Today, October 29, 2004, is the Statue of Liberty's 117th birthday. She was built in France with money donated by the French, and erected in the United States with money donated by the American public in 1886. She represents, above all, liberty and freedom.
Unfortunately, the America today is not the same America that existed in 1886. "Today any group of people can get together and vote to take money away from the people who've earned it, vote to regulate the lives of other people, vote to tell other people how to live. We have long since torn up the Constitution and every single article in the Bill of Rights."
1886: zip, zilch, nada income tax
2003: 35% max income tax plus 15% for Social Security
Taxes' drain on the economy
2003: ~50% of the national income
1886: $242 million
2003: over $2 trillion (10,000 times as much)
Federal debt (inflation adjusted)
1886: $1.40 per person
2003: $21,654 per person
Quote from the article:
In 1886 there were no crimes against the state – no drug laws, no prohibitions of any kind. People lived their own lives, and if you didn't like the way someone lived, you simply didn't associate with him. You didn't run to the legislature to try to get a law passed to change his conduct; you just stayed away from him. In 2003 there is no law regulating conduct that is so ridiculous that someone won't introduce it in the U.S. Congress or some state legislature.
In 1886 America, the individual stood above the state. In 2003 the state's "compelling interest" comes first.
If America in 1886 was a land of liberty, what is America in 2003?
The history of Lady Liberty: