Tuesday, December 4, 2012
This Christmas I am thankful for Ronald Reagan
This is a very busy time of the year for me. Not because of last minute shopping (see two blogs ago) but because I have an eBay store that keeps me hopping.
This month I managed to buy some new ice hockey helmets on the cheap and have been re-selling them in my store.
Within the last week I have sold one to someone in Russia, one to a fellow in Belarus and one to a hockey player in....wait for it...Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan! I mean, do they even have ice rinks there? I know they have ice, but....come on, man..
Amazing. I also failed to mention the two pairs of ice skates I sold to a lady in Mongolia.
All of this got me to thinking about a whole lot more than the miracle of using a phone with an eBay App somewhere in Belarus to order a helmet from a stranger, while paying through satellites hovering the Earth that safely transfer money from his bank to mine. That is mind-numbing in and of itself.
No, what I have been thinking about is how great it is that someone in the former Soviet Union is allowed to do business with me at all and that I go to bed every night wondering if someone in Moscow will send me money in the middle of the night rather than wondering if someone in Moscow will send a nuclear missle down my chimney.
For this, I am truly grateful to our 40th President, Ronald Reagan.
For you youngsters out there, let me tell you something important. When I was a college kid there was a very real threat that my life was going to be snuffed out by World War III. When I saw the original movie Red Dawn, you could hear a pin drop when it ended. Every teenage boy in the theater that night left wondering if this was our fate.
The story of how Reagan bankrupted the Soviet Union and sped up the rate at which the "Evil Empire" would die is one that is well known. His vision for a world free of the fear of nuclear war led him to make bold overtures to the Russians, who eventually caved in, gave up on communism and began the process of moving towards an economy where people could afford really nice hockey helmets.
It is also nice to go to bed at night knowing that if President Obama gets his way before January 1, 2013 the top marginal income tax rate will be 39.6%. In 1981, when Reagan was sworn in, the top rate was 70%. That's right. If you worked hard, served your fellow human beings effectively and made a ton of money, you kept 30 cents on the dollar. By the time I left for college the top rate was 50%. When I graduated in 1988 the top rate was only 28%.
Tonight, as I go to bed, I know that if I keep working hard, thanks to Reagan, I will not pay 70, or 50% of my money to the IRS. He so fundamentally changed our view of taxes that Mr. Obama is fighting just to get it back to just under 40%. If he said he wanted 50 or 70 people would storm the gates of the White House. I would have to sell them hockey helmets as protection from the army.
So, here I sign off, in a world that has Russians doing business with me and my government leaving most of my money alone.
Thank you, President Reagan. Thank you, indeed...