COLORADO SPRINGS, July 15, 2012 — Last Tuesday, Deneen Borelli and Zerlina Maxwell were on Sean Hannity’s radio broadcast debating the causes of our massive debt and its effect on future generations. Deneen (and Sean) said the cause was Obama’s deficits, while Zerlina blamed Bush. Deneen said several times that the massive debt was enslaving our children and grandchildren; Zerlina objected to Deneen using the word “slavery.”
No one wants to control language more than liberals.
Zerlina really couldn’t explain why the word slavery was inappropriate except to sputter that slavery as applied to indebtedness wasn’t anything like, you know, real slavery. Slavery is slavery, she said, just as the Holocaust was the holocaust.
Ah, but tax and debt slavery is slavery. Knowingly or not, Deneen was using the word as it was widely known in the period of the American Revolution. It was clearly understood in those days that if a people were taxed without their consent, they were under the control of the taxing authority; if under control, they were no longer free; if not free, they were slaves. You cannot be free while you are in debt. When government spending constantly runs ahead of tax collections, the net result is that you work harder and harder to pay off more and more debt through taxes that continue to increase.
When a government takes the fruits of your labor without your consent, it is stealing your life: the time and effort it took you to accumulate those fruits. That is why life and property are so closely related both in John Locke’s writings and, following his lead, in the writings of the colonists in the founding generation. A century later, Frederick Bastiat would call it government-sanctioned theft. Yet another century later Ayn Rand described the producers, the moochers and the unjust government that took from the former to give to the latter in Atlas Shrugged.
Redistribution of wealth is immoral. Stealing your life’s work is stealing your life.
It was not lost on the Founders or on their British opponents that another form of slavery existed at the same time in the colonies and throughout the British Empire. Called “chattel slavery,” it was the enslavement of Africans.
They too were slaves for the same reason as just described: that the fruits of their labor belonged not to them but to their masters.
As the first Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton worked mightily to pay off the debt incurred during the Revolutionary War. Jefferson felt it immoral to leave debt to a future generation. Until World War I and, ironically, the passage of the 16th Amendment, the United States had very little debt.
In a very natural way, then, the use of the term slavery to refer to tax and debt slaves fell out of use.
Today, though, Deneen and others are right to resurrect the use of the word in connection with the unconscionable debt we have accumulated. With an almost unimaginable debt of $16 trillion and the specter of “Taxmageddon” happening in January if the current administration stays in power, we all face the prospect of becoming tax slaves.
Deneen Borelli isn’t the only one to use the word slavery in its 18th century meaning of economic slavery. Rep. Allen West was also roundly excoriated by the liberal establishment for calling economic dependence on welfare programs a form of modern 21st century slavery. Maybe they had an inkling of the move by the Obama administration last week to unilaterally eliminate work requirements for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.
The welfare entitlement mentality is alive and actively promoted by the socialists. Anyone who, like West, dares to criticize it is given the journalistic equivalent of a lynching.
On the Hannity show, Sean Hannity asked West about his use of the term “slavery” in recent comments. “I understand that my country is at a very perilous situation, and I’m going to use the words that are necessary to get the attention of the American people,” West responded unapologetically.
Necessary to get attention: maybe. Appropriate to the situation: absolutely.
It makes very little difference that today’s debt came from our elected representatives instead of from an unelected (by us) Parliament. Both Parliament then and Congress today are seen as corrupt institutions serving not the people but themselves.
We have one last chance in November to avoid crushing taxes. Even if we are successful, we will still have to deal with the debt.
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