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America's coming civil war -- makers vs. takers

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“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”  

Abe Lincoln used those words in 1858 to describe a country that was careening toward civil war. Now we’re a house divided again and another civil war is coming, with the 2012 election as its Gettysburg.  

Call it America’s coming civil war between the Makers and the Takers. 

On one side are those who create wealth, America’s private sector–the very ones targeted by President Obama’s tax hikes announced Monday.

On the other are the public employee unions; left-leaning intelligentsia who see the growth of government as index of progress; and the millions of Americans now dependent on government through a growing network of government transfer payments,  from Medicaid and Social Security to college loans and corporate bailouts and handouts (think GM and Solyndra).

Over the past century America’s private sector has been the source of productivity, innovation, creativity, and growth–and gave us the iPhone and iPad. The public sector has been the engine of entitlement, stagnation, and decline -- and gave us Detroit and the South Bronx.   

The private sector built the strongest economy in the world.  It armed the free world in World War Two, and then in the three decades after the war turned America into the most prosperous society history had ever seen.  It revived America in the  Reagan and Clinton years, and thanks to the Bush tax cuts brought this country back from economic collapse after 9/11.

In those same years a growing public sector, by contrast, turned Europe into a cesspool of debt, stalled economies, and chronic social dysfunction that’s set the streets of Athens -- and perhaps other European capitals--on fire.  

That’s where we’re headed, too, more rapidly than we like to think.  

That public sector–state, local, and federal -- now consumes 40% of GDP, compared to 33% just twelve years ago. It’s brought us to the point where 48% of Americans are now on some form of government handout, from 44% when Obama took office–almost a fifth more than during the Reagan years. And too many of them have been programmed to believe they have no future unless the government takes more from the Makers -- precisely what Obama promised on Monday.

So we know which side Obama and the Democratic party are on. Like John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry,  ObamaCare has been a wakeup call to what’s at stake–just as the turbulent events in Wisconsin showed how far Democrats are willing to go to win.  

We’re not Greece yet -- or on the brink of Bull Run. But it’s time for Romney and Republicans to make clear which side they’re on -- and to make it clear there can’t be government transfer payments, from Medicaid to Social Security, without a strong vibrant private sector to pay for them.

They don’t have to stoop to the Democrats’ tactics.  They just have to give our free market, private sector economy the robust defense it deserves.  

A country where more Americans go on Social Security disability than get jobs -- as happened last month--can’t stand. 

Lincoln hoped in 1861 that the “angels of our better nature” would pull us back from catastrophe. He was wrong. Let’s hope in 2012 those angels still hover -- and can make a house divided whole once more.

Historian is the author of the just released "Freedom's Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II" (Random House May 2012) and the Pulitzer Prize finalist book "Gandhi and Churchill: The Epic Rivalry That Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age" (Bantam, 2008). 

by on Jul. 13, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Replies (21-30):
29again
by Gold Member on Jul. 14, 2012 at 1:17 AM

Well, this is a new one I haven't heard before.  Florida, really?  When was that?

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

He grew up in Hawaii.... That's America.

He only lived abroad with his mom and step dad for 4 years and then moved back to Florida...

So that argument makes no sense to me.

Also he never practiced Islam. ( he was never Muslim)... His mother was Baptist as we're his grandparents that he lived with.

So another argument based on falsehoods.

So yeah.... I don't get it. And it shocks me that people just believe these crazy rumors.


Quoting 29again:


What is so difficult to believe......  he did not grow up in America, many people are not convinced he is actually a citizen, and he was a muslim at one time.  He has said that he thinks the "rich" who make more than $250 K a year should pay a lot more in taxes, in fact many in this forum have said the same thing!  You might not agree, but it not that hard to believe that people do feel this way.

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

Wow.



I can't believe there are people that truly think like you....




Quoting gsprofval:

And odumba wants us to believe the rich are the problem and we should have some of their wealth, but you sure don't see odumba giving away any of his wealth.



