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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

With God on his side

Dr. Benjamin Carson, director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins, makes the case for a flat tax. In front of the whole Washington crowd. At the White House prayer breakdfast, no less:

"What we need to do is come up with something simple. And when I pick up my Bible, you know what I see? I see the fairest individual in the universe, God, and he's given us a system. It's called a tithe.

"We don't necessarily have to do 10% but it's the principle. He didn't say if your crops fail, don't give me any tithe or if you have a bumper crop, give me triple tithe. So there must be something inherently fair about proportionality. You make $10 billion, you put in a billion. You make $10 you put in one. Of course you've got to get rid of the loopholes. Some people say, 'Well that's not fair because it doesn't hurt the guy who made $10 billion as much as the guy who made 10.' Where does it say you've got to hurt the guy? He just put a billion dollars in the pot. We don't need to hurt him. It's that kind of thinking that has resulted in 602 banks in the Cayman Islands. That money needs to be back here building our infrastructure and creating jobs."

Most conservatives and libertarians who argue for something like this go back to the Founders for inspiration and/or authority. Dr. Carson cleverly goes even further than that, invoking the authority that gives us pre-existing rights that the government is supposed to protect. Of course, the Washington crowd doesn't exactly believe in God-given or natural rights, so he was facing a hostile audience there.

He also has an idea for health care that's a lot simpler than Obamacare, and more likely to result in positive change as well:

When a person is born, give him a birth certificate, an electronic medical record, and a health savings account to which money can be contributed—pretax—from the time you're born 'til the time you die. If you die, you can pass it on to your family members, and there's nobody talking about death panels. We can make contributions for people who are indigent. Instead of sending all this money to some bureaucracy, let's put it in their HSAs. Now they have some control over their own health care. And very quickly they're going to learn how to be responsible."

That electronic medical record from birth idea is a little more government involvement in our private lives than I would like, but, hell, it's not as if things are going to return to a level I like, ever. At least this would likely be productive involvement.

Here's the whole speech.