Soaking the Rich Never Works




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The New York Times is doing their best to cover the spending tracks left by President Obama. The op-ed, titled "The Truth About the Deficit" could win gold in mental gymnastics. They bend, twist and contort the facts into a pretty little ball of "blame Bush."

I showed you yesterday that George W. Bush was part of the problem, but Obama is pressing the accelerator. The Times claims that the deficit is the result of cutting taxes on the wealthy and they offer this stern warning: "The last thing the government should do is slash spending."

History tells us that "taxing the rich" and slashing government spending are both progressive lies. I read a lot and I read a lot of in-depth history. I could send you to "Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalsm," but it will make your eyes bleed. Instead, this is a beginner's book of history, a gateway to the history that no one is teaching: "A Patriot's History of the United States."

I can't believe I'm going here, but let me tell you a little about Presidents Harding and Coolidge.

Andrew Mellon — he was the Timothy Geithner without the TurboTax scandal — did a study in 1921 on why the wealthier classes had paid less and less in taxes as the government raised the rates on them over and over again. Mellon found that higher taxes actually drove the money underground.

Let's put it in today's context. On Monday, I showed you the reports on Oprah Winfrey and her mansion in Montecito, California — because California has one of the highest progressive tax rates on people making over $1 million a year, she actually monitors the number of days she stays there, in order to avoid being considered a "full-time resident" and thus avoid paying the full punishment in taxes.

Here's another example: In 1969, Ireland introduced a tax-exempt status for artists. When they decided, in 2006, to put a cap on that tax break — 250,000 euros — Bono, another one of these celebrities who champion progressive politicians, promptly moved U2's business operations to the Netherlands.

That's how the money goes "underground," just like Mellon found in the 1920s; the uber-rich look to save money any way they can. And as long as it's legal, I don't blame them. But it drives me nuts when I see people like Oprah campaigning for the guy who wants more taxes and then she doesn't want to pay the taxes.

I mean, who do you think he's talking about when he says "the wealthiest one percent?" Come on, Oprah! Do your patriotic duty, like Vice President Biden says.

How about Michael Moore? I thought the rich don't pay their fair share? So why did he apply for and receive a tax credit from the state of Michigan of all places for shooting his latest film there? Michael, why are you so greedy?

Soaking the rich doesn't work; they move their money as California and New Jersey are finding out. They leave the state. New Jersey in four years has lost $70 billion in wealth.

They leave!

In the 1920s, Mellon found that "the rich" tended to invest abroad rather than build new factories and mills in the United States and pay the 73 percent tax on the income from those investments. That's right, 73 percent.

It didn't start that way, though. When progressive Woodrow Wilson introduced the "progressive income tax" in 1913, the 16th Amendment had to be passed because income taxes were unconstitutional. How did these reformers manage to get it passed? They said taxes would be extremely low. Many would pay no taxes at all.

The richest of the rich only paid seven percent, while the average American paid one percent. Of course, it didn't last. By the end of Wilson's term the lowest bracket bumped up to four percent and the highest at 73 percent.

President Harding decided to listen to Mellon. And from 1921 to 1926, Congress worked to reduce the top tax rates. Eventually they got to top rates down to 25 percent. The result: Tax revenues from the wealthiest taxpayers tripled. The national debt dropped from $24 billion to $18 billion.

President Calvin Coolidge assumed the presidency in 1923 after Harding suddenly died and continued with the smaller government, lower tax strategy. He talked about not building up the weak by pulling down the strong; not being in a hurry to legislate and cutting the size of government. Coolidge and Harding decreased the real per capita federal expenditures from $170 per year in 1920 to $70 in 1924.

These policies, along with fostering the mentality of self-reliance (the opposite of what progressives had been preaching the previous 20 years) and the opposite of what they preach now, by saying "too big to fail" or you can't make it without government safety nets.

What followed was arguably one of the most prosperous eight years this country has ever seen. You've probably heard of a little term called "The Roaring Twenties," right? The progressive history books have done their best to hide the fact that a lot of it had to do with Mellon's tax policies, including the tax cuts for the wealthy.

