By Nathan Barton
Last time I checked my calendar or my clock, this was February of 2019. That means the next election here in the Fifty States for Massa (better known as POTUS), in November of 2020 is about 21 months away.
At the rate they are going, by the time of the major primaries starting in March (13 months away), the Democratic Party here in the US will everyone in the party who is in office, has been in office, or previously run for office, running for Prez to replace The Donald. Right down to the Dogcatcher in Washmacarr Parish, Louisiana.
(By the way, I don’t think I’ve read or heard someone call him “The Donald” for months! What gives?)
Anyway, I admit I’m exaggerating, but there seems to be a new hat in the ring about twice a week. All eager to let the voters of the Fifty States once more demonstrate how much they hate Trump and his policies, family, ideas, tweets, friends, employees, supporters, and … last but not least… hair color and style. (Did I miss anything?) All, of course, this time without Russian interference.
But most of them, with a very few exceptions I’m going to skip for now, have something else in common. They are avowed socialists. Even though at least some of them disavow using that name.
But what are they pushing?
- Free (and universal) health care
- Free (above 12th Grade) education
- Free money (aka universal basic income)
- Higher taxes (supposedly just for the “rich”)
One correspondent opined that he thought it would not be too long before the corpse of Karl Marx is dug up and in the running as well. There is, of course, no need for that: these people are all channeling him. If they believed in souls or an afterlife, some of them might claim he is reincarnated in him, or perhaps that his soul was so big that it can be shared among them and the millions of other “progressive” socialists who claim his mantle. And, “this time, we’ll do it right.”
Recent proposals by wet-behind-the-ears Congresscritturs (especially the dancing female variety) include 90% income tax rates for millionaires, and annual taxes on the ASSETS (not income) of millionaires. That would be 5% per year (equal to a 50-mil tax rate for a typical property tax), or $50,000 on a million dollars of “assets” (real and personal property, including machinery, vehicles, land, buildings, artwork, etc., etc). So in 20 years, the “rich” would have paid the government the total value of everything they own for “permission” to own those things.
Definition of “rich” is of course subject to change without warning. Just as the original tax rate back in 1914 or so was only on 1% of the population – by WW2 (less than 30 years later) it was on about 90% of the population employed outside the home.
That is what socialists do. They won’t talk much about that, but ultimately they will tax everyone on everything.
What we forget is that we already have many, many elements of socialism right in the Fifty States, at both the Federal and State levels. Even more at tribal and local levels:
- While by no means “universal,” large segments of the population have:
- Health care provided directly by government agencies: Veterans Affairs, Indian Health Service, and Military health care (for servicemembers and their families)
- Health care paid for by government in part or whole: Medicaid and Medicare
- Free universal education for:
- Pre-school through twelfth grade,
- College in at least some states (California, for example),
- College grants and loans (often written off) for many people nationally
- Free money in various forms to more and more of the population:
- SSI and other payments to the handicapped and unemployable
- Money equivalents such as food stamps, aid to dependent children, etc.
- Gradually increasing tax rates that are often regressive in nature:
- Increasing mil levees for property taxes, regardless of land productivity
- Sales and use taxes also increasing across the board (8-10% more and more common)
- Special excise taxes, not just on tobacco, liquor, and cannabis, but on motels, meals, and many other products and services, so that when combined with sales taxes can approach 20% of purchase prices
- Increasing levels of goods and services provided directly by government agencies and employees, such as:
- Utilities of all types (electrical power, natural gas, water, sewer, trash service, communications)
- Recreational services: rec centers, sports fields (including golf courses and stadiums), running and bike tracks, and more
- Medical services, including ambulance/first responders, hospitals, preventive medicine, and clinics
Today, the distinction between ownership and control of enterprises has become more and more difficult to define. For most purposes, while governments may not actually own certain facilities that are nominally privately-owned and -operated, government control over these enterprises are so all-encompassing that the actual ownership is a moot point: they are government agencies and operations in all but name.
To put it another way, while too many Democrats in 2019 are openly socialist in ideology and actions and demands, most Democrats AND Republicans have been secretly socialist leaning for decades, just not openly so. The more laws regulating “private enterprise,” the more taxes and fees and fines, the more politicians and government agents use their bully pulpits to sway and force change upon private companies and individuals, the more socialistic we become in the Fifty States.
Ultimately, even this kind of disguised socialism, courtesy of the expanding powers and reach of government, will fail as the more blatant socialism of the Soviet Union, Third Reich and various Fascist regimes has failed repeatedly. But before that happens, again societies will crumble and many, perhaps many millions, of people will see their lives destroyed or just plain die. If we do not want that, we must rebel now, not later.