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The Left doesn't seem to understand how much America owes to its business owners and job creators.
They Just Don't Get It
Here is the quote:
There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there - good for you.
But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory...
Now look. You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea - God bless! Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.
This pretty well sums up modern progressive thought, including the current position of the Obama administration and the president himself, and it encompasses so much of what is wrong with modern liberalism.
It's extremely difficult to read or hear this quote without a bit of anger welling up inside of me at the extreme arrogance on display. There are so many things wrong with this way of thinking, it's hard to decide where to begin.
Modern liberalism carries around a dangerous assumption: the assumption that the government can do it better, and anyone who disagrees wants people to die. Just take President Obama's recent statements bashing conservatives as wanting to do away with food inspections and teachers. This is the other side of modern liberalism's double-edged sword: if you want to cut government funding, then you want old people to die, schools to close, police and firefighters to be fired, and on and on.
The problem is, these are all lies used to perpetuate a massive, inefficient government bureaucracy that wastes America's tax dollars faster than they can be collected.
When I disagree with an increase in funding for schools, I'm not saying I want teachers to be fired, though all too often that is exactly what happens. I am saying that I believe our schools need to function more efficiently. The thing that should happen but rarely does is that the bureaucracy should be cut. Every state, city and community in our nation needs good teachers, but we have a glut of bureaucrats running our school systems that we cannot afford.
This is what liberals just don't seem to understand: despite their protestations to the contrary, conservatives, and even most libertarians have no problem with basic government programs like road and bridge maintenance, public education, food inspections, and national defense. Most conservatives have no problem with paying taxes, as long as we have some reassurance that our tax dollars aren't being wasted. As it stands today, the government wastes billions of dollars every year, and now the Democrats are telling us we need to pay even more money. Why should we support that?
This is the thing that liberals don't seem to understand about the modern conservative movement. Yes, there is a lot of anti-government sentiment out there. Yes, there is a lot of anger. But the anti-government anger among the Tea Party and other conservatives has nothing to do with racism or wanting people to die, as many leaders on the Left allege.
This is what too many on the Left don't seem to understand: most conservatives aren't anti-government, we are anti-government waste. The Left is constantly on the march to expand programs and spend more money, and they are continually telling us that the government needs to take more tax dollars from "the rich" so that they "pay their fair share," as if the burden of government spending weren't already being carried by America's wealthy.
This is the main fallacy of Elizabeth Warren's statements. She hypothetically addresses a factory owner, talking about the services "the rest of us" paid for, but what about the factory owner? That business owner pays taxes. The more he makes, the more taxes he pays. His factory creates jobs for people who pay taxes. So that one factory owner can not only be credited with the tax dollars he personally pays into the system, but for the tax dollars his business and his employees contribute. That business owner is more responsible for supporting the infrastructure and education and safety of his factory than "the rest of us," because his business and his personal income contribute to supporting that infrastructure.
Given that, it takes a lot of gall to tell business owners they aren't "paying their fair share." Sure, there may be some filthy rich out there who got their money playing the stock market and who don't contribute as much, but raising income taxes won't effect them, because that falls under a different part of the tax code. This is how liberals get away with perpetuating the fallacious argument about Warren Buffet paying less in taxes than his secretary.
I work for a small business. My boss makes more money than I do. I don't begrudge him that ' he built this business from the ground up, and despite the current state of the economy, we are busier than we have ever been. In fact, we were just placed on the INC 5000 list for the second year in a row. Each and every person at this company works hard every day. Each and every person at this company pays taxes. We don't put up with slackers, and we do whatever we can to reward employees who work hard and get results. None of us are rich, but we all agree that it would be nice if we could be someday.
Just because businesses and business owners are focused on making money, that doesn't mean that we don't contribute part of our paychecks to support roads and schools and police and firefighters. But we have the right to get angry when we see the dollars we worked so hard for going to waste. Our education system requires more and more money every year, yet every year it gets worse and worse. Where is the money going? Just two years ago, the federal government spent billions of dollars that was supposed to be targeted toward infrastructure improvements and fixing old, failing schools. Just a few weeks ago, he told us that we need to spend billions more on infrastructure improvements and fixing old, failing schools. Where did the billions go from the first stimulus? And the the increase in class warfare rhetoric like this rant by Elizabeth Warren has brought protests and riots into the streets of America. Just a few weeks ago, union members in Washington State took hostages after their company hired workers from another union to break their strike. Riots and protests have hit Wall Street, and we all saw the horrendous display that broke out in Wisconsin over a measure that saved teachers' jobs. Flash mob violence is on the rise due to heightened racial and class tensions. Just how safe are we from those "marauding bands" again, Ms. Warren?
The Left doesn't seem to understand how much America owes to its business owners and job creators. Without business owners, there would be no Social Security. There would be no Medicare. Without job creators, our public schools wouldn't exist, and our roads and bridges would be in worse shape than they're in already. Yet higher taxes and increased regulations continue to make it that much tougher to do business in America.
To have a government bureaucrat lumping herself in with "the rest of us" is the height of arrogance. When your paycheck comes from the government, you aren't part of "the rest of us." Your paycheck, Ms. Warren, and the tax dollars that come out of it, come from the taxes of hardworking Americans who have real jobs. We are "the rest of us," not the bureaucrats and politicians who throw our hard-earned money down the rabbit hole and then come back for more.
Elizabeth Warren's words sum up perfectly the class warfare sentiments of the Obama administration and the modern leftist movement. America's greatest problems don't come from wealthy (or even not-so-wealthy) individuals who want to keep their hard-earned wealth. Our greatest problems come from a government that cannot function responsibly, that demands more and more money every year, then blames taxpayers and job creators when it can't afford the bill anymore.
Robert Cleveland, Senior Conservative Editor: Robert Cleveland is the IT Director for a document management services company. When he isn't working on computers and scanners, he's spending time with his wife and kids, or writing about just how jacked-up Washington politics is. He is a strong believer that hard work and freedom are what make America the greatest nation on the planet, and it is of the utmost importance that we never lose those values. Robert's other writing can be found at his blog, more...)