Posts tagged ‘taxes’

October 17, 2012

Undecided

by pastortimfowler

Voting

During this and most of the past few election cycles, the focus has been on the ever-present undecided voter. The debate last night was of the town hall-style debate in which the questions were posed by 80 undecided voters. Both candidates tried their best to say things that would get them to make up their minds and vote for them. I am not convinced that we need to place the future of our country on people who do not have enough information by now to make up their minds who they will vote for.
I know that some of you want to lecture me on the importance of every vote while others want to tell me how in the presidential campaign, the individual vote is worthless due to the electoral college system. Please, save it for someone who is undecided. I know who and how and when and where I will vote and made my mind up a long time ago. I also understand how this system works and understand that there is something far more important than your vote to some people and that is called getting the attention.
Right now pollsters want to talk to and hear what the undecided voter is saying. If they call me and tell me they are taking a poll, I doubt that they will care for my opinion if I tell them that I have made up my mind. I also doubt that they will ask me to come to a debate and ask questions.
I did not find any question asked last night that most of us who have made up our minds did not already know the answer that we believe. I also heard nothing that made me want to change my mind. What I wanted to do was change the channel. When asked a question, each candidate carefully worded things to be as much in the middle or as far from controversy as possible. That makes them followers, not leaders. Dear Mr. and Ms. undecided, real leaders make decisions based on convictions, not potential votes. That means that I will not agree with everything, no matter what political party you are affiliated with. Make up your mind what you believe and follow the person that you believe will lead in that direction. If after four years they have been found to be a liar or unable to meet your expectations, vote them out. That is what decided voters do.
Undecided votes need to learn how to make up their minds. But if you can’t, please stay out of the voting booths with all those emotions running through your veins. Making last-minute decisions on things that are important is not good. If you are undecided about getting married just a few days before the wedding, it is not a good thing to go through with it. If you are undecided a few days before closing on a house it is not a good thing to go through with it. If you are undecided about getting off on the next exit of the interstate, don’t do it at the last second, it could cause a wreck.
Here is my advice to the undecided voter. Take this year off from voting. Pay attention to things over the next few years and see if you like the way things are going. If not, then you may want to vote for someone else. If you do, then vote for the person who is already there. Take the time to form some core beliefs in your own life and not what you hear on the news or from the internet. Decide if life is important and when it begins or if you like the amount of taxes you are paying or if you think that person who wants your vote can make tough decisions based on facts or popularity polls. Here is another idea. Keep track of what these guys are saying now and if they lie this time, they will probably lie next time. Voting is an important process that should be taken seriously, not taken as an opportunity to get attention and have people sway you at the last-minute.
Our political system is great in that it always gives us choices. It has left and right, conservative and liberal, and most importantly it has a history to follow. Get informed and stay involved and make up your mind. The Bible has a great verse about people who are undecided about things. Ephesians 4:14Then we will no longer be little children, tossed and carried about by all kinds of teachings that change like the wind. We will no longer be influenced by people who use cunning and clever strategies to lead us astray.
It is okay to believe in something. But like the old saying says, if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.

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September 6, 2012

Force Fed God

by pastortimfowler

God is our...

Yesterday I saw on the news the vote to allow God to be part of the DNC platform again. Somehow the brilliant move to eliminate God from the platform was actually made and they had to vote on bringing Him back. Many think it was an oversight and never meant to have been such a big deal. If it was on purpose, I personally don’t understand why they would not want God there. He is usually very quiet and for the most part just observes such events. When you watch the vote that took place it was not convincing that the majority wanted God back on the platform. Either way, I believe He was being forced on those who did not want Him there to begin with. But there is no way to have a convention without God, like it or not.
Politics is a strange thing. You are either very passionate about your political views or you are barely aware of these sort of things. Those who are very passionate take great offense to anyone who would criticize their point of view and those who are not involved act as if they have never heard of the election system, other than the fact that we vote for who we would like to have as our leaders. I tend to be more of the type that could care less about most things that make the news and only focus on a couple of major issues. I don’t voice my politics to loudly, but don’t hide how I feel when asked.
God is a major factor in how I lean politically. But at the same time, I am not persuaded by just talk about God. I like to see the actions and most importantly, does what a politician say match up to what the Bible says. This is only applicable for moral issues. There are many issues that I have to go with my gut on and I always remember that there is no way a politician can keep his word on everything nor can he remember everything he has every said. So I don’t go for the gotcha moments that news programs like to run.
I do not believe that anyone who runs for public office wants to kill any people in our society. When I see images of people rolling little old ladies off cliffs, I laugh and think about how stupid some people must be to expect anyone to believe such garbage. I also don’t believe that politicians who say they will never raise taxes actually believe that we, the people, believe that is true. Most ads ran during a political campaign are designed to shock and play on the emotions of people. I believe that both political parties know that if they just ran ads with facts and figures that the people would probably fall asleep during election cycles. Politics have become big business for big egos.
I have good friends who are Democrats and good friend who are Republicans. Some are very involved in the process and others are casual observers. Neither are bad people, even the ones whom I totally disagree with politically. Some of them are very vocal about their affiliation to a particular party while others probably don’t even care enough to vote. But here is a fact.Your political party affiliation does not make you a Christian nor does it make you a good or bad Christian. It only makes you a Democrat or a Republican. All governments and their leaders are a result of a sovereign God allowing that leader to rule over His people. Christians are to respect whoever that is and follow the laws of the land. We are free to voice our opinions, but never free to condemn solely because we disagree with their policies. We must follow the laws of the land and use the proper means available to peacefully change the things that we don’t like.
We can not force God on people, nor do we have to. God has made Himself known through the wonder of His creation. He has set things in order according to His will and not ours. He will be at the DNC with or without a vote. He will be with the Republican nominees whether they want Him there or not. God is not elected by man and will never be dethroned by any vote or popular opinion or political affiliation. God is God because He always has been God and always will be. No need to force feed Him to anyone. Every knee will bow and every tongue confess. Not believing will not stop you from meeting Him. God is God alone.

