Archive for September, 2015

The Pronk Pops Show 544, September 30, 2015: Story 1: Breaking News — Part 3 of 3, Trump’s Timid Tax Tweak — Does Not Abolish Income Taxes or IRS and Does Not Abolish Regressive Payroll Taxes For Social Security and Medicare — Trump Wrong on Economic Incentives — Could Have Been A Contender — Carson (Flat Tax), Cruz (Flat Tax) , Paul (Flat Tax), and Huckabee (FairTax) — All Have Better Tax Plans — Trump Is Just Another Progressive Country Club “Rockefeller” Republican — Dump Trump! — Fair Tax Less Is The Answer To Making America Great Again — Videos

Posted on September 30, 2015. Filed under: 2016 Presidential Campaign, 2016 Presidential Candidates, American History, Banking System, Ben Carson, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Communications, Constitutional Law, Economics, Education, Employment, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Government, History, Independence, Labor Economics, Law, Media, News, Philosophy, Politics, Polls, Progressives, Radio, Rand Paul, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Success, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Ted Cruz, Videos, Violence, Wall Street Journal, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 544: September 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 543: September 29, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 542: September 28, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 541: September 25, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 540: September 24, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 539: September 23, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 538: September 22, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 537: September 21, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 536: September 18, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 535: September 17, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 534: September 16, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 533: September 15, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 532: September 14, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 531: September 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 530: September 10, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 529: September 9, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 528: September 8, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 527: September 4, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 526: September 3, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 525: September 2, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 524: August 31, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 523: August 27, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 522: August 26, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 521: August 25, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 520: August 24, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 519: August 21, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 518: August 20, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 517: August 19, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 516: August 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 515: August 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 514: August 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 513: August 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 512: August 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 511: August 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 510: August 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 509: July 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 508: July 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 507: July 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 506: July 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 505: July 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 504: July 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 503: July 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 502: July 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 501: July 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 500: July 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 499: July 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 498: July 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 497: July 1, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 496: June 30, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 495: June 29, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 494: June 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 493: June 25, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 492: June 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 491: June 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 490: June 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 489: June 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 488: June 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 487: June 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 486; June 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 485: June 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 484: June 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 483: June 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 482; June 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 481: June 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 480: June 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 479: June 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 478: June 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 477: June 3, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 476: June 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 475: June 1, 2015

Story 1: Breaking News — Part 3 of 3,  Trump’s Timid Tax Tweak — Does Not Abolish Income Taxes or IRS and Does Not Abolish Regressive Payroll Taxes For Social Security and Medicare — Trump Wrong on Economic Incentives — Could Have Been A Contender — Carson (Flat Tax), Cruz (Flat Tax) , Paul (Flat Tax), and Huckabee (FairTax) — All Have Better Tax Plans  — Trump Is Just Another Progressive Country Club “Rockefeller” Republican — Dump Trump! — Fair Tax Less Is  The Answer To Making America Great Again —  Videos

Rothbard

Acceptance Speech as the 1964 Republican Presidential candidate

“I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice!

And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!”

~Senator Barry Goldwater 

Election 2016 Presidential Polls

Wednesday, September 30
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
2016 Republican Presidential Nomination USAT/Suffolk Trump 23, Carson 13, Fiorina 13, Rubio 9, Bush 8, Cruz 6, Kasich 2, Huckabee 2, Christie 1, Paul 2, Jindal 1, Santorum 0, Walker, Pataki 0, Graham 1 Trump +10
Michigan Democratic Presidential Primary FOX 2 Detroit/Mitchell Clinton 35, Biden 28, Sanders 22, Chafee, O’Malley, Webb Clinton +7
Michigan: Trump vs. Clinton FOX 2 Detroit/Mitchell Clinton 42, Trump 42 Tie
Michigan: Bush vs. Clinton FOX 2 Detroit/Mitchell Clinton 42, Bush 37 Clinton +5
Michigan: Rubio vs. Clinton FOX 2 Detroit/Mitchell Clinton 40, Rubio 43 Rubio +3
Tuesday, September 29
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
Georgia Republican Presidential Primary WSB/Landmark Trump 31, Carson 18, Bush 8, Fiorina 13, Cruz 8, Rubio 9, Huckabee 4, Kasich 2, Paul 1, Christie, Jindal, Graham, Walker, Perry Trump +13
North Carolina Republican Presidential Primary PPP (D) Trump 26, Carson 21, Fiorina 12, Rubio 10, Cruz 9, Bush 5, Huckabee 6, Kasich 4, Christie 2, Santorum 1, Paul 0, Jindal 1, Graham 0, Walker, Perry Trump +5
North Carolina Democratic Presidential Primary PPP (D) Clinton 37, Biden 30, Sanders 17, Webb 3, Chafee 2, O’Malley 1, Lessig 0 Clinton +7
North Carolina: Trump vs. Clinton PPP (D) Clinton 42, Trump 47 Trump +5
North Carolina: Bush vs. Clinton PPP (D) Bush 46, Clinton 41 Bush +5
North Carolina: Fiorina vs. Clinton PPP (D) Fiorina 48, Clinton 41 Fiorina +7
North Carolina: Carson vs. Clinton PPP (D) Carson 51, Clinton 41 Carson +10
North Carolina: Rubio vs. Clinton PPP (D) Rubio 50, Clinton 40 Rubio +10

Taxation by the State defined

Two of Ten planks of Karl Marx’s

Communist Manifesto

ARE Americans practicing Communism?

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

Americans know this as misapplication of the 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, 1913, The Social Security Act of 1936.; Joint House Resolution 192 of 1933; and various State “income” taxes. We call it “paying your fair share”.

3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.

Americans call it Federal & State estate Tax (1916); or reformed Probate Laws, and limited inheritance via arbitrary inheritance tax statutes.

http://www.libertyzone.com/Communist-Manifesto-Planks.html

income-tax-receiptsHighest-Marginal-Tax-Rates-1913-2013

ind_corp_taxesfederal-tax-revenue-by-sourceU.S._Federal_Receipts_-_FY_2014

2015 United States Income Tax Brackets

normal_tax_brackets

2015-Tax-Bracket-Table2015_Tax_Bracket_Chart.2

2015-Federal-Tax-Rates

Trump’s Tax Plan

Donald-Trump-Tax-Reform-Proposal-Individual-Income-Tax

FairTax and Fair Tax Less

fair taxFairTax Flag 32jpg

fairtax

Bill O’Reilly Interviews Donald Trump Regarding Tax Plan 1st Interview Since Trump’s Fox News Boycot

MARK LEVIN – Donald Trump Tax Plan Could Have Been Proposed by REAGAN

Grover Norquist breaks down Trump’s tax plan

FULL SPEECH: Trump unveils tax plan that would lower taxes for millions (1 of 2)

FULL SPEECH: Trump unveils tax plan that would lower taxes for millions (2 of 2)

BILL KRISTOL SAYS TRUMP’S TAX PLAN IS A STANDARD CONSERVATIVE PLAN, CALLS HIM A SMART POLITICIAN!

Donald Trump Destroys Critics with his Tax Plan

Donald Trump News Conference on Tax Policy. Trump Unveils Tax Plan

Is Donald Trump’s tax plan realistic?

Trump defends new tax plan

The pros and cons of Donald Trump’s tax plan

Trump uses tax plan to push back on criticisms

Donald Trump opens up about his tax plan

BREAKING: DONALD TRUMP says on tax plan: Many Americans will have ‘zero’ tax rate | 60 Minutes

Trump Pledges Tax Relief for Middle Class

Trump Is Lying About His Tax Position

What to expect from Donald Trump’s tax plan

Dr. Ben Carson breaks down his tax plan

Dr. Ben Carson on his flat-tax proposal

National Prayer Breakfast Speaker Ben Carson Lectured Obama on Flat Tax to ‘Please’ God

Dr. Benjamin Carson on Fairness of 10% Flat Tax “Tithe”: Everyone should have “Skin in the Game”

Ted Cruz: Abolish the IRS and move to a flat tax system

Rand Paul’s Fair And Flat Tax

Rand Paul unveils his ‘fair and flat’ tax plan

Rand Paul Explains Flat Tax Proposal on Fox News

Rand Paul: Donald Trump, Chris Christie, GOP Debate, Flat Tax (Fox News)

Mike Huckabee on the flat tax

Mike Huckabee – What is the “Fair Tax?”

Huckabee: Now not the time for Dems to talk tax hikes

RWW News: Mike Huckabee Supports The Fair Tax Because ‘Giving Proportionately Is Biblical’

Reagan supported fair tax policies

Reagan on Taxes

Congressman Woodall Discusses the FairTax

Flat Tax vs. National Sales Tax

What is the FairTax legislation?

FairTax Prebate Explained

pyramid-01fair_taxfairtax 4ft-irs-chartFairTax Flag jpgFairtax Truththe_fair_tax_bookcomp-ft-vs-nfittable 5 page

The Beatles – Revolution (1968)

FairTax: Fire Up Our Economic Engine (Official HD)

The FairTax: It’s Time

FAIRTAX AD

Freedom from the IRS! – FairTax Explained in Detail

Why is the FairTax better than a flat income tax?

Why is the FairTax better than other tax reform efforts?

How does the FairTax rate compare to today’s?

Is the FairTax rate really 23%?

Is consumption a reliable source of revenue?

How will used goods be taxed?

How does the “prebate” work?

Is it fair for rich people to get the same prebate as poor people?

Is the FairTax truly progressive?

How does the FairTax affect the economy?

What will the transition be like from the income tax to the FairTax?

Does the FairTax repeal the federal income tax?

How is the FairTax collected?

Isn’t it a stretch to say the IRS will go away?

Is education taxed under the FairTax?

How does the FairTax impact the middle class?

How will the FairTax impact seniors?

What will happen to government programs like Social Security and Medicare?

How will Social Security payments be calculated under the FairTax?

Will the FairTax impact tax deferred retirement accounts like 401(k)s?

Will the FairTax hurt home ownership with no mortgage interest deduction?

How does the FairTax affect compliance costs?

How does the FairTax impact retailers?

Will the FairTax tax services?

Can I pretend to be a business to avoid the sales tax?

Do corporations get a windfall break from the FairTax?

Will the FairTax lead to a massive underground economy?

How does the FairTax affect illegal immigration?

How is the FairTax different from a Value Added Tax (VAT)?

“The Case for the Fair Tax”

Freedom from the IRS! – FairTax Explained in Detail

Isakson Discusses Fair Tax in Finance Committee

The Progressive Income Tax: A Tale of Three Brothers

100 Years Of Income Taxes – TheBlazeTV – REAL HISTORY – 2013.02.05

Deficits, Debts and Unfunded Liabilities: The Consequences of Excessive Government Spending

US National Debt: A Ticking Time Bomb – @FutureMoneyTren #NationalDebt

U.S. debt Clock.org

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

Congressman Pence – FairTax and FlatTax

Gov. Mike Huckabee Speech at “Iowa Freedom Summit” – Complete

The Beatles – Taxman – Lyrics

Pure Communism VS Pure Socialism VS Pure Capitalism

Trump Could Have Been A Contender

On the Waterfront,

“I coulda been a contender”

Trump Reveals Himself As A Loser

The Beatles – I’m a Loser – Subtitulado en español

Mr. Conservative: Barry Goldwater at the 1964 Republican National Convention

Ronald Reagan Support of Barry Goldwater (10/27/1964)

A Classic Critique of Government Intervention & Manipulation in Markets: The Road to Serfdom (1994)

F.A. Hayek: Biography, Economics, Road to Serfdom, Quotes, Books, Nobel Prize (2001)

The New Road to Serfdom: Lessons to Learn from European Policy

Mind blowing speech by Robert Welch in 1958 predicting Insider’s plans to destroy America.

murray rothbard 2

TAX REFORM THAT WILL MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

The Goals Of Donald J. Trump’s Tax Plan

Too few Americans are working, too many jobs have been shipped overseas, and too many middle class families cannot make ends meet. This tax plan directly meets these challenges with four simple goals:

  1. Tax relief for middle class Americans: In order to achieve the American dream, let people keep more money in their pockets and increase after-tax wages.
  2. Simplify the tax code to reduce the headaches Americans face in preparing their taxes and let everyone keep more of their money.
  3. Grow the American economy by discouraging corporate inversions, adding a huge number of new jobs, and making America globally competitive again.
  4. Doesn’t add to our debt and deficit, which are already too large.

The Trump Tax Plan Achieves These Goals

  1. If you are single and earn less than $25,000, or married and jointly earn less than $50,000, you will not owe any income tax. That removes nearly 75 million households – over 50% – from the income tax rolls. They get a new one page form to send the IRS saying, “I win,” those who would otherwise owe income taxes will save an average of nearly $1,000 each.
  2. All other Americans will get a simpler tax code with four brackets – 0%, 10%, 20% and 25% – instead of the current seven. This new tax code eliminates the marriage penalty and the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) while providing the lowest tax rate since before World War II.
  3. No business of any size, from a Fortune 500 to a mom and pop shop to a freelancer living job to job, will pay more than 15% of their business income in taxes. This lower rate makes corporate inversions unnecessary by making America’s tax rate one of the best in the world.
  4. No family will have to pay the death tax. You earned and saved that money for your family, not the government. You paid taxes on it when you earned it.

The Trump Tax Plan Is Revenue Neutral

The Trump tax cuts are fully paid for by:

  1. Reducing or eliminating most deductions and loopholes available to the very rich.
  2. A one-time deemed repatriation of corporate cash held overseas at a significantly discounted 10% tax rate, followed by an end to the deferral of taxes on corporate income earned abroad.
  3. Reducing or eliminating corporate loopholes that cater to special interests, as well as deductions made unnecessary or redundant by the new lower tax rate on corporations and business income. We will also phase in a reasonable cap on the deductibility of business interest expenses.

DETAILS OF DONALD J. TRUMP’S TAX PLAN

America needs a bold, simple and achievable plan based on conservative economic principles. This plan does that with needed tax relief for all Americans, especially the working poor and middle class, pro-growth tax reform for all sizes of businesses, and fiscally responsible steps to ensure this plan does not add to our enormous debt and deficit.

This plan simplifies the tax code by taking nearly 50% of current filers off the income tax rolls entirely and reducing the number of tax brackets from seven to four for everyone else. This plan also reduces or eliminates loopholes used by the very rich and special interests made unnecessary or redundant by the new lower tax rates on individuals and companies.

The Trump Tax Plan: A Simpler Tax Code For All Americans

When the income tax was first introduced, just one percent of Americans had to pay it. It was never intended as a tax most Americans would pay. The Trump plan eliminates the income tax for over 73 million households. 42 million households that currently file complex forms to determine they don’t owe any income taxes will now file a one page form saving them time, stress, uncertainty and an average of $110 in preparation costs. Over 31 million households get the same simplification and keep on average nearly $1,000 of their hard-earned money.

For those Americans who will still pay the income tax, the tax rates will go from the current seven brackets to four simpler, fairer brackets that eliminate the marriage penalty and the AMT while providing the lowest tax rate since before World War II:

Income Tax Rate Long Term Cap Gains/ Dividends Rate Single Filers Married Filers Heads of Household
0% 0% $0 to $25,000 $0 to $50,000 $0 to $37,500
10% 0% $25,001 to $50,000 $50,001 to $100,000 $37,501 to $75,000
20% 15% $50,001 to $150,000 $100,001 to $300,000 $75,001 to $225,000
25% 20% $150,001 and up $300,001 and up $225,001 and up

With this huge reduction in rates, many of the current exemptions and deductions will become unnecessary or redundant. Those within the 10% bracket will keep all or most of their current deductions. Those within the 20% bracket will keep more than half of their current deductions. Those within the 25% bracket will keep fewer deductions. Charitable giving and mortgage interest deductions will remain unchanged for all taxpayers.

Simplifying the tax code and cutting every American’s taxes will boost consumer spending, encourage savings and investment, and maximize economic growth.

Business Tax Reform To Encourage Jobs And Spur Economic Growth

Too many companies – from great American brands to innovative startups – are leaving America, either directly or through corporate inversions. The Democrats want to outlaw inversions, but that will never work. Companies leaving is not the disease, it is the symptom. Politicians in Washington have let America fall from the best corporate tax rate in the industrialized world in the 1980’s (thanks to Ronald Reagan) to the worst rate in the industrialized world. That is unacceptable. Under the Trump plan, America will compete with the world and win by cutting the corporate tax rate to 15%, taking our rate from one of the worst to one of the best.

This lower tax rate cannot be for big business alone; it needs to help the small businesses that are the true engine of our economy. Right now, freelancers, sole proprietors, unincorporated small businesses and pass-through entities are taxed at the high personal income tax rates. This treatment stifles small businesses. It also stifles tax reform because efforts to reduce loopholes and deductions available to the very rich and special interests end up hitting small businesses and job creators as well. The Trump plan addresses this challenge head on with a new business income tax rate within the personal income tax code that matches the 15% corporate tax rate to help these businesses, entrepreneurs and freelancers grow and prosper.

These lower rates will provide a tremendous stimulus for the economy – significant GDP growth, a huge number of new jobs and an increase in after-tax wages for workers.

The Trump Tax Plan Ends The Unfair Death Tax

The death tax punishes families for achieving the American dream. Therefore, the Trump plan eliminates the death tax.

The Trump Tax Plan Is Fiscally Responsible

The Trump tax cuts are fully paid for by:

  1. Reducing or eliminating deductions and loopholes available to the very rich, starting by steepening the curve of the Personal Exemption Phaseout and the Pease Limitation on itemized deductions. The Trump plan also phases out the tax exemption on life insurance interest for high-income earners, ends the current tax treatment of carried interest for speculative partnerships that do not grow businesses or create jobs and are not risking their own capital, and reduces or eliminates other loopholes for the very rich and special interests. These reductions and eliminations will not harm the economy or hurt the middle class. Because the Trump plan introduces a new business income rate within the personal income tax code, they will not harm small businesses either.
  2. A one-time deemed repatriation of corporate cash held overseas at a significantly discounted 10% tax rate. Since we are making America’s corporate tax rate globally competitive, it is only fair that corporations help make that move fiscally responsible. U.S.-owned corporations have as much as $2.5 trillion in cash sitting overseas. Some companies have been leaving cash overseas as a tax maneuver. Under this plan, they can bring their cash home and put it to work in America while benefitting from the newly-lowered corporate tax rate that is globally competitive and no longer requires parking cash overseas. Other companies have cash overseas for specific business units or activities. They can leave that cash overseas, but they will still have to pay the one-time repatriation fee.
  3. An end to the deferral of taxes on corporate income earned abroad. Corporations will no longer be allowed to defer taxes on income earned abroad, but the foreign tax credit will remain in place because no company should face double taxation.
  4. Reducing or eliminating some corporate loopholes that cater to special interests, as well as deductions made unnecessary or redundant by the new lower tax rate on corporations and business income. We will also phase in a reasonable cap on the deductibility of business interest expenses.

https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/tax-reform

Trump Plan Cuts Taxes for Millions

Middle class, businesses get break, but overseas profits would face a one-time 10% levy

By MONICA LANGLEY And JOHN D. MCKINNON

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump unveiled an ambitious tax plan Monday that he says would eliminate income taxes for millions of households, lower the tax rate on all businesses to 15% and change tax treatment of companies’ overseas earnings.

Under the Trump plan, no federal income tax would be levied against individuals earning less than $25,000 and married couples earning less than $50,000. The Trump campaign estimates that would reduce taxes to zero for 31 million households that currently pay at least some income tax. The highest individual income-tax rate would be 25%, compared with the current 39.6% rate.

Many middle-income households would have a lower tax rate under Mr. Trump’s proposal, but because high-income households generally pay income tax at much higher rates, his proposed across-the-board rate cut could have a positive impact on them, too. For example, an analysis of Jeb Bush’s plan—taxing individuals’ incomes at no more than 28%—by the business-backed Tax Foundation found that the biggest percentage winners in after-tax income would be the top 1% of earners.

Mr. Trump’s plan appears designed to help him, as the GOP front-runner, cement his standing as a populist—though that message is complicated by the fact that the billionaire, like other Republican leaders, would eliminate the estate tax.

“My plan will bring sanity, common sense and simplification to our country’s catastrophic tax code,” Mr. Trump said in an interview. “It will create jobs and incentives of all kinds while simultaneously growing the economy.”

But Mr. Trump will face a challenge in convincing skeptics that his aggressive tax cuts can be implemented without adding to the federal deficit.

To pay for the proposed tax benefits, the Trump plan would eliminate or reduce deductions and loopholes to high-income taxpayers, and would curb some deductions and other breaks for middle-class taxpayers by capping the level of individual deductions, a politically dicey proposition. Mr. Trump also would end the “carried interest” tax break, which allows many investment-fund managers to pay lower taxes on much of their compensation.

A significant revenue gain would come from a one-time tax on overseas profits that could encourage U.S. multinational corporations to return an estimated $2.1 trillion in cash now sitting offshore, largely to avoid U.S. taxes. His proposal would impose a mandatory 10% tax on all of that money, even if the money stays overseas, but allow a few years for the tax to be paid. The Trump campaign estimates that many companies would choose to bring their money back home, boosting jobs and investment in the U.S.

Mr. Trump also would impose an immediate tax on overseas earnings of American corporations; currently, such tax payments can be deferred. All told, the campaign says the plan would be revenue neutral—neither raising nor lowering federal revenues—by the third year and then begin adding revenue.

With the tax plan’s release, Mr. Trump is moving to quell criticism that his campaign has been more style and less substance. This tax proposal follows his well-known immigration plan in the summer and one on gun rights last week.

Mr. Trump saves some money and fiscal headaches by skipping some of the big but complicated and costly changes that other candidates have embraced, such as business-expensing breaks and so-called territorial taxation for multinational corporations.

On the individual side, Mr. Trump would consolidate the current seven rates to four, of 0%, 10%, 20% and 25%. Those changes alone would exempt all married couples making $50,000 or less from the income tax, as well as singles making $25,000 or less.

The 10% bracket would apply to incomes from $50,000 to $100,000 for a married couple; the current 10% bracket has a ceiling of $18,450. The new 25% top bracket would apply to married couples’ incomes in excess of $300,000, which currently are subject to rates as high as 39.6%. Mr. Trump also would cut the top capital gains rate to 20%, from the current 23.8%. And he would eliminate the alternative minimum tax.

But the candidate doesn’t propose to end taxation of individuals’ investment income, as some other Republicans propose, nor would he expand the standard deduction, child-credit and other middle-class breaks as some other GOP candidates have suggested.

For businesses, Mr. Trump’s 15% rate is among the lowest that have been proposed so far. Rand Paul has proposed a 14.5% flat-tax rate for all types of income. Marco Rubio, another candidate with a detailed plan, would tax all business income at no more than 25%. Mr. Bush has proposed a 20% top corporate rate. The current top corporate tax rate is 35%, and small business income is subject to rates of as much as 39.6% (although many small businesses pay out a lot of their profits as lower-taxed dividends or capital gains). The campaign argues the rate would be among the lowest among industrialized nations, giving U.S. companies an edge to compete.

The lower corporate rates would provide “a tremendous stimulus for the economy,” the campaign’s plan argues. Mr. Trump would not, however, allow businesses to expense all their new equipment purchases, as some other Republicans do.

The plan proposes to simplify tax filing for many lower- to middle-income households. The plan says that some 42 million households that currently file tax forms to establish that they don’t owe any federal income tax now will be able to file their returns on a single page.

The 31 million households that have been paying some taxes but now won’t have any tax liability can use the same single-page, and keep an average of $1,000 in tax savings, the Trump campaign says. Today, 36% of American households today pay no income taxes, and that number would grow to 50%.

The Trump plan would raise revenues in at least a couple of significant ways. It would limit the value of individual deductions, with middle-class households keeping all or most of their deductions, higher-income taxpayers keeping around half of theirs, and the very wealthy losing a significant chunk of theirs. It also would wipe out many corporate deductions.

