Monday, September 8, 2014

Are they "yanking our chain"?

Are they? I'm inclined to think they are.

So what’s going on here?

   Today Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett released a statement calling on the State Board of Education to conduct a public review of Pennsylvania’s Common Core standards. 
The disclaimer: This site has not been the official blog of the Lehigh Valley Tea Party for over 3 years. The site and their Facebook page are the official LVTP outlets. So... if anyone has a problem with the content found here their beef is with the author of the content, Wayne Schissler.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

When all you have are lies...

   Below is a flyer that has been created to drum up support for a protest. It purports to be a counter-demonstration to the Lehigh Valley Tea Party even though the LVTP had their rally the previous week with absolutely no plans to do a repeat. It's obvious focus is to demonize those who disagree with their point of view.

   This "cry racist" tactic has been a moderately successful one for people trying to cripple the Tea Party movement. No one likes to be called a racist. Racism is ugly, irrational, and ungodly. But as time goes by and people get a chance to meet Tea Party members the lie is shown for what it is - an intellectually lazy way to "win" an argument by calling names.

   Scroll down further and you'll see a marked-up version of this flyer, how it ought to be read with understanding. The original issue, children being trafficked across Mexico, is only secondary to the need for these groups to demonize their opponents. It does nothing to stop the smuggling of children, it only perpetuates it.

   The law in question was created to protect children that are forcefully trafficked into the US from non-bordering countries. There was a need to deal with them, not just catch them at the border and effectively give them back to their kidnappers by pushing them back over the border into a country that wasn't theirs. The law that says they need a hearing, the Wilburforce Act, was created to deal with sex slave trafficking but it itself  and the lure of amnesty has helped create this "service" that the smugglers now provide. That it's voluntary (not slave) trafficking SHOULD make it evident that the Wilburforce Act does not apply. These children need a quick hearing at the border to determine that they are not victims of the slave traffic and then returned to their country so others do not follow their lead. Continuing the current policy is immoral and encourages this human trafficking, where some of the children do not survive and many are abused and traumatized.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The most regressive tax

   Taxes collected by governments are usually collected in 3 major ways, income tax, sales tax, and property tax. Let's take a brief look at them. 

   Income taxes are collected where you earn it by your employer, no chance to be a deadbeat there - you earn, you're taxed. Sales tax is collected at the point of sale, you have the money to buy the product you need 6% or 7% more to complete the transaction. Again, no chance to become a deadbeat. That is because both of these taxes are based on the prior requisite of already having the money. That is key. 

   Owning property only means that at one time somebody saved and had the earning potential to buy a house. And there was a tax at the point of sale that had to be paid to complete the transaction legally. After that why is there an assumption that the owner will earn an increasingly higher wage to pay for an ever increasing tax rate? When people get older they tend to work less overtime, change jobs, and eventually retire. 

   The property tax is a holdover from the Middle Ages. Then owning property almost always meant you were making money from it through agriculture. The land owner was then obligated to pay a share to the King in return for the security of living in the Kingdom. This is an abridged and simplified version of course. But the key point is, land owners were making money off their land. This remained true for most land owners for some time after the end of serfdom and before the industrial age. But we are no longer an agriculturally based society and yet taking tax from the land owners remains. In fact upkeep of homes, houses, and property in general is a significant drain and not a source of wealth. 

   So the property tax is actually the most regressive tax there is, taking more while you could be earning less. Why do we still have it?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Help us fill this bus!

Would you be interested in taking a bus to Harrisburg on Tuesday, September 24th to rally and lobby our legislators to pass the School Property Tax Independence Act, HB/SB 76? Groups from around the state are converging there that day. We intend to visit our legislators in their offices as they begin the fall legislative session. We know sending them a postcard gets their attention, LET'S KNOCK ON THEIR DOORS and deliver the message first hand.
We are trying to find out how many people would be interested if a bus was chartered. The estimated price per person is $25 - it can vary depending on how many people we get on the bus. If you would like to find out more about what we will be doing in Harrisburg the Fill-a-Bus website is the place to go to.

If you are interested in this and want to reserve a seat on the bus send an email to:
Include your name and the number of people going. You will be put on the list and as the plans/price are firmed up you will be contacted about times, pick-up spot, and payment. Please don't delay we need to know the level of interest and once the bus is filled up, it's filled up!
(Note: Technically the phrasing at the top of the graphic is incorrect - taxing your home does not end once the value of the house is exceeded. It's not "until", it's forever and your home is never "paid off".)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Help end the school property tax now

The short presentation (9 minutes)

NOW is the time to contact your state representative and senator.
The Pennsylvania General Assembly – Find Your Legislator

The thorough presentation from the nonpartisan Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayer Associations (40 minutes) 


 From the Pennsylvania Taxpayers Cyber Coalition:
There is no “Holy Grail” of property tax reform. Any property tax reform measure will involve shifting the tax levy from one type of tax to another – there’s no free ride. But there are ways to fund our schools and to ensure a better education for our children that are fairer and more effective than property taxes.
Many Pennsylvanians lose their homes and a lifetime’s work to sheriff’s sales each year because they can no longer afford to pay their property taxes. Senior citizens on fixed incomes are increasingly forced to sell their homes because of unrelenting increases in their tax burden. Young families cannot afford to purchase a home because the per-month property tax escrow is simply too high. Multi-generational family farms are being sold piece by piece to pay property taxes, devastating Pennsylvania agriculture. School districts in areas of the state with limited population and no commercial tax base are in distress and are unable to afford to give their children a quality education. Job losses, out migration, and abysmal state economic performance caused by burdensome property taxes are devastating Pennsylvania’s economy.
To read more click here:
NOW is the time to contact your state representative and senator.
The Pennsylvania General Assembly – Find Your Legislator
More on this in the newspapers (this list is updated as more articles appear):
Reading Eagle  …the school tax is based on the antiquated notion that a person who owns property has lots of money.
Lebanon Daily News …  ”an engaged and outraged public may be the only power capable of forcing a majority of lawmakers to do what is right.”
Shippensburg News-Chronicle …HB76, sponsored by state Rep. Jim Cox (R-129), has 62 co-sponsors, both Republican and Democrat.