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PostPosted: 22 Sep 2010, 12:52 
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http://www.gettysburgtimes.com/opinion/ ... 03286.html
Quote:
ne hundred years ago, Theodore Roosevelt gave a speech, “The New Nationalism,” to a group of Civil War veterans. He talked about problems in 1910 that we are experiencing again today, and what he said about them is as true now as it was then.
For example, in January of this year, the Supreme Court overturned provisions of the McCain-Feingold Act that barred corporations and unions from paying for political ads. The court in effect upheld an 1886 Supreme Court decision that a corporation is an “artificial person,” and has the same rights as real persons regarding free speech, due process, equal protection, etc.

Roosevelt disagrees:
“It is necessary that laws should be passed to prohibit the use of corporate funds directly or indirectly for political purposes; it is still more necessary that such laws should be thoroughly enforced … The absence of effective State, and, especially, national, restraint upon unfair money-getting has tended to create a small class of enormously wealthy and economically powerful men, whose chief object is to hold and increase their power.”
The tax cuts from 2001 to 2006 reduced everyone’s taxes, but more than half of the total benefit from the tax cuts this year alone will go to the richest 5 percent of Americans, while the middle 20 percent will receive only 7 percent.
Roosevelt argued:
“The really big fortune, the swollen fortune, by the mere fact of its size acquires qualities which differentiate it in kind as well as in degree from what is possessed by men of relatively small means. Therefore, I believe in a graduated income tax on big fortunes, and in another tax which is far more easily collected and far more effective - a graduated inheritance tax on big fortunes, properly safeguarded against evasion and increasing rapidly in amount with the size of the estate…”
Since 1980, when adjusted for inflation, the average income of nine out of ten American families actually fell by 11 percent.
Roosevelt was also concerned about income inequality:
“No man can be a good citizen unless he has a wage more than sufficient to cover the bare cost of living, and hours of labor short enough so that after his day’s work is done he will have time and energy to bear his share in the management of the community, to help in carrying the general load. We keep countless men from being good citizens by the conditions of life with which we surround them …”
Finally, Roosevelt talked about property rights. Should a few have the “right” to lower the quality of life for all the others who pay the vast majority of the taxes? Does private ownership of land allow you to do whatever you want?
Roosevelt declared:
“The man who wrongly holds that every human right is secondary to his profit must now give way to the advocate of human welfare, who rightly maintains that every man holds his property subject to the general right of the community to regulate its use to whatever degree the public welfare may require it …”
Historians place Theodore Roosevelt just below Washington, Lincoln, and Franklin Roosevelt on the list of our greatest presidents. His visage is on Mount Rushmore with Washington’s, Lincoln’s, and Jefferson’s. I now understand why.
Mark Berg is a community activist involved in land use, housing, and other issues in Adams County. His email address is Mark.D.Berg@gmail.com.

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