By Rich Trzupek
It’s nice to hear a Democrat congressman speak to the truth, even unwittingly. Talking about the healthcare bill last week, Montana Senator Max Baucus got straight to the point: “Too often, much of late, the last couple three years the mal-distribution of income in America is gone up way too much, the wealthy are getting way, way too wealthy, and the middle income class is left behind. Wages have not kept up with increased income of the highest income in America. This legislation will have the effect of addressing that mal-distribution of income in America.”
Time to redistribute the wealth, in other words. “Mal-distribution,” if it’s a word, is an interesting choice of words. “Mal” has Latin roots. It means “evil.” Assuming that Baucus actually understood what he was saying – and that’s admittedly a stretch when it comes to Democrats – Baucus believes that the accumulation of money and other assets, the capitalist system in other words, is inherently evil and needs to be reformed. Wouldn’t it have been nice if Baucus had made this position clear before he cast a vote in favor of Obmacare?
When conservatives described the health care bill in terms identical to those Baucus used, they were vilified in the mainstream media. How dare anyone accuse the president and his party of socialism! The bill would make the health care system better, not redistribute wealth through government fiat. The truth, which should have been blindingly obvious to anyone this side of Nancy Pelosi, was that conservatives were spot on. The American people knew it and, it would seem, so did an empty Democratic suit like Max Baucus.
It’s worth noting that Baucus doesn’t have much to personally worry about when it comes to this whole wealth redistribution thing. He was born into money and, thanks to his position as a member of Congress, he is shielded from the worst effects of the expensive health care tsunami to come. When you plot to rob from the rich and give to the poor, it’s much more convenient when other peoples’ monies are involved.
There’s more to come of course. There always is. A “Value Added Tax” (VAT) is likely in our future, because it’s obvious to everyone that the country can not continue to run up debt at this rate without causing a complete economic meltdown. Spending cuts would be nice, but that’s not going to happen under this administration. A corporate tax increase perhaps? Already done. (That was one of the hidden gems in the healthcare bill). The VAT sounds reasonable, because it’s distributed over, well, everything. The VAT is sort of a national sales tax, but it’s really much more. Government will assess the VAT on every transaction, not just – as is the case with a sales tax – on the finished product. Government will be there with its hand out every step of the way in manufacturing process, taxing every good, every service – darn near everything.
The net effect is to make the goods that Americans buy and the services Americans use that much more expensive, but since those costs are loaded on behind the curtains, the politicos figure that few will notice for very long. When fighting for the VAT, Democrats will undoubtedly bring up the fact that some conservatives have supported that means of taxation in the past. True enough, as far as that statement goes. The rest of the story is this: conservatives have championed the VAT as an alternative to the income tax, not as another tax piled on top of the income tax.
When will this come down? After the elections in November of course. Democrats are hurting politically right now and they’re not suicidal enough to pass a tax increase before the elections take place. Expect that the White House’s “National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform” will make that recommendation, thus giving the Obama administration cover. If there is one thing this president is very good at, it’s hiding behind committees that always seem to recommend exactly the kind of action that he wanted to take anyway. And when will the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform issue its report? In December, silly. That’s one month after the election and, sadly, that’s also business as usual in our nation’s capital.