America Becomes a Two-Class Society
Income tax day, April 15, 2010, now divides Americans into two almost equal classes: those who pay for the services provided by government and those who don’t. The percentage of Americans who will pay no federal income taxes at all for 2009 has risen to 47%.
That isn’t the worst of it. The bottom 40% not only pay no income tax, but the government sends them cash or benefits financed by the taxes dutifully paid by those who do pay income tax.
The outright cash handouts include the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which can amount to as much as $5,657 a year to low-income families. Other financial benefits can include child tax credits, welfare, food stamps, WIC (Women, Infants, Children), housing subsidies, unemployment benefits, Medicaid, S-CHIP, and other programs.
This is both a massive transfer of wealth and a soak-the-rich racket. The top 10% pay 73% of the income taxes collected by the federal government. The cost of Obamacare will skyrocket our income tax rate within 30 years.
Although all wage-earners help fund their own Social Security and Medicare benefits, only federal income taxes pay the costs of running the federal government. Only those who pay federal income taxes are responsible for paying off our $12.8 trillion national debt and for bailing out Social Security, Medicare, and Fannie and Freddie when they collapse.
When Obama told Joe the Plumber he wanted to “spread the wealth around,” Obama wasn’t kidding. That’s exactly what he is now doing: taking money from taxpayers and spreading it around to non-taxpayers.
Nor was Obama kidding when, on the eve of his election, he threatened, “We are going to fundamentally transform the United States of America.” Converting the earnings of American workers into handouts for those who voted for Obama in 2008 is certainly a fundamental transformation.
Obama’s promise not to raise taxes on Middle Americans is already down the drain. Obama brought former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul Volcker out of obscurity to serve as chairman of an Economic Recovery Advisory Board and announce that we need to raise taxes.
Volcker was blunt in predicting that the new tax increase will be a Value Added Tax (VAT). That’s the tax European Socialists love because its rates can be hidden and frequently raised, while producing rivers of revenue for the bureaucrats.
Having already co-opted the executive and legislative branches of government for his fundamental transformation, Obama now wants to use the judiciary, too. The retirement of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens gives him this opportunity.
On January 18, 2001 on Public Radio WBEZ-FM, Chicago, Obama complained that the Earl Warren Court “wasn’t that radical” because “it didn’t break free from the essential constraints placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution. . . . The Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and serve more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society.”
Calling for the Supreme Court to participate in the “redistribution of wealth” is shockingly revolutionary. Any judicial nominee who agrees with Obama’s theory should be rejected.
Obama’s game plan to “fundamentally transform” America is based on both Saul Alinsky’s community organizing and on the Cloward-Piven spending strategy. Saul Alinsky was a famous Chicago radical. Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven were Columbia University sociologists.
The goal of all three of these agitators was the overthrow of the private enterprise system. The Alinsky strategy is to use community organizing and mass demonstrations by those he labeled the “Have Nots,” and the Cloward-Piven strategy is to overload the bureaucracy with enormous demands for entitlements, thereby causing a financial crisis.
Obama used Alinsky methods with taxpayer financing of ACORN and sub-prime mortgages. Obama used Cloward-Piven methods by massive deficit spending for entitlements for more and more millions of people.
Fortunately, hard-working, taxpaying Americans are beginning to understand how they are being ripped off and rushed into bankruptcy. The one way to save ourselves and our country is to elect a Congress in November pledged to stop the spending. Some Pay and Some Receive
The news that the United States has become a two-class society, i.e., half of Americans pay federal income taxes and half don’t, has bounced around the media and shocked Americans. Most people had no knowledge of this appalling economic fact.
Even worse is the reality that 40% of Americans receive federal government handouts of cash and valuable benefits. Those handouts are financed by the people who do pay federal income taxes.
Those handouts create a tremendous bloc of people who depend on the government for their living expenses. The Tax Foundation reports that 20% of Americans now get 75% of their income from the federal government, and another 20% get 45% of their income from the government.
