By Dick Baynton at TheRoanokeStar.com
The following statement is attributed by some to Norman Thomas in a 1944 speech: “The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of ‘liberalism’, they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation without knowing how it happened.” He went on the say, “I no longer need to run as a Presidential candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democrat Party has adopted our platform.”
Warning; Norman Mattoon Thomas, (born November 20, 1884, died December 19, 1968), a Socialist who was a Presidential Candidate for the Socialist Party of America, may not have said this. Various archives say that the attribution is incorrect while others say they remember him saying these words. As the author of this column, whether or not Mr. Thomas made the above reference, the words seem to be reasonable, even prescient.
Socialism is considered to be a form of government that usually has a large number of government employees, features Central Planning because the political leaders are smarter than their ‘subjects’, requires hyper-regulation to avoid the ‘pitfalls’ of a market-based economy, has disdain for big business in spite of the fact that these companies provide jobs, insists on worker benefits by government mandate and has an obsessive loathing for the rich and is infatuated with the poor. Another component of socialism creep is efforts to suppress and control free speech. Socialism filters into the economy much as toxins enter the bloodstream or silt builds up in waterways.
In the first three days of 2014, the Obama administration added 141 new regulations and another 139 have been added in the past two weeks of the year. Our federal government has added 75,000 pages of new regulations during 2014 at a cost of more than $200 billion. This amount must be added to the already burdensome $2 trillion cost of federal regulations.
Here is an example of regulatory over-reach. Harvard Law Professor Laurence H. Tribe taught the nation’s first class on environmental law in 1969. Professor Tribe, in a recent article in the WSJ states categorically that the President’s ‘Clean Power Plan’ is unconstitutional. In his commentary he points out that the EPA is making law, the domain of Congress. Tribe says this is unconstitutional.
Regarding free speech, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) reports that 85% of the 437 colleges surveyed have severely restrictive policies related to protected speech. In California Attorney General Kamala Harris is harassing ‘Americans for Prosperity Foundation’ (AFP), an organization that educates citizens on the benefits of free-market policies.
A technique used in totalitarian regimes is control of the education system. This administration has planned for the takeover of preschool right through college. The terrible twist to this is that politicians often supervise the courses taught, the textbooks used and college debt that is now in excess of $1 trillion. By making sure that students and faculty are liberal and the government is a huge source for funding, the education system can be perverted in perpetuity.
A living example of socialist creep is the bribes included in the 1,100 grant-in-aid programs for the states. This budget buster has grown from $24.1 billion in 1970 to $640.8 billion in 2015. These bribes include Medicare, child obesity, road and bridge construction, rural housing and job training. The trick here is the feds collect taxes, tariffs and penalties using workers at high pay and generous benefits in agencies, departments and field offices who allocate remaining revenue in accord with their rules and regulations. This is called redistribution, bribery and crowd control.
Like a detective searching for evidence at a crime scene, Mr. Obama may be casting about for a new legacy following the dismal introduction and bewildering operation of his ‘signature’ healthcare act. Following the mid-term elections of November 2014, only 30 seats remain of the 60 (Democratic) votes required for passage of the costly healthcare law. The so-called Obamacare statute has become a drag on Democratic legislators and the nation. A recent announcement stated that more than 80% of current signups qualify for subsidies. That is redistribution; spelled socialism.