About Me

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Jim Killebrew has 40 years of clinical psychological work for people with intellectual disabilities, and experience teaching, administration, consulting, writing with multiple publications. Dr. Killebrew has attended four Universities and received advanced degrees. Southern Illinois University; Ph.D., Educational Psychology; University of Illinois at Springfield, Counseling Education; M.A., Human Development Counseling; Northeastern Oklahoma State University, B.A., Psychology and Sociology. Dr. Killebrew attended Lincoln Christian Seminary (Now Lincoln Christian University). Writing contributions have been accepted and published in several journals: Hospital & Community Psychiatry, The Lookout, and Christian Standard (multiple articles). He may be reached at Killebrewjb@aol.com.

Welcome to my Opinion Pages

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Baby boomer generation


The "Baby Boomer" generation is the product of the "Greatest Generation."  Once having put the world at peace after WWII the Greatest Generation as they have been called, set about building their families, neighborhoods and communities. They participated in one of the greatest growth spurts in American history. The Military Industrial Complex with its innovation for advancement in technology and commerce became only a by-product of their efforts. The sweat-equity they poured into their jobs and careers built a foundation of solid economic efforts that allowed a young President in 1963 to declare the presence of a man on the moon by the end of that decade.  Naturally that happened; theirs was a generation of accomplishment.

They did all of that and even more; they raised children called war-babies and baby boomers. They instilled in those pliable minds the love of freedom and national pride. They established a moral character of "middle-class" America that forged a strong bond with God and Country that was reinforced with the likes of Billy Graham, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, Eleanor Roosevelt, John Wayne, Maya Angelou, Robert Mitchum, Ella Fitzgerald, Clarke Gable, Jimmy Stewart, Barbara Jordan and, yes, even Ronald Reagan.

Working during the week and making family trips to town on the week-ends was a way of life. Eating out was a treat, buying a new or used car was the thrill of life, taking in a ball game and watching the advent of a new thing called television. Watching the first shows that had come from the radio to television like Jack Benny, Red Skelton, George Burns and Gracie Allen and the Ozzie and Harriet show.

Many American Dads and Moms during those years participated in family worship on Sundays, ate meals with the family, bought groceries, paid bills, and led the family in ordinary life. Dad, along with Mom, was the leader of the family and children, along with the grandparents sat on the front porch in the cool of the evening to talk while the kids caught lightning bugs, roller skated on the sidewalks or rode their bikes that Dad and Mom had given them for Christmas.