Obama’s Stimulus law will add nearly $800 billion in new means-tested welfare spending over the next decade. That means about $22,500 per year for every poor person in the United States, which will cost each family that pays federal income taxes over $10,000 a year.
According to the Tax Foundation, married taxpayers pay three-fourths of all federal income taxes, whereas two-thirds of single parents who file as head-of-household pay no income tax at all. According to a Heritage Foundation report, taxpayers (mostly those who are married) will spend more than $300 billion providing welfare aid to single parents (mostly women).
The pundits like to divide Republicans into two classes, the fiscal conservatives and the so-called social conservatives, and pretend that their interests are different and mutually exclusive. In fact, the overwhelming reason for big government’s extravagant spending, which is properly railed against by limited-government conservatives, is the breakdown in our culture, which social conservatives have been battling for years.
If limited-government conservatives are dreaming of taking back America for fiscal sanity in the November elections, they should study how the unprecedented decline in marriage and the increase in illegitimacy are the major causes of our bloated government and its gigantic welfare spending.
In 2008, 40.6% of children born in the United States were born outside of marriage; that’s 1,720,000 children. This is not, as the media try to tell us, a teenage problem. Only 7% of those illegitimate babies were born to girls under age 18, and over three-fourths were born to women over age 20. The problem is the collapse of marriage as the social institution responsible for the costs of the care of children.
The fiscal conservative faction of the Republican Party should also study why Republicans won their big Congressional majority in 1994, and what has happened since. The Democratic Party’s welfare boondoggle was a major reason for the Republican victory.
The wrong-headed welfare system started in the 1960s with Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society and his proclaimed war against poverty. The system should have been called the war against marriage. LBJ’s Great Society set up a grossly immoral system whereby millions of people were taught that they had an “entitlement” to pick the pockets of law-abiding, taxpaying families if they met two conditions: they didn’t work, and they were not married to someone who did work. This destroyed the work ethic and subsidized illegitimacy by giving single moms money and scores of benefits such as welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, housing, utilities, WIC, and commodities.
LBJ’s welfare system undermined marriage and greatly increased all the social problems that flow from fatherless homes, such as drugs, sex, suicide, runaways, and school dropouts. The feminists rejoiced because all the cash went to women, thereby deconstructing what they called the oppressive patriarchy, and the liberals rejoiced because these handouts required more bureaucrats and higher taxes.
True to their Contract with America, the Republican Congress passed welfare reform in 1996. It was even signed by President Clinton, who admitted that it was time to “end welfare as we know it.”
The goal of Republican welfare reform was to help families move to employment and self-sufficiency and end long-term dependence on government assistance. This policy was repealed by Obama’s Stimulus, which will add more families to welfare dependency by paying bonuses to states that increase their welfare caseloads.
Obama’s real goal is a permanent expansion of the welfare system, as called for by the Cloward-Piven spending strategy. Nothing promotes that goal as much as discouraging marriage and providing financial incentives to increase the number of single moms.
Single moms have become a fast growing demographic group that demands a growing welfare industry. They look to Big Brother government (a.k.a. the Obama Administration) as a provider and the solution to their problems.
Even the recently passed Obama Health Control Law contains financial subsidies to unmarried couples that are denied to married couples. This rewards the unmarried women who were the second largest demographic constituency that voted for Obama for President in 2008. The political goal of the Obama liberals is a society dependent on the government.
“You have to decide what your goals are.” That’s what the Democratic staffer who wrote the marriage penalty into Obama’s Health Control Law told a Wall Street Journal reporter.
Indeed, the Democrats and their feminist allies have decided that one of their major goals is to increase the number of single moms by increasing the flow of taxpayer-paid incentives that subsidize the non-marriage lifestyle.
The plan also includes locking in this group’s dependence on government and allegiance to the Democratic Party. The plan is conveniently set forth in a 60-page document called “Advancing the Economic Security of Unmarried Women” just published by John Podesta’s leftwing think tank called Center for American Progress.
