"This is what the Lord says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, and ask where the good way is, and walk in it. You will find rest for your soul."
Jeremiah 6:16 NIV
Late in George Washington's life, when he had become an old man, someone asked him the question, "Who has been the most influential person in your life". Without hesitation, Washington answered, "My Mother". And the most important words George Washington's mother imparted on him? "Son, remember, God is your only sure trust."
Of all the things, all the people we cherish, for most of us, no one is higher on our list than our own mothers, and Mother’s Day is just one small way to show our Mothers just how much they mean to us.
When our founding fathers developed the rules and laws to run our government, they wrote certain “dos and don’ts” into our U.S. Constitution, and some things were strictly not allowed. But even with their very specific “do’s and don’ts” list, one that they considered to be very unconstitutional still made it through.
What was it? Income Tax.
That's right, except for a very short period after the Civil War, prior to 1913, taxes on a person's income were deemed illegal. Why? Article 1, Section 8, clause 1 of our U.S. Constitution says that Congress has the power to impose taxes on, “duties, imports and excises" but only if these taxes are “uniform throughout the United States". In simple words, you must tax all citizens evenly - which income tax does not do.
Now, if our founding fathers in all their wisdom were so opposed to this idea of taxing income, just how did it become law anyway? Well, in 1911, a Professor Edwin Seligman wrote a book entitled "The Income Tax". In his book, Professor Seligman promoted the idea of an income tax, and his view was that this tax on income was quite compatible with a free society if two things were kept in check.
* First, that a runaway tax rate could not be allowed. Seligman believed that any income tax exceeding 5% was a runaway rate.
* And, second, that if our government ever became so powerful that it controlled the citizens, the people would stand against it.
So what happened? With the backing of the Professor’s book, in 1913 our U.S. Congress passed an amendment to our Constitution, the 16th amendment that said simply this –
By Jerry Stewart - Vision Productions One of the most serious problems we have in American today is that there are few standards or absolutes. And those we do have are under constant attack of elimination. Consider this.
This is Presidents Week - the time each year we remember and especially honor two of our greatest U.S. Presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. But, why do we remember? Is it what each did as our president - or who they were as a person?
Is there anything that you feel strongly enough about that you would die for it? A cause, a belief? Is there anyone or anything you love enough to die for?
The food stamp program is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They proudly report that they distribute free meals and food stamps to over 46 million people on an annual basis.
Meanwhile, the National Park Service, run by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us, "Please do not feed the animals". Their stated reason for this policy being that -
Have you noticed all of the quips and sayings and proverbs we use in our daily communications, and so many of these we don’t even know who first said it or the circumstance under which they did say it. I have one such saying for you today.
On January 22, 1973, a law was passed in America that was so harsh, so cruel, I believed that it would never last. I truly believed that we "civilized" citizens of our United States would never allow ourselves to become a part to such a horrible crime, but we did, and this law is still in place today.