Posts Tagged ‘NRA’

When did it become wrong to believe in individual people and right to believe in collectivist governments?

I know many people don’t like Ayn Rand or her philosophy (which was partly too difficult for even her to live by), but she had the right idea: keep governments out of private business. That’s the way the country was run for a long time.

Cut to today. Now we have big corporations (not all, but some), lobbyists, & special interests that have politicians in their back pockets. Case in point: the NRA. They recently pledged support for a campaign finance reform bill after being awarded exemption from the new rules through a provision they authored (see my previous post: Special Interest & The Government).

Google & Verizon recently published what they believe should be the guidelines for regulating the internet…rules that would hinder their competitors. Even the FCC, which is in favor of internet regulation, came out against these guidelines, as did a huge swath of the internet community.

This may seem like a rant against business, but it’s not. It’s a rant against government & businesses getting too cozy. When the government picks the winners, the populace loses. Look at the current “Summer of Recovery”: 9.5% unemployment, 131,000 net jobs lost last month (though the private sector has decreasingly added jobs every month this year), GDP growth that gets revised downward more often than not, etc. And this is after the trillions of taxpayer dollars that were pumped into certain companies, banks, and government departments to stop the downward economic spiral.

So where’s the recovery? Most major downturns are followed by quick recoveries. Look at the depression of 1920-1921: tax cuts, spending cuts, and some other noninterventionist policies paved the way for the roaring 20s. By contrast, the Great Depression lasted over a decade despite (because of) government interference, and unemployment didn’t see a sharp decline until America got into WWII & the draft was instituted.

Empirical evidence shows the less government interferes, the faster & more sustainable the recovery. Governments picking winners & losers means everybody loses.

Got off on a tangent there. You’ll see that happens a lot. Anyway, my point is that anybody that believes in giving power to the individual to do what he wants, with the caveat that he harms no one other than himself, is now considered an extremist.

Belief that we are free to live our lives our way, again- harming no one other than ourselves, instead of the government proclaiming how we should live is a crackpot. Not giving us control over our own bodies, what goes in our bodies, what happens in our bedroom, who we take to our bedroom (consensually and both being of legal age), how we spend our money, what we buy…these are a few examples of how government interferes with our lives. And we’re crazy because we want to take responsibility for our own lives & not have that responsibility taken away by government?

Then call me crazy.

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“Exempt section 501( c)(4) organizations” are also exempt from new reporting requirements. These are organizations which have qualified as having tax exempt status under section 501( c)(4) of the tax code for each of the 10 years prior to making a campaign-related disbursement, that had 1 million or more dues-paying members in the prior calendar year, that had members in each of the 50 states, that received no more than 15 percent of their total funding from corporations or labor organizations, and that do not use any corporate or union money to pay for their campaign-related expenditures.”

The above is an excerpt from the DISCLOSE Act exempting certain nonprofit groups from publicly disclosing donors to political campaigns. It was a deal reached between congress & the NRA to gain the support of certain lobbying groups.

If passed as written, the bill will exempt nonprofit organizations from the new law if they meet certain requirements. Those requirements being: the organization is at least 10 yrs old, has at least 1 million members, has members in all 50 states, & get 15% or less of their funding from corporations and/or labor unions.

That’s all well and good for the big dogs that can already afford to play ball with the govt, but what about small, local nonprofits that don’t operate on a national level? They’re as affected by this new bill as much as the big boys, like the NRA, would’ve been without this amendment.

And what about corporations & labor unions? According to a recent Supreme Court decision, Citizens United, they have as much a right to free speech (yes, political contributions are a form of speech) as private citizens.

So here we have a bill that not only protects favored special interests & hinders their smaller counterparts, but also flies in the face of a Supreme Court ruling protecting free speech for ALL citizens.

They say that this will stop a flood of special interests from influencing elections. Really? How exactly will exempting big special interests from the law keep a flood of special interest money out of elections? And when was the last time an ad influenced your decision during an election?

The fact is, as an influencer, political ads are ill-suited to the task. at most, they should be viewed as an informer that may or may not aid your decision. This bill is an overreaction to a, some say, controversial SCOTUS decision. It’s purpose: to silence voices who are big enough to cause trouble and too small to play ball.

Tell your congressmen & women that you oppose this bill.