By Dom Giordano

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – What do Uber X,  high cigarette taxes, charter schools, pop up beer gardens and now Philly Jesus all have in common? They are all basic freedom issues that Philadelphia government authorities don’t seem to understand and issues local Republicans should talk about in order to make clear what liberty is all about.

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The past three months or so in Philadelphia have given us an array of things that are good for city residents that under attack by government entities. Uber X provides great taxi service that many people prefer to the Philadelphia Parking Authority authorized cabs. The response of the city is to send cops on horseback to shut them down.

Many parents in Philadelphia want to send their kids to charter schools rather than failing public schools like Bartram High School, a school with a national reputation for violence. The response of the city government is to push for legislation to greatly limit charter schools and to blame thing for funding issues in the public schools.

Of course, to bolster the school finances the government is imposing an extra two dollar a pack tax on cigarettes thus driving people across city boundaries to buy smokes. The city not only wants the money, but they want to use this to cut down on people smoking. It’s a worthy goal, but one that the government should not taxation to try to curtail.

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Philly Jesus is the latest example of the mentality of authorities in Philadelphia. I’ve interviewed him and I believe he is a recovering addict doing good for himself and others by portraying Jesus as he walks through the streets of the city. His arrest has made Philadelphia the butt of jokes around the world.

All these issues are very practical examples of the restriction of basic liberties. These issues are not some inside baseball debates over founding documents but real examples of the corrosive powers of big government. Let’s motivate all local Republican officials to connect the dots and of course, Free Philly Jesus!

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