All taxpayers would keep their current deductions for mortgage-interest on their homes and charitable giving.

The plan also proposes capping the amount of interest payments that businesses can deduct now, a change phased in over a long period, and would impose a corporate tax on future foreign earnings of American multinationals.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-plan-cuts-taxes-for-millions-1443427200

ARE Americans practicing Communism?Read the 10 Planks of The Communist Manifesto to discover the truth and learn how to know your enemy…

Karl Marx describes in his communist manifesto, the ten steps necessary to destroy a free enterprise system and replace it with a system of omnipotent government power, so as to effect a communist socialist state. Those ten steps are known as the Ten Planks of The Communist Manifesto… The following brief presents the original ten planks within theCommunist Manifesto written by Karl Marx in 1848, along with the American adopted counterpart for each of the planks. From comparison it’s clear MOST Americans have by myths, fraud and deception under the color of law by their own politicians in both the Republican and Democratic and parties, been transformed into Communists.

Another thing to remember, Karl Marx in creating the Communist Manifesto designed these planks AS A TEST to determine whether a society has become communist or not. If they are all in effect and in force, then the people ARE practicing communists.

Communism, by any other name is still communism, and is VERY VERY destructive to the individual and to the society!!

The 10 PLANKS stated in the Communist Manifesto and some of their American counterparts are…

1. Abolition of private property and the application of all rents of land to public purposes.
Americans do these with actions such as the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (1868), and various zoning, school & property taxes. Also the Bureau of Land Management (Zoning laws are the first step to government property ownership)

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
Americans know this as misapplication of the 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, 1913, The Social Security Act of 1936.; Joint House Resolution 192 of 1933; and various State “income” taxes. We call it “paying your fair share”.

3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
Americans call it Federal & State estate Tax (1916); or reformed Probate Laws, and limited inheritance via arbitrary inheritance tax statutes.

4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
Americans call it government seizures, tax liens, Public “law” 99-570 (1986); Executive order 11490, sections 1205, 2002 which gives private land to the Department of Urban Development; the imprisonment of “terrorists” and those who speak out or write against the “government” (1997 Crime/Terrorist Bill); or the IRS confiscation of property without due process. Asset forfeiture laws are used by DEA, IRS, ATF etc…).

5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
Americans call it the Federal Reserve which is a privately-owned credit/debt system allowed by the Federal Reserve act of 1913. All local banks are members of the Fed system, and are regulated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) another privately-owned corporation. The Federal Reserve Banks issue Fiat Paper Money and practice economically destructive fractional reserve banking.

6. Centralization of the means of communications and transportation in the hands of the State.
Americans call it the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Department of Transportation (DOT) mandated through the ICC act of 1887, the Commissions Act of 1934, The Interstate Commerce Commission established in 1938, The Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Executive orders 11490, 10999, as well as State mandated driver’s licenses and Department of Transportation regulations.

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state, the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
Americans call it corporate capacity, The Desert Entry Act and The Department of Agriculture… Thus read “controlled or subsidized” rather than “owned”… This is easily seen in these as well as the Department of Commerce and Labor, Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Mines, National Park Service, and the IRS control of business through corporate regulations.

8. Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
Americans call it Minimum Wage and slave labor like dealing with our Most Favored Nation trade partner; i.e. Communist China. We see it in practice via the Social Security Administration and The Department of Labor. The National debt and inflation caused by the communal bank has caused the need for a two “income” family. Woman in the workplace since the 1920’s, the 19th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, assorted Socialist Unions, affirmative action, the Federal Public Works Program and of course Executive order 11000.

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries, gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of population over the country.
Americans call it the Planning Reorganization act of 1949 , zoning (Title 17 1910-1990) and Super Corporate Farms, as well as Executive orders 11647, 11731 (ten regions) and Public “law” 89-136. These provide for forced relocations and forced sterilization programs, like in China.

10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.
Americans are being taxed to support what we call ‘public’ schools, but are actually “government force-tax-funded schools ” Even private schools are government regulated. The purpose is to train the young to work for the communal debt system. We also call it the Department of Education, the NEA and Outcome Based “Education” . These are used so that all children can be indoctrinated and inculcated with the government propaganda, like “majority rules”, and “pay your fair share”. WHERE are the words “fair share” in the Constitution, Bill of Rights or the Internal Revenue Code (Title 26)?? NO WHERE is “fair share” even suggested !! The philosophical concept of “fair share” comes from the Communist maxim, “From each according to their ability, to each according to their need! This concept is pure socialism. … America was made the greatest society by its private initiative WORK ETHIC … Teaching ourselves and others how to “fish” to be self sufficient and produce plenty of EXTRA commodities to if so desired could be shared with others who might be “needy”… Americans have always voluntarily been the MOST generous and charitable society on the planet.

Do changing words, change the end result? … By using different words, is it all of a sudden OK to ignore or violate the provisions or intent of the Constitution of the united States of America?????

The people (politicians) who believe in the SOCIALISTIC and COMMUNISTIC concepts, especially those who pass more and more laws implementing these slavery ideas, are traitors to their oath of office and to the Constitution of the united States of America… KNOW YOUR ENEMY …Remove the enemy from within and from among us.

VOTE LIBERTARIAN, the only political party in America that still firmly supports and diligently abides by the Constitution of the united States of America.

None are more hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free….http://www.libertyzone.com/Communist-Manifesto-Planks.html

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The Pronk Pops Show 543, September 29, 2015, Story 1: Breaking News — Part 2 of 3, Trump’s Timid Tax Tweak — Does Not Abolish Income Taxes or IRS and Does Not Abolish Regressive Payroll Taxes For Social Security and Medicare — Trump Wrong on Economic Incentives — Could Have Been A Contender — Carson (Flat Tax), Cruz (Flat Tax) , Paul (Flat Tax), and Huckabee (FairTax) — All Have Better Tax Plans — Trump Is Just Another Progressive Country Club “Rockefeller” Republican — Dump Trump! — Fair Tax Less Is The Answer To Making America Great Again — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 543: September 29, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 542: September 28, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 541: September 25, 2015 

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Pronk Pops Show 538: September 22, 2015 

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Pronk Pops Show 536: September 18, 2015 

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Pronk Pops Show 531: September 11, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 526: September 3, 2015  

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Pronk Pops Show 489: June 19, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 486; June 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 485: June 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 484: June 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 483: June 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 482; June 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 481: June 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 480: June 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 479: June 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 478: June 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 477: June 3, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 476: June 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 475: June 1, 2015

Story 1: Breaking News — Part 2 of 3,  Trump’s Timid Tax Tweak — Does Not Abolish Income Taxes or IRS and Does Not Abolish Regressive Payroll Taxes For Social Security and Medicare — Trump Wrong on Economic Incentives — Could Have Been A Contender — Carson (Flat Tax), Cruz (Flat Tax) , Paul (Flat Tax), and Huckabee (FairTax) — All Have Better Tax Plans  — Trump Is Just Another Progressive Country Club “Rockefeller” Republican — Dump Trump! — Fair Tax Less Is  The Answer To Making America Great Again —  Videos

Acceptance Speech as the 1964 Republican Presidential candidate

“I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice!

And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!”

~Senator Barry Goldwater 

Two of Ten planks of Karl Marx’s

Communist Manifesto

ARE Americans practicing Communism?

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

Americans know this as misapplication of the 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, 1913, The Social Security Act of 1936.; Joint House Resolution 192 of 1933; and various State “income” taxes. We call it “paying your fair share”.

3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.

Americans call it Federal & State estate Tax (1916); or reformed Probate Laws, and limited inheritance via arbitrary inheritance tax statutes.

http://www.libertyzone.com/Communist-Manifesto-Planks.html

income-tax-receiptsHighest-Marginal-Tax-Rates-1913-2013

ind_corp_taxesfederal-tax-revenue-by-sourceU.S._Federal_Receipts_-_FY_2014

2015 United States Income Tax Brackets

normal_tax_brackets

2015-Tax-Bracket-Table2015_Tax_Bracket_Chart.2

2015-Federal-Tax-Rates

Trump’s Tax Plan

Donald-Trump-Tax-Reform-Proposal-Individual-Income-Tax

FairTax and Fair Tax Less

fair taxFairTax Flag 32jpg

fairtax

FULL SPEECH: Trump unveils tax plan that would lower taxes for millions (1 of 2)

FULL SPEECH: Trump unveils tax plan that would lower taxes for millions (2 of 2)

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How does the FairTax rate compare to today’s?

Is the FairTax rate really 23%?

Is consumption a reliable source of revenue?

How will used goods be taxed?

How does the “prebate” work?

Is it fair for rich people to get the same prebate as poor people?

Is the FairTax truly progressive?

How does the FairTax affect the economy?

What will the transition be like from the income tax to the FairTax?

Does the FairTax repeal the federal income tax?

How is the FairTax collected?

Isn’t it a stretch to say the IRS will go away?

Is education taxed under the FairTax?

How does the FairTax impact the middle class?

How will the FairTax impact seniors?

What will happen to government programs like Social Security and Medicare?

How will Social Security payments be calculated under the FairTax?

Will the FairTax impact tax deferred retirement accounts like 401(k)s?

Will the FairTax hurt home ownership with no mortgage interest deduction?

How does the FairTax affect compliance costs?

How does the FairTax impact retailers?

Will the FairTax tax services?

Can I pretend to be a business to avoid the sales tax?

Do corporations get a windfall break from the FairTax?

Will the FairTax lead to a massive underground economy?

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TAX REFORM THAT WILL MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

The Goals Of Donald J. Trump’s Tax Plan

Too few Americans are working, too many jobs have been shipped overseas, and too many middle class families cannot make ends meet. This tax plan directly meets these challenges with four simple goals:

  1. Tax relief for middle class Americans: In order to achieve the American dream, let people keep more money in their pockets and increase after-tax wages.
  2. Simplify the tax code to reduce the headaches Americans face in preparing their taxes and let everyone keep more of their money.
  3. Grow the American economy by discouraging corporate inversions, adding a huge number of new jobs, and making America globally competitive again.
  4. Doesn’t add to our debt and deficit, which are already too large.

The Trump Tax Plan Achieves These Goals

  1. If you are single and earn less than $25,000, or married and jointly earn less than $50,000, you will not owe any income tax. That removes nearly 75 million households – over 50% – from the income tax rolls. They get a new one page form to send the IRS saying, “I win,” those who would otherwise owe income taxes will save an average of nearly $1,000 each.
  2. All other Americans will get a simpler tax code with four brackets – 0%, 10%, 20% and 25% – instead of the current seven. This new tax code eliminates the marriage penalty and the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) while providing the lowest tax rate since before World War II.
  3. No business of any size, from a Fortune 500 to a mom and pop shop to a freelancer living job to job, will pay more than 15% of their business income in taxes. This lower rate makes corporate inversions unnecessary by making America’s tax rate one of the best in the world.
  4. No family will have to pay the death tax. You earned and saved that money for your family, not the government. You paid taxes on it when you earned it.

The Trump Tax Plan Is Revenue Neutral

The Trump tax cuts are fully paid for by:

  1. Reducing or eliminating most deductions and loopholes available to the very rich.
  2. A one-time deemed repatriation of corporate cash held overseas at a significantly discounted 10% tax rate, followed by an end to the deferral of taxes on corporate income earned abroad.
  3. Reducing or eliminating corporate loopholes that cater to special interests, as well as deductions made unnecessary or redundant by the new lower tax rate on corporations and business income. We will also phase in a reasonable cap on the deductibility of business interest expenses.

DETAILS OF DONALD J. TRUMP’S TAX PLAN

America needs a bold, simple and achievable plan based on conservative economic principles. This plan does that with needed tax relief for all Americans, especially the working poor and middle class, pro-growth tax reform for all sizes of businesses, and fiscally responsible steps to ensure this plan does not add to our enormous debt and deficit.

This plan simplifies the tax code by taking nearly 50% of current filers off the income tax rolls entirely and reducing the number of tax brackets from seven to four for everyone else. This plan also reduces or eliminates loopholes used by the very rich and special interests made unnecessary or redundant by the new lower tax rates on individuals and companies.

The Trump Tax Plan: A Simpler Tax Code For All Americans

When the income tax was first introduced, just one percent of Americans had to pay it. It was never intended as a tax most Americans would pay. The Trump plan eliminates the income tax for over 73 million households. 42 million households that currently file complex forms to determine they don’t owe any income taxes will now file a one page form saving them time, stress, uncertainty and an average of $110 in preparation costs. Over 31 million households get the same simplification and keep on average nearly $1,000 of their hard-earned money.

For those Americans who will still pay the income tax, the tax rates will go from the current seven brackets to four simpler, fairer brackets that eliminate the marriage penalty and the AMT while providing the lowest tax rate since before World War II:

Income Tax Rate Long Term Cap Gains/ Dividends Rate Single Filers Married Filers Heads of Household
0% 0% $0 to $25,000 $0 to $50,000 $0 to $37,500
10% 0% $25,001 to $50,000 $50,001 to $100,000 $37,501 to $75,000
20% 15% $50,001 to $150,000 $100,001 to $300,000 $75,001 to $225,000
25% 20% $150,001 and up $300,001 and up $225,001 and up

With this huge reduction in rates, many of the current exemptions and deductions will become unnecessary or redundant. Those within the 10% bracket will keep all or most of their current deductions. Those within the 20% bracket will keep more than half of their current deductions. Those within the 25% bracket will keep fewer deductions. Charitable giving and mortgage interest deductions will remain unchanged for all taxpayers.

Simplifying the tax code and cutting every American’s taxes will boost consumer spending, encourage savings and investment, and maximize economic growth.

Business Tax Reform To Encourage Jobs And Spur Economic Growth

Too many companies – from great American brands to innovative startups – are leaving America, either directly or through corporate inversions. The Democrats want to outlaw inversions, but that will never work. Companies leaving is not the disease, it is the symptom. Politicians in Washington have let America fall from the best corporate tax rate in the industrialized world in the 1980’s (thanks to Ronald Reagan) to the worst rate in the industrialized world. That is unacceptable. Under the Trump plan, America will compete with the world and win by cutting the corporate tax rate to 15%, taking our rate from one of the worst to one of the best.

This lower tax rate cannot be for big business alone; it needs to help the small businesses that are the true engine of our economy. Right now, freelancers, sole proprietors, unincorporated small businesses and pass-through entities are taxed at the high personal income tax rates. This treatment stifles small businesses. It also stifles tax reform because efforts to reduce loopholes and deductions available to the very rich and special interests end up hitting small businesses and job creators as well. The Trump plan addresses this challenge head on with a new business income tax rate within the personal income tax code that matches the 15% corporate tax rate to help these businesses, entrepreneurs and freelancers grow and prosper.

These lower rates will provide a tremendous stimulus for the economy – significant GDP growth, a huge number of new jobs and an increase in after-tax wages for workers.

The Trump Tax Plan Ends The Unfair Death Tax

The death tax punishes families for achieving the American dream. Therefore, the Trump plan eliminates the death tax.

The Trump Tax Plan Is Fiscally Responsible

The Trump tax cuts are fully paid for by:

  1. Reducing or eliminating deductions and loopholes available to the very rich, starting by steepening the curve of the Personal Exemption Phaseout and the Pease Limitation on itemized deductions. The Trump plan also phases out the tax exemption on life insurance interest for high-income earners, ends the current tax treatment of carried interest for speculative partnerships that do not grow businesses or create jobs and are not risking their own capital, and reduces or eliminates other loopholes for the very rich and special interests. These reductions and eliminations will not harm the economy or hurt the middle class. Because the Trump plan introduces a new business income rate within the personal income tax code, they will not harm small businesses either.
  2. A one-time deemed repatriation of corporate cash held overseas at a significantly discounted 10% tax rate. Since we are making America’s corporate tax rate globally competitive, it is only fair that corporations help make that move fiscally responsible. U.S.-owned corporations have as much as $2.5 trillion in cash sitting overseas. Some companies have been leaving cash overseas as a tax maneuver. Under this plan, they can bring their cash home and put it to work in America while benefitting from the newly-lowered corporate tax rate that is globally competitive and no longer requires parking cash overseas. Other companies have cash overseas for specific business units or activities. They can leave that cash overseas, but they will still have to pay the one-time repatriation fee.
  3. An end to the deferral of taxes on corporate income earned abroad. Corporations will no longer be allowed to defer taxes on income earned abroad, but the foreign tax credit will remain in place because no company should face double taxation.
  4. Reducing or eliminating some corporate loopholes that cater to special interests, as well as deductions made unnecessary or redundant by the new lower tax rate on corporations and business income. We will also phase in a reasonable cap on the deductibility of business interest expenses.

https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/tax-reform

Trump Plan Cuts Taxes for Millions

Middle class, businesses get break, but overseas profits would face a one-time 10% levy

By MONICA LANGLEY And JOHN D. MCKINNON

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump unveiled an ambitious tax plan Monday that he says would eliminate income taxes for millions of households, lower the tax rate on all businesses to 15% and change tax treatment of companies’ overseas earnings.

Under the Trump plan, no federal income tax would be levied against individuals earning less than $25,000 and married couples earning less than $50,000. The Trump campaign estimates that would reduce taxes to zero for 31 million households that currently pay at least some income tax. The highest individual income-tax rate would be 25%, compared with the current 39.6% rate.

Many middle-income households would have a lower tax rate under Mr. Trump’s proposal, but because high-income households generally pay income tax at much higher rates, his proposed across-the-board rate cut could have a positive impact on them, too. For example, an analysis of Jeb Bush’s plan—taxing individuals’ incomes at no more than 28%—by the business-backed Tax Foundation found that the biggest percentage winners in after-tax income would be the top 1% of earners.

Mr. Trump’s plan appears designed to help him, as the GOP front-runner, cement his standing as a populist—though that message is complicated by the fact that the billionaire, like other Republican leaders, would eliminate the estate tax.

“My plan will bring sanity, common sense and simplification to our country’s catastrophic tax code,” Mr. Trump said in an interview. “It will create jobs and incentives of all kinds while simultaneously growing the economy.”

But Mr. Trump will face a challenge in convincing skeptics that his aggressive tax cuts can be implemented without adding to the federal deficit.

To pay for the proposed tax benefits, the Trump plan would eliminate or reduce deductions and loopholes to high-income taxpayers, and would curb some deductions and other breaks for middle-class taxpayers by capping the level of individual deductions, a politically dicey proposition. Mr. Trump also would end the “carried interest” tax break, which allows many investment-fund managers to pay lower taxes on much of their compensation.

A significant revenue gain would come from a one-time tax on overseas profits that could encourage U.S. multinational corporations to return an estimated $2.1 trillion in cash now sitting offshore, largely to avoid U.S. taxes. His proposal would impose a mandatory 10% tax on all of that money, even if the money stays overseas, but allow a few years for the tax to be paid. The Trump campaign estimates that many companies would choose to bring their money back home, boosting jobs and investment in the U.S.

Mr. Trump also would impose an immediate tax on overseas earnings of American corporations; currently, such tax payments can be deferred. All told, the campaign says the plan would be revenue neutral—neither raising nor lowering federal revenues—by the third year and then begin adding revenue.

With the tax plan’s release, Mr. Trump is moving to quell criticism that his campaign has been more style and less substance. This tax proposal follows his well-known immigration plan in the summer and one on gun rights last week.

Mr. Trump saves some money and fiscal headaches by skipping some of the big but complicated and costly changes that other candidates have embraced, such as business-expensing breaks and so-called territorial taxation for multinational corporations.

On the individual side, Mr. Trump would consolidate the current seven rates to four, of 0%, 10%, 20% and 25%. Those changes alone would exempt all married couples making $50,000 or less from the income tax, as well as singles making $25,000 or less.

The 10% bracket would apply to incomes from $50,000 to $100,000 for a married couple; the current 10% bracket has a ceiling of $18,450. The new 25% top bracket would apply to married couples’ incomes in excess of $300,000, which currently are subject to rates as high as 39.6%. Mr. Trump also would cut the top capital gains rate to 20%, from the current 23.8%. And he would eliminate the alternative minimum tax.

But the candidate doesn’t propose to end taxation of individuals’ investment income, as some other Republicans propose, nor would he expand the standard deduction, child-credit and other middle-class breaks as some other GOP candidates have suggested.

For businesses, Mr. Trump’s 15% rate is among the lowest that have been proposed so far. Rand Paul has proposed a 14.5% flat-tax rate for all types of income. Marco Rubio, another candidate with a detailed plan, would tax all business income at no more than 25%. Mr. Bush has proposed a 20% top corporate rate. The current top corporate tax rate is 35%, and small business income is subject to rates of as much as 39.6% (although many small businesses pay out a lot of their profits as lower-taxed dividends or capital gains). The campaign argues the rate would be among the lowest among industrialized nations, giving U.S. companies an edge to compete.

The lower corporate rates would provide “a tremendous stimulus for the economy,” the campaign’s plan argues. Mr. Trump would not, however, allow businesses to expense all their new equipment purchases, as some other Republicans do.

The plan proposes to simplify tax filing for many lower- to middle-income households. The plan says that some 42 million households that currently file tax forms to establish that they don’t owe any federal income tax now will be able to file their returns on a single page.

The 31 million households that have been paying some taxes but now won’t have any tax liability can use the same single-page, and keep an average of $1,000 in tax savings, the Trump campaign says. Today, 36% of American households today pay no income taxes, and that number would grow to 50%.

The Trump plan would raise revenues in at least a couple of significant ways. It would limit the value of individual deductions, with middle-class households keeping all or most of their deductions, higher-income taxpayers keeping around half of theirs, and the very wealthy losing a significant chunk of theirs. It also would wipe out many corporate deductions.

All taxpayers would keep their current deductions for mortgage-interest on their homes and charitable giving.

The plan also proposes capping the amount of interest payments that businesses can deduct now, a change phased in over a long period, and would impose a corporate tax on future foreign earnings of American multinationals.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-plan-cuts-taxes-for-millions-1443427200

ARE Americans practicing Communism?Read the 10 Planks of The Communist Manifesto to discover the truth and learn how to know your enemy…

Karl Marx describes in his communist manifesto, the ten steps necessary to destroy a free enterprise system and replace it with a system of omnipotent government power, so as to effect a communist socialist state. Those ten steps are known as the Ten Planks of The Communist Manifesto… The following brief presents the original ten planks within theCommunist Manifesto written by Karl Marx in 1848, along with the American adopted counterpart for each of the planks. From comparison it’s clear MOST Americans have by myths, fraud and deception under the color of law by their own politicians in both the Republican and Democratic and parties, been transformed into Communists.

Another thing to remember, Karl Marx in creating the Communist Manifesto designed these planks AS A TEST to determine whether a society has become communist or not. If they are all in effect and in force, then the people ARE practicing communists.

Communism, by any other name is still communism, and is VERY VERY destructive to the individual and to the society!!

The 10 PLANKS stated in the Communist Manifesto and some of their American counterparts are…

1. Abolition of private property and the application of all rents of land to public purposes.
Americans do these with actions such as the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (1868), and various zoning, school & property taxes. Also the Bureau of Land Management (Zoning laws are the first step to government property ownership)

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
Americans know this as misapplication of the 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, 1913, The Social Security Act of 1936.; Joint House Resolution 192 of 1933; and various State “income” taxes. We call it “paying your fair share”.

3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
Americans call it Federal & State estate Tax (1916); or reformed Probate Laws, and limited inheritance via arbitrary inheritance tax statutes.

4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
Americans call it government seizures, tax liens, Public “law” 99-570 (1986); Executive order 11490, sections 1205, 2002 which gives private land to the Department of Urban Development; the imprisonment of “terrorists” and those who speak out or write against the “government” (1997 Crime/Terrorist Bill); or the IRS confiscation of property without due process. Asset forfeiture laws are used by DEA, IRS, ATF etc…).

