The Party of “Lower Taxes” Raised Taxes in Tennessee

The Party of “Lower Taxes” Raised Taxes in Tennessee

Tennessee Republicans, from the party that boasts it is for lower taxes, just raised taxes in the Volunteer state as they wound down this year’s legislative session.  The party which enjoys a dominant super majority, controlling the House, Senate and Governorship, raised the Gas Tax on every Tennessean.  Note that even if you don’t drive, the gas tax will apply to you since prices on anything delivered by trucks will most definitely increase.  And those increased transportation costs will be passed on to you, the consumer.  It’s as if legislators just pick-pocketed Tennessee taxpayers.

But here’s what’s even more astonishing about the haste by legislators to raise the gas tax.  Tennessee enjoyed a $2 Billion surplus this last budget year.  And this coming year, the state of Tennessee projects another $1 billion surplus, as well as in subsequent years.  

Because a government’s primary source of receipts is through taxes and fees, a surplus suggests that citizens are being overtaxed.  But rather than reduce the state’s tax rate, Governor Haslam and dozens of other Republicans chose to keep taxes at their current levels, thus continuing the state’s surplus.  So not only were Republicans content with overtaxing Tennesseans, but they compounded the matter by increasing the Gas Tax as well.

I have held cordial and pleasant relationships with most of my local area Republican representatives.  But being friends on a political or even social level, does not mean that one should turn a blind eye, or censor one’s comments.  The fact is that when those professing to be fiscal conservatives while campaigning, violate fiscal conservatism when elected, it’s incumbent in our form of government to call these individuals to account.  The full list of legislators who voted for and against the Gas Tax is here.

Sadly, every single legislator in Hamilton & Bradley County, TN voted FOR the Gas Tax.  And out of the list below, only one is a Democrat:

Representatives:
Gerald McCormick-R, 26
Patsy Hazlewood-R, 27
JoAnne Favors-D, 28
Mike Carter-R, 29
Marc Gravitt-R, 30
Dan Howell-R, 22
Kevin Brooks-R, 24

Senators:
Mike Bell-R, 9
Todd Gardenhire-R, 10
Bo Watson-R, 11

I acknowledge that many of Tennessee’s roads and bridges are in need of repair.  And to be clear, those of us who opposed the gas tax are NOT against increasing the amount that our state allocates towards our road budget.  Rather, our opposition has always been that the default answer by most Republicans was to raise taxes when there are multi-billion dollar surpluses that are available to fund every penny of the Governor’s proposed road budget increase.

What is inexplicable about the whole gas tax matter though, is that every initiative that was proposed that sought to avoid tax increases in favor of using surpluses to fund road repairs was met with intense opposition by the governor and Republican legislators.  It was clear they would not take NO for an answer to their gas tax increase.  And why they were stuck on a gas tax increase is something we may never know.

During the course of the debate over the gas tax increase, many pro-tax Tennessee Republicans were quick to embrace the following  quote from Ronald Reagan:

“The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally – not a 20 percent traitor.”

But here’s the problem with “tax & spend” legislators using this quote.  In every relationship there are negotiables and non-negotiables.  Consider the most fundamental relationship: marriage.

If a husband picks up his clothes 80% of the time, but fails to do so every so often, he is not a traitor, deserving of a firing squad.  Rather, he just needs some grace from his wife, and she will likely agree he is “a friend and an ally.”

But if that same husband is faithful to his wife 80% of the time and carouses around “just” 20% of the time, he is a 100% traitor to his wife and vows, and he shouldn’t be surprised when an attorney delivers the divorce papers.

Obviously, all matters are not equal.  So when a Republican legislator professes that he/she is a fiscal conservative, then a non-negotiable should be the matter of raising taxes when there are better alternatives.  Utilizing a multi-billion dollar surplus would seem to be a better alternative than raising taxes.

So don’t buy this distortion of Reagan’s quote.  The very legislators who rush to Reagan for cover are the same ones who are unfaithful to the values that Reagan espoused and lived, at least in the area of raising taxes in 2017 in Tennessee.

