04/11/2017

Thousands Of Venezuelans Protest Socialist Government’s Extreme Corruption Scandal. Security Forces Respond With Tear Gas, Water Tanks.

Joshua Yasmeh, Daily Wire

For five days straight, thousands of Venezuelans have taken to the streets to protest government corruption in the face of a dire economic crisis. The country’s tired, poor, huddled masses clashed with officers in riot gear Saturday in a desperate attempt to challenge Hugo Chavez’s despotic successor, President Nicholas Maduro.

Cries of "Liberty, Liberty!" rang through Caracas even as protesters were doused with water tanks and shot with tear gas canisters. Outgunned protesters threw rocks back at the Venezuelan National Guard as they “marched from eastern Caracas, an opposition bastion, toward downtown, where most national government facilities are located,” according to CNN.

The protests come as Maduro’s increasingly autocratic government seizes more power.

“Protesters are demanding the dismissal of all seven justices of the Venezuelan Supreme Court,” reports CNN, adding:

The court issued a ruling March 29 that outraged the government's political opposition. It ruled that all powers vested under the legislative body, the Venezuelan National Assembly, be transferred to the court itself, which is stacked with government loyalists.

The court reversed its decision three days later after a series of violent protests. The opposition said the original decision made Venezuela a dictatorship because all three branches of government would be in the hands of the socialists.

The government's decision Friday to ban popular opposition leader Henrique Capriles from doing political work for 15 years galvanized the opposition again.

Social unrest has been a long time coming. For over a year, Venezuela’s collapsing economy has left people without food or medicine. Basic commodities and goods are nowhere to be found for the country’s lower classes. With private enterprise crushed by government takeovers, the country has been left without a middle class; the dying poor must fend for themselves.

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Thanks to "bracket creep," the inflation of the 1970s pushed millions of taxpayers into higher tax brackets even though their inflation-adjusted incomes were not rising. To help offset this tax increase and also to improve incentives to work, save, and invest, President Reagan proposed sweeping tax rate reductions during the 1980s. What happened? Total tax revenues climbed by 99.4 percent during the 1980s, and the results are even more impressive when looking at what happened to personal income tax revenues. Once the economy received an unambiguous tax cut in January 1983, income tax revenues climbed dramatically, increasing by more than 54 percent by 1989 (28 percent after adjusting for inflation).

 

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