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Mr. Jones made clear as much when he stated that the views of the socialist Working Families Party, embodies the very “framework” and disposition of the Obama White House.
And like Obama, who desires a profound “transformation” of American society, Van Jones similarly characterizes his eco-agenda as a movement envisioned to be “much deeper than a solar panel.” But is the movement resonating beyond the committed faithful?
Currently, the public is deeply concerned about debt, deficit and jobs. As such, fewer Americans are susceptible to—or convinced by—the rhetoric of “eco-apartheid” forwarded by Jones and his ilk. This presents a challenge for the radical, but ever adaptable, they press their message…with the needed cosmetic alterations.
At the Rebuild the Dream conference, Van Jones sought to arm like-minded attendees with “evidence” of America’s fiscal health. He argued, like Michael Moore, that “America is not broke,” and that it was a “lie” to suggest as much. The evidence to support his claim was, of course, weak, devoid of reason, and focused upon the left’s usual suspects.
To Van Jones, corporate compensation, an “unfair” corporate tax structure, the Bush tax cuts—that Obama extended mind you—and the cost of two war campaigns are central causes of our economic woes. This assessment is patently false. It willfully ignores the real drivers of our debt and deficit. That being perilous levels of government spending and borrowing. America already has a record federal debt of 14.3 trillion and rising, up 35% since Obama took office.
We are spending away the future, a burden for those not born—a fiscal nightmare.
Yes, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have proven costly, in both blood and treasure. But the financial burden borne pales in comparison to our government’s spending on an ever-growing entitlement state. Currently, nearly 60% of the U.S. Federal budget is consumed by Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Worse, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), federal spending on entitlements, including ObamaCare, will more than double by 2050, eating “all tax revenues by 2049.”
It is against this backdrop that Van Jones would have us believe that soaking the rich would alleviate the “suffering” of the poor. This is mere rhetoric. The fact is there are not enough wealthy Americans in the U.S. to cover the cost of the spending spree that is the federal budget.
Remember, Congress will spend 3.7 trillion this year. And even if the government took all the income from those making 250,000 dollars this year—the liberal definition of “rich,” it would take in only 1.4 trillion. As Bill Whittle, writer and host of Firewall underscores, using this approach would fund the government for only 141 days of the year.
While thoughts of nationalizing the assets of “the rich” surely enter the chimerical dreams of America’s radicals and leftists alike, Whittle’s exercise illustrates the folly of their thinking.
Van Jones’ Marxist crusade is ill-conceived. Confiscatory tax policies will not expand the tax base, nor increase job opportunities for the millions eager to work. Instead, it would further discourage investment amongst those who have the capacity, the resources, and the desire to create jobs. Certainly, it is true that none of this matters to Van Jones or progressives.
To them, it is not about economic growth. Instead, it’s about “fairness,” even if that means less prosperity for all.
Brendon S. Peck holds a Master of Arts in History and Political science from the College of Saint Rose and has completed graduate work at Columbia University. He is a freelance writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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