This is not said often enough - and is not properly understood by many.
religion and the separation of Church and State are among the basic
cornerstones of America, American values and American “philosophy”.Every American has the right to worship and
believe as he or she so chooses – or to choose not to worship or believe.The government cannot force anyone to choose
one religion and set of beliefs over any other, or to choose any religion
or beliefs.No specific religion or
church can dictate government policy or legislation.
There is no
official “American” religion or church.America
is not a “Christian” country.
religious beliefs may motivate involvement in politics as a practice of good
citizenship, and the religious can preach the gospel, or their version or
interpretation of the gospel, to those who will listen, the specific
religious beliefs of a specific religious sect or religion must never be the
basis of legislation, and the religious cannot force those of different
beliefs, or no beliefs, to live their lives according to the specific
individual beliefs and rules of their specific religion or religious sect.
All law in
America is based on the Constitution and civil law - and is not, and must
NEVER be, based on specific religious law.
not illegal because God said, “Thou shalt not kill”.Murder is illegal because life is protected
under the Constitution and under civil law.
specific religious beliefs of your chosen sect or religion tells you that
abortion is wrong – don’t have an abortion.If the specific religious beliefs of your chosen sect or religion tells
you that homosexuality and same-sex marriage is wrong – don’t practice
homosexuality and do not marry someone of the same sex.But you cannot force someone with
different religions beliefs, or no religious beliefs, to act in accordance with
the specific religious beliefs of your chosen sect or religion, and most
definitely not via legislation.
mistakenly identify those who want to legislate the specific religious beliefs
of fundamental Christianity as being “conservative” and identify legislating these
specific religious beliefs as being a component of conservative political
philosophy.Nothing could be further
than the truth.
fundamental tenet of conservative political philosophy is limited government,
and the protection and maximizing individual rights.True conservatives believe that the
government should have minimal involvement in the personal and business life of
the individual.The so-called
“evangelicals” of the “Christian right” wants the government to tell
individuals how to live their lives – in direct contradiction to true conservative
“love and marriage”, politics and religion NEVER go together!
My name is
Robert D Flach.I am a self-employed professional
tax return preparer, a tax writer and a tax blogger who was born in November of
I was born
and grew up in Hudson County, New Jersey – the poster child for political corruption
- where it was almost illegal to NOT vote Democrat.My parents were Republicans.My father was a Republican Committeeman, and
both my parents worked as officers on local election boards as representatives of
the Republican Party.I moved to rural northeast
Pennsylvania in 2012.
I am not a
registered Republican nor a registered Democrat.I consider myself to be a true “Independent”.In the past I have voted for Republican,
Democratic and 3rd Party candidates at various levels of
government.My votes have been based on
the individual candidate and the issues.
I am not a “socialist”.I support some Democratic policies and some
Republican policies.I support some
liberal policies and some true conservative policies – and perhaps support more
true conservative principles than liberal ones.Winston Churchill is credited with saying if you are not liberal by age
20 you have no heart and if you are not conservative by age 40 you have no head.I believe
that, in my 60s, I have both heart and head.
I am not a
political scholar.I am a relatively intelligent
college-educated middle-class American.I
am a heterosexual White Anglo-Saxon Protestant – aka WASP (Protestant by
upbringing and not current church membership or practice).I have never served in the military, but
consider myself to be a patriotic American.
and aggressively oppose and denounce Trump as a human being and as
President.I have vocally and aggressively
opposed and denounced him since he first announced his candidacy for President
in 2015.At the time I said, and posted,
that the most disturbing political development in my lifetime was the fact that
Trump was being taken seriously as a Presidential candidate.
announcing his candidacy for President I believed Trump to be a totally worthless
self-absorbed piece of garbage who is totally devoid of humanity – which he
still is today.
I am a true
and aggressive “Never-Trumper”, and am proud to so be.I have been “out to get” Trump – because he truly
deserves to be “got” - and working to remove him from office from the day he
was sworn in as President, after actually losing the election by almost 3 Million
votes, because I have always known that he is mentally unhinged and unstable
and totally unfit to be President, and that he is a true clear and present
danger to America, American values and democracy, and the world – and nothing
he has done since taking office has changed my opinion.
words, tweets and deeds as President have proven that he is totally unfit to be
President, unfit to hold any office of power at any level of government, and they
continue to do so every day he remains in office.I firmly believe that the most important
issue in the 2020 election is removing Trump from office, and removing his hypocritical
Republican enablers in Congress from office.