I do believe he is a muslim terrorist who is trying to bring down the U.S. Ya, it's a conspiracy theory, but one that may come true.  He is NOT an American citizen from what I can see. No, I'm not crazy and I'm not alone in believing this.



_Kissy_
by on Jul. 14, 2012 at 1:19 AM
Yes, slave labor for minimum pay to barely get by, asking for a lil relief, but nooooo some greedy asshole may have to open his own door.
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littleacorn
by on Jul. 14, 2012 at 1:19 AM
3 moms liked this
Huh. Before opening the post, I assumed the "makers" would be the working class people that manufacture products, provide services, or somehow otherwise CREATE something and the "takers" were people that just hoarded wealth and don't give a rat's patootie about their fellow humans. Guess I have a different view on things than the author of this piece, but I agree a revolution is coming soon. History shows that "bread and circuses" only distract the populus so long!
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29again
by Gold Member on Jul. 14, 2012 at 1:22 AM
2 moms liked this

It shouldn't.  I would think that he would have one or two issues that he is extremely passionate about.  And as for religion, it makes no difference what he practices, I just think he should be honest about it.  And going to church for 20 years, and then suddenly not, well, that says something to me. 

Quoting mehamil1:

He's a politician. That comes with the territory. 

Quoting 29again:

I don't care either.  I don't really much care who he believes in.  My issue is the lukewarmness about what he is. 

Quoting mehamil1:

And if he did practice Islam, so what? I don't give a shit. 



Fields456
by Bronze Member on Jul. 14, 2012 at 1:24 AM
I'm right there with ya thanks for
Saving my thumbs from havig to type that out lol

Quoting 29again:

Yes, this election is the most important one in our lifetime!  I don't have a thrill up my leg about Romney, but he does understand how important the private sector is, and I believe he knows how to get it going.  And that is what we need, a strong private sector!  I believe that things are going to get a whole lot worse, and not too long from now.



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LBAY
by Bronze Member on Jul. 14, 2012 at 1:25 AM
4 moms liked this
The point is to put into to the pot, to benefit everyone. I pay taxes, so do other people, and combined we have enough to have programs that benefit all of us, like social security, public schools, medicare when you are old, the military and police to keep us safe, the post office, the fire dept, etc,etc.

The issue is being framed that people who contribute nothing are getting the benefit from my money. That is not true . My tax dollars, along with everyone elses, goes into the common pot-- I am contributing and I am also receiving. That is a good thing.

Furthermore, these people who make so much money that they can't spend it in 10 life times, but don't want a 3% increase on taxes...they are making record profits, with the lowest taxes in history. If the argument is that they are job creators, where are the jobs? Given the circumstances, there should be more jobs right now, not less. It's that simple.

I want the economy to improve just like everyone else. If there was any merit to this idea of trickle down economics, I would be all for it. But this is a policy that has failed repeatedly, and all that grows is the gap between rich and poor.

All this emphasis on Low taxes for businesses to improve the economy. The reality is that no matter how low the taxes are, a business won't thrive without customers. And right now customers are not buying because they are struggling to make ends meet. "Trickle up" economics is what we need...it works! for example, when I have more money, I can go buy a car, that means I am also buying car insurance, and gas, and paying to get it cleaned, and the oil changed, and paying tolls which contribute to construction jobs to keep the roads in good condition, etc. when rich people have more money they tend to save it, rather than pump it back into the economy. that is why when middle class people have more money to spend it improves the economy over all, and benefits everyone including the rich guy who owns the car dealership to the blue collar guy who works at the garage. If it takes pumping some money into the economy in the form of tax increases from those who have more than they could ever use, its a good thing for everyone, including the rich guy.

The problem right now is that the middle class is struggling and shrinking. fewer jobs, means more strain on govnt programs, with less contribution, while less money is pumped into the market place. If you want, the economy to improve, focus on the middle class, not the rich. The answer is not cutting govnt programs, because that leads to even more shrinkage in market place spending as people have even less. If you have no money, you can't spend it at a business, which affects the economy on a much larger scale. It's a cycle .

