The Plunderers Hunger

     I remember quite clearly being taught that greed is one of the seven capital sins. It seems those bits of Christian teaching have been “redacted” for left-wing politicians. For them “greed” is something other people feel…for wanting to keep their earnings. Thus it comes as no surprise when an avowed socialist demands that some Americans submit to a 100% tax rate:

     Longtime wealth tax advocate Sen. Bernie Sanders has argued that all earnings above $1 billion in the U.S. should be confiscated by the government.

In an interview with HBO Max’s Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace, the Vermont senator was questioned about his long-standing view that billionaires should not exist.

“Are you basically saying that once you get to $999 million, the government should confiscate all the rest?” he was asked—to which Sanders responded: “Yeah.”

“You may disagree with me, but I think people can make it on $999 million,” Sanders added. “I think that they can survive just fine.”

Earlier this year, Sanders published It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism. During Friday’s show, he responded to questions on whether billionaires could actually boost the economy by creating employment.

“You can have a vibrant economy without [a handful of] people owning more wealth than the bottom half of American society,” he said, adding that if he had things his way those making “a whole lot of money” would have to “pay a whole lot of money.”

Sanders has long touted the idea of imposing much higher taxes on the wealthiest factions of U.S. society, proposing a wealth tax in 2019 when he was running to be the Democratic candidate for the 2020 presidential election.

The Vermont independent senator called for the richest 0.1% of American households—or those with a net worth of more than $32 million—to be liable for a new annual tax, with the tax rate increasing with net worth.

Under his proposal, a married couple with a net worth of $32 million would have paid a 1% wealth tax, while wealth over $10 billion would have been taxed at 8%.

“Under this plan, the wealth of billionaires would be cut in half over 15 years, which would substantially break up the concentration of wealth and power of this small privileged class,” Sanders argued during his campaign.

     Do you feel safe from the reach of this plan, Gentle Reader? I don’t, and I’m nowhere near a billion-a-year income. (Well, possibly in Zimbabwean dollars.) This is the sort of thing that has no bounds, no matter how it’s originally proposed.

     The justification is the important thing. Look closely at what Sanders said:

     “You may disagree with me, but I think people can make it on $999 million,” Sanders added. “I think that they can survive just fine.”

     Property rights? Bah! What matters is whether you need all that money. Who cares that you earned it by making things that other people want and are willing to pay for at market rates? That’s an Eighteenth-Century idea! Got to keep up with the happenin’ word, dude!

     Using that argument, there is no level of income, no level of wealth, and no item of your rightful, honestly acquired property that could not be seized from you…including the bread in your mouth at this very instant. The predator can always find someone who “needs” it more than you. Moreover, if there is any item of honestly acquired property, be it as small as a quark or as large as Jupiter, that can be seized for that reason, then no item of property is safe.

     The American Revolution was largely a defense of property rights. The protection of rightful property is inherent in the existence of a constitutionally defined government. Bernie Sanders doesn’t care. This scum, this Vermont weasel who has never earned an honest dollar in his life, acknowledges no item of property as beyond his grasp. Yet he has a seat in the United States Senate. Indeed, there are people who want him to be president.

     Quite a lot of people in the Right consider Sanders a pure buffoon, unworthy of a commentator’s attention. That’s a huge mistake. Sanders, however comical he may seem at times, is a vital political asset to the Left. He’s their trial-balloon-floater. He exists to put forth ideas such as the above, to sample the winds and create entering wedges for “reasonable” incursions on our rights. And note that he always, always expresses his venomous ideas in terms of “need,” “privilege,” and “fairness.”

     The income tax got started much the same way. It’s a story worth retelling:

     When the Sixteenth Amendment was being debated on the floor of the Senate, one of its opponents rose to ask the body what it could say to reassure the American public that this tax would not rise to seize some unconscionable fraction of their earnings — perhaps as much as ten percent! A pro-income-tax senator rose and replied that the country need never fear such a development: “The people would never allow it!”