I do not
support the “Medicare for All” proposals of Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders.And I do not support the US transitioning to socialized
think in different times “Medicare for All” should be seriously discussed, I
certainly do believe it should not be included in the 2020 Democratic Party
platform.There must be nothing to
prevent independents and anti-Trump conservatives and Republicans from voting
for the Democratic nominee.
support free tuition at state colleges and trade schools – but that is a
that Obamacare, aka The Affordable Care Act, has good, bad and ugly.Obamacare was a truly flawed hastily written
and passed Act created to get an early legislative victory for Obama.It was voted on along strict Party lines
without a single member of Congress actually reading the bill.They were told by their Party’s leaders to
either vote for it or against it and all followed in lock-step.
As an aside,
the GOP Tax Act was exactly the same – flawed legislation hastily written and
passed along strict Party lines that was not actually read by a single member
I do not
believe that individuals and families should be financially penalized for not
having “adequate” health insurance coverage for all household members, and I do
not believe employers should be financially penalized for not providing health
insurance coverage to employees.I
strongly oppose any kind of “shared responsibility penalty”.
I do believe
insurance policies should be required to cover “pre-existing conditions”.And I especially like and strongly support providing “point
of purchase” credits toward monthly premium payments for those who cannot
afford coverage – the Obamacare “advance premium credit” – although I do not
necessarily believe it should be reconciled after the fact on the Form 1040.
Here is a
proposal related to health insurance coverage that I have not heard discussed
individuals and families lose employer-provided group health insurance coverage
when the individual or the head of the household loses his or her job, and are without
insurance for several months until they get a new job and qualify for employer-provided,
or can afford to purchase outside, coverage.
What about the
government providing automatic temporary Medicare coverage for up to perhaps 6
months to individuals and families in such a situation – either free of charge
or at the same premium cost as paid by those 65 or older who qualify for
of Congress is one of the two Articles of Impeachment presented against
Trump.Obstruction of Justice was
considered as a third Article but was, in my personal opinion erroneously, not included.
tells us to obstruct “to hinder from passage, action, or operation: impede.”It also describes “Obstruction of Justice” as
“the crime or act of willfully interfering with the process of justice and
law especially by influencing, threatening, harming, or impeding a witness,
potential witness, juror, or judicial or legal officer or by furnishing false
information in or otherwise impeding an investigation or legal process.”
of Congress is hindering the operation of Congress or a committee of Congress.
another ongoing form of obstruction in national politics today – Obstruction of
the Constitution.Trump is guilty, but there
is someone even more guilty.That person
is Addison Mitchell “Mitch” McConnell Jr, the current Senate Majority Leader.
US Constitution here is how a bill becomes law.After being reviewed and discussed by a House or Senate committee the bill
goes to the House or Senate floor for further debate and amendment, if
necessary. It passes or fails by a simple majority vote: 218 of 435 in the
House or 51 of 100 in the Senate. Once passed, it repeats the process in the
other house. After a passing a vote,
conference committee members from the House and Senate work out any differences
between the two versions of the bill. The revised bill then goes to each house
for final approval.The final
legislation is sent to the President for signature.
the Republican Party is constantly accusing House Democrats of “getting
nothing done in Congress,” and being consumed by impeachment.This is another of a long list of
Republican lies.The House of Representatives
has passed nearly 400 bills since January of 2019.Congress
has actually passed less than 80 bills into law this year.Recent previous Congresses have usually
passed from 300-500 bills passed in a 2-year period.Mitch McConnell refuses to allow the Senate
to hold a vote on any substantive legislation passed by the House.
the Senate from voting on House bills McConnell is obstructing the Constitutional
process for passing legislation.Granted, many House bills, having been introduced and passed along Party
lines, would be defeated in the Senate. But McConnell is not allowing the process to
proceed as was intended by the Constitution.
article – click here - from VOX provides a list of some of the major legislation
passed by the House in 2019.
