The Right Opinion

Ronald Reagan: Progressive Taxation Came Direct From Karl Marx

By Terence Jeffrey · Dec. 5, 2012

Ronald Reagan, who was then a movie actor, delivered one of the greatest and most prophetic speeches of the 20th century, when he appeared before the Orange County Press Club on July 28, 1961.

Vital Speeches of the Day later published the full text under the headline, “Encroaching Control: Keep Government Poor and Remain Free.”

Reagan made an alarming argument: Americans were slowly surrendering to socialism just as some socialists had predicted they would.

“Not too long ago,” Reagan said, “Norman Thomas, six times a candidate for president on the Socialist Party ticket, commented that 'the American people would never knowingly vote for socialism but that under the name of liberalism, they would adopt every fragment of the socialist program.'”

Reagan pointed to several examples, starting with health care.

“Traditionally, one of the easiest first steps in imposing socialism on a people has been government-paid medicine,” said Reagan. “It is the easiest to present as a humanitarian project. No one wants to oppose care for the sick.”

Four years before Medicare was enacted and 50 years before Obamacare, Reagan explained how the left was already pushing for compulsory health insurance as an intermediate step toward complete government control of medicine.

“It is now proposed that all people of Social Security age be given government paid medical and hospital care,” said Reagan. “Once again, emergency is invoked, and we are given a picture of millions of senior citizens desperately needing medical care and unable to finance it. In all the emotional presentation, the backers of this program seem strangely reluctant to face the facts.”

These facts, said Reagan, were that in 1961 more than two-thirds of American seniors already had private health insurance, and the percentage of Americans insured was growing. “As near as can be determined,” he said, “less than 10 percent of our senior citizens require aid in meeting their medical needs.”

But the socialists' aim was to control more than just the health care of the elderly. Back then, they were already advancing a bill in Congress “to force all people into a compulsory government health insurance program, regardless of need.

"Why?” asked Reagan. “Well, ex-Congressman (Aime) Forand provides the answer. He says, 'If we can only break through and get our foot in the door, then we can expand the program after that.'”

And, of course, they did. Medicare and Medicaid led to Obamacare. Obamacare, if left in place, will lead to a single-payer system.

Reagan applied the same correct reasoning to Social Security.

“The average citizen has been led to believe he and his employer are contributing to a fund and that some day he will call upon this, his own money, to carry him over his non-earning years,” said Reagan. “But this isn't what Social Security representatives said before the United States Supreme Court. They stated that Social Security was not an insurance program and was not based on any actuarial standards. They stated that Social Security dues are a tax for the general use of the government, and the payment of that tax does not automatically entitle anyone to benefits. Benefit payments are a welfare program, which can be curtailed or cancelled anytime Congress should so decide.”

This movie actor then predicted that younger Americans would eventually be taxed to cover Social Security's deficits and thus be deprived of earnings they could have put to better use themselves.

“And what of our sons – the young man joining the workforce in the next few years?” said Reagan. “He will be taxed to try and catch up on the mounting deficit. If he could have his Social Security tax to invest in private insurance, it would provide for almost double the benefits provided by Social Security.

"This is not the only price we are paying in individual freedom,” said Reagan. He went on to describe how federal subsidies and regulations would increase the power of Washington, D.C., over local public schools. “Federal aid is the foot in the door to federal control,” he warned.

But the socialists' ultimate tool was the progressive tax. “A basic point to remember,” Reagan said, “is that none of these extensions of socialism can be effected without money.”

“Once we were told the income tax would never be greater than 2 percent, and that only from the rich,” said Reagan. “In our lifetime, this law has grown from 31 to more than 440,000 words. We have received this progressive tax direct from Karl Marx, who designed it as the prime essential of a socialist state.”

“There can be no moral justification of the progressive tax,” he said.

Toward the end of his speech, Reagan told a story about testifying on tax reform in the House Ways and Means Committee. He discovered the committee was not interested in his ideas or those of many others who testified.

Later, Reagan said: “A handpicked group of predominantly campus economists appeared and talked of plugging loopholes to increase the government's tax revenue. Most of these so-called loopholes are the legitimate deductions without which the whole tax structure would have long since proved unworkable. The suggestions included disallowance of property taxes and interest on loans for income tax purposes and even the elimination of 100 percent deductions of charitable contributions.”

“We have a tax machine that, in direct contravention of the Constitution, is not designed to solely raise revenue but is used, openly and admittedly, to control and direct the economy and to equalize the earnings of our people,” said Reagan.

“Governments don't tax to get the money they need,” he said. “Governments will always find a need for the money they get.”

“Here is the main battleground!” declared the man who would become the greatest president of the 20th century. “We must reduce the government's supply of money and deny it the right to borrow.”

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10 Comments

wjm in Colorado said:

The Democrat Party Platform is the Communist Manifesto. Compare the two, they are identical. In my world, that makes any Democrat a Traitor.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA replied:

wjm, Our resident baby Communist Greg is back as usual spouting his nonsense. You think he would realize he is out of his league and should go play in the playpen with his fellow baby liberals and let the adults alone.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Gregory in Yakima Wa. said:

The world is evolving, the far right wing doesn't. Where the remnants of nutter philosophy are not diminishing, they are making themselves irrelevant.

Security and economic vitality belong to the nation most efficient in energy use. Reagan believed natural resources were a never ending cornucopia to be exploited without a care for the future.

