Other Voices
Manny Montes

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April 14, 2014
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What are the progressives so afraid of?

Michele Spencer, in her Other Voices piece on April 4, states that everyone knows “that something is going seriously wrong in this country …” and cites the “growing income gap between the top 1 percent and the rest of us is likely evidence of the underlying problem.”

Boy, has she hit the nail on the head, but is entirely wrong as to the impetus of that gap.

Since President Obama took office household medium income has dropped by 4.5 percent. The number of food stamp recipients increased from 33,490,000 to 47,636,000 households.

The unemployment rate appears to be going down because so many have simply dropped out of the work force, and of those that have gained employment, many had to settle for part-time jobs.

All this has impact on the income of “the rest of us.” And the 1 percent? Enter Quantitative Easing (QE).

The Federal Reserve has been printing $85 billion dollars a month, buying bonds from member banks to keep interest rates low. Impact? For the 1 percent heavily invested in the stock market, this has been a bonanza; their investments have soared.

What the Koch brothers, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and others in the top 1 percent earn has no bearing on what the rest of us make. The economic pie is not a zero sum game. God bless their fortunes.

A robust economy is the only antidote to the drop in medium income and producing vibrant middle class. We currently have an alphabet soup of government agencies, filled with nonelected bureaucrats issuing thousands of draconian regulations, costing the economy, a whopping $1.75 trillion a year. These regulations are consuming capital that would otherwise be invested to grow the economy.

The founder of Home Depot stated the he could not duplicate his success in today’s regulatory environment. Combined federal and state corporate tax rate in the U.S. is 39.3 percent, ranking the U.S. second to Japan’s 39.5 percent.

Our rate is way out of the step with our international competitors, causing many U.S. corporations to leave their money abroad. Reducing the rate to a point that would induce repatriating the money, coupled with unleashing and freeing up our entrepreneurial spirit, building the Keystone pipeline and increasing the number of licenses and permits for drilling on Federal land would begin an economic boom that would make companies have to compete with wages and benefits, and not violate worker’s rights as Ms. Spencer would suggest.

The progressives’ negative reaction to the Cadillac ad during the Oscars, extolling hard work and accumulating stuff, like the Cadillac, was very revealing.

Where Ms. Spencer indicates a movement to an “oligarchic form of society in which all economic and political power rests with a handful of billionaires”, again she is misinformed. There is a direct correlation with the size of government and the number and size of special interest and lobbyist. Advocating for limited government (as both the Koch brothers and the Tea Party), our founders bequeathed to us is the only way to considerably reduce the need for special interest and lobbyist pleading.

The liberal/progressive has disdain for the concept of Natural Rights, and views our Constitution as an impediment to the implementation of their anointed visions of Social Justice. The early progressive movement did not mince words about this. Today’s progressives are more coy in their use of rhetoric.

The Tea Party’s agenda of limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free markets are antithetical to the progressives positions, and is the reason they are vilified. Ms. Spencer advocates another big expansion of government with the idea of government funding of all political advertising and campaigns; free speech be damned. Good grief.

Finally, if Ms. Spencer had conducted some research regarding the Koch brothers, she would have learned that they rank 59th in political contributions, behind 18 different Unions. Hmm, I wonder what political causes and party they contribute to? What of George Soros? Soros showered more than $34 million on 527s politically oriented nonprofits, candidates, and committees. And what of the billionaire Tom Steyer who pledged a whopping $100 million dollars to Next Generation Climate Action, and promised this was not a ceiling. The progressives have academia, the media (print and broadcast), Hollywood and their own billionaires. What are they so afraid of?

Those of us who adhere to the principles individual freedom and limited government fear a government that can and has pronounced the wizard has spoken.

Manny Montes lives in Lake of the Pines.

A robust economy is the only antidote to the drop in medium income and producing vibrant middle class.


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The Union Updated Apr 14, 2014 11:02PM Published Apr 14, 2014 11:02PM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.