Dangerous trends

It should be obvious by now that we are living in a turbulent, transformational time. Never before have we seen America's free enterprise system under such relentless attack.

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The real precedent was set with the 1998 multi-state tobacco settlement of $365.5 billion. Tobacco is a legal substance. In the mafia, this is called a shake down. If the government can attack one industry, it can attack yours.

Sure enough, when this administration came to power, we have since witnessed unprecedented attacks and demonization of entire industries like oil, insurance, banking, and pharmaceuticals. In particular, the government has tried to intimidate Microsoft and Wal-Mart with threats of punitive action.

Next, the feds moved from intimidation to takeover. The takeover of General Motors by the government and the unions was a stunning transfer of wealth with a combined ownership now of 75 percent. More astonishing was the unprecedented setting aside of secured creditors by the UAW. Entire dealerships were arbitrarily closed and businesses ruined without due process — all sanctioned by the government of the United States. Soon to follow were student loans and health care. Ironically, the student loan takeover is part of the health care legislation which provokes the question: is this really about heath care? One person truly excited about the legislation, other than the Democrats, was Fidel Castro who said, “It’s a miracle!”

He obviously knows, since he helped craft a similar system for the island nation of Cuba.

Perhaps we should not be surprised at such animosity toward the private sector. Only 8 percent of Obama’s cabinet has worked in private business. They have spent most of their time in academia, government and, or non-profit jobs. Really troubling are the self-proclaimed communists in this administration who have made outlandish pronouncements about our system of free enterprise. Make no mistake: They hold us in contempt.

This brings us to the attack on people who collect rents — us.

Did you know that the health care legislation levies an entirely new tax of 3.8 percent on unearned income for an individual making more than $200,000 or a married couple making more than $250,000? Unearned income includes net income from interest, dividends, annuities, royalties and rents.

When I first read the bill, it wasn’t clear whether they were going to tax gross or net. Fortunately, at this point, it is net. Don’t be surprised if they enact a national sales tax to pay for this colossal national mistake. As Charles Krauthammer noted “that is the only way we can come close to paying for this new legislation.”

This is where we are now.

We have a government hell-bent on taking over the entire economy. It is time to act and speak out before they silence all voices of opposition.

An old German pastor recalled the apathy of the German people following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets, group after group. He spoke the following words on January 6, 1946, in Frankfurt.

“They came first for the communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

Author: Jeff Carroll is CEO of Grace Village Retirement Community in Winano Lake, Ind. where he has served for 13 years. Grace Village is a not-for-profit, continuing care retirment community with 350 residents. Carroll also owns over 40 apartment units and single-family rentals. His passions includes tax strategies in real estate, particularly related to Roth and traditional IRAs, and public speaking.