Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. - James Madison
Now, that Real America has rejected the preposterous slanders and smears of the rabid conservatives comes the serious task of reorganizing the Nation.
Overusing the bromide of being doomed to repeat history it seems We do have a difficult time learning from that which has passed before.
The Empire of Byzantium struggled with many of the same issues We, the People face today. Religion. Nobility. Taxes. Military interventions. Dynastic struggles. Culture Changes. Legal Codes.
As the centuries passed, new generations inherited problems and structures created by previous ones. They did their best to build upon the past work, reconcile new ideas with the old or create entirely new ones, but often their efforts became a jumble, a convoluted and a confusing mixture. Hence the term byzantine.
This was well understood by the Founding Fathers who sought to blend their new ideas with the ideas of the Ancient Greeks, Renaissance Italians, and the Thinkers of the Enlightenment in the creation of the New Nation.
One of the great myths of America is that we don't have Class Struggle and Class Warfare. Class division was written about and feared by James Madison, Father of the Constitution,
"The most common and durable source of faction has been the various and unequal distribution of property..."
During the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Class Warfare was a major preoccupation of Madison and the other Founders. Some of the Founders, notably Alexander Hamilton, greatly feared that Class War was already upon them (he was thinking of Shay's Rebellion) and the common man would establish a Democratic Tyranny voting themselves the property of the Rich, but it didn't happen then and it isn't happening now
James Madison believed his "extended republic" model aided by supplemental checks built into the Constitution would stave off Class Warfare, but that within 2 or 3 generations the struggles of rich and poor would result in conflict.
In 1829-1830 Madison became convinced the country was headed for Class warfare by 1930. He reasoned the massive populace crowded together would,
"necessarily be reduced by competition for employment to wages which afford them the bare necessaries of life. The proportion being without property can not be expected to sympathize sufficiently with its [property] right to be safe depositories of power over them."
So, either the demos
would rise up in revolt "by a law of nature". Or the Rich would degenerate into Oligarchy and destroy the Republic because,
"A republic cannot stand upon bayonets. We are free today substantially but the day will come when our Republic will be an impossibility. It will be impossibility because wealth will be concentrated in the hands of a few."
But, this is not the Great Man of History longing. A Great President lets other people rise and the greatest Americans often come from the Middle Class.
James Madison knew this. He and the other Founders also warned of Foreign Entanglements, Standing Armies, and Unchecked Corporate Power.
Do Conservatives not re-read their own mythology? The Myth of Ronald Reagan wasn't that he got the Soviets to pass a universal healthcare coverage for their citizens. It was that Reagan goaded the Red Menace into an Arms Race which bankrupted them. What did Bin Laden accomplish with the 9/11 attacks? He got us to waste $10 Trillion in overseas folly
of Empire-building in the Middle East. And not to mention the thousands of american families shattered by the physical and mental scars of war.
What happened, since the End of World War II, was the establishment of the Permanent War Status by the United States have drained the lifeblood and treasury of the Country.
Who has benefited from the Overseas American Empire and the Massive DoD Budget? Undying Corporations and an increasingly isolated Cadre of Elites who see no Country and no reason to spend to aid the poor, or support the infrastructure of this Nation.
President Harry Truman famously stated,
"Poor Ike! He'll sit there and say 'Do this! Do that!' And nothing will happen. It's not like the army. He'll find it very frustrating."
President Eisenhower presided over 8 years of American Prosperity. Ike had an America that was untouched by World War 2 and thus had it's infrastructure intact with which to dominate the world market. But, President Eisenhower had a tax rate of 52% on Corporations and a Top Tax rate of 91%!
"[W]e cannot afford to reduce taxes, reduce income, until we have in sight a program of expenditures that shows that the factors of income and of outgo will be balanced. Now that is just to my mind sheer necessity.” 02/17/1953
However, Ike had the benefit of a populace which was not going through a radical upheaval. Ike had a populace which was for all intents homogeneous religiously. He also had a Class of Wealthy Americans which still believed in the idea of Noblese Oblige.
And what did Eisenhower warn of at the end of his Presidency? The Military-Industrial-Complex.
Unlike in Ike's day it's not the same, today. The Rich see no reason to aid the poor or even to invest in the United States.
Mitt Romney's former energy policy advisor Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources. gave a speech on 09/13/12
to Congress demanding National Parks be opened to Oil Exploitation and that his Federal Corporate Welfare which he's received since 1967 continue. Hamm also pouted that, "Continental’s effective tax rate is 38%!" Except it isn't. Over the past 5 years Hamm's Corporation Contenintal Inc paid 2.2% in Income Taxes when adjusted for all the tax breaks, corporate kickbacks and federal assistance he's received.
