Tax And Spend: The Entitlement Entanglement

We’re hearing it more and more now days. Entitlements threaten our national survival. They’re like a gargantuan poisonous spider trapping taxpayers, the economy, even our social fabric, in a web of taxes, spending and debt. The web seems unbreakable because it’s spun from threads of insatiable political greed so strong they threaten to destroy over 230 years of national prosperity. And we kind of ho-hum our way through it all because the debt, at least, is old news.

In fact, we’ve known it for years. Way before the Obamacare cost burden. Entitlements are sinking us. But, we’re also told that reducing them is politically impossible. We can’t afford them but we can’t escape them, either. So taxes have to get higher, a lot higher, at least for the rich. Trouble is, you can tax them only so much before they go extinct, and then where will we be? Maybe that’s what Jesus meant when he said we’ll always have the poor with us. He could see 21st Century U.S.A. when everyone became poor trying, in vain, to finance increasing entitlements.

About that “we can’t escape them” thing. According to “experts”, reducing entitlements is just too politically dicey. No U.S. politician wants to be like his Greek counterpart. There, mere legislative debate of entitlement reductions led to riots in the streets, fire bombings and civilian deaths. Of course, we’re no where near any of that now. But, there are signs of increasing rancor and division within our Country. Much of it is spurred by politicians pushing class and race disunity and general prejudice within their power bases. The resulting political climate is a significant impediment to fiscal responsibility. It’s also one of the great disservices of our elected representatives. So, except for one guy, our Congress people run for cover if the entitlement paring knife even starts to come out of its sheath.

But, they don’t have to worry much about the knife right now. Barack Obama, former community organizer, has a supremely well-developed sense of entitlement himself and that’s not about to change. Put in the White House mostly on a promise of hope-filled bipartisanship, he has become the Great Divider of class, race and cooperation. The community organizer gig was, according to his wife, the defining moment of Obama’s life. It, and a stint as an Illinois state senator, instilled an abiding purpose: permanent social change forced through the politics of social division.

As President, Obama’s biggest weapons of social change are comprehensive reforms and the tax code. With them, he forces wealth redistribution from those who earn it to those who support his social agenda. Business has been under heavy fire from the start. Today, its being attacked for ‘hording’ cash that, as Obama sees it, could jump start the economy. So, he wants to take it from companies through higher taxes and let the government spend it for them. Never mind that the economy is so weak, and the latest government regulations so stringent, businesses can barely inch forward. After all, Government knows best. Except for the other fact that all Government spending has gotten us is a very temporary, and expired, uplift. And a ton more debt.

Through it all, Obama never even eludes to a sense of individual responsibility. You know, self-reliance. Work hard and achieve. Live within your means. He acts as if John Kennedy’s famous line, “Ask not what your country can do for you”, was about raising taxes. Speaking of which, rich folks are in Obama’s crosshairs, of course, because they have money. Regardless of how they achieved “wealth”. Regardless of the choices they made that precluded some of life’s finer benefits. Regardless of how hard or long they worked or what they denied themselves in the process. They must be taxed because, to paraphrase the bank robber Willie Sutton, that’s where the money is. And Obama needs money. Trillions and trillions of dollars to permanently shift the economic balance in the U.S.

So the rewards don’t go to those who earn them. In Obama’s normal, those folks are on the wrong side of the new social divide. And will be as long as he has the Congressional majorities to sustain one. Or until the spider finishes its destructive work. At least something works.

See you in the mirror.