5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
Americans call it the Federal Reserve which is a privately-owned credit/debt system allowed by the Federal Reserve act of 1913. All local banks are members of the Fed system, and are regulated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) another privately-owned corporation. The Federal Reserve Banks issue Fiat Paper Money and practice economically destructive fractional reserve banking.

6. Centralization of the means of communications and transportation in the hands of the State.
Americans call it the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Department of Transportation (DOT) mandated through the ICC act of 1887, the Commissions Act of 1934, The Interstate Commerce Commission established in 1938, The Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Executive orders 11490, 10999, as well as State mandated driver’s licenses and Department of Transportation regulations.

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state, the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
Americans call it corporate capacity, The Desert Entry Act and The Department of Agriculture… Thus read “controlled or subsidized” rather than “owned”… This is easily seen in these as well as the Department of Commerce and Labor, Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Mines, National Park Service, and the IRS control of business through corporate regulations.

8. Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
Americans call it Minimum Wage and slave labor like dealing with our Most Favored Nation trade partner; i.e. Communist China. We see it in practice via the Social Security Administration and The Department of Labor. The National debt and inflation caused by the communal bank has caused the need for a two “income” family. Woman in the workplace since the 1920’s, the 19th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, assorted Socialist Unions, affirmative action, the Federal Public Works Program and of course Executive order 11000.

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries, gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of population over the country.
Americans call it the Planning Reorganization act of 1949 , zoning (Title 17 1910-1990) and Super Corporate Farms, as well as Executive orders 11647, 11731 (ten regions) and Public “law” 89-136. These provide for forced relocations and forced sterilization programs, like in China.

10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.
Americans are being taxed to support what we call ‘public’ schools, but are actually “government force-tax-funded schools ” Even private schools are government regulated. The purpose is to train the young to work for the communal debt system. We also call it the Department of Education, the NEA and Outcome Based “Education” . These are used so that all children can be indoctrinated and inculcated with the government propaganda, like “majority rules”, and “pay your fair share”. WHERE are the words “fair share” in the Constitution, Bill of Rights or the Internal Revenue Code (Title 26)?? NO WHERE is “fair share” even suggested !! The philosophical concept of “fair share” comes from the Communist maxim, “From each according to their ability, to each according to their need! This concept is pure socialism. … America was made the greatest society by its private initiative WORK ETHIC … Teaching ourselves and others how to “fish” to be self sufficient and produce plenty of EXTRA commodities to if so desired could be shared with others who might be “needy”… Americans have always voluntarily been the MOST generous and charitable society on the planet.

Do changing words, change the end result? … By using different words, is it all of a sudden OK to ignore or violate the provisions or intent of the Constitution of the united States of America?????

The people (politicians) who believe in the SOCIALISTIC and COMMUNISTIC concepts, especially those who pass more and more laws implementing these slavery ideas, are traitors to their oath of office and to the Constitution of the united States of America… KNOW YOUR ENEMY …Remove the enemy from within and from among us.

VOTE LIBERTARIAN, the only political party in America that still firmly supports and diligently abides by the Constitution of the united States of America.

None are more hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free….http://www.libertyzone.com/Communist-Manifesto-Planks.html

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The Pronk Pops Show 542, September 28, 2015, Story 1: Breaking News — Part 1 of 3, Trump’s Timid Tax Tweak — Does Not Abolish Income Taxes or IRS and Does Not Abolish Regressive Payroll Taxes For Social Security and Medicare — Trump Wrong on Economic Incentives — Could Have Been A Contender — Carson (Flat Tax), Cruz (Flat Tax) , Paul (Flat Tax), and Huckabee (FairTax) — All Have Better Tax Plans — Trump Is Just Another Progressive Country Club “Rockefeller” Republican — Dump Trump! — Fair Tax Less Is The Answer To Making America Great Again — Videos

Posted on September 28, 2015. Filed under: 2016 Presidential Campaign, 2016 Presidential Candidates, American History, Ben Carson, Blogroll, Books, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Business, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Disasters, Economics, Education, Employment, European History, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, History, Housing, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Investments, Law, Legal Immigration, Media, Mike Huckabee, Monetary Policy, Philosophy, Photos, Polls, Radio, Rand Paul, Republican Candidates For President 2016, Security, Social Science, Success, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Ted Cruz, Terror, Terrorism, Unemployment, Videos, Wall Street Journal, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 542: September 28, 2015 

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Story 1: Breaking News — Part 1 of 3,  Trump’s Timid Tax Tweak — Does Not Abolish Income Taxes or IRS and Does Not Abolish Regressive Payroll Taxes For Social Security and Medicare — Trump Wrong on Economic Incentives — Could Have Been A Contender — Carson (Flat Tax), Cruz (Flat Tax) , Paul (Flat Tax), and Huckabee (FairTax) — All Have Better Tax Plans  — Trump Is Just Another Progressive Country Club “Rockefeller” Republican — Dump Trump! — Fair Tax Less Is  The Answer To Making America Great Again —  Videos

Acceptance Speech as the 1964 Republican Presidential candidate

“I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice!

And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!”

~Senator Barry Goldwater 

Two of Ten planks of Karl Marx’s

Communist Manifesto

ARE Americans practicing Communism?

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

Americans know this as misapplication of the 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, 1913, The Social Security Act of 1936.; Joint House Resolution 192 of 1933; and various State “income” taxes. We call it “paying your fair share”.

3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.

Americans call it Federal & State estate Tax (1916); or reformed Probate Laws, and limited inheritance via arbitrary inheritance tax statutes.

http://www.libertyzone.com/Communist-Manifesto-Planks.html

income-tax-receiptsHighest-Marginal-Tax-Rates-1913-2013

ind_corp_taxesfederal-tax-revenue-by-sourceU.S._Federal_Receipts_-_FY_2014

2015 United States Income Tax Brackets

normal_tax_brackets

2015-Tax-Bracket-Table2015_Tax_Bracket_Chart.2

2015-Federal-Tax-Rates

Trump’s Tax Plan

Donald-Trump-Tax-Reform-Proposal-Individual-Income-Tax

FairTax and Fair Tax Less

fair taxFairTax Flag 32jpg

fairtax

FULL SPEECH: Trump unveils tax plan that would lower taxes for millions (1 of 2)

FULL SPEECH: Trump unveils tax plan that would lower taxes for millions (2 of 2)

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How will Social Security payments be calculated under the FairTax?

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TAX REFORM THAT WILL MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

The Goals Of Donald J. Trump’s Tax Plan

Too few Americans are working, too many jobs have been shipped overseas, and too many middle class families cannot make ends meet. This tax plan directly meets these challenges with four simple goals:

  1. Tax relief for middle class Americans: In order to achieve the American dream, let people keep more money in their pockets and increase after-tax wages.
  2. Simplify the tax code to reduce the headaches Americans face in preparing their taxes and let everyone keep more of their money.
  3. Grow the American economy by discouraging corporate inversions, adding a huge number of new jobs, and making America globally competitive again.
  4. Doesn’t add to our debt and deficit, which are already too large.

The Trump Tax Plan Achieves These Goals

  1. If you are single and earn less than $25,000, or married and jointly earn less than $50,000, you will not owe any income tax. That removes nearly 75 million households – over 50% – from the income tax rolls. They get a new one page form to send the IRS saying, “I win,” those who would otherwise owe income taxes will save an average of nearly $1,000 each.
  2. All other Americans will get a simpler tax code with four brackets – 0%, 10%, 20% and 25% – instead of the current seven. This new tax code eliminates the marriage penalty and the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) while providing the lowest tax rate since before World War II.
  3. No business of any size, from a Fortune 500 to a mom and pop shop to a freelancer living job to job, will pay more than 15% of their business income in taxes. This lower rate makes corporate inversions unnecessary by making America’s tax rate one of the best in the world.
  4. No family will have to pay the death tax. You earned and saved that money for your family, not the government. You paid taxes on it when you earned it.

The Trump Tax Plan Is Revenue Neutral

The Trump tax cuts are fully paid for by:

  1. Reducing or eliminating most deductions and loopholes available to the very rich.
  2. A one-time deemed repatriation of corporate cash held overseas at a significantly discounted 10% tax rate, followed by an end to the deferral of taxes on corporate income earned abroad.
  3. Reducing or eliminating corporate loopholes that cater to special interests, as well as deductions made unnecessary or redundant by the new lower tax rate on corporations and business income. We will also phase in a reasonable cap on the deductibility of business interest expenses.

DETAILS OF DONALD J. TRUMP’S TAX PLAN

America needs a bold, simple and achievable plan based on conservative economic principles. This plan does that with needed tax relief for all Americans, especially the working poor and middle class, pro-growth tax reform for all sizes of businesses, and fiscally responsible steps to ensure this plan does not add to our enormous debt and deficit.

This plan simplifies the tax code by taking nearly 50% of current filers off the income tax rolls entirely and reducing the number of tax brackets from seven to four for everyone else. This plan also reduces or eliminates loopholes used by the very rich and special interests made unnecessary or redundant by the new lower tax rates on individuals and companies.

The Trump Tax Plan: A Simpler Tax Code For All Americans

When the income tax was first introduced, just one percent of Americans had to pay it. It was never intended as a tax most Americans would pay. The Trump plan eliminates the income tax for over 73 million households. 42 million households that currently file complex forms to determine they don’t owe any income taxes will now file a one page form saving them time, stress, uncertainty and an average of $110 in preparation costs. Over 31 million households get the same simplification and keep on average nearly $1,000 of their hard-earned money.

For those Americans who will still pay the income tax, the tax rates will go from the current seven brackets to four simpler, fairer brackets that eliminate the marriage penalty and the AMT while providing the lowest tax rate since before World War II:

Income Tax Rate Long Term Cap Gains/ Dividends Rate Single Filers Married Filers Heads of Household
0% 0% $0 to $25,000 $0 to $50,000 $0 to $37,500
10% 0% $25,001 to $50,000 $50,001 to $100,000 $37,501 to $75,000
20% 15% $50,001 to $150,000 $100,001 to $300,000 $75,001 to $225,000
25% 20% $150,001 and up $300,001 and up $225,001 and up

With this huge reduction in rates, many of the current exemptions and deductions will become unnecessary or redundant. Those within the 10% bracket will keep all or most of their current deductions. Those within the 20% bracket will keep more than half of their current deductions. Those within the 25% bracket will keep fewer deductions. Charitable giving and mortgage interest deductions will remain unchanged for all taxpayers.

Simplifying the tax code and cutting every American’s taxes will boost consumer spending, encourage savings and investment, and maximize economic growth.

Business Tax Reform To Encourage Jobs And Spur Economic Growth

Too many companies – from great American brands to innovative startups – are leaving America, either directly or through corporate inversions. The Democrats want to outlaw inversions, but that will never work. Companies leaving is not the disease, it is the symptom. Politicians in Washington have let America fall from the best corporate tax rate in the industrialized world in the 1980’s (thanks to Ronald Reagan) to the worst rate in the industrialized world. That is unacceptable. Under the Trump plan, America will compete with the world and win by cutting the corporate tax rate to 15%, taking our rate from one of the worst to one of the best.

This lower tax rate cannot be for big business alone; it needs to help the small businesses that are the true engine of our economy. Right now, freelancers, sole proprietors, unincorporated small businesses and pass-through entities are taxed at the high personal income tax rates. This treatment stifles small businesses. It also stifles tax reform because efforts to reduce loopholes and deductions available to the very rich and special interests end up hitting small businesses and job creators as well. The Trump plan addresses this challenge head on with a new business income tax rate within the personal income tax code that matches the 15% corporate tax rate to help these businesses, entrepreneurs and freelancers grow and prosper.

These lower rates will provide a tremendous stimulus for the economy – significant GDP growth, a huge number of new jobs and an increase in after-tax wages for workers.

The Trump Tax Plan Ends The Unfair Death Tax

The death tax punishes families for achieving the American dream. Therefore, the Trump plan eliminates the death tax.

The Trump Tax Plan Is Fiscally Responsible

The Trump tax cuts are fully paid for by:

  1. Reducing or eliminating deductions and loopholes available to the very rich, starting by steepening the curve of the Personal Exemption Phaseout and the Pease Limitation on itemized deductions. The Trump plan also phases out the tax exemption on life insurance interest for high-income earners, ends the current tax treatment of carried interest for speculative partnerships that do not grow businesses or create jobs and are not risking their own capital, and reduces or eliminates other loopholes for the very rich and special interests. These reductions and eliminations will not harm the economy or hurt the middle class. Because the Trump plan introduces a new business income rate within the personal income tax code, they will not harm small businesses either.
  2. A one-time deemed repatriation of corporate cash held overseas at a significantly discounted 10% tax rate. Since we are making America’s corporate tax rate globally competitive, it is only fair that corporations help make that move fiscally responsible. U.S.-owned corporations have as much as $2.5 trillion in cash sitting overseas. Some companies have been leaving cash overseas as a tax maneuver. Under this plan, they can bring their cash home and put it to work in America while benefitting from the newly-lowered corporate tax rate that is globally competitive and no longer requires parking cash overseas. Other companies have cash overseas for specific business units or activities. They can leave that cash overseas, but they will still have to pay the one-time repatriation fee.
  3. An end to the deferral of taxes on corporate income earned abroad. Corporations will no longer be allowed to defer taxes on income earned abroad, but the foreign tax credit will remain in place because no company should face double taxation.
  4. Reducing or eliminating some corporate loopholes that cater to special interests, as well as deductions made unnecessary or redundant by the new lower tax rate on corporations and business income. We will also phase in a reasonable cap on the deductibility of business interest expenses.

https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/tax-reform

Trump Plan Cuts Taxes for Millions

Middle class, businesses get break, but overseas profits would face a one-time 10% levy

By MONICA LANGLEY And JOHN D. MCKINNON

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump unveiled an ambitious tax plan Monday that he says would eliminate income taxes for millions of households, lower the tax rate on all businesses to 15% and change tax treatment of companies’ overseas earnings.

Under the Trump plan, no federal income tax would be levied against individuals earning less than $25,000 and married couples earning less than $50,000. The Trump campaign estimates that would reduce taxes to zero for 31 million households that currently pay at least some income tax. The highest individual income-tax rate would be 25%, compared with the current 39.6% rate.

Many middle-income households would have a lower tax rate under Mr. Trump’s proposal, but because high-income households generally pay income tax at much higher rates, his proposed across-the-board rate cut could have a positive impact on them, too. For example, an analysis of Jeb Bush’s plan—taxing individuals’ incomes at no more than 28%—by the business-backed Tax Foundation found that the biggest percentage winners in after-tax income would be the top 1% of earners.

Mr. Trump’s plan appears designed to help him, as the GOP front-runner, cement his standing as a populist—though that message is complicated by the fact that the billionaire, like other Republican leaders, would eliminate the estate tax.

“My plan will bring sanity, common sense and simplification to our country’s catastrophic tax code,” Mr. Trump said in an interview. “It will create jobs and incentives of all kinds while simultaneously growing the economy.”

But Mr. Trump will face a challenge in convincing skeptics that his aggressive tax cuts can be implemented without adding to the federal deficit.

To pay for the proposed tax benefits, the Trump plan would eliminate or reduce deductions and loopholes to high-income taxpayers, and would curb some deductions and other breaks for middle-class taxpayers by capping the level of individual deductions, a politically dicey proposition. Mr. Trump also would end the “carried interest” tax break, which allows many investment-fund managers to pay lower taxes on much of their compensation.

A significant revenue gain would come from a one-time tax on overseas profits that could encourage U.S. multinational corporations to return an estimated $2.1 trillion in cash now sitting offshore, largely to avoid U.S. taxes. His proposal would impose a mandatory 10% tax on all of that money, even if the money stays overseas, but allow a few years for the tax to be paid. The Trump campaign estimates that many companies would choose to bring their money back home, boosting jobs and investment in the U.S.

Mr. Trump also would impose an immediate tax on overseas earnings of American corporations; currently, such tax payments can be deferred. All told, the campaign says the plan would be revenue neutral—neither raising nor lowering federal revenues—by the third year and then begin adding revenue.

With the tax plan’s release, Mr. Trump is moving to quell criticism that his campaign has been more style and less substance. This tax proposal follows his well-known immigration plan in the summer and one on gun rights last week.

Mr. Trump saves some money and fiscal headaches by skipping some of the big but complicated and costly changes that other candidates have embraced, such as business-expensing breaks and so-called territorial taxation for multinational corporations.

On the individual side, Mr. Trump would consolidate the current seven rates to four, of 0%, 10%, 20% and 25%. Those changes alone would exempt all married couples making $50,000 or less from the income tax, as well as singles making $25,000 or less.

The 10% bracket would apply to incomes from $50,000 to $100,000 for a married couple; the current 10% bracket has a ceiling of $18,450. The new 25% top bracket would apply to married couples’ incomes in excess of $300,000, which currently are subject to rates as high as 39.6%. Mr. Trump also would cut the top capital gains rate to 20%, from the current 23.8%. And he would eliminate the alternative minimum tax.

But the candidate doesn’t propose to end taxation of individuals’ investment income, as some other Republicans propose, nor would he expand the standard deduction, child-credit and other middle-class breaks as some other GOP candidates have suggested.

For businesses, Mr. Trump’s 15% rate is among the lowest that have been proposed so far. Rand Paul has proposed a 14.5% flat-tax rate for all types of income. Marco Rubio, another candidate with a detailed plan, would tax all business income at no more than 25%. Mr. Bush has proposed a 20% top corporate rate. The current top corporate tax rate is 35%, and small business income is subject to rates of as much as 39.6% (although many small businesses pay out a lot of their profits as lower-taxed dividends or capital gains). The campaign argues the rate would be among the lowest among industrialized nations, giving U.S. companies an edge to compete.

The lower corporate rates would provide “a tremendous stimulus for the economy,” the campaign’s plan argues. Mr. Trump would not, however, allow businesses to expense all their new equipment purchases, as some other Republicans do.

The plan proposes to simplify tax filing for many lower- to middle-income households. The plan says that some 42 million households that currently file tax forms to establish that they don’t owe any federal income tax now will be able to file their returns on a single page.

The 31 million households that have been paying some taxes but now won’t have any tax liability can use the same single-page, and keep an average of $1,000 in tax savings, the Trump campaign says. Today, 36% of American households today pay no income taxes, and that number would grow to 50%.

The Trump plan would raise revenues in at least a couple of significant ways. It would limit the value of individual deductions, with middle-class households keeping all or most of their deductions, higher-income taxpayers keeping around half of theirs, and the very wealthy losing a significant chunk of theirs. It also would wipe out many corporate deductions.

All taxpayers would keep their current deductions for mortgage-interest on their homes and charitable giving.

The plan also proposes capping the amount of interest payments that businesses can deduct now, a change phased in over a long period, and would impose a corporate tax on future foreign earnings of American multinationals.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-plan-cuts-taxes-for-millions-1443427200

ARE Americans practicing Communism?Read the 10 Planks of The Communist Manifesto to discover the truth and learn how to know your enemy…

Karl Marx describes in his communist manifesto, the ten steps necessary to destroy a free enterprise system and replace it with a system of omnipotent government power, so as to effect a communist socialist state. Those ten steps are known as the Ten Planks of The Communist Manifesto… The following brief presents the original ten planks within theCommunist Manifesto written by Karl Marx in 1848, along with the American adopted counterpart for each of the planks. From comparison it’s clear MOST Americans have by myths, fraud and deception under the color of law by their own politicians in both the Republican and Democratic and parties, been transformed into Communists.

Another thing to remember, Karl Marx in creating the Communist Manifesto designed these planks AS A TEST to determine whether a society has become communist or not. If they are all in effect and in force, then the people ARE practicing communists.

Communism, by any other name is still communism, and is VERY VERY destructive to the individual and to the society!!

The 10 PLANKS stated in the Communist Manifesto and some of their American counterparts are…

1. Abolition of private property and the application of all rents of land to public purposes.
Americans do these with actions such as the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (1868), and various zoning, school & property taxes. Also the Bureau of Land Management (Zoning laws are the first step to government property ownership)

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
Americans know this as misapplication of the 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, 1913, The Social Security Act of 1936.; Joint House Resolution 192 of 1933; and various State “income” taxes. We call it “paying your fair share”.

3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
Americans call it Federal & State estate Tax (1916); or reformed Probate Laws, and limited inheritance via arbitrary inheritance tax statutes.

4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
Americans call it government seizures, tax liens, Public “law” 99-570 (1986); Executive order 11490, sections 1205, 2002 which gives private land to the Department of Urban Development; the imprisonment of “terrorists” and those who speak out or write against the “government” (1997 Crime/Terrorist Bill); or the IRS confiscation of property without due process. Asset forfeiture laws are used by DEA, IRS, ATF etc…).

5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
Americans call it the Federal Reserve which is a privately-owned credit/debt system allowed by the Federal Reserve act of 1913. All local banks are members of the Fed system, and are regulated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) another privately-owned corporation. The Federal Reserve Banks issue Fiat Paper Money and practice economically destructive fractional reserve banking.

6. Centralization of the means of communications and transportation in the hands of the State.
Americans call it the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Department of Transportation (DOT) mandated through the ICC act of 1887, the Commissions Act of 1934, The Interstate Commerce Commission established in 1938, The Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Executive orders 11490, 10999, as well as State mandated driver’s licenses and Department of Transportation regulations.

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state, the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
Americans call it corporate capacity, The Desert Entry Act and The Department of Agriculture… Thus read “controlled or subsidized” rather than “owned”… This is easily seen in these as well as the Department of Commerce and Labor, Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Mines, National Park Service, and the IRS control of business through corporate regulations.

8. Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
Americans call it Minimum Wage and slave labor like dealing with our Most Favored Nation trade partner; i.e. Communist China. We see it in practice via the Social Security Administration and The Department of Labor. The National debt and inflation caused by the communal bank has caused the need for a two “income” family. Woman in the workplace since the 1920’s, the 19th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, assorted Socialist Unions, affirmative action, the Federal Public Works Program and of course Executive order 11000.

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries, gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of population over the country.
Americans call it the Planning Reorganization act of 1949 , zoning (Title 17 1910-1990) and Super Corporate Farms, as well as Executive orders 11647, 11731 (ten regions) and Public “law” 89-136. These provide for forced relocations and forced sterilization programs, like in China.

10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.
Americans are being taxed to support what we call ‘public’ schools, but are actually “government force-tax-funded schools ” Even private schools are government regulated. The purpose is to train the young to work for the communal debt system. We also call it the Department of Education, the NEA and Outcome Based “Education” . These are used so that all children can be indoctrinated and inculcated with the government propaganda, like “majority rules”, and “pay your fair share”. WHERE are the words “fair share” in the Constitution, Bill of Rights or the Internal Revenue Code (Title 26)?? NO WHERE is “fair share” even suggested !! The philosophical concept of “fair share” comes from the Communist maxim, “From each according to their ability, to each according to their need! This concept is pure socialism. … America was made the greatest society by its private initiative WORK ETHIC … Teaching ourselves and others how to “fish” to be self sufficient and produce plenty of EXTRA commodities to if so desired could be shared with others who might be “needy”… Americans have always voluntarily been the MOST generous and charitable society on the planet.

Do changing words, change the end result? … By using different words, is it all of a sudden OK to ignore or violate the provisions or intent of the Constitution of the united States of America?????

The people (politicians) who believe in the SOCIALISTIC and COMMUNISTIC concepts, especially those who pass more and more laws implementing these slavery ideas, are traitors to their oath of office and to the Constitution of the united States of America… KNOW YOUR ENEMY …Remove the enemy from within and from among us.

VOTE LIBERTARIAN, the only political party in America that still firmly supports and diligently abides by the Constitution of the united States of America.

