Who I Oppose and Why:
1. THOSE WHO RECOMMEND MORE TAXES
2. THOSE WHO SPEND WILDLY
3. THOSE WHO PRACTICE POLITICS AS USUAL
4. ANY SPECIAL INTERESTS
5. THOSE WHO SAY WE CAN'T SUCCEED
In this campaign primary which will determine your district representative, I have been challenged by an opponent who has agreed to support the desires of local government over the needs of TAXPAYING FAMILIES. Some ask why I don't just sink to the same level and work with the powerful forces allied against us. The answer is a part of who I am.
I believe the families and business owners in my home district understand that what we are fighting for is worth pursuing, from school deconsolidation to lower taxes for everyone.
Some officials state we can't lower taxes, we can't build the schools we need and deconsolidate authority, we can't, we can't. They are poor visionaries. A clear, conservative vision states emphatically that, yes, we can. We can and we must.
There are no guarantees in life and valuable results do not materialize from being easy-going. The lofty goals of lowering our expenses, lowering our taxes and creating positive community change is hard. And I am ready to continue fighting the good fight.
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1. I OPPOSE anyone who wants to RAISE TAXES:
The days of "just raise taxes to cover it" are over. Take the mindless way your House leadership tried to raise the gasoline tax. Their logic was, we need more money, let's raise the gas tax.
We have seen the public outcry when the infamous gasoline tax almost automatically went on a continuing spiral upwards. And this happened at a time when global supply is more uncertain than ever. Our state representatives MUST HAVE A LARGER VIEW of the world to function properly.
Anyone watching events in Nigeria, Venezuela and especially the Middle East is aware that our dependence on foreign oil is not going to end tomorrow and that supply disruption is quite possible. The additional marketplace burden of a raised gas tax absolutely DESTROYS FAMILY BUDGETS and KILLS BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT. Everyone knows someone who had to make a choice between filling their tank and buying an adequate amount of food. That is more than reprehensible, it is criminal.
When taxes rise indiscriminately, everyone suffers, but especially business. People need and want good, decent paying jobs. Every time your legislature raises taxes, those new jobs DO NOT and CANNOT MATERIALIZE.
Here's why NO NEW JOBS can be created:
Government creates nothing. Let me repeat that for those who have a misconception about job creation. Government creates nothing. It takes and spends your money. So far it has done that recklessly. Government is a glorified accountant. And a terrible one at that. If my accountant did as poor a job as the government of this state I would have fired him long ago. Government can only create an atmosphere where business can grow UNBURDENED by exceptional regulation. Government can also destroy jobs. But it has never created any.
Growth in business opportunities, especially small business, for every mother and father who seek more for their family, is the avenue to a better life. The more oppressive government makes establishing a small business, the fewer are born. Over 85%, well over, of the new jobs created in the open market are made by those who are going into business for the first time, or expanding their fledgling staffs. What can our state representatives do to help? Mostly, they need to get out of the way. And not raise any taxes.
No company conducting business in North Carolina wants to expand when they could leave the state and have a more stable income elsewhere. This is not a matter of greed but survival. Why do you think American firms look into outsourcing in the first place? Their shareholders, which are mostly retired citizens, your friends and neighbors, who depend on dividend income to make their ends meet, will not support lower corporate income just because the state has decided to raise taxes. Many of the state's tax programs are COMPLETELY UNJUSTIFIED in the face of vanishing jobs. They hurt everyone including people they are supposed to help!
Worse, no company considering a move TO OUR STATE can seriously influence its Board of Directors to agree, no matter the immediate tax incentives, when they examine our poor spending habits and unregulated tax expansion. I know personally of one firm which could have brought several dozen good jobs to this state but remained in another state whose corporate tax was higher. Their explanation - they would rather stay where they know what to expect from their elected officials than come to North Carolina, where on any given day their balance sheets could be put in jeopardy. It was just not worth the effort.
Your government likes to take credit for arranging deals that allow large companies to come into North Carolina. On principle, I believe expansion is great. BUT, if the incentives given away end up resulting in a perceived need to RAISE OTHER TAXES, then the public has been attacked again. This kind of government intervention also ends up pitting business against families which is contrary to the American dream. If the state would CAP TAXES in the first place, then the public would not resent companies moving here. Your taxes would not rise due to massive incentives given to corporations. No incentives would be needed to entice a move to North Carolina. We have a wonderful state with many positive features. This whole idea of business versus the public is a creation of government ineptitude.
North Carolina is already the poorest example of tax policy on the East Coast. It won't be long before fellow Americans refer to us as Tax Carolina. Gas tax, hotel tax, intangible tax, car tax, and ridiculous property tax, school bonds, all conspire to misappropriate YOUR FAMILIES DOLLARS and DEPRIVE YOU of your ability to succeed.
You know HOW TO KEEP A BUDGET, and SPEND WISELY, which is more than the greedy, corrupt politicians locking you out of your own House of Representatives.
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2. I OPPOSE those who SPEND WILDLY:
From many of the House Democrats to a Governor who doesn't seem to realize that the checkbook is empty, to your fellow citizens who think they are entitled to anything for free the government will give them, I stand opposed. We were never able to afford the pie-in-the-sky growth in expenses that have been authorized by the Democratically controlled House. The sad fact is that some Republicans ALSO have voted for tax increases, whether as outright taxes, or masquerading as user fees, levies, or buried within reams of other legislation. Conservatives must continue to give clear voice to our opposition. When enough people have felt the onerous effects of the overtaxing then momentum will shift and our collective goal will be within sight.
Some complain that there is no way to address social inequity except to spend. That is truly robbing Peter to pay Paul. And backwards thinking. The best way to help the impoverished of this state is to "show them how to fish." We can try to go on raiding the Treasury to give them money, but I know they would rather earn a decent living.