Congress has been extremely partisan for over 20 years – and both Republicans
and Democrats are at fault.I have often
said that the Democratic Party could introduce legislation that would beyond
any doubt end all war forever and Republicans would vote against it only
because it was introduced by Democrats – and vice versa.While both sides are to blame, this obstruction
and incompetence began in the mid-90s under the leadership of Republican Speaker
of the House Newt Gingrich.
McConnell is up for re-election in 2020.While it is vital that Trump, if he survives impeachment, he be voted
out of office in 2020, it is equally vital that McConnell also be voted out
of office.McConnell has obstructed
the operation of Congress as outlined in the Constitution.He is guilty of Obstruction of Congress and
Obstruction of the Constitution.
single Republican member of Congress who supports, defends and enables Trump
and the Trump Presidency must be voted out of office when they come up for
re-election. Not because Democratic policies are better than traditional Republican policies, or because liberal policies are better than true conservative policies - but because these Republicans in Congress have totally abandoned all integrity and credibility and clearly put personal and partisan interests above the interests and security of the country.
As a point
of information, my parents were registered Republicans, and my father was a
Republican Committeeman, in Hudson County NJ, home of the infamous Hudson
County Democratic Machine of Frank Hague and John V Kenny, poster child for
political corruption, where it was almost illegal not to vote Democratic.My parents worked on the polls as
Republicans, and in my 20s so did I.At
the time I would say I was paid to register Republican – I had to register as a
Republican to be able to earn my stipend for working on the polls.Over the years I have voted for Republican,
Democratic and third-party candidates at various levels of government, my vote
based on the individual candidate and the specific issues.
am a tax professional who has been preparing 1040s for individuals in all walks
of life since 1972.As a tax preparer I
know full well that the United States Tax Code has grown into a complicated and
convoluted “mucking fess”.
Frankenstein, the Tax Code must be destroyed.It must be shredded and totally rewritten from scratch, acknowledging that
the one and only purpose of the Tax Code is to raise the money necessary to
fund the government.
new Tax Code must –
Be simple – easy for everyone to understand.Simplicity for simplicity’s sake.
Be fair and equitable - treat all taxpayers equally.
Be consistent – treat specific conditions, situations, and activities, and
maintain specific definitions and descriptions, the same in all instances.
Encourage savings, investment, and growth.
Index for inflation all allowable deductions and credits.
new Tax Code must not –
Be used for social engineering, to redistribute income or wealth, or to deliver
social welfare and other government benefits.
Encourage or discourage certain economic decisions (other than savings,
investment, and growth), or provide exclusive benefits for specific industries,
business activities, or classes of taxpayers.
Contain any refundable credits, or any phase-outs, exclusions or adjustments
based on Adjusted Gross Income or Modified Adjusted Gross Income.
Contain any “alternative” tax calculation systems (such as the current
“Alternative Minimum Tax”).
Contain any temporary deductions, credits, benefits, or provisions.
new Code would state “Everything is taxable, except . . .” and “Nothing
is deductible, except . . .”.Only
those “excepts” – exclusions and deductions - that are absolutely necessary and
appropriate, in the context of the “musts” and “must nots” listed above, should
be added back.
Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan, educational organization, has earned a
reputation for independence and credibility. All Tax Foundation research is guided
by the principles of sound tax policy, which should serve as touchstones for
policymakers and taxpayers everywhere.It has identified key principles of sound tax policy:
Administrative costs are a loss to society, and complicated taxation undermines
voluntary compliance by creating incentives to shelter and disguise income.
Tax legislation should be based on sound legislative procedures and careful
analysis. A good tax system requires that taxpayers be informed and understand
how tax assessment, collection, and compliance works. There should be open
hearings, and revenue estimates should be fully explained and replicable.
Taxes should not encourage or discourage certain economic decisions. The
purpose of taxes is to raise needed revenue, not to favor or punish specific
industries, activities, and products.
When tax laws are in constant flux, long-range financial planning is difficult.
Lawmakers should avoid enacting temporary tax laws, including tax holidays and
Retroactivity: As a corollary to the principle of stability, taxpayers should
be able to rely with confidence on the law as it exists when contracts are
signed and transactions are completed.
