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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 26, 2008 at 7:07 PM

Colin Powell’s Obama endorsement

Associated Press

Gen. Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama on Meet the Press.

Marxism didn’t work the first time

Editor, The Times:

Maureen Dowd says Gen. Colin Powell is justified in supporting Sen. Barack Obama because Republicans were claiming that spreading the wealth was socialism [“The Muslim who moved Powell,” Times, syndicated columnist, Oct. 23]. Dowd asserts that the purpose of taxes is to spread the wealth. Can she really believe that?

The doctrine of spreading the wealth is fundamental to Marxist economics. We all know what a miserable failure Marxist-style governments were in the Soviet Union and present-day Cuba and Korea. Is that what we want for America?

The greatness of our country lies in the concept of government with limited powers as set forth in the Constitution. England’s abuse of its power to tax played a large role in instigating the Revolutionary War.

Freeing ourselves of colonialism allowed us to become the freest nation on earth. Our Constitution spells out the limited powers of our government, such as national defense, and permits taxes to be raised to support the exercise of those powers. No power is given to the government to arbitrarily transfer wealth from one citizen to another.

As our country changed, governmental powers necessarily changed to meet the new conditions. Unfortunately, these changes caused many to believe that unlimited expansion of government was both necessary and desirable. This led to an erosion of the concept of private property and free markets.

Use of the power to tax, formerly feared as the power to destroy, became the sanctioned method of promoting social and economic policies not otherwise sanctioned by law.

The redistribution of wealth on Marxist-totalitarian principles has been embraced by the extreme left. Programs to effectuate such redistribution would entail the creation of a huge bureaucracy whose agents would have the power to decide how much of your money you can keep and how much you must give to others whom the bureaucracy deems worthy.

The worst aspect of this controversy is the refusal of those who advocate redistribution to debate the issue on its merits. They simply deny that redistribution is socialism without giving any reasons for the denial. And then they indulge in vituperative attacks against those who would objectively demonstrate the fallacies inherent in their scheme to impose such a tyrannical system on the American people.

–Arlene Heath, Seattle

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