Too many Americans believe lies, and it's about to cost us personal and national freedom. Only truth can make us free and keep us free. When we leave the truth and believe lies, we forfeit a meaningful life of fullness, faithfulness and fruitfulness. Truth enables us to abide in love, peace, and joy with patience, meekness, and self-control.
This is not what prevails in the United States. There is anger, dissension, deception, division, strife, immorality, and with abortion – the murder of the most innocent. The only way freedom can be preserved is to recognize, return, and receive the power of transforming truth. Many believe the lie that peace and joy is found in materialism, pleasure, and more possessions. Falling in love with the things of this world and failing to love God and our neighbors will always lead to misery on every front.
Another dreadful, damaging lie is leading to a new expression of class warfare. It is the belief that success and wealth gained by honest, hard work is inherently evil. Not so! Yet we see condemnation and condescension coming from politicians, national and religious leaders, and the media, when they reference “the rich,” characterizing them even in their tone as “those sorry, corrupt, greedy people.” They insinuate that everyone with half a brain knows they should detest, despise, or even hate those individuals. This bolsters their ideology that more should be confiscated from them to be disbursed at the will of those in power. It is a lie to believe that wealth creates or contributes to poverty when the truth is there is no possible way to effectively relieve or assist the poor without the means to do it.
Taxes have a legitimate purpose to raise revenue for government expenses, but taxation is now becoming an effective way to redistribute wealth with a negative impact on the economy. For decades politicians have used the tax code for social engineering. This is a big mistake.
Consider the fact that if we had a flat income tax that was fixed at a specific percentage for all tax payers, more tax revenue would still come from people in higher income brackets. After all, 10% of a million is $100,000 and 10% of $50,000 is only $5,000. In this example, the millionaire pays 20 times more than the average person1, yet they both still pay their “fair share.” Instead, we have a "progressive" income tax which means there are higher tax rates for higher marginal incomes. As a result, in 2008:
The top 1% of income earners had 20% share of the total income, but paid 38.2% of all income taxes.
The top 50% of income earners had 87.25% share of the total income, but paid 97.3% of all income taxes.
The bottom 50% had 12.75% of total income, but paid only 2.7% of income taxes. 2
Talk about regressive and unfair! Since everyone gets to vote, in theory, the bottom 51% of income earners could elect politicians and representatives who always promise to extract most of the tax income from the top half of the wage earners. The fact is, however, most Americans in the bottom half reject this idea as morally repugnant, but we can’t correct it nationally. Most citizens still believe in accepting personal responsibility, but the lies and new class warfare prevails. In spite of the mockery on the part of some, the fact remains that successful entrepreneurs and the wealthy do create jobs and opportunity. Small business owners continue to be the greatest employers.
It is also a fact that the wealthy, especially among conservatives, are the greatest supporters of charities and non-government organizations including churches and ministries. We must stop believing and promoting damaging attacks. Yes, greed is dreadful and it blinds individuals to all the awesome possibilities that wisely-used and shared prosperity can accomplish. The wealthy and successful entrepreneurs are the ones who can best address the needs of the poor if they would stop handing off that responsibility to politicians who continually mismanage and waste the wealth their creative genius produces. There is no doubt, however, that excess on the part of corporations and unions must be effectively addressed.
Most citizens don’t accept the truth about personal responsibility and the importance of it. We are not putting first things first – God, family, and our neighbors, and especially those who have legitimate needs. Every American should care about helping provide for catastrophic health needs and challenges, just as every American should want to contribute to the care of our veterans and their families. Every able bodied person should want to contribute to their well being.
Americans have refused to accept the truth about nutrition, exercise, activity and appetite control and are killing themselves with obesity. The lies people believe and truth rejected is killing us physically, spiritually, and nationally. Many Christians do not abide in the truth as overcomers in this life overflowing with the fullness of God’s Spirit. Many Americans do not recognize the truth about our nation’s founding and the supernatural role of nature’s law and nature’s God. They do not see how God miraculously inspired a diverse group of individuals who had strong character traits to actually land on the most solid foundation any nation has ever been established on. The Declaration of Independence and ultimately the Constitution were undeniable miracles of providential guidance. Too few Americans recognize the courage, persistence and faith of those who wrote and signed our founding documents. Thomas Paine who was known to be an atheist proclaimed boldly that, “In America, the law is king.” Our founding fathers gave us limited government, unfettered opportunity, and the very document they signed demands personal responsibility and the recognition and acceptance of the truth that makes us free and is necessary to keep us free.
America and freedom will not be preserved unless those who know God take the boldest possible united stand against the lies prevailing in our land.
1The average median household income for 2010 was $49,445, according to the United States Census Bureau.
2Gerard Prante and Mark Robyn, “Summary of Latest Federal Individual Income Tax Data,” Tax Foundation (October 2010).