None are more hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free….http://www.libertyzone.com/Communist-Manifesto-Planks.html

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The Pronk Pops Show 541, September 25, 2015, Story 1: Breaking News: House Speaker John Boehner Will Resign October 30 — Republican House Split Between Moderates and Progressives and Conservatives, Libertarians and Tea Party Patriots — Videos

Posted on September 25, 2015. Filed under: 2016 Presidential Campaign, 2016 Presidential Candidates, American History, Banking System, Blogroll, Business, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Economics, Education, Elections, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Government, Government Spending, History, House of Representatives, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, IRS, Law, Legal Immigration, Media, Monetary Policy, News, Philosophy, Politics, Polls, Progressives, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Scandals, Security, Senate, Taxation, Taxes, Ted Cruz, Unemployment, Videos, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 541: September 25, 2015 

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Story 1: Breaking News: House Speaker John Boehner Will Resign October 30 — Republican House Split Between Moderates and Progressives and Conservatives, Libertarians and Tea Party Patriots — Videos

Republican Leadership Moderates

CA-23Rep. Kevin McCarthy R F 45% 8 2016

LA-1Rep. Steve Scalise R C 74% 7 2016

GA-6Rep. Tom Price R C 70% 10 2016

TX-32Rep. Pete Sessions R D 63% 18 2016

WA-5Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers R F 49% 10 2016

WI-1Rep. Paul Ryan R F 58% 16 2016

Conservative Representatives

VA-7Rep. Dave Brat R A 100% 0 2016

AL-6Rep. Gary Palmer R A 100% 0 2016

OK-1Rep. Jim Bridenstine R A 96% 2 2016

NC-11Rep. Mark Meadows R A 96% 2 2016

SC-3Rep. Jeff Duncan R A 95% 4 2016

MI-3Rep. Justin Amash R A 95% 4 2016

ID-1Rep. Raul Labrador R A 95% 4 2016

TX-1Rep. Louie Gohmert R A 94% 10 2016

SC-5Rep. Mick Mulvaney R A 93% 4 2016

AZ-6Rep. David Schweikert R A 92% 4 2016

OH-4Rep. Jim Jordan R A 92% 8 2016

KY-4Rep. Thomas Massie R A 92% 2 2016

FL-19Rep. Curt Clawson R A 90% 1 2016

KS-1Rep. Tim Huelskamp R A 90% 4 2016

CA-4Rep. Tom McClintock R A 90% 6 2016

NJ-5Rep. Scott Garrett R B 88% 12 2016

AZ-8Rep. Trent Franks R B 88% 12 2016

AZ-5Rep. Matt Salmon R B 87% 8 2016

FL-6Rep. Ron DeSantis R B 87% 2 2016

CO-4Rep. Ken Buck R B 86% 0 2016

SC-1Rep. Mark Sanford R B 86% 8 2016

IA-1Rep. Rod Blum R B 86% 0 2016

SC-4Rep. Trey Gowdy R B 85% 4 2016

TN-2Rep. John Duncan Jr. R B 84% 26 2016

CO-5Rep. Doug Lamborn R B 83% 8 2016

TX-14Rep. Randy Weber R B 83% 2 2016

WI-5Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner R B 82% 36 2016

LA-4Rep. John Fleming R B 82% 6 2016

IN-3Rep. Marlin Stutzman R B 81% 4 2016

TN-4Rep. Scott DesJarlais R B 81% 4 2016

CA-48Rep. Dana Rohrabacher R B 80% 26 2016

UT-3Rep. Jason Chaffetz R B 80% 6 2016

AL-5Rep. Mo Brooks R B 80% 4 2016

AZ-4Rep. Paul Gosar R B 80% 4 2016

TX-19Rep. Randy Neugebauer R B 80% 12 2016

OH-1Rep. Steven Chabot R B 80% 18 2016

– See more at: https://www.conservativereview.com/scorecard#sthash.2AeMKzH0.dpuf

John Boehner to resign as House Speaker

Boehner Resigns But Expect More Of The Same

Cruz addressing rumors about Boehner’s last deal with Pelosi

Ted Cruz at Values Voter Summit (HQ); speech; address; 9-25-2015

Watch Ted Cruz’s closing statement at GOP debate

Conservative Crowd Celebrates John Boehner’s Resignation; Values Voter Summit; 9-25-2015

House Speaker Boehner to resign

House Speaker John Boehner to Resign

House Speaker John Boehner to Resign From Congress

Donald Trump on Speaker Boehner resignation

Marco Rubio Responds To John Boehner’s Resignation At Values Voters Summit To Standing Ovation

Capitol Hill conservatives plot to remove Speaker Boehner

GOP rebellion tries to oust Speaker John Boehner

Rep Mark Meadows Files Motion to Oust House Speaker John Boehner – Mark Levin

Mark Meadows with Mark Levin: Oust John Boehner! (part 1)

Mark Meadows with Mark Levin: Oust John Boehner! (part 2)

 

John Boehner’s resignation spells trouble for Jeb Bush

John Boehner, House Speaker, Will Resign From Congress

By

Speaker John A. Boehner, an Ohio barkeeper’s son who rode a conservative wave to one of the highest positions in government, said Friday he would relinquish his gavel and resign from Congress, undone by the very Republicans who swept him into power.

Mr. Boehner, 65, made the stunning announcement in an emotional meeting with his fellow Republicans on Friday morning as lawmakers struggled to avert a government shutdown next week, a possibility made less likely by his decision.

Mr. Boehner told almost no one of his decision before making it Friday morning. “So before I went to sleep last night, I told my wife, I said, ‘You know, I might just make an announcement tomorrow,’” Mr. Boehner said a news conference in the Capitol. “This morning I woke up, said my prayers, as I always do, and thought, ‘This is the day I am going to do this.’”

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Speaker John A. Boehner in Washington on Thursday. He is under pressure to stand up to the president on Planned Parenthood.John Boehner, Strong Abortion Foe, Is Imperiled by the Like-MindedSEPT. 17, 2015
Speaker John A. Boehner at a news conference on Capitol Hill this month. Mr. Boehner is again confronted with a rank-and-file uprising by Republican lawmakers who want to end financing of Planned Parenthood.With Possible Shutdown Nearing, Obama Looks to Take Budget Fight to G.O.P.SEPT. 16, 2015
Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, the top Democrats in Congress, spoke outside the White House on Thursday after a strategy session with President Obama over the looming fight over abortion and the federal budget, which could result in a government shutdown.Abortion Bills Advance, Setting Up a ShowdownSEPT. 17, 2015
His downfall again highlighted the sinewy power of a Republican Party faction whose anthem is often to oppose government action. It also made vivid the increasingly precarious nature of a job in which the will and proclivities of politically divisive body must be managed. No House speaker since Thomas P. O’Neill Jr., who held the gavel from 1977 to 1986, has left the job willingly.

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6 Standoffs John Boehner Led
For Mr. Boehner, who has been pressured throughout his tenure to push for deeper spending cuts and more aggressive policy changes than were possible with President Obama in the White House, seemed both exhausted by the fight and yet at peace with his final move: to leave rather than face a potentially humiliating fight within his party.

“My first job as speaker is to protect the institution,” Mr. Boehner said. “It had become clear to me that this prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable harm to the institution.”

Looking poised and sounding rehearsed, Mr. Boehner became emotional as he recalled a moment alone on Thursday with Pope Francis when the pontiff asked the speaker to pray for him. Reflecting on that poignant scene and his unlikely ascent, Mr. Boehner said, “I never thought I’d be in Congress, let alone be speaker.”

Fond of saying “I’m a regular guy with a big job,” Mr. Boehner struggled almost from the moment he became speaker in 2011 to manage the challenges of divided government while holding together his fractious and increasingly conservative Republican members.

The tension has spilled over into the race for the Republican presidential nomination, in which several candidates have openly derided Republican leaders in Congress like Mr. Boehner. The loud and potent voices in the House largely reflect the steady shift of power in the Republican Party base from places like Mr. Boehner’s suburban Cincinnati district to areas that are largely Southern, rural and white.

Most recently, Mr. Boehner was trying to devise a solution to keep the government open through the rest of the year, but was under pressure from conservatives who told him that they would not vote for a bill that provided funding for Planned Parenthood.
U.S. & POLITICS By A.J. CHAVAR 1:36
Highlights from Boehner’s Tenure
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Highlights from Boehner’s Tenure
Speaker John A. Boehner, who announced that he would resign his House seat at the end of October, has presided over an era of great partisan battling. By A.J. CHAVAR on Publish Date September 25, 2015. Photo by Zach Gibson/The New York Times. Watch in Times Video »
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Mr. Boehner’s announcement lessened the chance of a government shutdown because Republican leaders joined by Democrats will almost certainly go forward with a short-term funding measure to keep the government operating, and the speaker will no longer be deterred by those who threatened his job.

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The leading candidate to replace Mr. Boehner is Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the majority leader, who is viewed more favorably by the House’s more conservative members both for his willingness to bend to their will and for his cheerful manner.

The preferred candidate among many Republicans, Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, has said he does not want the job.

“John Boehner has been a great leader of the Republican Party and the House of Representatives,” Mr. Ryan said Friday in a statement. “This was an act of pure selflessness.”

Whoever replaces Mr. Boehner will inherit the complicated dynamics that have bedeviled him. Republicans lack the 60 votes needed to cut off a filibuster in the Senate, and also the two-thirds majority required in both chambers to override a presidential veto.

“There are anywhere from two to four dozen members who don’t have an affirmative sense of governance,” said Representative Charlie Dent, Republican of Pennsylvania. “They can’t get to yes. They just can’t get to yes, and so they undermine the ability of the speaker to lead. And not only do they undermine the ability of the speaker to lead, but they undermine the entire Republican conference and also help to weaken the institution of Congress itself.”

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Even Mr. Boehner’s most strident opponents will almost certainly miss him for his ability to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars, for his critics as well as his allies.

Mr. Obama said Friday that Mr. Boehner’s resignation took him by surprise. Saying he called Mr. Boehner moments before holding a news conference with President Xi Jinping of China, he praised the speaker as a “good man” and a “patriot.” The president said that though they had often disagreed, Mr. Boehner had “always conducted himself with civility and courtesy with me.”

Mr. Obama promised to “reach out immediately” to the next speaker.

Mr. Boehner’s announcement came just a day after Pope Francis visited the Capitol, fulfilling a 20-year dream for Mr. Boehner, who hails from a large Catholic family, of having a pontiff address Congress. Mr. Boehner wept openly as the pope addressed an audience gathered on the West Lawn of the Capitol on Thursday. He possibly understood that it was his last grand ceremony as speaker and a capstone to a long political career that began in the Ohio Statehouse and led to a seat in Congress in 1990.
Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leader in the House, learned about Mr. Boehner’s resignation when she read a breaking news alert on a staff member’s phone. “God knows what’s next over there,” she told staff members. Ms. Pelosi, who had been privately negotiating on a plan to keep the government open, told reporters that Mr. Boehner’s resignation was “a stark indication of the disarray of House Republicans.”

 
In 2010, The Times traveled to the hometown of the Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner to get a sense of how growing up near Cincinnati may have shaped him. By Ben Werschkul on Publish Date October 14, 2010. Watch in Times Video »
At the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit, which was taking place a few blocks from the Capitol, many jumped to their feet and cheered when Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, announced that Mr. Boehner was resigning.

“It’s time to turn the page,” Mr. Rubio said, deviating from his prepared text in an assertion tailored to the audience, whose views align with many who wanted to oust Mr. Boehner.

Addressing reporters after his remarks at the conservative summit meeting, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas spoke harshly of Mr. Boehner.

“The early reports are discouraging,” Mr. Cruz said. “If it is correct that the speaker, before he resigns, has cut a deal with Nancy Pelosi to fund the Obama administration for the rest of this year, to fund Obamacare, to fund executive amnesty, to fund Planned Parenthood, to fund implementation of this Iran deal, and then presumably to land a cushy K Street job after joining with the Democrats to implement all of President Obama’s priorities, that is not the behavior one would expect from a Republican speaker of the House.”

For decades, Mr. Boehner legislated as a stalwart Republican institutionalist. He became speaker after a Tea Party wave in the 2010 election swept Republicans into the majority in the House on a call to drastically curb federal spending and the role of government.
It was an agenda Mr. Boehner supported, but he quickly found himself challenged by the new members of Congress who questioned his commitment.

That conflict resulted in a 16-day government shutdown in October 2013, the brink of default on the nation’s debt and the undoing of former Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, who was the House majority leader and was toppled in a primary by a Tea Party-backed challenger.

“Americans deserve a Congress that fights for opportunity for all and favoritism to none,” said Michael A. Needham, the chief executive of Heritage Action, a policy arm of the conservative Heritage Foundation. “Too often, Speaker Boehner has stood in the way.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/26/us/john-boehner-to-resign-from-congress.html

Starting gun fired in House Republican leadership race

By Scott Wong

The abrupt resignation of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) Friday is setting off a four-way race for House majority leader, the No. 2 job in the GOP conference.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who is now the majority leader, is the prohibitive favorite to succeed Boehner when he relinquishes the Speaker’s gavel at the end of October, though Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) is considering a challenge.

Meanwhile, the race for GOP leader is shaping up to be a highly competitive contest between political heavyweights: Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), GOP Conference Committee Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) and Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.).

While none of them have officially launched their bid for leader, Scalise and McMorris Rodgers — now the No. 3 and No. 4 leaders, respectively — have been jockeying for position in recent weeks. And just moments after Boehner’s surprise announcement, Sessions was reaching out to fellow GOP colleagues about “the race,” lawmakers said.

“What I’m hearing is that all four of those folks are focusing on leader,” said one GOP lawmaker with ties to leadership. “If those four folks run, those are four very strong people.”

The fact that both Scalise and McMorris Rodgers are eyeing the No. 2 job will open up more seats at the leadership table.

Four potential candidates have emerged in the race for majority whip, the No. 3 spot on the leadership ladder. Scalise’s ambitious chief deputy whip, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), was expected to seek his boss’s job. But he could face challenges from Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) and former Chief Deputy Whip Pete Roskam (R-Ill.), who lost to Scalise last year in the race for GOP whip.

Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.), who was elected as part of the Tea Party wave in 2010, on Friday added his name to the mix. Ross said he is reaching out to colleagues about running for whip if Scalise runs for leader.

It’s unclear at this point which lawmakers might run for GOP conference chair, the No. 4 spot. McMorris Rodgers could feasibly keep her current post if she is not elected GOP leader, sources said. GOP Policy Committee Chairman Luke Messer (R-Ind.), who holds the No. 5 job, is taking a looking at the race in the event McMorris Rodgers moves on, sources said.

But asked about his plans Friday, Messer said he was focused on his current role leading policy for House Republicans.

“Given all the scramble, I will take a day or two to think about it,” Messer said, “but my inclination is to stay where I am.”

As for McCarthy, Messer said the majority leader would be the strong favorite in the Speaker’s race. McCarthy in recent years has been traveling the country, stumping and raising cash for GOP colleagues whose votes he’ll need in a competitive contest for the top job.

“Kevin is very good at his job and has worked very hard over a long time,” Messer said. “He has a lot of strong friendships. He would be very hard to beat.”

But McCarthy could face a red-state challenger who could make the case that McCarthy has been too cozy with Boehner and hails from the bluest of blue states, California.

Right now, the most likely challenger appears to be Hensarling, who is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

“Chairman Hensarling is considering his options and I expect he will have a decision early next week,” spokeswoman Sarah Rozier said.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, told reporters Friday he wouldn’t run for Speaker, as did Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the conservative firebrand and Freedom Caucus co-founder who led the effort this summer to oust Boehner as Speaker.

Meadows’s Freedom Caucus colleague, Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho), has also said he won’t run for Speaker. McCarthy routed Labrador last year in the race for majority leader.

Another name being mentioned in the Speaker’s race is Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), the former Speaker of the Florida state House who is being recruited by conservatives to take on McCarthy. Webster lacks a whip operation, but he won 12 votes in the Speaker’s race against Boehner in January.

“Yesterday was the Pope’s day; today is Speaker Boehner’s day. Tomorrow is another day,” Webster said in a statement when asked about the Speaker’s race.

In the race for majority leader, Sessions would lean on his large Texas delegation for votes and point to his past experience as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, the House GOP’s campaign arm.

Price is another Capitol Hill veteran. As chairman of the House Budget Committee, he was partially responsible for crafting the first bicameral GOP budget that passed both chambers in a decade earlier this year.

After former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) lost his primary election in 2014, Price wasfloated as a possible replacement and said at the time that he had considered a bid.

Instead, Price decided to pursue the gavel on the House Budget Committee, succeeding Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who moved up as chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee.

Spokesmen for both Price and Sessions had no comment about the leadership race.

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/254981-starting-gun-fired-in-gop-leadership-race

Meadows Maneuvers to Remove Boehner as Speaker (Updated)

Rep. Mark Meadows spent his 56th birthday Tuesday taking steps to dethrone Speaker John A. Boehner.

The North Carolina Republican, who had a subcommittee gavel taken away and then given back to him last month, might have hurt his own effort, however, by filing a non-privileged form of the motion to vacate the chair, which would remove Boehner as speaker. The non-privileged form of the motion is referred to a committee and does not need to receive an immediate vote. A GOP leadership aide told CQ Roll Call Tuesday evening the motion would be referred to the Rules Committee, where it’s unlikely to be considered.

“This is the first I’m hearing about it,” Rules Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, said Tuesday. “No one told me anything about this.”

Sessions said he would review the language and consider next steps, though the Rules Committee is also known as the “Speaker’s Committee” — as sure a sign as any the panel won’t be marking it up unless it has to.

Sessions wasn’t the only member left in the dark. Members on the House floor Tuesday night were also learning the news as it developed, whispering among one another and showing tweets and emails coming up on their smartphones. Indeed, even members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, of which Meadows is a founding member, were mostly left out of the loop.

It was not immediately clear what Meadows’ end game was in filing a motion that required no action. Any member can offer a privileged form of the resolution and get a vote. But even in the current form of Meadows’ resolution, the motion is a significant signal of conservative frustration with Boehner.

The 260-word resolution reads as a blistering indictment of the Ohio Republican from a member of his own party:

Whereas the Speaker of the House of Representatives for the 114th Congress has endeavored to consolidate power and centralize decision-making, bypassing the majority of the 435 Members of Congress and the people they represent;

Whereas the Speaker has, through inaction, caused the power of Congress to atrophy, thereby making Congress subservient to the Executive and Judicial branches, diminishing the voice of the American People;

Whereas the Speaker uses the power of the office to punish Members who vote according to their conscience instead of the will of the Speaker; Whereas the Speaker has intentionally provided for voice votes on consequential and controversial legislation to be taken without notice and with few Members present;

Whereas the Speaker uses the legislative calendar to create crises for the American People, in order to compel Members to vote for legislation; Whereas the Speaker does not comply with the spirit of the rules of the House of Representatives, which provide that Members shall have three days to review legislation before voting;

Whereas the Speaker continues to direct the Rules Committee to limit meaningful amendments, to limit debate on the House floor, and to subvert a straightforward legislative process;

and Whereas the House of Representatives, to function effectively in the service of all citizens of this country, requires the service of a Speaker who will endeavor to follow an orderly and inclusive process without imposing his or her will upon any Member thereof: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the office of Speaker of the House of Representatives is hereby declared to be vacant.

As House Freedom Caucus members walked back to their offices from Tuesday evening votes, the conservative Republicans confirmed one by one that Meadows had never spoken to the group about his intention to bring forward such a resolution.

“First I’m hearing about it,” HFC member Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee told CQ Roll Call.

Alabama Republican Mo Brooks, another HFC member who said Meadows never brought up the subject to the group, said he needed “some time to think about the pros and cons” of such a motion.

“The key is always what happens next,” Brooks said of booting Boehner. “Do we elect someone who is more liberal, or someone who is more conservative as speaker of the House?”

Brooks said he would go with the most conservative option, and in January, when the House held its speaker election, “that was John Boehner.”

Yet another HFC member, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, said he had just heard about Meadows offering the motion, “and I was like, whoooaaaa-kay.”

“Quite honestly I’m curious, like, what’s the point, what’s the point here?” Perry continued. “I like Mark. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know what the point of this is.”

Meanwhile, a House Republican close to leadership speaking to reporters on background speculated the reason it was not offered as a privileged motion was “deliberate.” The Republican speculated that it was a tactic to let it simmer over August recess, at which time the measure could amass more GOP support, culminating perhaps in a floor vote in September.

Either way, Republican leadership will probably ignore this particular motion, unless it gets 218 signatures in a discharge petition. But, as members noted to CQ Roll Call Tuesday night, any member can get a vote on a motion to vacate the chair. It’s just a matter of whether there’s support for such a tactic. And the August recess, when members return to their districts, is a good time to find out.

http://blogs.rollcall.com/218/meadows-wants-boehner-fired-as-speaker/

Tea Party Caucus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the U.S. Congressional caucus. For the movement, see Tea Party movement. For the protest events themselves, see Tea Party protests.
Tea Party Caucus
Founder Michele Bachmann
Chairs Michele Bachmann
Tim Huelskamp
Founded July 19, 2010; 5 years ago
Ideology Fiscal conservatism
Social conservatism[1]
Political position Right-wing[1]
National affiliation Republican Party
Website
Official website
Politics of United States
Political parties
Elections

The Tea Party Caucus (TPC) is a congressional caucus of conservative members of the Republican Party in theUnited States House of Representatives. The now largely inactive Caucus is chaired by Rep. Tim Huelskamp (KS),[2]and was founded and first chaired by Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann in July 2010.[3] Though the primary functions of the Caucus have varied from year to year, it is dedicated to promoting fiscal responsibility, including significant cuts in non-defense spending, adherence to the movement‘s interpretation of the Constitution, and advocated socially conservative legislation, supported the right to keep and bear arms, and promoted limited government.

The idea of a Tea Party Caucus originated from Rand Paul (KY) when he was campaigning for the U.S. Senate in2010.[4] The Caucus was approved as an official congressional member organization by the House Administration Committee on July 19, 2010,[5] and held its first meeting and public event, a press conference on the grounds of theU.S. Capitol, on July 21.[6] A similar informal Caucus was formed in the Senate by four Senators on January 27, 2011.[1][note 1]

History

Tea Party movement

Chairs of the House Tea Party Caucus
Michele Bachmann
(2010–2015)
Tim Huelskamp
(2015–present)

An article in Politico stated that many Tea Party activists see the Caucus as an effort by the Republican Party to hijack the movement. Utah congressman Jason Chaffetz refused to join the Caucus, saying “Structure and formality are the exact opposite of what the Tea Party is, and if there is an attempt to put structure and formality around it, or to co-opt it by Washington, D.C., it’s going to take away from the free-flowing nature of the true tea party movement.”[7]

In an attempt to quell fears that Washington insiders were attempting to co-opt the Tea Party movement, Michele Bachmann stated “We’re not the mouthpiece. We are not taking the Tea Party and controlling it from Washington, D.C. We are also not here to vouch for the Tea Party or to vouch for any Tea Party organizations or to vouch for any individual people or actions, or billboards or signs or anything of the Tea Party. We are the receptacle.”[8][9]

Additionally, Senators Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Marco Rubio ofFlorida, all Tea Party supporters, refused to join the caucus.[10][11] Toomey said he would be “open” to joining, and spoke at the first meeting, but did not ultimately join.[12] Johnson said that he declined to join because he wanted to “work towards a unified Republican Conference, so that’s where I will put my energy.”[13] Rubio criticized the caucus, saying “My fear has always been that if you start creating these little clubs or organizations in Washington run by politicians, the movement starts to lose its energy.”[14]

Current status

From July 2012 to April 2013 the Tea Party Caucus neither met nor posted news on its webpage, leading observers to describe it as “dead,” “inactive,” and “defunct.”[15][16] In April 2013, Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina filed paperwork to create a new Tea Party Caucus, but found that Michele Bachmann intended to continue the caucus, starting with an event on April 25, 2013.[17] On June 19, 2014, Tea Party Caucus member Steve Scalise of Louisiana was elected as the House Majority Whip.[18] The Caucus was reconstituted in the 114th Congress in January 2015.[19]

Ideology

Senator’s Rand Paul (L) and Ted Cruz (R), both members of the Senate’s informal Tea Party Caucus, address aTea Party Express rally.

