Items filtered by date: August 2012 - Duane Cutlip
Thursday, 27 September 2012 00:00

Don't Believe The Hype

If you believe the media and the polls, you would think that one in four Americans are homosexual, 75% of us support abortion, and most of us like Obama.

The perception is that folks like you and I are in the minority, but that's not true - by a longshot.

Recently, as I visited our local Chick-fil-A during the "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day", I heard many people utter the words, "Great! There's a line!" as they came up the sidewalk.  As I thought about it, that highlights what has become a major problem for conservatives.  The perception is that most people have lost their common sense and there are only a few real conservatives left.  As people expressed their relief at seeing a line, they were actually saying how glad they were to find that there are a whole lot of other people that share their common American values.

If we dig a little deeper, we'll find that we've been lied to on every level creating a blanket of perception that keeps most of us sitting at home cowering in the corner.  Gallup did a poll in 2010 in which they asked respondents what percentage of Americans did they think were homosexual.  The average respondent thought that 25% of us were gay.  Certainly if you thought one-fourth of Americans were gay, you would moderate your comments on the subject quite a bit regardless of what you personally thought about it as a lifestyle.  After all, who wants to anger that large a group?  The fact is, even the liberal Huffington Post could only uncover a study that maximized the number at 1.7% of Americans being homosexual.

Since the 1960's, we've been told that most Americans want abortion to be freely available and unfettered in scope.  It has been sold as "choice" and a woman's right to control her own body.  Human life has been labeled as a fetus, an organic mass, and everything else but a human being.  After over 4 decades of this brainwashing, Gallup's 2009 poll showed that 73% of Americans still believe that abortion should at the very least be limited to certain circumstances and at the most be illegal altogether.  Despite the "re-education" efforts, truth has still won out in individual hearts.  The only problem is, most of us would assume that 73% of Americans want abortion in any form based on what we hear from the media.

Christmas is around the corner and we've arrived at a time in history when most of us will say, "Merry Christmas" either timidly, waiting to be chastised for it or defiantly, daring someone to do so.  The fact remains that 95% of Americans celebrate Christmas and recognize it as a religious holiday.  In fact, 80% of Americans claim to be Christian.  The next highest religious group is the Jewish faith, and they command a whopping 1.5% or so of Americans.  Every other group is smaller than that.  About 15% of us either don't practice, don't know, or claim to be atheist.  Shame on us for cowering!

It's time to stop believing what we know in our hearts to be untrue.  Your neighbors who support gay marriage and abortion don't care enough about your feelings to promote their beliefs.  Why are you afraid to stand up for your principles?  Whether they like it or not, common sense is still in abundance here in America.  We've just been too quiet for too long.

In addition, we're finding out that the current polls are oversampling Democrats in what is called the "Partisan Matrix". In Florida and Ohio, the CBS/NYT polls sample Democrats in greater numbers than 2008.  It's inconceivable to think that's even remotely accurate. Obama got the smallest convention bounce in the polls since 1964, yet the media keeps producing polls that show Obama with a lead.  Now we know how.  Don't believe the hype!

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 00:00

Is Obama an Illusionist?

An illusionist is skilled at making you focus on one hand while he performs a trick in the other.  What appears to be stunning magic is merely slight of hand.  Perhaps that is what our President is doing.

What if we're being distracted by the right hand while the real agenda is being carried out by the left?  In the 1992 election, the de facto motto was "It's the economy, stupid!".  That was a recognition of the fact that what American's care most about is closest to them.  Obama may be a lot of things, but he is not dumb.  You couldn't get to where he has with his resume if you were not.  Even a political puppet has to be smart enough to placate the puppeteers in order to get what he wants.

Imagine, would the American people concentrate so much on unemployment that they would miss the Muslim Brotherhood and radical Islamic groups taking over the Middle East?  Would Americans be so preoccupied by the devaluation of the dollar that they would not pay attention to his unending string of executive orders that circumvent the Constitution at every hand?  Would we only see an unsustainable debt of $16 trillion, and not see him weakening America in the world at a crippling pace?

It certainly is possible that Obama and his administration is simply incompetent.  One look at Joe Biden would support that argument.  Perhaps, however, it's something more sinister.  What if the state of the economy and jobs is merely the activity in the right hand that occupies all of our attention while his real agenda is being carried out in the left hand?