Progressives don't want you to know this. They'll say the tax cuts and small government caused the Great Depression. No, I'm going to go out on a limb here and use common sense: The same things that caused the problems of today were the root of the problem in 1929: greed; the Federal Reserve; government making every single mistake. The president before the crash was a Republican, but a progressive Republican. But, that's for another show.

Let me get back to what happened when they cut taxes in 1921:

Automobile production was up 191 percent for the decade and while the elites bemoaned those wealthy fat cats and their automobiles, their appetite for driving created jobs. The demand for auto-related products skyrocketed: metal; lumber; steel; cotton; leather; paint; rubber; glass and of course, gasoline. Companies had to be created to meet the demand. This is real job creation. People had to be hired. Roads were being built. State highway construction spending increased tenfold between 1918 and 1930; did they fire all the cops and teachers?

In 1920 there were only 5,800 passengers who had flown on a plane. By 1930 it was 70 times that amount.

RCA brought us the radio and along with it, advertising. Now you could hear Babe Ruth hitting home runs all anywhere in the country.

Thomas Edison brought us movies in the 1880s, but in the 1920s the true modern-era motion picture arrived with Cecil B. Demille and "The Ten Commandments."

A whistling Mickey Mouse was introduced to America by Walt Disney in 1928; the first cartoon with synchronized sound.

Conveniences like telephones became less exclusive and more commonplace in the '20s. More Americans had irons, vacuums, washing machines and refrigerators. And all of these new products meant there was a demand for something else: energy. America needed huge power plants.

Does all of this innovation and growth seem to anyone else, like lasting job creation? Assuming the Fed and the government don't come in and screw everything up. And unlike the temporary jobs or the low-paying census jobs our government creates, per capita income had increased 37 percent from 1921 and 1929. People saved and invested like never before, gaining access to things for the first time such as life insurance.

It was America's coming-out party. And all of this success, all of the innovation, all of the prosperity without punishing the rich, without big government, absolutely baffled progressives. Especially the fact that everyone benefited; from the bottom up.

Evidence? Leon Trotsky, a Marxist revolutionary in the Soviet Union with Lenin, later lived in New York City in 1917. He fought all his life for Marxism to help the working class. Here's what he said about New York: "We rented an apartment in a workers district... and that apartment, at $18 a month, was equipped with all sorts of conveniences that we Europeans were quite unused to: Electric lights, gas cooking range, bath, telephone, automatic service elevator, and even a chute for the garbage."

What would Mr. Communism himself have said about New York a decade later? This was the conditions for the working class under evil, evil capitalism.

I can tell you what the intellectuals and the progressives said. F. Scott Fitzgerald said that Americans had engaged in "the greatest, gaudiest spree in history."

What do you think "The Great Gatsby" was all about? How materialistic and evil the average American had become? No. Did you read your own book?

The fact that the middle class was closing in on the upper class because the policies of smaller government — decreasing government spending and cutting taxes on the wealthy — were working didn't sit well with progressives.

And we are at the same place in history today.

We have a clear choice: Do we listen to the elites and The New York Times who warns of the dangers of cutting spending and lowering taxes? Or do we listen to our gut and common sense? The things that work in our own home. If the boss is having trouble keeping the doors open, you don't ask for a raise. If you are in debt, you stop spending.

We need to set the country back on the course of personal responsibility and innovation because that leads to prosperity and a better life for all of its citizens.

— Watch Glenn Beck weekdays at 5p & 2a ET on Fox News Channel

The number of people serving life sentences now exceeds the entire prison population in 1970, according to newly-released data from the Sentencing Project. The continued growth of life sentences is largely the result of "tough on crime" policies pushed by legislators in the 1990s, including presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Biden has since apologized for backing those types of policies, but it seems he has yet to learn his lesson. Indeed, Biden is backing yet another criminal justice policy with disastrous consequences—mandatory drug treatment for all drug offenders.

Proponents of this policy argue that forced drug treatment will reduce drug usage and recidivism and save lives. But the evidence simply isn't on their side. Mandatory treatment isn't just patently unethical, it's also ineffective—and dangerous.

Many well-meaning people view mandatory treatment as a positive alternative to incarceration. But there's a reason that mandatory treatment is also known as "compulsory confinement." As author Maya Schenwar asks in The Guardian, "If shepherding live human bodies off to prison to isolate and manipulate them without their permission isn't ethical, why is shipping those bodies off to compulsory rehab an acceptable alternative?" Compulsory treatment isn't an alternative to incarceration. It is incarceration.

