//Wisenbaker > Class Warfare: Entitlements, Bread and Circuses

Wisenbaker > Class Warfare: Entitlements, Bread and Circuses

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Gary M. Wisenbaker, Valdosta Today Editorial Director:

“Free” college tuition, tax cuts, expanded benefits, tax hikes on corporations and “the rich”. 

As predicted in this column back in November, “Over the next two years Obama will lay out a political minefield for the GOP to navigate. He will goad, chide, denigrate and provoke them in order to continue his—and the Democrats’—class warfare strategy.”

As usual, Obama does not disappoint.

GW 2The administration announced last week that it will put forward a plan for taxpayers to provide two years of “free” community college access to anyone that wants it and maintains a “C” average or better. The administration, of course, was unable to put a price tag on the initiative but did volunteer the states to pick up one quarter of the cost. Governors across the nation must be ecstatic to have the opportunity to pick up yet another unfunded mandate courtesy of Washington, DC.

The fact that there’s no need for such a program is no deterrent for those who want an expanded entitlement state. The Pell Grant Program, for example, is already available at the community college level to fund those who are serious about advancing their education.

The only real necessity here is to appease the education lobby. This program is a way to guarantee federal tax dollars, taxpayers’ dollars, to a system that boasts a completion rate of only 34% of those that start the community college process. Given that statistic, this is a program that seems to reward failure yet insure faculty employment.

It’s worth noting that entitlements always grow. The next step for the community colleges once the program of tax payer tuition funding is in place is clear: hike the tuition rate. The same phenomena happens when Washington ups the student loan threshold: up goes the tuition rates.

It doesn’t take a Milton Freedman to figure that one out.

Whatever the goal, this “free” tuition scheme is just another step in the progressive liberals’ long sought goal of establishing the eurosocialist taxpayer funded “cradle to career” education system in the United States.

Right on the heels of the universal community college education announcement came Democrat Rep. Chris Van Hollen’s populist economic plan detailing a “middle-class tax break” and expansion of benefits to be funded by a greater burden on American business and “the wealthy”. This initiative is clearly grounded on an “us vs. them” mentality; a mentality of putting and pitting one segment of the population against another.

Americans don’t need a tax code that picks winners and losers. Rather, Americans need (and want) a tax code that treats all taxpayers with fairness and consistency. This policy concept, however, is foreign to the prevailing winds in the Democratic Party. (Better yet, scrapping the tax code altogether and replacing it with one that repeals all federal personal income and corporate taxes might be in order. But that’s a discussion for another day.)

The introduction of both measures, the “free” tuition scam and tax initiative, are also steeped in cynicism. Were these truly meritorious goals they would have been introduced and passed when the Democrats controlled both the legislative and executive branches under Obama prior to 2010, before the GOP seized control of the House.

But these measures are not meritorious. While they fit into the progressive liberals’ broader plan to effect income redistribution, it is enough for now that these schemes serve another, higher purpose: class warfare going into the 2016 election cycle.

This same cynicism presided over the fall of the Roman Empire. In its decline the emperors and politicians considered the populace as only anxious for two things: bread and circuses. And so they accommodated them by passing laws beginning in 140 B.C. to keep the votes of poorer citizens with the introduction of a grain dole: giving out cheap food and entertainment. The “bread and circuses” approach to governing, the politicians learned, became the most effective way to rise to and keep power.

The Obama brand of progressive liberalism is cynically banking on the belief that the American voter is more inclined to government dependency than self-sufficiency. Thus, they pander to that belief.

This is a far cry from “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” The modern Democratic Party leadership has turned JFK’s inspirational call for patriotism and civic responsibility on its head. And America deserves better than that.

The president will soon be in the Capitol arena delivering his State of Union address. An unencumbered Obama will no doubt offer up more bread and entertainment to energize his circus. Expect roars of approval from the Left.

After all, the show must go on.

GW 3Gary Wisenbaker, B.A., J.D. is a native of South Georgia where he practiced law in Valdosta and Savannah for 31 years. He has served as state Chairman of the Georgia Young Republicans and Chairman of the Chatham County (Savannah) Republican Party. Gary is a past GOP nominee for State Senate, past delegate to the Republican National Convention and has consulted on numerous local Republican campaigns as well as chaired or co-chaired campaigns for President and US Senate on the county and district level. He is the principal and founder of Blackstone, LLC, a corporate communications and public relations concern as well as Wiregrass Mediation Services, LLC, a general civil litigation mediation firm.

Gary hosts his own blog at www.garywisenbaker.com and recently published his first fictional work, “How Great is His Mercy: The Plea”, on Amazon.com. His opinions are regularly published on ValdostaToday.com and Zpolitics.com.