October 21, 2008

Sarah Palin and net tax consumers

Bronze Mite
I heard it on the radio today. Glenn Beck interviewed Governor Sarah Palin. It was a short interview, you can read the whole thing in a minute right here. The one thing that caught my ear was this answer Sarah gave when Glenn asked her about Obama's promised net tax cuts:
Barack Obama claims that he will cut income taxes for 95% of Americans. The problem is more than 40% pay no income taxes at all. So how do you cut income taxes for folks who don't pay them? What he's going to do is write them a check and call that a tax cut, even though it's really a tax credit. And where is he going to get all the money for all those checks? By raising taxes on America's families and on our small businesses and folks just like Joe the plumber.
Its a good answer, but doesn't really address the disturbing nature of one of the main premises: that "more than 40% pay no income taxes at all". Its bad enough, as Palin rightly points out, to take money from those Americans that do pay income taxes to cut checks for these net tax consumers, but there is more to the problem than that.

These people who pay no income taxes at all failing, by any measure, to "pay their fair share." Do you remember the lesson of the Widow's Mite included in the gospels of Mark and Luke? Whether you follow Jesus or not, and even if you are historically sophisticated enough to know there weren't any coins called 'mites' or 'leptons' in Jesus' day, the story makes a valid point about what one's fair share really ought to be. The folks who now pay no income tax ought to pay some sort of symbolic share, but there is still more to the problem than that.

Of course, as Governor Palin points out, the only conceivable way that the folks who don't pay any income tax could get anything like a 'tax cut' from an Obama administration would be for the giver-mint to cut a check for them. You have heard the congressional double-speak that calls such a check a refund. How can one give back (refund) that which was never handed over in the first place? Its just a pretty thin slice of baloney that calls a welfare give-away a refund, but there is a more important aspect to this problem than even this grotesque distortion of the language.

The Real Rub

If there are 40% of Americans who pay no income tax at all today, not even a symbolic mite, what will stop there from being 50% next year? Or even 60%? Won't the same misguided policies that gave us the lopsided taxation system of today continue to tilt the boat? As far as I can see, this question remains almost totally unaddressed by anyone in government or running for office. The consequences of this trend continuing are nothing less than catastrophic.

Ben Franklin said it, but is an obvious truism that "when the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic." Is this not exactly what Barack Obama represents? The idea that voting for him will put a government check in your mailbox? Won't this mean the end of the republic? Answer: you bet it will!

The Real Solution

The solution is surprisingly simple, yet every time I have proposed it, I have been met with scorn and derision. You would think I was suggesting something sinister and evil, something utterly un-American. I think we ought to disenfranchise net tax consumers.

The idea that everyone, no matter how poorly they run their own affairs, ought to have a say in running my affairs is what I find sinister. Letting slackers and parasites destroy the republic is what I find un-American. Allowing, even encouraging these same unproductive, non-contributing people to profit from tasking our government with the legalized plunder of productive folks who pay taxes is what I find to be evil.
Naturally the solution is too obvious, too simple, even too radical for anyone to consider seriously. You won't miss the republic until it is gone, I guess. As Orson Scott Card wrote: "If pigs could vote, the man with the slop bucket would be elected swineherd every time, no matter how much slaughtering he did on the side."

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