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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 (251-252):
by Platinum Member on Jul. 18, 2012 at 1:27 AM
1 mom liked this

I vote for my own self-interest -- the less government in my life, the better off I am.  It is that simple.  And no, you're not mean.  Why is it so hard to believe that I don't get any assistance?  I know, you aren't being mean when you say you don't believe me, you just can't tolerate bs.  Really?  What makes you think you know my family's finances so well to know what they are?  I have told you what I do.  I made no mention at all of the rest of my family....and we all work, except for the 3 yo.  So, with all due respect, please stop telling me how nice you are while you put me down.   It doesn't look good on you.

Quoting LBAY:

No, it's not intolerance. It's being tired of people voting against their own economic self interest and mine too. I do not believe for a second you receive no govnt help. And if you do, I really don't care. It's there to help people. I am not a mean person, I care about the welfare of people in general. Getting nasty with you was out of my character. I am impatient, and have low tolerance for bs, often lack tact... there are a lot of things you could say about me that are true, but being mean spirited and lacking empathy for others isn't among them, which is why I am writing this against my better judgement. I don't judge you because you work minimum wage and I don't look down on you. I responded to you the way I did to prove a point. Stop personally attacking people just because you don't agree with them because you don't enjoy it when it's done to you. Lets move on.

Quoting 29again:

Would you prefer that I go on disability and get I-don't-know-what-all from the government (which is YOU, who is paying taxes!)?  That day will be upon me soon enough.  At this time, however, there are still some things I can do.  I am just sorry that it offends you so much that I am happy doing what I can, and making it on that!!  And believe it or not, I am not on any social programs, my family takes care of itself.  I may not have thousands in the bank, but I own every thing that is on my property, and gee, I even own that!  I will never be hungry OR homeless, due to my own hard work. 

What I find humorous is all the liberals who scream for tolerance who never bother to be tolerant of anyone who is different than themselves. 

Quoting LBAY:

Absolutely! Dad taught me how to do that at 10 years old, along with how to change my own break pads, tires, oil, etc.

I find it beyond humorous that the woman doing the unskilled labor that any child can do, is attempting to attack my parents-- business owners for 30 years-- on how to run a business! You are the one that works for us! My parents are the "job creators" you claim to be protecting! HAHAHAHA! And to add irony, all the while you're complaining about high taxes that you don't pay, and soaking up the resources MY tax dollars go toward paying for you to have. ROTFL.

The reality is that I've never had a job that didn't provide medical insurance, and I haven't worked minimum wage since 10th grade. How ironic that I support medical care that will disproportionately affect you, while you hem and haw about how much extra I will have to pay, and have the nerve to insult MY intelligence all the way. It's just too rich.

Thanks for your concern about my taxes dear, but really, I'm Ok with them going to make sure people like you are not dying on the street due to hunger, homelessness or lack of medical care. Just more of that liberal humanity.

Quoting 29again:

by Ruby Member on Oct. 9, 2012 at 11:10 AM

 and all are racist crazies

Quoting gsprofval:

Nope, I'm not crazy. A lot of people I know feel this way.


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