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Archives for June 2011

Families won most of the war against more taxes and fees

Wednesday, June 29, 2011, 8:05 pm |

It’s a victory worth celebrating. In the last 15 years, I don’t remember a Republican not selling out to a bad budget. This time the stakes were higher — new taxes and fees or a vote to place them on the ballot. But because this was one of the few issues that require a two-thirds vote — and thus conservatives could win — SaveCalifornia.com and many pro-family Californians went to war several months ago with the goal to “hold the Republicans.” And with the help of people who care, we achieved our goal.

Because no Republican state legislators ended up voting for a so-called “tax bridge” or taxes on the ballot, there are no direct tax increases in the just-approved Democrat state budget. Be glad that the 2009 tax increases will expire. This Friday, July 1, your California sales tax will drop a full percentage point and your car tax (Vehicle License Fee) will be nearly cut in half. Combined with the Dec. 31, 2010 expiration of the two other 2009 tax hikes (0.25% state income tax hike and slashing $200 per child or adult from the state dependent tax credit), this package of four expired tax hikes could save you nearly $1,000 per year.

So be glad! These expiring tax hikes are tax cuts that will help families and the economy. Thank you to everyone who participated with SaveCalifornia.com to help lobby Republicans to not provide bad votes to achieve a 2/3rds supermajority to raise taxes. And tell your local retailers, because some don’t know and may charge you the old, higher sales tax (which the Democrat politicians won’t mind at all). Here’s what you should be paying on Friday.

The new state budget is a bad government doing bad to the economy

This so-called “austerity budget,” signifying drastic cuts to public services, was quickly passed by the Democrat politicians Tuesday night on a majority vote. They like it because passing a budget means state legislators start getting paid again. But we get bad government from the Democrats because they refused to cut the structural waste and are cutting services instead.

For example, 70 parks will be closed. This “public punishment” demonstrates the vise grip that the government unions and the resulting entrenched bureaucracy have on California state government. Instead of demanding efficiency and frugality and wisdom and an end to disgusting waste, fraud, inefficiency, duplication, and harmful social programs, the Democrat politicians have loyally refused to bite the hand that feeds them and gets them reelected each year. (Most of the campaign contributions to Democrat politicians are from wealthy government unions).

So instead, services will be cut. This is a spirit of stealing and taking away what you already paid for. Cutting legitimate services will hurt the economy too. Lesson: In order to slash the structural waste, you need conservative Republicans to be in control of both houses of the Legislature and the Governor’s office. They haven’t been in charge of all three “houses” for more than 40 years!

This pro-abortion budget also contains fee hikes (hidden taxes)

Containing nearly $100 million in abortion funding and funding for abortion-related procedures, the Democrats’ new budget imposes three kinds of fee (hidden tax) hikes: $150 per household fee in CalFire-served areas (which is already covered by property taxes); a $12 vehicle license fee (car tax) hike; and imposing for the first time ever a sales tax on all online purchases, the so-called “Amazon tax.” As a result of Jerry Brown already signing the “Amazon tax,” Amazon.com is cutting their 10,000+ California affiliates. So Brown and the Democrats have hurt or eliminated some 10,000 businesses already.

I hope there are lawsuits to strike down the unjust CalFire fee and vehicle license fee under Prop. 26, which passed last year. There might be and should be. Prop. 26 requires a 2/3rds vote on general fees, which is what they two fee hikes are. The Democrat politicians are trying to skirt Prop. 26 by turning as many general fees as they can into specific “user fees,” which are exempt from Prop. 26. They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this thievery and deceptively violating the California Constitution.

Look at the issue of fire protection, which you are already paying for through your property taxes and state taxes. If the Democrats can impose a $150 per year surcharge if you live in a CalFire zone, what’s to stop them or local governments from deciding that every Californian’s city or county fire or police protection is a “user fee,” no longer regarded a general public service?

And what about the vehicle license fee hike? All the legislative history reveals the Democrats did this to soak up more revenues for the general budget. This is in no way a “user fee” exempt from Prop. 26.

