Never before has it been so fashionable in American politics to blame the wealthy for all of our nation’s ills. We can thank the rise of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for that. Class warfare is a rallying cry once again, and a self-proclaimed socialist won 43% of the vote of in the 2016 Democratic Primary. Not only that; Sanders won 23 states in the contest against Hillary Clinton, including the entire Pacific Northwest, most of the Great Plains states, and a large chunk of the Midwest, as well as northern New England.
Sanders made Marxist concepts the very foundation of his campaign: redistribution of wealth, and class warfare. Never have Americans been more susceptible to believing that the greedy capitalist class is responsible for all of their problems. Now, Bernie’s acolyte Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC), has become a millennial-friendly, social media-savvy, constant presence in the American public discourse.
According to the Marxists in the Democratic Party, working class people have been downtrodden and oppressed by the greedy 1%, and their corporations for far too long. And (surprise, surprise), they have the perfect solution. If the benevolent bureaucrats in Washington DC (Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, AOC, and friends) just took a confiscatory level of wealth from the 1%, and redistributed it as they saw fit, then they could “empower” working class people, and institute “social justice.”
Unfortunately, their concept of social justice is virtually guaranteed to involve socialist injustice, at every level. Mainly, Sanders believes that Americans are entitled to a whole laundry list of items, funded by the taxpayers.
Class warfare is alive and well in the United States, and Bernie Sanders is its champion. His campaign involves the time-tested concept of divide and conquer. Convince working class people in the United States that they are not responsible for their own problems, and then find ways to use America’s political and legal systems to redistribute that wealth, riding roughshod over the Constitution in the process.
Thus, Elizabeth Warren presents her new “wealth tax“…which once and for all, would return the United States to a golden age of fairness. Under the terms of this proposal, the United States would confiscate 2% of assets over USD $50 million a year, and 3% of assets over USD $1 billion a year.
Taxes would be set at rates as high as 70% to 90% of income.
Now, it never occurs to the socialists in Washington DC that perhaps the billionaires don’t have a greed problem, but that Washington DC has a spending problem.
The Libertarian Party is currently sharing a meme that cuts to the heart of the Sanders Marxist redistribution campaign.
Sanders repeatedly tells us that the current economic system is unfair: it’s unfair that some have so much, and others have so little. If the greedy capitalist 1% wasn’t constantly hoarding their ill-gotten profits, then there would be a lot more to go around for all the rest of us, right?
Well, Bernie’s wealth confiscation might set us on the right path…for a very short amount of time.
It turns out that there are 550 billionaires in the United States, with a combined net worth of USD $2.5 trillion. If we were to confiscate that wealth today, that would provide the government with enough funds to last for nearly eight months. Two thirds of one fiscal year!
And then what would we do?
Sanders and friends seem to forget that the wealthy and corporations already pay the vast majority of the taxes that fund the generous social safety net that provides free or heavily subsidized housing, education, healthcare, food, and utilities to many Americans. The wealthy pay the lion’s share of the income taxes, capital gains taxes, property taxes, excise taxes, and payroll taxes that fund the government.
Billionaire entrepreneurs don’t just create wealth for themselves…they create wealth for their employees, and for the communities where they operate. Individuals, acting in a free-market economy, are free to take advantage of the opportunities that entrepreneurs bring into their communities. Or they are free to leave them. That choice is up to them.
One thing is clear. Billionaires don’t have a greed problem. Washington DC has a spending problem. And it is high time for Americans to take responsibility for their own lives, rather than blaming the government (which already spends USD $1 trillion a year on a social safety net) for their problems.