Democrats Needlessly Raise Taxes, Jeopardizing 2022 and 2024 Elections
It would be smart of Democrats to prioritize winning the 2022 and 2024 elections above all else, to save the nation from a dangerously wayward Republican Party overtaken by Trump and heavily inclined towards dishonesty and neo-fascism. Trump nearly pulled off his carefully planned coup d’etat attempt. It failed only because he didn’t go full bore, having his stormers armed with guns and having the top military, Justice Department, FBI, and CIA officials replaced by sycophants. Lenin and Hitler knew better how to overturn democratic governments. Trump simply miscalculated. Had he not, we would no longer have a democracy. Trump and his followers remain a clear and present danger, which needs to be eliminated if our democracy is to survive.
Should Trump and the Trumpist Republican Party win the 2022 and 2024 elections, that would most probably be the end of our democracy with the instauration of a durable police state. Future elections would be rigged, just as the Republicans are attempting now in many states. Tellingly, Trump claimed the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections would be rigged months before the elections were held, as a ready excuse to refuse to acknowledge any defeat. Since we never had rigged presidential elections for at least a century, his claims were a transparent ploy to reject any electoral defeat, and betrayed his openness to rig elections in his own favor whenever possible. Should Trump and the Republicans win the next elections, all future elections would be truly rigged in their favor.
Therefore, it would be the height of stupidity for the Democrats to push for divisive legislation, particularly when their goals can be largely achieved without alienating Republican voters. First, raising taxes is one enormous blunder, particularly when the threshold of $400,000 is low, affecting many upper middle class families who will be tempted to vote for their wallets, naively discounting the real threat to our democracy. Have Democrats forgotten we have QE financing by the Federal Reserve for government spending and to cover budget deficits? Furthermore, QE is not inflationary so long as there is slack in the economy (v. unemployment and unused productive capacity). So why raise taxes, particularly when our democracy is at stake?
To have a better chance of winning in 2022 and 2024, the Democrats must get over their invidious, socialistic instincts in these crucial times. That would be possible if they understood that whatever wealthy individuals and companies do with their money is good for the nation, and that raising their taxes (including capital gains taxes) would be economically counterproductive. The wealthy either spend on consumption, which increases jobs, or they invest, which is necessary for economic growth. Where would we be without venture capital, which is financed by wealthy individuals and companies? Which society ever prospered without many wealthy individuals and companies? (What would make sense, instead, is eliminating tax shelters which are unfair and economically counterproductive by causing the misallocation of capital.) The problem is not wealth disparity, the problem is low incomes. Income redistribution is not the solution. The solution, instead, is having sustained economic growth thanks to a Federal Reserve policy prioritizing full employment instead of inflation (as Fed Chairman Jerome Powell now seems to want), thereby avoiding unnecessary recessions and high unemployment, along with providing a truly excellent public school education to every single youth from nursery through high school.
Second, it is politically counterproductive for the Democrats to keep insisting on abortion rights instead of focusing on the prevention of unwanted pregnancies, which makes abortion rights practically moot. Are abortion rights the essential goal? Or is greatly reducing the need for abortions the proper goal? Since most unwanted pregnancies involve public high school dropouts, the solution is to prevent public high school students from dropping out. No Republican or Christian fundamentalist could be against that! How to prevent public school dropouts? Run our public schools just as well as our best private schools, with an enlightened curriculum, strict discipline, lots of homework/study hall, and individual assistance for students having academic or psychological difficulties. Apart from practically eliminating unwanted pregnancies, running our public schools like the best private schools would benefit our economy enormously.
Third, it is foolish for the Democrats to keep insisting on gun control. Did making addictive drugs illegal work? Why would even the strictest gun control laws prevent the existence of black markets for guns and reduce the availability of guns? There is no logic behind gun control. Mass shootings are obviously committed by mentally disturbed people. In fact, practically all gun violence and violence in general is committed by mentally disturbed people. Are well-adjusted individuals violent? Do well-adjusted individuals shoot people? So, the problem is mental health, not the availability of guns. The solution is having a four-year course in psychology accompanied by “group therapy” and “good parenting” workshops in every single public high school, with individual attention for students with psychological problems.
Fourth, it is illogical for the Democrats not to properly enforce our asylum laws, which apply only to people persecuted by their own government, not to people running away from poverty or crime. It is also illogical not to require all visa and asylum requests to be made at U.S. consulates in the country of residence, not at our border. If we truly want to help the poor in underdeveloped nations, then the proper policy is to have a major Peace Corps program focused on education and infrastructure. Not enforcing our immigration laws is not the solution, it only serves to perpetuate the problem of people fleeing poor nations.
