Community Organizing: Power and Redistribution – Reason #62

Only 105 Days Remaining!

Community Organizing: Power and Redistribution

In a 2001 interview on Chicago’s WBEZ radio, Obama unveiled his belief that economic justice in America can only be achieved through the redistribution of income – a concept not unlike that voiced by Karl Marx many years earlier.  He also appears to have suggested that the way to achieve redistribution was not through the courts, but in the streets – through agitation and community organizing.

“But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth – and more basic issues of political and economic justice in the society – and to that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren court, it wasn’t that radical.

“It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution – at least as it’s been interpreted – and the Warren Court interpreted it in the same way, that generally, the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties.

“It says what the states can’t do to you.  It says what the federal government can’t do to you.  But it doesn’t say what the federal government, or the state government must do on your behalf.

“And that hasn’t shifted – and one of the – I think – tragedies of the civil rights movement, I think, was because the civil rights movement became so court focused, I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change.  In some ways, we still suffer from that.”[i] (emphasis added)

In little more than a sound-bite, Obama provided us with a very important insight into his view of the Constitution and the role of the Supreme Court in interpreting it.  Here, he seems to be touching on the argument for bigger government (“what…government must do on your behalf”), while chastising the Warren Court for upholding the Constitutional constraints written by the Founding Fathers.  Then, as if echoing these words from Karl Marx – “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”[ii] – he talks about both the redistribution of wealth and the ability of community organizers to put together coalitions capable of producing “redistributive changes.” [iii] 

That line produces instant images of ACORN pressuring banks and nonbank lenders to adopt a financial paradigm in which loans could be made to people regardless of their credit worthiness and ability to pay.[iv]  Indeed, history strongly suggests that Obama’s formula here, would result in coercive, disruptive, “in your face” practices.  Was this his intention as an expert Organizer?


[i] Odyssey, WBEZ 91.5FM , Chicago, (2001) audio contained in story by Steve Schippert,(October 27, 2008), Wizbang blog.com, Wealth Redistribution An Unattained Civil Right: Obama Interview, retrieved September 15, 2010 from http://wizbangblog.com/content/2008/10/27/obama-wealth-redistribution-an-unattained-civil-right.php

 

[ii] David Lane, Politics and Society in the USSR, (New York, 1978, New York University Press), 8

[iii] Odyssey, WBEZ 91.5FM , Chicago, (2001) audio contained in story by Steve Schippert,(October 27, 2008), Wizbang blog.com, Wealth Redistribution An Unattained Civil Right: Obama Interview, retrieved September 15, 2010 from http://wizbangblog.com/content/2008/10/27/obama-wealth-redistribution-an-unattained-civil-right.php

 

[iv] Steven Malanga, Shakedown: The Continuing Conspiracy Against the American Taxpayer, (Chicago, 2010, Ivan R. Dee), 133-151

Treasury Employees Owe $8 million in Taxes – Checking Your Return – Reason #61

Meet the Taxing Authority!

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Treasury Employees Owe $8 million in Taxes – Checking Your Return

According to the Los Angeles Times, in 2010, federal employees in total, owed approximately one billion dollars in back taxes, with $831,000 owed exclusively by individuals working In the White House.  If that’s not sufficiently troubling, nearly eight million dollars was owed by just over 1,200 Treasury employees[i] – you know – Treasury.  This is the Dept. running the Internal Revenue Service!

We keep hearing that nearly 50% of Americans pay no taxes.  We just never thought they were the ones running our government.


[i] Andrew Malcolm, (Sept. 10, 2010), LA Times web-site, Top of the Ticket, 41 Obama White House aides owe the IRS $831,000 in back taxes — and they’re not alone, retrieved February 24, 2012 from http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2010/09/congress-taxes-irs.html

Constitution, Law and Justice

Blame on Display/Marxism v. “Income Inequality” – Reasons 59/60

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Obama – Blame on Display

Just five days before leaving office, then President Bush – unifying the nation around a new President – proudly noted in his press conference:

“Five days from now, the world will witness the vitality of American democracy. In a tradition dating back to our founding, the presidency will pass to a successor chosen by you, the American people. Standing on the steps of the Capitol will be a man whose story reflects the enduring promise of our land. This is a moment of hope and pride for our whole nation. And I join all Americans in offering best wishes to President-elect Obama, his wife Michelle, and their two beautiful girls.”[i]

Eight days into the new Administration, President Obama’s new Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, told the American people:

“President Obama immediately made clear that the type of ethical transgressions, the blatant conflicts of interest, waste and abuses that we have seen over the last eight years will no longer be tolerated.”[ii]

This would be only an early and small example of President Obama’s seemingly infinite ability to divide America, direct blame, avoid personal responsibility and promote discord.