So I wonder what’s next from these legislators?  Your guess is as good as mine, but betting on the fact that they’ll stand firm against tax increases is no longer a given.

Tennessee Republicans Tout #FakeTaxCut

Tennessee Republicans Tout #FakeTaxCut

This last year has been a year in which the term #FakeNews gained prominence in America.  It seems that everywhere you turn, false reports are regularly popping up as fact. Amazingly, Wikipedia even defines #FakeNews as this:

Fake News is a type of hoax or deliberate spread of misinformation, be it via the traditional news media or social media, with the intent to mislead in order to gain financially or politically. It often employs eye-catching headlines or entirely fabricated news-stories. They have no basis in fact, but are presented as and believed to be factually accurate

Pathetically though, Republican politicians are now getting in on the #FakeNews trend in Tennessee and here’s the background.

The Background

Republican Governor Bill Haslam proffered a bill he entitled the IMPROVE act (Improving Manufacturing, Public Roads and Opportunities for a Vibrant Economy).  The bill, as modified, would increase gas taxes in Tennessee over $300 million per year to fund road repairs across the state.  However, in order to “offset” the tax increase that Tennesseans will see at the pump and feel in their wallets, the bill would also reduce taxes on groceries, but not by an equivalent amount.  In fact, less than half of the increase is offset by the grocery tax decrease.  

To make up the difference, Haslam, bolstered by Republican “yes-men” legislators, cobbled together a tax decrease via two other taxes.  The first decrease is in the Franchise & Excise Tax, exclusively a business tax.  The second decrease is in the Hall Income Tax, a tax on certain investment income, that only a very small percentage of individuals in Tennessee pay.  Furthermore, legislation was passed last year, before Haslam’s 2017 Gas Tax proposal, that agreed to phase out the Hall Tax over several years, with a full repeal by 2022.  

So, if you consider the details of Haslam’s proposal, it’s clear that the vast majority of hard-working Tennesseans will never benefit from the F&E Tax decrease or the Hall Income tax phase out.  And the marginal decrease in their grocery tax will not even come close to offsetting the increase they will see when they fill-up each week at the pump.  So the truth is most Tennesseans will see a drop in their disposable income if Governor Haslam’s IMPROVE “Gas Tax” bill is passed by the Tennessee legislature.

The Surplus

As a backdrop to the whole debate over Governor Haslam’s Gas Tax is the fact that Tennessee has enjoyed a record $2 billion budget surplus this last year.  Additionally, the surpluses are projected to continue for the next several years.  Consider though that the source of government receipts is predominantly from taxes.  

So, in simple terms, Tennessee overtaxed its citizens $2 billion last year, and it projects to continue overtaxing them for the foreseeable future, upwards of at least another billion dollars.  But worse, rather than use those surpluses, Governor Haslam and many Republican legislators want to raise taxes even further via Haslam’s Gas Tax bill.

As a result of these surpluses, a number of alternate proposals have been offered to simply divert for road repairs a portion of the surpluses in a similar amount to what Governor Haslam is requesting.  This would not only replace Governor Haslam’s proposal but it would also eliminate any need for a tax increase.  

The #FakeTaxCut

But here’s where things cross the line from just a bad policy decision to a purposeful act of deception. Governor Haslam’s “yes-men” in the legislature have been pulling out all the stops to push the Governor’s IMPROVE bill through, by hook or crook.  But because of the constant efforts by grassroots activists to expose the truth that the flawed bill will raise taxes on most Tennesseans, according to the Tennessee Star, Transportation Committee Chairman Rep. Barry Doss (R-Leoma) and Rep. Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga) led the effort to rename the IMPROVE act to the “Tax Cut Act of 2017.”  