That was the generation of accomplishment. In the span of their lives they sat on buckboards pulled by horse or mule, ate food from an "ice box" cooled with a large block of ice delivered to their homes or picked up at the ice plant in town, drew their own water from a well outside or pumped it from a kitchen sink pump, received telegraphs in emergencies, rode the train, saw the first cars roll off of Ford's assembly line, witnessed the first generation of airplane flights, but still managed to see in their lifetime John Glenn orbit the earth in near space and see Neal Armstrong walk on the moon.
The War Babies and Baby Boomers have now grown up, having careers for themselves, raising their children and grandchildren.  They have listened to the stories of their parents talking about the "great depression" and the war fought to eradicate the world of a madman.  Many of the War Babies and Baby Boomers knew exactly where the buck stopped in the White House, and even though they did not understand it, some of them, along with their parents liked Ike and practiced many times hiding under their desks at school to protect themselves against the "A-Bomb" that could possibly drop from the sky at any time.
The "Three 'Rs'" were a staple in school along with the pledge of allegiance to the Flag of the United States being recited each and every morning as the first thing of the day.  In most schools this generation also publically read the Bible in front of the class, listened to announcements over a centralized intercom system and studied American history to cement into their minds the foundation of America.  As time moved on the Baby Boomer generation began to change.
By graduation time this generation saw itself slipping into a war that quickly became unpopular.  As if wars are ever popular, this one lacked the full-scale commitment from the American people as WWII had established.  Vietnam was a far-away place where people were fighting for independence from a communist stronghold.  Peoples in that region were mixed into different kinds of fighting groups and it was unclear about who constituted the enemy.  It seemed the United States government was tepid in their desire to actually win the war in Vietnam. 
The war dragged on without a formal declaration with definition changes ranging from "war effort" to "police action".  The war moved from the commanders on the battlefield to the politicians in Washington.  Coupled with the Civil Rights movement that sought equality for all Americans, the President waged "war" against poverty and fought battles for other social justice programs in a divisive stance with the more volatile war in Vietnam.  With the country torn by war, civil unrest leading to riots and political campaigning, the President chose not to seek another term in office.
By the end of 1968 the country had lost important civil rights leaders through assassination like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and political figures like Robert Kennedy and had elected a different political party to the Office of President of the United States; Richard Nixon.  Promising to end the war, the new President lingered on for an entire term with Americans still dying in Vietnam.  It was not until his second term President Nixon pulled American troops from Southeast Asia.  The feared "domino theory" became a reality; Cambodia, Laos and South Vietnam fell to the communists.
A blight of anger, indifference and downright hatred fell over the returning troops.  Americans seemed to blame those who fought the war rather than the ones who politically controlled it.  Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Marines were even spat upon in some cases.  They seemed to have to carry the burden of a nation who had rejected a war, but found no response from the politicians, so they heaped their scorn upon those who were visible as they returned and walked the gauntlets of dissatisfied Americans.   
As time passed the Baby Boomers settled into corporate America and continued on in their careers.  The so-called "silent majority" seemed to turn their focus more on economics and politics than anything else.  Greed was the new theme with Wall Street, fantasy, and most of all everything mega.  Career, education and commerce ruled the day.  The Baby Boomers worked two jobs, secured higher education and had babies to create the next generation; Generation X.
War Babies and Baby Boomers seemed to meld into the landscape as the political structure and leadership was passed on to the next generation.  Many in the Baby Boomer group simply worked and raised families; they have buried their parents from the Greatest Generation and have been putting the finishing touches on their own retirement plans.  But some cracks in their plans have emerged.
Baby Boomers are set to retire over the next few years.  After having paid into the Social Security System and Medicare for their entire working lives, they are being told the systems are unsustainable.  They are being told the money they have paid from each of their pay checks even before they received them is a type of "welfare" or entitlement similar to the welfare benefits.  They are being told that the "Trust Fund" has been used over the years is now empty with not enough funding to provide what was promised.  For years the politicians have talked about the "third rail" of government, meaning Social Security, and the need to make adjustments in the system.  The Baby Boomers have watched and heeded the onslaught of the attacks on their future.  Their medical care is in jeopardy; their retirement supplements are in jeopardy; their economic strength is being eroded by massive amounts of debt by out-of-control spending, the standing of America's strength in the world is in jeopardy and the political structure of America's greatness is in jeopardy.  But the Baby Boomer generation is being attacked from other fronts as well.
Slowly through the years a new kind of war has been waged.  The Middle East and Europe have both experienced that new war methodology more than the United States.  Terrorism, a form of focused destruction and murder from radical groups have emerged as the mode of choice from groups who see more industrialized countries as a threat to their culture.
Perhaps the most radicalized groups have come from the radical Jihadists that see the Westernized industrial, technological world as "Infidels" and thus, an enemy that must be destroyed.  It would be difficult to argue that September 11, 2001 was an act of war with the attack of the World Trade Center Twin Towers and Pentagon.  The weapon of choice for that attack was hijacked planes taken by force by radical terrorists and used as weapons.  But even prior to that time the American people had become synthesized through the tenants of multiculturalism, educational restructuring and political left-wing liberalism that resulted in an array of political correctness that attacked traditional American values.  Judeo-Christian values came under intense attack through a resurgence of atheism pushing social changes that over the years resulted in reduction of recognition of the Ten Commandments, prayer in schools, even substituting the word Christmas, and using instead the term Holiday Season.
Slowly through the past two decades the sentiment has changed to a greater tolerance toward any value other than the Christian value.  Efforts have intensified to completely separate Christianity from mainstream America to retreat behind church walls.  People are being taught intolerance toward Christian values, but acceptance of other, more radical values.  It is increasingly politically incorrect to speak openly of Christian virtues in schools, or anyplace where the words can be heard.  People are "offended" by any use of Christian symbols or words.  Through it all there are many in the Baby Boomer generation who have remained quiet, fearing the condensation of being identified as a "right-winged" Christian radical.  I believe this is a mistake for our society.                 