The true symbiosis between the poor and business makes itself known in this example. When we lower taxes, provide a good education and stop interfering with the market, business, mostly small business, will hire more of the people who desperately want to work and improve their lives. They will be off the public welfare rolls and become proud contributors to society like you and I. They will have learned to fish.
And the best part of that is by reducing the number of people dependent on a hand-out, we can continue to lower taxes and expenses for everybody. This is the cycle of business opportunity growth worth pursuing. This is how to end the upward tax spiral and satisfy the needs of our poor. We make it possible for them to NO LONGER BE POOR.
Now, there will be some people whose personal lives are a struggle by anybody's standards and they must be helped. A compassionate state MUST HAVE ROOM for them and help where possible. With fewer people draining resources we can concentrate on assisting the truly needy.
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3. I OPPOSE politicians conducting POLITICS AS USUAL:
We have been brought to the precipice of disaster by a team of House leaders, among others, who believe they are above the law. Their very actions demonstrate a casual attitude and disdainful opinion of YOU, THE AVERAGE TAXPAYING FAMILY. They conduct important business behind closed doors. They make deals which do not benefit you, only their immediate friends and supporters. Entire countries have had revolutions over less.
I believe it is time for a NEW REVOLUTION, not of power and influence, but of COMMON SENSE, DECENCY, and RESPECT towards the citizens of this state.
The ball has started rolling in favor of TAXPAYING FAMILIES finally. I take full credit for starting the process that has resulted in investigation of my colleagues in the House. They should be ashamed to show their faces in public. They have shown no moral compass. Show me a man willing to privately enrich his friend at public expense and I will show you a thief. There is no mincing words here. We have to call it for what it is. Theft.
The spin doctors of this world can try to paint a rosy picture but the families I represent know the truth. The House leadership must go. They are not reflective of the decency inherent in the average household they swore an oath to represent. They have lined friends' pockets with your money, smiling while they did so, and demanding more from you.
Just think how much each family will spend on newly required EYE EXAMS to enter school, when we all know that Jim Black, an optometrist, only did so to pay back many of the dollars he personally received from the optometry lobby. A lobby which handed him blank checks to which he affixed the names of those he felt like rewarding. If that isn't the most blatant example of corruption that hurts the poorest of us all then I don't know what is...Who can agree that these unnecessary tests are justifiable? And who will suffer most from having to spend upwards of $100 to pay for each child each year? The poor. That is a hidden tax. A family of four just earned a tax increase of $200 annually from such corruption. It won't hurt the middle class or wealthy but it sure destroys the family budget of those to whom $200 represents an entire week's salary!
How many more taxes like this will be allowed before we call a halt?
Politics as usual is not dead, but we have it on the ropes. There will be more oversight from the public as to events in Raleigh as long as I have breath in my body. I will not rest until we have a House of Representatives that we can admire.
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4. I OPPOSE SPECIAL INTEREST:
There is no such thing. These "special interests" should be relabeled "SELFISH INTERESTS". When a project, program or incentive ONLY benefits a select few people in our state, enriching their income, their property or their future prospects, then that is completely selfish and unacceptable.
You would not cheat your neighbor to steal food from his pantry, nor will I allow government officials or bureaucrats to go unchecked. Fortunately, lately, I have not been the only voice raised in such a manner. I think others, who may have been dispirited, are rallying now and we will have more effect in the coming terms.
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5. I OPPOSE NAY SAYERS:
My opponent in this campaign has attempted to express doubts over my "effectiveness". If getting wasteful government pork projects for my district, helping town councils steal the land of private citizens, and destroying family incomes by unscrupulous taxes is a measure of effectiveness, then no, I have been completely ineffective. And you should be thankful I did not succeed by his measure. I did not help the system push you further over the edge towards bankruptcy. Nor will I.
I believe my opponent and the forces which have aligned against me simply want to shut me up. Even liberal newspapers, not typically supportive of conservative representatives, have pointed out that I have been VERY EFFECTIVE at uncovering and detailing the corruption which BLOCKS ALL ECONOMIC PROGRESS in North Carolina. ELIMINATING CORRUPTION IS THE FIRST STEP towards solving our myriad problems in this state.
Who wants you to believe I am ineffective so you will vote for my opponent? The politics as usual crowd. They want your money. They want to control your lives further. They want you to just throw up your arms in disgust and be thankful that some small jobs program was graciously "given to your county" for playing along with their power brokering.
The politics as usual crowd is the most pathetic group ever assembled. I was raised with a fervent belief in God and that SINCERE TRUTH WINS OUT OVER INJUSTICE. I hope someday to embody the same kind of spirit we admire in men like John Adams, Patrick Henry and the early patriots who gave up their fortunes, whose reputations were assailed, and the many who sacrificed their very lives to create the dream we now live. WITH YOUR HELP WE CAN GET THROUGH THE CURRENT STRUGGLE AND SUCCEED.
My job is not over. I have a GREAT VISION for my community and our state. I won't let the negative campaign derail that. I will not trade my integrity for expediency. The scrutiny I have forced upon the House leadership will not stop nor will I let it stop. My oath is sacred to me.
I take this job as serious as when I rode the streets of my district as a medic saving lives. It did not matter who I was called upon to help. My duty was to save the life in most need and I did so. I met so many wonderful families, I knew there was something more I could do for my community. I have had a wonderful time as your District 98 Representative and look forward to working together for many years. I have the strength of conviction to keep fighting the good fight, if you have the courage to reelect me to serve.
Thank you for YOUR SUPPORT. Please remember to VOTE IN THE PRIMARY on May 2nd, 2006 and reelect John Rhodes to the North Carolina House of Representatives.
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