I give to charities and pay taxes. If it takes the federal and state dollars to help people so be it. Just keep your hands off the constitution and your church out of government.


Sun, Mar 4, 2012 : 3:51 p.m.

Our Constitution would not have been possible without Our Church. If you don't believe me, check out how well Democracy is working in muslim countries and Russia. Due to tragic incompetence of the democrat party and corrupt democrat media, the meaning of "separation of church and state" is rarely understood today. Short of taking a class, studying Glenn Beck will provide you with a better understanding of the United States, unpolluted by leftist democrat corruption and lame social engineering.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:23 a.m.

When I first read this Op-ed, I thought perhaps this was satire: the writer obviously does not operate under the Constitution as it is written. Rather than argue the nuances or discuss the things I see as wrong with his 'interpretation' of the Constitution (for that's what this is), I would respectfully suggest he-and the readership here-take advantage of the excellent FREE on-line Constitution 101 course being produced by Hillsdale College. The course works from original documents to trace the development of the Constitution to it's final draft. The course started last week and you can still sign up. Access it here: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 1:14 a.m.

I find this opinion's reference to the Constitution of the United States or the sporting documents outrageous. This was apparently written by someone who seems very focused on justifying demands for more and more benefits from an obama government that has not only bled this nation dry, but is borrowing $4,000,000,000 PER DAY from China and the rest of the world. Do you think your dream world Founding Fathers envisioned that? Following the obama democrat class warfare lies, many beg to believe that &quot;the rich&quot; can be taxed at a rate that will fund &quot;the poor and elderly&quot; into life long comfort regardless of poor choices they've made to care for themselves. Not only can no amount of "the rich" be taxed to keep up with obama's socialist green party eco fraud spending spree, but ANY amount of money seized from &quot;the rich&quot; to make your retired life more comfortable comes from "somewhere". It's not out in the barn under a tarp. In this case, it would be withdrawn from where??? Investments in the economy??? industry, in profit making, employment creating business? I am also dismayed by how poorly educated so many have become by the corrupt American media who now reside deep in the pocket of the failing democrat government and the worst president in a century. During the most brutal years behind the iron curtain, those reporters who did not go along with the government were killed or imprisoned. ...not necessary here - reporters willingly follow the government party line, goose stepping along....


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 5:24 p.m.

As a conservative, I greatly enjoyed your article. The wealthier do have a responsibility to the community. Without that commitment we only have 'I got mine' country which is VERY narrow minded and short sighted. The divisive phrase &quot; their fairshare&quot; implies there is a 'fair' amount. That is a matter of judgmental opinion and subjectively applied to 'them'. For example, why target the top 1%? Why not the top 2%? Where you draw the line is subjective. The problem is not the 'Unions', 'big government', 'the wars', 'big oil'. Its not the 'teachers', 'bureaucrat' or 'business' is NOT the 1%, nor the that don't include 100% are simply un-American and I think that IS Mr. Fabers point...Mr Faber and I would disagree on many things, but on this point I could not agree more.

Dithering Ninny

Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 5:35 p.m.

I'm not sure I believe your really a conservative!


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 3:58 p.m.

The founding fathers were not proponents of welfare in any form. Aside from the Federalist Papers and a solid conan course for non lawyers, I would suggest on depth readings into the lives of the founders as well as society in colonial America.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 4 p.m.

Con law My phone is on a frolic


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 3:51 p.m.

I am just going to throw this out so please do not crucify me. I just want to see what people think. Ok here it comes. Times change all the time example from radio to tv. Do we need to re look at the constitution and revise or update it?

Richard Wickboldt

Fri, Mar 2, 2012 : 12:59 a.m.

The constitution doesn't need any changing. We need to change our political representatives. This is done by our right to vote. So get out and vote!

Hot Sam

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 9:25 p.m.


Usual Suspect

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2:40 a.m.

Mort, the Constitution provides a method by which it can be revised and updated.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 7:29 p.m.

JohnnyA2, If that WAS the intent, which I completely disagree is true, then it has failed miserably. States are approving same sex marriages, they have upheld affirmative action programs, there are more women in the workforce today than ever before, oh and I believe there is a black president (or do we consider him white for the sake of your agrument since his mother was white). So where are the examples of the &quot;white, straight, male&quot; keeping all this power you speak of?


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 6:47 p.m.

&quot;intent of the constitution should remain the same.&quot; Yeah, because only white straight men have any good intent. The intent of the original document was to keep those in power with power and has succeeded.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 5:17 p.m.

