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That CHANGE Thing So Far PDF Print E-mail
Written by Steve Dittmer   
Wednesday, 30 September 2009
AFF Sentinel Vol.6#27

You know that bumper sticker: "So, How's That CHANGE Thing Working Out for You So Far?"

Let's recall the left's prescription for change and examine economic progress. Often their first fix is taking the "rich" down a peg - often referred to as "leveling the playing field." Their prescription: tax the rich and give their money to the poor, what candidate Obama referred to as "spreading the wealth around."

The economic crash of a year ago plus the uncertainties of recouping losses in a changed world with potentially crippling taxes, regulations and ridiculous energy costs intentionally politically inflicted, certainly brought down the "rich," - and the middle class. What a great demonstration project for the left! So that dragging down the rich, how is that working for the poor, after a year of testing? Has "leveling the playing field" accomplished what the left promised?

Have the homeless disappeared from city streets? Have the food pantries shut down for lack of clientele? Have the unemployment rolls withered as the poor got jobs freed from the shackles of the rich? Has the need for welfare payments gone away? Will the USDA budget show a huge surplus, saving hundreds of millions in unneeded food stamps and nutrition programs?

No? Not even a hint of that magical transformation sure to take place from the politics of envy, from taking down the "rich," albeit, more humanely than the French Revolution's guillotine?

No? How can this be? Could the touchy-feely left be wrong about peoples' natural economic behavior? They are so sure they are right, that the conservative economic theory is hard- hearted, harming the poor.

Yet years of economic evidence has proven them wrong. The past year's demonstration project again failed to show how the poor benefit by punishing the evil "rich." But that is in a relatively free economy like ours has been. Does that mean this year's results will actually encourage the Democrats in power to be bolder with their "leveling," i.e. very targeted taxation, to forcefully extract money from the "rich?" So they can just hand the money over to the poor - minus, of course, a generous commission extracted by government bureaucrats and Congress? Will this "lift" the poor out of poverty? Will the use of intermediaries (see ACORN) -- also extracting commissions -- do the trick?

Decades FDR's social programs and LBJ's War on Poverty and their successors have proven simply taking from the "rich" to give to the poor does not benefit the poor in the long run. The poor today are better off than they were 70 years ago, enjoying a standard of living the middle class didn't in decades past. That is because the "rich" have grown the economy, created new industries, new jobs and new wealth for themselves, the middle class and the poor.

The death tax is a perfect politics-of-envy example. Accumulation of assets is intrinsic to the American dream, the incentive that drives many Americans. Jobs come from that accumulation of capital funding new businesses. What is more un- American, smacks more of French Revolution guillotine revenge, than confiscating assets at death?

Speaking of France, President Sarkozy has so far sounded more capitalist than President Obama. But he wants the world to stop using gross domestic product (GDP) as an economic output measure. Maybe Sarkozy wants to change the rules because France has lagged developed countries like the U.S., Britain and Germany. Since 1982, when Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan dedicated their administrations to cutting taxes, shedding government regulations, leaving their currencies alone and encouraging global trade, the U.S.' growth rate has been 3.3 percent, 50 percent higher than France (2.1 percent) and half a point higher than Britain (2.8 percent), according to Brian Domitrovic ("Gross Domestic Happiness?" Wall Street Journal, 09/28/09).

Speaking of the compassionate, sophisticated left, did you notice Fox News' split screen footage of the left's anti-capitalist protestors at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh vs. the town hall tax-paying "mobs?" You know, the "mob" of unruly, frightening town hall taxpayers that turned Congressmens' insides to jelly vs. riot police defending civilization with batons and tear gas against G20 protestors. The contrast spoke volumes.

Voters need to continue to remind their Congressmen that it is the profit motive that inspires people to work, to grow businesses and create jobs - and to pay reasonable taxes to provide the things only government can and should provide. Poor people need the "rich" -- and not-so-rich -- to provide jobs and income and tax revenue for our schools, counties and cities.

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