We are individuals, but as a society, we do effect each other, which is why this idea of rugged individualism is bad for our economy. if each person only affected themselves, and we weren't inter dependant, then there would be no such thing as a recession.
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29again
by Gold Member on Jul. 14, 2012 at 1:41 AM
2 moms liked this


Quoting LBAY:

The point is to put into to the pot, to benefit everyone. I pay taxes, so do other people, and combined we have enough to have programs that benefit all of us, like social security, public schools, medicare when you are old, the military and police to keep us safe, the post office, the fire dept, etc,etc.

The issue is being framed that people who contribute nothing are getting the benefit from my money. That is not true . My tax dollars, along with everyone elses, goes into the common pot-- I am contributing and I am also receiving. That is a good thing.But those who pay NO FEDERAL INCOME TAX are receiving without contributing.....  and this would be 47% to 48% of the people. 

Furthermore, these people who make so much money that they can't spend it in 10 life times, but don't want a 3% increase on taxes...they are making record profits, with the lowest taxes in history. If the argument is that they are job creators, where are the jobs? Given the circumstances, there should be more jobs right now, not less. It's that simple. With Obamacare, tax uncertainty, etc, they would be crazy to hire more people right now.  And who gives a shit how much money someone else has?  They did something to get that money.  You want more money, get into a different field!  So, when YOU get a raise, can I demand that YOUR taxes be raised, because you got along fine with what you made before, so you obviously don't need that raise....  Being jealous of someone else's wealth will not make you richer....

I want the economy to improve just like everyone else. If there was any merit to this idea of trickle down economics, I would be all for it. But this is a policy that has failed repeatedly, and all that grows is the gap between rich and poor.Yes, it has worked before.

All this emphasis on Low taxesfor businesses to improve the economy. The reality is that no matter how low the taxes are, a business won't thrive without customers. And right now customers are not buying because they are struggling to make ends meet. "Trickle up" economics...it works! for example, when I have more money, I can go but a car, that means I am also buying car insurance, and gas, and paying to get it cleaned, and the oil changed, etc. that is why when middle class people have more money to spend it improves the economy over all, and benefits everyone including the rich guy who items the car dealership to the blue collar guy who works at the garage. If it takes pumping some money into the economy in the form of tax increases for those who have more than they could ever use, its a good thing for everyone, including the rich guy.Just WHERE will the money come from to trickle UP???  This idea does not work, never has.  The way it works is an extremely rich guy buys a new car, trades it in a year later, and someone buys it used.  A few years later it gets traded in again, and someone else buys it.  A few years later a college kid buys it off the owner.  During all this time, the car has had insurance, oil changes, maintenance, etc.  But it starts with someone buying a brand new car first!   It does not start with the government deciding that YOU need/deserve a newer car, and funding that purchase for you.


LBAY
by Bronze Member on Jul. 14, 2012 at 1:55 AM
Yes, that is exactly how it works.

Honestly it doesn't matter what I say, the tone of your response indicated you are not really open to hearing it. I am all for a discussion, but kind of teetered out on pointless convos tonight.




Quoting 29again:


Quoting LBAY:

The point is to put into to the pot, to benefit everyone. I pay taxes, so do other people, and combined we have enough to have programs that benefit all of us, like social security, public schools, medicare when you are old, the military and police to keep us safe, the post office, the fire dept, etc,etc.



The issue is being framed that people who contribute nothing are getting the benefit from my money. That is not true . My tax dollars, along with everyone elses, goes into the common pot-- I am contributing and I am also receiving. That is a good thing.But those who pay NO FEDERAL INCOME TAX are receiving without contributing.....  and this would be 47% to 48% of the people. 



Furthermore, these people who make so much money that they can't spend it in 10 life times, but don't want a 3% increase on taxes...they are making record profits, with the lowest taxes in history. If the argument is that they are job creators, where are the jobs? Given the circumstances, there should be more jobs right now, not less. It's that simple. With Obamacare, tax uncertainty, etc, they would be crazy to hire more people right now.  And who gives a shit how much money someone else has?  They did something to get that money.  You want more money, get into a different field!  So, when YOU get a raise, can I demand that YOUR taxes be raised, because you got along fine with what you made before, so you obviously don't need that raise....  Being jealous of someone else's wealth will not make you richer....



