I caught a glimpse of the Hannity show the other day, at least I think it was his show – he is rebroadcast over here at 5 am, it was during my first cup of coffee, so I’m not entirely sure if it was or not – but Kirsten Powers was the liberal side of a debate about the fiscal cliff and I heard her say that she doesn’t believe that these Obama tax hike plans are redistribution because she sees no evidence that they are being “redistributed” to the poor…
My initial response was: “Huh?”
I would agree and disagree with the lovely Kirsten.
On the one hand, I am in disagreement because in my lexicon, taking from one in an unequal proportion, whether it is to give the money directly to another or to use it to fund an unequal share of government spending, is absolutely the functional definition of “redistribution”.
On the other hand, I am in agreement that it isn’t redistribution – because it is theft by extortion and fraud.
That position may sound extreme but the current negotiations between the President and the Republicans illustrates my thinking. According to Fred Barnes at the Weekly Standard, all of Obama’s campaign rhetoric about a “balanced approach” was exactly what we knew it was, political theatre designed to fool the gullible – because his initial offer was exactly – well, exactly nothing:
Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, says he “burst into laughter” Thursday when Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner outlined the administration proposal for averting the fiscal cliff. He wasn’t trying to embarrass Geithner, McConnell says, only responding candidly to his one-sided plan, explicit on tax increases, vague on spending cuts.
Geithner’s visit to his office left McConnell discouraged about reaching a “balanced” deal on tax hikes and spending reductions designed to prevent a shock to the economy in January. “Nothing good is happening” in the negotiations, McConnell says, because of Obama’s insistence on tax rate hikes for the wealthy but unwillingness to embrace serious spending cuts.
Geithner suggested $1.6 trillion in tax increases, McConnell says, but showed “minimal or no interest” in spending cuts. When congressional leaders went to the White House three days after the election, Obama talked of possible curbs on the explosive growth of food stamps and Social Security disability payments. But since Geithner didn’t mention them, those reductions appear to be off the table now, McConnell says.
The fact that the Democrats aren’t willing to put real cuts in spending on the table is what makes this theft. This unwillingness to discuss the cost side to let the taxpayers know exactly what is going to be done with their money is proof that they are only interested in more money to spend – even in the middle of these negotiations, Obama is out talking about all the new “investments” he has planned for the new cash – a perfect example of a toxic combination of arrogance and insincerity.
In an honest exchange, when you give something of value, you get something in return that you perceive of equal value. If you met a street vendor that sold you a hot dog for 5 bucks and yet gave you a picture of a hot dog that he printed on his computer, you would demand your money back.
That’s the fraud part.
Yet the Democrats are giddy with the potential that Americans will blame Republicans for the US falling off the cliff and are using that as leverage – that’s the extortion part.
Now combine the two: imagine that the Russian mob is there when you buy the hot dog and they say, “Comrade, we can not give your money back because we have already spent it – we have expenses you know, tovarisch. Oh, and by the way, that’s a nice hand you have there, it would be a shame if something happened to it.”
That is exactly what is happening here.
Democrats have proven since the grand immigration bargain and the spending deals of the Reagan era that they simply cannot be trusted when promising things for the future. If we are going to get blamed anyway, why not use that as an advantage and go big?
Congressional Republicans must hold the line.
We have nothing to lose but a country.