Wehner's kernel is that Glenn Beck's belief in a greater organization orchestrating the destruction of what America stands for is angst-mongering and threatens the Conservative movement in addition to the Progressives.
Abso-freakin'-lutely. And not just because it doesn't take a conspiracy for like-minded people to nudge an entire nation toward socialism. It just takes similar goals and patience. Think Comintern.
If you define the Conservative movement as the march to put more Republicans in Congress and the White House so that they may go back to doing what they have done over the last 50 years (spend like high sailors instead of drunken Democrats), you better believe Beck is a threat.
The real question is whether the Conservatives will wake up in time to see that Beck is correct when he says the parties are almost exactly the same in the big picture. Case in point: Both parties spend rather than cut costs. Government has not shrunk in size in my lifetime. There is NO honest argument that Republicans are significantly superior to Democrats in this respect. Of the two evils, Republicans are preferable. But they are only preferable if the question is "Shall we take both legs or just one?" I don't think that is a particularly good choice to start with. Nor should you.
Republicans, even such as historical scholar Newt Gingrich, miss the goal here. There is a fundamental movement here. It is not to have another contract with America. It is not to restore mere fiscal restraint. It is to disembowel the Federal mafia all the way back to the destruction of the institutions created by the murderous Progressives of the early 20th century. At least that's what I want you to think.
Death to the monstrous departments that exist because we have violated the rules given to us by our Founders; chief among them: allowing the populace to take others' wealth for their own agendas.
There is almost no one alive who knows what NOT having an income tax and a large central government is like. Consider that. Consider that a significant percentage of every tax dollar that is taken goes to maintain the existence of the bureaucracies that spend those dollars (Cash for Clunkers apparently used HALF of its cash to PAY for the administration of the program - a program whose ONLY goal was to check a stack of forms for proper completion, accept or reject them, and send out checks. What about a truly complex system like Medicare? How high must the admin costs be there?* What about our tax code enforcement - whose laws and regulations are better measured by the pound than by the page?)
In all, 3 Trillion dollars are spent by just the Federal government each year, with more in the offing. That's about $10,000 for every living human in the United States, every year.
So, what could you do with half that money if it was yours to keep? If you and every member of your household had an extra $5,000, right now, and every year? You could buy decent health insurance, including disability coverage, life insurance and still have money left over. You could invest for retirement. you could sock money away for the kids' college days. You could take care of your parents when they need you.
What's more, prices for things would either come down or become more profitable for you and your company. Government is the mooch that has been coming around and eating half your groceries even as you shop for them. Hidden taxes, fees, regulations, and imposed costs drive up the costs of goods. If some of those hidden costs go away, you can come out on the better end of the deal: either your company can become more profitable and you can ask for a better wage or prices for goods will come down, or BOTH.
Our founders knew that you were the best determinant of your own future. They knew that taxes were not only unfair, but actually sucked the will to succeed from those who paid them. They knew that letting the Congress get its hands into YOUR wallet was the biggest threat to the nation, and ran on quite long about the evils of factions (special interests in our day) who could manipulate the relatively small number of politicians who held the pursestrings. It was among the founders' most strident warnings, both in the Federalist Papers and throughout many of their debates.
So we have a real revolution in the works. One to usurp the factional wrongs amended to our Constitution. This is completely kosher in Conservative thought, but likely frightening to those who like the system of bought power as it is. That's okay. They will adapt to freedom when it comes.
I would also add this, for those who think such a proposal as this goes too far: I would happily negotiate away the current tax code in favor of a flat tax or national sales tax. Taking the position that the Income Tax must go, along with its amendment, offers you a chance to lure me back toward what you call sanity. I call it a good way of scaring you into doing exactly what I want while you think I am making a concession.
Remember: Moderation is a result, not a starting point.
* 2009 Social Security income is expected to be just shy of $700 Billion (Old Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) - NOT including Disability Insurance). The admin expense is predicted to be 0.6 percent (six tenths of one percent) of that $700 Billion figure. OASI is VERY efficient. Or is it? It's fundamental job is to spend funds given to it by other departments. By and large, it does bank transfers and little else. I suspect that it is still inefficient by private sector standards and that only the extreme scale of the enterprise makes it look good. For the record, OASI costs $4.2Billion to run. $100 for each of the 42 million people on OASI. -Could you direct deposit to my bank once a month for less than $100/year?