 

 * * * *

 Marxism v. “Income Inequality”

Our Founding Fathers believed that we were all “created equal” and endowed by our “Creator with certain unalienable Rights…”  Obama and his cohorts seem to view those words, not as a commitment to equal opportunity, but as a promise of equal outcome.  It is only in that context that we can understand the words of such Obama stalwarts as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who promised:

“Nothing is more important to Congress, than reducing income inequality.”[iii]

The political system to which “income equality” belongs is not one that has ever been found in America.  It is far closer to the one advocated by Karl Marx.  It is nothing less than scary that these words should come from a U.S. Senator.  In America we are guaranteed equal opportunity – not equal outcomes.


[i] (Administration)Bush Administration, (January15, 2009), CBS News, Transcript of Bush Farewell Address, retrieved May 25, 2010 from http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/01/15/politics/bush_legacy/main4726092.shtml

[ii] Ken Salazar, (January 28, 2009), White House.gov, Press Briefing by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar, retrieved September 15, 2010 from http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/press-briefing-12809

[iii] Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), MSNBC web-site, Politics Nation with Al Sharpton, retrieved January 26, 2012 from http://video.msnbc.msn.com/politicsnation/46139213#46139213

 

“May I have the Envelope, Please?”

Only 110 Days Remaining!

“Envelope Please”

Obama’s reign as the would-be king of America has been much like that of a  famous mythical baseball manager.  For the sake of this story, we’ll just call him “Bill.”

When “Bill” was hired to replace “Jack” as manager of the Titans, he was understandably excited.  Walking into his office, he studied each framed award and trophy very carefully, thinking of the glory days in which they had been earned and the players whose skills had won them.

As “Bill” approached his desk, he noticed a white sheet of paper laying atop three small beige numbered envelopes.  A paperweight held all in place.  For a moment he thought “Jack” had forgotten something.  He started to reach for the phone, but then noticed his name on the paper:  “Bill,”  The note stated very concisely;

“Good luck on the new job.  If you have any problems, open envelope #1.”

As I think about this story, I imagine President Bush may have left similar instructions for Obama.

Several months passed and “Bill” had almost forgotten about the envelopes.  Then, suddenly, the team’s luck changed.  They began losing all their “away” games.  He couldn’t figure it out.  Turning to the envelopes, he opened the first, finding this simple suggestion:

“Blame it on your predecessor.”

And so he did!  He called a press conference and started bashing the previous manager as if he were speaking of the Devil himself.  He was passionate in his blame.  It seems “Bill” had inherited a real problem.  This was not his fault.  His predecessor had been completely inept!!!  He took this speech to the owners and to the public and repeated it whenever he was given the opportunity.  The word  “inherited” became part of the team’s vocabulary.  When I heard about this, I couldn’t help making the connection with Obama!  Can you remember all the times he and his administration have used that word?

Well, when things settled down, Bill went back to concentrating on the game.  Oddly enough, that’s when things really started to go bad.  If it wasn’t for bad luck, the Titans wouldn’t have had any luck at all.  They were not only losing, but they were losing big.  After eight straight embarrassing losses, “Bill” was back in his office nervously eyeing envelope #2.  Again, it was a simple message.

“Tell them you’re Reorganizing”

And once again, “Bill” followed the advice to the letter.  He fired the coach, traded three players and even brought in some sports’ analysts to share their thoughts.  Wow.  This was starting to get spooky.  Have you noticed that, as everything has gone bad with the Obama presidency, he’s gotten rid of nearly every economic advisor that came to Washington with him.  His original Chief of Staff is gone and he’s also dropped a couple of czars and other staff people.  What a coincidence.  But, this story is about “Bill” and the Titans.

As “Bill” finished his second round of press conferences, the team rallied for several weeks, but then started sliding again.  “Bill” was desperate this time.  What else could he tell the bosses to explain the lost games and lost revenue?  He had run the Titans into the ground, fired good players and a beloved  coach.  He had sacrificed everyone except himself and here he was again – losing.  He knew it was because he had inherited a problem team.  The fault belonged to his predecessor, to the players and owners – nothing at all to do with his own work.  But, how could he make them understand it?  Surely, it was just a matter of messaging.  He certainly hoped the third envelope would have his answer.  Once again, as he unfolded the note, the message was simple and clear.

