I am about to tell you a great falsehood. It's such an outrageous falsehood that when you read it you might just gasp with incredulity. One thing you won't be shocked by, though, is that it came from a politician. It came from a politician who is so undeniably wrong about how a country functions that you wonder how he made it into Congress. Here it is:
"... the wet blanket of high taxation and overregulation smothers everything that has made America the greatest country in the history of mankind." ~ Scott Brown (R-MA)It's hard to believe someone wrote that with a straight face, but they did, nonetheless.
Now let me share with you some quotes from some of the most brilliant men in our nation's rich and glorious history ...
John Adams, Founding Father and 2nd President; Thoughts on Government, 1776:
“Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.”
James Madison, Founding Father and 4th President; Federalist Papers, No. 57, February 19, 1788:
“The aim of every political constitution is, or ought to be, first to obtain for rulers men who possess most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue, the common good of the society; and in the next place, to take the most effectual precautions for keeping them virtuous whilst they continue to hold their public trust.”
Alexander Hamilton, Founding Father and 1st Secretary of the Treasury, Citing David Hume, February 5, 1775:
“‘Political writers,’ says a celebrated author, ‘have established it as a maxim, that, in contriving any system of government, and fixing the several checks and controls of the constitution, every man ought to be supposed a knave, and to have no other end, in all his actions, but private interest. By this interest we must govern him, and by means of it make him co-operate to public good, notwithstanding his insatiable avarice and ambition. Without this we shall in vain boast of the advantages of any constitution, and shall find, in the end, that we have no security for our liberties, and possessions except the good-will of our rulers—that is, we should have no security at all.’”
Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father, American diplomat, statesman, and scientist; letter to Robert Morris, December 25, 1783:Continued ...
"All the property that is necessary to a Man, for the Conservation of the Individual and the Propagation of the Species, is his natural Right, which none can justly deprive him of: But all Property superfluous to such purposes is the Property of the Publick, who, by their Laws, have created it, and who may therefore by other laws dispose of it, whenever the Welfare of the Publick shall demand such Disposition. He that does not like civil Society on these Terms, let him retire and live among Savages. He can have no right to the benefits of Society, who will not pay his Club towards the Support of it."
Would that we had such bold and audacious leaders in the 21st century as we did at our nation's founding. Would that we had leaders—brave men and women alike—willing to tell the truth about the virtue of the protection of the "common man," or in today's vernacular, the "middle class," and for that of the welfare of the nation as a whole. Would that there were those with the strength of character to stand before We, The People, and declare taxes to be the duty, responsibility, and necessity that are required of all people for the strength and longivity of this nation.
Would that there were a party whose leaders stood tall and reminded all people—but especially those who can most afford it—of their patriotic duty to this country that has afforded them great wealth and great prosperity. That men and women who seek to hold places in our government would be honest about the nature of those necessary funds which are required to maintain and further that prosperity, not just for some, but for the entire country, and not just for today, but for all future generations.
Freedom, opportunity and security are simply not possible in a civilized society where a wealthy few hoard all the nation's wealth to the detriment and destruction of all else around them. Roads crumble, bridges collapse, dams and levies burst. People root through trash cans to eat, children die from poisoned air, women toil twice as hard as necessary, and families find themselves living in tents in the woods.
It may sound like a scene straight out of a Dickens novel ... but it's not.
"We grudge no man a fortune which represents his own power and sagacity, when exercised with entire regard to the welfare of his fellows." Teddy Roosevelt spoke impassionedly about great wealth, saying that it is "not even enough that it should have been gained without doing damage to the community. We should permit it to be gained only so long as the gaining represents benefit to the community."
He reminded us that "the really big fortune, the swollen fortune, by the mere fact of its size, acquires qualities which differentiate it in kind as well as in degree from what is possessed by men of relatively small means," and this is truer today than it has ever been. Almost exactly 100 years later, we still grudge no man a fortune of any sort. We celebrate and take joy in his success.
