Economics, Political Philosophy

Hillary’s Moment Of Truth

Hillary Clinton just admitted that she thinks that you only deserve what you earn at her behest. It’s a statement that unintentionally displays the absolute arrogance of the Democratic Party:

Headlining an appearance with other Democratic women senators on behalf of Sen. Barbara Boxer, who is up for re-election this year, Hillary Clinton told several hundred supporters – some of whom had ponied up as much as $10,000 to attend – to expect to lose some of the tax cuts passed by President Bush if Democrats win the White House and control of Congress.

"Many of you are well enough off that … the tax cuts may have helped you," Sen. Clinton said. "We’re saying that for America to get back on track, we’re probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good." (Emphasis mine)

This is exactly what is philosophically wrong with liberalism. It is based on the assumption that what you earn through your labor is not your own — everything you own belongs to the state, and the state can exercise the right to take as they wish. Hillary tells us it’s "for the common good" — which is all fine and good until you realize that the definition of "the common good" is whatever Hillary Clinton says it is. Usually "the common good" ends up being padding the pockets some obscure functionary in a nondescript government office.

More broadly, Hillary just admitted that she’s in favor of neofeudalism. The justification for feudalism is that you accept the right of your lord to take what he wants when he wants in exchange for that lord protecting you. That’s essentially what liberalism is – neofuedalism. Instead of having a feudal lord, you have the state. The state offers you "protection" and in exchange you not only swear fealty to the state, but you give the state the right to take whatever they want from you whenever they want. You surrender your right to property in exchange for some security.

Which works nice so long as the lord is willing to play by the rules. But as they say, power corrupts, especially when that power comes with little to no responsibility. So, when the lord of the land realizes that he has the right to score with all the hot farmer’s daughters, or a Congressman realizes he can bury a $10 million dollar porkbarrel project to build a Center for the Study of Global Warming Caused by Michael Moore’s Flatulence After Eating Too Much Taco Bell (CSGWCMMFAETMTB) and no one will make a stink (other than Michael Moore), all that goes out the window. If the security of your life or property depends on the kindness of strangers, you’re not free. And if you think that the government is any less capricious and vindictive than a feudal lord try not paying your taxes on time or sitting in line at the DMV. Hillary wants to argue that the government knows best what’s good for you, and "the common good" outweighs any rights you have.

Except that notion should have died with the Magna Carta, the Enlightenment, and the pot wearing off sometime in the 70s. Instead, it lives on in the form of state socialism and Hillary’s state paternalism. The whole point of liberalism (and I mean the real liberalism – the political philosophy of Locke, Rousseau, and Montesquieu) is that the state does not have the right to infringe on basic individual rights – and as Locke pointed out, one of those basic rights is the right to property. When I do some work, I add value to something, and I make it my own. If I take a tree that is on the land that I have title to and make a chair, I own that chair. Someone else can’t take that from me in a liberal society. I created it, I own it, and no one can deny that right. Unless I use that chair to beat some sense into Senator Clinton, it’s none of the state’s damn business what I do with it.

Under Hillary’s point of view, that all goes out the window. Her conception is that the state can contradict the doctrine of individual property rights in the name of the nebulous concept of "the common good". That isn’t to say that the state doesn’t have the right to levy taxes – it certainly does – what that does say is that what you keep after taxes isn’t kept because the government grants it to you – it’s because you’ve earned it. Your money is your own, not the government’s. The government does not have the right to take what it wants when it wants. This country was founded on the concept that no government has the right to do things like this. Quite frankly, it’s time for another Boston Tea Party. I suggest throwing the Democratic National Convention in Boston Harbor this July – let them float off to France where they can’t do any more damage.

Essentially, Hillary is arguing that we don’t actually have the right to what we earn, that we should be greatful that people like her let us keep what we do, and that she has the right to take whatever she wants when she wants in the name of whatever she defines as being "the public good". So, if Queen Hillary decides "the common good" involves giving away mink stoles to inner-city mothers on crack, we all have to foot the bill.

The last time this country had a system that made those assumptions it was called slavery.

20 thoughts on “Hillary’s Moment Of Truth

  1. It is based on the assumption that what you earn through your labor is not your own

    Well, when it’s public resources and aid that allowed your labor to be fruitful, some of it isn’t your own.

    If I eat a cheeseburger at McDonalds, some of my money becomes theirs. If I talk on my cell phone some of my money becomes rightfully Sprint’s.

