Obama will reportedly call for massive tax increases in his upcoming State of the Union address.
No surprise there. Obama ran and won on the idea — twice and explicitly — that we are all our brother’s keepers, and that the central purpose of government is to redistribute wealth.
Of course, Obama sold this as something new and different — under the mantra of “change.”
Come to find out that he’s simply another peddler for the debt-ridden, entitlement-ladled transfer of wealth society that existed decades before he ever came to office. It didn’t start with him, and it won’t end with him, either. Not if he’s succeeded by Hillary Clinton, and not if he’s succeeded by Jeb Bush or Mitt Romney. They are all the same.
Some are trying to claim that Obama’s policies have “worked.” In other words, that unemployment is (slightly) down, at least if you deliberately ignore the unprecedented numbers giving up on work altogether; that everyone is covered by health insurance, at the expense of fewer benefits, more government intrusion and more money projected to be spent than by any government in all of human history; and that Osama bin Laden was captured and killed, even though the rest of the Middle East states are falling like dominos to ISIS and other varieties of militant Islam, and Israel — America’s one lone ally in that part of the world — will possibly face sanctions by the U.S. government as punishment for attempting to defend its very existence.
Have all of Obama’s policies worked? I guess it all depends on what the meaning of “work” is.
Of course, you can’t claim that something “works” economically without presupposing that the policies are morally justified, in the first place. If you could prove that Germany’s economy improved under the rule of the Nazis, for example, it wouldn’t matter. Nothing could morally justify the extermination of innocent people under that government.
The same applies even when the issues are less obvious. What does it matter if Obama’s policies “work” if they’re not morally justified? Of course, he thinks they are. He makes it clear that we are all our brother’s keepers, and that the moment any one of us starts to earn more money or acquire more wealth — then that money (at a certain point to be defined by him) is no longer our own.
Unless or until anybody challenges this assumption, there’s no stopping him in his policies. Rest assured that the Republicans running Congress will not be doing so.
In reality, there is no conflict of interest, not truly, between what’s moral and what’s economically practical. In order to project the morality of a “spread the wealth” socialist society that Obama has always openly advocated, simply take it to its natural and logical limits. Everybody would make the same amount of money. Those who produce more would be expected to hand it over. Those who produce less, or nothing — for whatever reasons — will get their minimum. That’s what Communism is, but that’s also the exact same principle (less consistently applied) that the current American transfer-of-wealth state relies upon. They only differ in degree. Obama’s accomplishment has been to push us even further on that path, and he now intends to do so even more.
What do you think Republicans will say in reply? Will they say, “Obama, this isn’t your money. The money belongs to the people who produce it. There’s no law against private charity. But it’s not government’s job to seize wealth. We already do that more than we should. You’re proposing that we now do it even more … and you’re morally wrong.”
No, that’s not what they will say. Instead, they will challenge Obama on his fiscal claims, that raising taxes on the wealthy will close or reduce fiscal debt and deficits. Of course, that almost certainly will not happen. But the reason is because once the government considers that additional money their own, they’re going to spend it. They will be reckless with it, because they are seizing this money through force. People who take other people’s money are never responsible with it. Only the owners will be responsible with it — and not even always the owners.
Government is no different from a criminal, in this respect. The more you seize something that isn’t yours, the less respect you’ll show for it. The politicians who seize this wealth will not use it to pay down debts or deficits; they’ll use it to acquire even more power and good will from their constituents. Obama is proposing billions in new spending, so he obviously does not even care about debt or deficits.
This is where economics and morality fuse together: By taking wealth from those who own it, and are responsible for it, government will never create a booming economy. It will only acquire petty power for politicians and their allies in politics. The more government does this, the less the economy will grow, because — no matter how much they claim to the contrary — it’s not their money.
Many Americans — about half, by my guess, or maybe a little more — fall for the idea that “the rich don’t need this money as much as other people.” But what makes them assume that the government — who nearly everyone seems to understand is morally inferior to just about everyone, including perhaps even some criminals — will do anything other than advance its own interest of power with the loot? And how are private entrepreneurs and capitalists to invest in the private economy if they have less and less money to invest?
Why is taking money from people who are well off automatically and always considered a good thing? Why is it moral, and how is it practical?
Republicans are losers, because they won’t take on the Obamas of the world on moral terms. They only argue on fiscal terms, and they usually even do that badly. They will only argue in defense of the middle class, never the wealth producers and wealth creators — the most successful who end up wealthy and therefore the target of Obama’s lust for always higher taxes. Yet without this forgotten minority of the people who actually create wealth, there would be no middle class. There would be no jobs. There would be nothing for government to loot. The only thing that makes for a middle class is a vibrant private economy. The more government sucks wealth out of the private economy, the less of a middle class — and a more struggling middle class — there will be.
The better Republicans’ fiscal arguments are sometimes valid, and fiscal arguments matter. But they haven’t stopped the proliferation of the debt-laden transfer-of-wealth state up to now. The federal government even grew under Reagan, and under “conservative” George W. Bush set the new “gold” standard for government growth, until Obama’s spending spree left Bush in the dust. Obama — although vastly overrated intellectually — is smart enough to know that his opponents will never take him on morally, either because they’re too timid — or because they agree.
Will taxes go up? Of course they will. And no matter who controls Congress or the White House. So long as everyone in the debate concedes that all or most wealth belongs collectively to “the people” — i.e., the government — the spending and borrowing spree will not end. The economy suffers and justice is thwarted, and only the power-grabbing politicians — whom most of us claim to hate — are the ones to gain.
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