From Human Events:
All Against All
by John Hayward
Here are two recent examples of class warfare rhetoric for you to consider:
"There is no real history illustrating that these tax cuts for the rich result in jobs. It's extending unemployment benefits that creates economic activity that creates jobs, not giving a millionaire an extra ten or twenty or $30,000 in tax cuts that they likely won't spend." – Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
“I don’t know how anyone can keep a straight face and say they are for deficit reduction while they insist on a permanent tax cut for the wealthiest Americans, completely unpaid for. If they think it’s OK to raise taxes for the embattled middle class because [Democrats] don’t give more money to millionaires, it really is time for people in America to take up pitchforks.” – Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
Try to look past the headache-inducing stupidity of Sherrod Brown’s comment to follow the basic reasoning. Unemployment activity creates economic activity that creates jobs? Millionaires “likely won’t spend” money they are “given” in tax cuts? In other words, all money is the exclusive property of the government, which creates wealth out of thin air. It can give money to unemployed people, who will run out and spend it, inspiring the creation of jobs to earn the fruit of their government checks... or it can give money to millionaires, who use it to stuff mattresses and light their cigars.
Meanwhile, McCaskill is saying the wise spending policies of our omniscient government are fixed, and spending cannot be reduced by a dime. The State is morally entitled to spend that money, and intellectually superior to free citizens, who could not use it as intelligently or productively. Therefore, the only way to reduce the deficit is to take more money from inferior citizens, and pay down a debt that was incurred when the almighty State did what had to be done. The Democrats’ trillion-dollar spending spree saved us from a fate that was so unimaginable, you probably shouldn’t even try to imagine it, or you might hurt yourself. Since the State is the rightful owner of all property, granting any sort of tax relief to millionaires – even allowing the Bush-era tax rates to remain in place – constitutes “giving them money.”
This ideology is entering the final stages of rigor mortis. The State does not generate wealth. It prints money, which is not the same thing. As the State absorbs more resources from the private sector, wealth and job creation slow down… and the only answer statists know is to demand more resources, and engage in more deficit spending. This is the meaning of President Obama’s tedious election-season rant about the lack of a “reverse” gear on the engine of American liberalism. The standard response to criticism of Obama’s failed trillion-dollar “stimulus” is that it wasn’t big enough.
When the federal deficit becomes unbearable, tax increases are presented as the only acceptable solution. At first, these taxes are aimed at The Evil Rich, but the dirty little secret is that top income earners don’t have nearly enough money to fund the operations of a gigantic government. The necessary funds can only be found in the middle class, whose upper echelons find themselves suddenly defined as “rich.” The current political crisis in Washington comes from the unyielding determination of Democrats to hike tax rates on single filers earning $200,000 per year, and married couples earning $250,000. If we leave Democrats in power, to drive the nation further into ruin, next time “rich” will begin at $150,000 per year.
As more people find themselves tumbling over the line and becoming class enemies, the atmosphere of the nation becomes increasingly bitter. Hatred is the currency of socialism, the coin it uses to purchase power. Very few people are stupid enough to think as Sherrod Brown and Claire McCaskill require, believing that unemployment benefits create jobs, or rich people don’t spend and invest their money. However, there are plenty of people who will suspend their critical thinking faculties if they’re whipped into a sufficiently intense frenzy of hatred.
Hatred will also keep them from asking why Democrats don’t honor their “pay-go” pledge and cut spending on other programs, to fund the extension of unemployment benefits. It will keep them from asking why they shouldn’t be enraged at millionaire Charlie Rangel cheating on his taxes, or millionaire Nancy Pelosi seizing vast public resources to travel around the world in royal style. Class warfare is a machine that manufactures both blindness and amnesia.
The Democrats’ dying ideology can only survive in a future of all against all, where a dependent 51% can be persuaded to indenture 49% of their fellow citizens… and forget each promise from their liberal “benefactors,” when it proves as false as Democrat projections of economic growth if they got their “stimulus” money. Claire McCaskill’s “pitchforks” rhetoric is a clear call for civil unrest, and perhaps even violence, if her ideology is not followed blindly. Hatred is like any other currency. It devalues as more of it is minted. It’s going to take a lot of hatred to get Barack Obama re-elected.
John Hayward is a staff writer for HUMAN EVENTS, and author of the recently published Doctor Zero: Year One. Follow him on Twitter: Doc_0. Contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.