Wednesday, November 28, 2012

America Needs the 47% to come out of the Shadows and Do the Right Thing‏

What about that Pesty 47%?  A FUTURE WITHOUT YAWNS

Think about it – a future of active engagement in the public policy process, with all Americans participating.  This is a future of true compassion for our neediest neighbors, and most importantly the end of the era of the YAWN.  The road to this de Tocquevillian future is long and bumpy.  We need go no further than the secret and illegal Mother Jones video tape (last September) of candidate Romney at a private Florida Fundraiser saying: “…there are 47 percent who are with him (Obama), who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that's an entitlement…(t)hese are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax.

This tape more than any ad or event during the 2012 election sunk Mitt Romney – and now that the dust has settled, much of the problem was Mitt Romney’s own doing.  Every candidate should assume that someone is recording their every word, so what was Mr. Romney thinking?  The only part of this quote that was true was the last phrase, yes, 47% of Americans pay no income tax.  This by itself is an outrageous fact and no one paid any credence to it because Mr. Romney called nearly ½ of the country dead beats, his statement became a political flashbang.  The result was predictable condemnation by the media and disorientation by the electorate.  Team Obama made the most of the confusion yet the fact still remains that 47% of our country pays no income tax.

Given the tax and spending dilemma we find ourselves in now at the end of 2012, it is finally time to put the appropriate spot light on this 47% who pay no income tax.  A quick review of the IRS figures from 2008 is illuminating.  The top 1% paid more than 38% of the federal personal income tax for the nation.  The top 5% paid more than 58% of the federal income tax.  The top 10% paid 70%.  And what of the bottom 47%?  Again, they paid nothing.  In short, nearly ½ of the people of the United States paid no federal income tax at all.  This situation needs to be addressed. 

Nearly 52 years ago President John F. Kennedy challenged the nation to resist the self-indulgent wining that was in it’s infancy in the nation.

On that freezing Friday morning, January 20, 1961 he proclaimed: "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country."   

Either this proclamation was just another platitude destined for the trash heap of political rhetoric or it was a national call to arms lived by the young president himself – a man who sought front-line duty in the pacific theater during World War II and suffered dearly from his experiences.  From General Washington leading his men across the Delaware River to rout the Hessians at Trenton in 1776, to the first responders entering the towers of the World Trade Pavilion on September 11, 2001, Americans have always carried their fair share.  Paying nothing is not fair, it is shameful.

In 1961, a laborer might have stopped into the neighborhood pub on his way home on a Friday to enjoy a couple of hard earned beers.  While the hops filtered through his taste buds and into his nostrils, he would have looked at his hands – hands swollen from a full day of manual labor in the cold.  This working man, most likely a Democrat, would have thought of his wife and children, and felt a strong smile coming over his face, a smile of pride and belonging to the national fabric of the USA.  He and Kennedy were both Americans, both fought the Axis powers in WWII and equally proud of there ties to their nation.

No one is asking the poor or the working poor to empty their bank accounts today but rather to pay something to the national income tax coffers.  With a US population of  nearly 315 million and 245 million potential taxpayers that equates to more than 115 million Americans who currently do not pay federal income taxes.  If each were to pay $1,000 per year on average the total would be at least $115 Billion per year or in nine years over $1 Trillion.  Some of the 47% could pay as little as $70 in Federal Income Taxes while other members of this group might pay closer to $2,000.  The point is that this 47% would belong to the national fabric of America rather than being a spectator and the derivative effect, and the more important effect would be more taxpayers actively concerned with the growth of government – this would have an immediate effect on slowing the growth of government helping to rein in our national debt rather than today’s ethos where income taxes going up causes a collective yawn from half of the country.  The days of yawn would be over.

The members of Congress need to understand that the true way out of this fiscal mess is to increase the number of Americans with a direct stake in our fiscal health.  Rather than just increasing the tax rate on the 53%, start by having the 47% pay something.  TOTAL WORDS: 895

Geoffrey G. Fisher is a federally designated highly-qualified state-certified history teacher working in southwest Florida as a guest teacher.  He holds a BA in History from the University of Connecticut and a MA in Public Policy from Trinity College in Hartford, CT.  In addition to teaching he is a former elected official and speechwriter.  Mr. Fisher now writes the political blog: THE THINKING CAP at:  

Friday, November 23, 2012



Marco Rubio is in the minds of many political pundits the front Republican running to be the GOP’s nominee for President in 2016.  This is due to obvious reasons like the need to shore up the Hispanic vote, a community that should be solidly Republican due to there strong religious profile, most are comfortably Roman Catholic, and their devotion to family and family values.  But many of the reasons are harder to articulate, but they are still key to his popularity.   