The Tea Party Caucus is often viewed as taking conservative positions, and advocating for both social and fiscal conservatism.[20] Analysis of voting patterns confirm that Caucus members are more conservative than other House Republican’s, especially on fiscal matters.[20][21] Voting trends to the right of the median Republican, and Tea Party Caucus members represent more conservative, southern and affluent districts.[21][22] Supporters of the Tea Party movement itself are largely economic driven.[23][24][25]

Despite the Caucus members differing degrees of economic and social conservatism, they generally work to promote positions within the House of Representatives that are to the right-of those of the House Republican Conference.[26] Caucus members are an important swing vote on spending bills and as a result have gained influence in Congress out of proportion to their numbers.[27][28] They are frequently sought after to broker compromises amongst the Republican leadership, generally lending a more right-wing character to U.S. politics.[29] Since the advent of the Tea Party Caucus in 2010, party-line voting has increased for both Democrats and Republicans.[30]

Funding

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the top contributors to the Tea Party Caucus members are health professionals, retirees, the real estate industry and oil and gas interests. The Center said the contributions to Caucus members from these groups, plus those from Republican and conservative groups, are on average higher than those of House members in general and also those of other Republicans. The average Tea Party Caucus member received more than $25,000 from the oil and gas industry, compared to about $13,000 for the average House member and $21,500 for the average House Republican.[31]

List of current and previous members

House

The Caucus chair was Michele Bachmann of Minnesota between 2010 and her retirement in 2015. Tim Huelskamp was elected as the Caucus’ second chair in January 2015.[19] Of a possible 435 Representatives, as of January 6, 2013, the committee had 48 members, all Republicans.[32] At its height, the Caucus had 60 members in 2011.

All 66 former members of the Tea Party Caucus are members of the Republican Party. Three of them are part of the Republican leadership. Thomas E. Priceserves as chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, making him the seventh ranking Republican in the House, John R. Carter is the Secretary of the House Republican Conference, ranking him the ninth ranking Republican, and Pete Sessions is the number six Republican as the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. Other former members of the Tea Party Caucus hold committee chairmanships such as Lamar S. Smith, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

112th Congress Tea Party Caucus membership map.

Senate

The Senate has an informal Tea Party Caucus,[note 1] founded in 2011.[35][36]

Affiliated organizations

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Jump up to:a b In the Senate, there is only one officially recognized caucus: the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, as established by law in 1985. Unlike House caucuses, Senate groups receive neither official recognition nor funding from the chamber.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_Party_Caucus

Libertarian Republican

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A libertarian Republican is a politician or Republican party member who has advocated libertarian policies while typically voting for and being involved with the United States Republican Party.

Sometimes the terms Republitarian or liberty Republican are used as well. Libertarian Republicans’ views are similar to Libertarian Party members, but differ in regard to the strategy used to implement libertarian policies.[citation needed]

Principles

Libertarian Republicans represent a political faction within the Republican Party. They are strong believers in the traditional Republican principle of economiclibertarianism that was advocated by past and present presidential candidates such as former Senator Robert A. Taft, former Senator Barry Goldwater and former Representative Ron Paul and his son, current Senator Rand Paul. Individuals who self-identify as libertarian Republicans do not necessarily share the same political beliefs across the spectrum, though there do seem to be several issues that bind them together, including beliefs in fiscal conservatism, personal responsibility, andpersonal liberty.[citation needed]

The most common belief libertarian Republicans share is fiscal conservatism – specifically, advocating for lower taxes at every level of government, a reduction in the level of spending in the federal budget, easing the burden of federal regulations on business interests, the reform of the entitlement system, and ending or making significant cuts to the welfare state. Additionally, they oppose budget deficits and deficit spending and work to minimize it as much as possible. Libertarian Republicans tend to support more fiscal conservatism than their mainstream counterparts in the party, and are less willing to abandon these principles for political expediency.[citation needed]

Libertarian Republicans often differ from traditional Republicans in their emphasis on protection of civil liberties.[1] It is distinct from the Republican Party because it sees state-enforced conservative social policies as encroachments on personal privacy and individual liberties.[1] Libertarian Republicans disagree with the activities of mainstream Republicans with regard to civil liberties since the September 11 attacks in 2001, opposing the PATRIOT Act, REAL ID, and President George W. Bush‘s domestic intelligence program.[2]

Opposition to the use of the term libertarian Republican comes from the libertarian adherence to the Non-Aggression Principle, its core philosophy of voluntarismand lack of force against individuals, to which the Republican Party platform or philosophy does not adhere to.[3]

Organizations

The Republican Liberty Caucus was founded in 1991 at a meeting of a group of Florida members of the Libertarian Republican Organizing Committee attending a Young Republicans Convention. They included Philip Blumel, Tom Walls, Eric Rittberg, and Rex Curry and decided to develop a national Republican Liberty Caucusorganization.[4] The group represents the GOP’s libertarian wing.

Public figures

U.S. Representatives

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_Republican

Freedom Caucus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the U.S. Congressional organization. For the Democratic political action organization, see Democratic Freedom Caucus.
House Freedom Caucus
Chairman Jim Jordan
Founded 2015
Split from Republican Study Committee
Ideology Conservatism
Fiscal conservatism
Political position Right-wing to Far-right[1][2][3][4][5]
Seats in theHouse

42 / 435

Politics of the United States
Political parties
Elections

The House Freedom Caucus is a congressional caucus consisting of conservative Republican members of the United States House of Representatives.[6] It was formed by a group of Congressmen as a “smaller, more cohesive, more agile and more active” group of conservatives. Many members are also part of the conservative House group theRepublican Study Committee.[7][8] According to its mission statement, “The House Freedom Caucus gives a voice to countless Americans who feel that Washington does not represent them. We support open, accountable and limited government, the Constitution and the rule of law, and policies that promote the liberty, safety and prosperity of all Americans.”[9] The group has been linked to the Tea Party movement.[10]

During the crisis over the funding of the Department of Homeland Security in early 2015, the Caucus offered four plans for resolution, but all were rejected by the Republican leadership. POLITICO reported that one of the caucus leaders, Rep. Raúl Labrador of Idaho, said the Caucus will offer an alternative that the most conservative Republican members could support.[11]

Known members

Former Members

See also

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The Pronk Pops Show 540, September 24, 2015, Story 1: Pope Francis Sells (“Dialogue”) The Socialism of Jesuit Liberation Theology and Social Justice — Smiley Face Marxist Leninism — No Sale — Well Meaning People of Good Intentions Are Not Enough — Consequences Count and Results Matter — The Spread Of Free Market Capitalism Raises People Out of Poverty Into Prosperity — Videos

Posted on September 24, 2015. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Constitutional Law, European History, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, History, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Law, Legal Immigration, Media, Middle East, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Public Sector Unions, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, South America, Success, Taxation, Terror, Terrorism, Unemployment, Unions, United States Constitution, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 540: September 24, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 539: September 23, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 538: September 22, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 537: September 21, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 536: September 18, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 535: September 17, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 534: September 16, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 533: September 15, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 532: September 14, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 531: September 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 530: September 10, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 529: September 9, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 528: September 8, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 527: September 4, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 526: September 3, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 525: September 2, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 524: August 31, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 523: August 27, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 522: August 26, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 521: August 25, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 520: August 24, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 519: August 21, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 518: August 20, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 517: August 19, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 516: August 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 515: August 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 514: August 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 513: August 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 512: August 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 511: August 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 510: August 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 509: July 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 508: July 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 507: July 17, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 505: July 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 504: July 14, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 502: July 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 501: July 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 500: July 8, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 496: June 30, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 494: June 26, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 489: June 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 488: June 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 487: June 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 486; June 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 485: June 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 484: June 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 483: June 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 482; June 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 481: June 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 480: June 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 479: June 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 478: June 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 477: June 3, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 476: June 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 475: June 1, 2015

the truth about socialismfaces of socialism

   pope francis congresspope francis congress 2  pope francis 4_pope-congresspope francis congress 3

Story 1: Pope Francis Sells (“Dialogue”) The Socialism of Jesuit Liberation Theology and Social Justice — Smiley Face Marxist Leninism —    No Sale — Well Meaning People of Good Intentions Are Not Enough — Consequences Count and Results Matter — The Spread Of Free Market Capitalism Raises People Out of Poverty Into Prosperity — Videos

Pope Francis Speech to US Congress [FULL]

Pope Francis, the first pontiff in history to address Congress, speaks to a joint session of the United States Congress. Francis underscores the role of legislators as representatives of the common, public good and discusses key issues from immigration and social justice, to the abolition of the death penalty, poverty relief, peace, and the family. Pope Francis highlights the public role of Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day, and Thomas Merton.

Pope Francis addresses Joint Session of Congress – FULL SPEECH (C-SPAN)

Pope Francis Urges Congress to Treat Immigrants in ‘Humane and Just’ Way

HIGHLIGHTS FROM POPE FRANCIS HISTORIC SPEECH TO US CONGRESS IS JOHN BOEHNER CRYING?

Highlights of Pope Francis addressing Congress

Memorable quotes from Pope Francis’ speech to Congress

Dorothy Day from “Who Cares About The Saints?” with Fr. James Martin, S.J.

The Life of Dorothy Day: Robert Ellsberg Extended Interview

Dorothy Day’s unpopular stance

Dorothy Day Documentary: Don’t Call Me a Saint

Dorothy Day 1977

DOROTHY DAY

Merton – a film biography

Thomas Merton, Spiritual Master

Modern Masters of Religion

Thomas Merton on St. Bernard of Clairveaux

Pope Francis, the Jesuits and liberation theology

Thomas Merton from “Who Cares About The Saints?” with Fr. James Martin, S.J.

Liberation Theology

Liberation Theology and the Marxism Leninism Worldview (Part 12 of 15). Summit Ministries covers an interesting segment of Christianity as compared to a Biblical Worldview.

Jesus, A Marxist? | Irvin Baxter

Jesuit/Vatican author Malachi Martin on Liberation Theology

Viewpoint – Liberation Theology

Paul Vallely talks about his book ‘Pope Francis – Untying the Knots’ on BBC World News

Francis : The Pope From The End Of The World Full Documentary

Thomas Cahill on the People’s Pope

In just a few months, Pope Francis has proven to be one of the most outspoken pontiffs in recent history, especially when it comes to poverty and income inequality. In a message to be sent to world leaders marking the Roman Catholic Church’s World Day of Peace on January 1, he criticized the “widening gap between those who have more and those who must be content with the crumbs.”

Francis is the first Jesuit to ascend to the papacy, so this week Bill turns to Jesuit-educated author and historian Thomas Cahill to get his perspective on the meaning of Pope Francis and the relevance of the Church in the 21st century. “[Pope Francis] is talking about the poor, as Jesus did. He’s talking about the absolute necessity for us to take care of the poor, to do something for them.”

Cahill has written a series of best-selling books about critical moments in Western civilization; his latest is Heretics and Heroes: How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World.

WWJD: What Would Jesuits Drive, Symbols to Sell Tyranny

What is liberation theology?

black-liberation-theology

Barack Obama’s Black Liberation Theology

Jeremiah Wright: “God Damn America”

Jeremiah Wright on Fox

Black Liberation Theology

It’s the Theology, Stupid – Obama, Farrakhan & Black Liberation Theology

Issue Preview – The Imitation of Christ

The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis (FULL Audiobook)

Eckhart Tolle: Wisdom in Daily Life

The Sound of Silence (Original Version from 1964)

Lyrics:

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a streetlamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
No one dare
Disturb the sound of silence

“Fools” said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grow
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said “The words of the prophets
Are written on subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sounds of silence”

© 1964 Words and Music by Paul Simon

Simon & Garfunkel – The Sound of Silence – Madison Square Garden, NYC – 2009/10/29&30

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlNyl0xML5M full text of Pope Francis’ address to US Congress

Please find below the full text of Pope Francis’ Sept. 24 address to members of the United States Congress:

Mr. Vice-President, Mr. Speaker, Honorable Members of Congress, Dear Friends,

I am most grateful for your invitation to address this Joint Session of Congress in “the land of the free asnd the home of the brave”. I would like to think that the reason for this is that I too am a son of this great continent, from which we have all received so much and toward which we share a common responsibility.

Each son or daughter of a given country has a mission, a personal and social responsibility. Your own responsibility as members of Congress is to enable this country, by your legislative activity, to grow as a nation. You are the face of its people, their representatives. You are called to defend and preserve the dignity of your fellow citizens in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good, for this is the chief aim of all politics. A political society endures when it seeks, as a vocation, to satisfy common needs by stimulating the growth of all its members, especially those in situations of greater vulnerability or risk. Legislative activity is always based on care for the people. To this you have been invited, called and convened by those who elected you.

Yours is a work which makes me reflect in two ways on the figure of Moses. On the one hand, the patriarch and lawgiver of the people of Israel symbolizes the need of peoples to keep alive their sense of unity by means of just legislation. On the other, the figure of Moses leads us directly to God and thus to the transcendent dignity of the human being. Moses provides us with a good synthesis of your work: you are asked to protect, by means of the law, the image and likeness fashioned by God on every human face.

Today I would like not only to address you, but through you the entire people of the United States. Here, together with their representatives, I would like to take this opportunity to dialogue with the many thousands of men and women who strive each day to do an honest day’s work, to bring home their daily bread, to save money and –one step at a time – to build a better life for their families. These are men and women who are not concerned simply with paying their taxes, but in their own quiet way sustain the life of society. They generate solidarity by their actions, and they create organizations which offer a helping hand to those most in need.

I would also like to enter into dialogue with the many elderly persons who are a storehouse of wisdom forged by experience, and who seek in many ways, especially through volunteer work, to share their stories and their insights. I know that many of them are retired, but still active; they keep working to build up this land. I also want to dialogue with all those young people who are working to realize their great and noble aspirations, who are not led astray by facile proposals, and who face difficult situations, often as a result of immaturity on the part of many adults. I wish to dialogue with all of you, and I would like to do so through the historical memory of your people.

My visit takes place at a time when men and women of good will are marking the anniversaries of several great Americans. The complexities of history and the reality of human weakness notwithstanding, these men and women, for all their many differences and limitations, were able by hard work and self- sacrifice – some at the cost of their lives – to build a better future. They shaped fundamental values which will endure forever in the spirit of the American people. A people with this spirit can live through many crises, tensions and conflicts, while always finding the resources to move forward, and to do so with dignity. These men and women offer us a way of seeing and interpreting reality. In honoring their memory, we are inspired, even amid conflicts, and in the here and now of each day, to draw upon our deepest cultural reserves.

I would like to mention four of these Americans: Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton.
This year marks the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, the guardian of liberty, who labored tirelessly that “this nation, under God, [might] have a new birth of freedom”. Building a future of freedom requires love of the common good and cooperation in a spirit of subsidiarity and solidarity.

All of us are quite aware of, and deeply worried by, the disturbing social and political situation of the world today. Our world is increasingly a place of violent conflict, hatred and brutal atrocities, committed even in the name of God and of religion. We know that no religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism. This means that we must be especially attentive to every type of fundamentalism, whether religious or of any other kind. A delicate balance is required to combat violence perpetrated in the name of a religion, an ideology or an economic system, while also safeguarding religious freedom, intellectual freedom and individual freedoms. But there is another temptation which we must especially guard against: the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil; or, if you will, the righteous and sinners. The contemporary world, with its open wounds which affect so many of our brothers and sisters, demands that we confront every form of polarization which would divide it into these two camps. We know that in the attempt to be freed of the enemy without, we can be tempted to feed the enemy within. To imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place. That is something which you, as a people, reject.

Our response must instead be one of hope and healing, of peace and justice. We are asked to summon the courage and the intelligence to resolve today’s many geopolitical and economic crises. Even in the developed world, the effects of unjust structures and actions are all too apparent. Our efforts must aim at restoring hope, righting wrongs, maintaining commitments, and thus promoting the well-being of individuals and of peoples. We must move forward together, as one, in a renewed spirit of fraternity and solidarity, cooperating generously for the common good.

The challenges facing us today call for a renewal of that spirit of cooperation, which has accomplished so much good throughout the history of the United States. The complexity, the gravity and the urgency of these challenges demand that we pool our resources and talents, and resolve to support one another, with respect for our differences and our convictions of conscience.

In this land, the various religious denominations have greatly contributed to building and strengthening society. It is important that today, as in the past, the voice of faith continue to be heard, for it is a voice of fraternity and love, which tries to bring out the best in each person and in each society. Such cooperation is a powerful resource in the battle to eliminate new global forms of slavery, born of grave injustices which can be overcome only through new policies and new forms of social consensus.

Here I think of the political history of the United States, where democracy is deeply rooted in the mind of the American people. All political activity must serve and promote the good of the human person and be based on respect for his or her dignity. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” (Declaration of Independence, 4 July 1776). If politics must truly be at the service of the human person, it follows that it cannot be a slave to the economy and finance. Politics is, instead, an expression of our compelling need to live as one, in order to build as one the greatest common good: that of a community which sacrifices particular interests in order to share, in justice and peace, its goods, its interests, its social life. I do not underestimate the difficulty that this involves, but I encourage you in this effort.

Here too I think of the march which Martin Luther King led from Selma to Montgomery fifty years ago as part of the campaign to fulfill his “dream” of full civil and political rights for African Americans. That dream continues to inspire us all. I am happy that America continues to be, for many, a land of “dreams”. Dreams which lead to action, to participation, to commitment. Dreams which awaken what is deepest and truest in the life of a people.

In recent centuries, millions of people came to this land to pursue their dream of building a future in freedom. We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners. I say this to you as the son of immigrants, knowing that so many of you are also descended from immigrants. Tragically, the rights of those who were here long before us were not always respected. For those peoples and their nations, from the heart of American democracy, I wish to reaffirm my highest esteem and appreciation. Those first contacts were often turbulent and violent, but it is difficult to judge the past by the criteria of the present. Nonetheless, when the stranger in our midst appeals to us, we must not repeat the sins and the errors of the past. We must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible, as we educate new generations not to turn their back on our “neighbors” and everything around us. Building a nation calls us to recognize that we must constantly relate to others, rejecting a mindset of hostility in order to adopt one of reciprocal subsidiarity, in a constant effort to do our best. I am confident that we can do this.

Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War. This presents us with great challenges and many hard decisions. On this continent, too, thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children? We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation. To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal. We need to avoid a common temptation nowadays: to discard whatever proves troublesome. Let us remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Mt 7:12).

This Rule points us in a clear direction. Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves. In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities. The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us. The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.

This conviction has led me, from the beginning of my ministry, to advocate at different levels for the global abolition of the death penalty. I am convinced that this way is the best, since every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes. Recently my brother bishops here in the United States renewed their call for the abolition of the death penalty. Not only do I support them, but I also offer encouragement to all those who are convinced that a just and necessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope and the goal of rehabilitation.

In these times when social concerns are so important, I cannot fail to mention the Servant of God Dorothy Day, who founded the Catholic Worker Movement. Her social activism, her passion for justice and for the cause of the oppressed, were inspired by the Gospel, her faith, and the example of the saints.

How much progress has been made in this area in so many parts of the world! How much has been done in these first years of the third millennium to raise people out of extreme poverty! I know that you share my conviction that much more still needs to be done, and that in times of crisis and economic hardship a spirit of global solidarity must not be lost. At the same time I would encourage you to keep in mind all those people around us who are trapped in a cycle of poverty. They too need to be given hope. The fight against poverty and hunger must be fought constantly and on many fronts, especially in its causes. I know that many Americans today, as in the past, are working to deal with this problem.

It goes without saying that part of this great effort is the creation and distribution of wealth. The right use of natural resources, the proper application of technology and the harnessing of the spirit of enterprise are essential elements of an economy which seeks to be modern, inclusive and sustainable. “Business is a noble vocation, directed to producing wealth and improving the world. It can be a fruitful source of prosperity for the area in which it operates, especially if it sees the creation of jobs as an essential part of its service to the common good” (Laudato Si’, 129). This common good also includes the earth, a central theme of the encyclical which I recently wrote in order to “enter into dialogue with all people about our common home” (ibid., 3). “We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all” (ibid., 14).

In Laudato Si’, I call for a courageous and responsible effort to “redirect our steps” (ibid., 61), and to avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity. I am convinced that we can make a difference and I have no doubt that the United States – and this Congress – have an important role to play. Now is the time for courageous actions and strategies, aimed at implementing a “culture of care” (ibid., 231) and “an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature” (ibid., 139). “We have the freedom needed to limit and direct technology” (ibid., 112); “to devise intelligent ways of… developing and limiting our power” (ibid., 78); and to put technology “at the service of another type of progress, one which is healthier, more human, more social, more integral” (ibid., 112). In this regard, I am confident that America’s outstanding academic and research institutions can make a vital contribution in the years ahead.
A century ago, at the beginning of the Great War, which Pope Benedict XV termed a “pointless slaughter”, another notable American was born: the Cistercian monk Thomas Merton. He remains a source of spiritual inspiration and a guide for many people. In his autobiography he wrote: “I came into the world. Free by nature, in the image of God, I was nevertheless the prisoner of my own violence and my own selfishness, in the image of the world into which I was born. That world was the picture of Hell, full of men like myself, loving God, and yet hating him; born to love him, living instead in fear of hopeless self-contradictory hungers”. Merton was above all a man of prayer, a thinker who challenged the certitudes of his time and opened new horizons for souls and for the Church. He was also a man of dialogue, a promoter of peace between peoples and religions.

From this perspective of dialogue, I would like to recognize the efforts made in recent months to help overcome historic differences linked to painful episodes of the past. It is my duty to build bridges and to help all men and women, in any way possible, to do the same. When countries which have been at odds resume the path of dialogue – a dialogue which may have been interrupted for the most legitimate of reasons – new opportunities open up for all. This has required, and requires, courage and daring, which is not the same as irresponsibility. A good political leader is one who, with the interests of all in mind, seizes the moment in a spirit of openness and pragmatism. A good political leader always opts to initiate processes rather than possessing spaces (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 222-223).

Being at the service of dialogue and peace also means being truly determined to minimize and, in the long term, to end the many armed conflicts throughout our world. Here we have to ask ourselves: Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.

Three sons and a daughter of this land, four individuals and four dreams: Lincoln, liberty; Martin Luther King, liberty in plurality and non-exclusion; Dorothy Day, social justice and the rights of persons; and Thomas Merton, the capacity for dialogue and openness to God.

Four representatives of the American people.

I will end my visit to your country in Philadelphia, where I will take part in the World Meeting of Families. It is my wish that throughout my visit the family should be a recurrent theme. How essential the family has been to the building of this country! And how worthy it remains of our support and encouragement! Yet I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without. Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family. I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life.

In particular, I would like to call attention to those family members who are the most vulnerable, the young. For many of them, a future filled with countless possibilities beckons, yet so many others seem disoriented and aimless, trapped in a hopeless maze of violence, abuse and despair. Their problems are our problems. We cannot avoid them. We need to face them together, to talk about them and to seek effective solutions rather than getting bogged down in discussions. At the risk of oversimplifying, we might say that we live in a culture which pressures young people not to start a family, because they lack possibilities for the future. Yet this same culture presents others with so many options that they too are dissuaded from starting a family.

A nation can be considered great when it defends liberty as Lincoln did, when it fosters a culture which enables people to “dream” of full rights for all their brothers and sisters, as Martin Luther King sought to do; when it strives for justice and the cause of the oppressed, as Dorothy Day did by her tireless work, the fruit of a faith which becomes dialogue and sows peace in the contemplative style of Thomas Merton.