“Prepare Three Envelopes.”

In 110 days, it will be time for Barack Obama to do the same.  I hope he’s reading this.

Homeland Security Fears Veterans & Constitutionalists – Reason #58

Only 111 Days Remaining!

Homeland Security Fears Veterans & Constitutionalists

On April 7, 2009, less than four months after Obama took office, the Department of Homeland Security published an unclassified intelligence assessment entitled: Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.  The Administration, citing similarities in the conditions of the 1990s and today, speculated:

“The possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.

“Returning veterans possess combat skills and experience that are attractive to rightwing extremists. DHS/I&A is concerned that right- wing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to boost their violent capabilities.”[i]

They also cautioned against Americans “…rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority…” and against “…groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.” [ii]

In other words – according to the Obama Administration – we should be very concerned about returning veterans who have risked their lives for our country.  We should also be suspicious of all those who believe in the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, as well as those who stay informed and take a position on abortion, immigration, or any other major issue affecting America.


[i] Extremism and Radicalization Branch, Homeland Environment Threat AnalysisDivision, (April 7, 2010), Department of Homeland Security, Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment, pp2-3, retrieved October 23, 2010 from http://www.fas.org/irp/eprint/rightwing.pdf

[ii] Ibid, 2

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Obama and “The Same Rules?” – Reason #57

Only 114 Days Remaining!

“When Everyone Plays by the Same Rules”

How many times have we heard President Obama say:

“I believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, when everyone plays by the same rules. These aren’t Democratic values or Republican values. These aren’t 1 percent values or 99 percent values. They’re American values. And we have to reclaim them.”[i]

It is a fitting illustration of this Administration’s hypocrisy to note that as of September, 2010, Obama and his Administration were “reclaiming” these American values as follows:

41 White House Aides owed $831,000 in back taxes

1,971 members of Holder’s Dept. of Justice, owed $14,350,152 in overdue taxes

4,856 members of the Dept. of Homeland Security, owed $37,012,174 to the IRS

In all, federal employees throughout the U.S. owed one billion dollars in back taxes[ii]

Obama rails against so-called “millionaires and billionaires” (he really means everybody making over $250,000 per year) not paying their fair share.  Obama preaches the need for redistributing America’s wealth, in order to give everyone a fair shot.  But, at the end of the day, it appears that Obama and members of his Administration mean to promote American values only with our money – not theirs.


[i] President Barack Obama, (Dec. 6, 2011), White House web-site, Speeches & Remarks, Remarks by the President on the Economy in Osawatomie, Kansas, retrieved February 6, 2012 from http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/12/06/remarks-president-economy-osawatomie-kansas

[ii] Andrew Malcolm (Sep. 10, 2010), LA Times Web-site, Political Commentary, Top of the Ticket, 41 Obama White House aides owe the IRS $831,000 in back taxes — and they’re not alone, retrieved February 6, 2012 from http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2010/09/congress-taxes-irs.html

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Say “Hi” To 800 New Friends at IRS – Reason #56

Only 115 Days Remaining!

Takes One to Catch One?

Despite repeated warnings from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), from whom Tim Geithner received income from 2001 to 2004, Geithner reportedly failed to pay $34,000 in payroll taxes.  In response to a 2006 IRS audit, Geithner corrected his payroll tax errors for 2003 and 2004, but continued his withholding of proper payment for 2001 and 2002, until after he was vetted as Obama’s nominee for Treasury Secretary.[i]

What would happen to the average middle-class American  failing to pay payroll taxes for four years and then continuing to stiff the IRS for an additional four years?

No need to worry about that.  In Obama’s world, that behavior could put you in charge of the entire Treasury Department, including the IRS.  And, who better to hold other Americans accountable?  Incidentally, Geithner – a poster child for tax issues – plans to increase tax evasion prosecutions in 2012 and to aggressively pursue the collection of back taxes.  According to Geithner:

“A total of $332 million would be devoted to new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) enforcement efforts, including $128.1 million to add nearly 800 new IRS employees to combat… tax evasion and improve compliance with tax laws by businesses and high-income individuals.”

Really!  No hypocrisy here.


[i] Jackie Calmes, (Jan. 13, 2009) New York Times web-site, Politics, Geithner Questioned on Tax Returns, retrieved March 6, 2012 from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/14/us/politics/14geithner.html?pagewanted=all

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