EDINBURGH, Scotland – Predatory government is the curse of the 21st century. We are all Communists now. Just look at the way the IRS went after some of Mr. Obama’s leading opponents in the conservative movement. It did so out of pure, vicious, Communist spite. Yet it has not been closed down. It is still there.
Well, that is about to change. Three congressmen from the slowly awakening GOP have tossed into the hopper a bill to repeal the 16th Amendment and thus to sweep away forever the power of the federal administration to levy income tax on U.S. citizens.
When I first visited the United States at the age of 21, I had to complete a pink form that began with the words, “Are you a Communist?” Then, “Is any member of your family a Communist?” And, “Are any of your friends Communist?” Then, “Have you ever visited any Communist countries?” Finally, “Are you sure you’re not a Communist?”
The way things are going, the pink forms will soon be back – only this time the correct answer to the questions will not be “No.” It will be “Yes, comrade.”
The staggering centralization of power in what was once the most liberty-loving nation on Earth has been a source of great sadness to friends of the United States such as me. With that concentration of power in the hands of a tiny handful of increasingly ill-educated and inadequately prepared politicians and bureaucrats, there has been a frightening and now dangerous concentration of wealth.
The gummint does too much too expensively. The arrogant, extreme centralism of today’s United States governing class, embodied in the malevolent IRS, is every bit as much of a threat to democracy as farsighted observers have long foretold.
Consider Alexis de Tocqueville, one of the most perceptive observers of your lovable nation’s early life. In “Democracy in America,” in 1830, he wrote this: “A kind of virtuous materialism may come to be established, which will noiselessly unwind the springs of action.”
Half a century earlier, in 1787, Alexander Tyler, professor of history at the University of Edinburgh, wrote of the fall of the Athenian Republic 2,000 years previously:
“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that 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 over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship.
“The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependence back into bondage.”
Here are some revealing figures from professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University Law School, St. Paul, Minn., kindly sent to me by a reader. I have taken them on trust, but if they are true, they are fascinating.
Obama won 19 states, Romney 29. Obama won 600,000 square miles of land, Romney 2.5 million. Obama won counties with a combined population of 127 million, Romney 143 million. The murder rate per 1,000 residents in counties won by Obama was 13, Romney 2.
“In aggregate,” says the prof, “the map of the territory Romney won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of the country. Obama territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in low-income tenements and living off various forms of government welfare.”
Two U.S. citizens in five live off the other three. In Scotland, three citizens in five live off the other two. And how can all of this happen? Income tax, that’s how. Do away with income tax and the mechanism for legalized theft from those who work to subsidize the unwound “springs of action” among those who don’t or won’t would disappear.
Predatory government is a clear and present danger to the very survival of democracy in America. Add an amnesty for yet another 20 million illegal immigrants who can then lawfully vote, and the shifty and the shirkers will permanently outvote the thrifty and the workers.
National bankruptcy will result. Correction: has resulted. One of the quickest ways to stop the rot is to abolish the IRS, not least as a reminder to all departments of government that they are the servants of the people and not the other way about.
Of course, without the IRS the federal government will be short of cash to pay for the army of cringing dependents who vote solidly for Obama because they think – rightly – that he will give them more sweeties than the GOP. But what happens when the sweeties run out? Obama will be gone by then.
I shall end with a modest proposal to start making up the shortfall caused by kicking out the politicized goons and thugs of the IRS and making them go and do an honest day’s work. Try putting a tax on tea. Half a crown a pound should do it.