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News & Politics News & Politics

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 (31-40):
LBAY
by Bronze Member on Jul. 14, 2012 at 2:23 AM
Lets just go by your logic that he was a muslim. Ok...so? Muslims aren't american too? Are muslims barred from holding office? Out constitution says there is no religious test required.

Also, don't christians advocate becoming christian? Don't you welcome that and tell people that if they convert, they will be ok? So even if what you said was true (and I don't believe it), why would that be an issue?


Quoting 29again:

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.




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LBAY
by Bronze Member on Jul. 14, 2012 at 2:32 AM
His religion or whether he goes to church has nothing to do with the job he is doing. It's a non factor.


Quoting 29again:

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. 




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lorenska
by Member on Jul. 14, 2012 at 3:16 AM
5 moms liked this

Here's the thing with Obama that I've never seen with any other president....these conversations go on ("He's a Muslim!" "No he's not!" "He was raised in Indonesia!" "No he wasn't!" "He's close friends with criminals and domestic terrorists!" "No he's not!"), precisely because no one knows anything about him. He was never vetted to any extent, and even to this day, asking him anything about his past gets you called "racist" and a "conspiracy theorist". Just yesterday, his press secretary called it "preposterous" that we would like to see his college transcripts. Mr. Transparency has hidden his past life so completely that everyone has to speculate about it. That said, there are some things that are not in dispute, that have been proven over the past 4 years....he believes government is the beginning, end, and middle of every solution for every problem. He thinks unions are bastions of worker's rights when in reality they exist almost solely to enrich the union leaders. He believes the private sector is a necessary evil and that public sector work is what everyone should strive for (thus requiring ever more tax dollars, hence the grudging acceptance that private sector workers are good for something). He believes America is just another country, no better (and sometimes much worse) than any other country on earth. And he firmly believes that he knows better than pretty much everyone else, and that if we would just let him do whatever he wants - without that damn Congress slowing him down - that he would solve all of our problems and take care of us forever, as long as we do what he says. I could go on all night, but the bottom line is, he scares the schnikes out of me and I'd like him and his big government plans to get the hell out of my life.

Carpy
by Platinum Member on Jul. 14, 2012 at 7:27 AM
1 mom liked this

Must be a keen sense in those who survived the depression and WWII.  My mom has the same feelings.  She is going to be 94 in a few days.  Outside of the bible part.

Quoting gsprofval:

My dear old Dad has spoken of this and he can see it happening in the near future. He even says it's mentioned in the Bible and I can see it happening, too.  It will not be pretty.

My Dad just hopes he isn't alive when it does happen--he's 99.5 years old, but he fears for us that are still here when it does happen.


Carpy
by Platinum Member on Jul. 14, 2012 at 7:40 AM

So is this I highlighted

His embrace of faith was a sharp change for a man whose family offered him something of a crash course in comparative religion but no belief to call his own. “He comes from a very secular, skeptical family,” said Jim Wallis, a Christian antipoverty activist and longtime friend of Mr. Obama. “His faith is really a personal and an adult choice. His is a conversion story.”

Quoting 29again:

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.




Carpy
by Platinum Member on Jul. 14, 2012 at 7:45 AM
2 moms liked this

When rich people have more money they tend to INVEST it, thereby providing working and startup capital to other businesses that otherwise may not get started or stay in business.  Try to educate yourself on the economy a bit more, please.

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.

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.


Carpy
by Platinum Member on Jul. 14, 2012 at 7:48 AM
3 moms liked this

And given the circumstances, no there should not be more jobs right now because America is strangling in regulations.  And don't give me the clean water and air BS, because again, you would be proving that you are COMPLETELY CLUELESS on the economy.

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.

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.


WifeyKish
by Member on Jul. 14, 2012 at 8:00 AM
1 mom liked this

This is exactly what I thought too! I love how she flipped that one around haha.

Quoting littleacorn:

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!


Carpy
by Platinum Member on Jul. 14, 2012 at 8:08 AM
1 mom liked this

I did not write it.  The makers are the people, the takers are the government.  That probably goes over your head though.

Quoting WifeyKish:

This is exactly what I thought too! I love how she flipped that one around haha.

Quoting littleacorn:

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!



LBAY
by Bronze Member on Jul. 14, 2012 at 8:47 AM
2 moms liked this
Carpy, don't talk down to me when you have absolutely no proof, facts, statistics of what you are saying. This is more of your "truth according to what I wish".

notice you never have anything to back up your eroneous claims that does not come from a highly subjective/skewed right wing source.?You are the one that needs to review how the economy works, but that won't happen, because the facts have a liberal bias...so you will just ignore them and make up your own "truth"


Quoting Carpy:

When rich people have more money they tend to INVEST it, thereby providing working and startup capital to other businesses that otherwise may not get started or stay in business.  Try to educate yourself on the economy a bit more, please.

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.

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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