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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Class Warfare, Dickens, and the Democrats

“A person who can't pay gets another person who can't pay to guarantee that he can pay. Like a person with two wooden legs getting another person with two wooden legs to guarantee that he has got two natural legs. It don't make either of them able to do a walking-match.” — Charles Dickens

It is not good for our country when a president of the United States singles out one group and tries to get the public to blame that group for the terrible problems facing us. Democrats and Republicans don't agree on much politically. These days, we can't even agree on the basic proposition that scapegoating is destructive. Scapegoating tears a country apart. History tells us it distracts us with false solutions when we are facing an economic emergency and have no time to waste. And it raises the specter of violence — actual physical violence, with businesses destroyed and people hurt and killed. Just remember how Hitler, Mussolini, Lenin came to power — they all had scapegoats to blame for their nation’s problems. Yet Democrats applaud President Obama's scapegoating rhetoric.

I read one blogger who stated:

“On a recent visit to the East Coast, I was told by dear friends and relatives who know I'm a Tea Party Republican that Republicans are selfish (three times), moronic (four times), crazy (once), and racist (twice). I witnessed friends and family scared about lost jobs, failing businesses, losing their homes, their retirement money, friends with college grads who can't get a job and are living at home. Every day of my visit, I witnessed these people who are so dear to me rant on and on, faces contorted with angry enthusiasm, against "The Rich."

This blogger caught me interest because I have heard this myself. This is what the Occupy Wall Street crowd is all about. What if instead of "The Rich," we called them the Jews, or the lawyers, or the bourgeoisie? Why is it so comfortable to blame one group of citizens for our enormous and complex problems when we call them The Rich? Scapegoating is evil, whatever the group targeted. This is a form of hate-mongering Republicans can't stop — Democrats have to speak out and stop it. I doubt if they will, however, as this form of politics is what keeps them in power. It is only thing Obama can run on.

It is not politics as usual. It has never existed in our lifetimes in America. Why are Democrats cheering the president on instead of saying, no, this is not okay, even if it plays well in the polls? We are not going to scapegoat a class of people for the country's problems. We don't target anger on groups of fellow citizens in America.

Here is another reason why Democrats should care. A leader scapegoats for one purpose: to deflect public attention away from how the public is being screwed by said leader. Our federal government is spending at a rate the country cannot afford. Obama wants his followers to think we can afford it, if only the top 1% of earners would give a little bit more. This is a lie. It may be a comfortable lie for Democrats, but it is one that none of us can afford to believe.

I have heard liberals on the radio and TV tell us that they can't stand hearing any more about our debt-to-GDP ratio. None of us can stand hearing about it. It is terrifying. The Congressional Budget Office projects that the federal debt will rise to 101% of GDP in ten years. That's Greece territory.

The Rich don't have enough money to pay for $4,000,000,000,000 (that's trillions) a year in government spending — not even if the government confiscated 100% of their income every year. Yes, that is every penny they earn.

According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal:

“A dominant theme of President Obama's budget speech last Wednesday was that our fiscal problems would vanish if only the wealthiest Americans were asked "to pay a little more." Since he's asking, imagine that instead of proposing to raise the top income tax rate well north of 40%, the President decided to go all the way to 100%.

Let's stipulate that this is a thought experiment, because Democrats don't need any more ideas. But it's still a useful experiment because it exposes the fiscal futility of raising rates on the top 2%, or even the top 5% or 10%, of taxpayers to close the deficit. The mathematical reality is that in the absence of entitlement reform on the Paul Ryan model, Washington will need to soak the middle class—because that's where the big money is.”

Democrats could vote to take every penny of the income of families who make $100,000, and it still doesn't pay for our yearly federal budget. Why? They earn only $3.4 trillion in taxable income. Our president has spent $3.6 trillion this year, we are in debt for 15 trillion, and the looming Social Security deficit is over $50 billion this year — and $500 billion in a decade (again via the CBO). And still the Democrats are asking for more. The money isn't there.

Either our government -- that means both parties -- faces reality and makes actual spending cuts, or we are finished as a prosperous nation. If we don't curb our spending, our economy will sink into something that made the Depression look like child's play.

Note that this disaster is completely bipartisan. The ballooning federal government has been created over decades by Republican and Democrat presidents and Congresses. There are big forces of history at play — to name two of the biggest, longer lives and medical miracles are bankrupting Social Security, and China's unfair trade practices have gutted our industrial sector. Democrats and Republicans have failed to cope with these challenges.

