Sunday, October 20, 2019

Just vote no on Utah tax reform

Raising sales tax on food is bad. Adding rebates or credits or reductions of other taxes only helps some of those hurt, and doesn't help them when they need it.

Transportation related sales tax is to go to transportation per our state constitution.

Raising taxes for services in many cases will cause those services to be moved out of state.

The Legislature adjusting formulas to raise our property taxes for education and then deciding there is too much money going to education and not enough going to prisons when we are wasting hundreds of millions moving the prison from Draper so we can build an international port at the airport and will need to move the prison again is foolish.

The legislature used to only build higher education buildings with one time education money when the budget allowed it. That changed and they can't figure out why the budget doesn't work to spend what they want anymore?

I understand why the proposed tax changes make the spreadsheets work better for the legislature but they don't make the taxpayers spreadsheets work better.

Just vote no.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Keep the Electoral College.

The US Constitution provided for a balance between small population states and large ones. This is one of the reasons for the Senate having 2 per state and the House being divided based on population.  

The current US Presidential Electoral System keeps part of that concept so that voters in California, New York, and a few others do not decide who is elected, ignoring the rest of the country. 

The original system was designed so that the electors nominated two candidates, one not from their state, and unless there was a candidate nominated by the majority of electors, the voting for president out of the top 5 nominees was done by the US House of Representatives, one vote per state. If two candidates received a majority of electors, the House would decide between just the two. Basically, the loser of the top two became the Vice President, who would take over if something happened to the President. The elector college system protected every state from being ignored.

By 1796 and 1800, partly due to political party influence, and because the public didn't want the US House to decide the election a movement to change happened and under the 12th amendment this was changed. One reason was to make sure the President and the Vice President could run together.

Under the current system, Utah having 6 votes instead of 4 gives us a slight edge over population. Utah has decided to have a winner take all system. If Utah were to split our vote, it would carry less weight in the national election.

While the current system doesn't work as originally intended, there is still some balance favoring smaller states, just barely enough to encourage candidates to campaign throughout most of the country. If the National Popular Vote Compact were to succeed, I believe that would be eliminated and I also believe the cities with the most population would be the locations where campaigning would occur, making the situation of ignoring parts of the country even worse.

Keep the Electoral College.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Why is Independence Day on the 4th of July vs the 2nd

Scott L Wyatt
Why do we celebrate the 4th of July when we actually declared independence on the 2nd? My answer defines the American idea and how we can best celebrate this Nation under God. It is what I would tell Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton if given the opportunity, and every other leader in America.

Richard Henry Lee, a delegate to the Continental Congress from Virginia, prepared a resolution proposing independence. He submitted his resolution on June 7th and it read, “Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”

Congress debated Lee’s resolution on Saturday, June 8th and again on the 10th. When it looked like declaring independence was probable they assigned a committee of five to write up a statement explaining the reasons for independence.

Lee’s resolution came back up for consideration on July 1st and was adopted on the 2nd. John Adams wrote home to his wife Abigail, "The Second of July, 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival." The Pennsylvania Evening Post announced the decision to the world in its paper that evening: “This day [July 2nd] the Continental Congress declared the United Colonies Free and Independent States.”

On the afternoon of July 2nd, with independence decided, the delegates took up the statement we now know as the Declaration of Independence, prepared by the committee of five but mostly written by Thomas Jefferson. They debated it that afternoon, the next day, and then adopted it on July 4th. The statement did not have a name. It was simply titled, “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America.”

The Declaration has 32 paragraphs and can be described in three groups. The middle section, consisting of 29 paragraphs, presents their grievances, the “train of abuses” to a “candid world.” It includes taxes without consent, quartering troops, cutting off trade, abolishing charters—it’s a long list. The final paragraph restates Lee’s resolution, the act already committed—“that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States . . . absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown.” Thomas Jefferson added a few memorable words to Lee’s resolves, including—“we pledge our lives, fortunes and sacred honor.”

The first group of words—the first two paragraphs of the Declaration—are the most interesting. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed . . .”

These words are commonplace today, but in 1776—self-evident? There was not a single country in the world were all men were considered equal. There was not a government based on consent of the governed. There was not a county in the world where the government’s stated purpose—was the promotion of Life, Liberty and pursuit of Happiness—of its people. There was not a group of people empowered with electing their head of state.

So, why do we celebrate the 4th of July rather than the 2nd? Remember Adams thought we were going to celebrate the 2nd.

I like to think the answer is because on the 2nd of July we said who we were NOT—subjects of King George who governed by "divine right." But on the 4th of July we said who we ARE—a nation of people aspiring to equality and liberty. On July 4, 1776 56 of our best and brightest men, away from their families and occupations, on a hot summer day, in a room on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, put to paper the revolutionary ideals that would lead us on a never ending journey toward equality and liberty.

Some countries celebrate the anniversary of military assaults or victories that lead to their independence. In America we celebrate the day of words. On what day did our revolutionary war begin? We don’t remember. On what day did the war end? On what day was the most important battle leading to victory? On what day did we actually declare independence? Most Americans don’t know. And that’s okay. John Adams said, “The Revolution was effected before the war commenced.” It was a change “in the minds and hearts of the people.” On the 4th of July we celebrate what was in their minds and hearts. On July 4, 1776 something greater happened than mere independence. Fifth-six of our best and brightest put words on paper and committed their Lives, Fortunes and Sacred Honor to independence and to those words—that all men are created equal—endowed by a creator with certain rights—rights that come from God not from kings, including the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the right to a government, as Lincoln will say, “of the people, by the people and for the people.” What a beautify way to celebrate an American Day—the day of our most beautiful words—words of our founding!