In these remarks I have sought to present some of the richness of your cultural heritage, of the spirit of the American people. It is my desire that this spirit continue to develop and grow, so that as many young people as possible can inherit and dwell in a land which has inspired so many people to dream.

God bless America!

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/watch-live-coverage-of-pope-francis-address-to-us-congress-50586/

Repent! Pope Francis lectures America on gay marriage, abortion, immigration and the Syrian refugee crisis in first-ever Capitol Hill address by a sitting pontiff

  • Francis opens last day of Washington visit with rebuke of congressional Republicans over lack of compassion for immigrants and refugees
  • Papal visit comes amid rising tensions over immigration policies in Congress
  • At least one Republican is boycotting speech in protest
  • Francis lectures lawmakers about ‘defend[ing] human life at every stage of its development’ and ending the death penalty
  • Subtle jab at gay marriage: ‘I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without’

By J. TAYLOR RUSHING

Pope Francis delivered a stinging blow to nativist conservatives bent on keeping illegal immigrants and Middle Eastern refugees out of the United States, saying Thursday in a landmark address to Congress that Americans should show compassion to immigrants of all stripes.

‘When the stranger in our midst appeals to us, we must not repeat the sins and the errors of the past,’ the Roman Catholic pontiff said. ‘We must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible, as we educate new generations not to turn their back on our “neighbors” and everything around us.’

Speaking in English – a language he has learned only recently – Francis also dropped coded messages to conservatives about gay marriage and abortion, and made an impassioned plea for a left-leaning approach to capital punishment in an unprecedented visit to Capitol Hill by a sitting Pope.

‘I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without,’ Francis told a packed House chamber filled with legislators, Supreme Court justices and multiple presidential candidates.

Pope Francis delivered a stinging blow to nativist conservatives bent on keeping illegal immigrants and Middle Eastern refugees out of the United States, saying Thursday in a landmark address to Congress that Americans should show compassion to immigrants of all stripes.

‘When the stranger in our midst appeals to us, we must not repeat the sins and the errors of the past,’ the Roman Catholic pontiff said. ‘We must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible, as we educate new generations not to turn their back on our “neighbors” and everything around us.’

Speaking in English – a language he has learned only recently – Francis also dropped coded messages to conservatives about gay marriage and abortion, and made an impassioned plea for a left-leaning approach to capital punishment in an unprecedented visit to Capitol Hill by a sitting Pope.

‘I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without,’ Francis told a packed House chamber filled with legislators, Supreme Court justices and multiple presidential candidates.

‘Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family.’

And without mentioning abortion by name – or the name of the embattled domestic Planned Parenthood organization – Francis told lawmakers that the ‘Golden Rule … reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.’

Francis spoke calmly but emphatically, never raising his voice as presidents often do in their State of the Union addresses to joint congressional sessions.

In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities. The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us.

He was greeted by polite applause at certain points – particularly when he began reciting the Golden Rule but was interrupted before he could finish – ‘do unto others as you would have done unto you.’

Also, notably, applause broke out after these words: ‘The Golden Rule reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of development.’

But the applause was never raucous, a sign that members heeded party leaders’ directive not to applaud effusively or ‘glad-handle’ Francis if they got close to him.

Behind him on the raised speaker’s dais, close watchers got a different show during the speech, as both Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner – both well-known emotional men – proved to be almost as watchable.

Throughout the speech, Biden gravely nodded his head and looked down as if in serious thought. But Boehner appeared to tear up at several points, and was openly crying later on the Speaker’s Balcony after the address.

Francis’s speech was sprinkled with references to American history, as the pontiff repeatedly referenced and occasionally quoted from President Abraham Lincoln, civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., Catholic Worker Movement founder Dorothy Day and Cistercerian monk Thomas Merton.

The pontiff made clear his firmness on the sanctity of human life, not only the veiled reference to abortion but also his opposition to the death penalty.

Biden, a Roman Catholic who co-presided over the Joint Session of Congress as the constitutionally appointed president of the U.S. Senate, caused a stir this week by declaring that he believes life begins at conception.

But it’s Francis’ comments about immigrants that will be most sharply felt as the U.S. deals with the twin crises of Syrian refugees and an immigrant invasion from Mexico and Central America, both of which the Obama administration has taken steps to pacify by loosening America’s borders as a show of compassion.

‘Thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones in search of greater opportunities’ in in North America, he said. ‘Is this not what we want for our own children?’

‘We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation. To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal.’

WIthout naming Syria, the Muslim faith, the ISIS terror army, or any of the European nations that have hedged their bets again welcoming the tide of migrants displaced by Islamist armies, Francis noted ‘a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War.’

‘This presents us with great challenges and many hard decisions,’ he said.

Ultimately the shepherd of more than 1.2 billion Catholics counseled adherence to a Biblical do-unto-others philosophy.

‘Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated,’ he implored Congress. ‘Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves.’

‘In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities. The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us.’

Francis did warn against religious fundamentalism of the type that drew ISIS into the fight that has displaced an estimated 4 million Syrians, mostly young men.

‘Our world is increasingly a place of violent conflict, hatred and brutal atrocities, committed even in the name of God and of religion,’ he said.

‘We know that no religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism. This means that we must be especially attentive to every type of fundamentalism, whether religious or of any other kind.’

But he split the baby, Solomon-like, between combating ‘violence perpetrated in the name of a religion, an ideology or an economic system’ on the one hand, and ‘safeguarding religious freedom, intellectual freedom and individual freedoms’ on the other.

It’s no surprise that the Pope made a point to lecture Congress about the death penalty, a sticking point with the Church as it deals with governments the world over.

A nation can be considered great when it defends liberty as Lincoln did, when it fosters a culture which enables people to “dream” of full rights for all their brothers and sisters, as Martin Luther King sought to do.

‘Society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes,’ he said Thursday.

‘Recently my brother bishops here in the United States renewed their call for the abolition of the death penalty. Not only do I support them, but I also offer encouragement to all those who are convinced that a just and necessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope and the goal of rehabilitation.’

Reaction to the pope’s speech united Democrats in effusiveness, such as Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, the No. 3 Democrat in the Senate, who called it ‘inspiring and uplifting to Catholics and non-Catholics alike.’

‘He has such optimism in human nature and in the future, and is calling upon our better angels to achieve the best goodness we can for humankind,’  Schumer said.

Republicans were more terse. While none panned the speech, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin – the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee, was among those who pointedly noted the pontiff’s call for religious freedom.

Ryan called it ‘timely and inspiring,’ in light of social divisions over gay marriage that have some complaining that the government isn’t respecting the freedom of those who disagree with the practice.

Outside of Congress, critics were easier to find. John-Henry Westen, editor-in-chief of LifeSiteNews, and a longtime anti-abortion activist, called the speech ‘a missed opportunity’ to influence the ongoing congressional debate over whether to fund Planned Parenthood.

‘Pope Francis just missed perhaps his greatest opportunity to make a difference on life,’ Westen said in a statement.

Shortly after his address, Francis appeared on the Speaker’s balcony, a small patio that looks out over the Capitol’s west-side lawn towards the National Mall and the Washington Monument.

Here, he began a short address in Spanish, then switched to Italian, and finished in English.

‘I am so grateful for your presence here,’ Francis said. ‘The most important ones here – children. I will ask God to bless them.’

Following a short prayer in Italian, Francis continued in Italian to ask the audience for their prayers on his own behalf, and even asked those ‘who do not believe or cannot pray… to send good wishes my way.’

‘Thank you very much, and God bless America,’ Francis finished in English.

Francis’s speech to a fractitious Congress had many Republicans wary of a lecture, as the pope is a well-known advocate of efforts to battle air pollution and has embraced the Democratic Party’s traditional acceptance of global warming.

In a meeting with Obama on Wednesday, Francis had reportedly called Obama’s efforts to fight climate change ‘encouraging.’

Francis has also been an outspoken opponent of unbridled capitalism and has advocated forcefully for more income equality around the globe – stances which align him closely with the White House but which have been staunchly opposed by congressional Republicans.

Underscoring the tension over those and other issues, at least one House Republican, Paul Gosar, boycotted the pope’s speech out of protest.

Francis arrived at the Capitol at 9:20 a.m., beginning his visit with a photo-op with House Speaker John Boehner that was only open to the press for about two minutes.

Boehner made a few awkward attempts at jokes, at one point saying he wanted to wear ‘a more conservative tie,’ than the green one he was wearing, at which point Francis signalled his approval of Boehner’s tie to soft laughter. An interpreter hovered between the two men.

The speech in the House of Representatives was attended by more than 500 senators and representatives and Supreme Court justices. As is customary for State of the Union speeches, Francis was flanked behind him by Boehner and Biden, who first met Francis Tuesday at Andrews Air Force Base.

Francis’ speech comes on his last day of a three-day trip to Washington.

After touching down at Andrews Air Force Base from Cuba late Tuesday, the pontiff was greeted by a welcoming ceremony at the White House on Wednesday morning, followed by a private Oval Office visit with President Obama and an address at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in downtown D.C.

Following his congressional speech, Francis is scheduled to address a much smaller audience of about 200 people in the Catholic Charities organization at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, before leaving for Andrews Air Force Base and then to New York City.

The pontiff visits New York on Friday and Saturday – which will include an address to the United Nations on Friday – and then Philadelphia later on Saturday and Sunday.

He returns to Rome on Sunday from Philadelphia.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3247609/Francis-takes-Congress-task-immigration-abortion-gay-marriage-Syrian-refugee-crisis-insists-Golden-Rule-approach-politics-Capitol-Hill-address-sitting-pontiff.html

Pope’s call for immigration leniency unlikely to change debate

Vatican has most restrictive immigration policy

Pope Francis is more than head of the Catholic Church — he’s also the head of state of the Vatican, which as a government has possibly the most restrictive immigration and citizenship policies of any nation in the world.

The pope, traveling to the U.S. for the first time, has made a special appeal to Americans to welcome immigrants, using his address to a joint meeting of Congress Thursday to invoke the Golden Rule in demanding generosity toward the millions of Central and South Americans seeking to come to the country.

“Thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children?” he said. “We need to avoid a common temptation nowadays: to discard whatever proves troublesome. Let us remember the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’”

Immigrant-rights groups had eagerly anticipated the pope’s message, as had illegal immigrants themselves.

Sofi Cruz, a five-year-old American citizen whose parents are illegal immigrants from Mexico, broke through the tight security around the pope during a parade on the National Mall Wednesday to hand him a letter begging him to pressure Congress and the White House to take steps to grant her parents legal status.

The pontiff didn’t mention illegal immigration during his speech Thursday, but did refer to the large numbers of people coming from Latin America. Advocacy groups cheered his words, saying his call for unity and acceptance should temper some of the harsh rhetoric that’s flared recently.

“At this moment, with many political candidates and elected officials fanning the flames of intolerance and divisiveness, let us hope that our leaders take the Holy Father’s powerful message to heart,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice.

But lawmakers doubted his words would break the legislative stalemate in Congress.

Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, said he took the pope’s call for compassion to be a celebration of legal immigration — and said he welcomed that.

Rep. Michael Burgess, Texas Republican, said the U.S. is already doing its part to heed calls for compassion.

“The thing that always strikes me when we get into these discussions is the United States takes in more people every year legally than the rest of the world combined,” he said. “You stat from that premise — it was 1.7 million last year, you want to add another 400,000 to 600,000 that came in without the benefit of doing it the right way. What is the right number? If over 2 million is not enough, would someone please tell me what that right number is, and would other countries act accordingly.”

The Vatican, for its part, welcomes millions of visitors a year — but allows only a very select few, who meet strict criteria, to be admitted as residents or citizens.

Only about 450 of its 800 or so residents actually hold citizenship, according to a 2012 study by the Library of Congress. That study said citizens are either church cardinals who reside in the Vatican, the Holy See’s diplomats around the world, and those who have to reside in the city because of their jobs, such as the Swiss Guard.

Spouses and children who live in the city because of their relationship with citizens — including the Swiss Guard and workers such as the gardener — can also be granted citizenship. But that means few of the Vatican’s citizens are women.

A Vatican spokesman did not return an email seeking comment on its policy.

The strict policy has left the Vatican open to criticism in the past, including from right-wing political leaders in Italy who want tighter immigration controls in their country and have rebuffed the papacy’s calls for leniency by asking how many refugees live in the enclave.

Pope Francis, however, has taken some steps to mitigate those attacks, matching his call earlier this month for churches to host Syrian refugees with a vow that the Vatican itself would take in a couple of refugee families.

Last week the Vatican government announced it had accepted a mother, father and two children who are Melkite Greek Catholics, and who have asked for asylum in Italy.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/sep/24/pope-call-immigration-unlikely-change-debate/

Pope Francis: Untying the Knots by Paul Vallely – review

An exploration of Pope Francis’s liberal reputation and murky past lifts this book well above the nervous reverence of much papal biography

The Roman Catholic papacy is understandably compared to a monarchy: a pope wears a crown, sits on a throne and, while he is debarred from having heirs, the cardinals are styled as pseudo-filial “princes”. Pontiffs differ from monarchs in one significant way, however: succession.

While we have recently endured multitudinous articles about how the royal baby might rule as King George VII in, say, half a century’s time, most popes come as a surprise. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now known as Pope Francis, had tendered his resignation as cardinal archbishop of Buenos Aires (having reached ecclesiastical retirement age), and chosen his room in an Argentinian clergy retirement house, before flying to Rome to vote on a successor to Benedict XVI. Bergoglio had been mentioned in almost none of the media pieces on who would next rule the Vatican and, were Catholic priests not discouraged from gambling, could have got odds of 30-1 against himself at turf accountants.

The absence of any line of succession or electoral primaries creates problems for authors of papal biographies. Their books have most in common with the campaign-biogs that are rushed out by informed journalists as soon as the contenders to be next American president become known. However, with no shortlisting system, the papal biographer has to write after the election and with a speed that reflects the fickleness of public interest and the risk of being overtaken by what the new man does in post.

Two recognised classics of the form were inspired by shock events: Peter Hebblethwaite’s The Year of Three Popes (1979) was a quick-turnaround work covering the transition from Paul VI to John Paul I and then John Paul II, a time later covered more reflectively in John Cornwell’s A Thief in the Night (1989), which examined the theory that the first John Paul I had lasted for only 33 days because of the literally or metaphorically murderous pressure caused by opponents of his attempt to reform the Vatican civil service. Paul Vallely has the advantage that he is dealing with the only equivalently dramatic handover in the modern history of the papacy. The startling resignation of Benedict XVI and the subsequent oddity of a papal election that did not follow a funeral shape a story that could have been titled, after Hebblethwaite, “The Summer of Two Popes”.

With the apparent help of at least one good source within the college of cardinals (who are officially sworn to secrecy until death), Vallely gives riveting accounts of the “conclaves” in which first, in 2005, Cardinal Ratzinger was named Benedict XVI to follow John Paul II and then, in 2012, the first pope from the Americas was selected to succeed Benedict.

As Vallely tells it, Bergoglio of Buenos Aires ran Ratzinger close eight years ago, but his candidacy was hobbled by the circulation among the cardinals of a dossier alleging that the Argentinian had colluded with the country’s military dictatorship in the mid-70s arrest of two fellow Jesuit priests, who were subsequently imprisoned and tortured.

These allegations, which may have prevented him from becoming pope last time, rapidly resurfaced when he claimed the white skull-cap, and form one of two opposed simplistic narratives about the new pope that exist in the mainstream media: the rightwing sympathiser with blood on his hands, or the humble reformer who lived among the poor in the slums and is so without ego or ceremony that, after becoming the leader of the world’s Catholics, he personally phoned his newsagent back home to cancel future deliveries.

The conclusion of Pope Francis: Untying the Knots – which takes its title from a favourite devotional painting of Bergoglio’s in which the mother of Christ symbolically unravels a twisted rope – is that there is partial truth in both those stereotypes, which combine to reveal a man of sometimes tortured complexity.

Vallely, after tough-minded analysis, rejects the suggestions of some (led by the journalist Horacio Verbitsky) that Bergoglio, who at the time was head of the Jesuits in Argentina, was a lackey of the Videla dictatorship. However, he accepts that the two Jesuit priests were placed in jeopardy by their then superior’s decision to withdraw from them the protection of the Jesuit order as part of a row over the way that the gospels should be taught. Against this clear failure by Bergoglio, though, the biographer sets evidence of moral courage and bravery, including the smuggling out of others threatened by the junta.

Fascinatingly, Vallely argues that the Bergoglio lionised by liberals – living in the slums where he was so non-churchy that he was known as “The Dude”, and urging compassion towards those traditionally ostracised by Catholicism – developed during the latter part of his life in direct response to the priest’s guilt and self-chastisement over his actions under the dictatorship. Support for the book’s theory that Bergoglio is haunted by guilt comes in the startling detail that, when asked in the conclave if he accepted the vote to become pope, he replied not with the traditional “Accepto” but the words: “I am a great sinner, trusting in the mercy and patience of God in suffering, I accept.”

This strong suggestion that Bergoglio may hope that what he does as pope will atone for some actions earlier in his priestly career lifts the book well above the nervous reverence of much papal biography, and should recommend it to an audience broader than Catholics – although such readers may struggle with the text’s tendency towards untranslated doctrinal vocabulary such as “charism”, “breviary”, “homiliar” and “pre-conciliar”.

More accessible are the sections about ecclesiastical intrigue that remind us why Morris West, Michael Dibdin and Dan Brown found the Vatican such fertile territory for thrillers. One of Bergoglio’s long-time foes in the Buenos Aires church was apparently so riled when his rival became pope that he refused to ring the bells of his parish to celebrate. And Vallely’s account of the new pope’s apparent determination to reform the corrupt Vatican bureacracy and banking system, after reading a secret report locked in a safe by Benedict XVI, reads like a lost, unexpectedly literate chapter of The Da Vinci Code.

The book bears some marks of hasty publication, with missing words and wobbly punctuation that might have been picked up through more leisurely correction. And, strangely, an afterword repeats several anecdotes and facts that have already appeared (and sometimes more than once) in the main text, but without any inflection that recognises the repetition, so that this closing section reads like a stand-alone magazine article.

Otherwise, it’s hard to imagine the rapid papal biography being done better: Vallely brings to the task a combination of sore-footed reporting (especially in Buenos Aires) and quick‑minded thought. Generously, he even hints at a possible future pope: Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, who was apparently ruled out as too young (at 55) last time. If Tagle does ever get the top job, may he be as lucky in his biographer as Bergoglio has been.

Liberation theology

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Liberation theology has been described as “an interpretation of Christian faith out of the experience of the poor…an attempt to read the Bible and key Christian doctrines with the eyes of the poor”,[1] or “the message of the gospels”, restored from “the first three centuries [of Christianity in which] it was … a pacifist … religion of the poor”.[2] Detractors have called it Christianized Marxism.[3]

The best-known form of liberation theology is that which developed in Latin America in the 1950s, however various other forms of liberation theology have since developed, including Asian, Black, and Palestinian liberation theologies.[citation needed]

Although liberation theology has grown into an international and inter-denominational movement, it began as a movement within the Catholic Church in Latin America in the 1950s and 1960s. Liberation theology arose principally as a moral reaction to the poverty and social injustice in the region. The term was coined in 1971 by the Peruvian priestGustavo Gutiérrez, who wrote one of the movement’s defining books, A Theology of Liberation. Other noted exponents include Leonardo Boff of Brazil, Jon Sobrino of Spain, and Juan Luis Segundo of Uruguay.[4][5]

Latin American liberation theology met opposition in the United States,[2] which accused it of using “Marxist concepts”, and led to admonishment by the Vatican‘s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in 1984 and 1986. The Vatican disliked certain forms of Latin American liberation theology for focusing on institutionalized or systemic sin; and for identifying Catholic Church hierarchy in South America as members of the same privileged class that had long been oppressing indigenous populations from the arrival of Pizarro onward.[6]

Theology

Liberation theology could be interpreted as an attempt to return to the gospel of the early church where Christianity is politically and culturally decentralized.[7]

Liberation theology proposes to fight poverty by addressing its alleged source: sin. In so doing, it explores the relationship between Christian theology (especiallyRoman Catholic) and political activism, especially in relation to social justice, poverty, and human rights. The principal methodological innovation is seeing theology from the perspective of the poor and the oppressed. For example, Jon Sobrino, S.J., argues that the poor are a privileged channel of God’s grace.

Some liberation theologians base their social action upon the Bible scriptures describing the mission of Jesus Christ, as bringing a sword (social unrest), e.g., Isaiah 61:1, Matthew 10:34, Luke 22:35–38 — and not as bringing peace (social order).[better source needed] This Biblical interpretation is a call to action against poverty, and the sin engendering it, to effect Jesus Christ’s mission of justice in this world.

Gustavo Gutiérrez gave the movement its name with his book A Theology of Liberation (1971). In this book, Gutierrez combined populist ideas with the social teachings of the Catholic Church. He was influenced by an existing socialist current in the Church which included organizations such as the Catholic Worker Movement and the Jeunesse Ouvrière Chrétienne, a Belgian Christian youth worker organization. He was also influenced by Paul Gauthier‘s The Poor, Jesus and the Church (1965). Gutierrez’s book is based on an understanding of history in which the human being is seen as assuming conscious responsibility for human destiny, and yet Christ the Savior liberates the human race from sin, which is the root of all disruption of friendship and of all injustice and oppression.[8]

Gutierrez also popularized the phrase “preferential option for the poor“, which became a slogan of liberation theology and later appeared in addresses of the Pope.[9] Drawing from the biblical motif on the poor, Gutierrez asserts that God is revealed as having a preference for those people who are “insignificant”, “marginalized”, “unimportant”, “needy”, “despised”, and “defenseless”. Moreover, he makes clear that terminology of “the poor” in scripture has social and economic connotations that etymologically go back to the Greek word, ptōchos.[10] To be sure, as to not misinterpret Gutierrez’s definition of the term “preferential option”, he stresses, “Preference implies the universality of God’s love, which excludes no one. It is only within the framework of this universality that we can understand the preference, that is, ‘what comes first'”.[11]

Gutierrez emphasized practice (or, more technically, “praxis“) over doctrine. Gutierrez clarified his position by advocating a circular relationship between orthodoxyand orthopraxis seeing the two as having a symbiotic relationship.[12] Gutierrez’ reading of prophets condemning oppression and injustice against the poor (i.e., Jeremiah 22:13–17) informs his assertion that to know God (orthodoxy) is to do justice (orthopraxis).[13] Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI), however, criticized liberation theology for elevating orthopraxis to the level of orthodoxy.[14] Richard McBrien summarizes this concept as follows:

God is disclosed in the historical “praxis” of liberation. It is the situation, and our passionate and reflective involvement in it, which mediates the Word of God. Today that Word is mediated through the cries of the poor and the oppressed.[15]

Another important hallmark for Gutierrez’s brand of liberation theology is an interpretation of revelation as “history”. For example, Gutierrez wrote:

History is the scene of the revelation God makes of the mystery of his person. His word reaches us in the measure of our involvement in the evolution of history.[16]

Gutierrez also considered the Church to be the “sacrament of history”, an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace, thus pointing to the doctrine of universal salvation as the true means to eternal life, and assigning the Church itself to a somewhat temporal role, namely, liberation.

