Biden can’t correctly define patriotism

Freedom New Mexico

Where did U.S. Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., come up with his definition of patriotism?

Republicans have made a mockery of the word since the Bush administration’s ill-fated decision to invade Iraq, and now the Democratic nominee for vice president seems to want his own definition of the word.

Biden, speaking last week in Canton, Ohio, told a crowd: “It’s time to be patriotic … time to jump in, time to be part of the deal, time to help get America out of the rut.”

If you have the means, in other words, Biden believes it’s your patriotic duty to pay more.

It strikes us as funny, given the state Biden represents and the commonwealth in which he was born. Both Delaware and Pennsylvania know something about opposing taxes in the name of patriotism. (Both were among Britain’s 13 American colonies.)

But, for the man who proposes a new guideline for what is patriotism and for those who might agree, allow us to mention just a few things about Delaware:

• Delaware has a low business tax rate. There’s a reason your credit card company is based there, along with a number of Fortune 500 companies. Is capitalism anti-patriotic?

• Three men from Delaware — Thomas McKean, George Read and Caesar Rodney — signed the Declaration of Independence, according to the Historical Society of Delaware’s Web site. Biden might recall taxation played a large role in the American Revolution. The historical society says Read and Rodney took strong stands against British tax policies. Would Biden like to question the patriotism of three men from Delaware who risked their lives, families and fortunes to oppose British taxation?

• Delaware has a median family income of $35,506, the 14th highest in the nation and above the national average. Ohio, where Biden gave his speech mentioning what it is to be patriotic, comes in at $31,748 — 24th highest and below the national average. Of course, the Tax Foundation ranks Delaware only 32nd in terms of best personal income tax. Ohioans, stuck in 48th place, would take it.

Biden and all political candidates should quit trying to redefine patriotism. They instead should try living up to the virtues of limited government that the patriots who founded this country extolled.