Friday, July 17, 2009

Patrick Buchanan on Obama Policy

Socialist America Sinking (7/16/09 World Net Daily)

"After half a century of fighting encroachments upon freedom in America, journalist Garet Garrett published "The People's Pottage." A year later, in 1954, he died. "The People's Pottage" opens thus:

"There are those who still think they are holding the pass against a revolution that may be coming up the road. But they are gazing in the wrong direction. The revolution is behind them. It went by in the Night of Depression, singing songs to freedom."

"Garrett wrote of a revolution within the form. While outwardly America appeared the same, a revolution within had taken place that was now irreversible. One need only glance at where we were before the New Deal, where we are and where we are headed to see how far we are off the course the Founding Fathers set for our republic."

With an opening like that, you could expect the rest of the piece to be basically a polemic, probably to go on attacking the policy of the current administration which seems to fashion itself after that of FDR's.

But then, Mr. Buchanan gives his argument in numbers [emphasis is mine]:

"... When "Silent Cal" Coolidge went home in 1929, the U.S. government was spending 3 percent of gross domestic product.

"And today? Obama's first budget will consume 28 percent of the entire GDP; state and local governments another 15 percent. While there is some overlap, in 2009, government will consume 40 percent of GDP, approaching the peak of World War II.

"The deficit for 2009 is $1.8 trillion, 13 percent of the whole economy..."

"Obama plans to repeal the Bush tax cuts and take the income tax rate to near 40 percent. Combined state and local income tax rates can run to 10 percent. For the self-employed, payroll taxes add up to 15.2 percent on the first $106,800 for all wages of all workers. Medicare takes 2.9 percent of all wages above that. Then there are the state sales taxes that can run to 8 percent, property taxes, gas taxes, excise taxes and "sin taxes" on booze, cigarettes and, soon, hot dogs and soft drinks.

"Comes now national health insurance from Nancy Pelosi's House. A surtax that runs to 5.4 percent of all earnings of the top 1 percent of Americans, who already pay 40 percent of all federal income taxes, has been sent to the Senate. Included also is an 8 percent tax on the entire payroll of small businesses that fail to provide health insurance for employees.

"Other ideas on the table include taxing the health benefits that businesses provide their employees.

"The D.C.-based Tax Foundation says New Yorkers could face a combined income tax rate of near 60 percent."

He goes on to mention the impact of legal and illegal immigration mostly from south of the border:

"... One million to 2 million immigrants, legal and illegal, arrive every year. They come with fewer skills and less education than Americans, and consume more tax dollars than they contribute by three to one. "

The second sentence would be hotly contested by the advocates, activists, and the governor of California, but a lot of people in California who pay tax would agree.

"Wise Latina women have more babies north of the border than they do in Mexico and twice as many here as American women."

That I see with my own eyes in my town. Twice would be undercounting. Triple or quadruple would be more like it.

"As almost all immigrants are now Third World people of color, they qualify for ethnic preferences in hiring and promotions and admissions to college over the children of Americans."

So what to do? Mr. Buchanan doesn't offer a solution.

Citizens of the Imperial Rome, suffering under the runaway inflation caused by endless wars, state intervention and misguided economic policies as the emperors kept debasing the currency to pay for those wars and misguided policies, were looking to the barbarians to come take down their empire (excellent article from Ludwig von Mises Institute, here). The barbarians eventually did.

Where are today's barbarians who could deliver us?


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