Redistribution

When I suggested yesterday that President Obama would not learn from France’s now-failed socialist supertax, MaryCatelli (echoed by ThatCatGirl) raised a valid point:

You assume the point of higher taxes is revenue . . . if not, there may be nothing to learn.

President Obama is already on record stating that even if higher taxes bring in less revenue, he is in favor of imposing them anyway, out of “fairness.”  And he has long complained that the US Constitution has no clear provision for socialist redistribution of wealth:

The original Constitution as well as the Civil War Amendments…but I think it is an imperfect document, and I think it is a document that reflects some deep flaws in American culture, the Colonial culture nascent at that time.

African-Americans were not — first of all they weren’t African-Americans — the Africans at the time were not considered as part of the polity that was of concern to the Framers.

Obama was lying here. Not mistaken; he touted himself as a Constitutional scholar. Therefore, he is knowingly speaking falsely — as he would have known of the content and character of the debates over this issue and the real meaning of the 3/5ths clause, which was to reduce the power of the slave-holding states and pave the way for limiting and eventually getting rid of slavery. (To be fair, a surprisingly large number of people misunderstand this.) He went on to talk about redistribution:

If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court, I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order and as long as I could pay for it I’d be OK

But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. 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 in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf.

And that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement 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 and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about re-distributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.

One of Barack Obama’s goals has long been to “bring about re-distributive change,” to take money and property and business from people who he feels “didn’t build that” and give it to people who become dependents and whose votes can thus be assured.

It is a very good thing that he is as incompetent as he is, or the damage he’s doing — already huge — would be much worse. But if he actually felt the reality of the Constitution’s systems of checks and balances, the limits placed on him that dictate “what the federal government can’t do to you,” (and what the executive branch cannot do alone) most of his actions would never have taken place.

What must the Democrats have done to the current establishment Republican leadership, and even Chief Justice Roberts, that has produced such compliance in these other two controlling branches of government? I suspect that someday we will learn this, and be disgusted.

==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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