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Charleston Daily Mail: Short takes, April 12, 2014

The Tax Foundation reported Americans paid a total of $4.5 trillion to their local, state and federal governments last year. That is a whopping 30.2 percent of all economic activity in the United States.

On top of that, the federal government will borrow (actually, print up through the Federal Reserve) another $636 billion as Washington has an insatiable appetite for spending other people’s money.

Contrary to popular belief, the overwhelming majority of government spending goes to social spending, not the military. While 4.4 percent of the gross domestic product (economy) is spent on the military, social spending was 20 percent of the U.S. economy last year, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development reported, just under the average of 21.9 percent for Western nations.

While the government’s tax share rose 7.1 percent last year, the nation’s economy grew by only 2.8 percent.

The last time the U.S. economy grew by more than 7 percent was in 1984.

The growth in government is unsustainable. Social welfare programs are driving the economy off the cliff, which will leave little money to help the truly needy in their time of greatest need.

***

If you use the Internet, you can thank Brendan Eich for making browsing easier. He created JavaScript and co-founded the Mozilla Corp., which also gave the world the Firefox browser.

Eich served briefly as CEO this year before pressure from gay activists because he made a $1,000 donation in 2008 to a group that successfully pushed the Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage in California in 2008.

But the man most responsible for passage of Proposition 8 may have been President Obama, who did not support gay marriage in 2008. Obama attracted many black and Latino voters to the polls. While a slim majority of white voters opposed Prop 8, 53 percent of Latino voters and 70 percent of black voters voted to ban gay marriage in California.

And yet no gay group wants Obama to resign.

Costing a man a multimillion-dollar job over a $1,000 donation is why so many conservative groups want to protect the identity of donors.

***

On Feb. 3, 2013, attorney Timothy N. Barber received a parking ticket from the city of Charleston. He appealed the case all the way to the state Supreme Court. Barber argued that by leaving his engine running, he was not parking. The court, using common sense, tossed that argument and upheld the $25 fine.

They say you cannot fight City Hall. But in this case, why would you? As an attorney, surely Mr. Barber’s time is worth more than $25 an hour.

***

The conservative Washington Examiner defended President Obama from charges of hypocrisy leveled by some Republicans.

While the president heralded Equal Pay Day on Tuesday, Republicans pointed out that Obama pays women 88 percent of what men make at the White House. However, the Examiner examined the record and found Obama pays women in the upper echelons more than he does men.

Why not? Valerie Jarrett is his most trusted aide. He should pay her more; she earns it.

All this goes to show that comparing pay based solely on sex is ludicrous. Equal pay for doing the same job has been the law of the land for 51 years. It’s working.


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