I want the economy to improve just like everyone else. If there was any merit to this idea of trickle down economics, I would be all for it. But this is a policy that has failed repeatedly, and all that grows is the gap between rich and poor.Yes, it has worked before.



All this emphasis on Low taxesfor businesses to improve the economy. The reality is that no matter how low the taxes are, a business won't thrive without customers. And right now customers are not buying because they are struggling to make ends meet. "Trickle up" economics...it works! for example, when I have more money, I can go but a car, that means I am also buying car insurance, and gas, and paying to get it cleaned, and the oil changed, etc. that is why when middle class people have more money to spend it improves the economy over all, and benefits everyone including the rich guy who items the car dealership to the blue collar guy who works at the garage. If it takes pumping some money into the economy in the form of tax increases for those who have more than they could ever use, its a good thing for everyone, including the rich guy.Just WHERE will the money come from to trickle UP???  This idea does not work, never has.  The way it works is an extremely rich guy buys a new car, trades it in a year later, and someone buys it used.  A few years later it gets traded in again, and someone else buys it.  A few years later a college kid buys it off the owner.  During all this time, the car has had insurance, oil changes, maintenance, etc.  But it starts with someone buying a brand new car first!   It does not start with the government deciding that YOU need/deserve a newer car, and funding that purchase for you.





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mehamil1
by on Jul. 14, 2012 at 2:04 AM
1 mom liked this

Of that 47%, a good portion of them are elderly. Want grandma to get a job even though she can't walk? 

Another good portion are students. Mainly college students.

Another portion are disabled people. Not just mental but also physical. 

Then you have those who work, a lot, and don't get paid enough money to pay an income tax. Want them to pay an income tax? Have the companies they work for give them a raise! They also pay payroll taxes and pay into SS and medicare and medicaid. 

Then you have the unemployed but looking for work. You also have the unemployed and could give a shit about it. They are in the minority. 

Also, just because they don't pay an income tax does not mean that they don't pay taxes. The elderly, if they are not in the old folks home yet, pay property taxes. Everyone also pays sales taxes. If they drive they probably pay tolls. And there's more but I'm forgetting it. It's one am. Just because they don't pay an income tax does not mean they aren't contributing. 

I really wish this nonsense about the 47% of people who don't pay income taxes would just die. 

Quoting 29again:
Quoting LBAY:

The point is to put into to the pot, to benefit everyone. I pay taxes, so do other people, and combined we have enough to have programs that benefit all of us, like social security, public schools, medicare when you are old, the military and police to keep us safe, the post office, the fire dept, etc,etc.

The issue is being framed that people who contribute nothing are getting the benefit from my money. That is not true . My tax dollars, along with everyone elses, goes into the common pot-- I am contributing and I am also receiving. That is a good thing.But those who pay NO FEDERAL INCOME TAX are receiving without contributing.....  and this would be 47% to 48% of the people. 

Furthermore, these people who make so much money that they can't spend it in 10 life times, but don't want a 3% increase on taxes...they are making record profits, with the lowest taxes in history. If the argument is that they are job creators, where are the jobs? Given the circumstances, there should be more jobs right now, not less. It's that simple. With Obamacare, tax uncertainty, etc, they would be crazy to hire more people right now.  And who gives a shit how much money someone else has?  They did something to get that money.  You want more money, get into a different field!  So, when YOU get a raise, can I demand that YOUR taxes be raised, because you got along fine with what you made before, so you obviously don't need that raise....  Being jealous of someone else's wealth will not make you richer....

I want the economy to improve just like everyone else. If there was any merit to this idea of trickle down economics, I would be all for it. But this is a policy that has failed repeatedly, and all that grows is the gap between rich and poor.Yes, it has worked before.

