Exerpts from the book
Ghetto Fire - Bengt Davies Presidential Campaign 

THE QUESTION: “Will a flat tax work in America?”

THE COMMENT: We all should acknowledge that taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society.  Of course, when Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr said that in 1927, the tax rate was less than 4 percent.  Anyone who argues against that notion most likely is going to try and sell you insurance against the financial pitfalls of a monetized society.  So . . .insurance is the price we pay for a civilized society?

“The ideal of a civilized society remains, but The Great Depression, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, huge technological advances and evolving social norms have most certainly changed our perception since then, of what a civilized society looks and acts like.  46 years earlier than his stated wisdom on taxes and civilization, Holmes asserted that State interference is an evil, where it cannot be shown to be a good’.  That seems to be the point we are today with our government run amok.

“Many a politician has rephrased Holmes over the years.  JFK’s most memorable ‘ask not what your country can do for you’ was taken from a Memorial Day speech Holmes gave in 1884.  I bring this point forward to help make an example of the changing ways of American politics.  And there is this quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. from an 1897 dedication speech, ‘Most of the things we do, we do for no better reason than that our fathers  have done them or our neighbors do them, and the same is true of what we think.

“Ronald Reagan’s plan to cut tax rates to increase investment, productivity, jobs and consumer spending was in essence the tax plan JFK proposed to bail out our nation’s woes back in the early 1960s.  JFK’s famous mantra ending with ‘ask what you can do for your country’ came from the Republican Holmes.  Democrats imbedded our country in Vietnam.  Thanks to Reagan, the Republican Party carries the banner of ‘Military Complex’.  The Republican Party was created to end slavery, yet is voted against and portrayed as against the poor, blacks and equality.  History shows that a woman’s right to vote was won for her by the Republicans over the vehement objections of the Democrats, yet they tell me a huge majority women helped elect our Democratic president.  Rightful consideration of and a change of how and what we think will prove diligent in today’s society.

“Now, about the flat tax.  Our government’s only source of income is taxes and we do need a functioning government.  But, there is no question that America needs a new tax plan.  There are many millions of citizens and an untold number of large profitable corporations that use our current tax code to avoid paying taxes.  That is simply not right and the tax code that promotes it must be eliminated.  Tax reform truly is the greatest opportunity for the people of America to be heard.

“A flat tax will work if America is willing to change.  The first order of business will be to change our representation in Congress.  Can you imagine the back room dealing our sitting Senators and Congressmen would engage in to debate a simple flat tax?  One favor, one deduction or tax credit and America’s tax code will be right back where it started: A series of loop holes that leaves our system ripe for fraud and deception and manipulation.  Vote out the old guard and the old way of thinking and vote in those committed to a more simple tax system.

“A flat tax still doesn’t address out of control budgets, welfare reform and Medicare solutions.  To address those problems, we need to take this opportunity one step further.  We need to create a fair share tax system. 

“In our fair share tax system, government would need to operate at the level of collected tax revenue.  Quiet please.  The noises you hear is one special interest group after another screaming bloody murder because their pet project might suffer reductions in funding.  Here is America’s great opportunity.  The voice of the voter – on  record – voted for – recorded and heard loud and clear.

“I have previously stated that the biggest problem in America is Republicans and Democrats and the people who support them financially.  Republican leadership wants to do the business of governing one way.  Democrat leadership wants to do the business of governing another.  But where really are the voters in this discussion?

“Now, we know we have a representative government.  In this scenario we elect like-minded citizens to represent our interests in Washington.  Seriously.  How has that worked out?  I will remind us all once again: Our Senators and Congressman take money, gifts and favors from lobbyist and special interest groups and that influence has them voting for laws and budgets to fund abstract and obscure projects that benefit a small few and not the general population.  These influence dollars also have our politicians funding the good old boy network and throwing our hard earned money at bureaucratic and utopian wet dreams.

“We should take a moment though to acknowledge that we all want – okay – most all of us want the same thing.  A bountiful, peaceful America.

“Let’s do history.  Our country was founded because of this whole taxation without representation problem.  Does what I just described not sound the same?

“Our fair share tax system will fundamentally change America to reflect the wants and will of its citizens.  Not the wants and will of politicians, lobbyists, special interests, corporate greed or international influence.

“Our fair share tax system works like this.  We give our government a percentage of American tax revenue to protect our borders, our sovereignty and our interests around the world.

“The balance of the tax collected will be allocated based on taxpayer selection of programs to serve our citizens.  You want your dollars to pay for welfare and solar subsidies?  Your individual tax elections go to those programs.  I want my tax dollars to go to elementary education and to broaden Medicare coverage for the uninsured, those are my elections.  This is how our fair share tax system promotes responsible taxation and gives American citizens the checks and balances we need to keep Congress in line.  This system gives each citizen a voice.  That voice is the most compelling reason and motivation to vote.  Selecting your choices – your voice - eliminates any excuse or posturing reasons to not register to vote.  Voting – it’s the American way.

“Do not listen to the argument that this won’t work - would create more government or would be a logistical nightmare.  It is a check list – as simple as filling in your order for Girl Scout cookies or selecting the numbers for a lottery game.  Those who say no are protecting their way of life not allowing yours.  And not to worry, those of you believe that our taxes are too low or might wish to offer more than your flat fee, there will be a box to check to allow you to pay more.  We’ll see how that works out.