     Others on the Left will make use of Sanders’s notion by applauding, not its predatory nature, but its celebration of need as the justification for expropriating “the rich.” “The rich” are the Left’s favorite whipping boys, even if Leftists can’t bring themselves to say exactly and finally who they are and what level of income or wealth defines them. They simply scream louder. They have too much! Others are in need! It’s not fair! Why are you defending such rampant inequality? Are you a racist?

     It’s not new, either:

     The day will come when…a multitude of people will choose the legislature. Is it possible to doubt what sort of a legislature will be chosen? On the one side is a statesman preaching patience, respect for rights, strict observance of the public faith. On the other is a demagogue ranting about the tyranny of capitalism and usury and asking why anyone should be permitted to drink champagne and to ride in a carriage while thousands of honest people are in want of necessaries. Which of the candidates is likely to be preferred by a workman? I seriously apprehend that you will, in some season of adversity, do things which will prevent prosperity from returning; that you will act like some people in a year of scarcity: devour all the seed corn and thus make next year a year, not of scarcity but of absolute failure. There will be, I fear, spoliation. This spoliation will increase distress. The distress will produce fresh spoliation. There is nothing to stay you. Your Constitution is all sail and no anchor. When Society has entered on this downward progress, either civilization or liberty must perish. Either some Caesar or Napoleon will seize the reins of government with a strong hand, or your Republic will be as fearfully plundered and laid waste in the twentieth century as the Roman Empire in the fifth, with this difference, that the Huns and Vandals who ravaged Rome came from without, and that your Huns and Vandals will have been engendered within your country, by your own institutions. – Thomas Babington Macaulay, in a letter to H. S. Randall of New York, 1857

     What Macaulay called spoliation, Frederic Bastiat called plunder. Remember that word. Its original use was in describing the actions of pirates, deemed “the enemies of all Mankind.” Today’s plunderers don’t fly the Jolly Roger; they use the Congress of the United States…in which, if I may repeat it, the citizens of Vermont have given a seat to the odious and intolerable Bernie Sanders, from which he spouts this bilge.

     Yet he is not alone in his viciousness. All those on the Left desire that his arguments should prevail. That would open the gates of unbounded plunder. “Need,” whether it’s employed positively or negatively, is the gateway drug to totalitarianism.


Skip to comment form

    • Ice Ice Trotsky on May 3, 2023 at 7:51 AM

    Esteemed CPUSA party member comrade commissar Barnie Sandlers!
    He’ll get the Ron Paul/Tulsi treatment for all time and enjoy his red sports car and luxury dachas.
    Didn’t the crystal ball that is the bible nail these end times.

    • Phil on May 3, 2023 at 10:47 AM

    Of course he will want a carve out for people such as himself.


    • Dan on May 3, 2023 at 11:05 AM

    Taxes are like gun control.  Once you let the camels nose into the tent eventually the whole camel shows up.  Once you accept taxation to punish the successful you have opened the door for taxation on everyone…at any level those in power choose to impose.  With gun control once you accept ANY law controlling guns you have granted those in power the ability to ban any and all guns.  Once people in power have achieved that power they ALWAYS use it to the maximum.

    • SiG on May 3, 2023 at 11:15 AM

    As usual, he starts with a faulty premise and carries it to an illogical conclusion.

    The premise is that billionaires have a billion dollars in income.  The number of people with an income of over a billion is absolutely not equal to the number of billionaires, who have a billion (or more) in assets on paper.  Those people almost without exception have stock and other paper assets that make them billionaires on paper.  It’s a rare occurrence for billionaires to sell enough of the paper assets to turn them into over a billion in income.

    But let’s put reality aside and ask a simple question.  If a multi-billionaire wants to sell off assets to buy another company, are they going to do that if it they know the entire sales proceeds are going to be confiscated?  Instead of being able to, say, buy Twitter (to use the recent example) they’re just going to put all of that paper wealth into the government’s hands?  A good use for the rarely used phrase “NFW” (at least, rarely used by me).   The result would be an absolute cessation of buying and selling big companies.  A market seizure.

