Byron York of The Washington Examiner has done us all a great service. His column draws on the unguarded statements of Sen. Max Baucus and former Gov. Howard Dean. (Well, Baucus, maybe. It’s hard to say whether Howlin’ Howard has ever made a guarded statement.)
Both of these men’s statements might have been lost in the clamor following the passage of President Obama’s historic healthcare bill. What York has done is to dash into the fire and pluck out some of these red-hot quotes. “Health reform is ‘an income shift. It is a shift, a leveling, to help lower income, middle income Americans.’” Baucus, normally seen as a Democratic centrist, let the Marxist cat out of the liberal bag.
Dean, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, is no marginal figure. He told CNBC: “The question is, in a democracy, what is the right balance between those at the top…and those at the bottom? This [health care bill] is a form of redistribution.”
Sen. Baucus and Gov. Dean perhaps unintentionally revealed the real reason for ObamaCare. It was not to bend the cost curve (price controls) or to provide access to health care for all (they already have it, cannot be denied care.) It was to level.
During the English Civil War, 1641-49, the most radical of the Parliamentary forces arrayed against the King were called “Levelers.” They, too, wanted to drag down the top earners of their day. They, too, wanted to create a Utopia. And those Levelers were willing to use force to bring about their vision of Heaven on Earth. Small wonder generations of Marxist profs have idealized the English Levelers.
Winston Churchill was not only not a socialist; he was England’s greatest historian. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature for his History of the English-Speaking Peoples. Churchill also knew what was wrong with socialism. “Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”
Baucus was not alone in his “victory lip.” Howard Dean confirmed what he was saying. When he ran for President in 2004, Dean claimed to be representing “the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.” In a real sense, he did. Only when the liberal media took a sober look at Dean’s radicalism—and realized Americans would never accept such an open avowal of socialism—did they pile on.
The media again and again Dean’s excited whoop after the Iowa caucuses. They made him look unstable. They clearly leaned to John Kerry, whose program was essentially the same as Dean’s, but whose ponderous, plodding rhetorical style would make it harder to hang the “wild radical” sign around his neck.
Byron York quotes New York Times columnist David Leonhardt. Leonhardt said ObamaCare is “the federal government’s biggest attack on economic inequality since inequality began rising more than three decades ago.”
Three decades. Let’s see. Might that have been under Ronald Reagan? The nearly three decades of American prosperity initiated by Reagan were welcomed and approved by Americans of all income levels. The poor got richer. The rich got richer. Not all those who were rich in 1981 were among the ranks of the rich of 2008. Reagan unleashed the creative forces of enterprise. Many of those who were poor in 1981 made great strides.
Reagan understood that “a rising tide lifts all boats.” He was willing to see some become very rich provided that all Americans were better off.
Baucus and Dean want to tax away success. They want to cook the goose that lays the golden eggs. They would agree with the 16th Century French economist Colbert who said: “The art of taxation is to pluck the maximum number of feathers from the goose with the minimum amount of hissing.”
Thanks to the passage of the unsustainable ObamaCare bill—and these very revealing comments of Baucus, Dean, and Leonhardt--the geese are hissing louder. You can hear them at every TEA Party. In the ancient Roman Republic, the raucous noise of the sacred geese awakened the watchmen on the wall. They saved the republic then. Maybe they’ll save it now.
In Honor of His 103rd Birthday, Here Are The 20 Best Quotes From The Late, Great Milton Friedman | John Hawkins