Here are two under-reported, outrageous news stories. One a general story, one a business story - both are very bad news of the same kind. The first should anger you, the second should scare you.
The U.S.D.A. is, this school year, running a new pilot program in three states, providing free school lunches to every child - to avoid stigmatizing and harming the self-esteem of the poor kids redeeming welfare vouchers for their meals. Having been a poor kid once, I can assure you this will not mask that fact nor shield the poor kid from ridicule or self-esteem injury.
But the argument over that is irrelevant, because the federal government has no money with which to buy these lunches. The myth is: through taxes collected and re-directed, we will now be providing free lunches to all, not just those in need.
The government is now confiscating money from childless taxpayers, retired seniors, etc. to buy lunches for other peoples' kids, even when those other people are perfectly capable of paying for their kids' meals. It's taxing a waitress' minimum wages to buy school lunches for rich peoples' kids.
This goes beyond Robin Hood-style re-distribution of wealth to - dare the word be uttered? - socialism. Its philosophical end game is: confiscation of all private income, wealth and property and providing identical housing, clothing and food to all. In that utopia, no one's self-esteem is subject to harm; all adults and children are very visibly equal in every way. All in matching orange cover-alls.
The fact that this is a failed idea, and one possible only under dictatorship notwithstanding, make no mistake, it is the Obama idea. With a few exemptions, of course, just as there are exemptions to his health care lunacy. He would still vacation in the Martha's Vineyard. You wouldn't.
But disputing the merits of free lunch for all as a micro item or a dictator-run socialist utopia as a macro item are irrelevant because this is not really being funded by confiscation, but entirely by debt. The "sooner or later" in Maggie Thatcher's "sooner or later, you run out of other peoples' money" caution about socialism has already arrived. This socialist scheme of free lunches for all is being funded by borrowing, largely from the Chinese, and raising yet more debt.
The second news story is the business one. Here is the outcome of impossible debt incurred giving out unsustainable benefits. The state of Arizona has informed employers that, because it's paid out extended unemployment benefits and borrowed from the federal government to do it, Arizona has an insurmountable shortfall. Therefore, it is making sudden assessments against all employers. They will be receiving an invoice for some number the state decides on, applied to the 1st and 2nd quarter wages paid, over and above the agreed-upon and already paid payroll taxes.
Hear that clearly: a new, added, retroactive payroll tax, billed and payable before October 15. There are 29 other states with same crisis that may follow suit.
If Arizona gets away with this baby-step, why not a new, added, retroactive tax on your previous 3, 5, 10 years' earnings or capital gains levied now and suddenly, over and above the taxes you already paid? A decision to confiscate and instant confiscation, as simple as that. If this doesn't terrify you, you are a fool.
The Obama Administration's free lunch scheme is ideology run amok. The Arizona scheme is about desperate thievery. What do these two stories have in common? Each is a demonstration of government reaching the point of absolute disregard for law and private property rights, absolute disdain for its citizenry, absolute and arbitrarily wielded power to confiscate at will, to borrow to bankruptcy and beyond, to spend as it wishes, even on whimsical notions.
It seems to me that the Democrats and Republicans have united on one side of the aisle, leaving us taxpayers on the other absent any real representation, and pitting us against each other to keep us from turning on them in unison. We don't have democracy. We have fiefdom. This should inevitably produce anarchy, but not easily; the differential today is far too great between the rulers and the peons.
These stories demonstrate that politicians are united in the conviction they can do any damned thing they like to us with impunity. Most Americans are complicit and have brought this plague upon us all, by asking for more and more and more, insisting on a government that provides everything - which must, then, take everything.
The end result of this insanity is pre-written in stone. The only question is if we will turn around and head in the other direction. Doing so will require civil disobedience. The parents in these school districts able to feed their own kids could begin by banding together, refusing free lunches, suing the federal government to block the free lunches, taking all their kids out and home-schooling them en-masse.
The employers in Arizona could begin by banding together and telling the state the day the assessments arrive, they lay off all their employees, shutter their businesses, and go on vacation until the assessments are withdrawn - and doing it. About a week of 50 percent unemployment might be sufficient.
People do still have power if they will exert it. But I'm sadly confident neither of those news stories will materialize. I wonder what outrage will be required.