Compulsory treatment is also arguably a breach of international human rights agreements and ethical standards. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have made it clear that the standards of ethical treatment also apply to the treatment of drug dependence—standards that include the right to autonomy and self-determination. Indeed, according to UNODC, "people who use or are dependent on drugs do not automatically lack the capacity to consent to treatment...consent of the patient should be obtained before any treatment intervention." Forced treatment violates a person's right to be free from non-consensual medical treatment.

It's a useless endeavor, anyway, because studies have shown that it doesn't improve outcomes in reducing drug use and criminal recidivism. A review of nine studies, published in the International Journal of Drug Policy, failed to find sufficient evidence that compulsory drug treatment approaches are effective. The results didn't suggest improved outcomes in reducing drug use among drug-dependent individuals enrolled in compulsory treatment. However, some studies did suggest potential harm.

According to one study, 33% of compulsorily-treated participants were reincarcerated, compared to a mere 5% of the non-treatment sample population. Moreover, rates of post-release illicit drug use were higher among those who received compulsory treatment. Even worse, a 2016 report from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health found that people who received involuntary treatment were more than twice as likely to die of an opioid-related overdose than those with a history of only voluntary treatment.

These findings echo studies published in medical journals like Addiction and BMJ. A study in Addiction found that involuntary drug treatment was a risk factor for a non-fatal drug overdose. Similarly, a study in BMJ found that patients who successfully completed inpatient detoxification were more likely than other patients to die within a year. The high rate of overdose deaths by people previously involuntarily treated is likely because most people who are taken involuntarily aren't ready to stop using drugs, authors of the Addiction study reported. That makes sense. People who aren't ready to get clean will likely use again when they are released. For them, the only post-treatment difference will be lower tolerance, thanks to forced detoxification and abstinence. Indeed, a loss of tolerance, combined with the lack of a desire to stop using drugs, likely puts compulsorily-treated patients at a higher risk of overdose.

The UNODC agrees. In their words, compulsory treatment is "expensive, not cost-effective, and neither benefits the individual nor the community." So, then, why would we even try?

Biden is right to look for ways to combat addiction and drug crime outside of the criminal justice system. But forced drug treatment for all drug offenders is a flawed, unethical policy, with deadly consequences. If the goal is to help people and reduce harm, then there are plenty of ways to get there. Mandatory treatment isn't one of them.

Lindsay Marie is a policy analyst for the Lone Star Policy Institute, an independent think tank that promotes freedom and prosperity for all Texans. You can follow her on Twitter @LindsayMarieLP.

President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani joined Glenn Beck on Tuesday's radio program discuss the Senate's ongoing investigation into former vice president Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, and reveal new bombshell documents he's currently releasing.

Giuliani told Glenn he has evidence of "very, very serious crime at the highest levels of government," that the "corrupt media" is doing everything in their power to discredit.

He also dropped some major, previously unreported news: not only was Hunter Biden under investigation in 2016, when then-Vice President Biden "forced" the firing of Ukraine's prosecutor general Viktor Shokin, but so was the vice president himself.

"Shokin can prove he was investigating Biden and his son. And I now have the prosecutorial documents that show, all during that period of time, not only was Hunter Biden under investigation -- Joe Biden was under investigation," Giuliani explained. "It wasn't just Hunter."

Watch this clip to get a rundown of everything Giuliani has uncovered so far.

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For most Americans, the 1980s was marked by big hair, epic lightsaber battles, and school-skipping Ferris Bueller dancing his way into the hearts of millions.

But for Bernie Sanders — who, by the way, was at that time the oldest-looking 40-year-old in human history — the 1980s was a period of important personal milestones.

Prior to his successful 1980 campaign to become mayor of Burlington, Vermont, Sanders was mostly known around the Green Mountain State as a crazy, wildly idealistic socialist. (Think Karl Marx meets Don Quixote.) But everything started to change for Sanders when he became famous—or, in the eyes of many, notorious—for being "America's socialist mayor."