The Democrats know that 70% of unmarried women voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 election. It’s obviously part their political game plan to reward that group and keep it in the Obama column.
The feminists, who have always been anti-marriage and very anti-fulltime-homemaker, consider it progress that women are now half the workforce and are major breadwinners for their children. As chief feminist Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in her 1977 tax-funded book Sex Bias in the U.S. Code, the concept of breadwinning husband and homemaking wife “must be eliminated.”
When husband-breadwinner is eliminated, single moms look to Big Brother Government as provider. Democrats are glad to claim credit for facilitating the taxpayer subsidies.
The Podesta opus sets the stage for the Democrats’ legislative proposals by asserting that our definition of family is “outdated, stuck in the 1950s notion of a nuclear family that excludes too many of today’s nontraditional families.” Redefining the word family has been a feminist goal ever since Gloria Steinem persuaded President Jimmy Carter to change the name of his White House Conference on “the Family” to a Conference on “Families.”
The Podesta document sets forth 83 pieces of congressional legislation that will funnel taxpayers’ money to unmarried women. You can get the flavor and the message from the cutesy titles.
The Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act would “particularly benefit” unmarried women because women hold three-quarters of jobs in the education and health services industry. The Unemployment Insurance Modernization Act would require expansion in eligibility and benefits to help women.
The Paycheck Fairness Act would “improve” the 1963 Equal Pay Act based on the falsehood that “women workers earn 77 cents for every dollar a comparable man makes.” The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) would benefit lesbian and bisexual women.
The Living American Wage Act and the Working for Adequate Gains for Employment in Services (WAGES) Act would improve the pay of “traditionally female jobs” in child care, early childhood education, and health care. The Pathways Advancing Career Training (PACT) Act and the Strengthening Employment Clusters to Organize Regional Success (SECTORS) Act would give funding to states to provide training for and access to nontraditional high-wage jobs and careers for women.
The Family and Medical Leave Inclusion Act and the Family and Medical Leave Enhancement Act would expand the definition of family to allow more unmarried women to use the benefits of family-leave laws. These bills would include unmarried partners and same-sex spouses.
The Family Income to Respond to Significant Transitions (FIRST) Act and the Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave (FEPPLA) Act would give women paid family leave. The Healthy Families Act would require employers to provide paid sick days, which the document says would help women because “women are disproportionately affected” by not having paid sick days.
The Domestic Violence Leave Act and the Security and Financial Empowerment (SAFE) Act would make women eligible for leave for a variety of problems connected with alleged domestic violence.
The Starting Early, Starting Right Act would provide “high-quality” daycare. The Right Start Child Care and Education Act, the Helping Families Afford to Work Act, and the Balancing Act are all designed to provide cash and services to single moms.
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is already worth up to $5,657 for a single parent with custody of three children. The Podesta report failed to mention that the Government Accountability Office reported that the IRS estimates that between 27% and 32% of EITC dollars are collected fraudulently.
The Democratic Congress repealed the essence of Republican welfare reform last year by providing bonuses to states that increase their spending on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Single moms make up 90% of TANF recipients.
Even if all these 83 bills don’t pass, plus others that give health care, housing and retirement subsidies, they illustrate the worldview of Obama Democrats and feminists. The bills also demonstrate how welfare, which was started by Lyndon Johnson primarily to help widows with young children has, in the hands of government, ballooned into a spending monster.
A huge marriage penalty is hidden in Obama’s Health Control Law. This law is another federal program providing financial incentives to subsidize marriage avoidance and illegitimate offspring.
Even though all evidence shows that marriage is the best remedy for poverty, lack of health care, domestic violence, child abuse, and school dropouts, federal welfare programs continue to discriminate against marriage and instead give taxpayer handouts to those who reject marriage. This isn’t any accident; it is a central part of the Democrats’ political strategy that produced 70% of unmarried women voting for Obama for President in 2008.