As for requiring you to pay sales tax on all online purchases, that’s a tax hike. But Prop. 13 in 1978 put in the California Constitution a prohibition of tax hikes without a 2/3rds vote of the Legislature. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association needs to sue. The good news is they’re considering doing that for two of these three hidden taxes.

Stay in the battle

So please, stay in the battle to fight for financial freedom and against anti-family socialism in California. We have two strong constitutional amendments, Prop. 13 and Prop. 26, on our side, as well as the two-thirds vote threshold for direct tax increases. When things get tough, may those who are faithful and courageous reveal their character and perseverance, for the love of God and the love of their children and grandchildren.

If you know how to spend less than you get, you have the philosopher’s stone.
Benjamin Franklin, American founding father, statesman, inventor, author (1706-1790)

5 Godly Ways to Be a Good Dad

Wednesday, June 22, 2011, 8:17 am |

How can a man become a godly man, and how can a father become a good dad? My ideas for the regeneration of fathers in America include telling guys to turn off the TV, block the internet, get 9 hours of sleep, read a good fathering book to teach you, submit to Jesus in everything, discover your identity in Christ (if you’re already saved), meditate daily on God’s word, shepherd your children’s hearts, and find wiser men to mentor you.

Even better is this excellent and challenging advice from Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle:

5 Godly Ways to Be a Good Dad by Pastor Mark Driscoll — One of the greatest joys in my life is being a dad to my kids. Over the years, I’ve learned many lessons about being a dad, but one of the most important is that in order to be a good dad, you must be a good Christian.

By being a good Christian, you develop a relationship with your heavenly Father, the perfect Dad, that informs everything you do as a dad. And by cultivating a deep understanding of the Scriptures, you grow in wisdom, grace, and ability to raise your kids well and to the glory of God.

To pursue that goal, we must worship God first by repenting of sin and coming to him by faith for grace to love him, as an example and pattern for our kids and, God willing, grandkids. As we daily commit ourselves to his ways and being his sons, we’re instructed on how to care for our children and lead them to worship God with us.

Here are some practical ways to love your kids like God, our Father, loves us:

1. Delight in your kids before discipline.
In Proverbs 3:11–12 the father says, “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.”

Before any father disciplines his children, he is commanded to delight in them. Practically, this means that most of a father’s time is spent enjoying his children, encouraging his children, laughing with his children, being affectionate with his children, and enjoying his children so that there is a deep bond of love and joy between the children and their dad.

Part of that love includes a father disciplining his children as needed to keep them on a path of wisdom and righteousness. This pattern is to be modeled by the father who has God as his Father and gladly receives instruction and correction from God the Father and other authorities God has placed over him (e.g., church elders and other leaders).

Therefore, a godly father models submission to authority and the welcoming of correction by repenting of his own sin, receiving forgiveness, and walking in restored intimacy with God the Father by empowering grace. All of this is the essence of love, as sin leads to death and hell, and discipline leads to repentance, which points us back to life and God. Practically, this means that a good father lives out the gospel every day in fellowship with God and his child, and that he knows what to do about sin in the life of his child because he’s been dealing with his own sin in his own life first.

2. Protect your kids by fearing God.
Proverbs 14:26 says, “In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.” Sadly, our world is not a very safe place for children, as the statistics on neglect, abuse, molestation, fornication, and rape indicate. But God says that the safest place for children is with a man who fears the Lord.

Men who fear God take God’s wisdom and use their masculine strength to create a fortress of protection and provision around their homes so that their wives and children can live freely and happily under their care. Practically, this means that a godly father does not allow his children to be unsupervised at the homes of people he does not know, is very careful to oversee any dating done by his daughters, and goes to great lengths to ensure that safety is pursued in everything from where the family lives to who they are in close friendship with and who is welcomed into their home.

3. Be a man for your kids and live righteously.
Proverbs 20:7 says, “The righteous who walks in his integrity—blessed are his children after him!” Similarly, Paul tells the Corinthians that when he was a boy he acted like one, but when he became a man he put childish ways behind him (1 Cor. 13:11). It is imperative that Christian fathers repent of their childish ways (i.e., laziness, lust, whining, drunkenness, juvenile antics, neglecting family in the pursuit of hobbies, foolish spending, and so on) because their sins impinge upon the lives of their children and grandchildren. A Christian father should aspire to live in such a way as to be a righteous example to his children, which produces a path of blessing that flows to the children from the faithfulness of their father as they follow his loving leadership.