As mayor, Sanders' radical ideas were finally given the attention he had always craved but couldn't manage to capture. This makes this period of his career particularly interesting to study. Unlike today, the Bernie Sanders of the 1980s wasn't concerned with winning over an entire nation — just the wave of far-left New York City exiles that flooded Vermont in the 1960s and 1970s — and he was much more willing to openly align himself with local and national socialist and communist parties.


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Over the past few weeks, I have been reading news reports of Sanders recorded in the 1980s — because, you know, that's how guys like me spend their Saturday nights — and what I've found is pretty remarkable.

For starters, Sanders had (during the height of the Soviet Union) a very cozy relationship with people who openly advocated for Marxism and communism. He was an elector for the Socialist Workers Party and promoted the party's presidential candidates in 1980 and 1984.

To say the Socialist Workers Party was radical would be a tremendous understatement. It was widely known SWP was a communist organization mostly dedicated to the teachings of Marx and Leon Trotsky, one of the leaders of the Russian Revolution.

Among other radical things I've discovered in interviews Sanders conducted with the SWP's newspaper — appropriately named The Militant (seriously, you can't make this stuff up) — is a statement by Sanders published in June 1981 suggesting that some police departments "are dominated by fascists and Nazis," a comment that is just now being rediscovered for the first time in decades.

In 1980, Sanders lauded the Socialist Workers Party's "continued defense of the Cuban revolution." And later in the 1980s, Sanders reportedly endorsed a collection of speeches by the socialist Sandinistas in Nicaragua, even though there had been widespread media reports of the Sandinistas' many human rights violations prior to Sanders' endorsement, including "restrictions on free movement; torture; denial of due process; lack of freedom of thought, conscience and religion; denial of the right of association and of free labor unions."

Sanders also traveled to Nicaragua and met with socialist President Daniel Ortega. He later called the trip a "profoundly emotional experience."

Sanders also traveled to Nicaragua and met with socialist President Daniel Ortega. He later called the trip a "profoundly emotional experience."

Comrade Bernie's disturbing Marxist past, which is far more extensive than what can be covered in this short article, shouldn't be treated as a mere historical footnote. It clearly illustrates that Sanders' brand of "democratic socialism" is much more than a $15 minimum wage and calls for single-payer health care. It's full of Marxist philosophy, radical revolutionary thinking, anti-police rhetoric, and even support for authoritarian governments.

Millions of Americans have been tricked into thinking Sanders isn't the radical communist the historical record — and even Sanders' own words — clearly show that he is. But the deeper I have dug into Comrade Bernie's past, the more evident it has become that his thinking is much darker and more dangerous and twisted than many of his followers ever imagined.

Tomorrow night, don't miss Glenn Beck's special exposing the radicals who are running Bernie Sanders' campaign. From top to bottom, his campaign is staffed with hard-left extremists who are eager to burn down the system. The threat to our constitution is very real from Bernie's team, and it's unlike anything we've ever seen before in a U.S. election. Join Glenn on Wednesday, at 9 PM Eastern on BlazeTV's YouTube page, and on BlazeTV.com. And just in case you miss it live, the only way to catch all of Glenn's specials on-demand is by subscribing to Blaze TV.

Justin Haskins (Jhaskins@heartland.org) is editorial director of The Heartland Institute and editor-in-chief of StoppingSocialism.com.

Candace Owens, BLEXIT founder and author of the upcoming book, "Blackout," joined Glenn Beck on Friday's GlennTV for an exclusive interview. available only to BlazeTV subscribers.

Candace dropped a few truth-bombs about the progressive movement and what's happening to the Democratic Party. She said people are practically running away from the left due to their incessant push to dig up dirt on anybody who disagrees with their radical ideology. She explained how -- like China and its "social credit score" -- the left is shaping America into its own nightmarish episode of "Black Mirror."

"This game of making sure that everyone is politically correct is a societal atom bomb. There are no survivors. There's no one that is perfect," Candace said. "The idea that humanity can be perfect is Godless. If you accept that there is something greater than us, then you accept that we a flawed. To be human is to be flawed."

Enjoy this clip from the full episode below:

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BlazeTV subscribers can watch the full interview on BlazeTV.com. Use code GLENN to save $10 off one year of your subscription.

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