Here is the approximate cost in the Health Control Law for an unmarried couple who each earn $25,000 a year (total: $50,000). When they both buy health insurance (which will be mandatory), the combined premiums they pay will be capped at $3,076 a year. But if the couple gets married and has the same combined income of $50,000, they will pay annual premiums up to a cap of $5,160 a year. That means they have to fork over a marriage penalty of $2,084.
The marriage penalty is the result of the fact that government subsidies for buying health insurance are pegged to the federal poverty guidelines. Couples that remain unmarried are rewarded with a separate health care subsidy for each income.
When the Wall Street Journal reporter quizzed the Democratic authors of the health care bill, they made it clear that this differential was deliberate. The staffer justified the discriminatory treatment because “you have to decide what your goals are.” Indeed, the Democrats have decided what their goals are. They know that 70% of unmarried women voted for Obama in 2008, and the Democrats plan to reward this group with health insurance subsidies.
The House staffer told the Wall Street Journal reporter that the Democrats can’t make the subsidies neutral towards marriage because that would give a traditional one-breadwinner married couple a more generous subsidy than a single parent at the same income level. Horrors! The Democrats certainly are not going to allow traditional marriage to be preferred over couples who just shack up!
Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously and accurately explained the disastrous results of welfare back in 1965. The welfare system created a matriarchy with millions of children lacking their father in the home. It’s no wonder illegitimate birthrates are soaring and unmarried mothers now give birth to 4 out of every 10 babies born in the United States.
Means-tested welfare programs already cost taxpayers close to $1 trillion a year (even more than national defense!), and Obamacare is projected to add another $2.5 trillion after all its provisions take effect. There’s no end in sight to the increasing costs of these entitlements. In one year, the Obama Administration will spend more taxpayers’ money on spreading the wealth to non-taxpayers than George W. Bush spent on the entire Iraq war.
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, a liberal firm that consults for clients such as Bill Clinton and John Kerry, admitted: “Unmarried women represent one of the most reliable Democratic cohorts in the electorate . . . leading the charge for fundamental change in health care.”
It used to be that a husband was responsible for the financial support of his wife and children, but the feminists’ agenda calls for replacing husbands with Big Brother Government. The feminists call their movement “women’s liberation,” and Obamacare is one more way to help them achieve their goal.
Feminists keep tightening their control over the social policies of the Democratic Party, and Obamacare will be his third payoff to the feminists. The first bill Obama signed as President, the Lilly Ledbetter Act, enables women to sue employers years many years after any alleged workplace discrimination (when no one is still alive to defend against allegations), and the second payoff was getting Obama to give the majority of taxpayer-paid Stimulus jobs to women even though men have suffered the big majority of job losses.
When Barack Obama told Congress to hurry up and pass Obamacare (even though polls showed that a solid majority of the American people opposed it), Obama argued, “This is why I got into politics.” The issue will plague the Democrats through the 2010 and 2012 elections as Republicans repeat their new slogan, “Repeal and Replace.”
The American people have figured out that the issue is not health care; it’s freedom. It’s whether Obama will succeed in “fundamentally transforming” the American nation, the first leg of which is to put complete control over every individual’s health into the hands of government bureaucrats.
Opposition to this Obamanation is manifesting itself not only in Tea Parties, Town Hall Meetings, a tsunami of phone calls to the U.S. Capitol, and spontaneous demonstrations in unprecedented numbers. The revolt against Obamacare is also resonating in state capitols where states are discovering their rights under the Tenth Amendment.
Many states have passed a Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act to protect their right to make their own health care and health insurance choices and to prohibit any individual or employer from being penalized for not buying government-defined health insurance. Several states passed a law to allow their citizens to opt out of Obamacare. Twenty-one states are suing the federal government, asserting that the law is unconstitutional because it requires all Americans to purchase health insurance.
Obamacare is a major weapon to carry out Obama’s plan to transform America into a country of incredible debt, government control of industries, redistribution of taxpayers’ earnings and savings to non-taxpayers, and massive authority exercised by weirdo Czars. The American people are not going to accept Obama’s transformation of our nation.