Terry Paulson

America--the home of the free and the brave--is changing. Could we still find those self-reliant, confident Americans like those who put their kids and possessions into a covered wagon and populated our country's manifest destiny?

Personal responsibility has always been a cornerstone value; many Americans were too proud to take government help or charity. Yes, these are tough times that show no sign of changing soon, and some citizens are reluctantly taking help they never expected that they would need.

But too many of today's voters and politicians seem to lack confidence in the ability of American citizens to cope and rebound from tough times without continuing government programs. Temporary unemployment benefits have turned into perpetual support. Politicians are providing low-rate mortgages to people who can't qualify and tax credit distributions to citizens who don't even pay income tax. To pay for this "help" they are ready to justify taking more from their "rich" neighbors, many of whom could use their resources to invest in or start companies that would provide a job and a hand-up instead of a handout.

We are watching American liberties and property rights being attacked under the guise of government compassion and a warped "fairness" that expects the top 1% of American wage earners to pay even more. Right now, those successful Americans earn 19% of the income but pay 28% of income taxes. President Obama want them to pay even more while 42% of Americans pay no income tax at all.

Abraham Lincoln warned: "What constitutes the bulwark of our liberty and independence? ... Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men in all lands everywhere. Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors. Familiarize yourself with the chains of bondage, and you are preparing your own limbs to wear them."

If you still plan on voting for this current administration, you're either afraid of losing your government support and standing on your own or you want a "caring" government that will take care of Americans who you don't think can make it themselves. Are we now the home of the dependent and the helpless?

Creating government dependence never works. An American government should be proud of the number of people who no longer need help rather than promoting more people to use their dependency-inducing programs.

Europe's utopian promises are coming unraveled. A Portuguese professional, frustrated with working hard and not getting ahead, made this comment on a LinkedIn Group Discussion: "Right now I work mainly to pay taxes, and it has been so 'escalating'. I am seriously considering unemployment so that someone else pays for my life. I am very tired."

Some help is needed from our neighbors and government, but when it pays more to give up and take government assistance than to bring home a hard-earned paycheck, the end of the American dream will be near!

Yes, paying more taxes is unpleasant. But if Americans want to use the government to help others, let's make sure every working American, rich or middle class, is pulling the same weight. Get rid of the deductions and the political games; establish a flat tax percentage for everyone, including Warren Buffett and his secretary. Let the income tax rate change yearly on the basis of what government spends. When spending goes up, everyone's taxes go up. When spending goes down, all our taxes go down. When every working citizen has skin in the game, out-of-control spending get's downright personal, because all are paying for it.

The revolutionary fervor that helped lead to our independence and the formation of America, was driven by the importance of liberty, property rights and fair taxation. One of the grievances against the King of England delineated in our Declaration of Independence applies to today: "He has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out our Substance." Had enough meddling czars in Washington? Had enough harassing regulations and unequal taxes?

In 1776, we weren't helpless! We fought for our independence. It's time to take a stand for liberty and freedom again. We don't need a revolution; we need an election where we can elect leaders who believe in personal responsibility and opportunity--leaders who believe in us and our ability to find our way back to prosperity.


Terry Paulson

Terry Paulson, PhD is a psychologist, award-winning professional speaker, author of The Optimism Advantage: 50 Simple Truths to Transform Your Attitudes and Actions into Results, and long-time columnist for the Ventura County Star.

 
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Terry Paulson's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.