Think about it this way.  If you bought a piece of land upon which to build your dream home and there was an existing house that stood in the place you wished your new home to be, what would you do?  You couldn't very well try to build upon the existing structure if you wanted your home to be truly as you'd dreamed.  You would flatten the old structure and remove every trace of it so you could properly erect your dream home.

What if Obama's dream is a socialist America and the Founders' intent is currently standing in its way?

Published in Blog
Tuesday, 25 September 2012 12:00

Tax Brackets vs. Effective Tax Rates

The democrats have been successful at focusing the mainstream media on Romney's taxes. They've also been successful at either lying or at least deceiving voters when they talk about middle class citizens paying more taxes than Romney. It is true that Romney's income generally falls in a lower tax bracket, but in reality most middle class Americans pay a lower effective tax rate than Romney.

Let's sort out just how our tax system works. Capital gains (money you make on investments) is generally taxed at a rate of 15%. Ordinary Income (the money you earn from working) is taxed at different levels with brackets from 10% to 35%. The press keeps alleging that Romney pays less taxes than most middle class folks because his income is virtually all from capital gains.

I'll focus on that 15% mark so we keep our comparisons "apples-to-apples". To keep things simple, I've eliminated all the calculations, but you can find many online calculators to check my numbers - like the one here

Your effective tax rate would be 15% if all of your income was all salary and you had nothing other than the standard deduction as follows:

  • $62,500 - Single - 25% tax bracket (Ranks in the top 38% of US total household income)
  • $125,000 - Married, filing jointly, no children - 25% tax bracket (Top 16%)
  • $143,500 - Married, filing jointly, 2 children 28% tax bracket (Top 12%)

If your income is all from salary, you give 10% of your income to charity, and have $3,000 in mortgage interest that you deduct, your effective tax rate would be 15% with the following gross income levels:

  • $74,000 - Single - 25% tax bracket (Top 30%)
  • $139,000 - Married, filing jointly, no children - 25% tax bracket (Top 13%)
  • $162,500 - Married, filing jointly, 2 children - 28% tax bracket (Top 9%)

At the above numbers, your income would be taxed at the exact same 15% whether your income was either 100% salary or 100% capital gains.

As you can see, a rewarding income could be earned without exceeding an effective tax rate of 15% and still filing one of the simplest income tax return forms. For comparison, the median houshold income in 2010 was $49,445.

So, the press is misleading voters in saying that Romney pays a lower rate than most of us. He pays about what the mid-section of America pays, but as a broader point, how many Americans put almost $2 million into the government coffers last year? Not many, that's for sure. Romney certainly paid for government services that go to a lot of folks not paying any taxes at all.


DEFINITIONS:

Tax Bracket: Based on gross income, this represents the rate at which you would be taxed on your Taxable Income.
Taxable Income: This is the amount your tax rate would be applied to and is calculated by subtracting any deductible items from your gross income.
Effective Tax Rate: This represents the actual amount of taxes you paid as compared to your gross income.

Bracket Breakdown

 Bracket  Married, Filing Jointly  Single
10% $0 – $17,400 $0 – $8,700
15% $17,400 – $70,700 $8,700 – $35,350
25% $70,700 – $142,700 $35,350 – $85,650
28% $142,700 – $217,450 $85,650 – $178,650
33% $217,450 – $388,350 $178,650 – $388,350
35% Over $388,350 Over $388,350
Published in Blog

The Democrats have given their 2012 platform a slogan - "Moving America Forward".

In reading the 32 page document, I find it full of things that will not move us "forward" at all!  Among them are:

  • They show a complete misunderstanding of economics and pass it all off with divisive language that ultimately blames Republicans.  They seek to 'double-down' on their failed 'trickle-up' economics.  Even a cursory reading reveals that they are long on hyperbole and short on details. They are focused on fear and ignorant of solutions.
  • They propose billions in new programs, but offer no credible way to fund them.
  • They believe abortion should have no restrictions.
  • They are for gay marriage and support stripping away every state and federal power to suggest or enforce "Defense of Marriage" laws.
  • They want to limit the 2nd amendment and pursue aggressive gun control laws.
  • They want to give carte blanch to Unions.
  • While they make a passe mention of "faith", they virtually leave God out of it altogether.  The only time God is mentioned in the entire document and that is on page 2 when it claims to support all of us living up to our "God-given potential"  This marks a continued effort on their part to rid themselves of God.  In 2004, their platform mentioned God 7 times.  You will have heard that the delegates actually booed when (under pressure) it was suggested that they put "God" and "Jerusalem" back into the platform

This platform simply reinforces what we all know about the Democrats and their intentions to make major alterations to the fabric of America.  What may have been a bit unexpected was the bloodlust in the delegates to pursue such an out-of-the-mainstream platform.

