The Meaning of the Tax Rate Debate: American Socialism’s Hail Mary?

For the past week various pundits, commentators and politicians have been trying to wrap their mind around the tax rate compromise put together by President Obama and Republican leaders.

For awhile, I must confess, it was very confusing.

But now I understand.

The Obama-brokered tax rate compromise is American Socialism’s version of a Hail Mary Pass.

Let’s hope it is incomplete.

For non-football fans, a little explanation is in order. A Hail Mary pass is a desperation heave that is usually the last play of a football game. The team with the ball is behind by less than a touchdown and has much of the field to cover if they are to score and win the game. The time has clicked down to the final seconds, and there is time for only one more play.

The quarterback takes the snap and throws the ball as far as he can–usually into the end zone–hoping, saying a prayer (Hail Mary),  that one of his teammates will out jump the defenders, catch the ball, score a touchdown and win the game.

One of the most remembered Hail Mary passes in history was Doug Flutie’s forty-eight yard toss on October 20, 1999 that allowed Boston College to defeat its arch-rival, the Miami Hurricanes

Barack Obama is now trying to do the same.

The tax compromise is American socialism’s desperate Hail Mary.

But before we describe the Obama Hail Mary strategy, let’s look at the confusing rhetoric of the past week.  I’ve rarely seen such political confusion in all of my life.

Conservative Angst

When the tax compromise was first announced by the White House, many conservatives applauded the plan because it extended the current tax rates for two years. However, they didn’t like the extension of unemployment benefits and other special interests earmarks.

The Heritage Foundation was cautiously supportive at first, while echoing conservative concerns. In their first Morning Bell on the subject, they stated “The deal originally cut by Republicans had some good economic policy in it, but it also had a lot of harmful provisions. The temporary two-year nature of the arrangement did not provide the long-term certainty that businesses need to make long-term investment plans that create substantial economic growth and jobs.”

Tony Perkin’s Family Research Council was also ambivalent at first saying “Congress has had two years to deal with this ticking time bomb called tax relief–and they have less than 14 days to diffuse it. The Senate is scheduled to vote on a “compromise” tax package on Monday afternoon with both good and bad provisions. It does maintain the current tax rates, preserves the Child Tax Credit , and keeps married couples from being penalized. On the negative side, it’s all still temporary and raises the death tax by 35 percent.”

Liberal Concerns

Some liberals also accepted the bill because they thought it it was the best they could get after the November 2 election “shellacking.” Vice President Joe Biden reportedly told House Democrats that the tax deal cut with Republicans was a “take it or leave it” proposition that could not be changed.

Others hated it because the president caved on his pledge to raise taxes on “the rich.” During Democratic caucus meetings, various members were overheard cursing the president and his unwillingness to raise taxes on the wealthy and small businesses.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a committed socialist, was so livid about the compromise that he filibustered the Senate for a grueling 8 hours and 37 minutes, speaking nearly non-stop about class warfare and the blessings of national socialism.

Fidel Castro would have been proud.

Two Who Got It Right

Though at first, there was widespread confusion over the compromise,  two men got it right from the beginning.

Maybe we should elect one as president and the other as VP in 2012. They seem to be the sharpest minds in the republic.

Columnist Charles Krauthammer called it the “swindle of the year,” and said from the very beginning that the only person who truly benefits from passing it is Barack Obama. “[With this deal], the President negotiated the biggest stimulus in American history, larger than his $814 billion 2009 package.”

His column in the Washington Post is worth reading.

I don’t know where Charles got his $814 billion number–some (like Sean Hannity) question it, but still believe that Krauthammer is right. I must admit,  when I first heard Charles’ take I was skeptical.

Then I began to think and pray–and concluded he was correct.

Senator Jim DeMint also made headlines by becoming the first Republican politician in Washington to declare his opposition to the tax compromise. He even threatened to filibuster the deal.

In an e-mail via DeMint’s PAC Senate Conservatives Fund, DeMint laid out why he is opposed to the tax deal.

“First, I do not want to see anyone’s taxes go up and I have been fighting for years to permanently extend all the tax rates. I disagree with the President that we cannot afford to extend these rates for everyone. It’s the people’s money and we should not raise taxes on hardworking American families.”

“But this bill does much more than simply extend tax rates. For starters, it includes approximately $200 billion in new deficit spending and stimulus gimmicks… The bill also only extends rates for two years. We don’t have a temporary economy so we shouldn’t have temporary tax rates.”

“The bill also fails to extend all of the tax rates. It actually increases the death tax from its current rate of zero percent all the way up to 35 percent. One economic study shows that this tax increase alone will kill over 800,000 jobs over the next ten years.”

