Thursday, March 24, 2016

Easter Joy to You!

Your favorite Peasant is taking some time off to enjoy
Easter and the week following it. May you, my beloved
readers, have a joyful, blessed, and happy Easter with
your families and friends! I'll be with mine as well.

Do you know that you can cheese off a left-winger
by wishing him or her "Happy Easter" just as easily
as you can at Christmastime saying "Merry Christmas"?
Just an idea to help you to add some mirth to the holiday!

Easter love and joy to you!


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Annual Discontent (and What We Can Do About It)

Many Americans have complained for years that our
tax code is too long, too complicated, and too harsh
on anyone who is financially successful, be it in
their jobs and careers, their businesses, or in their
investments. The Internal Revenue Code, as it is
officially titled, is 74,608 tortuous pages which
confound most people no end, while masking tax
increases and giving cover to political pocket-lining.

With the tax season here, the annual pain that we all
feel to varying degrees is upon us once again.

Alternatives to the sorry status quo have been brought
up many times over recent years; among them a flat tax,
which would levy a constant marginal rate on personal
and/or corporate income. A true flat tax would be
proportional, but implementations often have some degree
of progressivity. Other methods of implementation would
prove to be regressive, depending on the deductions and
exemptions in the tax base. Another idea is the Fair Tax,
which would replace all federal income taxes, payroll
taxes, gift taxes, and estate taxes with a single, broadly
implemented national consumption tax on retail sales.
This tax is designed to protect low-income earners from
higher income taxes by a large tax transfer program called
a "prebate". The prebate would give every such household
a cash transfer equal to the amount of tax that a family at
the poverty level would owe. However, here's the rub:
very high-income folks in fact spend but a fraction of
their income, while middle-income people spend a
larger portion of their earnings, and those at the bottom
section of the income hierarchy spend most, if not all
of what they make. So that makes the Fair Tax a huge
welfare program --- in truth, the largest welfare program
ever. Charts created by the Bureau of Labor Statistics
bear this out.

An idea that came to light in the 1980s has long been a
favorite of The Peasant: have a flat tax, but not a perfectly flat
tax; have three marginal tax rates, one for the lower-income
earners, one for the middle-income makers, and one for the
high-income people. Set the rates at reasonable levels,
each appropriate to each income level group's ability to pay
without any financial discomfort imposed on them from
said rate, and make them known to all. Furthermore,
eliminate all deductions, tax credits, loopholes, and
exemptions for all individuals and organizations --- business,
political, educational, or what have you. This would, among
other benefits, eliminate political manipulation, such as that
done by the IRS to political groups which disagree openly
with the current president and his party. No more targeting
and bullying of such organizations and citizens. We could
file our tax reportings on a form the size of a post card!

Moreover, the IRS would be eliminated as well. With the
tax code so hugely simplified, the IRS would have no need
of so many examiners, collectors, filers, or account servicers.
We would be able to get rid of the Obamacare taxes (remember,
the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Obama's Affordable Care Act
is a tax), as well as other onerous taxes which the Obama regime
relies on to fill government coffers, and save the $386 million
that the IRS spent on administering the payment process for
Obamacare alone! And the Washington big shots will be forever
restrained from siphoning astronomical amounts of our income
for their selfish purposes! Cronyism would wither and disappear!

The economy would certainly benefit, as many new businesses
would be started, existing businesses would grow, many jobs
would be created and current jobs would be secured, wages
and salaries would increase, and American exports would
be unshackled of burdensome, unnecessary taxes, and be more
attractive in the world markets. And we could, at long last,
shrink our national debt and replace our budget deficit with
a surplus, as this tax system would impose fiscal discipline
upon the federal government and make it balance the budget.

This is an idea which we should urge the Republican presidential
candidates to support, as well as all Republican congressional
candidates to get behind. We can have fiscal and financial healing
at last! We have nothing to lose and so much to gain. How about it?


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Saint Patrick's Day Greetings and Joy to You!

Saint Patrick's Day is drawing near, and your
part-Irish Peasant shall be celebrating the day
with friends. As the day comes on a Thursday,
the day of the week on which we normally get
together, I shall post on a earlier day in the week.

May the luck of the Irish be with you all!


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Nancy Reagan, R.I.P.

On March 6, we came to the end of an era. With the passing
of President Ronald Reagan's loving wife, confidant, closest
political consultant, best friend, and grand First Lady
Nancy Reagan, the Reagan Era --- begat by the "Reagan
Revolution" that made conservatism a permanent fixture on
America's political scene --- entered into the past and the
history books. This great lady was 94. She left a legacy
which will continue to grace our country long after her

Born Anne Frances Robbins on July 6, 1921 to Edith Luckett,
an actress, and Kenneth Robbins, a car dealer, in New York City,
Nancy had a rocky start when her father deserted the family when
she was just two years old. Her mother went on the road, acting in
various stage productions, leaving Nancy in the care of relatives
in Bethesda, Maryland. Her mother would go on to marry a
Chicago neurosurgeon, Dr. Loyal Davis, who would adopt the
future first lady and give her his name. When Nancy began her
own acting career, she was billed using her childhood nickname,
as Nancy Davis.