“Campaign reform – what I refer to as eliminating the influence that causes our politicians to abandon us – falls neatly into line with our fair share tax system.  With citizens electing and choosing where tax dollars go we can eliminate the direct influence lobbyist and special interests have on our elected officials.  Because the politicians no longer allocate tax funds, influence buying to the politicians ends. 

 “In our fair share tax system - our votes – our voices will choose programs not political parties and America will be better for it.  So much better, that we should honor our votes, our choices and our will with a national holiday.

THE QUESTION: “What role does the media play in your fair share tax system?

THE COMMENT:  “No more corporate ads for politicians.  Under our fair share tax system, lobbyist and special interest groups will use various forms of media to reach out directly to the voting public to sway opinion and garner elective tax support for their projects and programs.  Billboards, direct mail, newspapers, radio, magazines, TV, cable and even the Internet become the playground where the funding game is played.

“The great side benefit to eliminating the DC lobby system is the media, driven by lobby revenue might actually return to their research and investigative roots and help voters sort out the truth from the money takers.  These media outlets will be forced to tell their audiences the many sides and alternative views to any given story or admit their bias and alienate viewers.  True to free world economics, money will motivate the media.  Whichever media tells the truth, will attract the biggest audiences and the most revenue.  Viewers will not dial into a media that remains biased.

THE QUESTION: “Will your fair share tax system provide for the poor black man? 
Is that why you call for a GHETTO FIRE?”

THE COMMENT:   “This should be obvious to all Americans.  No matter the taxing method, we need to create more tax payers and less tax takers.  Jobs and the economy are our number one priority.  We have an economic plan that works in Detroit.  It is working in Milwaukee and other cities.

“And just so we’re clear, I don’t use the term black man to describe who is poor in America.  Those are your twisted words.  And ghetto is not only a building or neighborhood.  It is also a state of mind.  It’s society’s white elephant.  It’s homeless and jobless people.  It’s struggling citizens watching their prospects for a better life sent across our nation’s borders.  Corporate greed is a ghetto, as is crime.  The politicians, who have turned their backs on fellow citizens, young and old, may be the worst ghetto, having left us in a place of abandonment, in an angry state of mind, in a helpless-hopeless existence – void of opportunity.

“I cannot honestly tell you how many citizens will elect to fund programs for the poor or tell you how many dollars will be available for these programs.  The will of the people with our fair share tax system will be telling.  This will test and define Liberal America.  The ideology will be forced to go beyond bumper sticker politics and into action if it is real and if it is to survive.

“I do have the utmost faith in American citizens and American companies to do the right thing.  The ideal we strive for is that states, cities and citizens take responsibility for the homeless, jobless and less fortunate.

“In our fair share tax system we select programs not politicians.  Democrats and Republicans can relieve themselves of that social burden and cast aside the clichéd bias the media and the political machine have embedded in our psyche and allow us all to just be Americans.  Loving, giving God fearing souls.

“We must take responsibility for less fortunate, because caring for human souls is part of the definition of what it means to be an American.  Working America greatly outnumbers the poor.  But we do need to be cautious.  The result of our heartfelt intentions could create utopian cities and states.  The price tag for that giving could become a nightmare.  A heartache by the numbers scenario.  So, we must be real in our role as arbiters of humanity.  What we cannot do is hand a man a dollar without expectations.  Nor can we continue the waste and fraud that our current government allows.  We need to redirect funding away from the federal government and into the hands of the states, cities and responsible citizens and citizen committees.

“Much like a jury is called to serve, citizens would be drafted to serve civil duty.  Untouched by lobby pressure and PAC money, citizen committees would clear out the log jam of government bureaucracy that holds back hope and promise from its people.  Rather than – The fish stinks from the head down scenario we exist in now where we are divested of influence and power – Citizens groups will be invested in and grow in strength as we combine individual powers in rebuilding America from the bottom up.

Major companies, world changing inventions and rock music bands have been formed in the garages of American citizens.  Why not a new and improved America?  We see groups of citizens gathering together at dinner tables, church offices and other local meeting halls, finding common ground and planning actions to help improve their fellow Americans lives and delivering aid to the poor.

We also envision extending this ‘duty’ to government employment.  Rather than creating tenure and a deep seeded bureaucracy that votes for job security, not for what is best for all Americans, serving time in citizen duty would create a continuous flow of talent and experience returning to the community to educate and prepare our population to engage in civic governing.  The resulting awareness and respect for the governing process would finally bring an end to our employing the government to manage our social and civic affairs and will bring justice and opportunity for all.  Has nothing to do with being a black man.  Has everything to do with being an American.

 “Back to your question.  The Million Man March held last October brought together a host of issues to our consciences.  Again, I don’t distinguish a man based on his color.  Only what his character reveals and what we can see in his heart.  One bad actor doesn’t make them all bad.  Grouping man together by color, race, religion and the like is an old political trick.  A trick designed to sucker in those who haven’t been shown other views of our existence on earth.  A trick to replace your ideals with their ideas of utopia and with their terms.  That goes for men and women in the black community, the Irish and politicians.  We do however, expect a community to take responsibility for its actions.  I saw men cry in Washington last October.  Arm in arm, side by side, silently vowing to improve the lives of their families.  It is 1996 not 1968.  Give them credit for recognizing a better way to build a community and a better way to begin change.

“Unfortunately, a march to the White House with picket signs and slogans to get our politicians attention will not be enough action for our voice to be heard and change to occur.  We need to root out and engage the other enemy in our battle to regain America.  We must get to the money that prostitutes our politicians and threatens the well-being of very American citizen.  Get to the money and disarm its power before it destroys us.


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