Calling on Democratic Capitalists
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I don't use the term "Marxist," in connection with President Barack Obama's policies, lightly or even to inflame, but to express my genuine fear that if we don't put the brakes on his agenda to remake America in his image, we'll end up both enslaving and bankrupting America by the end of his tenure.
Perhaps conservatives used the term "Marxist," "socialist" or even "Commie" too loosely on some occasions to describe the liberals' political sympathies, but that debatable question now seems moot, given our new president's overt contempt for capitalism.
This guy makes Bill Clinton look like John Birch, and yet to this day, few Democrats have dissociated from him. So where are the Democrats who have always professed their conservatism? How can they sit by idly as we witness this administration's ongoing assault on capitalism?
Where are those liberals who have always insisted that on economic issues, they differ with conservatives only in degree, not in kind -- that they are actually committed capitalists who just believe in somewhat greater government control, a somewhat larger safety net and marginally higher taxation? Where are those Democrats who, for the past 20 years, have been condemning soaring deficits and an exploding national debt? Is there anything Obama could say or do that would cause them to break ranks in defense of the capitalistic system to which they claim allegiance? With a few exceptions, it does not appear so.
When President Clinton initiated his class warfare rhetoric against Reaganomics and "trickledown economics," when he described a slightly slowed-down economy as "the worst economy in 50 years," he was mostly trying to get elected, and it worked. Remember "it's the economy, stupid"? True, he did raise taxes when elected, and he and his wife tried to nationalize health care. But in the end, he was more about himself than permanently transforming the country.
While President Obama may also be narcissistic, as some have noted -- consider his utter lack of discomfort at being deified -- he is truly devoted to changing this nation structurally and has inherited an ideal "crisis" climate in which to actualize his ambitions.
When Obama said he wanted to spread the wealth around, we now know (many of us knew then) that he wasn't talking about fooling around at the margins. He was talking about major wealth redistribution and punitive action against upper-income earners. While this may tickle the ears of grass-roots class warriors, it's the anthem of America's destruction.
When government decides how much money each of us should have, we are no longer free. Make no mistake: Obama will not use the tax code and other weapons of government just to fund government services, but to determine how income is distributed. Don't let the difference be lost on you.
When Obama says that "there is something wrong when we allow the playing field to be tilted so far in the favor of so few … and (that) it is our duty to change it," he is not just saying that higher-income earners don't pay their fair share of taxes (which is absurd on its face). He is saying that they make too much money -- as if that is any of his or government's business.
While liberals deny this, all income groups did better under the Reagan tax cuts, from the lowest 20 percent to the highest 20 percent, precisely because marginal rate cuts provided an incentive for production by enhancing the connection between efforts and rewards. People work harder when they're allowed to keep greater portions of the fruits of their labor. Production increases across the board, as does prosperity, thus the term "trickle down."
Conversely, when you separate efforts from rewards, you get less production and less prosperity. True, the higher-income earners earn and keep less, but that does not do middle- or lower-income earners any good.
When the coercive power of government is used to equalize incomes, it guarantees less prosperity across the board and spreads the misery, which is one of the many reasons Marxism and socialism have failed everywhere they've been tried.
President Obama manifestly believes that government has the right, nay, the duty to take "from each according to his abilities" and distribute to each "according to his needs," or at least the needs as defined by the omniscient, omnibenevolent government. Whether you call that Marxism or euphemize it as "managed capitalism," it is a formula for ending America's unique prosperity and liberty, as there exists an inextricable connection between economic liberty and political liberty.
Never in our history have we been headed at such breakneck speed toward our own financial, political and cultural destruction. One can only pray that before it's too late, enough Democrats will come to their senses and help get this freight train under control.
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