I have said for awhile we have remained silent too long against speaking out against those who wish to kill us. Where are the women's groups in this country who fought for women's rights, but say absolutely nothing about the wholesale destruction of women in the Middle East under Sharia law? Men are allowed to beat women, own them as property, divorce them on a whim, marry them against their will as teenagers, and treat them as if they are less intelligent than men. They control the lives of women in every way; even as to how they dress or are seen in public. American women, even those who are ultra liberal, travel to the Middle Eastern Islamic countries and wear the traditional dress to cover their faces and entire bodies. That is something they would never tolerate anywhere in the Western world. Yet here they are, never saying a word about the treatment of millions of women in the Islamic world. Where is the National Organization of Women? Where are the Feminist groups who protest to ensure "women's rights" even to the degree of taking the life of an unborn child for any reason whatsoever? They are conspicuously silent when it comes to defending their counterparts in the Islamic world.

We have been brow-beaten into submission of silence on our university campuses where radicalized groups hold sway over the speech of others. We can celebrate the other world religious faiths but castigate Christianity by claiming "separation of Church and State" thus shutting down the use of the Bible even as an historical book. We are held silent by the liberal press and "politically correct" crowd when we see with our very eyes the results of the radical terrorist violence and hear their vows to "kill the infidels." We see small children groped and touched through invasive searches at airports, and elderly women taken from their wheelchairs to be searched, but see clerics of other faiths with their traditional dress hiding their body and head prance by unhampered as they board the airplane. We don't want to be called "racist" or offend anyone by any hint of "profiling" anyone who meets the criteria of radicalism, so our backs are broken in several places by our self-imposed practice of bending over backwards to spare their feelings.

Yes, our freedoms are vanishing before our very eyes. Our world seems to crumble as each day goes by as we submit further to the will of those who hate us. Our President bows a waist-deep bow to the leader of a country whose desire is to see us dead, we borrow vulgar amounts of money from a country like China whose communist goals have been to bury the Western way of life for the past century, we "save" vast amounts of oil, coal and shale reserves through political edict of embargo that results in our total dependence on foreign energy and we face the prospect of losing our great country to the whims of a few political hacks whose goals seem to be our destruction. But you know something, there is still hope.

Once again our hope lies in those of us who are older, wiser and continue to believe in the greatness of our country. Our fathers and grandfathers, mothers and grandmothers fought and supported the fight against tyranny from the Socialists and Nazis during WWII. They fought against communism in Korea after the world was in flame from madmen; through perseverance and great personal loss, they won those wars.  Later they also won the cold war when President Reagan, Pope John Paul and Margaret Thatcher of the United Kingdom understood how to defeat the enemy by the careful rebuilding of our infrastructure and military, personal faith in God and resolve for freedom the world over.  Even though faint-hearted, liberal people advised Mr. Reagan not to utter those words at the Wall in Germany, he knew what he was saying when he said, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." When that wall came down, so did the infrastructure of the USSR since it had only produced an empire of form instead of substance.

Our generation was the last one who really touched the tentacles of an adversary with national identity and communist backing: Southeast Asia. The Baby Boomer generation was called one more time to serve in our national interest. Perhaps you experienced it much more closely than I by being in the middle of it. But even during that time you could see the current and next generation losing its will to wage war. The President was at home declaring a "war on poverty" while at the same time not giving the troops the same support they had received during past Presidents like Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman. The left-wing liberals had already begun to take the constraining grasp on American individualism and greatness. Even Mr. Nixon crawled through a first term with minimal effort to "win" the war raging in Vietnam. It was not until his second term that he allowed the prevailing weakness at home to influence his will and give way to even what he had called the "domino effect." The generations that followed have been weaker by each year. With the exception of the Reagan Administration years, the military was downsized essentially from that time forward.

