July 1, 2015 by Chris Kite
The right loves to label anyone they don’t agree with. My unscientific analysis says their most common labels are socialist and communist. Although tax and spend liberal is pretty common, too.
On this day in 1862, Republican President Abraham Lincoln signed into law the Revenue Act of 1862. It established a progressive income tax. The idea was to pay for the Civil War. But it wasn’t enough so he signed into law a tax increase in 1864. Who knew Lincoln was a “tax and spend” socialist? This is opposed to Republican President George W Bush who passed a tax cut when he started a war. Well two wars actually.
Also on this day in 1862, Lincoln signed into law the Pacific Railroad Act. In simple terms, this act recognized the importance of infrastructure and transportation and provided subsidies, in the form of land grants, to the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads. It also established the approximate route as along the 32nd parallel. This was a major federal government effort to establish a cross country railroad and telegraph. Lincoln and the current day politicians recognized the need for the federal government to help choose winners.
The very next day, Lincoln signed into law the Morrill Act of 1862 which established the first land grant colleges.
Abraham Lincoln is widely recognized by historians and politicians across the spectrum as one of the United State’s best Presidents. He was a Republican.
Today’s Republicans are against progressive taxes, against federal subsidies for businesses (unless those businesses are key to their re-election in which case, they suddenly are for them), against funding of higher education, and so pro-business anti-worker that they never would have even considered ending slavery. In fact, it is pretty safe to say that if Lincoln were a politician today, he would be labeled a tax and spend liberal socialist by Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Jeb Bush, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Donald Trump, Rick Santorum, Carly Fiorina, and all the other Republican candidates.
It’s a sad state of affairs that the extreme right has created in this country!