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All Da King's Men

Venezuela: Socialist Paradise

By Da King Published: December 18, 2010

This post is for all you statists who think the government should be able to force the people to do whatever the government thinks is best, whether it is constitutional or not.

The Venezuelan Congress granted President Hugo Chavez the right to enact laws by decree, according to the Washington Post:

Chavez has argued he needs decree powers to fast-track funds to help the victims of recent floods and landslides, and also to hasten Venezuela's transition to a socialist state.

He taunted his opponents in a televised speech Friday night, saying now that he has decree powers they won't be able to block his laws.

"You won't be able to make a single law, 'pitiyanquis,'" Chavez said, using one of his favorite insults, which refers to U.S. collaborators and translates as "little Yankees." "We're going to see how you make laws now."

Great guy, that Chavez. Nothing like the voice of the people being the voice of ONE person. That always works out so well. I also have a question for the Venezuelan Congress. If you let Chavez enact laws by decree, for what does Venezuela need a Congress ? To referee soccer matches ?

Like any good Socialist, Chavez knows how dangerous free speech can be:

Another measure under discussion Friday was the revised "Social Responsibility Law," which would impose broadcast-type regulations on the Internet and ban online messages "that could incite or promote hatred," create "anxiety" in the population or "disrespect public authorities."

Questions remain about how the Internet regulations would be enforced.

Yes, we certainly wouldn't want anxiety in the population to lead to disrespect of public authorities (read: disagreement with Hugo Chavez). Better to nip dissent in the bud and shut it down.

Naturally, the diktats of Chavez will go way beyond shutting down his opposition:

The law granting Chavez decree powers - for the fourth time in his nearly 12-year presidency - also will allow him to unilaterally enact measures involving telecommunications, the banking system, information technology, the military, rural and urban land use and the country's "socio-economic system."

Among the planned decrees already announced, Chavez intends to increase the value-added tax, now 12 percent, to raise funds for coping with the disaster caused by weeks of heavy rains. The government is erecting tents to house thousands left homeless and is accelerating public housing construction.

Critics accuse Chavez of taking advantage of the disaster to tighten his grip on power, saying he is violating the constitution while trying to impose a Cuba-style system.

Lawmaker Pastora Medina, a former Chavez ally who turned against him, condemned the decree powers saying the president already "has the budget and the resources to solve the problems."

Newly elected opposition lawmaker Julio Borges said Chavez is trying to use the Christmas lull when Venezuelans are focused on other matters to push through "laws that have one single purpose: to give more power to the government and take power away from the people."

Borges said the opposition will keep fighting and that "the Cuban project is going to fail."

The opposition to Chavez must be a bunch of radical conservative wingnuts, eh liberals ? Besides, what's wrong with Cuba ? Left-wing filmmaker and noted dipstick Michael Moore LOVED it there (FYI - Even Cubans thought Moore's healthcare film Sicko was a bunch of hooey. Cuba banned the film, calling Moore's take on Cuba's medical system "mythical." Cuban authorities feared a popular backlash against Moore's blatant propaganda, according to a Wikileaks document drop. Naturally, liberal morons in America nominated the film for an Academy Award).

Because Chavez's opposition hasn't been completely stifled yet, Chavez took a page from FDR's infamous court-packing plan:

...when the new congress takes office with 67 of the 165 seats controlled by the opposition - enough to prevent Chavez from having the two-thirds majority needed to approve some types of major legislation and to confirm Supreme Court justices.

Anticipating that shift, pro-Chavez lawmakers earlier this month appointed nine new Supreme Court justices, reinforcing the dominance of judges widely seen as friendly to his government.

Chavez is making some other "improvements for the public good":

Lawmakers on Friday also approved a separate law that describes banking as a "public service" and clears the way for increased state intervention in the sector. Venezuela's private banks make up about 70 percent of the industry, while the government controls the rest.

Chavez, meanwhile, is pushing ahead with efforts to take over swaths of farmland. On Friday, officials and troops seized 47 private ranches in western Venezuela. Chavez has ordered the expropriation of a growing list of businesses, and the government says it has seized more than 5.6 million acres (2.3 million hectares) of rural land.

Whatever is good for the collective, right Socialists ??? We don't need no stinking individual rights.

This isn't Hugo Chavez's first round of royal decrees either:

The last time, he used [decrees] for 18 months to enact more than 60 laws, seizing control of privately run oil fields, changing financial regulations, imposing new taxes and nationalizing telecommunications, electricity and cement companies.

Yes, kiddies, all behold the socialist paradise. Why, they even have "free" healthcare to go along with their 25-27 percent inflation....though another Wikileaks document said Venezuela's healthcare system is falling apart:

Some of Venezuela's public hospitals are closing. Others are ridden with crime. Many physicians are quitting medicine -- starting new careers in Venezuela or emigrating, upset at being paid a pittance or not at all. Medical supplies are in short supply.

A "confidential" U.S. Embassy cable from Caracas, just released by WikiLeaks, says socialist Venezuela's health care system is in "disarray" -- and the poor are suffering the most.

Hmmm. Wasn't the left calling for nationalized healthcare here in America, and also for taking the profit out of our healthcare system ? I seem to recall something like that. Maybe we should rethink those ideas.

A look at Venezuela's tax structure reveals lots of what left-wingers want for America:

Corporate income is taxed according to a schedule with three brackets—15%, 22% and 34%—except for that derived from the hydrocarbons industry. The effective rate depends on the applicability of a 10% investment tax credit for investment in fixed assets. Exemptions are available for income from new industries or from agriculture, livestock, reforestation, and fishing. In 2002, corporations engaged in the hydrocarbons industry were taxed at a flat rate of 50%, down from 67.7% previously. There are also municipal business taxes ranging from 0.3% to 9.4% depending on location and business activity involved. Capital gains are considered as part of corporate income. Dividends for oil companies are taxed at 67.7% and for mining companies at 60%. Dividends from other companies are taxed at 34%. There are also corporate registration fees and a 1% business assets tax.

The basic personal income tax schedule is progressive and contains eight brackets ranging from 6% to 34%. On payments due to nonresidents, technical aid is taxed at 10.2%, technical services at 17% and professional services at 30.6%. Salaries, premiums, and other sources of income for nonresidents are taxed at 34%. There are also inheritance and gift taxes, and a real estate tax.

A value-added tax (VAT) became effective in 1993 and since September 2002 has been levied at a standard rate of 16% [WaPo said the VAT was 12%. I don't know who is correct]. There are also entertainment and advertising taxes (in the Federal District), and minor excise taxes on liquor, tobacco, cigarettes, and petroleum products.

And those are just the federal taxes. As all left-wingers know, high taxes are gooood. It's the state that's important, not the individual, and corporations are the bad guys whose profits must be confiscated. A pox on free enterprise. Heck, with free enterprise, some people get richer than others (gasp!).

Maybe someone can tell me why Socialists invariably use "power to the people" as the anthem of their revolutionary efforts. I'm confused. Every time I see a socialist country arise, it seems like power is the last thing the people get. But then again, that's what all manner of statists typically do. They present the exact opposite of the truth as the truth ("ObamaCare will reduce medical costs !" "There's a huge Social Security Trust Fund !"). Socialists always say they are giving power to the people when in reality they are taking it all away. It reminds me of when Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont refers to himself as a "Democratic Socialist," an oxymoron if I ever heard one. Go figure.

Viva Le Revolucion !...suckers.

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