Published in Blog
Monday, 24 September 2012 18:00

How Can That Many People Be So Wrong?

So I was looking at Real Clear Politics online and saw that Obama is currently leading Romney in their poll average 48.6% to 44.9%.  They show Obama leading in 11 out of 12 of the top battleground states by a margin of 1% to 8.9%.  Intrade has Obama with a 71.6% chance of being re-elected.

Today is September 24.  There are 43 days until the election.  We have just been through a busy news cycle over the last couple of weeks in which a U.S. Ambassador was killed in Libya under circumstances that point to ineptitude by the administration.  While Romney made a statement about 47% of the country not likely to vote for him, Obama called the death of our Ambassador and the surrounding unrest "bumps in the road".

Unemployment remains over 8% and his inauguration day remains the record for lowest unemployment during Obama's reign.  There has been no appreciable rebound in the economy for the average American, and our debt has increased astronomically and sits at over $16 Trillion.  Welfare rolls have doubled under Obama with Food Stamps approaching similar numbers.  The dollar is declining, median income has declined every successive year in his regime, and we're facing the largest tax increase in the history of the world come January.  Even though our law requires it, there has not been even one budget since Obama took office.

Obama's campaign has recycled the promises and rhetoric from the '08 campaign and he even made the statement that he couldn't change Washington from the inside.  In essence, his campaign statements have amounted to, "it could have been worse".

So, why would Americans be at a point right now where they prefer Obama to continue being our President by a margin of almost 4%?  Perhaps the question is, "do they really?"  Knowing what we do about the accomplishments (or lack of) of this administration how is it conceivable that a majority of Americans in any poll could favor Obama over nearly any other candidate?  Perhaps it is because the polling is skewed.  As blatantly portrayed in the image above, most of the main stream media no longer hides their love of Obama.  Most of the pollsters are lefties.  If you're the one creating the poll, you have certain leeway to skew it to your ideology without most people catching on.

Rasmussen, who is regarded as the most accurate pollster, has the race much closer.  When you get into the cross tabs, you'll find that more people polled say that they'll definitely vote for Romney than those who will definitely vote for Obama.  At this stage in the 1980 campaign between Reagan and Carter, the pollsters had Carter ahead of Reagan by 4-8 percentage points.

Perhaps the polls are a result of wishful thinking by the left, or perhaps they're moderately accurate.  We hope (and there are plenty of indicators to back it up) that the polling is simply padded for Obama.  After all, how could the people we live and work with be so willingly ignorant?  But, if the numbers are even close, how can that many people be so wrong?

Published in Blog
Monday, 24 September 2012 00:00

I am not ashamed

Across partisan divides, many will concede that this country was founded upon "Judeo-Christian Values" - that nebulous, but ubiquitous phrase describing the moral framework upon which the Founders erected our governmental structure.  Even "non-believers" recognize the Bible as the source to which many Founders turned for moral guidance.  In fact, many people who may not believe the Bible as truth today still recognize it as valuable for the moral lessons it teaches.

With that said, I am going to take this space today to share some of what the Bible has to say about morality and what happens when people ignore not just God's law, but the laws ever-present in nature as instilled by their Creator.  If any among us is an astute observer of nature, he will quickly recognize that there are certain immutable laws.  Any time there is a sowing, there is eventually a harvest.  Every action has a reaction.  For every choice, there is a consequence which may be good or bad.  Each of these things represent the equilibrium

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;" - Romans 1:16

This verse occurs before what is outlined in verses 21-32, which reveals why we (holders of truth) should not be ashamed and should be influencing the world around us:

21"Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

24Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

26For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

28And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."

Take a moment to let all of that sink in. This passage was written nearly 2,000 years ago, yet it is a contemporary indictment of an America that has forsaken its founding faith.

Instead of my further commentary, read the selection again.  Those of us with knowledge of the truth should not be ashamed of it.  Because many have not shared the truth, we live in the debauchery of this day.

Published in Blog
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