April 11, 2012

What Does That Word Mean?

by pastortimfowler

I am a bit of a stickler when it comes to people using words that don’t mean what they think it does or perhaps they have no clue what they mean but they are trying to sound smart. I had a professor one time use the word flabbergasted as he was trying to tell us how good it would feel to be healed completely after you met Jesus. I thought the word meant something negative but it was in fact proper use of it because it means to be overcome with astonishment.
There are lots of words that people use because they hear them on TV or in a song or in a conversation. The word surreal is one that I hear a lot and I don’t think it is always used properly. I hear it in about every interview on the news when something happens that people think is special. It may be close, but not what the intent of the word is supposed to be. I have a friend who got in the habit of using the word phenomenal. Everything that was better than normal was phenomenal, but if that was so, then nothing would really be phenomenal.
Lately there is a word used by our president that bothers me. It is not a hard word, but I don’t think he is using it correctly; fair. The word fair means free from bias and so how can you tax someone more than others for any reason and call it fair? Usually it is used when talking about the rich not paying their fair share. But how can anything be fair if there is bias based on income? What about those of us who don’t have minor children? We pay more in taxes than someone who make the same wages who has minor children. Is that fair? And my biggest question of all is who elected anyone for the purpose of telling me how much of my money I need to give them to spend on fairness?
If you want to be fair, perhaps we should use a standard percentage for everyone to pay no matter how much they earn. 20%, and that is not the amount I am suggesting, would be the same percentage for someone who make $10,000 per year or $10,000,000 per year. That would be fair. And forget about deductions for children or houses or anything else, just pay your percentage and it will be fair.
There are very few things in this world that are fair. I find fairness in the Bible. God says that all believers should give 10% of their income. No matter if that is a penny or millions of dollars, 10% is the standard and it is fair. It teaches that everyone is a sinner in need of forgiveness. Everyone will have to either die for their sins or accept Jesus’ death for their sins. That is fair. Anyone can be forgiven, no matter the sin or amount of sins and the fair thing that God requires is that everyone ask to be forgiven believing that Jesus died for our sins. God has no favorites and it is not His will that even one soul perish, but that all should come to know His great love and forgiveness. That is surreal. That is flabbergasting. It is phenomenal. It is fair.

