“There are two antagonistical elements of Society in America,” Seward proclaimed, “freedom and slavery. Freedom is in harmony with our system of government and with the spirit of the age, and is therefore passive and quiescent. Slavery is in conflict with that system, with justice and with humanity and is therefore organized, defensive, active, and perpetually aggressive. ” Free labor,” he said, “demands universal suffrage and widespread diffusion of knowledge. The slave based system, by contrast, ‘cherishes ignorance’ because it is the only security for oppression.” Sectional conflict, Seward warned, would inevitably arise from these two intrinsically different economic systems, which were producing dangerously divergent cultures, values, and assumptions.” (Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin, page 133; emphasis mine.)
I got an email from a friend that urged me to contact my representatives. It said:
As early as today, the Senate will vote on a resolution filed by Majority Leader Harry Reid in support of raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires to help close the budget deficit.
While it’s non-binding, the timing of the resolution is important.
There’s an epidemic of home foreclosures. Unemployment is rampant. The cost of food, gas and health care is going up. Families across the country are falling into poverty, while many more are struggling just to get by.
Yet Republicans who support all the policies that created the deficit are holding Americans hostage in ongoing negotiations over raising the debt ceiling. And what are they demanding? Cuts, cuts and more cuts.
I just called my senators and told them to support taxing millionaires and billionaires. You should do the same.
And today another friend posted on FB that expressed distress at the “lack of compromise” from the House Republicans.
All I can say is, as in Seward’s time, there exists today two intrinsically different economic systems. These two systems arise from two intrinsically different world views and these two world views have produced dangerously divergent cultures, values and assumptions.
My friends and I are not speaking the same language. Our views of the real world are diverging at an alarming rate. They believe that “Republicans” are holding the country hostage. They’ve had no reaction (that they’ve shared with me) regarding President Obama’s threat to withhold checks to our seniors, veterans and debt holders if he does not get his own way. He has invoked the highly effective class warfare strategy. THAT is what I consider unconscionable.
There is a good post at Maggie’s Notebook that says:
This is the Democrat method of terrorism. Obama isn’t man-enough to say, ‘we will not default and we will honor our obligations to Seniors, Veterans and the defense of our country, until the two chambers of Congress can get this worked out.’ That’s what a real man, and an honest American President would say.
I would also encourage you to read “Not Taking Other People’s Money” at AEI.
Since the time of the Founders, America has not been a magnet for immigrants seeking a system that penalizes success to pay for largesse. Letters from my great-grandparents who came through Ellis Island suggest they were desperate to get to America to earn their success, not to get great government programs like “cash for clunkers.”
In the coming weeks and months, as the debt ceiling debate rages and new budget battles arise, we will hear more and more class-warfare rhetoric about corporate jets, miserly rich people, and the need for higher taxes. Free-enterprise advocates must be ready to make a three-part case. First, it is bad economics to tax our way out of the hole our government has dug for us. Second and more important, it betrays a lack of national moral fiber to say, in effect, “We are too weak to control our spending.” Third and most important of all, it is not “fair” in any traditional American understanding of the word to tax our way out of a spending problem.
I also submit for consideration Charles Krauthammer’s Elmdorf Rule.
Here we go again. An approaching crisis. A looming deadline. Nervous markets. And then, from the miasma of gridlock, rises our president, calling upon those unruly congressional children to quit squabbling, stop kicking the can down the road and get serious about debt.
This from the man who:
• Ignored the debt problem for two years by kicking the can to a commission.
• Promptly ignored the commission’s December 2010 report.
• Delivered a State of the Union address in January that didn’t even mention the word “debt” until 35 minutes in.
• Delivered in February a budget so embarrassing — it actually increased the deficit — that the Democratic-controlled Senate rejected it 97-0.
• Took a budget mulligan with his April 13 debt-plan speech. Asked in Congress how this new “budget framework” would affect the actual federal budget, Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Elmendorf replied with a devastating “We don’t estimate speeches.” You can’t assign numbers to air.
President Obama assailed the lesser mortals who inhabit Congress for not having seriously dealt with a problem he had not dealt with at all, then scolded Congress for being even less responsible than his own children. They apparently get their homework done on time.
My compliments. But the Republican House did do its homework. It’s called a budget. It passed the House on April 15. The Democratic Senate has produced no budget. Not just this year, but for two years running. As for the schoolmaster-in-chief, he produced two 2012 budget facsimiles: The first (February) was a farce and the second (April) was empty, dismissed by the CBO as nothing but words untethered to real numbers.
If you still think it’s just about taxing those evil rich people I refer you back to my previous post: Let’s Do Some Math. I’d also like to remind you that in the Progressive’s mind the ultimate goal is re-distribution of wealth, according to the rules set up by the elite, on a GLOBAL scale. And, on a global scale, even the poorest Americans can be defined as “rich.”
Should we be “our brother’s keeper” and live as God would have us live. Yes. But, I’m sticking to the reality that it’s the individual’s job to do that. It’s individual salvation NOT collective salvation. God should direct our actions, not a political elite.
Finally, some words of wisdom from one of our newest Congressmen, Allen West:
If you want to rehabilitate a crack addict why give them more crack? If you want to reform fed govt, why raise taxes & give them more money? — Congressman Allen West