After Mr. Nixon and the initiation of the "all volunteer" military the generations following have consistently lost ground. All but the most patriotic have lost their way in a world of greed, corruption and political morass. The military was almost gutted during the Carter and Clinton Administrations.

There is one last chance:  Millions in the "War Baby" and "Boomer" generations are going to have to carry the load again. We are going to have to look to the future into the next election cycle and make the right choices by working and voting to carry the day for America. Our tax codes are bloated, the regulations from commerce are debilitating, the debt is burdensome and our philosophical and Christian values are tarnished. This younger generation has lost its way and has found the teat of the government handouts to sustain it until the next nanny comes along for it to latch onto. So we must buck up, go out there and do it again; looking backward to our forefathers, grandparents and parents and our Christian heritage for motivation, but looking forward to our great losses as a nation if we don't stand up and do the right thing and muster the strength to overcome radical socialism once again to preserve our American Dream for our children and grandchildren.

Jim Killebrew




 




Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving has been around for a long time; in America it started with an ocean voyage.  We are all familiar with the Pilgrims coming to America on the Mayflower.  It had been a long voyage across the ocean in 1620 when the Mayflower set sail on September 6, 1620 and arrived at Plymouth, Massachusetts on November 9, 1620.  It's landing site was known as the Plymouth Colony since it had sailed from Plymouth, England.  The 66 day voyage had taken its toll as it crossed the Atlantic ocean.  With a crew of between 20 and 25, the ship carried 102 passengers,  37 were members of the separatist Leiden congregation seeking freedom of worship in the New World.  Two people died during the voyage, and two babies were born on the ship during the trip.
About half of the individuals who were aboard the Mayflower died during the first winter of 1620-1621.  At harvest time in 1621 those who survived, 53 in all, celebrated the harvest with what has been recognized as America's first Thanksgiving.  Through the years the group aboard that ship and the settlement at Plymouth, Massachusetts, even though some were "strangers" while others were "saints" have all become known as "Pilgrims."
Through the years into modern America the celebration of Thanksgiving has not only endured, but flourished.  It was Abraham Lincoln who began the tradition of a national Thanksgiving in 1863.  Prior to that some state Governors proclaimed the day, and some Presidents encouraged a day of Thanksgiving; some did not.  In modern times we celebrate Thanksgiving as a day to be grateful for all the blessings we have; not only nationally, but individually as well.
It is easy to reflect on the presence of Thanksgiving, especially since we can see a direct tie to the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony celebrating along with their Indian neighbors at the bountiful harvest experienced in 1621.  Beside the great harvest, however, the Pilgrims would have known the true source of Thanksgiving.  They were a God-fearing, loving people who would have been very familiar with the teachings of the Bible.
A Prayer of Thanksgiving
Beyond a doubt the Pilgrims would have been familiar with the passage in Psalms 100 that calls the people to give thanks.
Psalm 100
100:1 Shout out praises to the Lord, all the earth!
100:2 Worship the Lord with joy!
Enter his presence with joyful singing!
100:3 Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us and we belong to him;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give him thanks!
Praise his name!
100:5 For the Lord is good.
His loyal love endures,
and he is faithful through all generations.  (Psalms 100:1-5)
The psalmist saw the faithfulness of God directed to His children, the Jewish Nation, and called the people from all over the nation to celebrate with him.  The Children of Israel had been blessed by God and the psalmist recognized the relationship between God and His people and wanted to praise God and give Him thanks.  Likewise, the Pilgrims had seen the faithfulness of God to them, His grafted-in people, grafted by the shed blood of Jesus Christ and His work on the cross. 