But we have lost sight of the danger to the entirety of our nation, when that wealth is used as a weapon against those not rich enough or not powerful enough to fight against it. We all suffer together when our leaders won't be a Teddy Roosevelt or a Benjamin Franklin and shame the wealthy power-brokers who have literally torn this country asunder, or better yet, legislate to make it impossible to do so.
- Working class people did not design the system wherein huge financial institutions could rig a game of chance where when they lost, we paid the price.
- Working class people did not design a revenue code wherein the wealthiest among us pay a lower percentage of their entire income than the working class family struggling to survive.
- Working class people didn't ask our elected representatives for fewer public protection policies that put our health and safety in jeopardy.
- Working class people have not fought tooth and nail not to be paid enough to survive with bare necessities so they would have to supplement their employer's payroll with taxpayer-provided food programs.
No, those are the schemes that hundreds of millions of dollars have gone into designing, for the sole purpose of keeping more and more and more of the money we spend on goods and services, in only a minimal few pockets, and theirs alone. Not just billions, but trillions. That's what's at stake here.
These schemes are not good for the country. These schemes don't place any value on human toil. These schemes don't protect workers from bad actors (and they didn't all die out in Dickens' era).
These schemes actively hurt our country. These schemes keep us from enjoying true freedom. These schemes threaten our security. These schemes don't allow for "an honest day's pay for an honest day's work." Working people have been fed scraps from the dinner buffets of the mega wealthy for nearly half a century now. Yes, it's really been that long since the average worker saw a single penny increase from the spoils of their labor. Big Corporations are using the social safety net designed for unemployed people, to supplement their payrolls with for working people!
Every dime that these massively wealthy corporations avoid having to pay as salaries by getting taxpayers to "pay" their employees in the form of food stamps, health care, housing assistance, etc., gets to stay in the corporate coffers and line the pockets of their billionaire owners, CEOs, boards of directors and shareholders. Walmart profited (that's after taxes and all overhead) by over $15 billion last year, while as many as 80 percent of their full-time employees used food stamps at some point during the year. If they gave all 1.4 million U.S. employees a $5,000 per year raise, they'd still have over $7 billion in profits and taxpayers would have saved 4 times the amount that Republicans in the Senate are trying to strip from the SNAP program this week.
But there is no one in our government who is willing to force Walmart or other coporations like them to be a good citizens. Instead of saying, "Hey, wait a minute, we shouldn't be paying Walmart's payroll. If one of their full-time employees still meets the income qualifications for assistance when they apply for it, we'll just bill Walmart back double," they're saying people aren't "encourag[ed] to look for ways to be productive and be responsible for their families." (Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL))
We've been lied to. We've been deceived. And we're still being lied to and manipulated and hoodwinked into believing things that just aren't true.
It is not true that public protection policies or higher revenues "smother everything that has made America the greatest country in the history of mankind." It is the removal of policies that protect us and the reduction in the revenues we take in that have smothered everything that has made America the greatest country in the history of mankind. Worse than smothered—destroyed. Obliterated. Wiped out.
And make no mistake, this is not for the sake of honest policy differences on things like how the revenue our government takes in should be invested. No, it is strictly, entirely, 100 percent for the purpose of further enriching those already obscenely wealthy few, and for retaining the power that supporting those wealthy few can buy them.
The notion that gifting multi-millionaires, billionaires, and trillionaires—as Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney say they'll do—with 4.5 trillion dollars and "making it up" by taking away resources from average working people, is a mere "policy" issue is laughable on its face. And you should be outraged and insulted that they have the audacity to even try to pull it off.
Do not listen to the liars who mock you by trying to sell you manure dressed up like a real policy position. It's a venal power grab that will only drive this country further and further towards second, then third world status. Republicans wrongly warn of us becoming like Europe, all the while making us more and more like Mexico every single day. If we allow it to continue, it will be us escaping across our northern border, desperately looking for better lives for our families.
(My apologies to Canada in advance.)
Now please read the 6.6 Million Reasons Big Insurance Wants You To Believe A Myth at The Winning Words Project »