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Carpy
America's coming civil war -- makers vs. takers
by Carpy
July 13, 2012 at 10:52 PM

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”  

Abe Lincoln used those words in 1858 to describe a country that was careening toward civil war. Now we’re a house divided again and another civil war is coming, with the 2012 election as its Gettysburg.  

Call it America’s coming civil war between the Makers and the Takers. 

On one side are those who create wealth, America’s private sector–the very ones targeted by President Obama’s tax hikes announced Monday.

On the other are the public employee unions; left-leaning intelligentsia who see the growth of government as index of progress; and the millions of Americans now dependent on government through a growing network of government transfer payments,  from Medicaid and Social Security to college loans and corporate bailouts and handouts (think GM and Solyndra).

Over the past century America’s private sector has been the source of productivity, innovation, creativity, and growth–and gave us the iPhone and iPad. The public sector has been the engine of entitlement, stagnation, and decline -- and gave us Detroit and the South Bronx.   

The private sector built the strongest economy in the world.  It armed the free world in World War Two, and then in the three decades after the war turned America into the most prosperous society history had ever seen.  It revived America in the  Reagan and Clinton years, and thanks to the Bush tax cuts brought this country back from economic collapse after 9/11.

In those same years a growing public sector, by contrast, turned Europe into a cesspool of debt, stalled economies, and chronic social dysfunction that’s set the streets of Athens -- and perhaps other European capitals--on fire.  

That’s where we’re headed, too, more rapidly than we like to think.  

That public sector–state, local, and federal -- now consumes 40% of GDP, compared to 33% just twelve years ago. It’s brought us to the point where 48% of Americans are now on some form of government handout, from 44% when Obama took office–almost a fifth more than during the Reagan years. And too many of them have been programmed to believe they have no future unless the government takes more from the Makers -- precisely what Obama promised on Monday.

So we know which side Obama and the Democratic party are on. Like John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry,  ObamaCare has been a wakeup call to what’s at stake–just as the turbulent events in Wisconsin showed how far Democrats are willing to go to win.  

We’re not Greece yet -- or on the brink of Bull Run. But it’s time for Romney and Republicans to make clear which side they’re on -- and to make it clear there can’t be government transfer payments, from Medicaid to Social Security, without a strong vibrant private sector to pay for them.

They don’t have to stoop to the Democrats’ tactics.  They just have to give our free market, private sector economy the robust defense it deserves.  

A country where more Americans go on Social Security disability than get jobs -- as happened last month--can’t stand. 

Lincoln hoped in 1861 that the “angels of our better nature” would pull us back from catastrophe. He was wrong. Let’s hope in 2012 those angels still hover -- and can make a house divided whole once more.

Historian is the author of the just released "Freedom's Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II" (Random House May 2012) and the Pulitzer Prize finalist book "Gandhi and Churchill: The Epic Rivalry That Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age" (Bantam, 2008). 

Replies

  • gsprofval
    July 13, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    My dear old Dad has spoken of this and he can see it happening in the near future. He even says it's mentioned in the Bible and I can see it happening, too.  It will not be pretty.

    My Dad just hopes he isn't alive when it does happen--he's 99.5 years old, but he fears for us that are still here when it does happen.

  • 29again
    by 29again
    July 13, 2012 at 11:48 PM

    Yes, this election is the most important one in our lifetime!  I don't have a thrill up my leg about Romney, but he does understand how important the private sector is, and I believe he knows how to get it going.  And that is what we need, a strong private sector!  I believe that things are going to get a whole lot worse, and not too long from now.

  • gsprofval
    July 13, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    And like my Dad says, it'snot just the U.S., it's the entire world.  Look at the trouble Europe is in right now.

  • 29again
    by 29again
    July 13, 2012 at 11:52 PM


    Quoting gsprofval:

    And like my Dad says, it'snot just the U.S., it's the entire world.  Look at the trouble Europe is in right now.

    Hell yes!!  And the really sad thing is that some in this country can't seem to see it!  And call those of us who do crazy! 

    Socialism does not work.  Communism does not work.  Giving the citizenry everything they could ever want/need does not work.

  • gsprofval
    July 13, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    And odumba wants us to believe the rich are the problem and we should have some of their wealth, but you sure don't see odumba giving away any of his wealth.

    I do believe he is a muslim terrorist who is trying to bring down the U.S. Ya, it's a conspiracy theory, but one that may come true.  He is NOT an American citizen from what I can see. No, I'm not crazy and I'm not alone in believing this.

  • mehamil1
    July 14, 2012 at 12:06 AM

    I made you a tin foil hat. 

    Quoting gsprofval:

    And odumba wants us to believe the rich are the problem and we should have some of their wealth, but you sure don't see odumba giving away any of his wealth.

    I do believe he is a muslim terrorist who is trying to bring down the U.S. Ya, it's a conspiracy theory, but one that may come true.  He is NOT an American citizen from what I can see. No, I'm not crazy and I'm not alone in believing this.


  • gsprofval
    July 14, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    Guess we will just have to wait and see what happens.

    Quoting mehamil1:

    I made you a tin foil hat. 

    Quoting gsprofval:

    And odumba wants us to believe the rich are the problem and we should have some of their wealth, but you sure don't see odumba giving away any of his wealth.

    I do believe he is a muslim terrorist who is trying to bring down the U.S. Ya, it's a conspiracy theory, but one that may come true.  He is NOT an American citizen from what I can see. No, I'm not crazy and I'm not alone in believing this.

     


  • 29again
    by 29again
    July 14, 2012 at 12:10 AM


    Quoting gsprofval:

    And odumba wants us to believe the rich are the problem and we should have some of their wealth, but you sure don't see odumba giving away any of his wealth.

    I do believe he is a muslim terrorist who is trying to bring down the U.S. Ya, it's a conspiracy theory, but one that may come true.  He is NOT an American citizen from what I can see. No, I'm not crazy and I'm not alone in believing this.


    Wanna borrow my hat?  I have a couple others,  ;)

  • mehamil1
    July 14, 2012 at 12:20 AM

    This made me laugh so hard I snorted the water I was drinking. 

    Quoting 29again:
    Quoting gsprofval:

    And odumba wants us to believe the rich are the problem and we should have some of their wealth, but you sure don't see odumba giving away any of his wealth.

    I do believe he is a muslim terrorist who is trying to bring down the U.S. Ya, it's a conspiracy theory, but one that may come true.  He is NOT an American citizen from what I can see. No, I'm not crazy and I'm not alone in believing this.

    Wanna borrow my hat?  I have a couple others,  ;)


  • mehamil1
    July 14, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    I think you'll be disappointed. 

    Quoting gsprofval:

    Guess we will just have to wait and see what happens.

    Quoting mehamil1:

    I made you a tin foil hat. 

    Quoting gsprofval:

    And odumba wants us to believe the rich are the problem and we should have some of their wealth, but you sure don't see odumba giving away any of his wealth.

    I do believe he is a muslim terrorist who is trying to bring down the U.S. Ya, it's a conspiracy theory, but one that may come true.  He is NOT an American citizen from what I can see. No, I'm not crazy and I'm not alone in believing this.


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