With Dignity, Trump Crosses the Delaware

The tax-cut bill is the beginning of the end of the Cult of Victimization. With its passage, the Republican majority in Congress, however tenuous, has scored its first (and only) major legislative victory, handing president Trump and the American people an early Christmas present. That it was passed without a single opposition-party vote in either house should tell you all you need to know about the socialist ethos that has seized control of the criminal organization masquerading as a political party known as the Democrats.

As it happens, this gift—to all Americans, not just the “rich” and “corporations,” as the socialists would have you believe—nearly coincides with Washington’s famous surprise attack on the sleeping Hessian mercenaries in 1776. While the Democrats were not caught off-guard to quite the same extent as the frozen German soldiers, they were just as thoroughly routed, as you can tell from the bitter denunciations coming from such veteran party apparatchiks as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), along with their party mouthpieces, such as the New York Times.

Quoth Schumer: “There are only two places where America is popping champagne—the White House and the corporate board rooms, including Trump Tower.”

If not quite as sweeping and simplifying as Reagan’s tax cuts in 1981 or the reforms of 1986, the bill rectifies some of our tax code’s worst distortions, with remedies such as reducing the corporate tax rate to more internationally competitive levels and eliminating Obamacare’s individual “mandate,” which financed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (passed with zero Republican votes) at IRS gunpoint.

That these two selling points were immediately decried as “tax cuts for the wealthy” and “destroying poor people’s health care” tells you all you need to know about the poverty of the Democrats’ ideological pro forma response. But then to these people, everything is the End of the World As We Know It, including rolling back Obama’s “net neutrality,” restoring state lands in Utah, and letting you keep some more of your own money. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut’s reaction was typical:

To which may I add: blah, blah, blah. We’ve been hearing the same Marxist boilerplate from the same yaps on the left side of the aisle for decades, ever since the young Marxists behind George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign (who included Bill Clinton) started flexing their political muscles. The federal government has no more right to a share of your income than I do; a government financed largely by tariffs and excise taxes, as we had before the “progressive” passage of the 16th Amendment in 1913 is far to be preferred to one that confiscates income at its source.

Failing that, real tax reform must still await the passage of a flat tax, under which everybody who earns a single dime pays at least a penny, just to have skin in the game.

And this is the key to why today’s Democrats fight tax reform so fiercely. It is not simply a question of their fondness for Marxist economic “principles,” or even a feature of the blue state model (as James Piereson noted on Wednesday) but also a means to continuing their political power through the moral diminishment of the individual.

What is more morally debilitating than to be dependent upon others for one’s food, shelter, and clothing? Having failed so signally in the economic arena, satanic Marxism took another form, especially after the collapse of the Left’s beloved Soviet Union. If the goal of classical Marxism was economic slavery disguised as the “dictatorship of the proletariat”—the Marxist passion for “dictatorship” is always unrestrained—then the object of cultural Marxism was social slavery disguised as victimization.

As I noted yesterday on Twitter:

It’s long been a puzzlement on the Right why the appeal of tax cuts has faded over the past 30 years. The reason is simple: most of the federal income taxes (as distinguished, for bookkeeping purposes, from the FICA taxes for Social Security and Medicare, although they’re in fact the same thing) are paid by “the rich.” Indeed, via something deliciously called the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITA), those who pay essentially no income taxes nevertheless get a “refund” of other people’s money. That the EITA, like Medicaid—which the Democrats have been calling “health care” and “insurance” since its expansion under Obamacare—is a welfare program is something the Democrats would prefer the taxpayers not know.

The expansion of the Welfare State has exactly coincided with the expansion of the Cult of Victimization, ascribing a positive moral good to something that is at best neutral and in some instances shameful. The cultural-Marxist imposition of “political correctness” and the Left’s ongoing attempts to police the language have taken such useful terms as “bums,” “hobos,” “derelicts,” “wastrels,” “layabouts” and “mooches” temporarily out of circulation—but watch them make a comeback as, in the currently expanding economy (4 percent growth is in sight) more and more people will begin to experience something long taught as a moral good in Christian theology: the dignity of work.

Try to take that away from them again, along with their earned income, and see what happens.

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About Michael Walsh

Michael Walsh is a journalist, author, and screenwriter. He was for 16 years the music critic and foreign correspondent for Time Magazine, for which he covered the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union. His works include the novels As Time Goes By, And All the Saints (winner, 2004 American Book Award for fiction), and the bestselling “Devlin” series of NSA thrillers; as well as the recent nonfiction bestseller, The Devil’s Pleasure Palace. A sequel, The Fiery Angel, was published by Encounter in May 2018. Follow him on Twitter at @dkahanerules (Photo credit: Peter Duke Photo)