By STAR PARKER
South Carolina Democratic voters have revived Joe Biden’s candidacy.
Maybe I should say that South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn has.
According to exit polls, 61 percent said Clyburn’s endorsement of Biden was an “important factor” in their decision, and 27 percent said it was “the most important factor.”
Clyburn explained Biden is his friend and has been a reliable vote for government programs that blacks like.
He also argued that with Biden on the ticket, reelection prospects for congressmen and congresswomen running for election down ticket would be better.
“We need to keep the House speakership under Nancy Pelosi,” said Clyburn.
Now, the whole Democratic establishment is piling on to endorse Biden and push out Bernie Sanders. But are they being straight with us?
It goes back to my column of a few weeks ago: “It doesn’t matter which Democrat wins.”
Despite Sanders’ socialist declarations, the realities that would result under him or under Biden are barely distinguishable.
The country is already well down the path to socialism. And without major reforms to take things in a different direction, it will only become more so.
The saying popularized by Karl Marx, summing up the ethos of communism, was, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” That is, those with political power get the final say regarding who has what.
In our own country, we call these transfer payments. Government takes from one set of taxpayers and redistributes through government programs to others.
According to American Enterprise Institute economist Mark Perry, in 1950, transfer payments made up of less than 20 percent of the federal budget. By 2012, they were 70 percent.
Former Senate Banking Committee chairman Phil Gramm and former Bureau of Labor Statistics assistant commissioner John Early summarized the extent to which government now redistributes our economic resources (that is, how much socialism we already have) in a recent Wall Street Journal opinion column.
Per Gramm and Early, “More than 80 percent of all taxes” are paid by households with incomes in the top 40 percent and “more than 70 percent of government transfer payments” go to households with incomes in the bottom 40 percent.
We’re talking about programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps — all told, around 95 federal programs.
The average household income in the bottom 20 percent is $4,908, say Gramm and Early. That household, they say, receives $45,389 in government transfers.
Without reforms, American socialism will just expand.
Unfunded liabilities — the projection of shortfall in current taxes to meet future requirements — of Social Security and Medicare are around $50 trillion, per trustees of the programs. That’s more than twice our annual GDP.
Government needs to take more taxes to keep these programs going. That is, more socialism.
What are the chances that President Biden would introduce reforms to bring more market forces into the picture? Did you say zero?
So a President Sanders or Biden, in the end, wouldn’t be much different. At least Sanders is honest.
However, for a sitting senior congressman like Jim Clyburn, voting for Biden means his buddy of some 30 years would be sitting in the White House. Any question of whom he would prefer?
You might ask, “Doesn’t all this government make us a more moral society?” Consider that when the War on Poverty began in 1967, 70 percent of those in households in the bottom 20 percent were working. Now it is 36 percent — about half.
The difference between socialism and charity is that the latter is voluntary, individualized and motivated by personal caring. Charity aims to lift up the unfortunate and usually originates with people of faith.
Socialism is an atheistic institutionalized system that pretends to solve human challenges through politics. It’s why, in the end, it destroys the human spirit. This is the real problem in our poor communities.
So Bernie or Joe? There’s little difference.