(a private response to Obama’s statement, “You didn’t build that,” wherein he later explained that he meant the roads and infrastructure.)
YES. AS A MATTER of fact I did “build that.” I built the house, put up the fence, planted the grass, fertilized the pasture, harvested the garden, raised the cattle and, yes, I built the road too. When I bought this run down farm in East Texas I paid for the deed, the tax records, easements and just all of the history. By proxy I became the person who built every little part of it, which includes the road. The previous owners, many years back, built the road to this house and it ran on their property along the fence line and joined their neighbors. Those neighbors continued the road on their property, bent at a fence corner and ran along to the next neighbor. So, my neighbors and I (by proxy) built the road, which, if you check the deed records, is still on our property. And we maintained it until one day we agreed to let the County care for it. (Since you “decided” that I didn’t build the roads we have to bring the County into the discussion.) We gave them an “easement” and they gave us a tax program to maintain our road; a tax program similar to yours. This is not really maintenance; instead it turned our road, which is still on our land, into chattel (a thing we hold paper on but do not fully own.) We can drive on our road only so long as we continue to pay the tax. Annually! So, it is like a lease or chattel. Otherwise the County will seize my land and road and sell it at auction. Thus I continue to build my road with my taxes and minerals (gas royalties under my road.) I repeat; neither the County nor you own the road; I do. All you own is the system for collecting the tax.
I did, by proxy, “build that” and backed it up with taxes to expand it to highways. I paid for the Federal Office complex, the Interstate Highways and the trip to the moon. You and the county are the ones who “didn’t build that.” Okay. I’ve given you credit for the tax system; you built that and nothing much else. However, let me point out that my tax is not used for my road as the County and you promised. There are potholes in the Interstate, half paved with a tax plan similar to Goat Weed in the Pasture – a festering sign of poor management. No, the tax is used for lavish County payroll and retirement benefits with plenty left over for you to play golf and Michelle to go to Spain. Lavish beyond anything I received for years of work. Somehow this does not seem to meet the original plan of granting you an easement.
So, what is it you are really after? You have implied by your speeches that you want more chattel. I built a very nice barn, with my own hands, alone, using wood sawn on my property, and it too became chattel without any contribution from you or the County. I am almost reluctant to tell you that I have other tiny accomplishments: a pantry of “put-up” vegetables and a freezer of beef and chicken. I have hay and firewood in the shed for winter. I have well water and a solar back-up power source. I “built” all of that and I am sure you want to tax it as well. This is the real “taxy” part; I sat on my tractor 12 hours a day for a week, in the dust, in the Texas heat and built a new driveway up to my chatteled home, so, yes, I can and did and will continue to “build that.” If I divide my chattel and sell land along that drive, and it becomes a “county road” then I can truly say that you didn’t “build that” either but you will likely add a Goat Weed Tax to maintain it and expand upon your idea of chattel.
Here’s the problem, Barry. When you ran down my tiny accomplishments you made yourself the “perfect” for the infrastructure including the pot holes and Federal Failures. You tried to make me small but made yourself the Goat Weed. And it has to be pulled up because it robs the ground of nitrogen, chokes the grass and starves the cattle. We don’t want Goat Weed.
Porter Click at Jubilee, Big Sandy