In an attempt to quell the 1992 riots that broke out in Los Angeles after the acquittal of the police officers who beat him senseless, Rodney King uttered these famous words: “Can’t we all get along?” Today, Mr. King could go to Washington D.C. and ask the same question, but the answer, as it was 20 years ago, is breathtakingly simple: No. There was an unmistakable illustration of this in a recent Wall Street Journal column by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
Ironically, Mr. Sanders is respected by many Republicans because he clearly, unabashedly admits what he is – a Socialist. He doesn’t try to hide behind wishy-washy terms like “progressive” or “liberal.” Like Popeye, he clearly says “I am what I am.” But really, how different is he from Mr. Obama, Ms. Pelosi, and the rest of their brood in Congress?
Mr. Sanders made his case for how to address the debt ceiling; but more importantly, he put forward his opinion on what is causing our enormous deficit:
1. He claimed that the “Rich,” along with large corporations, have been evading taxes in the United States.
2. He alleged that Republicans have been “fanatically determined to protect the interests of the wealthy and multinational corporations so that they do not contribute a single penny toward deficit reduction.”
3. He further stated that “if the Republicans have their way, the entire burden of deficit reduction will be placed on the elderly, the sick, children, and working families.”
Would someone explain how this rhetoric differs from the likes of Pelosi, Schumer, or Obama?
Sanders went on to state that the American people want the wealthy and large corporations to pay their “fair share” of taxes. Unfortunately, Mr. Sanders clearly doesn’t understand that corporations do not actually pay taxes, but merely pass them on to customers in the form of higher prices. He’s also clearly ignorant of the fact that the lower-earning 50% of the population pay less than 2% of all taxes, and that the upper 5% of earners already pay about 59%. So, exactly how much does he really want them to pay?
This is the impenetrable wall between Socialists like Sanders and we Capitalists. We believe that people who work hard and earn money are not obligated to support the remainder of the population, and that coercing them to do so is not only bad public policy, it is ineffective. We believe, unlike the President, that if someone has extra earnings – whether they need them or not – it is their choice how to dispose of (or invest) them, and that these assets should not be confiscated by the government, which habitually employs the money far less productively, or (worse) hands it over to favored constituencies.
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