Yes, you read that correctly.  By falsely applying tax cuts that 1) apply solely to businesses (F&E Tax), and 2) were agreed to in a prior year and do not apply to the majority of Tennesseans (Hall Income Tax), Rep. Doss, Rep. McCormick and a host of other Republican Representatives are deceptively pronouncing that a bill that increases taxes on hard-working Tennesseans, will actually cut taxes on them.

Can someone say #FakeTaxCut?

What’s next?

So is this #FakeTaxCut a foregone conclusion?  Not hardly.  If there is a lesson in Trump’s victory in November, it is that the People can still determine the outcome of their government.  But Trump only won because people showed up and let their voices be heard.  And that’s the only way that Haslam’s #FakeTaxCut will be defeated — if Tennessee voters pick up their cell phones, and take 60 seconds to let their voices be heard.  If you’re willing to do so, then the price of gas at the pump may not go up.  But if you won’t invest a minute of your time, then you can count on Republicans, the party of “lower taxes,” to raise your taxes.

The choice is YOURS.

Click here to contact your Tennessee State Representative and Senator

The Impact of Broken Families on our Economy

The Impact of Broken Families on our Economy

If you’re 50 years old or older, you might remember an era when Home Economics class was a normal part of school curriculum. While boys were attending Shop Class, the girls were busy in Home Ec, learning about sewing and cooking. It was good practical info that many girls used later in life as they began their own families.  

Today though, the term Home Economics has a very different meaning, as presented in the book,Home Economics: The Consequences of Changing Family Structure by Nick Schulz.  In the book, Schulz lays out a detailed and documented analysis of the deterioration of the American family over the last five decades.  The statistics are not only alarming but undoubtedly have contributed to much of the social breakdown we have seen in our nation since 1960, as well as rising government budgets.

Consider these troubling statistics, comparing 1960 to today, which sadly, in every instance, represent human lives:

*  Fewer people are marrying.
*  Those who do marry will marry later and divorce more frequently
*  Births to unmarried mothers have climbed dramatically. In 1960 they were just 5%. Today the number exceeds 40%. And in the black community, out of wedlock births account for 70% of all newborns.
*  The percent of children raised by single parents in 1960 was 9%; today it is more than 25%.
*  Married family households earn 40% more than single parent households.
*  Only 5% of married family households are considered poor vs 30% for single parent households.
*  Poor children are two times as likely to climb the economic ladder if their parents are continuously married versus the children of broken or single parent homes.
*  According to the Brookings Institute, if young people finish high school, get a job, and marry before having children, their chance at landing in poverty is only 2%.  But if these factors are not in place, three-fourths of young people will enter poverty.

Of course, politicians, social scientists, and many media pundits can quote these statistics at length.  But the problem isn’t knowing these numbers, but rather quantifying them, and then identifying real solutions to address this undeniable national crisis.

AMERICA’S FOUNDATION

As we think about our nation’s abundance, and the extraordinary success we have had over our 200+ year history, there is little doubt that our Constitution and Declaration of Independence, extraordinary documents, contributed to our nation’s greatness. But I would suggest that they do not singularly account for our exceptionalism.  

Foundational to these two documents was our Judeo-Christian values, and in particular the Family — an institution that undergirds any thriving society.  

Recall that “In the beginning…” when God created the heavens and earth, He created man and woman, and He told them to be fruitful, multiply, and become one flesh.  And several thousand years later, Jesus, the Creator, entered our world as Jesus, the Redeemer, and He affirmed the institution of the Family when He shared these words, in Matthew 19:4-9:

“And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?” He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”

So God established marriage and the family, consisting of one man plus one woman and their children (which sadly today we must now define what a family is).  In addition to the Family, God also ordained the Government & Church.  But the fundamental building block of any society and nation is the Family.  Because of this, we  can conclude that “as the family goes, so goes the nation,” establishing a correlation between the strength of the family and the strength of a nation’s economy.

