At a time when only about half of Americans pay federal income taxes, President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party have made a fundamental shift in the justification they offer for their massive spending and the proposed taxes to support it — and it is one that should frighten every American.
For the 75-plus years since Franklin Delano Roosevelt began the New Deal, Democrats and their liberal allies, including many Republicans, made what in essence was a moral argument justifying the creation of the welfare state.
While there’s nothing in the Constitution about the federal government being your brother’s keeper, that’s in Genesis 4:9, not the Constitution, many Americans willingly went along with substituting the growth of the federal welfare state for family responsibility and the acts of private charity carried out by religious institutions and local authorities during the first 150 years of the Republic.
While conservatives decried the growth of the welfare state and pointed toward soul-searing dependency for the beneficiaries and fiscal ruin for the government as its logical conclusions, the liberal establishment built what it claimed was a moral consensus behind a dizzying array of federal welfare and human services programs.
Conservatives who objected to the alphabet soup of federal welfare programs from federal housing subsidies, to student loans, to aid to families with dependent children were shouted-down as crackpots, or mean-spirited or downright immoral.
Many Republicans were happy to go along with these extra-constitutional programs, even as they looked for ways to make them cheaper or more efficient, because after all it seemed like the right thing to do.
The problem is, once you abandon the Constitution as the law that governs government, and replace it with what seems like the right thing to do in the eyes of a few politicians, the evils the Constitution was enacted to guard against quickly manifest themselves.
No one seemed to be paying attention back on April 16, 2008, to such a manifestation when Obama and Hillary Clinton were participating in a pre-Pennsylvania Primary debate sponsored by ABC News and the National Constitutional Center.
When the topic turned to the deficit, taxes, and federal revenues, ABC News anchor Charles Gibson raised the point that when the capital gains tax rate was dropped revenues from the capital gains tax increased, and when the capital gains rate was increased, revenues fell.
Then-Senator Obama didn’t dispute Gibson’s analysis that raising capital gains taxes will result in lower revenues, and his answer to the larger question about taxes was telling — and in fact will have a very familiar ring to anyone who has been listening to the president recently.
Obama said, “Well Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.”
Obama continued: “We saw an article today which showed that the top 50 hedge fund managers made $29 billion last year  — $29 billion for 50 individuals. And part of what has happened is that those who are able to work the stock market and amass huge fortunes on capital gains are paying a lower tax rate than their secretaries.”
Sound familiar? It should, Obama and Warren Buffet used the same line back in September 2011 to pitch Obama’s economic plan and the president used similar language just a few days ago to urge passage of the capital gains tax increase he has disguised as “the Buffet Rule.”
Obama went on to say that evening in 2008 that his goal was a tax system that “is fair and that we are able to finance healthcare for Americans who currently don’t have it and that we’re able to invest in our infrastructure and invest in our schools.”
Under President Obama, federal taxes, we were told, would not be collected to fund the constitutional responsibilities of the government. They would not be collected to fund those good works that should be done by private charity; they would not even be collected to fund the extra-constitutional activities the federal government has taken on, such as the Departments of Education and Energy.
Under President Obama federal taxes are to be collected because “fairness” dictates that they be collected from one group of Americans and redistributed to another.
Obama’s embrace of the tax code as a tool for confiscating wealth in the name of unconstitutional social leveling should come as no surprise — he ran on it in 2008 and has been talking about it ever since.
Republicans must not only stand their ground against the Buffet Rule and other logical conclusions of Obama’s campaign of envy and resentment, they must begin to attack the entire premise of the welfare state before what’s fair in the eyes of Obama and a few Democratic politicians overwhelms the economic freedom our Constitution was intended to protect.
Richard A. Viguerie pioneered the use of direct mail in politics. He made it possible for candidates and causes to raise money from millions of small contributors rather than from a few “fat cats.” Read more reports from Richard Viguerie — Click Here Now.
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