Abraham Lincoln said, “All honor to Jefferson—to the man who, in the concrete pressure of a struggle for national independence by a single people, had the coolness, forecast, and capacity to introduce into a merely revolutionary document, an abstract truth, applicable to all [people] and all times.” This is the most famous American document. These are our most important American words.

In this time of divisiveness, may I suggest the best way to celebrate America’s founding is to remember our original words—words of inclusion not divisiveness—and strive to make them so in the "land of the free and the home of the brave!"

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Fred C Cox for the Utah Republican State Central Committee

I thought the certificate was pretty neat.

Being a member of the SCC is a volunteer, elected, political party position, representing Salt Lake County to the State Party. There are 180 members Statewide, representing tens of thousands of county delegates, 4 thousand state delegates, and hundreds of thousands of party affiliates. The meetings have been in St George during snow storms, Fillmore, Park City, Erda / Grantsville etc. I didn't get a certificate for 100% attendance for 2011 to 2015, even though I didn't miss then either. The meetings often take all day, and have as of late. been argumentative. Some are wondering why I would run again? It isn't just for the piece of paper, as I don't know if I will get another "award".

Someone has to stand up to defend a Constitutional Republican form of government that is not Socialist or we will lose it.

Past Party and Related Community Service
• Utah State House of Representatives, January 2015 through December 2016.
• Utah State House of Representatives, January 2011 through December 2012.
• Utah Republican State Central Committee, 2011 to present.
• Utah Republican State Executive Committee, 2017 to present.
• Utah Republican State Delegate 2002-2003, 2005 to 2012, 2013, 2015 to 2016, 2018 to 2020.
• Salt Lake County Republican Bylaws Committee, 2013 to present.
• Salt Lake County Republican Delegate, 2010-2012, 2014 to 2016.
• Salt Lake County Republican Central Committee, 2010-2012, 2014 to 2016.
• Salt Lake County Republican Legislative District Chair, August 2010 to January 2011.

How would you like to improve the Party?

There is too much fighting in the party. We need to protect the caucus convention system without driving people away.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Utah 2019 HB 441 Tax Equalization and Reduction Act

Why the big push for taxes on services? 

A more stable revenue source.

One reason that may be bad: Competition across state lines may drive businesses out of the state.

A second reason this my be bad?

This was written re: raising the food tax but I believe it also applies:
Former State Rep. Jim Nielson

"Sure, that makes things stable for state government. Downright convenient, in fact. But a boon for the government can be a bane to taxpayers."

"To have stable sales tax revenues during economic downturns means the government takes more from taxpayers in bad times, regardless of our diminished ability to pay. We're asked to keep paying, even when we can't. Which begs this question: Just who do we as lawmakers represent, the government or taxpayers?"

The Senate floor sponsor  told the Architects if the invoice was sent to a Utah owner or developer it would be taxed. So an out of state developer could hire a Utah or out of state architect with no sales tax? The instate owner or developer hires an architect (instate or out of state) and they are taxed? What is wrong with this picture?

"If we can’t get tax reform done, a year from now we’ll have to start relying on debt to pay expenses out of the general fund,” said Wilson. “We have four months to fix it.”

According to Utah Art XIII Sec 5 (1, 2 and 3) they can't do that. They have to pass a budget that works.

There is no reason the #utleg can't continue to fund higher ed partly with general funds like they have for the last 10 years and did last year. They just can't keep spending the way they are. We need to tighten our belts not tax more.

At what point are services, defined in 2019 HB 441, intangible property?

Since Art XIII Sec 5 (5) has that money go to the Education Fund, does that change HB 441 ? 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

The Correct Utah State Flag

In 2011 I learned the Utah flag I had seen my whole life was not the correct flag. I was amazed how pretty the correct one was. I voted to have the flag manufacturers start making the correct Utah flag. If you have a flag that was made between 1922 and 2011, you can still use it but look at a newer flag. Some want to change our current flag but have not seen or compared our current correct Utah flag.

See also

Saturday, December 22, 2018

The year Christmas Changed

The year Christmas Changed.

It was 14 years ago, that I watched my dad die. I called my wife Aleta from the hospital to go over to my mom's to tell her. I later took my mom to pick out a coffin. We didn't have the funeral until the 30th and we still "had Christmas" but some things were not done that year. No business related Christmas cards. Almost no gifts. Even though I knew and still know I will see my dad again, that wasn't important. Family was important. Christ was important. I have no idea how many people were offended I didn't send them a card or gift.

Some things have caused me to still be more outwardly engaged with "the season". Several years my church ward has had a Christmas Card exchange. Aleta and I would print out a hundred or so one page Christmas Cards, and go over to the ward and help sort the many thousands of "cards" that would be delivered by our youth. Our ward didn't do it this year, so no cards again.

Our Rotary Club has had a Sub for Santa for the Family Support Center. We buy gifts for a few families. This year, as a club they didn't fit in a large SUV. One year I went with my wife to pick out a couple of coats. One on this lady's list was over $100. it was a coat a contractor would buy to stay warm. I realized I hadn't ever purchased that nice of a coat for my wife, but she didn't say anything. This year we got 20 stockings and a few items to go with others for our Rotary project. We had our annual wrapping dinner and party. I made a note that "Santa" would need a ride later this year. It was neat to see the kids sit on his knee.

Christmas includes a few gifts, some of my wife's Rice Crispy treats to deliver to a few in the ward. What it really is: reading a couple of chapters in Matthew and Luke, one in Helaman, and one in 3rd Nephi. It means that because of Jesus and his atonement and resurrection, I didn't lose my dad that year, I just don't have his contact info. We will still go see the lights, and visit family. That year many years ago, Christmas changed. It changed me. As I sit in tears, remembering the Son of God, I remember I am still a son because of him.

Merry Christmas. You are still loved, even without all the gifts.