FISCAL IMPACT

There are two numbers that create a direct correlation between the decline of the family and our nation’s fiscal woes.  They are:

$757,000,000
$112,000,000,000

These two numbers come directly from a study entitled “The Taxpayer Costs of Divorce and Unwed Childbearing” that was issued in 2008 using data from 2006.  That report, conservative in its estimates, found that the cost of family fragmentation for ONE YEAR in Tennessee was $757 million and nationally was $112 billion. Even using these 10 year old numbers, we can calculate a 10 year cost to taxpayers of over $1 trillion for family fragmentation in America.  

Are you shocked? Don’t be. Note this quote from the report that attempts to identify the far reaching impact of a broken home:

“Divorce and unwed childbearing create substantial public costs, paid by taxpayers. Higher rates of crime, drug abuse, education failure, chronic illness, child abuse, domestic violence, and poverty among both adults and children bring with them higher taxpayer costs in diverse forms: more welfare expenditure; increased remedial and special education expenses; higher day-care subsidies; additional child-support collection costs; a range of increased direct court administration costs incurred in regulating post-divorce or unwed families; higher foster care and child protection services; increased Medicaid and Medicare costs; increasingly expensive and harsh crime-control measures to compensate for formerly private regulation of adolescent and young-adult behaviors; and many other similar costs.”

As I was doing some research on this topic, I came across a statement from former Hamilton County Sessions Court Judge, the late Bob Moon (in Chattanooga, TN).  Note his highly relevant remarks from several years ago:

 Government will never solve the inner origins of crime, or gangs or reverse the complex origins of the problems. The primary source of the problems is the family and inside the homes where government cannot go or control without a search warrant or responding to a crime after the fact.  In fact, the closest that government usually gets inside of the home for assistance is a sustenance check or food stamps in the mailbox.

Government can do some things and some programs are commendable, but in the big picture, gangs and juvenile violence can only be reduced by committed and responsible parents, teachers and our community working consistently together.  

The focus should not be just on money, programs, gang czars, summits and speeches.  The focus should be the one that mothers, fathers, teachers and community leaders should be placing on themselves individually.

Marcus Aurelius succinctly stated that “All great nations fall from within before they fall from without.

FAILED PROGRAMS

In the past, our ancestors utilized various ineffective approaches to treat diseases and injuries. In particular, blood-letting used to be a common medical practice. The idea was that by cutting a patient and releasing amounts of their blood they could heal the individual, believing they were “bleeding” a person to health. But after 2,000 years, the practice of blood-letting was finally abandoned. It likely killed many more patients than it ever healed.  Yet, it was the commonly accepted practice.

Fast forward to 2017. For over 50 years now, we have seen the American family continue to decline while rates continue to skyrocket for births out of wedlock, percent of children in single homes, percent of children in poverty, divorce rates and more. Yet, bureaucrats, social scientists and entire political parties, believe government programs can fix the problem. But these programs seldom if ever focus on the root of the problem.  Instead they seek to put a bandaid on a festering wound.  

It’s time to try something new rather than continuing to bleed red ink in our state and federal budgets. Taxpayers have a right, and an obligation, to weigh in on family policies since they are footing the bill to the tune of a Trillion Dollars per decade when marriages fail.

So what should our response be? Should we only be concerned with this issue because it affects our wallet via our taxes?  Or are there bigger reasons to motivate us?  Can we reverse the dangerous and destructive trend that we are seeing as it relates to the Family in America?

SOLUTIONS

I think so and here are just a few quick ideas.  While they may seem small, remember that every structure is built upon a solid foundation that is made up of individual bricks.  And there is not one of those bricks that is not important.  So consider these ideas:

Marriage —  Is your marriage strong and will you commit to keeping it strong? When you said your vows, “in sickness or health, for better or worse, ’til death do us part” did you mean them? Will you vow to never abandon your marriage… and children?  Will you allow your marriage to demonstrate to others what the family should look like… and what Christ can do in your relationship if you are a Christian?

Encourage others in their marriages.  Come alongside other couples, particularly if they are young and struggling. Show them the way to work through the bumps that we all have along the way.

Don’t buy into the false narrative that the family doesn’t impact our economy.  The fact is, our families drive our economy. Broken families equal a broken economy. Be willing to speak out when the opportunity arises.  

