Friday, September 17, 2010

Understanding the Liberal Mind 1: Who Owns Your Money?

Nancy Pelosi is a flake. She poses as a Catholic and pretends to know something about moral theology but she wouldn't know her Thomas Aquinas from her Thomas the Train Engine. Yet she is one of the most powerful women in America as Speaker of the House and a typical example of Progressivism in her thinking. So it is helpful to try to understand the way she thinks.

One of the most fascinating features of Leftist thought of all stripes - including Progressivism - is the highly wound sense of moral indignation that always lies just beneath the surface and bursts forth from time to time in embarrassing ways. What grounds and funds this moral indignation, this bed rock conviction that they are right and conservatives, capitalists, businesspeople and upholders of middle-class values are wrong?

In this article, which is not seeking answers to these sorts of questions - it is just a shallow news story - we find some clues.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Thursday renewed her pledge to pass an extension of the Bush tax cuts for the middle class, but now she’s leaving the door open to extending the tax cuts for upper-income Americans. . . .

“What I believe the American people deserve is a tax cut for the middle class,” Pelosi said. “And without getting into procedure and timing and process, what we’re going to do is to say at the end of the day the extension of the Obama middle-income tax cuts will take place, and that’s what I have to say on the subject.”
Notice the use of the phrase "deserve." She frames it in moral terms, but leaves unsaid the question of who decides who "deserves" what.
Pelosi, though, made her view clear: Rich people don’t deserve tax cuts. She said she sees “no justification for going into debt to foreign countries to underwrite and subsidize tax cuts for the wealthiest people of America.”
In her worldview, rich people don't deserve tax cuts and middle-class people do. A tax cut is like a generous concession on the part of a Feudal Lord to one of his serfs: he doesn't have to do it but he does out of generosity. Yet, the money we are talking about does not belong to Nancy Peolosi or the Federal Government but to the individuals who earned it. It is their money. And it is not needed for the legitimate operation of the government for the common good (defence, police, roads etc.) but for the purpose of redistribution by Government according to socialist ideology.

Ultimately, Pelosi regards all the wealth as belonging to the Government and its job is to decide how much to let each citizen keep. So when anybody threatens her power to make such decisions for the citizens, they are evil and selfish and must be eliminated. The power of her moral indignation is fueled by the Marxist denial of a cornerstone of Western civilization and the Judeo-Christian tradition: private property.

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