Democrat Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, running against Scott Brown in Massachusetts for the seat that Brown famously explained did not belong to Ted Kennedy, used to be the Left’s viral video superstar. Here she is in her moment of glory, explaining that there is no such thing as “class warfare,” because the State owns everyone:
Warren’s core idea is that “nobody got rich on their own.” Everyone takes advantage of public resources, so the State has an unlimited moral claim upon all of the population’s wealth. If the wise and compassionate State decides it needs more money from the Evil Rich, to benefit the Deserving Poor and the Sainted Middle Class, it can appropriate as much as it sees fit. After all, the Evil Rich benefited more from those public resources, so it’s only “fair” that they pay more.
How much more? Why, as much as the socialists decide they should pay. There is no formula for computing this – note that Warren’s collectivist rhetoric is not much concerned with how much the Evil Rich actually used specific public resources to amass their riches. That would be enormously difficult to determine. How much is a prosperous retail magnate “using” the roads his customers drive upon, en route to his thriving stores?
What you arrive at, then, is an exercise not of justice, but power. Justice involves the firm application of carefully defined rules, a presumption of innocence, and the right to defend against accusations. Socialists love to chirp about “justice,” but their agenda features none of these things. No precise formula restrains Warren’s idea of “fair” tax rates. They will be determined through the exercise of power, as the ruling class takes as much as it thinks it can get away with, using the weight of the more numerous lower classes to overwhelm the electoral resistance of their revenue targets.
It takes a very complex system to exercise that kind of power, and because the ruling class claims moral superiority, all resistance to that system becomes – either implicitly or openly – “criminal.” That’s why the targets of the dopey “Buffett Rule” were painted as greedy villains, who have somehow “cheated” the proletariat by taking excessive advantage of entirely legal tax deductions, which those in lower income brackets are heartily encouraged to pursue. People who “game the system” are evil, even if they’re not actually doing anything unscrupulous!
Warren’s once-promising campaign is now a “train wreck,” to borrow the Washington Free Beacon’s term. Prominent Massachusetts Democrats are running away from the flaming wreckage. Scott Brown recently picked up endorsements from the former mayors of Boston and Worcester, along with the Worcester patrolman’s union, and is bidding fair to win the endorsement of the Massachusetts Police Association. Some of this comes from the expected convergence of forces around an incumbent who looks good in the polls, but it’s remarkable how quickly Warren’s star has dimmed.
Several controversies have contributed to a repellent air of hypocrisy around Warren, including revelations that she earns considerably more money than Brown, but won’t release her tax returns, and enjoyed a remarkable interest-free student loan from Harvard. The watershed moment may have come when it was discovered that she was treated as an American Indian diversity hire by Harvard, and promoted herself as such… even though it took days of frantic family-tree pruning to discover an Indian ancestor after Brown called her out.
Warren initially tried to defend herself by claiming that her Indian ancestry was a matter of “family lore” that did not require documentation. She also asserted that asking her to verify these claims was somehow an attack on women – as pure an expression of the totalitarian mindset as any you’ll find. Objective reality must give way to ideology, and all who question the pronouncements of the anointed are heretics!
Eventually, a Cherokee great-great-great-grandmother was discovered, and she was certified 3 percent Indian… which brings us back to the rock-hard socialism that made her a liberal phenomenon in the first place. What would she say about a businessman who scored tax deductions based upon an absurd claim of politically favored racial ancestry? How would she have responded to an initial defense of “How dare you question me!”
It calls to mind the way President Obama thunders about having “one set of rules for everyone,” even when he and his top contributors obviously live by a very different set of rules. In fact, Obama even thinks he can use political power to suspend the rules of supply and demand in their favor. Strangely, liberals tend to idolize places like Castro’s Cuba or Chavez’ Venezuela where this inequality is painfully clear… and I do mean “painfully,” as impoverished dissidents are abused in the basements of the great socialist leader’s billion-dollar palace, and “men of the people” die in golden beds after half a century of rule.
Socialists love to divide people into different classes. It’s the ruling class we should be worried about. They’ll always have plenty of reasons for why the rules they impose upon you should not apply to them. Their rage at those who seek to play the system for personal advantage will always be highly selective.
Update: I got the decimal places wrong in my initial calculation of the Cherokee percentage – it should be 3 percent, or 0.03, not 0.03 percent. I’ve corrected the reference.