Tax Collectors for the Welfare State

Colin Powell has blasted the Republican Party for failing to be more like Democrats. He says that Americans want more government, not less. “Americans do want to pay taxes for services,” he said. “Americans are looking for more government in their life, not less.” Actually, this isn’t true. Polls consistently continue to show that when given a choice between more government and less, a majority of Americans want less government. Maybe these polls are wrong. If these polls are wrong, then there’s another possibility: Americans who pay relatively little, or nothing at all, in taxes are more and more willing to let those who make more money pay more in taxes, for more services — for them. In other words, Paul is happy to use the government to rob Peter to give him freebies. As I have actually heard people say, “You make more money than me. YOUR taxes might go up, but mine won’t. So let Obama raise taxes.” Whether this represents a majority attitude or not remains to be seen. The fact that it’s a repulsive attitude cannot be in question. Great societies are not built on such a mentality, although once great societies will perish from it.

Powell is right about one thing. He says that the Republican Party is in shambles–that it’s essentially destroyed. He’s right, and it’s precisely because of people like him. He’s one of the more glaring examples. It’s clear he never believed in the principles that the Republican Party claimed to represent. He actually believed in the opposite principles, as we can now see. It was Ronald Reagan who elevated Powell to the highest levels of government. Why wasn’t he a Democrat back when Reagan was President? Clearly, because Republicans controlled the government back then, and Powell wanted a high profile job. Now that Republicans are out, Powell is probably grooming himself for a job with the new power holders. He goes where the jobs are. Or, worse still: He feels guilty for his deception and now wants to come clean for his lie — without ever even acknowledging his lie. Powell and the current powers-that-be richly deserve one another.

The wrong premise behind all the reaction over “party changing” of high-profile Republicans to the Democrat side is this: That there ever was a real difference between the two parties. There never really was, by and large, and there certainly wasn’t in the last decade or so. Republicans were, and remain, the party of the tax collectors for the welfare state. They usually oppose expansions of Big Government–at least when those expansions are proposed by Democrats–but once in office they do everything possible to keep those programs in place, often expanding them. In the process, they accept the blame for the failures and inherent irrationality of those programs, always losing, in the end, to their liberal counterparts who promise the real thing.

I said it before, and I’ll say it again, because it has never been truer in my adult lifetime than today: America does not need a third party; it needs a second party. It needs a party that will stand for individual rights, limited government, and the actual rollback of all government except for the limited, Constitutional mandates of defense and property rights protection. For now, the statist liberals control everything. Somebody must develop an alternative for the inevitable fiscal and social disasters that will result from these policies. Let the Democrats have their way, and let those who support them live with the results. Go ahead: Tax those who make more money, and destroy prosperity in the process. Then let there be an alternative party to take over, this time to reverse–rather than preserve–all the damage that Big Government politicians have done. If there’s anything worse than a one-party government, it’s a one-party government pretending to consist of two parties who have fundamental disagreements in both ideology and policy. We have no such thing. When and if we ever do, then liberty, capitalism, freedom, individual rights and prosperity for those willing to work will once again have a chance. Not a moment before, though.