To use your example of the change to radio from t.v.; the intent is still the same. I believe the intent of the constitution should remain the same. Things evolve, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, but I think in general the original intent remains the same. I think changing, udating, or revising the constitution at this time would only lead to stripping the intent behind it. And doing that is something I do not agree with.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 3:44 p.m.

We need to care for the poor and needy, you are right. A question is, who should do it, or who is doing it now? Charitable organizations, synagogues, churches have been doing it forever. Maybe government should be helping these groups to help others rather than trying to limit their effectiveness and mission.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 2:14 p.m.

they must necessarily include food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, healthcare for the ill and infirm Really? What Federal health care program was in place in 1800? What homeless program? What welfare program?


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 7:21 p.m.

JohnnyA2, I have no problem with the healthcare programs established for the men and women who have served the country. Although I feel the need to point out these are not manditory and the service men and women ARE free to find alternate insurance. The programs the government provides is just an alternative for them. To address your comment &quot;Oh I forgot, in the right wing world, being military makes you more important&quot; I would say they are more deserving to be assisted by the governement they served, then a person who has contributed nothing to this country. I would also argue the belief that a service man or woman is entitled to a little favor from the governement is not a &quot;right wing&quot; viewpoint, but rather a patriotic viewpoint.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 6:45 p.m.

&quot;What Federal health care program was in place in 1800?&quot; How about the one for people serving in the military. They certainly have one now. A full socialized medical establishment is provided for the military, while the rest of the world must pay their own way. Why not pay soldiers and let them buy it on the open marlet like the rest of the world does? Oh I forgot, in the right wing world, being military makes you more important


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 3:29 p.m.

Merchant Marines on a National Level, you mean.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 2:39 p.m.

Well, you didn't actually answer the question, you just gave a link. Sort of like telling somebody the answer to the thier car problem is in the repair manual. Anyway, thanks for the link, and the short answer to the question: What Federal health care program was in place in 1800? is...none on a national level... other than something for merchant marines.

Jake C

Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 2:32 p.m.

&quot;What Federal health care program was in place in 1800?&quot; Ooh, I know the answer to that! <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 2:09 p.m.

Pray tell why the Federal government, and not the several States, should be the primary vehicle of providing for the General Welfare? States are more agile than the Federal government, know the needs of their citizens better, and are more in tune with the will of their people. Why should the Federal government need to be involved?

Usual Suspect

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2:38 a.m.

Neither Jake nor mixmaster get it. It's not a continuous progression to the next smaller entity. The states are the primary entity of the Union. The federal government was the creation of the states. Cities within the states are also the creation of the states. The states were supposed to be the primary representative and tool of the people. This is where progressives git it all wrong - they want to federal government to be everything to everybody.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 2:42 p.m.

Your premise ends up being a race to the bottom where all responsibility is divested to smaller and less equipped institutions because nobody is willing to pay the taxes necessary to keep the boat, that we are all in together, afloat.

Jake C

Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 2:29 p.m.

Why should the several States be the primary vehicle of providing for the General Welfare when we have local Cities and Townships? Cities are more agile than the State government, know the needs of their citizens better, and are more in tune with the will of their people. Wait, why do we need to rely on the Cities to be the primary vehicle of providing for the General Welfare when we have local churches who are more agile and know the needs of their citizens, and.....


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 2:14 p.m.

Because when the states tried that on their own we got slavery?

Top Cat

Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 1:57 p.m.

One of the primary purposes of the Constitution is to promote individual freedom by restricting the size, scope and power of the government. The author should read The Federalist Papers before making the ridiculous claim the the Constitution was designed to justify and promote the corrupt, bloated and bankrupt Welfare State.

Hot Sam

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 9:31 p.m.

TC is spot on here...

Usual Suspect

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2:35 a.m.

Liberals don't need the general Welfare clause. Under the Commerce clause, they claim the government can do anything and be anything to anybody and everybody.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 2:12 p.m.

If he took the bar exam, he would definitely fail the Con Law portion for using the General Welfare clause as a source of his taxing power.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 1:53 p.m.

The fact that people think the constitution &quot;remains our nation's most honored document&quot; is disgusting. Tell me, who made this document? Oh that's right, it was all WHITE STRAIGHT MALES. Not a single female to be found on the document. Not a single man of color. Not a single gay man. This is a document that had written into it, a clause the said a black person would be considered 3/5th of a person. The founding fathers were not that smart. It is a poorly written document. Read some of the newere countries bill of rights (South Africa) and you will realize a constitutional convention is in order.

Usual Suspect

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2:33 a.m.