The long-term problems aren't Obama's personal creation. But he and his loyal base are responsible for how they choose to meet these challenges. The summer debate on raising the debt ceiling focused the public's attention for the first time on where we stand: right at the edge of the abyss. Everyone is scared. Fear gives rise to anger. Obama's poll numbers plummeted. This is when scapegoating became the policy of choice for Democrats.

Obama's pollsters told him that his chance of being re-elected on his record was zero. But they had good news for him: Obama didn't have to do anything as hard as tackling our economic problems. He didn't have to pivot to the middle and find bipartisan solutions as Bill Clinton did. Obama didn't need to change his budget proposal, which still calls for increased spending. He didn't need to respect the Tea Party's grassroots demand for budget responsibility. All he had to do was make speeches about how the rich are too greedy to pay their fair share.

So that's what we've had since the Martha's Vineyard vacation: three months of nonstop Blame Game. It's gone on and on because Obama's loyal followers like it. They think it's strong leadership.

Obama was advised to scare people about Social Security, make them think Republicans are greedy, evil, moronic, "you're on your own" extremists. The liberal media and pundits are working overtime on the same message. They are thrilled that Obama has changed the topic from the need to lower government spending to the unfairness of income inequality. Of course, Obama promises Democrats that he will raise taxes on only Other People, the undeserving millionaires and billionaires. No one has to do anything hard — the millionaires and billionaires will pay for it all. Nothing has to be cut. Nothing has to change.

We are getting toxic leadership from this White House. Obama doesn't have the power to destroy he friendships of the blogger. But he does have the power to destroy our country. Only Democrats can stop him.

Now with the Christmas Season in full swing politics will take a back seat until the Iowa Caucus when it will heat up to boiling. Class warfare will also take a back seat while Obama vacations in sunny Hawaii for 14 days on our dollar. But, like politics when Congress convenes after the New Year and the main stream media once again takes up Obama’s banner and gears up for the election next November, class warfare will begin again with a vengeance.

We will hear tales of how the poor are being savaged by the rich and how those who believe in the free market are greedy and evil members of society. They will compare conservatives to Ebenezer Scrooge and the populous to Bob Cratchet and Tiny Tim. They warn of a dastardly Scrooge promoted by the Tea Party ruse. But if Barack Obama has his way, we will be stuck with him for another 1,800 days.

To see his dream come true, Obama Claus is working day and night to drive away economic blues. To explain better I borrowed a classic verse, knowing full well you may think my version much worse. (No I did not write this verse, but found it online and thought it good enough to share).

The unemployed were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of government checks danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ’kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

I rubbed my glasses and peered through the lens,
Only to see a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny Dems,
with the tall sprightly driver, so lively and merry,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Barry.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Brown! Now, Cardin! Now, Leahy and Levin!
“On, Mikulski! On, Reid! On, Frank and Pelosi!

“To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
“Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
Propelled by fresh money, the coursers they flew.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little goof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Barry came with a bound.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
Only after pumping out money did he turn with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his friends gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Vote for me next fall, and to all a good-night!”

Another Christmas classic was written by Charles Dickens, who was wealthy and renowned when he rushed A Christmas Carol into print in December 1843. The book changed the way the world thought about Christmas. In the 19th century, Christmas was not celebrated to the extent it is today.

The book was immediately popular and it is perhaps the most famous work of literature associated with Christmas. Dickens wrote the story as a condemnation of greed. Through Scrooge, he wanted to convey an optimistic message that individuals could change and show charity to those less fortunate. The key word is “individuals.” A century and a half ago, the government had no role in taking care of people. Of course, popular culture and the growth of Liberal and progressive ideals have changed that.

Take Disney’s animated 3-D incarnation of A Christmas Carol, released during the holidays in 2009.

According to Big Hollywood Blog, Scrooge does not care about the fate of the poor, but he thinks government has a role.

Of course, charity and welfare are different, points out Jonah Goldberg of The National Review. With charity there is freedom of the individual to choose, to weigh the merits of giving and to give to those who will use the help to better themselves.

With welfare there is only government spending taxpayer money indiscriminately, often to the detriment of those who receive funds. Most important is the lack of choice. We all have to pay those who will not pay their own way. It is an entitlement philosophy. Taken to its extreme, it was the dream of another 19th century writer: Karl Marx.

This Christmas more so than on many in the past, we need to be reminded that Hollywood is free to interpret A Christmas Carol or anything else any way that suits its agenda.

Had Marx gotten his way, Hollywood wouldn’t exist and, most likely, Dickens’ great book would be banned. When we consider these truths, do we really want our government to play Santa Claus?

I urge you to have some charity in your heart. I also urge you to oppose the Obama Administration and its plans to spend your money in ways that he and those in his Liberal stable believe are sensible and will help them retain their power.

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