Monday, March 5, 2012

Obama Wins Reelection in 2012

       " To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry or skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it."

                                                                                                    Thomas Jefferson

" When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the Republic."

                                                                                                    Benjamin Franklin

 Tomorrow is Super Tuesday for the Republican Presidential race. As such, it is the day when some measure of clarity will come to that race and the probable nominee will be more certain. At this hour it still looks to be Romney's race to lose, as I predicted in a post from several months ago. But I am at the point now where I believe that absent some sort of catastrophic , unseen event, President Obama will win reelection in 2012, and there's virtually nothing that the Republican party can do about it. Let me explain...

I ran across a batch of statistics the other day from several different sources that reaffirmed one of my powerful gut instincts. I checked the figures to be sure that they weren't some slanted, agenda driven pseudo-statistic from some party think tank. They weren't. These were numbers derived by census bureau data and information from the IRS. Two statistics in particular made me see how hopeless is the cause of conservative, small-government politics.

First of all, back in 1968 when I was but a boy of ten, still dreaming of being a short stop for the New York Yankees, only 12% of the citizens of the United States of America paid no federal income tax. By the time the year 2000 rolled around, and I was an exhausted father of two adolescents, 34% of my fellow citizens paid no federal income tax. As I write this, that number has reached 49.5%, and I am a worn out 53 year old who reads everyday in the papers about how I need to pay more in taxes, not necessarily because raising my tax rates will bring more revenue to the treasury, but rather because of some Orwellian notion of "fairness".

The second set of numbers is I believe directly related to the first. In 1968, roughly 18% of the population was dependant on the federal government for at least some portion of their income. Today that number is 29.5% and growing more rapidly than ever owing to ageing baby-boomers who are now retiring in ever increasing numbers.

Lest you think this is just another rich guy "blaming the poor", think again. I acknowledge freely that we were placed in this mess by members of both parties and Presidents from both sides of the aisle. After all, the Earned Income Tax Credit that took so many people off the tax rolls was introduced by Nixon and enhanced by none other than Ronald Reagan. When I say dependant on government I'm not just talking about people on direct welfare assistance payments. I'm also referring to big shot bankers, insurance company and car company directors who mismanage their companies and then lobby the government for bailouts. I'm talking about public employee unions who have the sweet deal of negotiating with bought and paid for politicians for generous benefits where nobody in the room is representing the tax-payer. I'm also talking about anybody out there who believes that anything from the government is free simply because they're not paying for it themselves,  free health care, free contraceptives, free education, etc.

The bottom line is that this country has now crossed the Rubicon, statistically speaking. There are now officially more people who have a vested interest in a powerful leviathan government, than there are people who want the government to leave them alone. The Democratic party caters to that citizen, and there are much more of them, and will be in the future. There have always been fewer Peters to borrow from and more Pauls to pay.  Relaxation of immigration laws will admit more people more likely to vote for the party of government. Young people, freshly graduated from our institutions of higher learning, with notable exceptions, will generally buy in to the view of government as wealth-redistributor. An older and older citizenry will look askance at anyone in Washington dumb enough to want to reform Social Security. So, there you have it. People like me better get used to paying more and more. Additionally, I better get used to complaining about it less and less.

Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were so right all those years ago. But what do they know...just a couple of rich, dead white guys.