Now I know, you all remember “Robin Hood” here in Texas where the “rich tax” districts had to support the poorer in school funding. That flawed system was a re-distribution of wealth and was mandated across the state. Did it improve educational results? I dare say it did not. We need to trust our local leadership and citizens to provide the best education possible. We do not need a legislative mandate from Washington or Austin, or any other state capitol, to foster quality education. In this same way, we do not need Washington or Austin to mandate our healthcare options or to foster quality healthcare.

ACA, by the word of Chief Justice John Roberts in the majority opinion dealing with ACA, is another tax! We were going to be taxed! Roberts seemed confused in his opinion when he acknowledged that the mandate was not a tax, and then he summarily decided that it was a tax and therefore a legitimate measure imposed by government on the citizens. President Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress at the time, mandated a tax on everyone who cannot or does not want to buy health insurance. That is not constitutional or reasonable. As common citizens we need to rise up against such tyrannous acts and demand our representatives repeal this unconstitutional act. This certainly is another cry for reform of the tax system and a challenge to the Internal Revenue Service.

How can such a measure become law when three-fourths or more of the nation’s citizens have voiced objections? What about the many influential organizations and institutions, businesses, and leaders who have voiced their opposition and objections to this measure — the Roman Catholic Church, the many Protestant, evangelical and other churches, the medical experts, physicians, insurance companies?

I know that there are those who support ACA and think it is needed. Once again, I raise the “common sense” issue — “follow the money.” Just one example of this kind of thing is the support that American Association of Retired Persons gave to Obamacare. AARP reaped billions of dollars when ACA become fully active in 2014. AARP, who should represent millions of senior citizens, did not represent them but represented the financial interests of their well-paid executive leadership. They will earn larger salaries and bigger bonuses.

This fact raises another serious problem that common-sense mandates addressing. The Tea Party movements need to continue holding our representatives and leadership accountable for truth and facts. Money speaks and sometimes it lies, particularly during political campaigns. We need to elect people to national and state legislatures that will represent us (the taxpayers), demand limits on government power and spending, and cut government bureaucracies. We should also join organizations that act for common people. That means we should refuse to support organizations that spend thousands of dollars against the interest of their paying members. In this I’m referring to several past and coming elections where groups funding Texans for Responsible Government — the Texas Medical Association and the Texas Realtors Association — spent over a quarter million dollars in East Texas to defeat one Republican candidate, supporting the opposition to that candidate who was then supported by the Speaker Joe Straus. Now we have the unfolding drama involving the new Speaker of the House in the Texas legislature emphasizing the need for independent and stronger leadership of this important legislative body.

Our governor, even the Lieutenant Governor and Speaker Bonnen actually sought to force a sales tax increase onto our over-taxed citizens this past session and refused to deal with several conservative and legitimate measures. Those representatives and senators who blindly supported the “Texas Political Trinity” need to be truthful with Texans and trim taxation and over-spending and quit exercising the power of the government to deceive, rob and ruin citizens. This was the problem in the founding of our nation in the beginning. We need to once again read or re-read Thomas Paine’s great book Common Sense.

Paine’s pamphlet also raises the issue involving “a web of deceit” that surrounds many acts involving the government and its leadership. This certainly was the case in colonial America in those years before the Revolutionary War. As certain as there was “a web of deceit” in that early time, there is also today. As in that early time, we need to stand up and refuse to participate in such deceit. That means we need to thoughtfully study where we spend our money, who we support, who we vote for, what we say. Most important, we need to stand together. This is why the Tea Party movement is so important and needs to be kept going and growing. We all need to join a Tea Party and get active in making sure our representatives vote our interests, and if they do not then vote them out of office (in simple terms fire them!).

We do not need Austin or Washington mandating anything for localities and individuals. That approach to solving problems only increases taxes and regulations that make it harder and less likely those problems will actually be solved. Once such government agencies or solutions are created, they are likely never to be eliminated but merely continued.

We have a well-informed and intellectually-challenging lawyer and political writer that is in the tradition of Thomas Paine. Mark Levin has given us a very important series of books that opens the labyrinth of deceit and misguidance on the part of political, journalistic, legislative and judicial leadership. You need to seek out and read Men in Black, Plunder and Deceit, Ameritopia, Liberty and Deceit, The Liberty Amendments, Rediscovering Americanism and Unfreedom of the Press. An important movement also growing out of Levin’s writings is “The Convention of States” movement calling for the grassroots movement to amend the Constitution, limiting the government, the bureaucracies and taxation.

Why send tax money to Washington? Why send tax money to Austin? Why not just keep it close to home? We do not need a bureaucracy that takes our tax money from us and then decides how it will return it to our schools, to our poor, to our counties, cities and other entities receiving federal and state tax dollars. We could have a lot more money locally if we did not have to send it to Washington and Austin. We need to educate ourselves and become politically involved.

Jerry Hopkins is a retired university history professor.