GOP Sticks With Karl (Marx)

Ilana Mercer, October 24, 2008

To get a Democrat to admit to practicing socialism is a lot like frisking a wet seal.

To get Republicans to confess to their role in socializing America is an equally slippery affair.

The latter have been grandstanding about the plan of the wily pitch-man Obama to plunder taxpayers (the minority) so as to pay tax consumers (the majority). For the edification of GOP grandstanders, America has a tax system that energetically distributes income.

The progressive income tax is a good example of Karl Marx’s maxim, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” It is socialism by any other name.

Obama is an adherent of this socialism; as is McCain. And so is George Bush, who, as a campaign ploy, had promised to reform America’s steep tax system, but decided to stick with Karl.

Indeed, America, the cradle of capitalism, clings to Karl. Russia, the cradle of communism, has abandoned him in favor of a flat—and very low—tax on income.

Strictly speaking, socialism implies state ownership of the means of economic production. But as McClatchy’s David Lightman and William Douglas point out, “state-directed sharing of the wealth” is also part of the socialist scheme. A scheme both Republicans and Democrats have overseen energetically and with matching commitment.

The American economic system is a mixture of free-market capitalism and socialism, with dollops of fascism added for good measure. “Fascism,” wrote the Tannehills in “The Market for Liberty,” “is a system in which the government leaves nominal ownership of the means of production in the hands of private individuals but exercises control by means of regulatory legislation and reaps most of the profit by means of heavy taxation.”

The gargantuan, government give-away to the financial sector combined elements of fascism and socialism. However you define the Bush bailout—it was bad. Bad and bipartisan.

A great deal of this boils down to deceptive semantics—and a society that has accepted the attendant, underlying, socialistic precepts.

“Progressive” has a forward-looking ring. Yet there is nothing “progressive” about inequality under the law, which is what “progressive taxation” amounts to. In as much as it advocates taking from some Americans more than from others, a progressive tax translate into inequality under the law.

Just because politicians call this political piracy “fairness,” or “social justice,” does not make it so. Progressive taxation is not remotely fair. Nor does such social leveling approach, even tangentially, the original idea of America, which is that all be accorded equal justice under the law.

It’s not for the state to act as socialist leveler.

Consider: In a free enterprise system, people don’t pay for goods and services in proportion to their income (or else Bill Gates would be paying a million dollars for a loaf of bread). Rather, they all pay the same. By logical extension, the fairest method of taxation would be a poll or head tax, where we’re all taxed equally. Let the poor set the amount. More than the McCain-Palin promises, this would limit government spending like nothing else.

This is not to say that coercive taxes on income are fair, flat or graded. To borrow from a great American, Frank Chodorov, McCain and Obama’s glib talk about property not their own amounts to the following declaration:

“Your earnings are not exclusively your own; we have a claim on them, and our claim precedes yours; we will allow you to keep some of it, because we recognize your need, not your right; but whatever we grant you for yourself is for us to decide.”

This is both socialism and serfdom—the blight of which GOPers could have lessened during their interminable tenure, but didn’t. If anything, America has slouched toward socialism under Republicans. Perhaps not as far as direct taxation goes, but certainly in as much as borrowing and printing money is concerned. For this is how wastrel “W” has funded his orgiastic spending.

Borrowing and counterfeiting cash is taxation by stealth and subterfuge. These, arguably, are more destructive than direct taxation because more clandestine. Americans don’t seem to comprehend that there is no free lunch—that unlimited spending comes at a price. Be it creditors that must be paid or a money supply that is inflated—the net effect is every bit as bad as increasing taxes on income, if not worse.

Taxation hits the pocketbook directly; government’s borrowing and counterfeiting does so indirectly—it devalues Joe the Plumber’s labor, assets, purchasing power, and savings. Unaware of how he’s being ground down, Generic Joe keeps on consuming until he crashes.

Speaking of whom, the trashing of Joe the Plumber by the Left has been contemptible. Republicans, however, have countered incoherently. In the absence of first principles, not one Republican has been able to defend a man’s absolute right to his property—all of it.

None was able to explain why it is not up to some central planner—McCain or Hussein—to determine how much of Joe’s life is his; and how much of it is theirs.

   October 24

CATEGORIES: Barack Obama, Bush, Democrats, Economy, Elections 2008, Fascism, Inflation, John McCain, Left-liberalism, Republicans, Socialism, Taxation