Not that there's anything wrong with white straight males. Also, if you did some good reading (I would strongly suggest multiple books by David McCullough to get you started) you would know that Abigail Adams, though her name was not &quot;found on the document,&quot; had a very strong influence on her husband, John, in the area of the interests of women, and her opinion was a big part of his own.

Cindy Heflin

Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 3:56 p.m.

Off-topic comments were removed.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 2:15 p.m.



Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 1:43 p.m.

&quot;The problems of modern life are far too numerous and confusing to examine and evaluate each issue in detail&quot; That's such a sad perspective of life. I'm glad I don't share it.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 1:40 p.m.

The ideals behind the Constitution are at direct odds with today's bought and paid for politicians and legislation. Our system has become too convoluted and should be scrapped in favor of a system that is again of and by the people. Perhaps the Constitution and it's amendments are a good place to start anew.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.

So if I am reading this correctly; you are saying it is the governments role to not lift the poor, needy, etc up, but in fact to bring the wealthy or successful down. I understand this is comming from a left leaning viewpoint, but even so there has to be some logic used. What motivation are we giving people to work hard, to pursue higher education, or to take the risk of starting their own business if the consequence is being targeted by our governement to provide for the people who lack that drive and determination. I agree there are circumstances where mental or physical disabilities prevent people from obtaining a position of self sustainablity. In such cases I agree 100% it is our role as citizens to help provide for these individuals. To repete a ridiculous phrase being used by Barrack, &quot;pay their fair share&quot;. I am curious why it is a &quot;fair share&quot; for an individual who happens to earn a large paycheck to pay more (I'm speaking in dollars and cents, not percentages) for the same services used by people earning far less. When I go to a diner my bill is in no way related to my earnings, when I buy a car my MSRP is not based on my salary, but when I go to a city or federal park I pay more for that service than an individual earning less than me because from a pure dollar and cents standpoint I pay more in taxes.

Usual Suspect

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 2:28 a.m.

&quot;I am no grammar nazi but....&quot; There's always a but, isn't there?


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 6:56 p.m.

Jake C that is a great idea. For something to be a punishment it needs to actually punish. If you fine somebody a million dollars for a crime in which he made $100 million there is no doubt they would do it. If you fine a man who makes $100 a week, $500, you have hurt him way more. If the goal is to stop and deter speeding then the fine MUST be compared to the ability to pay. It is also one of the factors that is used in bail.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 2:29 p.m.

Jake, First why does it matter what car a person buys? What I was pointing out is the fact that the government is the only place where you pay for services based on your income level. It is simple, it really is Jake. I am not saying we should go with a flat dollar tax rate. I was simply pointing out the incredibly flawed statement proclaiming so arrogantly that the wealthy do not pay their fair share when in fact they pay exhorbantly MORE for the exact same services. And to your claim that the wealthy &quot;get a higher benefit out of those services than poor people do&quot; is just as flawed. How many wealthy people are collecting a form of government assistance? How can a wealthy person benefit more from a new courthouse, a well maintained park, or a governement regulated healthcare program? There is a group currently targeting the wealthy while 'occupying' land that is mostly paid for by tax money in most cases and I would argue the majority of that tax money is from the wealthy.

Jake C

Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 2:26 p.m.

One interesting factoid is that some countries (such as that socialist hellhole Switzerland) have speeding tickets that are proportional to your income. A $50 speeding ticket doesn't mean much to someone driving a Ferrari, but a $300,000 speeding ticket might get their attention. What are your thoughts on that?

Jake C

Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 2:03 p.m.

&quot;you are saying it is the governments role to not lift the poor, needy, etc up, but in fact to bring the wealthy or successful down&quot; If that's all you got out of this well-written and nuanced article, I think you're trying too hard to find liberal boogeymen where they don't exist. &quot;when I buy a car my MSRP is not based on my salary&quot; That's funny, I don't see a lot of doctors driving Chevy Cavaliers, or people on welfare buying brand new Cadillacs. No one is forcing rich people to buy a Cadillac or Porsche, of course, but what would your neighbors think if they saw you driving that Honda Fit? As for your followup point that is apparently advocating a flat dollar-amount tax instead of a progressive income tax (?), I'm not sure if even Grover Norquist or Steve Forbes would be on board with that. Here's a nicely written argument about why the rich benefit from a progressive income tax even if they &quot;pay more for the same services&quot; (hint, it's because they get a higher benefit out of those services than poor people do): <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 1:50 p.m.

Sorry Soothslayer, I made an effort and obviously fell short. I mean no disrespect to the office of presidency regardless of the lack of respect I may have for the individual in that office.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 1:43 p.m.

It's Barack Obama. I am no grammar nazi but please be respectful and make an effort to spell his name spelled correctly. He is our nations President.