December 14, 2011

Taxes

by pastortimfowler

I will try my best not to be too political on this one, but… I received my property tax notice for some rental property that we have in another county and was shocked to see that our mobile home was assessed at just $2000 less than we paid for it. So I decided that I would make a trip to have that challenged. You can’t do it over the phone or by mail or online, it must be done in person. You can pay online, via mail or phone though. Once there, a 1.5 hour drive, it took 3 minutes for me to fill out a 5 question form and be told that it would take 6 to 8 weeks and that I needed to go ahead and pay it before it was delinquent.
I do not mind paying taxes, they do provide the government with a way to provide the necessary provisions of education, fire and police and the ever important land fill. And, Jesus said that it was appropriate to pay taxes and I want to be a good citizen and a good Christian. So what is my complaint you ask?
My mobile home is like any other mobile home, it depreciates in value every year. Not to mention that even regular homes have depreciated in value over the last few years due to the struggling economy. For the last 5 years my mobile home has gone up in value twice and stayed at that value for three straight years. This is a single wide, 1999 model mobile home. It is not on the same tax bill as the land that it sits on, so that does not account for the value at all. In fact, thanks to our legislators, once I feel like I don’t want to live in or rent this anymore to someone, I can’t even sell it and have it moved. Any mobile home over 10 years old can not be moved in this county so it must be torn down and taken to the land fill I am paying for. So really it looks like it is of even less value since it turned 10 years old, 2 years ago.
We had a friend look up the blue book value of this and it was not even half of what the tax bill claimed it to be valued at. So I asked the lady if they found my claim to be valid and adjusted the value of the home, would they go back a few years and refund me the money that I was overpaying. She said, “Oh no! We can’t do that!” I asked her if I owed back taxes if they would require me to go back and pay them and she said, “Why yes we would.” I said to her, “That doesn’t seem fair now,does it?” To which she said, Sir. Will that be all today?” I told her it would and wished her a Merry Christmas.
I don’t use the land fill in this county. I don’t use the schools in this county and judging from the people who are educated there and now working in the tax offices, they don’t use them either or they aren’t learning much when they do. I rarely complain and pay my taxes on time. I just wish that when I over pay, that they would do what is right and give my money back.
But that is the problem with paying more taxes. The more you pay, the more they keep, and no one gets anymore service from them. The schools are not any better, just ask someone who has kids in them. The police and firefighters don’t get paid what they deserve and the people in the tax offices are not doing their jobs to the best of their ability. But at least people who don’t work will get a check in the mail and people who don’t legally belong in our country will receive a free education and medical treatment. But most importantly, I get to throw my trash in what ever land fill I choose between the two counties that I pay taxes in. Hopefully one day I will get rich and can pay even more taxes to cover the lazy, the illegal, and the bureaucrats who get paid from my hard work through all these years.

August 4, 2011

Free Cell Phones

by pastortimfowler

Our government gives the poor way too much. It is not the job of the federal government to give food and housing to the poor. It is called the American dream to own a home, not the American right to own a home. Owning a home requires one to be able to pay for the home and just because the government makes it easier to get financing, does not mean that you are ready nor deserving to own the home. Just yesterday I saw that there is even a government program to give poor people a free cell phone with 250 free minutes. Why?
There is no such thing as the government giving anything for free. It is all paid for and due to the fact that our government has no money of its own, that means that those of us who work and pay taxes, pay for all this free stuff. Since I pay for my own food, house, and cell phone, I can’t afford to pay for someone who can’t afford it for themselves. I bought my house based on my good credit and my good work record and because I budget my finances well I have a cell phone.
Food is a touchy subject. I do believe that people need to eat. I believe that if someone has no job and can’t buy food that they should have a means in which to eat. I just don’t think that it should come from the government. And I don’t think that someone who refuses to work should be able to eat as well or better than someone who does work but has to make sacrifices because they are paying for someone else’s home, cell phone, and groceries.
By this time I probably have about half of the people who read my blogs fuming mad. I have probably been call insensitive and had my Christianity questioned. However, I am not wrong; it is not the government’s responsibility to do these things.
Let me make one statement that I hope we can all deal with; No one has a right to a free cell phone and minutes.
Let me now clarify some things from the above statements.
It is the churches responsibility to take care of the poor. I can’t and wont argue with someone who is not a Christian about whose responsibility it is. Hopefully we can all agree that helping someone in need is a good thing and we just do it. BUT… The Bible is very clear that the church, Christians, should feed the hungry, cloth the naked, and house the homeless. It is not the responsibility of the government.
The church should do it out of love and a desire to show Christ’s love to others. We should do it with a motivation to help others become self-dependent and then for them to be able to help others. We should not just give to those who are not willing to help themselves. 2 Thessalonians 3:10 While we were with you, we gave you the order: “Whoever doesn’t want to work shouldn’t be allowed to eat.” There is a difference between those who can’t work and those who won’t.
Our society has created a class of people who are freeloaders. They know every agency and every charity that is willing to give away something free. When asked to work they refuse because they have more than they need from the give-aways, including a free cell phone and minutes.
My challenge to you is this. As of right now, things are not going to change when it comes to government give aways. But we can elect officials who will work to change these things. I am not talking about yanking the rug out from under poor innocent people who are down on their luck. I am talking about stopping the use of our tax dollars to promote freeloading. Pray about how you can begin to work within your church to help those in need. The old saying, give a man a fish, you feed him today, teach a man to fish, he feeds himself for a lifetime, is still true. We must help people become self-sufficient.
I will never allow someone to walk away to starvation. I will never allow someone to freeze to death because they have no shelter. I will never stop someone from calling 911 on my cell phone in an emergency. But please stop giving away so much free stuff without accountability. Even Jesus requires us to be accountable with the new life that He gives us, so what is wrong with require accountability from others?