Last week I visited friends in the prosperous Maryland suburbs just north of Washington, D.C. Driving from South Jersey to our nation’s capital reminded me of a movie scene where the two “tributes” from District 9 rode the train to the Capitol for the Hunger Games.
Route 40 from Mays Landing to Woodstown has the same two lanes today that President Warren Harding built for Nucky Johnson in the 1920s. It is lined with many stores and factories that are shabby and/or vacant.
The I-495 Beltway around Washington, D.C. has four new, crowded lanes in each direction, surrounded by busy, upscale shops and restaurants and cranes for new construction.
When Mitt Romney talked about the 47 percent of Americans who pay little or no federal income taxes, he forgot about that new upper class of about 13 percent of Americans who do pay taxes, but get far more back from the government in salary, pensions, and benefits than they pay in.
There’s the more than 2.2 million civilians directly employed by the federal government, many of whom live in the wealthy suburbs of Washington, D.C. But that’s just the beginning.
But they also include millions of other employees of state, county, and local government agencies, “private” non-profit charities and community organizations.
There’s “green-energy” companies like Solyndra and General Electric (and their lawyer/lobbyists), which are paid with billions of dollars of grants, tax-credits, and “loans” from the federal government that are rarely paid back.
And employees and contractors of “private” theater companies, like the one in Somers Point that got a generous donation from a “private” hospital, which depends on direct and indirect payments from federal government agencies.
And the high-paid union contractors, employees, and union officials who shared some $600 million to replace two old drawbridges between Ocean City and Somers Point – three times the cost of the 1997 addition to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel built over 17.2 miles of open ocean.
When you add this 13 percent to the 47 percent who don’t pay federal income taxes, you end up with about 60 percent of Americans being supported by the other 40 percent.
The Obama Democrats won the 2012 election with lies. They convinced most of the 60 percent that they are “entitled” to this arrangement, and that the other 40 percent are rich enough and stupid enough to pay even more to support them.
But even if we taxed all the “millionaires and billionaires” (everyone making more than $500,000 per year) at 100 percent of their income, we would only collect $800 billion a year more – enough to balance the budget for 10 months.
And few rich people are stupid enough to invest in any business where they must pay higher taxes. That is why most of our TVs, computers, and smart phones are made in Asia; and why General Electric cut that deal with Obama where it paid no federal taxes on its big profits in 2010.
Republicans should be attacking, ridiculing, and discrediting the lies of the Democrats as vigorously as consistently as Democrats attack, ridicule, and discredit the truth of Republicans.
But instead Republicans, like our Gov. Chris Christie, praise Democrats and urge us to be more like them. Republican House Speaker John Boehner said he agrees with Democrats that the 40 percent are the ones not paying their fair share of taxes.
New Jersey Republicans have a unique opportunity to change the direction of their party and our country. Only two states, New Jersey and Virginia, have statewide elections for governor and legislature in 2013. The whole country will be watching New Jersey as they did in 2009 when Republican Christie defeated Democrat Corzine.
If Gov. Chris Christie and his “moderate” Republican friends in the Legislature are comfortably re-elected, Christie will be a model for the next Republican candidate for president. But if Tea Party conservatives run credible primary election campaigns against Christie and his handpicked choices, everything can change.
New Jersey conservatives should not whine, wish for a third party or sign 10th Amendment nullification petitions. Now is the time to prepare, organize, and take over the Republican Party.
Next year’s primary election is Tuesday, June 4. The deadline for candidates to file nominating petitions is Monday April 1, 2013.
Republican Gov. Christie, Democrat state Sens. Whelan and Van Drew and all 40 state senators and 80 state Assembly members will be up for election. So will all 80 members of the Republican State Committee – the organization that runs the Republican Party in New Jersey.
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