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Declaring war on class warfare

America has declared war on terrorism and enemies of political freedom around the world. Perhaps it’s time to declare war on Marxist ideas that threaten our economic independence here at home.

Let’s begin with the class-warfare campaign led by President Obama and embraced by those who sop up his leftwing ideological gumbo, including Elizabeth Warren, who’s campaigning for a U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts.

I mention such an out-of-touch northeastern leftist in this column only out of concern that her soak-the-rich views might appear virtuous to some well-meaning Kentuckians. However, in the end, they are full of economic death for our society.

A recent YouTube video shows Warren at a home-campaign event making claims like this gem aimed at manufacturers: “You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you, uh, were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for.”

You know where she’s headed: “Now, look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”

Isn’t it very American of this elitist – that she would allow those who risk by dipping into their life savings to create a new company and new jobs to “keep a hunk of it?”

Why, job creators should feel privileged that this former head of the disastrous $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) – a bail-out-the-banks fiasco – would be so amenable to allowing them to keep even some of the fruits of their labor.

That’s why they also should not mind when the screechy Warren and her comrade-in-collectivism in the White House want to take more of what they earn, they invest and they save and “pay forward.” This alleviates the guilt that wealthy Americans should feel for not paying “their fair share” in taxes.

Obama mutters: “If we’re not willing to ask those who’ve done extraordinarily well to help America close the deficit … then the logic, the math says everybody else has to do a whole lot more.”

But neither the facts, the math nor basic reasoning support the assumptions upon which such statements rest.

According to its latest available data, the Internal Revenue Service reports that the top 10 percent of the nation’s earners paid $721 billion of the more than $1 trillion in federal income taxes collected in 2008. More than $392 billion of that amount was extracted from the top 1 percent.

Considering 47 percent pay no income tax, I wonder how Warren justifies her strategy of pitting “us” versus “them,” with “them” being rich folks who drive on roads, hire workers and enjoy the security of a police force that, in her campaign-fantasy world, “they” didn’t pay for?

In fact, only 0.2 percent of the population carries 21 percent of the tax burden. Not only do “they” pay for roads and cops, “they” pay more for those services.

A fatal flaw in Warren’s tirade is that what she casts as services used only by the rich actually are enjoyed by all.

Therefore, as Selwyn Duke notes in the The New American, using her no-rich-man-is-an-island reasoning aimed at moving America closer to a collectivist state, “it follows that the responsibilities to government that would attend those benefits would fall upon all.”

Taking Warren’s approach to a logical conclusion would, as Duke notes, mean: “it’s not only the rich who have no right to dominion over the fruits of their labors. It is everyone.”

Contributor Bio: Jim Waters is vice president of communications for the Bluegrass Institute, Kentucky’s free-market think tank. Reach him at jwaters@freedomkentucky.com. Read previously published columns at www.freedomkentucky.org/bluegrassbeacon.

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Comments

I recognize that as part of a free-market think tank, Jim Waters is going to advocate for limited government in his column. However, his characterizations of Elizabeth Warren as elitist and screechy, and of President Obama as Marxist and a class warrior, seem to go beyond advocating position or philosophy and perhaps violate the stated core belief of the Bluegrass Institute of "policy analysis without politics" (look it up at www.freedomkentucky.org). All Waters could say in the face of Warren's now widely distributed quotes on manufacturers benefiting from taxpayer-funded infrastructure is to attempt belittlement of Warren as an northeastern elitist and accuse her of "pitting 'us' versus 'them'" in class warfare. If Waters wanted to critique class warfare, shouldn't he at least acknowledge the predatory conduct of corporations in the past decade or so? The start of the tea party was famously called upon by CNBC's Rick Santelli because of what he called "losers' mortgages," blaming the victims instead of the predatory home lenders for the housing crisis. Shouldn't there be at least a mention of people like National Review writer David French who wrote August 24 that "our social problems are increasingly connected to the depravity of the poor." The sense that the upper class is waging war on the middle and lower classes underlies the Occupy movement.


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