Sadly, at this present time, the answer to both questions for most of US is no.
Many of us feel we are tax slaves to the District of Columbia without adequate representation.
It wasn't always like that.
In 1776 our brave founding fathers Declared their Independence from Government Oppression and Tyranny when taxes were just a few pennies on the dollar and troops were quartered in homes by force.
British and American Governments committed a systematic genocide of indigenous Delaware Indian Native Americans after we welcomed William Penn in peace and shared our land by treaty. The genocide was committed by guns and smallpox blankets, driving us off our lands onto government reservations riddled with disease and poverty. Today, like many tribes, Delaware Indians are not recognized by US Government in the state of their origin, but in Oklahoma, home of Will Rogers, with bureaucratic government barriers most cannot pass, even after serving in the US Military:
In 1970 the un-won Vietnam War Agent Oranged, carpet bombed, fire bombed, incinerated, maimed, napalmed and poisoned indigenous people in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia with McNamara's Rolling Thunder, in the manner of Bundy, Harrison and LeMay's Fat Man Little Boy Thunderclaps on Berlin, Dresden, Hiroshima, Kobe, Munich, Nagasaki and Tokyo during World War II that killed 66 million people and stole their prosperity for generations.
These civilian targets claimed innocent lives and were in fact opposed by the majority of military leaders as inhumane and not strategic to win the war:
In 1970, a committed group of college students, some facing The Draft by Lottery and some not, including this author, worked to elect the first Congressional Candidate who opposed the Vietnam war. His name was Father Drinan. He was a Dean, Jesuit Priest and Law Professor who served the American people a decade. He was the first member of Congress to introduce a resolution in 1973 to impeach President Nixon for the High Crime and Misdemeanor of secretly bombing Cambodia without Congressional Authorization. Father Drinan served The People in Congress until 1980, when he was ordered by Pope John Paul II to quit politics, removing his moral leadership from government. Following his death, members of Congress honored Father Drinan's memory with a moment of silence on the House floor on January 29, 2007:
In 1971, while graduate students, our group accepted a $20,000 foundation grant to set up an Emergency Housing and Crisis Intervention facility near Haight Ashbury, staffed, supervised and trained by volunteers, funded by client and community donations. For three years Aquarius House gave up to 30 people a night food shelter and human services for up to 30 days until they got back on their feet. After I moved on to Psychological Services, Aquarius House accepted government funding and oversight. It closed within a year.
In 1980, doing Toastmasters, teaching Mind Money and Markets by Stanford Senate appointment at night and working at Merrill Lynch Intl by day for growing family businesses, he was asked to join the Reagan Task Force to elect an occasionally Libertarian president who did what JFK did, cut taxes and red tape to unleash the pent-up demand and productivity of the middle class. The Reagan Revolution grew our economy as fast as 8%, toppled the Berlin Wall by outspending the Soviets on military expansion and took the USA from largest global creditor with a strong dollar to largest global debtor with the dollar dropping -44% in his 8 years:
By 1994, despite Reagan's warning big government was the problem, not the solution, and needed to be taken off our backs and out of our pockets, the dollar dropped by -50%, stealing our savings and future.
Our economy began to show internal signs of structural collapse on Main Street, with the deliberate multinational destruction of American middle class. Money and jobs went offshore, despite ebullient real estate and securities markets soaring to record highs.
The truth was the Fed and Treasury were creating credit inflation usury taxes much faster than the real economy was growing. The one income family became the divorced single parent multiple job disaster.
This Silicon Valley author helped found a medical device company acquired and taken private for $11.4 Billion, spoke at the first White House Conference on Small Business, gave published testimony on Replacing the Income Tax to the House Ways and Means Committee and wrote The Politics of Prosperity. He was concerned about the non-Constitutional directions government was taking, with friends paid to work on arming the defacto Media Military Industrial Technology Complex Police State committing suicide.
He was endorsed by Ron Paul for the Campaign to Renew Congress as Father Drinan had done. He ran into unimagined political corruption, from the Registrar of Voters in San Francisco refusing to accept candidate filing, to the Registrar of Voters in San Mateo falsely accusing him of Campaign Fraud for making a mistake on a stack of forms that could not be reviewed, resulting in denial of candidate statement and correct occupation, to media refusing to cover the campaign, to dirty tricks late at night at home with family and on the street. It was an eye opening lesson to see the criminal element control government and politics, from tax-free corporations, foundations, unions and media monopoly to voter fraud with the assassin of a Mexican Presidential Candidate illegally registered to vote in LA. He left the state in disgust and was hounded by the CA Franchise Tax Board for two decades with bogus tax liens.
By 2012, a long-time Nevada resident, he filed Silver Senator candidacy for the US Senate primary to test the waters, where less than half the people voted.
Again the political media establishment ignored the campaign, but enough votes from an internet-only campaign suggested 2014 could elect a Challenger Constitutional Congressional candidate to make government work better for most citizens, instead of just the usual special insider interests.
So here we are in 2013, with bloated federal government inflation and unemployment Misery Index growing faster than the economy and population combined, resisting real attempts to rein in big bad bailout government borrowing, spending and taxing as "calamitous," while government profligacy in fact caused calamity including death, illness, poverty and unemployment.
Government does not produce. These days it does not even regulate except to obfuscate with red tape. It takes by force.
There were no actual budget cuts as crocodile tear politicians claimed.
Spending growth slowed in fact less than 1% of the budget, less than half a percent of the contracting economy. These so-called "cuts" were far less than what most of the middle class lost funding preemptive wars, special interest subsidies and 26 Obamacare and payroll tax hikes We the People opposed as much as 1000 to 1.
The Big Money picture ignored by government foundation media for politics as usual is the measure of Economy to Debt usury tax money supply (GDP:MZM).
Real economic growth relative to government borrowing, spending and taxing fell more than a generation, lowering working middle class living standards and enriching a special few like European Socialism.
It basically took more and more government cocaine to slow the natural collapse of the economy from government too big to succeed:
One of these days it may be too late to reverse course.
So we invite you to contribute to our mutual united cause of peace and prosperity in politics, with government working for and with us for a better America.
Contributions under $100 fund our campaign to get the word out to register and vote for better government.
Better late than never.
"Government is not reason, nor eloquence. It is force. And like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearsome master." -- George Washington.
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