Fifth, it is illogical for the Democrats not to remove Republicans’ concern that we have many illegal voters. Democrats cannot logically be for having illegal voters. So, the solution is to have a high tech national #ID card, just like all the advanced democracies in Western Europe. Such a card would be an upgrade of our Social Security cards. What prevents the Biden Administration from providing every citizen and every legal alien resident with a national #ID card before the November 2022 elections? Problem solved. Does it make sense to have a nation with many undocumented people, whether citizens or non-citizens? Is a national #ID card a violation of democracy and human rights? As for typical Democratic concerns, a national #ID card would not necessarily entail automatic expulsion of illegal immigrants, as regulations could be in place to deal with them in a humane and rational manner, providing those worthy of remaining in the country with a way to obtain at least a temporary visa, if not a Green Card.
Sixth, it is illogical for the Democrats to focus on politically divisive critical race theory instead of mandating a much less divisive public high school course on the world history of human rights violations and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which every U.N. member state has undersigned. One requirement of the Declaration is for every state to teach the Declaration to all its citizens. Scandalously, not one member state, not even the United States, has complied!
That specific course on the world history of human rights violations would open and change the minds of even the most recalcitrant racists, which is the most important goal for eliminating racism and illegal discriminations. One crucially important and disturbing historical detail ignored by most is that the Bible itself institutionalized and validated slavery, through Moses’ laws in the Old Testament. Even more disturbing is that Jesus Christ objected to divorce (the reason why divorce is banned by the Vatican) but not to slavery. He even described and validated a shocking punishment for disobedient slaves (Gospel of Matthew 24.45–51). When people realize that Jesus Christ is actually responsible for slavery in the United States, condemnations will change, due to understanding that people of past centuries cannot reasonably be expected to have a modern secular morality. Undoubtedly, the thinking must have been if slavery was fine with God, Moses, and Jesus in the Bible, then it was good for Christian America. It should be clear that had Jesus stated that slavery was immoral, there would never have been slavery in the United States.
Additionally, the Democrats’ focus should be on turning every single public school into an “elite” school, as good as the best private schools, providing all high school students with an excellent liberal arts education, beyond the basics of math and English. That is essential since many do not go on to college and many others get a mediocre or narrow college education, leaving them with little culture and little knowledge of important topics. Providing equal opportunity through an excellent public school education for all is indispensable. The existence of many deficient public schools is a veritable opprobrium, a major moral and political shortcoming. Correcting that failure is imperative. It would lead not only to the end of racism and unequal opportunity, but also to the end of poverty, while greatly increasing economic prosperity and consequently leading to much lower taxes. All Americans win.
Seventh, Democrats must deal with reparations claims advanced by many to redress our past history of slavery in a non-divisive way. Biblical generational guilt must be rejected as a clear violation of human rights. Since practically all living Americans have absolutely no connection with slave owners, they cannot reasonably be expected to pay reparations for the horrendous crime of slavery. Most Americans today are descendants of immigrants who came to the United States long after slavery ended. Suggesting that reparations means increasing taxes and income redistribution would lead to a severe political backlash and Republican gains in the next elections. Reparations for slavery and post-Civil War racism are best implemented through providing every single youth with an “elite” public school education and a high school course on the world history of human rights violations, in addition to ensuring sustained economic growth and full employment in order to greatly reduce poverty.
After World War II, Germany compensated the victims of the Holocaust because of a direct connection between most living Germans and Nazism. Similarly, the Catholic Church has paid billions of dollars in reparations for child abuse by its own priests, due to its current direct connection to the abusers, whereas it has not paid reparations to the descendants of victims of its Inquisition centuries ago. Regarding America’s slavery, there no longer are any direct connections. If there are individual cases of plantation owner descendants with slavery related wealth, then a special tax on such wealth could be justified, with the proceeds distributed to direct descendants of slaves. As for the argument that America was built on slavery, it should be rejected as a greatly divisive exaggeration. Modern America was built on the industrial revolution, not on Southern slave plantations or the wealth of slave owners. As for the shocking crimes of Tulsa in the early 1920’s which devastated “Black Wall Street”, the perpetrators are long dead. But solemn commemorations are justified as well as a national commitment to end racism and other injustices through having all our public schools turned into “elite” schools, thereby ensuring a well-educated and moral citizenry.
In a democracy, politicians reflect the population. Trump reflects almost half of our citizenry. He was voted president only because all too many of our public schools have been so mediocre for decades, leaving us with all too many undereducated and naive citizens with little morality, which is the only explanation for the widespread popularity of an ignorant, corrupt, dishonest, cruel, insulting, boorish, fascistic, dictator-loving con man who hides not just his tax returns but his college transcripts. A national disgrace. We need to face up to that fact and make the appropriate educational reforms. Facebook should certainly do much more to block disinformation, as is its right just like any other publisher, but the real culprit of many Americans falling for disinformation and wild, absurd conspiracy theories is their mediocre level of education. That needs to be understood and corrected by our federal, state, and local policy makers.
© Edward Sonnino 2021
July 17, 2021