The Con at the Core of Class Warfare
Yep, Paul Krugman, that worthy of the NY Times, is at it again. In “The Con at the Core of the GOP’s Strategy,” Dr. Krugman suggests Republican posturing on the federal debt and deficit is a con game. Perhaps so, but it’s not the only con game in town, nor even the best. Consider the following gem:
“We are proposing to let those rates [for the rich] go back to Clinton levels. Remember, that was a time of remarkably good economic growth, in this country – very strong private investment, strong job growth, strong broad-based growth in incomes. It was a good time for the American economy. It makes a lot of sense.”
-Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Fox News Sunday, 12/2/12
Naturally, Chris Wallace didn’t follow up with the obvious riposte: If higher tax rates generate such economic bounty, why not return to the Clinton tax hike rates for all?
The con at the core of Obama’s class warfare strategy is this: Obama tells us that higher tax rates on the rich are good for everybody. What he’s really saying is that it’s OK for a tyranny of the majority to pick on a minority and disproportionately penalize them for their supposed sins. For those with any knowledge of history, the parallels between Obama’s demonization of the wealthy and Hitler’s demonization of Jews are truly frightening. Obama’s class warfare demagoguery is morally wrong and anti-American.
Our social welfare programs are intended to protect the least among us. It’s appropriate, and moral, that these programs disproportionately benefit the disadvantaged. When it comes to government giving, it’s entirely proper for government to give disproportionately.
The opposite is true when it comes to government taking. When it comes to taking, government should take equally. It is not humanly (or morally) possible for anybody, let alone government functionaries, to decree ‘fairness.’ The ONLY moral approach to taxation is to treat everybody the same. If we are to remain a constitutional, democratic, representative republic, it is imperative that the burden of taxation be shared proportionately by all productive citizens.
The rich already disproportionately bear the burden of taxation. The top 10% of income earners pay ~70% of all income taxes, while earning ~45% of all income. This is not ‘fair,’ and certainly does not bode well for the prospects of liberty and democracy in this country. The only way to justify such rates is to assume the rich got that way illegitimately, and deserve punishment. That’s exactly the ugly, unstated accusation behind Obama’s demagoguery. It’s also the explicitly stated accusation of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and is precisely why champions of the left like Nancy Pelosi were so eager to support it.
We have a federal spending problem. Increasing federal revenues will not solve that problem, and likely only exacerbate it. To the extent that higher taxes could be deployed solely to reduce the federal debt, that pain should be experienced by all. It’s the only moral approach to the problem. It’s preferable not to raise taxes, but if they must be raised, they should be raised on everybody. In this light, the 2011 Budget Control Act signed into law by the president is a far better deal than the one he’s put on the table to avoid the fiscal cliff. Given the choices before us, only one option is acceptable: Over the cliff we go!!!