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Hinckley vs Whitehouse: A Spiritual War

Saturday, October 27, 2012


The shellacking that US Senate candidate Barry Hinckley (R) delivered to Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D) during their Tuesday night debate was as predictable as the sunrise. But it became especially anticipated during Whitehouse’s opening remarks, when he confirmed that all he had armed himself with was the rhetoric of class warfare, political myths, economic ignorance, and a cheap compulsion to blame the current Democratic economy on George W. Bush – whose tax cuts, by the way, didn’t cause “the biggest economic calamity…since the Great Depression,” as Whitehouse attempted to suggest.

As we have now been reminded of the blame for the 2008 housing crisis largely falls upon the heads of DC Democrats. Or, if one prefers to ignore that reality, as the second-most untalented member of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation – Rep. Jim Langevin (D) – recently admitted, “Many of the changes in the financial system that took place that ultimately led to a near-economic collapse in many ways took place before I was even in Congress [twelve years ago]…They were years in the making…I’m as angry as anyone else.”

Okay, fine. Either way, though, it wasn’t Bush’s tax cuts. So all you Democrats can stop lying now.

Sheldon Whitehouse, the US Senator who recently voted to raise income taxes on Rhode Islanders earning over $200,000 per year – legislation that Ernst & Young calculated would have potentially “kill[ed] more than 700,000 jobs” – had the nerve on Tuesday night to pretend as if he cares about the state of the local “economy” or the “upward mobility” of younger Rhode Islanders.

Rhode Islanders should remember that Sheldon Whitehouse’s most prominent piece of legislation is the “Buffett Rule” (officially named the “Paying A Fair Share Act”) – class-envy legislation that has been exposed as a “political gimmick” (Forbes) that “solves no significant economic problem” (CNN), and that Whitehouse has admitted is “not a job-creating bill.”

Exactly. The Buffett Rule is a “This-Will-Trick-Rhode-Islanders-Into-Re-Electing-Me” bill.

This is the same Sheldon Whitehouse who said during his opening statement, “We have to press hard for jobs and economic recovery, to sustain our country’s economic recovery and to accelerate Rhode Island’s economic recovery.”

Thousands of educated voters throughout Rhode Island simultaneously threw up.

Food Stamps: The New Middle Class

It was evident throughout the debate that Whitehouse has no clue how to spur economic growth (more government spending seemed to be his brightest idea). But during his opening statement the Senator did speak of growing the economy from the “middle class, out” – the Democrats’ new focus-group-tested phrase designed to schmooze the millions of voters found within the nation’s largest economic voting bloc. It’s not the rich who grow the economy, it’s the middle-class! And they’re going to do it with the food stamps we give them!

That’s what “Middle Class, Out” really means. And that’s how Democrats fill Americans with pride.

The differences between the two major parties were on parade the other night. While Hinckley’s arguments were often reminiscent of Ronald Reagan’s famous assertion – “I happen to think that the best social program is a job” – it was clear that Whitehouse is a disciple of a less-stellar individual, San Francisco’s Nancy Pelosi, who claims that “for every dollar a person receives in food stamps…$1.79 is put back into the economy” (CNN.com), and that the extension of unemployment benefits “injects demand into the economy…It creates jobs faster than almost any other initiative you can name.”

Whitehouse claimed, “We have to [revive the economy] from the middle class, out. We’ve tried pushing all the benefits to the top and having it trickle down. That’s wrong, and it doesn’t work.”

But, of course, it does work.

The debate between Hinckley and Whitehouse served to reinforce what many of us already know: Democrats believe food stamps lift people out of poverty. Republicans believe jobs lift people out of poverty.

After all, that’s what “trickle-down” indicates. It’s simply an expression of employment. Didn’t the money in your pocket once belong to your boss? Well, that’s called “trickle down.” Democrats will have nothing of it.

The Democrats new term – “Middle Class, Out” – invariably involves making more and more Americans dependent upon the government through policies of redistribution. It is a phrase that commands more taxes and more government spending. More Food Stamps. More Medicaid. More ways to create artificial “demand” for goods and services provided by your former employer.

“Middle Class, Out” serves as a distraction from the independence and the opportunity that Republicans attempt to spawn with free market policies – reminding average Americans of all the government goodies that could ultimately be taken away from them in the event that they, you know, start providing for themselves again.

As quickly as they are able to, Democrats are attempting to make the middle class lifestyle identical to the ghetto existence. And with 47 million Americans now relying on food stamps, it’s safe to say that they’re well on their way.

Once Democrats are done with the “middle,” you won’t want to be there.

Whitehouse: A Moral Objection To More Jobs

As much as Whitehouse wants Rhode Islanders to believe that “trickle-down” economics has been “tried” and “doesn’t work,” the fact of the matter is that unfettered capitalism is precisely what Democrats have refused to unleash these past four years, simply because it offends their moral sensibilities.

You’ll notice that, in addition to claiming that tax relief “doesn’t work,” Whitehouse emphatically declared that cutting taxes for those at “the top” is “wrong” – a similar contention to that of another popular Democrat, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D), who objects to job-spawning tax policies “if it’s [going to] accelerate wealth to the top in this country using a tax structure to do it…That’s wrong cuz it’s unfair. That’s not American.”

It doesn’t matter that economic liberty – allowing people to keep what they earn – has proven to be beneficial to the poor and middle class. Democrats simply find themselves to be religiously averse to such a system. It’s “wrong.” It’s “unfair.” Yes, you’ll have a job. But “greedy CEOs” and “evil corporations” will benefit as well. And that just won’t do.

It’s also important to note that Sheldon Whitehouse referred to people’s private property as “benefits.” No doubt Whitehouse was referring to the “benefits” of an economic system that – just by mere chance, it seems – happens to favor certain people while oppressing others.

In other words, “You didn’t build that.” Under this progressive pretense, it follows that it will be Sheldon Whitehouse who will rightfully decide where the “benefits” are “pushed.”

Republicans understand that government must take (steal) before it provides. But Democrats perceive American wealth as theirs to disperse. To Democrats, the amount you’re allowed to keep is the money “pushed” and “accelerated” – from them, to you.

From the opening moments of this week’s debate between Barry Hinckley and Sheldon Whitehouse, one could sense that it was about more than competing fiscal policies. The candidates were engaging in a spiritual battle for the soul of a nation. Will we revive a culture of independence, or will we fully adopt a culture of government enslavement? Freedom or Socialism? Liberty or Tyranny?

Watch the debate here. It’s time to make your decision.

Travis Rowley (TravisRowley.com) is chairman of the RI Young Republicans and author of The RI Republican: An Indictment of the Rhode Island Left.


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