It doesn’t have quite the snappy ring of “Joe the Plumber,” but it will do. Earlier today Joe Biden was in Wisconsin, trying to help Russ Feingold salvage his Senate run, and he stopped at a frozen custard stand. When he asked the proprietor how much the custard cost, the proprietor answered, “Nothing, just lower our taxes.” Here is the exchange:
Biden, of course, had no response. The last thing Joe Biden or any other Democrat intends to do is lower any taxpayer’s bill. The longer the Dems govern, the more obvious it becomes that there is a stark and growing division between two categories of citizens with diametrically opposed economic interests: those who work in the private sector and those who are government employees. The Democrats are the party of the public employee unions. That sums them up in a nutshell; there isn’t much more to be said about them.
This graph, courtesy of Veronique de Rugy at The Corner, depicts the contrast in these two groups’ fortunes. Since the recession started, almost eight million private sector jobs have been lost. But no worries if you’re a government employee; in the public sector, almost 600,000 jobs have been gained. We are experiencing a deep private sector recession, combined with a government boom:
The Democrats’ “stimulus” bill was a joke. Much of the money never has been spent, and most of what was spent went to state and local governments to subsidize the salaries of public employees, the Democratic Party’s core constituency. Consequently, the public employee boom continued as the recession deepened.
If you are a government employee, you have little reason to favor tax cuts: taxes pay your salary. As confiscatory taxation and over-regulation strangle private enterprise, the government is presented with endless excuses to increase public employment as a supposed response to the crisis in the private sector. It is a vicious cycle, but one that inevitably comes to an end. The goose stops laying eggs, or, as Margaret Thatcher put it, eventually you run out of other people’s money.
In the meantime, the sharp conflict we are experiencing between government and the private sector is almost enough to make a neo-Marxist out of me. We have an oppressive ruling class–the government and its foot-soldiers, members of AFSCME–and an exploited, subservient working class, those who toil in the private sector for wages that currently average only around one-half of what our ruling class, government employees, are paid. The tick, in other words, is now faring much better than the dog.
Workers of the private sector, arise! You can no longer afford to keep your public sector masters in the lavish style to which they have become accustomed.
UPDATE: Biden thought Kopp was being a “smartass” for suggesting that the Democrats should lower taxes.
Everyone involved laughed it off, but a serious point lingered. A simple way to think about the Democratic Party is, you’re the human being, they’re the tapeworm. Yet they claim a weird sort of parasite’s moral superiority over you: if you point out that they have their hand in your pocket, you’re a “smartass.” The Democratic Party needs to be torn, root and branch, from our public life.
Most Read on Power Line
Donate to PL
Commenters who employ what we deem extreme vulgarity in a comment — “s***,” “f***,” “a*******,” or one of their many variants — will be banned without further notice.
Subscribe to Power Line by Email
Find us on Facebook
“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill
“Proclaim Liberty throughout All the land unto All the Inhabitants Thereof.” Inscription on the Liberty Bell