Until the last cent is gone…
This may seem a strange way to start a column but that is essentially what the public employees unions (and most modern unions as well), Democrat politicians and the proto-communists in this country believe. Cost of government does not matter. Against all factual data, the latest meme from the left is that “we aren’t broke!” Budgets do not matter. How can they make his claim? It is because they truly believe that there will be funding until the last cent is gone and until the last person who has any ability to create value is taxed at a 100% rate. They assume that people will just continue to send in rubles “for the good of the country” and all they have to do is keep on spending. That is why they level such vitriol at the Tea Party because the basis of this movement is the antithesis of their beliefs.
For a long time, I have watched in amazement at local government officials grabbing for federal funds for inane uses like bike paths and museums of limited local interest, federal officials ignoring budgets (or in the case of last year, just refusing to have one) and elected representatives refusing to cut spending (actually continuing to propose new spending) in the face of crushing debt and budget deficits of historic proportions. In 99.9% of the money grabs, there was never a concern for where the money is truly coming from.
I find the campaign pitches of candidates who brag about “bringing money home to the district” offensive. I was especially disgusted at the Census Bureau’s advertisements of last year that fostered the money grubbing angle. I find these distasteful because they promote and mainstream the idea that the government is a magical piggy bank and all we have to do is put on our ruby slippers, click our heels three times and all of our wishes will come true – we will be showered in OPM (Other People’s Money). It promotes the idea that the sweet, sweet government money originates from a faceless entity called “big government”, not from the sweat, labor and innovation of productive individuals in this country.
Well, Auntie Em, we ain’t in Kansas anymore.
Conservatives have written and posted at length about how the upper 50% of taxpayers pay 97% of all income taxes and the top 25% pay 86.3%. Liberals see this as just an indictment that the top has the money, therefore they must pay more. Mary Katherine Ham raised the most devastating counterpoint to this argument:
The grand total of the combined net worth of every single one of America’s billionaires is roughly $1.3 trillion. It does indeed sound like a “ton of cash” until one considers that the 2011 deficit alone is $1.6 trillion. So, if the government were to simply confiscate the entire net worth of all of America’s billionaires, we’d still be $300 billion short of making up this year’s deficit.
It is not about taxes. I take the long view of this debate. What we are seeing from the American left is an open assault on one of the cornerstones of freedom – the ownership of private property.
It really isn’t just about money. It would be far easier to manage if it were. Money is just a representation of what you own; a dollar bill is just as much private property as a house, a tract of land or a car. The only difference is that “money” is fungible – it can be easily transferred, transported and is universally accepted as a medium of exchange during the conduct of commerce. It is also far less personal and intimate than a house, personal belongings or land that a family lives on, farms or otherwise enjoys. These two things, being easily transferred and less intimate are essential in efficient economic transactions but those are also significant downsides – it makes it far easier to confiscate (see the Current Tax Payment Act of 1943).
Compare and contrast these quotes:
“The theory of Communism may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.”
– Karl Marx
“We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are determined to destroy this system under all conditions.”
– Adolph Hitler
“What’s happened is that we’ve allowed the vast majority of that cash to be concentrated in the hands of just a few people, and they’re not circulating that cash. They’re sitting on the money. That’s not theirs, that’s a national resource, that’s ours. We all have this… we all benefit from this or we all suffer as a result of not having it.”
– Michael Moore
See the similarities?
Do not be fooled. While the American left screams in faux pain and disgust when they are accurately tagged as socialists/Marxists/communists, they are without question following a path to confiscation of private property (wealth) for the purposes of redistribution of wealth according to their desires. The inconsistency of their positions to the concept of individual freedom is stark – while their alignment with Marx’s Communist Manifesto is legion. Most claim the intellectual and moral high ground and I don’t believe they even realize that they are Communists and that communism is the enemy of freedom. This is apparently the depth and breadth of the “groupthink” that passes for intellectual curiosity in academia these days. They are the modern incarnation of Lenin’s “useful idiots”.
Contrast the quotes above with these:
By Liberty I understand the Power which every Man has over his own Actions, and his Right to enjoy the Fruits of his Labour, Art, and Industry, as far as by it he hurts not the Society, or any Members of it, by taking from any Member, or by hindering him from enjoying what he himself enjoys. The Fruits of a Man’s honest Industry are the just Rewards of it, ascertained to him by natural and eternal Equity, as is his Title to use them in the Manner which he thinks fit: And thus, with the above Limitations, every Man is sole Lord and Arbitrer of his own private Actions and Property.
– Cato the Elder
The constitutions of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; that they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property and freedom of the press.
– Thomas Jefferson
Capitalism is not only a better form of organizing human activity than any deliberate design, any attempt to organize it to satisfy particular preferences, to aim at what people regard as beautiful or pleasant order, but it is also the indispensable condition for just keeping that population alive which exists already in the world. I regard the preservation of what is known as the capitalist system, of the system of free markets and the private ownership of the means of production, as an essential condition of the very survival of mankind.
Our very freedoms are based on the idea of private property ownership, of having control over our personal space to do with as we please. The Founders thought it was so important that it is enshrined in the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution – no person shall “be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”.
Private property includes our money.
Time to decide which side you are on.