The struggle of women for social justice has given rise to its own liberation theology, frequently known as feminist theology in Europe and North America. Black women and other women of color in the United States speak of womanist theology, while Mujerista theology denotes the liberation theology of Hispanic women.[17]

History of Latin American Liberation Theology

A major player in the formation of liberation theology was CELAM, the Latin American Episcopal Conference. Created in 1955 in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), CELAM pushed the Second Vatican Council (1962–65) toward a more socially oriented stance.[18] However, CELAM never supported liberation theology as such, since liberation theology was frowned upon by the Vatican, with Pope Paul VI trying to slow the movement after the Second Vatican Council.[19][citation needed]

More or less at the same time as the initial publications of Latin American Liberation Theology we also find voices of Black Liberation Theology and Feminist Liberation Theology as well.[20]

After the Second Vatican Council, CELAM held two conferences which were important in determining the future of liberation theology: the first was held in Medellín,Colombia, in 1968, and the second in Puebla, Mexico, in January 1979.[18] The Medellín conference debated how to apply the teachings of Vatican II to Latin America, and its conclusions were strongly influenced by liberation theology.[6] Although liberation theology grew out of these officially recognized ideas, the Medellín document is not a liberation theology document. It did, however, lay the groundwork, and since then liberation theology has developed rapidly in the Latin American Catholic Church.[21]

Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo was a central figure at the Medellín Conference, and was elected in 1972 as general secretary of CELAM. He represented a more orthodox position, becoming a favorite of Pope John Paul II and the “principal scourge of liberation theology”.[22] Trujillo’s faction became predominant in CELAM after the 1972 Sucre conference, and in the Roman Curia after the CELAM conference in Puebla, Mexico, in January 1979.

Despite the orthodox bishops’ predominance in CELAM, a more radical form of liberation theology remained much supported in South America. Thus, the 1979 Puebla Conference was an opportunity for orthodox bishops to reassert control of the radical elements; but they failed. At the Puebla Conference, the orthodox reorientation was met by strong opposition from the liberal part of the clergy, which supported the concept of a “preferential option for the poor“. This concept had been approved at the Medellín conference by Bishop Ricard Durand, president of the Commission about Poverty.

Pope John Paul II gave the opening speech at the Puebla Conference. The general tone of his remarks was conciliatory. He criticized radical liberation theology, saying, “this conception of Christ, as a political figure, a revolutionary, as the subversive of Nazareth, does not tally with the Church’s catechisms“; however, he did speak of “the ever increasing wealth of the rich at the expense of the ever increasing poverty of the poor”, and affirmed both the principle of private property and that the Church “must preach, educate individuals and collectivities, form public opinion, and offer orientations to the leaders of the peoples” towards the goal of a “more just and equitable distribution of goods”.[23]

Some liberation theologians, however, including Gutierrez, had been barred from attending the Puebla Conference. Working from a seminary and with aid from sympathetic, liberal bishops, they partially obstructed other clergy’s efforts to ensure that the Puebla Conference documents satisfied conservative concerns. Within four hours of the Pope’s speech, Gutiérrez and the other priests wrote a 20-page refutation, which was circulated at the conference, and has been claimed to have influenced the final outcome of the conference. According to a socio-political study of liberation theology in Latin America, a quarter of the final Puebla documents were written by theologians who were not invited to the conference.[24] Cardinal Trujillo said that this affirmation is “an incredible exaggeration” (Ben Zabel 2002:139).

Practice

One of the most radical aspects of liberation theology was the social organization, or reorganization, of church practice through the model of Christian base communities (CBCs). Liberation theology strove to be a bottom-up movement in practice, with Biblical interpretation and liturgical practice designed by lay practitioners themselves, rather than by the orthodox Church hierarchy. In this context, sacred text interpretation is understood as “praxis”. Liberation theology seeks to interpret the actions of the Catholic Church and the teachings of Jesus Christ from the perspective of the poor and disadvantaged. By approaching theology “from the perspective of the poor”, Liberation Theologians believe that they can turn the poor who are “the object of church teaching to the subject of church action” (Edward Russell).[citation needed] In Latin America, liberation theologians specifically target the severe disparities between rich and poor in the existing social and economic orders within the nations’ political and corporate structures. It is a strong critique of the various economic and social structures, such as an oppressive government, dependence upon First World countries and the traditional hierarchical Church, that allow some to be extremely rich while others are unable to even have safe drinking water.[21]

The journalist and writer Penny Lernoux described this aspect of liberation theology in her numerous and committed writings intended to explain the movement’s ideas in North America. Base communities were small gatherings, usually outside of churches, in which the Bible could be discussed, and Mass could be said. They were especially active in rural parts of Latin America where parish priests were not always available, as they placed a high value on lay participation. In May 2007, it was estimated that 80,000 base communities existed in Brazil.[25]

Contemporaneously, Fanmi Lavalas in Haiti, the Landless Workers’ Movement in Brazil, and Abahlali baseMjondolo in South Africa are three organizations that make use of liberation theology.[26]

Brazilian Liberation Theology

The Brazilian Catholic Church is arguably one of the most theologically progressive Catholic congregations due, in large part, to a history of violent military and political conflicts as well as a divisive socioeconomic climate. During Brazil’s military rule from 1964 to 1985, the Catholic Church and its members assumed responsibility to provide services to the poor and disenfranchised, often under threat of persecution. The Vatican II and Medellín conference innovations in liberation theology entered the Brazilian Church as the Brazilian lower classes experienced sharply deteriorating economic and political conditions. Among these were an increase in landownership concentration, a decline in wages and standards of living, and a rise in the military state’s political repression and violence, including mass detainment, torture, and the assassination of political opponents.[27]

Base ecclesial communities

After decades of repression from the government authorities, the liberationist Catholic Church in Brazil is absent of traditional centralization and encourages an increased lay participation. Faced with a severe priest shortage, much of the Brazilian Catholic Church is organized into Base Ecclesial Communities or, “CEBs” in which the Mass, community spirituality programs, and community needs are led or addressed by a single clergy member or a trained lay member in either a small chapel or an individual’s home. The CEBs introduced new social ideas and democratic methods which led to many participants’ active involvement in popular movements of Brazil that worked for progressive social change. An example of progressive social change initiated by the CEBs is in Nova Iguaçu. A health program began there to try to organize the population in order to remedy widespread malnutrition, open sewers, and other health hazards.[21] Eventually the neighborhood initiative reached a national interest level where it then became a mass movement in nearly every neighborhood. Initiatives like the health program in Nova Iguacu illustrate how CEBs have helped the transition from military to democratic rule.

While liberation theology has brought about significant progressive reforms in Brazil, anthropologist Robin Nagle questions the effectiveness of Catholic Church theology in Brazil. Nagle concentrates on the conflict between conservatives and liberationists in Recife, Brazil, in 1990. The poor neighborhood of Morro da Conceição had a liberationist priest named Reginaldo who was expelled by the traditionalist archbishop because the archbishop found Reginaldo’s politics and social theology annoying and adverse to his own agenda. When Reginaldo and his followers refused to accept the expulsion and the new priest, the archbishop called in the Military Police. Conversely, the event did not cause a mass response because the liberationist agenda aroused distrust and even hatred among many of its intended audience. The main reason was that it was too much to ask poor parishioners to embrace a Church focused more on the troubles of this life than solace in the next.[28]

While Robin Nagle claims that liberation theology is ineffective for genuine social change, anthropologist Manuel Vasquez argues that liberation theology embraced by CEBs create a twofold effect, because it not only provided moral justification for resistance but it also served as a means to organize the resistance. Many people come to the CEB through conversion experiences, but also because they are keenly concerned with the spiritual and infrastructural needs of their community.[29]Through his fieldwork in working-class neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro, Vasquez reveals that CEBs combat disenfranchisement but also serve to overcome the obstacles associated with materialism and globalization. The social and political impact can be viewed in terms of initial consciousness-raising, the motivation for involvement, the sense of community they develop, the experience of grassroots democracy, the direct actions they engage in, and finally, directly political actions.[21]

Liberation theology and indigenous Brazil

The Tapeba

Anthropologist and author Max Maranhao Piorsky Aires analyzes the influence of liberation theology on the transformation of the indigenous Tapeba people of Brazil from poor, uneducated inhabitants neglected by the state to rights-bearing and involved citizens. Specifically he largely attributes the work of the Brazilian Catholic Church to the progression of the Tapeba. The Catholic Church enlisted state authorities, anthropologists, and journalists to help uncover the identity of neglected indigenous peoples of Brazil. Early recognition by missionaries and followers of liberation theology stimulated indigenous identification of the Tapeba population as a possibility for attaining rights, especially land, health, and education.[30] The Church gathered and contributed historical knowledge of indigenous territory and identity of the Tapeba in Caucaia that ultimately succeeded in the tribes obtaining a legally codified identity as well as a rightful place as Brazilian subjects.

Gurupá

In Gurupá, the Catholic Church employed liberation theology to defend indigenous tribes, farmers, and extractors from land expropriation by federal or corporate forces. New religious ideas, in the form of liberation theology, have fortified and legitimized an evolving political culture of resistance.[27] Meanwhile, the Church-supported Base Ecclesial Communities (CEBs) have promoted stronger social connections among community members that has led to more effective activism in Gurupá. Anthropologist Richard Pace’s study of Gurupá revealed that CEBs assured safety in united activism, and, combined with liberation theology, encouraged members to challenge landowner’s commercial monopolies and fight for better standards of living. Pace references a specific incident in the CEB of Nossa Senhora de Fátima, in which a community of 24 families of farmers, timber extractors, and traders resisted an extra-regional timber extraction firm. The community negotiated an agreement with the firm that gained them a higher standard of living that included imported goods, increased food availability, and access to health care. While severe social dislocations such as government-initiated capitalist penetration, land expropriation, and poor wages persist, small-farmer activism is fortified by liberation theology and receives structural support from unions, political parties, and church organizations.[27]

Vatican reaction

Cardinal Ratzinger

In March 1983, Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI), head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), made ten observations of Gutiérrez’s theology, accusing Gutiérrez of politically interpreting the Bible in supporting temporal messianism, and stating that the predominance of orthopraxisover orthodoxy in his thought proved a Marxist influence. Ratzinger objected that the spiritual concept of the Church as “People of God” is transformed into a “Marxist myth”. In liberation theology he declared, the “people is the antithesis of the hierarchy, the antithesis of all institutions, which are seen as oppressive powers. Ultimately anyone who participates in the class struggle is a member of the “people”; the “Church of the people” becomes the antagonist of the hierarchical Church”.[31]

Cardinal Ratzinger did praise liberation theology in some respects, including its ideal of justice, its rejection of violence, and its stress on “the responsibility which Christians necessarily bear for the poor and oppressed.”[31] He subsequently stated that no one could be neutral in the face of injustice, and referred to the “crimes” of colonialism and the “scandal” of the arms race. Nonetheless, media reports tended to assume that the condemnation of “liberation theology” meant a rejection of such attitudes and an endorsement of conservative politics.[citation needed]

In 1984, it was reported that a meeting occurred between the CDF and the CELAM bishops, during which a rift developed between Ratzinger and some of the bishops,[32] with Ratzinger issuing official condemnations of certain elements of liberation theology.[33][34] These “Instructions” rejected as Marxist the idea that class struggle is fundamental to history, and rejected the interpretation of religious phenomena such as the Exodus and the Eucharist in exclusively political terms. Ratzinger further stated that liberation theology had a major flaw in that it attempted to apply Christ’s sermon on the mount teachings about the poor to present social situations.[35] He asserted that Christ’s teaching on the poor meant that we will be judged when we die, with particular attention to how we personally have treated the poor.

Ratzinger also argued that liberation theology is not originally a “grass-roots” movement among the poor, but rather, a creation of Western intellectuals: “an attempt to test, in a concrete scenario, ideologies that have been invented in the laboratory by European theologians” and in a certain sense itself a form of “cultural imperialism”. Ratzinger saw this as a reaction to the demise or near-demise of the “Marxist myth” in the West.[31]

Throughout the 1990s, Ratzinger, as prefect of the CDF, continued to condemn these elements in liberation theology, and prohibited dissident priests from teaching such doctrines in the Catholic Church’s name. Leonardo Boff was suspended and others were censured. Tissa Balasuriya, in Sri Lanka, was excommunicated.Sebastian Kappen, an Indian theologian, was also censured for his book Jesus and Freedom.[36] Under Cardinal Ratzinger’s influence, theological formation schools were forbidden from using the Catholic Church’s organization and grounds to teach liberation theology in the sense of theology using unacceptable Marxist ideas, not in the broader sense.

Towards reconciliation under Pope Francis

According to Roberto Bosca, an historian at Austral University in Buenos Aires, Father Jorge Bergoglio (later Pope Francis) had “a reputation as an opponent of liberation theology during the 1970s” but he “accepted the premise of liberation theology, especially the option for the poor, but in a ‘nonideological’ fashion”.[37]Before becoming Pope, Bergoglio said, “The option for the poor comes from the first centuries of Christianity. It’s the Gospel itself. If you were to read one of the sermons of the first fathers of the Church, from the second or third centuries, about how you should treat the poor, you’d say it was Maoist or Trotskyist. The Church has always had the honor of this preferential option for the poor…At the Second Vatican Council the Church was redefined as the People of God and this idea really took off at the Second Conference of the Latin-American bishops in Medellín“.[38] Bosca said Bergoglio was not opposed to liberation theology itself but to “giving a Catholic blessing to armed insurgency”, specifically the Montoneros, who claimed liberation theology as part of their political ideology.[37]Blase Bonpane, a formerMaryknoll father and founding director of the Office of the Americas, said “The new pope has not been comfortable with liberation theology”.[39]

On September 11, 2013, Pope Francis hosted Fr. Gutierrez in his residence, leading some to comment that this was a sign of warming relations between the hierarchy and liberation theologians.[40][41] The same month, L’Osservatore Romano published an article praising Gutierrez by the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Gerhard Müller.[40] On January 18, 2014, Pope Francis met with Fr. Arturo Paoli, an Italian priest whom the Pope knew from Paoli’s long service in Argentina. Paoli is recognized as an exponent of liberation theology avant la lettre and the meeting was seen as a sign of “reconciliation” between the Vatican and the liberationists.[42]

Miguel d’Escoto, a Maryknoll priest from Nicaragua, had been sanctioned with an a divinis suspension from his public functions in 1984 by Pope John Paul II, for political activity in the leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua. Pope Francis lifted the suspension in August 2014, in response to a request by d’Escoto.[43]

At a 2015 press conference in the Vatican hosted by Caritas International, the federation of Catholic relief agencies, Fr. Gutiérrez noted that while there had been some difficult moments in the past dialogue with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, liberation theology had never been condemned. Although he saw an increasingly clear emphasis on Church teachings on the poor, he did not consider that liberation theology was undergoing a rehabilitation, since it had never been “dishabilitated”.[44]

Other traditions

Black Liberation Theology

Black liberation theology is a theological perspective which seeks to liberate people of color from multiple forms of political, social, economic, and religious subjugation and views Christian theology as a theology of liberation. An example is the work of James Cone.[45]

Womanist and Feminist Liberation Theology

In the early 1970s some womanist or feminist theologians and practitioners began to develop concepts of liberation within the context of male-dominated societies. An example is the work of Rosemary Ruether.[46]

Palestinian Liberation Theology

Palestinian liberation theology is a form of contextual theology that represents an attempt by a number of independently working Palestinian theologians from various denominations—mostly Protestant mainline churches—to articulate the gospel message in such a way as to make that liberating gospel relevant to the perceived needs of their indigenous flocks. As a rule, this articulation involves a condemnation of the State of Israel, a theological underpinning of Palestinian resistance to Israel as well as Palestinian national aspirations, and an intense valorisation of Palestinian ethnic and cultural identity as guarantors of a truer grasp of the gospel by virtue of the fact that they are the indigenous inhabitants of the land of Jesus and the Bible. The principal figure in Palestinian liberation theology is theAnglican cleric Naim Ateek, founder of the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem.[47]

Related movements

See also

People

Theologians

Further reading

  • Lernoux, Penny, Cry of the people: United States involvement in the rise of fascism, torture, and murder and the persecution of the Catholic Church in Latin America. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1980.
  • Alves, Rubem, Towards a Theology of Liberation (1968).
  • De La Torre, Miguel A., Handbook on U.S. Theologies of Liberation (Chalice Press, 2004).
  • Ratzinger, Joseph Cardinal, “Liberation Theology” (preliminary notes to 1984 Instruction)
  • Gutiérrez, Gustavo, A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics and Salvation, Orbis Books, 1988.
  • Kirylo, James D. Paulo Freire: The Man from Recife. New York: Peter Lang, 2011.
  • Nash, Ronald, ed. Liberation Theology. First ed. Milford, Mich.: Mott Media, 1984. ISBN 0-88062-121-4
  • Smith, Christian, The Emergence of Liberation Theology: Radical Religion and the Social Movement Theory, University of Chicago Press, 1991.
  • Marxism and Missions / Missions et Marxisme, special issue of the journal Social Sciences and Missions, Volume 22/2, 2009

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberation_theology

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The Pronk Pops Show 539, September 23, 2015, Story 1: Watermelon President Obama and Pope Francis — Green on The Outside and Red On The Inside — Neither Is An Authority On Science, Economics, Or Democides — Cosmic or Social Justice Is Using Coercion and Force To Steal — Leads To Democide and Genocide — Videos

Posted on September 23, 2015. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Communications, Constitutional Law, Culture, Economics, Education, Employment, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, History, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Labor Economics, Law, Legal Immigration, Media, Medicare, News, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Pro Life, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Social Security, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, Unemployment, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Lord Acton on “Power Corrupts”

I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favourable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption it is the other way, against the holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority, still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.

letter that Acton wrote to Bishop Creighton

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The Ten Planks of the 
Communist Manifesto
1848 by Karl Heinrich Marx

List of short-term demands, also known as the ten planks:

1. Abolition of private property and the application of all rents of land to public purposes.

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.

4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.

5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.

6. Centralisation of the means of communications and transportation in the hands of the State.

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state, the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.

8. Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries, gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of population over the country.

10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.[1]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Communist_Manifesto

The Left Has Its Pope

By Thomas Sowell

Pope Francis has created political controversy, both inside and outside the Catholic Church, by blaming capitalism for many of the problems of the poor. We can no doubt expect more of the same during his visit to the United States.

Pope Francis is part of a larger trend of the rise of the political left among Catholic intellectuals. He is, in a sense, the culmination of that trend.
There has long been a political left among Catholics, as among other Americans. Often they were part of the pragmatic left, as in the many old Irish-run, big city political machines that dispensed benefits to the poor in exchange for their votes, as somewhat romantically depicted in the movie classic, “The Last Hurrah.”

But there has also been a more ideological left. Where the Communists had their official newspaper, “The Daily Worker,” there was also “The Catholic Worker” published by Dorothy Day.

A landmark in the evolution of the ideological left among Catholics was a publication in the 1980s, by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, titled “Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy.”

Although this publication was said to be based on Catholic teachings, one of its principal contributors, Archbishop Rembert Weakland, said: “I think we should be up front and say that really we took this from the Enlightenment era.”

The specifics of the Bishops’ Pastoral Letter reflect far more of the secular Enlightenment of the 18th century than of Catholic traditions. Archbishop Weakland admitted that such an Enlightenment figure as Thomas Paine “is now coming back through a strange channel.”

Strange indeed. Paine rejected the teachings of “any church that I know of,” including “the Roman church.” He said: “My own mind is my own church.” Nor was Paine unusual among the leading figures of the 18th century Enlightenment.

To base social or moral principles on the philosophy of the 18th century Enlightenment, and then call the result “Catholic teachings” suggests something like bait-and-switch advertising.

But, putting aside religious or philosophical questions, we have more than two centuries of historical evidence of what has actually happened as the ideas of people like those Enlightenment figures were put into practice in the real world — beginning with the French Revolution and its disastrous aftermath.

Both the authors of the Bishops’ Pastoral Letter in the 1980s, and Pope Francis today, blithely throw around the phrase “the poor,” and blame poverty on what other people are doing or not doing to or for “the poor.”

Any serious look at the history of human beings over the millennia shows that the species began in poverty. It is not poverty, but prosperity, that needs explaining. Poverty is automatic, but prosperity requires many things — none of which is equally distributed around the world or even within a given society.

Geographic settings are radically different, both among nations and within nations. So are demographic differences, with some nations and groups having a median age over 40 and others having a median age under 20. This means that some groups have several times as much adult work experience as others.

Cultures are also radically different in many ways.

As distinguished economic historian David S. Landes put it, “The world has never been a level playing field.” But which has a better track record of helping the less fortunate — fighting for a bigger slice of the economic pie, or producing a bigger pie?

In 1900, only 3 percent of American homes had electric lights but more than 99 percent had them before the end of the century. Infant mortality rates were 165 per thousand in 1900 and 7 per thousand by 1997. By 2001, most Americans living below the official poverty line had central air conditioning, a motor vehicle, cable television with multiple TV sets, and other amenities.

A scholar specializing in the study of Latin America said that the official poverty level in the United States is the upper middle class in Mexico. The much criticized market economy of the United States has done far more for the poor than the ideology of the left.

Pope Francis’ own native Argentina was once among the leading economies of the world, before it was ruined by the kind of ideological notions he is now promoting around the world.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2015/09/22/the_left_has_its_pope_128160.html

Pope Francis’s fact-free flamboyance

Opinion writer

Pope Francis embodies sanctity but comes trailing clouds of sanctimony. With a convert’s indiscriminate zeal, he embraces ideas impeccably fashionable, demonstrably false and deeply reactionary. They would devastate the poor on whose behalf he purports to speak — if his policy prescriptions were not as implausible as his social diagnoses are shrill.

Supporters of Francis have bought newspaper and broadcast advertisements to disseminate some of his woolly sentiments that have the intellectual tone of fortune cookies. One example: “People occasionally forgive, but nature never does.” The Vatican’s majesty does not disguise the vacuity of this. Is Francis intimating that environmental damage is irreversible? He neglects what technology has accomplished regarding London’s air (see Page 1 of Dickens’s “Bleak House”) and other matters.

George F. Will writes a twice-weekly column on politics and domestic and foreign affairs. He began his column with The Post in 1974, and he received the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1977. He is also a contributor to FOX News’ daytime and primetime programming.View Archive

And the Earth is becoming “an immense pile of filth”? Hyperbole is a predictable precursor of yet anotherU.N. Climate Change Conference — the 21st since 1995. Fortunately, rhetorical exhibitionism increases as its effectiveness diminishes. In his June encyclical and elsewhere, Francis lectures about our responsibilities, but neglects the duty to be as intelligent as one can be.This man who says “the Church does not presume to settle scientific questions” proceeds as though everything about which he declaims is settled, from imperiled plankton to air conditioning being among humanity’s “harmful habits.” The church that thought it was settled science that Galileo was heretical should be attentive to all evidence.

Francis deplores “compulsive consumerism,” a sin to which the 1.3 billion persons without even electricity can only aspire. He leaves the Vatican to jet around praising subsistence farming, a romance best enjoyed from 30,000 feet above the realities that such farmers yearn to escape.

The saint who is Francis’s namesake supposedly lived in sweet harmony with nature. For most of mankind, however, nature has been, and remains, scarcity, disease and natural — note the adjective — disasters. Our flourishing requires affordable, abundant energy for the production of everything from food to pharmaceuticals. Poverty has probably decreased more in the past two centuries than in the preceding three millennia because of industrialization powered by fossil fuels. Only economic growth has ever produced broad amelioration of poverty, and since growth began in the late 18th century, it has depended on such fuels.

Matt Ridley, author of “The Rational Optimist,” notes that coal supplanting wood fuel reversed deforestation, and that “fertilizer manufactured with gas halved the amount of land needed to produce a given amount of food.” The capitalist commerce that Francis disdains is the reason the portion of the planet’s population living in “absolute poverty” ($1.25 a day) declined from 53 percent to 17 percent in three decades after 1981. Even in low-income countries, writes economist Indur Goklany, life expectancy increased from between 25 to 30 years in 1900 to 62 years today. Sixty-three percent of fibers are synthetic and derived from fossil fuels; of the rest, 79 percent come from cotton, which requires synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. “Synthetic fertilizers and pesticides derived from fossil fuels,” he says, “are responsible for at least 60 percent of today’s global food supply.” Without fossil fuels, he says, global cropland would have to increase at least 150 percent — equal to the combined land areas of South America and the European Union — to meet current food demands.

