Editor's Note: This column first appeared on TheHill.com and is free to all.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who is at least a co-frontrunner for her party’s presidential nomination, claims she’s a capitalist. But she sure has a funny way of showing it.
Let’s start with the way she described American corporations at October’s presidential debate: “They have no loyalty to America. They have no loyalty to American workers. They have no loyalty to American consumers. They have no loyalty to American communities. They are loyal only to their own bottom line.”
Then there are her many “plans” to fix America, which would cost so many trillions of dollars that it would cripple the economy and put millions of Americans out of work.
Or how about her tendency (along with most left-wing Democrats) to shamelessly wage class warfare, to vilify the rich and punish success? But Elizabeth Warren takes it a few steps further, with her wealth tax, which would tax the super rich on money they’ve already been taxed on.
The Wall Street Journal looked closely at Sen. Warren’s many plans that supposedly would be financed only by the wealthiest Americans and discovered that she “has unveiled sweeping tax proposals that would push federal tax rates on some billionaires and multimillionaires above 100 percent.”
So what if it’s mathematically ridiculous; it still might be a good way to garner votes. Or at least that’s the cynical idea behind many of Sen. Warren’s quasi-socialist tax plans. All we want, Ms. Warren says, is for the wealthiest Americans to pay their “fair share” to help the less fortunate.
But as Thomas Sowell, the California economist with an abundance of common sense, has asked: “Since this is an era when many people are concerned about ‘fairness’ and ‘social justice,’ what is your ‘fair share’ of what someone else has worked for?”
Someone ought to ask Elizabeth Warren that question at Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate.
If Sen. Warren had her way, the federal government would be even bigger and more intrusive than it is today — a lot bigger, and a lot more intrusive. There’d be a whole bunch of new regulations; Americans would lose their private health care insurance; shale fracking would be banned; blue-collar workers, for whom she claims to care so much, would lose their jobs.
But let’s not fret: Elizabeth Warren, after all, is a capitalist. Just ask her.
It’s a novel about how the government of the United States punishes successful business people, how it sees them as the villains of society, and how a mysterious heroic man called John Galt convinces business leaders to walk away from their companies as a “strike” by productive individuals against the “looters.”
Rand said her goal for writing the novel was “to show how desperately the world needs prime movers and how viciously it treats them” and to portray “what happens to the world without them.”
What happened in “Atlas Shrugged” is that the most successful business people did, in fact, drop out of society, and guess what? Without them the economy collapsed; America sank into a great depression.
And imagine if, in real life, the wealthiest Americans followed John Galt’s lead and said something like, “You might be able to confiscate our wealth but you can’t stop us from dropping out. You can’t make us keep our businesses open. You can’t stop us from furloughing workers as a protest against your toxic class-warfare malarkey.”
What would all those Americans who applaud Elizabeth Warren’s plan to soak the rich think then?
Like the ending of “Atlas Shrugged,” they’ll be begging the rich to come back, to open their businesses, to resuscitate the economy — and give them back their jobs.
Where have you gone, John Galt? With Elizabeth Warren and so many other progressive presidential wannabes vilifying success and offering “free” stuff in exchange for votes, America needs you, now more than ever.