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“Your Children Will Live Under Communism”

“Your children will live under Communism…

You Americans are so gullible.  No, you won’t accept Communism outright; but we will keep feeding you small doses of Socialism until you finally wake-up and find that you already have Communism.  We won’t have to fight you, we’ll so weaken your economy until you fall like overripe fruit into our hands.”

Nikita Khrushschev, Premier of the Soviet Union, 1958 to 1964 in a recorded conversation with Ezra Taft Benson, President Eisenhower’s Secretary of Agriculture in 1959.

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist as a permanent form of government until the majority discovers it can vote  itself larges out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loss of fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.”

(Peterson, E. T., 9 December, 1951, “The Hard Core of Freedom,” The Daily Oklahoman, quoting Alexander Fraser, Tyler.

The quotation is often frequently incorrectly attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville

This November the people of the United States will be faced with a Presidential election of the kind that only comes along in a generation.  It is the kind of election the country faced in 1860 and 1968.  The election of 2012 is a very important election. Perhaps President Obama said it best when he announced his ideas on taxes. “What is holding us back…is a stalemate in this town, in Washington, between to very different views about which direction we should go as a country.”  It is the kind of election that will determine the direction of the country for a generation if not longer.

What makes the election of 2012 so important is whether the majority of the country will be able to vote itself, as Tyler and Peterson assert, “Larges out of the public treasury.”  The average federal income tax paid by the top 20 percent of income earners represented 68.9 percent of the federal income tax collected by the federal government in 2009 (the last year for available figures). By contrast, the average federal income tax paid by the bottom 20 percent of income earners represented 0.3 percent of the federal income tax collected by the federal government in 2009. The top 20 percent includes taxpayers who filled returns that claimed $74,000 or more in taxable income.

President Obama is running on a platform of increasing taxes on high income earners. People who earn a lot of money are not, necessarily, very wealthy.  There are people who earn a lot of money who are not “rich”. President Obama is not talking about taxing established wealth, he is talking about taxing earnings. There is a difference. People of established wealth may be generating a lot of income, but that income is not necessarily being generated by entrepreneurial efforts. Much of it is from investments and not from “active” business efforts.  President Obama makes little distinction as to how the income is generated, whether from an entrepreneurial/small business or from clipping coupons.  If the individual is making over $200,000 ($250,000 for couples), he wants to increase their taxes.

The Presidential race remains essentially tied with both President Obama and Governor Romney each receiving around 45 percent of the vote. The official unemployment rate remains over 8 percent and the economy appears to be slowing down, perhaps at the edge of another recession.

But why shouldn’t low income people support the President and his proposals?  The bottom 20 percent pay only 0.3 percent of the federal income tax and there is no doubt that they receive vastly more in federal programs and aid.  Nearly one in three Americans receives Medicaid, food stamps, or other means-based government assistance.  When Social Security, unemployment and Medicare are included, nearly half the nation, 148 million Americans receive a government check according to a study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University of the third quarter of the 2010 census data. President Obama wants to increase that aid and the programs directed at redistributing wealth to the “poor” and lower their contribution even further while increasing taxes on high income people. Why wouldn’t the poor support that?  Everybody likes free: free medical care; free food; free housing.  Give me everything I want and let someone else pay for it!

President Obama has sought to extend federal programs, such as food stamps, while at the same time removing many of the restrictions for qualifying for federal program assistance, such as being required to work to receive assistance.  President Obama, by Executive Order, has redefined “work” so that in some instances getting a massage can be defined as “work”.  It is a sign of the times that 46.3 million American families received food stamps in 2011, and poverty, as defined by the federal government, is reaching the highest level in the country since 1965.

President Obama has said that the wealthy need to pay more in taxes in the name of “fairness”, and, apparently, it is the government who will dictate exactly what is meant by the word, “fairness”.  However, under President Obama, “fairness,”  would appear to mean that the government will increase taxes on those who earn the money so that it can increase payments to those who do not earn enough money to pay those taxes.  A kind of redistribution of wealth via the public treasury or, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.*”

*Marx, K (1875) “Part I: Critique of the Gotha Program, in Marx/Engels: Selected Works, Vol. 3, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1970.

 

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