Reposted from June of 2011.
I’m old. I admit it. I’m old enough to remember growing up in Mississippi during desegregation and busing. I remember being in an all-white elementary school until the third grade and suffering the trauma of being bused to a new school where I knew very, very few kids. I remember not really caring about the politics of integration because I was too busy being disturbed and pretty unhappy about losing most of my friends in the move.
Being that I am that old, I remember the news reports about the Soviets invading Czechoslovakia in 1968. I remember daily Vietnam War body counts on the Huntley-Brinkley Report at 6 pm. I remember East Germany before the Berlin Wall fell. I remember Checkpoint Charlie. I remember the Warsaw Pact and the hard line, pre-“glasnost” Soviet leaders, Leonid Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko. I can remember when China was essentially a closed society and a mystery to the West…at least until Richard Nixon visited there in 1972.
I remember the violent suppression carried out by these Marxist/communist governments, something that Americans under the age of 35 only read about in history books. To them, China has always been open, there never was a USSR and they have never seen a communist state roll an army into a neighboring nation because they were insufficiently communist. They have never heard miraculous stories of daring escapes from East Germany and the terrible accounts of the 171 people killed trying to reach freedom.
So spare me the mealy-mouthed excuses for Marxism, the admiration of communist China and how a little socialism is a good thing for America. I saw what it looks like in practice. Socialism is the gateway drug to Marxism and Marxism is the precursor to communism.
At least back in the bad old days, Marxists, along with their fellow travelers and useful idiots, were open about “the revolution”. They were brutal – but at least they attacked you from the front in direct combat. Not today. If I wanted to ease a nation and its people into a state of Marxism, especially a nation that fought communist ideology successfully for over 70 years, the fastest way to enslave them would be through massive, debt financed spending – especially spending that produces nothing and the generational taxes that would have to exist to pay the bill.
Here’s how something like that would work:
Over time, shift the tax burden to a smaller and smaller base – institute a “progressive” tax scheme to shift the vast majority of the burden to only the highest of earners, exempt the bottom 47% (actually give them tax “refunds” even though they have no tax liability) and significantly reduce the burden of the next 28% so that the majority of the tax falls only on 25% of the taxpayers.
Create ongoing structural deficits by making promises to the people who don’t pay taxes and funding them with debt and higher taxes on those who do. Make sure that every time someone tries to cut spending that cuts in the high profile programs are targeted first and demagogue something like this:
“…And if we choose to keep those tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, if we choose to keep a tax break for corporate jet owners, if we choose to keep tax breaks for oil and gas companies that are making hundreds of billions of dollars, then that means we’ve got to cut some kids off from getting a college scholarship. That means we’ve got to stop funding certain grants for medical research. That means that food safety may be compromised. That means that Medicare has to bear a greater part of the burden. Those are the choices we have to make.”
Of course, that’s just a suggestion, I’m pretty sure that no one would be that brazenly transparent…or would they?
Then you go out and borrow enough money from foreign entities to reach 102.6% of GDP. Celebrate by buying your own paper and printing more money to make the debt even more expensive now that it is paid in devalued currency.
Create a little class warfare by telling the people that we can’t cut spending because that would be immoral and we need to raise taxes on millionaires and billionaires (but define them as families making over 250K and single people making over 200K).
Once you have isolated the tax burden to a small group, convinced the rest that there can be no cuts in spending, left raising taxes as the only option and you have ramped up the debt to almost $130,000 per taxpayer so that there is no way that even if you confiscated all the wealth in America the debt could be paid off and to keep the country from defaulting, everybody has to sacrifice even though only a few are carrying the load, you are there.
There you go – capitalism to Marxism in 6 easy steps. Not a shot fired. As Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev remarked in his 1963 speech in Yugoslavia:
“I once said, ‘We will bury you,’ and I got into trouble with it. Of course we will not bury you with a shovel. Your own working class will bury you.”
Maybe that’s what Obama meant when he was talking about “shovel ready” stimulus projects.