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Marx, Engels, and Clark

Retired General Wesley Clark has thrown his hat in the ring as a candidate for president, running as a Democrat. What does he stand for? See this interesting excerpt from Clark’s interview with Tim Russert on Meet the Press June 15, 2003:

MR. RUSSERT: What do you think of the Bush tax cuts? Would you have voted for them?
GEN. CLARK: Well, I would not have supported them, no.
MR. RUSSERT: Why not?
GEN. CLARK: Well, first of all, they were not efficient in terms of stimulating the kind of demand we need to move the economy back into a recovery mode, a strong recovery and a recovery that provides jobs. There are more effective ways of using the resources. Secondly, the tax cuts weren?t fair. I mean, the people that need the money and deserve the money are the people who are paying less, not the people who are paying more. I thought this country was founded on a principle of progressive taxation.

Whoa! Progressive taxation was point #2 of the Communist Manifesto. The United States didn’t have a progressive income tax until the 16th Amendment was passed in 1913 (sort of–researchers have raised serious questions as to whether the required 3/4 majority of states legally ratified the amendment). In fact, the Supreme Court ruled the federal income tax unconstitutional in 1894. Pity it didn’t stick.

Why is Clark’s statement on this issue revealing? It shows that his sympathies lie a lot farther to the left than one would expect from the former supreme military commander of NATO. T. Coleman Andrews, head of the IRS in the early ’50s, put it this way in a statement he issued after his retirement:

“It (the income tax) employs the vicious communist principle of taking from each according to his accumulation of the fruits of his labor and giving to others according to their needs, regardless of whether those needs are the result of indolence or lack of pride, self-respect, personal dignity or other attributes of men.”

“The income tax is fulfilling the Marxist prophecy that the surest way to destroy a capitalist society is by steeply graduated taxes on income and heavy levies upon the estates of people when they die.”

Hmm. Maybe that’s why Democrats seem so fascinated with this guy.

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