Embrace programs that are really making a difference in the inner city, where the marital statistics are at a red-alert level. One such program in Chattanooga is the Y-Cap program, that my friend Joe Smith and his son Andy have given thousands of hours to.  Their inner city boxing program comes alongside the most vulnerable children and broken homes to provide tutoring, mentoring and life skills.  Additionally, they train young boys in the art of boxing.  In fact, one of their shining examples, Ryan Martin, just fought his first fight in Madison Square Gardens on HBO last week and successfully defended his WBC Continental Americas title.  And he credits Joe and Andy Smith for much of his success. This is the kind of program that truly makes a difference in the lives of boys and girls who are otherwise destined for a life of poverty and likely crime.

Be willing to educate your friends and family on the two numbers that were shared in this article, since they likely have no clue about the dramatic costs of broken families on our budgets:
     $757 million: the annual cost of family fragmentation in Tennessee
     $112 billion:  the annual cost of family fragmentation in America

Challenge your church to step up to support the family, particularly broken ones.  Too often government will assume what the church has abandoned.  And for many years, the role of the church, as pointed out in James 1:27 has been lost: “to visit orphans and widows in their trouble.”  We have an epidemic of orphans and widows, via our single-parent homes where daddy has gone AWOL.  Sadly the church has gone AWOL as well.  So are we surprised that big government is waiting to step in with their big government programs, that are certainly capable of running up a big tab, but are incapable of producing permanent good results?

Remember, government is seldom neutral.  If it is, it won’t be for long.  So government is fully engaged in this issue.  But do they have the solution?  My belief is they do not.  So unless you speak up, the failed solutions of the last decades will continue to be the failed ones of the future.

Ultimately, there is no political solution for a spiritual problem.  And this is at the heart of this issue.  What God created as a spiritual union, cannot be replaced with government programs.  So the only genuine solution will occur when we see hearts transformed in America.  And as they are, and they are turned back to God, only then will we see the family restored, and our nation made great again.

“If the foundations are destroyed…”

A Vote for Trump is a Vote for Hillary — Why I will never vote for Donald

A Vote for Trump is a Vote for Hillary — Why I will never vote for Donald

Trump-Clinton

As I’ve begun to share with folks that if Donald Trump becomes the Republican nominee I will NOT vote for him, the standard response I hear is: “if you don’t vote for Trump you are voting for Hillary!” The intent with such a statement is to either 1) shame or coerce me into voting for Trump or 2) demand that I fall in line with the party nominee.

I find it ironic though that as Republicans have grown increasingly upset over their party and its unwillingness to live by its own principles, many are now embracing a man whose track record is the antithesis of the foundational values of the Republican party.

Contrary to the shallow argument that “a vote for anyone but Trump is a vote for Hillary,” one should consider this truth: A vote for Trump is actually a vote for Hillary. You might find your head swimming after that last statement so hang on and let me explain.

I contend that a person’s track record will always reveal the truth of who that person is and it will predict how that individual will act in the future. In the case of a politician, his words should be carefully examined and compared, with great skepticism, against his actual record. So when it comes to Donald Trump, let’s see if my theory holds any truth: that a vote for the Donald is in fact a vote for Hillary. Below are more than 30 examples where both Trump and Hillary are identical in their views on a number of key issues:

Of course there are areas in which their records diverge but when one considers the myriad of consistencies in the positions of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the only conclusion I can come to is that Trump is no conservative. But even worse, the man is a faux Republican. If ever there was a RINO (Republican In Name Only), Trump is such a candidate, but on steroids. Truthfully, Trump is simply a liberal democrat who has deceptively embraced the Republican label, with nothing to justify his conversion.

Over the years I’ve heard the following statement made about those professing to be Christians:  “If you were put on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you as one?”  Perhaps though we should modify that statement slightly and apply it to Mr. Trump as follows:  “If Donald Trump were put on trial for being a Republican, would there be enough evidence to convict him as one?  Or would the evidence suggest he is something else, say a liberal progressive Democrat?” Follow the evidence and you’ll have the answer.