All this emphasis on Low taxesfor businesses to improve the economy. The reality is that no matter how low the taxes are, a business won't thrive without customers. And right now customers are not buying because they are struggling to make ends meet. "Trickle up" economics...it works! for example, when I have more money, I can go but a car, that means I am also buying car insurance, and gas, and paying to get it cleaned, and the oil changed, etc. that is why when middle class people have more money to spend it improves the economy over all, and benefits everyone including the rich guy who items the car dealership to the blue collar guy who works at the garage. If it takes pumping some money into the economy in the form of tax increases for those who have more than they could ever use, its a good thing for everyone, including the rich guy.Just WHERE will the money come from to trickle UP???  This idea does not work, never has.  The way it works is an extremely rich guy buys a new car, trades it in a year later, and someone buys it used.  A few years later it gets traded in again, and someone else buys it.  A few years later a college kid buys it off the owner.  During all this time, the car has had insurance, oil changes, maintenance, etc.  But it starts with someone buying a brand new car first!   It does not start with the government deciding that YOU need/deserve a newer car, and funding that purchase for you.



LBAY
by Bronze Member on Jul. 14, 2012 at 2:04 AM
2 moms liked this
Real quick, I will say this. The problem, with your plan is that there aren't nearly enough rich people to buy all the cars needed to keep the economy growing. And for someone that rich a slight increase in taxes isn't enough to lower their wealth to the point they can't buy the car. The rich person is going to buy it anyway, their ability hadn't affected by a 3% tax. Economically this country was strongest overall when the highest tax rate was between 70-90% in the 50s, 60s, 70s and rich people were still rich. Now it is at 35% and the entire country is struggling.


Quoting 29again:


Quoting LBAY:

The point is to put into to the pot, to benefit everyone. I pay taxes, so do other people, and combined we have enough to have programs that benefit all of us, like social security, public schools, medicare when you are old, the military and police to keep us safe, the post office, the fire dept, etc,etc.



The issue is being framed that people who contribute nothing are getting the benefit from my money. That is not true . My tax dollars, along with everyone elses, goes into the common pot-- I am contributing and I am also receiving. That is a good thing.But those who pay NO FEDERAL INCOME TAX are receiving without contributing.....  and this would be 47% to 48% of the people. 



Furthermore, these people who make so much money that they can't spend it in 10 life times, but don't want a 3% increase on taxes...they are making record profits, with the lowest taxes in history. If the argument is that they are job creators, where are the jobs? Given the circumstances, there should be more jobs right now, not less. It's that simple. With Obamacare, tax uncertainty, etc, they would be crazy to hire more people right now.  And who gives a shit how much money someone else has?  They did something to get that money.  You want more money, get into a different field!  So, when YOU get a raise, can I demand that YOUR taxes be raised, because you got along fine with what you made before, so you obviously don't need that raise....  Being jealous of someone else's wealth will not make you richer....



I want the economy to improve just like everyone else. If there was any merit to this idea of trickle down economics, I would be all for it. But this is a policy that has failed repeatedly, and all that grows is the gap between rich and poor.Yes, it has worked before.



All this emphasis on Low taxesfor businesses to improve the economy. The reality is that no matter how low the taxes are, a business won't thrive without customers. And right now customers are not buying because they are struggling to make ends meet. "Trickle up" economics...it works! for example, when I have more money, I can go but a car, that means I am also buying car insurance, and gas, and paying to get it cleaned, and the oil changed, etc. that is why when middle class people have more money to spend it improves the economy over all, and benefits everyone including the rich guy who items the car dealership to the blue collar guy who works at the garage. If it takes pumping some money into the economy in the form of tax increases for those who have more than they could ever use, its a good thing for everyone, including the rich guy.Just WHERE will the money come from to trickle UP???  This idea does not work, never has.  The way it works is an extremely rich guy buys a new car, trades it in a year later, and someone buys it used.  A few years later it gets traded in again, and someone else buys it.  A few years later a college kid buys it off the owner.  During all this time, the car has had insurance, oil changes, maintenance, etc.  But it starts with someone buying a brand new car first!   It does not start with the government deciding that YOU need/deserve a newer car, and funding that purchase for you.





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