    If I take a tree that is on the land that I have title to and make a chair, I own that chair.

    But if you drive the chair to town on public roads to sell it in a public square, with the aid of public resources to make sure you have gas, and a public police officer was on hand to make sure you were safe and protected, you owe the public.

    Pay your fair share. Pay for what you use. It’s not slavery, it’s what everyone apparently learned in Kindergarten except for Jay.

  2. Hillary is good comrade in the people’s revolution…she deserves the Award of the Red Star…Comrade Lenin would be proud of her!

  3. …and of course the assumption is that the Clintons and the Dems know better how to spend our money than we do…because they are so morally superior…

  4. We need to keep in mind that Hillary is giving us a preview of any Kerry administration…that alone should motivate us to the ballot box to vote for Bush…

  5. Did you read the marvelous piece by Lileks a couple of days ago concerning the visit he had from the democratic party canvasser? Read it. This mind set seems to be endemic among Demo’s..

  6. Are you (both Jay and Another’s thought) by any chance accusing Hilary clinton of being a communist?? If the answer is yes, then the problem of lack of democratic debate in the US is bigger than I thought.

    What’s your problem, you don’t like to share? How can your analysis of what she said be so blunt?(“This is exactly what is philosophically wrong with liberalism. It is based on the assumption that what you earn through your labor is not your own — everything you own belongs to the state, and the state can exercise the right to take as they wish”).

    I don’t see a single line of Hilary approching this idea. Part of what you earn when you are rich is due to the work of less favored people. Giving back PART of it is only fair. Anyway if you don’t do it, the increasing concentration of the capital in an always-smaller group of person will lead to mass poverty, and eventuelly revolution. Is it what you want? Or maybe your short-term views don’t allow you to imagine things that do not affect you directly.

  7. This really is a shocking statement coming from such a major political name in America…

    Is there any doubt that the Democratic party needs major reform or else deserves to die and be replaced by another?

  8. Vincent writes “Part of what you earn when you are rich is due to the work of less favored people.”

    Reply: I think the rich pay back those who work under them with wages and benefits….also, notice how Vincent uses the term “less favored people” to represent those who are not rich or as rich (rich being kind of a vague and relative term…I notice Vincent is not always precise with his language)…this term of “less favored people” is indicative of the liberal philosophy that people are victims if everything is not perfect in their life…no openness to the idea that perhaps some people are not as wealthy as others due to the fact that they have not worked as hard, have not been as wise in their decisions, have not gotten as much education…etc. Also, there is no consideration of the fact that those “less favored people” can work their way up to being “rich” as long as there are not obstacles such as high taxes standing in their way…

  9. Pay your fair share. Pay for what you use.

    I just gave the government close to $300 in taxes, and I’m in the lowest tax bracket. That means that out of my budget, government is second only to housing as a percentage of my expenses. (Not including student loan payments on my consolidation of federal student loans.) In essence, I’m paying a sizeable percentage of my money for services I don’t use. I pay more in taxes than I do for food.

    And that doesn’t include the sales taxes I pay for local government, the property tax my landlord pays (and passes the costs on to me) that funds local schools, the gas taxes I pay to fund road development, energy taxes, taxes on my cable service, etc…

    I will never see a cent of my Social Security money. By the time I retire the system will be bankrupt. I’m subsidizing the retirements of others, including people like Bill Gates who don’t need the money.

    Exactly how is that fair? I have no problem with paying taxes on services I use – which is why I support user fees. But I’m also paying for waste, corruption, inefficiency, and programs that I’m morally opposed to. The government has no damn business telling me I should be grateful that they don’t take more from my check. The arrogance of that attitude is startling – if a private company treated me in the way the government does, I’d cancel their service immediately.

  10. “Which works nice so long as the lord is willing to play by the rules.”

    Or as long as you are the lord… 🙂

    Quit trying to beat em’, Jay, and just join them. I gave up on anarchy years ago…

  11. In essence, I’m paying a sizeable percentage of my money for services I don’t use. I pay more in taxes than I do for food.

    I find this an entertaining comment, and really does underlie the short-sighted view of many on the right. The assumption that money they spend just goes ‘poof!’ and no one benefits. Lets take a look.

    Taking Jay’s $300, according to this pie chart which gybes with my memory of how the federal budget is split up, about half of that money goes right into the military. That’s the same military, btw, that most of the right is all gung ho for. Must be okay to spend that. Sounds good! That leaves $150.

