Dr. Benjamin Carson, the director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at John Hopkins University, has just about achieved celebrity status since his keynote address at the National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 7. Carson received worldwide recognition in 1987 when he led a surgical team that for the first time successfully separated conjoined twins.
His speeches are not scripted and come across as pro-American. His words are energizing, inspirational and heartfelt. Because Carson is African-American and his message is somewhat conservative, many liberal elites criticize him with comparisons to Clarence Thomas and Herman Cain. He is not a politician; in fact, he is a registered Independent.
By all accounts, Carson is a very successful man, but he grew up in an environment that should have precluded any kind of success. His mother was one of 24 children. She married at 13 and later found out that her husband was a bigamist. He and his brother grew up in dire poverty.
According to Carson, his mother is the reason he was able to rise above those circumstances. “I had a mother who believed in me.” She never made excuses for the dilemmas in her life, and she never accepted excuses from her children. It was vitally important to her that her sons become educated men, and that reading became a life-long habit.
Carson loves this nation and worries that education is becoming less important to Americans than it once was. Caron said at breakfast, “When you educate a man, you liberate a man.” He warns that when the populace of any nation becomes less informed, the nation becomes vulnerable.
He also cautioned about the proliferation of political correctness that seems to be everywhere we turn. PC is dangerous because it puts a muzzle on people, and downplays our founding principle that guaranteed freedom of expression.
Since April 15, Tax Day, has just passed, Carson came to my mind because of the comments he made at about taxation. He believes that tax fairness is achieved only when all people are taxed proportionally.
We Americans (at least half of us) have just completed what is for many of us the most dreaded ritual of the year, feeding the great gluttonous beast also known as the IRS. We think that after the beast is fed that our penance to the dragon is over and that Tax Freedom Day has been reached.
This year, the fictitious Tax Freedom Day occurred on April 18. That is the day when we have worked enough to pay off all our taxes. Theoretically, when we reach Tax Freedom Day, the money we earn for the rest of the year is entirely ours; the hungry beast has been satisfied.
Prior to Tax Freedom Day ALL the money that we earn belongs to the beast. We worked 108 days just to feed the beast. Oh! I meant to say the government. Remember not all Americans are required to participate in that ritual. Only those who are successful are required to observe the “Monster Feeding Rite.”
Carson suggested that proportionality, just like God commanded in the Bible, is the best method for taxing people. He was referring to God’s command about tithing (Numbers 18:26). Everyone was expected to give 10 percent of their abundance back to God. It did not matter how much or how little wealth one achieved during the year.
God did not say if there is minimal crop production, don’t give me anything, or if your crops are good give me extra. When the crops failed and there was scarcity, 10 percent of that harvest still belonged to God. If it was a great year and the crop supply quadrupled, 10 percent of that harvest belonged to God as well.
President Obama believes in a policy of the rich paying their “fair share,” which means if you earn more, you must give the government a higher percentage of your income. Carson points out there is no mention of a progressive tax system where the wealthy and successful give at a greater rate than the poor and less successful.
A little more than 70 percent of Americans claim to be Christian, but few of us even equate taxing with Biblical wisdom. There is no place in the Bible that tells us to mark and inflict damage on the successful. Carson asks, “If it is good enough for God, why is not good enough for our government?”
Tax proportionality is more fair than a progressive tax system. Because of the constant day-to-day changes that we deal with, we often lose sight of Biblical axioms. Feeding the beast should be an activity that all Americans are required to participate in (at the same rate) — not just the successful.
WILLEE COOPER is a former teacher and military spouse. A Hopkinsville resident, she is past president of the Kentucky Federation of Republican Women. Her column runs on the first and third Friday of each month. Reach her at email@example.com.