Sunday, February 24, 2013

The yoke of two Americas

It became clearer after President Obama’s re-election that we're two Americas.  Has our country been this divided since the Vietnam War, or perhaps the Civil War?  Mr. Obama captured only fifty-one percent of the popular vote.  

Last November, I anticipated more reaction from voters in the Center, due in part to the now infamous, You didn’t build that quip.  I believed it validated deep concerns that President Obama remains anti-business and anti-free markets.  I also believed there was no way to take such a gaffe out of context (as claimed by the President and his defenders) and that the ripple effect would devastate the President's campaign.  I was obviously quite wrong about the fallout as far fewer swing voters in the Center cared about the issue than I'd imagined.  

So, setting aside the unpredictable Center, the two Americas of Blue and Red remain far apart in their belief systems.

Blue America  believes that since car tires rolled on public pavement while building businesses, or since career success came after attending public universities --- taxpayer funding must have caused fortunate outcomes as much or more than personal virtues like initiative and hard work. 
Red America concedes that of course, large scale public works projects and excellent public universities influenced America's growth and that as our population grew, a corresponding increase in the size of federal government, was necessary.  

However, Red America doesn't believe our nation flourished exclusively, or even principally, for these reasons.  Red believes, it was limited government and freedom that enabled growth and prosperity in the first place.  Red points to history that suggests the inevitable outcome of unchecked deficit-spending and taxation visited by the few upon the many, is disastrous and that we're already witnessing decline.

Red America remains convinced that one of the most perilous problems faced by our nation today is federal spending and that added taxation, by any other name or game, is more of an enabler to the fiscal problem, than a cure.  For this view, Red America is often labeled by Blue as extremists.

Leaders of Blue America welcome new tax increases like the 2% payroll hike on all taxable wages up to $113,700 (which Blue dismisses as end of a tax "holiday") and the new Medicare adder of 0.9%.  Class warfare and the politics of envy are often used to justify all tax increases.  Moreover, a reduction in the rate of increase to any budget, is deemed a spending cut by Blue America.

By contrast, Red America welcomes the prospect of a nominal $85 billion spending reduction from a government that spent over $3.5 trillion last year. 

The yoke of two Americas remains firmly in place.
White House Fiscal Advisor?
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