On the books his Oil Company probably
has a stated tax rate of 38%. But, Hamm paid next to nothing when all the byzantine tax laws are applied. The Tax Code has been made circuitous specifically because it aids the Plutocracy.
A business owner in Las Vegas on Wednesday November 7th, told a CBS radio station that he had fired 22 of his 114 "mostly Hispanic" employees because President Barack Obama had won re-election. David noted that he had "mostly Hispanic" employees and some had come to work wearing Obama shirts on election day.
The Republican Party's favorite Michele Bachmann believes in a platform of No Taxes on Corporations. That would be Zero.
Corporate Profits have gone up quarter after quarter since the beginning of 2009. Verizon, for instance, reported a pre-tax income of $24.2 Billion in 2009-2010 and received, through U.S. federal income tax loopholes, a $1.3 Billion dollar refund.
The Richest 1% of this Nation control 50% of all financial investments. The top 10% have almost 90% of stocks, bonds, trust funds, and business equity, and over 75% of non-home real estate. Less than 10% of the country own the United States of America.
But it's important to note that for the Rich, most of that income does not come from "working": in 2008, only 19% of the income reported by the 13,480 individuals or families making over $10 million came from wages and salaries.
What the Plutocracy wants is a closure of the Middle Class because the Middle Class is too unpredictable. It's much better to have a pliant working class who are satisfied with crumbs from the government and whatever wages/benefits the Moneyed Overlords are willing to bequeath upon them.
The Middle Class too often flexes it's political power and votes themselves things like Supplemental Social Security Income and Medicaid for the poor. The Middle Class votes against Child labor and for safer working conditions and regulations on the dumping of coal slag or mercury waste from Oil refineries into rivers and lakes. The Middle Class fights and strikes for pensions and dental care for their family.
Much easier for the Rich to move to a Third World Hellhole and have a Totalitarian Government enforce Wage Slavery and Corporate Bondage.
Today, the reason "47%" do not pay Federal Income Taxes are because of the slap-dash additions and shaky edifices built into the Tax Code. The EITC, marriage deduction, child deductions, home ownership deductions were Republican backed ideas to encourage people to adopt mores, behaviors and family structures which Republicans favored. The biggest Moochers are the Ultra-Rich.
The last time we had a restructuring of the Tax Codes, with the Bush Tax Cuts, Conservative shills for the 1% shamelessly lied about it's goals. The Heritage Foundation's 2001 report proclaimed if the Bush tax cut legislation were to pass, it would:
1) Effectively pay off the federal debt;
2) Reduce the federal surplus by $1.4 trillion;
3) Substantially increase family income;
4) Save the entire Social Security surplus;
5) Increase personal savings;
6) Create more job opportunities.
None of this happened and we've been stuck in the Republican Recession ever since. But, what this did accomplish was a massive transfer of the Nation's Wealth into the hands of the Ultra-Rich.
What the Rich desire is the semblance of Democracy with the reality of Plutocracy. They privatize the profits and socialize the losses.
Most of the problems, President Obama is dealing with, he inherited. Some he's allowed to happen; for instance, the ratio of public-sector employees to the overall population is the lowest it’s been since 1968.
What Barack should do is tear down the rotten Tax Structure and Economy of Income Inequality built by right-wing lies:
1) Let the Bush Tax Cuts expire, completely.
2) Void the Sequestration.
3) Eliminate the Cap on Social Security taxes.
4) Raise the Tax Rate on Capital Gains and tax it as normal income.
5) Eliminate the deferred compensation rule.
6) Eliminate any and all Tax breaks and federal subsidies with Corporations which out-source jobs and off-shore manufacturing factories.
7) Bring back a Financial Transaction Tax to curb Wall Street volatility and curb rampant Hedge Fund
8) Propose a Tax cut package for the first $250,000 of income (98% of America).
9) Create and augment spending and hiring for public-sector employees.
10) The follow-on Budget should include a 50% reduction in DoD spending.
Then watch Republicans tear themselves apart as they reveal their entire Party is devoted to guarding the obscene theft and reverse-robin-hood robbery of Middle Class wealth by the Rich. House Speaker Bohener immediately genuflected to the Rich after President Obama's resounding win. Congressman Peter King of New York has declared he and the Republican House members have a "Mandate" to protect the Tax Breaks for the Rich.
There is a window here for Barack Obama to cement himself as True Class Warrior fighting for the 300 Million Americans who desire the American Dream but are being shackled with the chains of Wage Slavery and Corporate Bondage to the Moocher Class of the Plutocracy. It is our Job as a Center Left People to pick him up and stand beside him and guide him to that Destiny.
*- I think Jerome Corsi did this same post, except his use of "man-date" meant Barack Obama was Gay Muslim *Married* to a Pakistani Man whom he later murdered.