Emerging from a very difficult voyage from England, a very tough winter, with the loss of nearly half of their company through death, with each family having lost a loved one and touched by the harshness of the times, God had now come through with a bountiful harvest, much better health and the Pilgrims felt the blessings flow through their hearts.  With those who took leadership, and those who were following, they collectively with one heart began to see the importance of remembering a custom they had practiced in their home country, and they planted a new custom in this new-found land that would bathe each of them in Thanksgiving to their Creator for delivering them into a new life of freedom and abundance.
Worship was not just an act of singing or raising hands to heaven.  It meant serving God and each other.  It meant serving those upon whose land they had rested.  So along with the great Indian King Massasoit and approximately 90 of his men, the Pilgrims sat down to a meal and communed together giving thanks to God Who had see their struggles and had brought them through it, and now even with abundance.
It was a joyful acknowledgement that they entered into their worship of praise.  They acknowledged that God had created them and had given them abundance of life.  He was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and they, even now, as His servants, each belonged to Him.  He was all-powerful and sustaining even in the face of adversity and hardship.  It was His doing that their morning had come with joy and sunshine, even with the fruits of their labor He had blessed them with the harvest for which they were thankful.  So they lifted their faces and hearts with praise and thanksgiving knowing that God loved them and He would endure forever.  They set into motion on this new land that would ultimately be called America the precedent of worship because of the promise they knew to be true that God endures forever and to each of the generations that would follow in their footsteps.
With hearts full of thankfulness how could the Pilgrims not heed the call to worship and celebration?  No doubt they continued with their freedom of beliefs in the Lord Jesus Christ as they rehearsed the psalmist's call to worship:
Sing for Joy
Psalm 95
95:1 Come! Let’s sing for joy to the Lord!
Let’s shout out praises to our protector who delivers us!
95:2 Let’s enter his presence with thanksgiving!
Let’s shout out to him in celebration!  (Psalm 95:1-2)
The people remembered they were to sing for joy and remember the Lord Who made them.  The admonition was to joyfully shout, praise and worship with service, but also never to rebel against the Lord.  The first Thanksgiving was likely a fairly noisy celebration among those who had survived the harsh winter with God's hand of protection and deliverance and with those whom the Lord had introduced as Natives in a new land who joined in the celebration of a bountiful harvest.
The Practicing Christian   
Finally, the Pilgrims at the first Thanksgiving no doubt understood that Christians must practice their faith.  They must turn to God and allow Him to work through their hearts and think about His ways and worship Him as their Creator and Sustainer.  With thankful hearts and the wisdom they found in their New Testament Scripture which had been translated by the Great King James of England just a few years (1611) prior to their Mayflower voyage, they knew the writings of the Apostle Paul through his letters recorded in their new Bible that Christians ought to always be thankful.
Philippians 4
4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice! 4:5 Let everyone see your gentleness. The Lord is near! 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. 4:7 And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. 4:9 And what you learned and received and heard and saw in me, do these things. And the God of peace will be with you.  (Philippians 4:4-9)
The first Thanksgiving was celebrated with people who were close to God.  Their hearts were full of joy and they celebrated that joy, deliverance and protection from God.  They exhibited the gentleness of spirit and leading of the Holy Spirit as those who came from this native land joined them in their celebration.  They left their anxiety behind them with the fading of the past winter winds and moved forward into the spring and summer of the joy that comes in the morning.  Now their harvest of plenty was reason to give praise and thanks.  They yielded their spirits over to the God of plenty with their corporate thanksgiving and individual requests of blessings through personal prayers.  They settled in to bask in the SON shine of peace and understanding that filled their hearts with the love of Jesus Christ.
As we look to our own 21st century Thanksgiving celebrations, may we first remember that we are the creation of God, and we are to celebrate by giving Him thanks and worship in spirit and truth reflecting on the vastness of Grace that He has given us through His work on the cross to secure the salvation He offers.  To Him be Praise and Glory forever!
Jim Killebrew
          