1. The poise of this 41 year old father of four is remarkable for its Reaganesque ease.  He speaks in perfect sentences with a bit of a lilting cadence of a Jack Kennedy off camera.  His rhetoric may be elegant but it is non-complicated and approachable, and most important it is genuine.  This is something that people naturally hone in on.
2. Senator Rubio’s positions are certifiably conservative. “The Greatness of our country has never come from our government; it comes from our people.” He speaks with enough detail to make his point about smaller government leads to more businesses and therefore more taxes without sounding like some “wonk” that has just been bitten by a rabid dog.  Callista’s husband comes to mind.
3. His Depth of Knowledge is impressive.  Although the exposure to Mr. Rubio gives some politicos the impression that he is more style than substance, he is never at loss for the explanation of a complicated policy question. 
4. His poise is part of a package of considerable charisma, a charisma that few politicians can master; he has a Reaganesque ability to put people at ease while giving them hope.  And of course Ronald Reagan was early on a discipline of FDR.  In addition, the package includes a college football player who graduated and married a former Miami Dolphins’ cheerleader.
5. Mr. Rubio has considerable experience already in the political arena.  He is the former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, and the author of a brilliant compilation of citizen input into public policy called 100 Innovative Ideas for Florida’s Future.  He was able to marshal 34 of these citizen suggestions into Florida Statuary law. (PolitiFact, Florida)  He is also the author of a memoir called An American Son.  Republicans are already drooling over a candidate that is the son of Cuban immigrants.
6. Marco Rubio is a man of restraint.  He could have easily secured the nomination for vice-president or even considered running for president after two years as a senator, a la Barack Obama – but Mr. Rubio did not.  Rather he is now set to learn the lessons of Capitol Hill prior to running for president in 2016.  This decision not to play in the major leagues now will give him the needed temperament of a future chief executive.
7. Mr. Rubio’s comfortable with his message and himself and therefore he can leave Thomas the Traveling Teleprompter at home on occasions, unlike President Obama who is a fish out of water without Thomas.
8. Marco Rubio has the healthy ego of any US Senator but he doesn’t believe all the accolades said about him, unlike Thomas’ best friend.

The future for Marco Rubio will be to see how he compares to some of our great presidents.  Take a look.
George Washington is listed as one of our greatest presidents by historians due to his character, experience, and charisma.  As to character General Washington voluntarily gave up command of the Continental Army in 1783 when he returned to Mount Vernon, prompting an incredulous King George III to state, "If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world."  Fourteen years later Washington would again voluntarily hand over the reins of power when he relinquished the presidency.  Mr. Rubio understands this aspect of true greatness – the people form government in order to secure its God given rights.

EXPERIENCE is also vital to a great commander-in-chief.  Men like Washington, Jackson, and Eisenhower, all had well tempered experience that made being president a seamless process.  Mr. Rubio knows that he doesn’t have the needed experience yet.

CHARISMA is needed for the making of a great president but it is the least necessary of all the ingredients mentioned so far.  That being said, Washington, Lincoln, Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Reagan had it as does Barack Obama.  No one comes out of thin air to win the presidency, and then win re-election with 7.9% unemployment, and $16 Trillion in debt without charisma.

For now look to Marco Rubio as the favorite for the Republican nomination.  If the Democrats continue to label him as simply a brown face instead of a hardening super star they do so at their own peril. Word Total: 786

Geoffrey G. Fisher is a highly-qualified state-certified history teacher working in southwest Florida as a guest teacher.  He holds a BA in History from the University of Connecticut and a MA in Public Policy from Trinity College in Hartford, CT.  In addition to teaching he is a former elected official and speechwriter.  Mr. Fisher now writes the political blog: THE THINKING CAP at  

Facebook Response to Mitt and Ann Romney

Hope everyone had a great Thanskgiving! Much to be thankful for this year.
Hope everyone had a great Thanskgiving! Much to be thankful for this year.
Unlike · · Share · 409,39818,3968,168 · 3 hours ago ·
  • You and 409,397 others like this.
  • James Fitch You are a good man Mitt!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Terrie Delagarza Thankful for people like you that are unselfish and work hard for others.. you represent all that is America
  • Geoffrey Griswold Fisher Dear Mitt:

    You were obviously the better candidate in talent and temperament. We live in a country where everyone gets to vote and when the majority makes a colossal mistake we must recognize that choice and honor it even when it makes little sense.

    In the United States the people rule and fortunately our country is strong enough to withstand a second term for President Obama. We withstood James Buchanan and William Clinton so we will survive and perhaps even prosper during the next four years. By the way, is that your daughter you’re hugging?

    With great admiration,

    Geoff Fisher
    A Conservative History Teacher

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Judeo-Christian Nation Tolerates Atheism but does Not Endorse it. A Letter to a College Professor

Dear Jane:

Not only do I agree with you but I also agree with the pledge itself.  Remember that this country was founded upon basic Judeo-Christian principals.  Just listen to two passages from the Declaration of Independence: “…to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them…(w)e 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.

Even Thomas Jefferson, the premiere Deist, believed in the God of the universe.  We are of course a tolerate country and protect the rights of Muslims and atheists too.

Best, Geoff Fisher

What about that Pesty 47%? A letter addressing tax reform

Dear Rommy: 

I agree that the tax code needs to be revamped.  Tax breaks for corporations need to examined.  Just think about it, the president bails out the auto-industry and Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio go for Mr. Obama.  Thank you for pointing out this fact.  I hope the president did not do this as a clever bribe to those voters.

Also, remember the 47% that pay no federal income taxes, that’s more than 115 million Americans of tax payer age.

Total population of the U.S.: 314,772,453
245,267,292 potential taxpayers
115,275,627.2 Americans who currently do not pay federal income taxes.  If each were required to pay $1,000 per year on average the total would be at least $115 Billion per year or in nine years over $1 Trillion.  Rommy, also remember with more taxpayers the growth of government would slow helping to cut the debt.

Best, Geoff