“Finally, the bill now includes dozens of earmarks for special interests, including ethanol subsidies, tax breaks for film and television producers, give aways for rum manufacturers, favors for auto racing track owners, and a hand out for businesses outside [the United States].”

One reason I like Jim DeMint because he lives at 133 Street–my old office on Capitol Hill.

One other former Senator and Hollywood star, Fred Thompson, also was prescient on the error of extending unemployment benefits yet another year (totalling three years).

He remarked, “With unemployment being extended another 13 months, is it maybe time to just start calling it welfare?”

Or maybe socialism.

That’s what the battle is about.

For nearly one hundred years, a portion of our society has been trying to change America from a Christian-based, freedom-oriented society to a secular-leaning socialist model. There are many forms of national socialism, but the bottom line is trust in and control of people by ever-expanding government.

Our founding fathers called it tyranny.

Its opposite is liberty. William Penn spoke for all colonial Americans when he said, “Men must be governed by God or they will be ruled by tyrants.”

He was referring to Europe at the time.

Europe has known many forms of tyrannical governments. Prior to the Reformation, kings and princes lorded it over their subjects for hundreds of years. In the 20th century Benito Mussolini and Adolph Hitler gave birth to national socialistic regimes that became cruel and oppressive. Communist Russia took socialism a step further when it seized economic control of the State through “the barrel of gun.” More recently, European states created vast welfare states under the banner of democratic socialism.

But its all the same at the core: Power comes from government, not from the people.

European nations have experienced many forms of socialism.

Different teams. Same game.

The American experiment was exceptionally different. Backed by a Christian world view that recognized the sovereignty of God and the power of Christ in the individual, our early founders and settlers established the United States on faith, character and freedom.

This was a new “team” the world had never seen before.

This team believed in freedom. Their faith produced a great nation. “Team Tyranny” was always there, trying to even up the score. but never able to get ahead.

Then came Woodrow Wilson and his secular progressive plans, next FDR and the New Deal (vast expansion of the Federal Government), and finally LBJ and the Great Society. “Team Tyranny” was gaining ground on “Team Liberty.” The battle was enjoined. America’s future had truly turned into a competitive civilizational struggle.

Jimmy Carter was socialism’s next attempt to take the lead in the game. But he was petty and inept as a leader, and freedom-loving Ronald Reagan was swept into office. His influence kept “Team Liberty” ahead in the game for another twenty years.

Then following some missteps by the Republicans who were supposed to key players on “Team Liberty,” Barack Obama was elected to national office. In two short years he took “Team Tyranny” into the lead in American life via massive government stimuli, a takeover of various businesses and the financial sector, and finally the crowning jewel–creeping socialized medicine through Obamacare.

At that point, socialism was winning the game and Bernie Sanders was no longer the lone kook.

His team was now ahead.

But then “Team Liberty” awoke through the Tea Party Movement and concerted prayer. They “scored” big in the November 2, 2010 elections and re-gained the lead for the forces of freedom. On many fronts, freedom and common sense triumphed and was preparing to add a larger national advantage on January 3, 2011 when the new 112th Congress convenes and in 2012 when a new president can be elected.

So Barack Obama, captain of “Team Tyranny,” saw the victory slipping away and let fly with his Hail Mary.

Don’t be deceived by other members of his team that are yapping and swawking. They’re just decoy receivers that are really working for the same goal.  Barack Obama was throwing to other “receivers”–Independents–who he needs to score a winning touchdown.

The Compromise was all about his re-election in 2012. Without it, socialism will not be able to win the game.

Barack Obama has not changed. He’s still a socialist-of-some-type at heart. But time was running out and momentum had swung.

He desperately heaved a Hail Mary to try and get re-elected.

Let’s hope and pray that his pass is incomplete during the Lame Duck Session.

As Heritage Foundation and many others now understand, the compromise must fail.

Then “Team Liberty” can once again get the ball back on January 3, 2011 and make permanent the tax rates, begin repealing Obamacare, and soundly defeat the socialists in 2012. Next, a new generation of leaders must stop frivolous spending, balance the budget, promote faith and morality, strengthen national defenses and encourage an American spiritual awakening. 

That’s the meaning of the tax rate debate.

1 Comment

  1. William Cook on December 19, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    The two men in the photo at the top of Ron's post, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, wouldn't stand a chance of getting elected if America was a "Christian-based, freedom-oriented society" as it should be. By abandoning God in principle and practice, citizens of the United States guarantee that they will be ruled by despotism. The only antidote for metastatic tyranny is a national return to righteousness and truth. Without such qualities, we become an "enemy nation" with respect to the rule of God and His kingdom. We would do well to remind ourselves that this nation is one among many that are a "drop in a bucket" and God is no respecter of persons or nations. We'd best get right.

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