Francis grew up around the rancid political culture of Peronist populism, the sterile redistributionism that has reduced his Argentina from the world’s 14th highest per-capita gross domestic product in 1900 to 63rd today. Francis’s agenda for the planet — “global regulatory norms” — would globalize Argentina’s downward mobility.

As the world spurns his church’s teachings about abortion, contraception, divorce, same-sex marriage and other matters, Francis jauntily makes his church congruent with the secular religion of “sustainability.” Because this is hostile to growth, it fits Francis’s seeming sympathy for medieval stasis, when his church ruled the roost, economic growth was essentially nonexistent and life expectancy was around 30.

Francis’s fact-free flamboyance reduces him to a shepherd whose selectively reverent flock, genuflecting only at green altars, is tiny relative to the publicity it receives from media otherwise disdainful of his church. Secular people with anti-Catholic agendas drain his prestige, a dwindling asset, into promotion of policies inimical to the most vulnerable people and unrelated to what once was the papacy’s very different salvific mission.

He stands against modernity, rationality, science and, ultimately, the spontaneous creativity of open societies in which people and their desires are not problems but precious resources. Americans cannot simultaneously honor him and celebrate their nation’s premises.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/pope-franciss-fact-free-flamboyance/2015/09/18/7d711750-5d6a-11e5-8e9e-dce8a2a2a679_story.html

Obama’s welcoming speech to Pope Francis, and the pope’s reply

President Barack Obama’s remarks came first Wednesday morning at the White House. Pope Francis’ own comments are below the president’s.

Obama

Good morning! What a beautiful day the Lord has made! Holy Father, on behalf of Michelle and myself, welcome to the White House. Our backyard is not typically this crowded – but the size and spirit of today’s gathering is just a small reflection of the deep devotion of some 70 million American Catholics . . . and the way your message of love and hope has inspired so many people, across our nation and around the world. On behalf of the American people, it is my great honor and privilege to welcome you to the United States of America.

Today, we mark many firsts. Your Holiness, you have been celebrated as the first pope from the Americas. This is your first visit to the United States. And you are also the first pontiff to share an encyclical through a Twitter account.

Holy Father, your visit not only allows me, in some small way, to reciprocate the extraordinary hospitality you extended to me at the Vatican last year. It also reveals how much all Americans, from every background and of every faith, value the role that the Catholic Church plays in strengthening America. From my time working in impoverished neighborhoods with the Catholic Church in Chicago to my travels as president, I’ve seen firsthand how, every day, Catholic communities, priests, nuns and laity feed the hungry, heal the sick, shelter the homeless, educate our children and fortify the faith that sustains so many.

What is true in America is true around the world. From the busy streets of Buenos Aires to remote villages in Kenya, Catholic organizations serve the poor, minister to prisoners, build schools and homes, and operate orphanages and hospitals. And just as the Church has stood with those struggling to break the chains of poverty, it has given voice and hope to those seeking to break the chains of violence and oppression.

And yet, I believe the excitement around your visit must be attributed not only to your role as pope, but to your unique qualities as a person. In your humility, your embrace of simplicity, the gentleness of your words and the generosity of your spirit, we see a living example of Jesus’ teachings, a leader whose moral authority comes not just through words but also through deeds.

You call on all of us, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, to put the “least of these” at the center of our concern. You remind us that in the eyes of God our measure as individuals, and as societies, is not determined by wealth or power or station or celebrity, but by how well we hew to Scripture’s call to lift up the poor and the marginalized, to stand up for justice and against inequality, and to ensure that every human being is able to live in dignity – because we are all made in the image of God.

You remind us that “the Lord’s most powerful message” is mercy. That means welcoming the stranger with empathy and a truly open heart – from the refugee who flees war-torn lands to the immigrant who leaves home in search of a better life. It means showing compassion and love for the marginalized and the outcast, those who have suffered and those who seek redemption.

You remind us of the costs of war, particularly on the powerless and defenseless, and urge us toward the imperative of peace. Holy Father, we are grateful for your invaluable support of our new beginning with the Cuban people, which holds out the promise of better relations between our countries, greater cooperation across our hemisphere and a better life for the Cuban people. We thank you for your passionate voice against the deadly conflicts that ravage the lives of so many men, women and children; and your call for nations to resist the sirens of war and resolve disputes through diplomacy.

You remind us that people are only truly free when they can practice their faith freely. Here in the United States, we cherish religious liberty. Yet around the world at this very moment, children of God, including Christians, are targeted and even killed because of their faith. Believers are prevented from gathering at their places of worship. The faithful are imprisoned. Churches are destroyed. So we stand with you in defense of religious freedom and interfaith dialogue, knowing that people everywhere must be able to live out their faith free from fear and intimidation.

And, Holy Father, you remind us that we have a sacred obligation to protect our planet – God’s magnificent gift to us. We support your call to all world leaders to support the communities most vulnerable to a changing climate and to come together to preserve our precious world for future generations.

Your Holiness, in your words and deeds, you set a profound moral example. And in these gentle but firm reminders of our obligations to God and to one another, you are shaking us out of complacency. All of us may, at times, experience discomfort when we contemplate the distance between how we lead our daily lives and what we know to be true and right. But I believe such discomfort is a blessing, for it points to something better. You shake our conscience from slumber; you call on us to rejoice in Good News, and give us confidence that we can come together, in humility and service, and pursue a world that is more loving, more just, and more free. Here at home and around the world, may our generation heed your call to “never remain on the sidelines of this march of living hope!”

For that great gift of hope, Holy Father, we thank you, and welcome you, with joy and gratitude, to the United States of America.

Pope Francis

Good morning. Mr. President, I am deeply grateful for your welcome in the name of the all Americans. As a son of an immigrant family, I am happy to be a guest in this country, which was largely built by such families.

I look forward to these days of encounter and dialogue in which I hope to listen to and share many of the hopes and dreams of the American people. During my visit, I will have the honor of addressing Congress, where I hope, as a brother of this country, to offer words of encouragement to those called to guide the nation’s political future in fidelity to its founding principles. I will also travel to Philadelphia for the eighth World Meeting of Families to celebrate and support the institutions of marriage and the family at this critical moment in the history of our civilization.

Mr. President, together with their fellow citizens, American Catholics are committed to building a society which is truly tolerant and inclusive, to safeguarding the rights of individuals and communities, and to rejecting every form of unjust discrimination. With countless other people of goodwill, they are likewise concerned that efforts to build a just and wisely ordered society respect their deepest concerns and the right to religious liberty. That freedom reminds one of America’s most precious possessions. And, as my brothers, the United States bishops, have reminded us, all are called to be vigilant, precisely as good citizens, to preserve and defend that freedom from everything that would threaten or compromise it.

Mr. President, I find it encouraging that you are proposing an initiative for reducing air pollution. Accepting the urgency, it seems clear to me also that climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to our future generation. When it comes to the care of our common home, we are living at a critical moment of history. We still have time to make the change needed to bring about a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change.

Such change demands on our part a serious and responsible recognition not only of the kind of world we may be leaving to our children, but also to the millions of people living under a system which has overlooked them. Our common home has been part of this group of the excluded, which cries out to heaven and which today powerfully strikes our homes, our cities, our societies. To use a telling phrase of the Rev. Martin Luther King, we can say that we have defaulted on a promissory note, and now is the time to honor it.

We know by faith that the Creator does not abandon us; He never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us. Humanity has the ability to work together in building our common home. As Christians inspired by this certainty, we wish to commit ourselves to the conscious and responsible care of our common home.

Mr. President, the efforts which were recently made to mend broken relationships and to open new doors to cooperation within our human family represent positive steps along the path of reconciliation, justice and freedom.

I would like all men and women of goodwill in this great nation to support the efforts of the international community to protect the vulnerable in our world and to stimulate integral and inclusive models of development, so that our brothers and sisters everywhere may know the blessings of peace and prosperity which God wills for all his children.

Mr. President, once again I thank you for your welcome, and I look forward to these days in your country. God bless America.

Read Pope Francis’ Speech That He Gave at the White House

Obama to Bask in Pope’s Aura, But Francis Wants Economic Justice

When Pope Francis meets Barack Obama at the White House on Wednesday, the president will bask in his guest’s moral authority and iconic popularity. But the first pontiff from Latin America is likely to exploit those assets to pressure his host on U.S. global economic leadership.

On Francis’s first full day in the country, Obama and as many as 15,000 guests will welcome him on the South Lawn of the White House. For the president, it’s an opportunity to showcase the pope’s support for his initiatives on income inequality, immigration and climate change.

“These are issues that are going to define our future, and the pope I think is providing an incredible sense of motivation that they can and must be addressed,” Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said in a conference call with reporters. “The pope’s voice could not be more timely and important.”

Contentious issues involving Church doctrine on the family — such as abortion rights and contraception coverage — will be swept under the carpet of the Oval Office. But the pope, who called for “a poor Church for the poor” on his election, is expected to elevate his concern for the downtrodden and the excluded for a global audience.

“There are points of tension, and the role of the U.S. as a world leader in economic justice is certainly going to be an issue — how much the U.S. is doing will be on the pope’s mind,” said veteran Vatican watcher John Thavis, author of The Vatican Prophecies. “The U.S. is in a position to drive some of these discussions, and the pope would like to see some leadership.”

At the White House on Wednesday morning, crowds began gathering well before sunrise to clear the security checkpoints before assembling on the South Lawn. A group of drummers banged on their instruments near the Treasury Department, and a man with a bullhorn disrupted the quiet near Lafayette Square on the north side of the White House complex.

Lines for those holding tickets to the White House ceremony grew after the gates opened at 5 a.m. Yellow and white Vatican flags were flying alongside U.S. flags around the White House ready for Francis’s arrival.

Extraordinary Pulpit

The political heft of the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics will be underscored by crowds that security officials expect to be comparable to a presidential inauguration. Some 150,000 people may congregate on the route of his “popemobile” along the National Mall. Much of downtown Washington will be closed to traffic.

Francis faces a balancing act in crafting his message for the extraordinary pulpit that his first visit to the U.S. affords. He will be the first pope to address Congress, on Thursday, and then speaks to the United Nations General Assembly on Friday. He must tailor his criticisms of capitalism’s excesses for a country in which the philosophy is nearly a faith.

“He will make it clear that he is not attacking capitalism as an economic theory, but the way it plays out in the real world — he sees masses of people excluded from the benefits of capitalism, and I think he will say that greed cannot be a motivator in human society,” Thavis said.

Humble Symbol

In one small symbol, Francis chose a humble Fiat 500L to travel from Joint Base Andrews outside Washington, where his plane landed, to the Vatican envoy’s residence in the city. The compact car was dwarfed in his motorcade by the Secret Service’s hulking sport utility vehicles.

The Argentine pope’s priorities are reflected even in his choice of language. At the White House, he will deliver the first speech of his visit in English. But 14 of the 18 speeches scheduled in the country will be in his native Spanish.

“He’s more comfortable that way,” his spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, said at a briefing last week. He’s also better able to reach the nation’s largest immigrant group in the language, a top item on his agenda.

It’s also in Spanish that Francis will celebrate his first Mass in the U.S. on Wednesday, and canonize a saint on U.S. soil for the first time, Hispanic missionary Junipero Serra.

Persuading the Hierarchy

Earlier in the day, Francis will speak to approximately 300 U.S. Catholic bishops at a prayer service at St. Matthew’s Cathedral, known to many Americans as the site of President John F. Kennedy’s funeral Mass.

Those remarks are significant, as it is the church’s U.S. hierarchy that is responsible for follow-through on Francis’s priorities through Sunday sermons, religious education programs, Catholic school curricula and parish activities, said Father Tom Reese, a Jesuit priest and a senior analyst for the National Catholic Reporter.

“The bishops in the United States over the past 10 years have tended to focus on abortion, gay marriage and this religious freedom issue. He wants them to move in a different direction,” Reese said. “He’s not going to succeed unless the rest of the church gets behind him, particularly the bishops and the priests.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-23/obama-to-bask-in-pope-s-aura-but-francis-wants-economic-justice

White House compares Obama to Pope Francis

By NICOLE DURAN

Pope Francis and President Obama have both dedicated their lives to helping the less fortunate, and that commonality will be central to their meeting Wednesday during the pope’s first visit to the United States, a White House spokesman said hours before Obama left to greet the pontiff as he landed at Andrews Air Force Base Tuesday afternoon.

“[B]oth men have talked, quite publicly, about their commitment to social justice,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in previewing their Oval Office meeting scheduled for Wednesday morning. “And both men have dedicated their, not just their careers, but their lives, to that effort.”

“Certainly the kind of commitment that we’ve seen from Pope Francis is unique and singular,” Earnest allowed “but I think the values that both men live out have some common ground.”

Earnest talked about how Obama turned down high-paying jobs upon graduating law school to instead work in Chicago’s poor South Side, and how Francis is known for advocating on behalf of impoverished communities in his home country of Argentina before ascending through the Roman Catholic Church’s ranks.

“And you know, the president actually worked quite closely with other Catholics in that community, and the president has talked about that quite a bit … this has been a value that has animated the president’s career choices since he was a young man.”

Earnest said Francis’s story is similar.

“[P]rior to rising through the leadership ranks of the Catholic Church … Pope Francis earned a reputation in Latin America [as being someone] willing to roll up his sleeves” to help the less fortunate, “particularly those who were economically destitute,” Earnest said.

Earnest said many in the administration are looking forward to greeting Francis because they feel they are working toward the same goals.

They’re “animated by the same kinds of values that animate the pope,” Earnest said about White House staffers. “And I think that’s why the opportunity to have Pope Francis, somebody who shares those values, here in this building tomorrow, makes for a really special day.”

A crowd of 15,000 is expected to welcome Francis at a ceremony on the White House lawn Wednesday morning.

According to press reports, several hundred people were on hand at Maryland’s Andrews Air Force Base to watch “Shepherd One” land and cheer the pope as he deplaned.

“We love Francis, yes we do,” people reportedly chanted. “We love Francis, how about you?”

In addition to Obama, First Lady Michelle, Vice President Joe Biden his wife Jill, and their extended families, nearly 20 other dignitaries were on hand at Andrews, including all of the Washington and Baltimore areas’ Catholic bishops.

“Ho, ho, hey, hey, welcome to the USA,” the larger crowd chanted, welcoming Francis on his first trip ever to the United States.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/white-house-officials-are-now-comparing-obama-to-the-pope/article/2572634

Pope of the poor arrives in US denying he’s a liberal

By NICOLE WINFIELD and RACHEL ZOL

Pope of the poor arrives in US denying he’s a liberal

he pope of the poor arrived for his first-ever visit to the world’s wealthiest superpower Tuesday denying he is a leftist and riding in a frugal little family car, windows rolled down.

Pope Francis’ chartered plane from Cuba touched down at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, where President Barack Obama and his wife and daughters paid him the rare honor of meeting him at the bottom of the stairs on the red-carpeted tarmac. Presidents usually make important visitors come to them at the White House.

Emerging from the aircraft to loud cheers from a crowd of hundreds, the smiling 78-year-old pontiff removed his skullcap in the windy weather and made his way down the steps in his white robes.

He was welcomed by a military honor guard, chanting schoolchildren, politicians, and Roman Catholic clerics in black robes with vivid sashes of scarlet and purple. Joe Biden, the nation’s first Catholic vice president, and his wife were among those who greeted him.

Eschewing a limousine, the pope climbed into the back of a little Fiat sandwiched between huge black SUVs. He promptly rolled down the windows, enabling the cheering, whooping crowds to see him as his motorcade took him to the Vatican diplomatic mission in Washington, where he will stay while in the nation’s capital.

The choice of car was in keeping with his simple habits and his stand against consumerism. His decision to roll down the windows reflected his penchant for trying to connect to ordinary people despite the tight security around him.

During his six-day, three-city visit to the U.S., the pope will meet with the president on Wednesday, address Congress on Thursday, speak at the United Nations in New York on Friday and take part in a Vatican-sponsored conference on the family in Philadelphia over the weekend.

The Argentine known as the “slum pope” for ministering to the downtrodden in his native Buenos Aires is expected to urge America to take better care of the environment and the poor and return to its founding ideals of religious liberty and open arms toward immigrants.

During the flight, Francis defended himself against conservative criticism that his condemnation of trickle-down economics makes him a communist.

“I am certain that I have never said anything beyond what is in the social doctrine of the church,” he said. He said some may have misinterpreted his writings in a way that makes him sound “a little bit more left-leaning,” but he said that’s wrong.

Joking about doubts in some quarters over whether he is truly Catholic, he said, “If I have to recite the Creed, I’m ready.”

Francis is the fourth pope ever to visit the United States.

Francis’ enormous popularity, propensity for wading into crowds and insistence on using an open-sided Jeep rather than a bulletproof popemobile have complicated things for U.S. law enforcement, which has mounted one of the biggest security operations in American history to keep him safe.

The measures are unprecedented for a papal trip and could make it nearly impossible for many ordinary Americans to get anywhere close to Francis.

For all the attention likely to be paid to Francis’ speeches, including the first address from a pope to Congress, his more personal gestures — visiting with immigrants, prisoners and the homeless — could yield some of the most memorable images of the trip.

“What the pope does in the United States will be more important than what he says,” said Mat Schmalz, a religious studies professor at Holy Cross college in Worcester, Massachusetts. “There are a lot of things he will say about capitalism and about wealth inequality, but many Americans and politicians have already made up their minds on these issues. What I would look for is a particular gesture, an unscripted act, that will move people.”

In Cuba, Francis basked in the adulation of Cubans grateful to him for brokering the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and the communist island.

On the plane, though, he told reporters he will not use his speech to Congress to call specifically for the U.S. to lift the Cold War-era trade embargo against Cuba.

He arrives at a moment of bitter infighting across the country over gay rights, immigration, abortion and race relations — issues that are always simmering in the U.S. but have boiled over in the heat of a presidential campaign.

Capitol Hill is consumed by disputes over abortion and federal funding for Planned Parenthood after hidden-camera videos showed its officials talking about the organization’s practice of sending tissue from aborted fetuses to medical researchers. While Francis has staunchly upheld church teaching against abortion, he has recently allowed ordinary priests, and not just bishops, to absolve women of the sin.

Francis’ visit comes three months after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, putting U.S. bishops on the defensive and sharply dividing Americans over how much they should accommodate religious objectors. The pope has strongly upheld church teaching against same-sex marriage but adopted a welcoming tone toward gays themselves, saying, “Who am I to judge?” when asked about a supposedly gay priest.

Americans are also wrestling anew with issues of racism. A series of deaths in recent years of unarmed black men at the hands of law enforcement has intensified debate over the American criminal justice system. Francis will see that system up close when he meets with inmates at a Pennsylvania prison.

U.S. bishops, meanwhile, expect Francis will issue a strong call for immigration reform, a subject that has heated up with hardline anti-immigrant rhetoric from some of the Republican presidential candidates, especially Donald Trump.

Francis, the first Latin American pope, will be sending a powerful message on that front by delivering the vast majority of his speeches in his native Spanish.

“Our presidential candidates have been using immigrants as a wedge issue,” Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski said. “It’s our hope that the visit of Pope Francis will change this narrative.”

Francis’ most eagerly watched speech will be his address to Congress. Republicans and many conservative Catholics have bristled at his indictment of the excesses of capitalism that he says impoverish people and risk turning the Earth into an “immense pile of filth.” Many conservatives have likewise rejected his call for urgent action against global warming.

Nevertheless, Francis enjoys popularity ratings in the U.S. that would be the envy of any world leader. A New York Times/CBS News poll conducted last week found 63 percent of Catholics have a favorable view of him, and nearly 8 in 10 approve the direction he is taking the church.

Just how far Francis presses his agenda in Washington is the big question.

Paul Vallely, author of “Pope Francis, The Struggle for the Soul of Catholicism,” predicted both “warmth” and “some finger-wagging” from the pope.

“He won’t necessarily confront people head-on,” Vallely said, “but he’ll change the priorities.”

http://news.yahoo.com/pope-ends-cuban-trip-address-families-heads-us-040511515.html

Pope Francis visits U.S. amid legal challenges to religious freedom


Pope Francis is arriving in the U.S. at a time when the faithful are facing broad challenges in court over the limits of religious liberty.

From the administration’s contraception mandate under Obamacare to the fallout from the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage, church-affiliated institutions and individuals are confronting litigation to compel them to carry out policies contrary to their religious beliefs.

Some observers say the pope, with whom President Obama claims to hold a special relationship, shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to speak out in defense of religious liberty in the U.S.

“This is the time, right now,” said Joseph Prud’homme, director of the Institute for the Study of Religion, Politics, and Culture at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland. “I think it’s an opportunity for the pope to speak clearly about the right of religious liberty in this country.”

From his behind-the-scenes role in brokering the restoration of diplomatic ties between Cuba and the U.S. to his issuing of an encyclical on the environment in June calling for renewable-fuel subsidies and energy efficiency, Francis has appeared to many to be on the same page with much of Mr. Obama’s agenda.

“He has established a considerable bridge with the secular left with his encyclical on the environment,” Mr. Prud’homme said. “And using that kind of bridge, he needs to now walk across it and say very clearly that the right of religious freedom needs to be guaranteed and the right of individuals to follow their conscience needs to be protected.”

Francis addressed the issue of his ideological leanings Tuesday on the plane from Cuba, saying that while some glosses on his writings and words may have created a view that he is “a little bit more left-leaning,” such narratives are wrong.

“I am certain that I have never said anything beyond what is in the social doctrine of the church,” he asserted, referring to more than 120 years of church criticism of the excesses of capitalism, repeated in various ways by every pope since Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum.

White House aides said the president’s meeting with the pope in the Oval Office on Wednesday will focus on their shared values and won’t address policy specifics.

“Their focus in the context of this meeting will not be about politics, not about specific policies, but rather about the kinds of values that both men have dedicated their lives to championing,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest. “There is no plan or strategy that’s been put in place to try to stage an event that will advance anybody’s political agenda.”

Mr. Earnest, addressing the Islamic State’s persecution of Christians in Syria and Iraq, said one of the values that Mr. Obama shares with Pope Francis “is a commitment to religious liberty — standing up for the rights of religious minorities around the world.”

“That has long been a value that President Obama has prioritized,” he said.

Whether or not it was timed to coincide with the pope’s arrival, HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell gave a speech Tuesday at Howard University’s College of Medicine on progress made under the Affordable Care Act.

The Supreme Court is increasingly likely to take up one or more challenges to the Obamacare contraception mandate. A panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis ruled last week that forcing two Missouri organizations to offer contraceptive coverage to employees — even indirectly — would violate the groups’ religious freedoms.

Every other appeals court to consider the issue has ruled in opposition to the 8th Circuit, and the Supreme Court usually steps in to resolve such splits. The other courts have said the administration has done enough to accommodate the objections of religiously affiliated nonprofit organizations such as universities, hospitals and charities.

The Becket Fund’s petitions to the high court involve the Little Sisters of the Poor and Houston Baptist University, both of which are challenging the mandate on religious grounds. The court is expected to decide in October whether to hear one or more of the cases.

“I think it’s unlikely that the court would refuse to address the issue, which is affecting hundreds if not thousands of religious organizations across the country,” Mr. Baxter said.

“The administration shouldn’t be picking and choosing between religious organizations. The bishops who run the dioceses around the country have been exempted from the mandate, there’s no reason why the nuns, like Little Sisters of the Poor, or other religious organizations shouldn’t also be exempt,” he said.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/sep/22/pope-francis-visits-us-amid-legal-challenges-to-re/?page=2

Ten Commandments