January 21, 2021

Santa Claus Mentality of Progressives

Posted on 05. Nov, 2012 by Stephan Helgesen in Economy, Politics

The October 1st Albuquerque Journal included a guest Op-Ed by Sherry Wenz, “Bleeding the Rich,” in which she argued cogently that the Progressive goal of making the wealthy pay more taxes will not solve our economic troubles.

Wenz’s piece should remind us that there is abroad in our Progressive polity a pernicious Santa Claus mentality:  I can have everything I want and force someone else to pay for it.  This description of the Progressive mindset would seem to be as good a definition of the Progressive concept of fairness as one is likely to find.

What is it about the soft socialism of Europe that Progressives don’t understand?  The web is full of stories on Europe’s woes:  “Eurozone Unemployment Hits Record High,” “One in 10 Workers Has Taken Time off for Depression,” “Greek Youth Unemployment Hits 55%,” “Spain Riots over Night! Europe is Falling,” and “Riots in Greece and Spain over Efforts to Trim Government Spending.”  In short, soft socialism has reduced much of Europe’s economy to a shambles.

We are today at a tipping point.  About half of Americans pay no income taxes, the largest source of revenue for the federal government.  Please don’t tell me about the other taxes these people pay.  The next largest source of government revenue is the withholding tax that is supposed to support Social Security and Medicare.

This means that the half of the American body politic that pays no income taxes can vote for politicians who promise them more government payouts.  Surely, reasonable people can see that this is a recipe for disaster.  It is an open invitation to demagogic politicians to seek election by promising more programs and more payouts.

Think today of “Obama” phones, promises of more Pell grants, promises of relief from college loans, ending work requirements for welfare recipients, record numbers on food stamps, record numbers on disability, etc.

There is a quotation of uncertain provenance which states:  “A democracy will continue to exist until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.

From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.”

Regardless of the source for this quotation, it should serve to remind us of the extreme danger posed by the irresponsible tax-and-spend policies of Progressives.

In 1787, when Benjamin Franklin emerged from the Constitutional Convention, which had just concluded, he was reportedly asked by a certain Mrs. Powel if the convention had given our nation a republic or a monarchy.  Franklin’s famous reply was:  A republic if you can keep it.  This election may well be our last chance to keep our “Great Republic.”

This article was submitted by Don Baucom of El Prado, NM



























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