    Another 30% goes for things like schools, food/nutrition programs, general programs in the US that help folks who can’t help themselves. I understand this is the segment that most of the right has the hardest time with. It’s not a very big part of the total budget, is it? And some of those programs are mighty good. But I digress.

    That leaves Jay with about $65. About half of that goes to run the government, that includes paying GW’s and everyone elses salary in Congress.

    Down to $32 or so. That goes for the Interior department, homeland security, and other things like that. (this is the highways, sewage system, etc that you depend on every day).

    So in essence, you’re right. You don’t use a lot of these things every day. Which would you like to get rid of? The biggest is the military. In fact, the biggest part of the military is paying for all the old wars, and GW is just racking up more and more debt with this one.

  12. Errr, my math up there was a bit off, I blame the late night, apologies on some of the numbers, but ya’ll get the drift 🙂

  13. I think the rich pay back those who work under them with wages and benefits…

    They don’t, though. CEO salaries have increased 300% while the wages of their employees have only gone up 10% in the same period.

    Also, there is no consideration of the fact that those “less favored people” can work their way up to being “rich” as long as there are not obstacles such as high taxes standing in their way…

    That’s a myth, too. There’s less upward mobility in the American economy than ever before. Scratch your average really successful, rich person and you’ll see someone who enjoyed the considerable advantages of wealth early in life – better schools, better colleges, less debt entering the workforce.

  14. In essence, I’m paying a sizeable percentage of my money for services I don’t use.

    Oh? You don’t drive on the roads? The police don’t investigate crimes against your person or property? The National Guard protects the entire nation except for your house? If there’s a fire, the fire department will respond to any call but yours?

    You don’t watch TV or listen to the radio? There’s nothing preventing corporations from dumping sewage in only your drinking water? You pay three times what everybody else does at the supermarket, because the producer subsidies apply to everyone but you?

    You recieved no student loans in college? In fact, you have no loans of any kind? Your relatives have never bought treasury bills on your behalf? The stock market is regulated to protect everyone’s investments but yours?

    I could go on and on, Jay, but fuck. To say that you pay for services you don’t use is the height of stupidity.

  15. The cost of local services are paid for by my local taxes. I have no problem with those… if I don’t like the service, I can call my City Commissioner or the Mayor.

    I don’t object paying for defense – in fact, I’ve given extra to the Marine Corps to help build TV stations in al-Anbar Province and to provide shoes for Afghan kids.

    I don’t object paying for certain regulations – although we all pay for those costs through higher prices on goods and services. Regulatory costs are part of the price of every good we buy – another form of hidden taxation. When I bought my TV, I paid for the cost of regulation. When I trade stocks, I pay for the cost of the SEC fees involved as part of my trading fee. (And if I cash out on those stocks, I’d get hit with a massive dose of taxation…)

    However, the utility of me paying inordinate amounts of money for Social Security and Medicare is about the same as if I’d taken that money, converted it to one-dollar bills, and burned it on the kitchen table. That money is gone – I’ll never see it again. Unless there is significant reform with Social Security there won’t be a Social Security system when I retire. Ditto Medicare.

    Being forced at gunpoint to pay for things and having no say in where they go and having a body that arrogant tells me I should be grateful they don’t take it all isn’t even remotely consistant with the principles this country was founded upon. Taxes are an imposition by the state, not the right of the state.

  16. Caring for other human beings is definitely something useless…great concept of civilisation!! And you call yourself a patriot?? Maybe it would be better to love your fellow citizens instead of just the flag that supposedly represent them.

  17. The cost of local services are paid for by my local taxes.

    Not entirely. Hence Minnesota’s budget shortfall due to reduced federal money.

    Being forced at gunpoint to pay for things and having no say in where they go

    Well, you know, you could vote. I’ve got a lot more say over the US budget than I have over what my landlord does with my increasingly larger rent checks. (Funny that my rent goes up but my apartment doesn’t seem to get any nicer.)

    Taxes are an imposition by the state, not the right of the state.

    Hrm, says you, but the US Constitution begs to differ:

    Section. 8.
    Clause 1: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes

    (I find it interesting that in Clause 11 Congress is granted the power to bestow Letters of Marque. What do you have to do to get one? That’s my new career plan – privateer of the high seas.)

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