Kobach asks for radical changes

Kris Kobach, who wants to be Kansas Secretary of State and be in charge of the state’s elections, spoke at the public meeting in the courthouse park Friday night and listed three turning points that tilted power to the federal government and away from the states: Adopting the progressive income tax, creating the Internal Revenue Service and adopting President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal.
What a fascinating list.
The 16th amendment to the Constitution of the United States authorizes the individual income tax. It became law in 1913, before more than a handful of today’s Americans were born, after surviving the years-long process that adoption of a constitutional amendment requires. Angered by the outrageous amounts of money piled up by robber barons and other monopolists in America’s gilded age, a large majority of the American people were determined to move toward a more equitable society.
The Internal Revenue Service, in contrast, was merely a bureau set up to administer and enforce the income tax laws established by Congress following the passage of the amendment.
Roosevelt’s New Deal was passed to push and pull the nation out of the Great Depression. Some of the programs were declared unconstitutional and scrapped. Others survive to this day, most notably Social Security (1935) and the aid-to-agriculture farm programs.
Kobach would have us believe that these laws, these institutions, which have been in effect for four generations, started a process that is now sending the United States of America “full speed toward socialism.”
To demonstrate, he claimed that both the automobile and banking industries have been “nationalized.” This is not just an exaggeration, there is not an iota of truth in it. To nationalize means for a nation to take over, to own. There are activities the federal government controls, such as the military, veteran’s hospitals, the National Institutes of Health, the Postal Service and others. But our federal government is not running the automobile industry — ask any Ford dealer — and most certainly isn’t managing or financing the banking industry.
Speakers at political meetings must be given license to spout off and be careless with the truth. Others have an equal right — perhaps an obligation — to set the facts back up on their feet.
Kobach, who wants one of the key political positions in our state, apparently wishes there were no such institutions as Social Security, and Medicare, its companion benefit for those over 65, the farm program, food stamps, school lunches — and apparently believes there is no way to address the ruinous cost of the U.S. health care system that stops short of full blown socialism.
This is not a man in touch with today’s realities.
Finally, he and the others warning of socialism — a system in which the state owns the means of production and distribution — should become aware that socialism is pretty much a thing of the past. Russia dumped it in 1989. There are no socialist countries in Europe of any size.
The Labor Party in England shoved aside its left wing under Tony Blair but still faces defeat by the Conservatives in the next election. And so on down the list. Of the faithful, only Castro’s Cuba remains.
Beating that dead horse in the year 2009 can only be interpreted as an angry demand for anarchy; for no government at all. And that’s not an answer any significant number of Americans would accept.

— Emerson Lynn, jr.