Coercion: the practice of compelling a person or manipulating them to behave in an involuntary way (whether through action or inaction) by use of threats, intimidation, trickery, or some other form of pressure or force. These are used as leverage, to force the victim to act in the desired way.
Extortion (also called shakedown, outwresting, and exaction) is a criminal offence which occurs when a person unlawfully obtains either money, property or services from a person(s), entity, or institution, through coercion. Refraining from doing harm is sometimes euphemistically called protection. Extortion is commonly practiced by organized crime groups. The actual obtainment of money or property is not required to commit the offense. Making a threat of violence which refers to a requirement of a payment of money or property to halt future violence is sufficient to commit the offense. Exaction refers not only to extortion or the unlawful demanding and obtaining of something through force, but additionally, in its formal definition, means the infliction of something such as pain and suffering or making somebody endure something unpleasant.
So, people, how is last night’s speech of President Obama NOT “extortion”? Has this not, in fact, been his preferred method all along? We see him in full make-up, glowering threateningly at us over his teleprompter and through the camera lens. He tells us he “cannot guarantee” that seniors will receive their Social Security checks. He “cannot guarantee” that our military will be compensated, now that he has them bombing Libya and moving by stealth into other Middle Eastern and Balkan areas. The obvious effect, and I would imagine a fairly predictable one, is to light up the switchboards of Congress with frantic callers of 62+ years, panicking and urging their representatives in Washington to buckle.
The only problem with this is that these senior citizens might succeed in securing Obama’s mission to scuttle spending reform only to receive their checks – written on worthless currency. When it takes a truckload of dollars to buy the week’s meager groceries and won’t cover the soaring energy bills (also guaranteed by Obama’s EPA), who will they call and what will they say? The issue is not that we can’t afford Social Security. The issue is that we can’t afford this president and his programs and his spending habits. We are dealing with a spoiled brat here, who figures that our financial problems are everyone’s but his.
“Tax the corporate jet owners! Make them pay! Share the burden!” Okay, Mr. President. Let’s look at that option. How much do we tax them? Here’s my proposal. We tell them that if they still own their jets by January 1 we will tax 100% of their net worth. That ought to take care of them. It will also put out of business a lot of employed pilots, a bucketload of union factory workers, a large number of salesmen and mechanics. But it’s worth it to end this “abuse”, right? And then let’s take a look at PUBLIC jet usage. As a part of this effort to empty the skies of corporate jets, let us require that Obama apply for special permission any time he deems it necessary to take Air Force One (and One-A) out of the hangar. No more little trips to India or Paris for Michelle and the kids. No more Guinness swilling in Dublin. No more trips to Brazil or Martha’s Vineyard, or anywhere else. In this age of instantaneous electronic communication, let this man sit at his desk, where he belongs while on the public clock. Let him use the miracles of modern day communication. He can conference call, just like the other executives. His wife can stay home and read or supervise the home these people inhabit at our expense. Let her do her duties as the White House hostess. She has been elected to do nothing. Until she is, she is merely a calf of the system, an adjunct. If this is not suitable, let her pursue a career for which she is trained, if she does have one. I am all about liberating women.
It is long past time to put the President and First Family on a budget. The president of a company might have a generous expense account. He must, however, account for it and show that his expenditures are indeed related to his office. If the company can’t afford $1 million for this he won’t have it at his disposal. He will have what the company can afford. This is how we must begin to run the White House. There should be minimal staff, few if any “vacations” and the only ones we should pay for are the weekends at Camp David, if we feel that, given our financial status we can even afford to maintain that. No more pizzas flown in from St. Louis if the account is used up. The girls should go to a public school like the other children of working people in Washington, whose wish to continue the voucher system was scotched by this man.
We have as the Head of our government a man who believes himself to be a member of some kind of “elite”, or ‘nobility”. In America we don’t have this, Mr. President. If you are successful and earn a good living you can spend it on jets, yachts, trips, $500 sneakers, fly in pizza from St. Louis to Washington (because, of course, no one can make pizza in Washington) or fly lobster into the woods of Montana. But you, sir, are a public SERVANT. The operative word is “servant”. You are doing whatever extravagant thing you do on our backs. Don’t talk to us about “fairness” or “sharing the burden”. Don’t you dare.
And don’t believe for a moment that you will be forgiven for your insult to the working people, to elderly Americans retired after a lifetime of contributing, and to our valiant military families. You are none of the above. You have no business extorting phone calls to Washington from us by threatening to withhold government checks or default on the debt. We are in trouble because you and others like you have spent our money irresponsibly. It is time to fold up “Obamacare”. We can’t afford it if you can’t “guarantee” disbursement of checks. We can now finally get rid of the Department of Energy, before if racks up the extra promised burden of $184 billion. We can close the Department of Education while we still have a few literate people left. We can shut down the ATF before they run any more guns to gangsters. We can defund the stupid wars you are involving our young soldiers in, in places like Libya. We can shut down the myriad programs of profligacy such as the Metropolitan Planning Organizations across the nation. We can deprive the perverts of employment in the TSA.
You are a colossal fraud, sir. You talk to us as though we are children. You scold and insult the people we sent to Washington to stop you in your maniacal spending spree. You intone threateningly, Chicago-style, that the poor will pay. News flash: the poor will pay either way. We’ve already been paying for your four-year vacation. Enough already. Don’t attempt to extort cooperation from senior citizens, don’t try to coerce Congress. Don’t make another speech to us until you have something new to say, something along the lines of what you are cutting in the way of spending. And, by the way, it might be a good idea to start packing.
Sally Morris is a member of Americans for Constitutional Government and the Executive Committee of the Valley Tea Party Conservative Coalition.