Earth To Axelrod

Sitting here in a Denny’s on the outskirts of St. Louis, I can’t help but notice a delightful elderly couple a few tables over. She’s small framed, her white hair pulled back while she sits there demurely, her slender hands around a cup of coffee as she smiles softly at a person I assume is her husband. He’s wearing one of those beige lightweight jackets that has the word “Members” on the front. Peering through his silver metal framed glasses, he’s diligently applying just the right mixture of butter and syrup to his pancakes. They arrived about ten minutes ago in a white Lincoln Land-Yacht, which is parked just outside the front door.

I wonder how much money he has in his wallet? I’m sorry, is that an untoward thought? Does it strike a jarring chord? Stay with me here, because I’m not done. What are the odds that he has a hundred, or maybe two hundred bucks on him? Yes, let’s say he’s got that much on his person. Unless he’s armed, which I doubt, I’m pretty sure that I could quickly relieve him of the contents of that wallet. But since I choose not to rob this couple, can we conclude that I’ve just given them two hundred dollars? Then again, after considering my own bank account balance, I think I need the money more than they. In fact, I’m sure of it. What’s more, I don’t have two hundred bucks to give him, which is what I would be doing if I didn’t rob him, so I have no choice but to go after the wallet. Bad luck for you, Gramps.

If any of the preceding made sense to you, your position in the Obama administration awaits. David Axelrod will welcome you with an open wallet, though not his of course. On Meet The Press yesterday, the President’s senior advisor rationalized raising tax rates for those earning over $250,000 thus: “…we can’t afford to borrow another $700 billion to pay for tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.” So people keeping what they earn is akin to the government borrowing money? Earth to Axelrod: It’s not your money, dweeb.

Yes, I understand the economic stipulation that the government is supposed to plan expenditures based upon anticipated revenue, and that a decrease in revenue equals a shortfall in expenditures. I get it. But the planted axiom in Axelrod’s formulation is that your earnings do not belong to you, but rather to the government. Therefore, whatever portion of your earnings you get to keep is not the result of your toil and talent, but of government benevolence. This is the working assumption of the left, from the White House to the editorial page of the New York Times, from the ivory tower to Havana. Your property is really not yours. And when you successfully lay claim to it, it is the despot who feels that he has been cheated.

Why is it wrong for me to rob this gentle old couple of their property, yet entirely acceptable to some that such as Mr. Axelrod can stake a claim on the earnings of them and others? Does an official title erase the distinction between right and wrong, between charity and theft? In the last analysis, government is force, and theft in the name of compassion or utopia is still theft. If the Obama administration’s moral compass is so horribly askew as to make these truths incomprehensible, then the “change” they advertised was nothing more than a euphemism for the sort of thuggery the Founders warned against.

  1. Lady Kurobara

    How bad is the liberal attitude toward money?

    At the 3:30 mark, listen as Rep. Marie Donigan (a Democrat, of course) literally shrugs off any suggestion that public funds are limited. The woman honestly believes that money falls from the sky or grows on trees. It would be funny if it were not downright scary and infuriating.

    It is a shocking reminder that the most powerful country on Earth is being run by people who are profoundly stupid and abysmally ignorant, with a worldview totally detached from any known conception of Settled Reality – not just idiots, but insane idiots.

  2. Lady Kurobara
    Mark Woodworth: Is all taxation theft?

    In abstract theory, all taxation is legalized theft, absolutely. You must start from that premise in order to keep government small and limited.

    [W]hat are the necessary, minimal, functions of government [?]

    There are basically three:

    (1) National Defense — An army is expensive, non-productive and absolutely necessary. If you do not have national defense, you have nothing, because you cannot protect your citizens and their property. The Ancient Romans alleviated the cost-effectiveness problem somewhat by putting the army to work building roads and bridges during times of peace.

    (2) Disaster Relief — A natural disaster can easily overwhelm the resources of a regional government. In that case, the central government (with greater resources) may offer help. Note that I wrote “may offer.” It is important for regional governments to maintain as much autonomy as possible, without actually seceding from the national union.

    (3) Food Supply — Nothing stirs up popular revolt quicker than empty bellies, so a consistent food supply must be maintained. The central government may use public funds to buy surplus food and stockpile it as a hedge against regional or national famine in the future.

    Everything else is money-wasting meddling.

  3. Lady Kurobara

    As I mentioned on another thread, Republicans and conservatives have, up to now, done a very poor job educating the public. There is no excuse for this. Right-wing “propaganda” has a big advantage because it is based on common sense and well-established socio-economic principles that the average person has no trouble understanding.

    We must start by dispelling a widespread, deeply-entrenched misconception: that the Federal government is a money tree with unlimited funds. It must be made clear that the government has no money. Every penny it takes in, and (more to the point) every penny it spends comes out of a taxpayer’s pocket. Not only that, but every entity that the government “runs” (like the Post Office) is a money-loser.

    Once we establish that, we can advance the argument by telling people bluntly that: “Whenever the government offers you some sort of entitlement goody, you are being bribed with your own money.”

    Then we can begin encouraging them to wean themselves off the government teat by explaining that almost everything (espcially schools and charities) works best when conducted at the local level.

    If we can get those three points across, everything else is easy.