    That may be the moron’s motive after all.



    • Chas on May 3, 2023 at 12:07 PM

    Does Sanders need 3 homes?????

    • Trumpeter on May 3, 2023 at 12:16 PM

    What I got out that was that Bernie’s making $999 million a year.

    • just me on May 3, 2023 at 12:27 PM

    some of the citizens of vermont. be aware that we have less than a million population, and are surrounded by blue hive centers. much as the new hampshire free state project was turned toward making it an effective haven for conservatives, vermont years ago succumbed to flatlanders that brought their “ideals” and “values” here to try after escaping from the failure of same in the eastern urban centers.

    rest assured, vermont is sharply divided, and many of us quietly consider the mess up close and personal. it is not the same state in which i grew up. many of us trade stories – three summers ago, i had a contractor on site while i built us an attached garage – complex project.

    he shared from his days in vermont’s northeast kingdom, that not long after bernie graced us with his of recent brooklyn presence, firewood in the neighborhood was unaccountably disappearing. one day, an observant neighbor caught our someday senator liberating some of same for his own use.

    i’m sure that firewood was used more fairly and wisely than it otherwise might have been. our little socialist star was at least consistent over the long haul.

    • gl on May 3, 2023 at 1:22 PM

    According to google, there are 735 billionaires in the United States. Bernie present his bill to ‘take’ all the wealth over $999,999,999.99 for the government, just how long do you think all 735 billionaires will still reside in the US after that?

    • dude on May 3, 2023 at 3:57 PM

    With the laws that Obummer passed it doesn’t matter where the billionaires might run to, they still have to pay their pound of flesh.

  1. Not that I’m a fan of Bernie – but if Gates, Soros, Zuckerberg, etc had most of their wealth confiscated, they might have less evil influence on the world.

    • Beatrice on May 3, 2023 at 6:05 PM

    Yup, Obama: At some point, you’ve made enough money…

    Bernie seems to think that the billionaires should pay for everything that the poor can’t afford. He was the favorite in 2016, but somehow Hillary got the nomination. He was the favorite in 2020, but somehow Biden got the nomination. Could it be that the billionaires control everything, and there’s no way that he could be elected?


    • Mark Matis on May 3, 2023 at 7:00 PM

    Does he feel the same about Soros?  And Zuckerberg?  If not, why not?  Or do you already know why?

    • ontoiran on May 3, 2023 at 8:28 PM

    this is what we get for giving everyone who can fog a mirror the vote

    • Mark on May 5, 2023 at 1:27 PM

    If something like this gets enacted, I want to see every affect person shut down all his business, close up shop, and send every employee home, saying “The government says I’ve made enough money, so I’m closing down until next year.  Enjoy the rest of your unpaid time off.”

    • anonymous on May 5, 2023 at 1:53 PM

    At some point, money equals power.

    As far as I can tell, there are absolutely no billionaires using their power or money to increase our freedoms, to hold back the encroachment of tyrannical gov’t, to stop or delay our society’s slide into gross, obscene immorality or to even handle the levels of inner city crime or homelessness.

    As far as I can tell, all the people with money and power are all aboard Bernie’s program, and they support all the problems (not the solutions) listed in the previous paragraph.  And many of them add on a healthy dose of population control as well.

    I am also of the opinion that one cannot “earn” a billion dollars without being involved in some criminal conspiracy to one extent or another.

    So, yeah, I’m not too worried about what will happen to the poor rich people or the corporations if their buddy, Bernie, gets his way.  You can take the immature libertarian “freedom economics” back to the third grade where it belongs.  The rich people own the gov’t, the gov’t works for the rich people, and both are ALREADY screwing you, if you hadn’t noticed.

    We’re on our own.

Comments have been disabled.