After graduating from Smith College, Nancy began her acting career,
performing in summer stock to get training and experience. She was
cast in a part in a Broadway musical, "Lute Song" which starred Mary
Martin and Yul Brynner. From there she went to Hollywood and
entered the movies.

It was while she was in Hollywood that she met her husband Ronald
Reagan, who was a film actor himself at the time and was head of the
Screen Actors Guild (SAG). In 1949, the name Nancy Davis appeared
in a Hollywood newspaper on a list of signers of a brief urging the
Supreme Court to overturn the convictions of two screenwriters
who had refused to cooperate with the House Un-American Activities
Committee in their efforts to root out communist spies operating in
the United States and were found to be in contempt of Congress.
Although it turned out that another actress with the same name was
the signer in question of that brief, the future Mrs. Reagan found herself
in danger of being blacklisted from working in movies, as was the fate
of many suspected of being communists, spies or not. She turned to her
friend, director Mervyn LeRoy, who had directed her on a film and had
done some digging and found that it was indeed another actress that
had signed the brief, to arrange a meeting with Reagan to ensure that
there would be no problems arising from the case of mistaken
identification. The pair had dinner together and not only did the name
flap get smoother over, they became quite smitten with each other.
After dating each other off and on, they married on March 4, 1952.

They each continued acting through the rest of the 1950s, including
appearing in "Hellcats of the Navy" together in the lead roles. The
movie was the last appearance as an actor for Nancy, who wanted to
devote herself to her husband and his own career, especially when he
entered politics in the 1960s. In the meantime they had a daughter,
Patti Davis Reagan, and a son, Ronald Prescott Reagan. They would
also have Ronald Reagan's son from his previous marriage to actress
Jane Wyman. Michael, in their immediate family. Another child of the
future president and Wyman, Maureen Reagan, a sometime actress,
died from cancer in 2001.

The Reagans became a formidable power couple in California's political
circles, especially in the state's Republican Party, which Ronald
Reagan joined upon leaving the Democrats when he decided that his
former party was too liberal for him (he would go on to quip that he
didn't leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left him).
Nancy became her husband's closest adviser on political matters, even
having a say as to who was hired to be on his campaign team when he
ran for governor in 1966, then for president in 1968 (he had a brief
candidacy for the GOP nomination, which would go to Richard Nixon),
1976, when he dueled with incumbent President Gerald Ford for the
party's nomination, narrowly losing at the Republicans' convention
in Kansas City, and 1980, when he stormed to victory for the GOP
nomination and in the general election where he routed incumbent
Democrat Jimmy carter, then finishing up in 1984 with an even bigger
rout of Walter Mondale, who was President Carter's Vice President.
Nancy also had a say in who would be fired and who would be named
for replacements, famously getting one White House staffer, Donald
Regan fired. Some in Washington at the time began referring to her
as the president's "Iron Lady".

During the Reagan's time in the White House, Nancy was diagnosed
with breast cancer. She promptly underwent surgery, which was
successful, and made her battle public so as to raise awareness of
the disease with women, stressing the necessity of having regular

But Nancy Reagan was as gracious a First Lady as she was steely as
President Reagan's closest confidant and adviser. She hosted parties
and other gatherings with grace and class, always conducting herself
with great dignity while they lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
And when her dear Ronald lost his long and courageous battle with
Alzheimer's disease in which she personally tended to his mounting
needs, Nancy was active in preserving his legacy through the Ronald
Reagan Presidential Library other organizations founded to share his
legacy with the American people and with the world. In subsequent
years, Nancy also visited Ronald's resting place as often as she could,
even when her own health began fading, always bringing flowers to
place on his grave.

And now, Nancy has gone to join her beloved Ronnie. God rest you,
Nancy Reagan.


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Bits of This 'n' That

A bunch of items to pore over:

Hillary Clinton, in an effort to win over
members of the base of her party, has
suddenly come out against the very trade
deal which she once enthusiastically
supported; the Trans Pacific Partnership,
which President Obama has been trying to
have fast-tracked and put in place before
leaving office. She said in a written statement
released by her campaign team, "Based on
what I know so far, I can't support this agree-
ment." What she knows, or more aptly has
come to know, is that the Democrat Party base
is dead against the pact and thinks that Clinton
is a corporatist lackey, and therefore is flocking
to Sen. Bernie Sanders for a successor to Obama.
Now if the former Secretary of State can just
find a way to erase from their minds, and the minds
of the rest of the electorate, her former backing of
this trade deal she'll be back in business (yes, I
meant to make a pun!).

MAJOR FAIL: President Obama has had to apologize
to the intrepid medical group, Doctors Without
Borders, for a bombing of a hospital in Afghanistan
where some of their doctors were working. Obama
does have his incompetencies after all, and some
of them have deadly consequences for innocent
lives, including those who have been trying to
perform some humanitarian deeds in very dangerous
places in the world, dangerous enough as they already
are without a blundering American president making
things even more dicey. And his fellow Dems STILL
criticize his predecessor, George W. Bush, for acting
on faulty information re: hidden chemical weapons in
Iraq during his time as Commander-in-Chief! At least
no one needlessly died in that episode. And do we need
to say more about Benghazi?

See you all back here next week!