Progressives eschew individual rights


This paragraph from a talk by Edward J. Erler should be used to litmus test every nose-wiping bit of invasive legislation coming from President Obama and his sycophants. It sums up the thought from Ronald Reagan that the scariest 10 words in the English language are, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.”

It applies to Obamacare as well as all the other millions of regulations being passed to keep the welfare machine alive and well and to return liberal candidates to office ad infinitum.

Erler wrote: “For progressives then and now, the welfare of the people — not liberty — is the primary object of government, and government should always be in the hands of experts. This is the real origin of today’s gun control hysteria — the idea that professional police forces and the military have rendered the armed citizen superfluous; that no individual should be responsible for the defense of himself and his family, but should leave it to the experts. The idea of individual responsibilities, along with that of individual rights, is in fact incompatible with the progressive vision of the common welfare.”

Tom Baker




stvsngltn says...

Excellent and right on. Explains the hard-left, Progressive agenda that seeks to replace our free enterprise, constitutional Republic with a socialist/Marxist ideology of collectivism and wealth redistribution -- a false, Utopian fantasy that has failed throughout history but is still used by Left-wing politicians like Obama to garner votes from those ignorant enough about history to elect people like him.

Posted 15 April 2013, 1:16 p.m. Suggest removal

blue_streak says...

Just to make sure no one's confused, the Professor Erler quoted in the article is not, repeat not, a progressive describing his own beliefs.

Erler is be a reputable political scientist, but he is affiliated with a conservative think tank, the Claremont Institute, which is devoted to promoting "a limited and accountable government that respects private property, promotes stable family life, and maintains a strong national defense."

Nothing wrong with that, lots of people believe in those things. But it does mean that Erler's description of "what progressives believe" is about as credible as Barney Frank's view of Ronald Reagan.

For a better understanding of what progressives actually do believe in, like progressive income taxation, I suggest a quick look at Joseph Stiglitz's column on the NY Times website.

Posted 15 April 2013, 1:57 p.m. Suggest removal

PearlY says...

I'm not sure that "a fairer tax system" (whatever that might be) is very descriptive of what progressives believe. Surely it's more important to say what should be done with tax money, and about other laws, and how much control government exercises over our individual and national life, than to focus like a laser on exactly how you GET the money.

Professor Stiglitz goes on at great length (and with much dishonesty) about the supposed unfair distribution of the tax burdens, but you can read his whole article and find nothing to give you any idea of how much of our economy he believes should be controlled by the government.

Frankly, if government controlled say 10 to 20% of our economy and operated on a balanced budget, I'd care a lot less how they got their money. When it exceeds 40% of GDP, as it does today, and on top of that leaves us a public debt that is nearly EIGHT TIMES our TOTAL annual GDP, that in itself is evil in my book, even if I approved completely of how the tax burdens were distributed.

Posted 15 April 2013, 2:34 p.m. Suggest removal

blue_streak says...

PearlY, you might want to re-check your information sources. US GDP is about $15.7 trillion last year and the total national debt is just about the same at about $16 trillion.

Those are worrisome figures but our debt is not EIGHT time our total annual GDP.

As Wikipedia dryly sums it up, "Historically, the US public debt as a share of GDP increased during wars and recessions, and subsequently declined. For example, debt held by the public as a share of GDP peaked just after World War II (113% of GDP in 1945), but then fell over the following 30 years."

We clearly have a long-term debt problem, but it could easily be handled with some modest adjustments to promote economic growth and reduce unemployment. Unfortunately, most of these "adjustments" would be considered "revenue increases" and are vigorously opposed by most of the same people who fan the flames of deficit panic.

Posted 16 April 2013, 5:10 a.m. Suggest removal

PearlY says...

New_guy, the $16 trillion you refer to does not include unfunded mandates like Social Security, Medicare and federal pensions. The first two are estimated at around $45 trillion. I don't have the figures for the federal pensions.

It does not include Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debt of over $5 trillion.

It does not include state and local declared debt (issued bonds) , nor does it include state and local unfunded liabilities like pensions and health benefits.

Moreover, most government debt is based on short-term variable interest financing, but is not expected to be paid off during the term of the financing. If that debt were financed properly, i.e., on a long-term basis, the interest differential would be quite substantial. In effect, an accounting gimmick is being used to make the debt seem smaller and less burdensome than it really is.

I see you got the progressive memo on never calling a tax increase a tax increase, but always a revenue increase. The problem with that is that these are really not the same thing: what you really mean is 'tax' increase, and these sometimes end up being a 'revenue' decrease.

Tax increases only rarely promote economic growth and at best such benefits are temporary or illusory. The idea that one can spend one's way out of debt is widely shared by gambling addicts and the fiscally irresponsible, but it's much harder than it looks. When 'investments' are chosen by politicians, it's virtually impossible.

Posted 18 April 2013, 10:15 a.m. Suggest removal

chicoli says...

Tom, why don't you and your "militia" try to get those terrorist out of business in Boston? After all the FBI, National Guard, local police and other government agencies are just doing a lousy job, don't you think? I just can see you saying to them " I'm from Waistburg and I'm here to help you! I can see a Boston Police Officer telling you "Get lost NOW". Yes Tom, when it comes to defend America you are superfluous...unless you join the goverment agencies in charge of defending the country. You will like Boston, otherwise " a heck of a town".

Posted 19 April 2013, 1:13 p.m. Suggest removal

Iopine says...

Would you mind translating what you just wrote - other than trying to degrade someone because there from Waitsburg - it makes no sense at all?

Posted 19 April 2013, 6:46 p.m. Suggest removal

barracuda says...

English please?

Posted 19 April 2013, 7:48 p.m. Suggest removal

pdywgn says...

paco-1234 Get help you are obviously overdosing on Kool-Aid.

Posted 19 April 2013, 10:33 p.m. Suggest removal

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