Friday, November 11, 2011

Branson recognition of veterans


My wife and I have visited Branson, Missouri on several occasions the past few years.  Aside from the wonderful shows that are offered in that great vacation spot is something that warms the heart.  Sometime before, during or after each show presented there, the Veterans of the United States Military are recognized.  They are asked to stand to receive the expressed thanks from the audience through applause.  Sometime the recognition is cascaded by the particular branch's song being played as those Veterans in that branch rise for recognition.  This recognition is a part of each show during the entire year, not just around Veteran's Day.
I have no idea how this tradition was started, or by whom.  It is such a wonderful idea and being a Veteran, I for one really appreciate the remembrance of service.  America is a country of services in almost every walk of life.  Services are offered in corporate America and in the volunteer sector.  People volunteer in service groups, churches, day cares, nursing homes, residential services for individuals with disabilities, homeless centers, recreational centers, Boy and Girl Scouts, hospitals, schools and almost every other charitable concern imaginable.  Americans are generous people and giving is a part of life.
Another characteristic of Americanism is freedom.  The country was founded on the ideals and principles of each individual being free and enjoying the rights that God has given.  So much so that our own Congress declared on July 4, 1776 that "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
With the foundational values of volunteerism and Creator-given unalienable Rights of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, Americans have traditionally marched off to foreign countries when called.  From the "Midnight Ride" in the American Revolution to the latest Afghanistan War Americans have listened to the siren calls of warning that the country was in danger and freedom was being threatened.  They have lined up to endure the rigors of training, hardships of interrupted lives, separations from families, entry into foreign lands, open risk of enemy fire, reality of capture, and the great possibility of sacrificing their lives to preserve freedom for everyone.  Aside from justice and continued freedom, the greatest commodity produced by wars is the American Veteran.
Each war beginning with the American Revolution, War of 1812, Mexican War, Civil War, Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, Afghanistan War and Iraq War has produced tens of thousands of Veterans.  These Veterans have received mixed welcomes after their service in hard-fought wars.
Animosity against Southern fighters lasted for many years following the American Civil war.  Returning Veterans from the Vietnam War were met with harsh responses from Americans who were war-weary.  Some were even spat upon and demeaned as they tried to re-assimilate into the American mainstream.  In contrast, modern Americans have turned the corner on respect and revere related to Veterans since the darker days of post-Vietnam. 
An all-volunteer military of the modern times has tapped into the patriotism of Americans in general.  Vietnam caused a slight derailment in the American bedrock of Democracy, freedom and independence, but citizens, by and large, have now returned to their heritage upon which our nation was founded.  Young men and women have gathered beyond the military's quotas and have volunteered for service in all branches of the military.  Honor, duty and the "no man left behind" collective thinking has prevailed in all branches of military service and the Veterans leaving their tours of duty have demonstrated that higher calling and determination by infusing back into the National consciousness the reality of who we are as Americans and what we owe our Veterans.
I believe the organizers of the Branson Shows and the Chamber of that city have absolutely done the right thing to show their respect to the Military Veterans and I applaud them for their continued efforts.  I would like to think that each Veteran who stands when asked at each of those shows look around and immediately knows, without a doubt, these are my brothers with whom I have shared one of the greatest responsibilities of my life, and one of the greatest blessings to have contributed to the continued preservation of the American dream of freedom, justice and independence.
Jim Killebrew, Veteran, United States Air Force


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Military service...thank you


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Taxes and the rich


There is a lot of conversation today on talk radio, network and cable news programs that tout the premise that the "rich" are not paying their "fair share" in taxes.  Many in political power are suggesting that people who are the "richest among" us are getting a pass when it comes to paying taxes.  Some who are in the class of "Billionaires" are even reporting that they pay less tax than the secretaries who work for them.

For that group of people whose "net" worth is counted in the millions and billions it is likely true in most cases they pay less percentage in taxes.  Here is the reason why:  When a person accumulates that much wealth s/he generally has assets that are diversified over a wide range of investments and ownerships that are capable of producing money.  In such cases the individual is able to declare no income at all and therefore not pay any "income" tax.  Since their wealth is so high, the accumulation of money comes in the form of dividends or "gains" on their capital, or capital gains. 

For example if a billionaire or millionaire had five million dollars setting in an account that produced only 4% interest over the year, that money would yield about $280,000.00 in a year.  That $280,000.00 would be counted as capital gains and the percentage of tax that would be owed would be around 15% to 17% of that gross gain.  On the other hand, if a small business owner, say a plumber or contractor was able to make that same amount of money during the same year, and only $50,000.00 of it was counted as income for the plumber or contractor, after payroll for the employees and all other expenses of the business were paid, the "income" of $50,000.00 would require a greater percentage in the tax bracket of income to be paid in the form of income tax than the same $280,000.00 the millionaire made through capital gains.  This is a function of the tax code.