4. Work hard for your kids.
Lazy fathers are disobedient to God but want to have children who are obedient to them. Such fathers may speak good wisdom, but it is overshadowed by the loudness of the foolish hypocrisy in their lives. Proverbs 26:7 stands as a warning to such men, saying, “Like a lame man’s legs, which hang useless, is a proverb in the mouth of fools.”

Wisdom is not merely what a father says, but also his lifestyle and the degree of congruence between his words and his actions. Foolish fathers say things such as, “Well, don’t do as I do, do as I say.” What they mean is, “I’m a complete hypocrite, but do what I tell you to do anyways.” Proverbs says that these men speak with no authority and so their children ignore them or mock them as funny and foolish hypocrites. Tragically, these children often face the most devastating teen years because they have no wise father to turn to in a culture of folly, and themselves fall prey to many sins and pains.

5. Create a legacy for your kids.
While fools are consumed with the present, wisdom looks to the future. Proverbs 17:6 leans us into the future, saying, “Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers.”

The point God is teaching here is that young men should be thinking about what kind of grandfather they aspire to be before they even take a wife, because they have a lot of work to do to get there. Godly men aspire to be both good fathers and good grandfathers, like Jonathan Edwards, America’s greatest theologian, who prayed each day for five generations of his offspring in hopes of being a patriarch like Abraham. Wisdom enables a father to see that the way he lives affects the kind of children he raises, which affects the kind of children they raise, and so on.

My response to Jerry Brown’s budget veto: Game on again!

Thursday, June 16, 2011, 5:09 pm |

I’m glad that Governor Jerry Brown, who likes higher taxes and fees, has vetoed the Democrats’ budget bill because he either doesn’t like the way it was done or doesn’t like what it would do to his legacy.

While Democrat Controller John Chiang worries about his public image regarding whether to keep issuing legislators’ paychecks (there’s nothing in Prop. 25 that says the governor has to sign the budget bill for them to be paid), Brown’s veto means it’s “game on again” to stop higher taxes and fees extorted from California families.

On June 30, the abnormally-high sales tax and Vehicle License Fee (car tax) increases will expire. Brown doesn’t want taxes and fees to go down, but wants them extended for years. Brown said today, “We need four Republican votes and in the next several days I’m going to do everything I can — I’ll move heaven and earth — to get those votes.”

ALERT: If you know the true Power of heaven, fight against the tax-and-fee hikes of Jerry Brown and the Democrats. Right now, please again call and email Sacramento to demand “no more taxes or fees at the state or local levels!” Especially call the at-risk Republicans.

Here’s today’s SaveCalifornia.com news release responding on Brown’s veto:

June 16, 2011

Response to Governor Brown’s Budget Veto
by SaveCalifornia.com President Randy Thomasson

Sacramento, California — In response to today’s veto by Governor Jerry Brown of the Democrats’ budget bill, Randy Thomasson, president of SaveCalifornia.com, a non-profit, non-partisan statewide organization that promotes moral virtues for the common good, released the following statement:

“Jerry Brown may like higher taxes and fees, but he’s doesn’t like them in an obvious sham budget or in a way that makes him look bad. Whether his veto is for the sake of image or principle doesn’t matter as much as the fact that California families have been saved, for the time being, from more taxes and fees that take away their hard-earned money for a wasteful, greedy government to devour. We call on principled Californians to rise up and urge their state legislators — especially Republican assemblymembers and senators who can stop the Democrats’ money grab — to resist any and all tax hikes or fee hikes at the state and local levels.”

SaveCalifornia.com has identified tens of billions in government waste, and for the last several months has been calling on concerned Californians to demand an end to tax and fee hikes.

— end —

Act now: Call and email Sacramento to demand
“no more taxes or fees at the state or local levels!”