Bases and Low Rates: As a corollary to the principle of neutrality, lawmakers
should avoid enacting targeted deductions, credits, and exclusions. If tax
preferences are kept to a minimum, substantial revenue can be raised with low
tax rates. Broad-based taxes also produce relatively stable tax revenues from
year to year.
simply, good tax policy promotes economic growth by focusing on raising revenue
in the least distortive manner possible.
new Code would state “Everything is taxable, except . . .” and “Nothing is
deductible, except . . .”.Only those
“excepts” – exclusions and deductions - that are absolutely necessary and
appropriate, in the context of the “musts” and “must nots” listed above, should
be added back.
of the biggest problems with the current system is the inappropriate use of the
Tax Code to deliver social welfare and other government benefits – hence its
appearance as #1 on our list of “must nots”.This practice is not only inappropriate, but it also invites and
encourages tax fraud.
Internal Revenue Service, and the tax professional community, should not be
required to act as Social Workers and administer and verify government program
am not saying that the government shouldn’t provide financial assistance to the
working poor and college students, provide encouragements for purchasing health
insurance, making energy-saving purchases and improvements and other “worthy” benefits.What I am saying is that such assistance and
encouragements should not be distributed via the tax return.
benefits provided by the Earned Income Tax Credit and the refundable Child Tax
Credit should be distributed via existing federal welfare programs for Aid to
Families with Dependent Children. The benefits provided by the education tax
credits should be distributed via existing federal programs for providing
direct student financial aid. The benefits provided by the Premium Tax Credit, energy
credits, and other such personal and business credits should be distributed via
direct discount payments to the appropriate vendors or direct rebate programs
funded by the budget of the appropriate Cabinet department.
the benefits in this manner is much better than the current method for many
It would be easier for the government to verify that the recipient of the
subsidy, discount or rebate actually qualified for the money, greatly reducing
fraud. And tax preparers, and the IRS, would no longer need to take on the
added responsibility of having to verify that a person qualifies for government
The qualifying individuals would get the money at the “point of purchase,” when
it is really needed, and not have to go “out of pocket” up front and wait to be
reimbursed when they file their tax return.
We would be able to calculate the true income tax burden of individuals. Many
of the current “47 percent” would still be receiving government benefits, but
it would not be done through the income tax system, so they would actually be
paying federal income tax.
We could measure the true cost of education, housing, health, energy and
welfare programs in the federal budget because benefit payments would be
properly allocated to the appropriate departments.
my dream of true substantive tax reform will probably remain just that - a
dream.Tax law is written by Congress
the members of Congress have absolutely no knowledge of or experience with the
practicality of tax return preparation.And, of course, there are the personal agendas of Congresspersons, who
rely on the political contributions of lobbyists working to maintain specific
tax breaks, and who more often than not, especially today, avoid independent
thought and merely do what they are told by their Party.
is clear that the Republican Party has lost all credibility as a legitimate
political party.It has abandoned all honor
and integrity and abandoned true conservative philosophy and policies by
embracing Trump and “Trumpism” and the agenda of the “Religious Right”. As I previously posted “The Republican Party is Dead!”
new true conservative-based party needs to be created based on a platform that
embraces the following conservative principles -
& Maximize Individual Rights
a Limited Government
the Rule of Law
to Federalism and the Separation of Powers
Free & Open Markets (Economic & Social)
new party must totally reject the political agenda of the so-called “Evangelicals”
and the Religious Right, which seeks to minimize individual rights by having
the government force the specific religious beliefs of Christian fundamentalism,
related to abortion, sexual preference
and identity and same-sex marriage among other issues, on citizens via
legislation in direct contradiction to the Constitutional separation or
Church and State and the conservative tenets of protecting and maximizing
individual rights and ensuring a limited government.
this party must, in its conservative-based support and defense of the Constitution
and the intent of the founding fathers in the development of the Constitution
and its amendments, acknowledge that the real purpose of the Second
Amendment was to ensure that state armies – the militia – would be maintained
for the defense of the state, and has absolutely nothing to do with a citizen’s
absolute and unfettered right to possess any type of weapon.
believe the Republican Party is too far gone to be able to be properly reformed.A new party to replace it really is needed.