Unless you have been hiding under a very large rock at the bottom of the sea, you know that the progressive, socialist left has made wealth redistribution a centerpiece of their economic plan. If you have any understanding of political philosophy, you know that is a cornerstone of the socialist economic model. This is the first line of attack for socialism. All else fails, unless they achieve that goal. That follows right along with Karl Marx’s slogan from his 1875 “Critique of the Gotha Program,” in which he so family said, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” And of course, the progressive socialists will define what is “needed.”
Take for example the recent policy debacle called the “Green New Deal,” which has mysteriously disappeared from the website of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez … ok, not so mysteriously. It seems the Congresswoman learned about wiping things clean from Hillary Clinton.
In that now disappeared document, there were points that talked about giving people a government job. The left now defines that as a right. There was also mention about providing a universal basic income for people, even those “unwilling” to work. There were many more highly questionable policy initiatives include, which means, I guess I had better prepare to gut my house and make it “green,” or else suffer “massive” fines, meaning taxes.
But how are all these far-left socialist schemes going to be funded? Yes, you know the answer – one rooted in Marxist principles. That, perhaps, is a clear reason as to why when President Trump asserted that “America will never be a socialist country,” his words were not met with resounding applause from the bulk of one side of the House chamber.
We know that Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez has proposed a 70 percent personal income tax on top earners. Not to be outdone, former Mayor of San Antonio, Julian Castro cited a 90 percent tax on high earners in defense of Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal. And still, to top all of that with a very special cherry, it was NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio who recently claimed that there was a lot of money in NYC, but that it is in the wrong hands. I would recommend that all of these progressive socialists read an essay written by French economist, Frederic Bastiat, called “The Law.” Bastiat, whose essay was written in the mid-1800s, termed the economic model of these socialists as “legal plunder” that is based upon greed and misplaced philanthropy. What we have are individuals, elected officials, seeking to leverage the tax code, specifically against one group, all for the purpose of their insidious, and dangerous, ideological agenda.
But I must ask a rhetorical question: Who are these evil rich people?
Sunday evening was the 61st Grammy Awards. Would these people, certainly wealthy, millionaires and billionaires, be considered the evil rich people by Senators Warren, Booker, Harris, Gillebrand, along with Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, and Mr. Castro? If I were to do a survey of those in attendance at the Grammy awards, Tony awards, Oscar, Golden Globes, I think we would determine there is “massive” wealth in those audiences. But they are the audiences who support the progressive socialist agenda. Are these members of the entertainment elite willing and ready to open their wallets and start writing checks for the leftist folly? Heck, how many of them are willing to surrender their private jets and take the train with the rest of us? See, something tells me that these are not the folks whom these socialist elected officials refer to when they talk about the evil rich. After all, these are the folks who write the big dollar checks for the campaigns for far-left socialists.
As well, after the 2018 midterm elections, the wealthiest congressional districts in these United States are not represented by Republicans. As reported by Forbes back in November:
“The House of Representatives, on the other hand, saw substantial changes. Democrats took control of the House, gaining at least 30 seats (there are still technically 422 of 435 seats undeclared), and bringing the balance of power up to 225 Democrat representatives against 197 Republican. Democrats, in fact, now represent 41 out of the top 50 wealthiest congressional districts — and all 10 of the top 10 wealthiest districts, according to a recent election study.
“Underneath this surface of wealth, however, lies a great deal of wealth inequality. And, unfortunately, this wealth inequality isn’t just limited to the richest congressional districts: It’s a growing trend that plagues far too many congressional districts, cities and states alike.
“Take a look below for a deeper analysis at some of the more egregiously wealthy yet unequal congressional districts of 2018.”
Can you join me in saying, “Oops,” and “Yes,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s district is one of those top wealthy areas? So, who exactly is the “party of the rich”?
Consider these names: George Soros, Jeff Bezos, Tom Steyer, Michael Bloomberg, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett. All are top American billionaires, top funders to progressive socialist causes. Are these cheeky fellas considered the “evil rich”? And we all know to whom Wall Street provides its “massive” campaign funding, disproportionately to the left.
What about all those sports figures who are, well, quite wealthy? LeBron James is not exactly a staunch Republican. Are they to be considered the “evil rich”? Why, of course not.
The progressive, socialist left defines anyone that has worked hard, and does not support their ideological agenda, as the evil rich people. If there is anything that is un-American, it is to use the U.S. tax code to target a specific group. It is time we stop demonizing people because here in America, we want any and every one to be able to pursue happiness, to be as successful as they desire. And these very wealthy members of the sports, entertainment, political, media, academic leftist elites, our modern-day politburo, can simply check a box on their tax returns and give as much as they want. But we all know, it is not about that. It is about the use of taxation to create behavior modification, like the individual and employer mandates of Obamacare.
Who are these evil rich people? According to the progressive, socialist left, anyone of means that does not join their collective group think. After all, the left hates, indeed despises, individual liberty, freedom, and sovereignty – you know, the ingredients that enable us to pursue our own happiness, and not depend upon them.
Allen West is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army. Mr. West is a Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center to support its mission to expose and neutralize liberal media bias.