When we hear politicians telling us that the millionaire paid less in taxes than the plumber or contractor, they are saying words that are inflaming to a less rich person's ears, but the words are not entirely true.  The millionaire who accumulated $280,000.00 in capital gains would pay tax at 15%, or $57,000.00.  The plumber who grossed $280,000.00 and claimed $50,000.00 in personal income would only pay $16,800.00 in income tax, but at an income tax bracket set at 24%.   

For the capital gains revenue the taxes are at a steady, flat rate and not progressive like the ordinary income taxes are.  When we talk about "tax brackets" we are talking about levels of adjusted gross income that is represented in tax tables that start at the lowest levels and move to the highest levels.  Hence, for persons who are not rich and earn only a salary of $40,000.00 would be in a tax bracket, or level that is lower than a person who makes $95,000.00 per year.  Therefore, even by taxing the richest among us, those whose salaries are much lower will continue to pay more taxes under our current system.

This type of rhetoric being spouted by the media and politicians is causing a war against the socioeconomic classes.  The lower socioeconomic classes are being purposely pitted against the higher socioeconomic classes.  What we are missing in the argument is truthfulness in what will actually happen if the so-called rich are taxed in such a way as to dismantle their structure of capital assets.  There is a lack of genuineness from the politicians explaining who the rich really are.

The class warfare that currently exists in our society is destined to squeeze out the so-called "middle class" because in the final analysis they are the ones who will likely suffer the most by placing pressure on the wealthy. 

We have been told that eighty (80) percent of our wealth in the United States is generated by small businesses.  Those people are the ones who are the plumbers, contractors, dentists, doctors working in clinics, consultants, truck owners driving their own rigs, barbers and beauticians who own their own shop and employ others, restaurant owners, dress shops, cleaners, trash haulers, and the list goes on and on.  These are the people who take risks to start their business, pump their capital into the business, employ people and pay salaries, keep investing in their business with any extra money that is earned, and deliver the services and goods in an economy that grows with the demands created by the needs of the people.

When a line is drawn at some ceiling level by any politician from the government to take more money through taxes as the individual crosses that line, the earning power is reduced, people lose jobs and less, not more, taxes are collected.  Let me give an example to illustrate the point.         

Many years ago when I was attending Alice Robertson Jr. High School in Muskogee, I started working at Weddle's Grocery store on Chestnut street. I worked in the Weddle store on East Side Boulevard and the one at Grandview. One of the things I learned from that experience was that in order to have a job I needed to seek out those who had the jobs available. Mr. Weddle was kind enough to give me a job and agreed to pay me to sack groceries and stock shelves.

The owner of that store took all the risks of opening a store in Muskogee. He invested his resources, time and energy in establishing a service to the people of Muskogee. He was never given a promise from anyone that he would do well and make it in the grocery business. He risked what he had to provide those services and by doing so he hired many others in Muskogee to work for him and help him grow his business.

Was he richer than me? Of course he was; did he risk much more than me? Of course he did. But he shared his wealth by giving me and many others a job to make a living, or in my case, have spending money all through high school.

I don't know a thing about what he or any other owner of businesses at that time paid in taxes. I do know that they spent a lot of money on payroll. With the money I made working in my job, and the money many others made working in their jobs that he provided, paid our fair share of taxes that would not have been paid without his having first given us the job with the ability to make our own salaries.

Through the years I have never worked for a "poor" person who did not have the resources to pay my salary. But I have never thought less of a person who has risked much in order to give me a job. When the person who invests in their business, grows that business, continues to hire more people to help with that business, but makes money in the process, I believe it is that owner's right to not only make as much as s/he can, but keep as much as possible too.

For some reason the liberal political focus concentrated in the Democrat Party now days is to demonize the people who are "wealthy" and demand they pay "their fair share" in more and more taxes. If the government should finally take from them more than they can possible afford, and it begins to reverse the growth of their business, and people are laid off because of it, will those increased amounts taken from the "rich" in taxes offset the loss of taxes from the amount of money that would have been paid by their laid-off employees if they were still working?

Jim Killebrew