There’s a verse of Scripture that states, “By their fruits you will know them.” In the case of Donald Trump, his fruit of over 50 years is well known and if we are willing to objectively examine it, there can be no question as to his liberal bona fides. But will Americans care? We shall know soon enough… but it may be too late.

Mark

Election 2016: The Most Critical one of Your Lifetime?

Election 2016: The Most Critical one of Your Lifetime?

Cruz, Trump, Rubio, Carson, Bush, Kasich? What’s a conservative to do? Who is the right pick? How can one determine which politician to trust?

As I’ve thought about, studied and researched each of these candidates, I’ve certainly seen strengths and weaknesses in all of them. But at the end of the day, you and I can only pick one for our preferred nominee (assuming you’ve already ruled out the two socialists in the other party). So what is the best way to winnow out the candidates who are either not who they say they are or are ill-equipped to lead our nation back to our founding principles?

Over time, what a person does will accurately reveal who they are and what they value. As the saying goes, “you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time.” So if one is willing to be objective and truly evaluate a person’s track record, one can very safely predict the future actions of that person. At the end of the day, when we are faced with difficult decisions or stressful scenarios, we will all default to the core of who we are. And so it is with all six of the remaining Republican candidates for President.

If we understand this truth and are willing to objectively apply it, we can rationally mark off those candidates whose track records will not live up to scrutiny. Of course, it will also require us to set aside our own biases, preferences and even the temptation to believe what they claim. But what do we value most, simply being told what we want to hear, or searching for truth and acting out of reason versus emotion? Consider this. When you go to a doctor, would you trust one who is charismatic, handsome, and/or winsome, but he does not tell you the truth of your illness, choosing rather tell you what you want to hear?

So as I evaluated the remaining candidates, I have done what I’m suggesting you do as well. I evaluated each of these candidates, and slowly, deliberately and comprehensively, I concluded that Senator Ted Cruz is the candidate whose track record is the most consistent and verifiable over the course of the last 30 years. While not perfect, Cruz is not simply a “campaign conservative” but rather he is the consistent conservative.

I write this article for two reasons. First, I’m seeking to provide those who are still struggling to select their candidate with some of my reasons for selecting Ted Cruz. And secondly, to encourage others who might be supporting a different candidate to at least reconsider their choice.

The Constitution

If there is one document that separates us from every other nation in the world, it is our Constitution. Our nation’s founding document contains not only the principles that created the most exceptional nation in world history, but it established a form of government that has enabled We the People to govern ourselves through men and women who were to remain accountable to the People. Because of the greatness of this document and the role it is meant to play in constraining the passions and mischief of men, the reverence and allegiance any politician reflects to this document should be of paramount importance to all Americans.

This perhaps is one of the greatest strengths of Ted Cruz. During his years as a teenager, Ted Cruz memorized the Constitution, and its values have guided his political views and ideologies throughout his entire adult life. His years in front of the US Supreme Court as Texas Solicitor General led to many victories for the Constitution on matters that are foremost to conservatives including the 2nd Amendment, US sovereignty, and religious liberty.

Life & Marriage

In an era when the biblical values of life and marriage have been under extreme attack, Ted Cruz has been a stalwart voice to support life and defend marriage. As the murderous policies of Planned Parenthood have been exposed, Cruz has continued to call for the defunding of this organization that profits from the taking of innocent life.

Religious Liberty

As Christians in particular come under greater attack in our nation, Ted Cruz has been a steady and consistent supporter of religious liberty. Cruz successfully defended the public display of the Ten Commandments and the words “under God” in our nation’s pledge before the SCOTUS, kept the cross standing at the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial, defended Hobby Lobby against Obamacare’s contraception mandate, and so much more.

