Bread & Circuses
May 10, 2007
Long before the Democrats were hatched, Roman emperors embraced the concept of ruling by Bread and Circuses...now known as liberalism (preoccupy the masses with plenty of FREE bread and entertainment and the ruling elites can amass and consolidate power through deceit, schemes and corruption).
Roman satirist Decimus Junius Juvenalis to concluded that, “...life in Rome was so corrupt and decadent that the only valid form of art was satire”. He might as well have been talking about 21st century America.
If only the giveaways had stopped at free bread and circuses.
By the time we reached World War II, F.D.R. had decided that: (1) Joseph Stalin was his uncle and (2) Americans needed much more than bread and circuses to keep them happy.
With largesse worthy only of a trust fund elitist, FDR decided to start giving Americans cradle-to-grave security. But there was a catch...he didn’t actually give anything himself.
Rather...he forced the taxpayers to surrender an increasingly obscene percentage of their income to government coffers and, in turn, politicians became the ad hoc benefactors of your future.
To afford the “average man” security in his retirement, FDR shepherded the Social Security Act (1935) which originally covered workers in commerce and industry.
In 1937, the maximum amount of your salary that could be taxed was $3000 at a combined (employee/employer) rate of 2%.
1939 - Social Security was expanded to cover dependents and survivors.
1950 - Coverage was expanded to jobs outside of commerce and industry, and benefit levels were increased. Payroll taxes increased to 3%.
1956 - Disability Insurance was invented, and expanded over the following years. Early retirement at age 62 for women was also introduced. Payroll taxes increased to 4%.
1961 - Early retirement at age 62 for men introduced. Payroll taxes increased to 6%.
1972 - Automatic cost-of-living-adjustments (COLAs) introduced. Payroll taxes increased to 9.2%.
1977 - Payroll taxes increased to 9.9%.
1983 - The National Commission on Social Security Reform called for: (1) and increase in the self-employment tax; (2) partial taxation of benefits to upper income retirees; (3) expansion of coverage to include federal civilian and nonprofit organization employees; and (4) an increase in the retirement age from 65 to 67, to be enacted gradually starting in 2000. Payroll taxes increased to 10.8%.
1985 - Payroll taxes increased to 11.4%.
1986 - COLAs were increased.
1993 - The amount of taxable benefits for “upper” income retirees was increased to 85%. Payroll taxes increased to 12.4%.
By 2007, the tax had been adjusted to a maximum salary of $97,500 at a combined effective rate of 15.30%.
And...we haven’t even addressed the issue of the government confiscating your earnings to supposedly secure your retirement and literally stealing that money.
In a mere 70 years, the government’s beneficence has morphed from “Brother can you spare a dime?” into “Give me your money and your life”.
And all for the sake of hypothetical security at the expense of individual liberty.
This wouldn’t have surprised twentieth-century satirist H. L. Mencken who cynically believed that “The average man does not want to be free. He simply wants to be safe.”
But there is even a twist to being “safe”. In order to convince the citizenry that the price for security must be some of their individual liberty, the government and its enabling elitist operatives leave you stranded in a twilight between terror and security ...always a little insecure and a little secure (i.e. a constant state of insecurity).
Benjamin Franklin cautioned...” They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security”. And that is what you got...neither liberty nor security.
President Reagan was even more to the point when he tipped-off Americans that, “Every dollar the federal government does not take from us, every decision it does not make for us, will make our economy stronger, our lives more abundant, our future more free.”
While still in the “quagmire” of their “failed policy” (aka Social Security), why do the liberals now wish to invent “Universal Health Care”...another “risky scheme” that will cost you even more of your dwindling individual liberty/economic endowment?
After all, with the out of control Social Security program threatening America’s economic future...wouldn’t drafting American taxpayers into another involuntary personal “security” program be comparable to the liberals endorsing “regime change” in Iran while still “bogged down” in Iraq?
Oh, I almost forgot...this “risky scheme” will enable the liberals to steal even more of your money for their pork barrel (aka: buying votes; bending over for organized labor, enriching their lobbyist financiers and Diane Feinstein’s husband).
Repeat after me...” Millions, Billions, Trillions, Quadrillions, Quintillions, Sextillions, Septillions, Octillions, Nonillions, Decillions, Undecillions, Duodecillions, Tredecillions, Quattuordecillions, and Quindecillions....”