Economic initiative includes planning for an evolving future not the 1950's. A

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Gregory in Yakima Wa. said:

See what I mean?: "Fox News Pushing Karl Rove, Dick Morris Off The Air"

"Rove turned heads with an Election-night meltdown on Fox News, where he questioned the network's "premature" decision to call Ohio and, subsequently, the race for President Barack Obama. Fox News Executive Vice President of News Editorial Michael Clemente told the Associated Press the morning after that Rove's argument proved his value."

"The following day, Rove appeared on Fox News, charging that Obama's victory was a product of the president's ability to suppress the vote. A week later, Ailes admitted in an interview with TVNewser that he had a "what the?" reaction to Rove's Election-night antics."

"Rove's argument proved his value". Oh man, that's harsh but true. But it was true and obvious for years prior to the election night meltdown. I guess Fox propagandists thought he could still be exploited for political purposes. They were wrong considering the rout of President Obama over Romney.

But the really good thing is the President will be able to nominate a supreme Court justice or two. That'll be a really great legacy. It's time for you kids to make lemonade from all those lemons.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Capt. Call in New Mexico replied:

"But the really good thing is the President will be able to nominate a supreme Court justice or two. That'll be a really great legacy. It's time for you kids to make lemonade from all those lemons."

A really good thing for whom? Certainly not for unborn children! Babies are being dragged away to their deaths in this country, and ANYONE who votes for a Democrat in the Federal Government is just as guilty as if he/she had killed the baby him/herself. There is no excuse in God's eyes for Murder. So you don't believe it is Murder...that doesn't change the fact that it is Murder in God's eyes.

"Deliver those who are being taken away to death,
And those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back.
12 If you say, “See, we did not know this,”
Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts?
And does He not know it who keeps your soul?
And will He not render to man according to his work?"
(Proverbs 24:11 NAS)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Stephen in NH said:

Reagan was correct. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Social Security has never been and is not now a contract. See Flemming v. Nestor, 363 U.S. 603, 610, 80 S.Ct. 1367 (1960). This means if Congress decided tomorrow to cut off all Social Security, nobody would have any claim for payment.

In 1953, a subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee conducted hearings for the express purpose of settling the question of whether social security was contractual in nature; see Hearings of November 27, 1953 entitled "The Legal Status of OASI Benefits,"

At pages 1013-14 (the Chair's concluding remarks):
"Chairman Curtis: Mr. Altmeyer, it is apparent that the people of the country have no insurance contract. That does not mean that I do not want to do my full part to do justice to them and to carry out and make good on the moral commitment that has been made to them. Yet, notwithstanding the fact that they had no insurance contract, it remains true that the agency under your direction repeatedly in public statements, by pamphlets, radio addresses, and by other means, told the people of the country that they had insurance. I think a number of people were misled by that."

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 11:10 AM

p3orion in Midland, Georgia replied:

I've said many times that Social Security is the wedge we could finally drive between the Democrat party and the blacks ever on its plantation.

One of the most insidious aspects of Social Security is that no, it is NOT "your money" that you paid in all those years. Therefore, when you die, you cannot pass it on to your family as you could a retirement account you yourself had maintained.

But who do the actuarial tables reveal is most likely to die before getting back what they paid into the Social Security system? Black men!

Turn the tables on the Democrats, and spin their never-ending support for Social Security as a money grab that transfers wealth from blacks to whites. It'll be fun to watch them take shots at each other!

Friday, December 7, 2012 at 9:46 AM

Gregory in Yakima Wa. said:

Karl Marx gets too much credit for today's modern solutions. Of course I realize if someone says Reagan said something it's more true than anything anyone else says.

Just the same here's something to ponder: "The earliest known application of progressive taxation took place in Great Britain in the 14th century.[12] In the United States, the first progressive income tax was established by the Revenue Act of 1862, which was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln and repealed the short-lived flat tax contained in the Revenue Act of 1861."

Replace Karl Marx with Abraham Lincoln and Terrence Jeffrey is more correct. Still the same wrong conclusion however. You're welcome.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Shari in Idaho said:

It came incrementally, insidiously. Cloaked in flawed idealism of social justice and other oxymorons whose only goal was to steal America's wealth for the government bureaucrats' piggy banks. "We must reduce the government's supply of money and deny it the right to borrow." Reagan got it right. DC obliterated the thought and the government, right now, is living/spending on a Credit Card while the majority of working Americans are living with less than ever before in Recent history. -All by design. Marx wanted everything from those who had to give to those that didn't have. On thing Obama doesn't admit is that in his/the New World Order there will be no one on welfare..no one. Either you work and contribute-or you are Eliminated. Thus the UN Greedy Grabby Treaties to control the lives of the disabled, elderly, and the gun loving, freedom loving Americans. None of these mandates will apply to those at the top of the government like Obama and his cronies.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Tod the tool guy in brooklyn ny said:

To Greg, the mental midget: The world is being wrapped in a poisonous web of SOCIALISM. Ronald Reagan believed that fossil fuels are gifts from God, to be recovered, refined, and consumed wisely!We still believe that Energy Independence is the way to Drill/frack!Evolution is a hoax, as is global warming, and green energy fairy tales! Tractor trailors need horsepower, torque, and high compression--DIESEL, baby!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 5:58 PM