President Obama made his defense of class warfare in his question-and-answer session with students at Northern Virginia Community College today. Have you noticed that when politicians play the class warfare card, that they have a particular choice of euphemisms they use, to try to camouflage what they are doing?
There are two basic parts to their strategy. The first is that they paint the so-called “rich” as people who differ from the rest of us only in that they are “fortunate.” There is no mention that they may work harder or longer hours, that they show more ingenuity, that they have been willing to take some risks, or that what they do is highly valued by society. No, all that is hushed, brushed under the table. Good Democrats must only talk about these people as being lucky. And this is what the President did today. Here is his quote: “I believe that people who have been really blessed in this society like me and have a very, very, very good income can afford to pay a little bit more ….”
And the second part is not to bring up that the government is taking the money by force. They use words like “give” or “contribute”. The President has a slight variation on that here in merely talking about what they can “afford.” And later in his answer, he pretends again that the “contribution” is voluntary by saying, “Why wouldn’t I want to make that sacrifice?”
It’s heartening to see conservatives more and more standing up to this Marxist rhetoric, because that’s what it is. A heavy progressive income tax as a vehicle for the redistribution of wealth is a fundamental tenet of Marxism. We need to respond like Hank Rearden, the character in Atlas Shrugged, who stood up to the government bureaucrats when, like weasels, they asked for his “contributions.” He told them that they would have to come take his assets by force; that he was not going to play their game.
Right now I am reading President Reagan’s autobiography. His conversion from statism to conservatism took place gradually, as he grew up, became exposed to the “real world,” and saw the effects of government policies. As a young actor, he was subjected to this heavy progressive income tax, and he observed that it dampened his enthusiasm to work hard at his profession, to take that extra contract, to work that extra film. So when he became president, a high priority of his was to encourage industry, risk-taking, and resourcefulness, by allowing entrepreneurs and others of the “bourgeoisie” to keep more of what they earn. The result was not only a prolonged economic boom, but it actually dramatically increased the revenues to the federal government.
He quotes President Kennedy, who said, in 1962: “An economy hampered by restrictive tax rates will never produce enough revenues to balance the budget – just as it will never produce enough jobs or enough profits. In short, the paradoxical truth is that the tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise revenues in the long run is to cut rates now.”
Congressman Ryan is making this point as he stumps to sell his economic plan. The best way to increase government revenue is to pursue pro-growth economic policies.