The Democrats and the Politics of Division

Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.

It seems that the Democrats see populism as the answer for electoral success; how odd that they opposed it in 2016. Dividing the successful from the less so, employers from employees, they are all about the politics of division:


Bernie Sanders to propose dramatic expansion in estate tax on richest Americans, including 77 percent rate on billionaires

Sanders’s “For the 99.8% Act” would target the wealthiest 0.2 percent of estates.
By Jeff Stein | January 31, 2019 | 8:30 AM

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will unveil a plan Thursday to dramatically expand the federal estate tax on the wealthy, including a new 77 percent rate on billionaires’ estates, as leading Democratic politicians push new taxes on the richest Americans to combat inequality.

Why do the credentialed media continue to list Senator Sanders as an ‘independent’? He ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, in the Senate he caucuses with the Democrats — the better to attain committee power, you know — and his election campaigns in Vermont are not contested by the Democrats.

Unless, of course, the “I” stands for idiot.

Sanders’s bill, the “For the 99.8% Act,” would tax the estates of the 0.2 percent of Americans who inherit more than $3.5 million, while the rest of the country “would not see their taxes go up by one penny under this plan,” according to aides to the Vermont senator, who is considering a 2020 presidential bid. . . .

The plan would raise $2.2 trillion from 588 billionaires, but over an unknown period of time because it would only take effect once they die, according to Sanders’s staff. Over the next decade, the tax would raise $315 billion, policy aides said.


Senator Sanders’ plan comes a bit late, rushed, perhaps, by Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) proposal to tax households with over $50 million in assets; they would pay a 2% tax on their net worth every year, rising to 3% on assets over $1 billion. The plan would, supposedly, affect just 75,000 households total. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), the upstart socialist who won a surprise victory in the Democratic primary and then the general election in 2018, who is too young to run for president, which is fortunate, since 74% of Democrats polled say they’d consider voting for her, and 17% said that they definitely would, has proposed a 70% marginal tax rate on incomes over $10 million.

Senator Warren’s proposal has the great benefit of being unconstitutional. Article I, Section 9, paragraph 4 specifies that “No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.” When the income tax provision of the Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act was struck down by the Supreme Court in Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co., on the basis that it was a direct tax and thus had to be apportioned among the states on the basis of population, what became the Sixteenth Amendment was proposed, which states, “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”


The power of Congress to tax individuals without regard to population applies only to incomes, not to net wealth, as Dr Warren would have things. One would think that Dr Warren, a graduate of Rutgers Law School and formerly a law professor at Harvard, would know that, but, given the left’s attempts to curtail our constitutional rights under the First and Second Amendments, that she would ignore such is hardly a surprise.

I, of course, believe that the Sixteenth Amendment was the worst violence ever foisted upon a free people. It is that atrocious piece of legislation which allows politicians to engage in the politics of division and envy.

I suppose that Hillary Clinton’s loss in 2016, something she partially attributed to being a “capitalist” and not a “socialist,” has further energized the further left in the party, urging them to move closer to socialism, while Donald Trump’s unexpected victory showed the strength of populism, encouraging more of a soak-the-rich movement.  The Democrats’ politics have been based on division for decades now, and along with their attempts at dividing the races and sexes it’s time to divide the successful from those who have been less so.  It’s union politics writ large, to divide employers from employees, even though employees depend upon employers for a paycheck.


The sad part is that it just might succeed.
Cross-posted on The First Street Journal.


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