Repeal ObamaCare

Senator Ted Cruz stood alone in September 2013 in his 21-hour marathon anti-Obamacare “filibuster.” While several other Senators chimed in, Cruz’ has remained the foremost voice in repealing Obamacare seeking to replace it with “common sense health care reform that makes health insurance personal and affordable and keeps the government from getting between Americans and their doctors.”

Illegal Immigration

In 2013, Ted Cruz led the fight in Congress to defeat the Gang of Eight amnesty bill, which would have extended amnesty to over ten million illegals. Democrat Chuck Schumer (D) and Republican Presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio were the key sponsors and spokesmen for the Gang of Eight bill. One of the bill’s most outspoken critics, Senator Jeff Sessions credited Cruz with the ultimate defeat of the bill saying, “I believe without the vigorous opposition from Ted Cruz, this bill very likely would have passed.” The Cruz plan to stop illegal immigration includes securing the border, restoring the rule of law, and reforming immigration to protect Americans.

Abolish the IRS / Replace with Flat Tax

The Cruz simple flat tax plan would establish one flat 10% tax rate for individuals with a postcard being used to file one’s taxes. A family of four would pay no taxes on their first $36,000 of income. Additionally, the business flat tax would abolish the corporate income tax and payroll tax, and replace them with a 16% tax. The death tax, Obamacare taxes and more would also be eliminated. The IRS as we know it would be abolished.

Flat Tax Postcard

Defeat ISIS & Secure our Nation

Believing that America is an exceptional and unique nation, Ted Cruz has proposed a six-point plan that would position the US as a shining beacon, to exert world leadership, rebuild our military, defeat ISIS, protect the homeland, and rip up the Iran deal. American Spectator recently stated, “Cruz presents a well-thought out, foreign and national defense policy based on the original, Reagan conservatism. One that focuses on advancing America’s security interests around the world, not on sacrificing American lives and treasure on replacing foreign dictators… birthing new democracies, or building jobs and prosperity in foreign lands.”

Appointment of Supreme Court Justices

Justice Scalia’s death over the weekend has highlighted the strong likelihood that up to four Supreme Court Justices could be replaced by the next President. Given the razor-thin 5-4 decisions that have been rendered on issues as foundational to our nation as religious liberty, abortion, 2nd Amendment and more, the judicial philosophy of the next President’s is critical. Ted Cruz has praised Scalia for his efforts in “returning the focus to the original meaning of the text (of the Constitution) after decades of judicial activism.”

Stand Against the Washington Establishment

Ted Cruz, while only one of 100 Senators, has consistently stood firm for the values he campaigned on, and this has frequently exposed the political schemes and corruption by congressional leaders in both parties. While the Washington establishment has rejected Cruz for his principled stands, this firmness of conviction will bode him well were he to lead from the Oval Office in 2017 as he continues to stand with the People vs. the Establishment. His Five for Freedom plan would eliminate the IRS, and the Departments of Education, Energy, Commerce, and Housing and Urban Development.

Man of Faith

Too many politicians speak of faith, but their walk and particularly their policies are at odds with the faith they claim. Ted Cruz not only professes a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, but his walk aligns with one who is truly a Christ follower. The policies he pursues are ones that both affirm the values of our Constitution while respecting the values of his faith. Hundreds of faith leaders have examined Cruz and have endorsed him for President.  At the same time, though Cruz has been quick to acknowledge he is not running as “Pastor in Chief.”

In closing, America is at a seminal moment. We are at a crossroads. The choice we make in 2016 will determine whether we will travel to a point of no return, leaving forever the Judeo/Christian principles of our founders. Will we embrace a candidate who quickens our base emotions or uses eloquent phrases, or will we examine the candidates’ track records to validate whether their talk matches their walk? We may not have another chance. This could be our last opportunity to restore the Constitution, the rule of law, and to call on God’s mercy and grace as we seek to restore our Constitution and the Creator to the rightful place in our nation. I pray you will join me in prayerfully supporting Ted Cruz for President.

Mark

Photo courtesy of DonkeyHotey. Used by permission.