  4. Layla

    Dave, I’ve been trying to communicate this idea to a friend of mine for so long–and failing miserably. Now I can just forward your post to her. Beautiful!

  5. FeliciaB

    I love Dr. Walter E. Williams’ quote: “To take money out of my own pocket to give to the less fortunate is called charity. Taking money out of someone else’s pocket to give to the less fortunate is called stealing.

    Beautiful illustration, Dave!

  6. Diane Ellis

    Bravo, Dave! This is a point that conservatives really must belabor until it becomes second nature to the American people. I suspect it already is, but somehow dimwits like David Axelrod are still able to get away with spouting such claptrap.

  7. Peter Robinson

    Political philosophy and gorgeous prose…at Denny’s. Dave–only Dave.

  8. Del Mar Dave

    “…then the “change” they advertised was nothing more than a euphemism for the sort of thuggery the Founders warned against.”

    Dave, you are spot on. And you wouldn’t believe the numbers of residents of the People’s Republic of Del Mar (California) who, themselves, have made it and want to pull up the drawbridges and prevent others from following in their footsteps. Instead, many of them openly and without apology wish to redistribute the income and wealth of other people at the point of the State’s gun.

    It bears repeating to observe that most California voters either a) fail to realize we are in a hole or b) do not know the First Rule of Holes.

  9. Dave Carter

    Peter, I came close to going on a first-rate rant on this topic, …but the Cowboy Chopped Steak is so delicious!

  10. flownover

    If you can’t ken that metaphor… well we have a DOJ drink special tonight with four eggs,bacon,sausage, pancakes, and a big Denny’s apology of $ 54,000,000.00 to a class action civil suit for “slow service ” to black students . When I was in college I don’t remember any slow service in a similar , but poorly named, chain called “Sambos”. Memory hole on that one ! How about things that PC just completely zapped ? Easy one – Gay Nineties !*!

  11. herb briggs

    “We have no permanent deficit anymore, the natural condition is a surplus, okay — so the question is, what do we do with it? We could give it all back to you and hope you spend it right. But I think — here’s the problem. If you don’t spend it right, here’s what’s going to happen.” – Impeached President Bill Clinton

    The raw arrogance of these people is staggering, isn’t it? In their heart of hearts, they actually do believe it’s their money. Any attempt to apply logic to their mindset will fail, because their mindset is simply an unexamined assumption filled with greed: a Twinkie from hell.

  12. Pilgrim

    So, how do we get you out of that big rig and into Congress?

  13. Dave Carter

    Pilgrim, you’re very kind, but I’ve had about all the government work I can stand from a career in the military. But I am happy and willing to engage and make the case for liberty on this and any other forum that will have me. Then again, it would be the most entertaining 10 minutes in congressional history.

  14. Aaron Miller

    Well said, Dave. Republicans should be in the habit of saying “taxpayer’s money” whenever talking about government revenues or expenditures in interviews. The Left is committed to propoganda on many fronts. We must actively counter it every chance we get.

    Just as importantly, I’d like to hear a Republican politican come right out and say we don’t need any more programs or agencies — we’ll work with what we’ve got.

  15. The Mugwump
    Aaron Miller:

    Just as importantly, I’d like to hear a Republican politician come right out and say we don’t need any more programs or agencies — we’ll work with what we’ve got. · Nov 15 at 6:19pm

    I’d like to hear a Republican politician come out and say we can eradicate a few government agencies completely, and do with less. Less We Can!

  16. George Savage

    I’ll one-up Pilgrim: Dave Carter for Treasury Secretary. Brilliant illustration of applied common sense. Thanks.

  17. Dave Carter

    Aaron, good point on the left’s use of propaganda, Lackoff’s protestations notwithstanding. It’s time we frame the debate, e.g., by pointing out that it wasn’t Mr. Axelrod’s money to start with. I’ll have more to say about this soon, but I like your point, Aaron.

  18. Phil

    Dave, bravo.

    A description I recall from Thomas Sowell is that taxation is essentially armed theft. Only a government has that power. I’ll have to pull “A Conflict of Visions” off the shelf to check that reference.

    I have a vivid memory from grad school days of first encountering an “unconstrained” view of government and its power. One’s world view clearly matters. It is vital to elect conservatives. From dog catcher to POTUS. We need conservatives in government helping to lighten the chokehold on us all.

  19. raycon and lindacon

    Thanks Dave… we all need to be in constant touch with reality. And keep in mind the simple definition of government… “the guys with the most guns”. We each surrender a piece of ourselves to the collective to achieve security. But those to whom we surrender ourselves each accumulate those pieces of each of us, and when their pile overwhelms each of us as individuals, we now have an enemy we cannot overcome. Are we there yet? Are we there yet? are..we..there……..??

  20. Carsten Stroud

    I’ve been grinding my teeth and throwing things against the wall – often things I love, such as my sanity – every time I’ve had to listen in impotent rage – my least favorite kind of rage – while Obama says “we can’t afford to give the rich another 700 billion” … dear darling lad, it’s NOT YOUR MONEY.

    It’s theirs.

    They figured out how to earn it – and in the doing they made money for other people along the way – and now you say, we can’t afford to let them keep it? Dave is right. This is the kind of thuggery he stood the long silent watch on the Rhein to keep at bay. Thanks for making me feel slightly less crazy, Dave.

    Carsten Stroud

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