Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tax Day

I have no objection to paying for the care and feeding of a federated government, limited by the founding documents (the official specification if you will), with the primary function of protecting everyone's individual rights, equally under the law. It costs money to run a legislature, judiciary and executive branch. It costs money to do things like making sure the tax paying citizens are secure within our borders (which the regime hasn't been doing by the way). 

But my individual rights don't cost you a dime. I have a right to free speech, but that doesn't require you to provide me with free air time. I have freedom of religion, but that doesn't require you to buy me a Bible or a Koran. I have freedom of the press, but that doesn't require you to provide me with free paper, or free internet. Do I have a right to keep and bear arms? I think I still have a right to obtain those things, but that right doesn't require you to provide me with free guns and ammo. Do I have a right to food and shelter? I have the right to obtain those things, but that right doesn't require you to provide me them for free. Do I have a right to health care? I have the right to obtain health care, but that right doesn't require you to provide me with free contraceptives. 

While we all have the moral obligation to help provide for the less fortunate, when someone demands that one person provide for another under duress, that is called theft, or slavery. And we deem those things to be immoral.

Thomas Jefferson said, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground”, and that is exactly what has been happening in this country for 230 odd years. But we have had some major upward inflection points since the 'progressive' movement began 100 years ago: FDR's New Deal, LBJ's Great Society, and BHO's bailouts, hope'n'change and ObamaCare. These things all transfer individual freedom (the free market) to government control. Forced redistribution of wealth isn't a Great Society, it's a sick one: creating a dependent idle class at the expense of the independent, productive one. Discouraging self-sufficiency. Creating envy instead of cooperation and healthy competition.

The advent of a bureaucratic state, run by unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats who's primary objective is basically mission creep (with all the best intentions), increases cost and thereby the tax load. The worst thing is, taxes don't even begin to cover the cost of government anymore. The deficit and the debt is an even bigger burden on our society. High taxes are only the tip of the iceberg. 


  1. I feel something more insidious is afoot. Would that it were as simple as "mission creep". At risk of sounding paranoid, I feel that our elected officials at the national level are engaged in orchestrated corruption, the primary purpose being to enrich the large corporations and special interest groups who keep these scumbags in power. The payoff is enrichment of those elected officials and their minions through insider dealing, blatant buyoffs and misuse of government office for personal gain.

    I used to think it was primarily ideological, but it would increasingly appear that the baser motives of human nature are more to blame. If you could show me that Obamacare was a genuine effort to help someone (disregarding all of the flaws and illegality of it for arguments sake), then I might be in sympathy with the intent (if not the method). But it increasingly appears to be nothing but a blatant rip-off, designed to enrich only those close to seat of power and the Insurance lobby that funds these elected criminals. Same for the bank bail-outs, any large company bailout at taxpayer expense, Military spending that is basically unregulated to enrich those contractors, deregulation of financial sector, etc. - how has any of that been of direct benefit to the taxpayer of this country?

    Many make the argument that it keeps the economy going and staves off disaster; but that's the short view. The size of our debt and the extent of our unfunded entitlements bear witness to that fact. A short view in the same way that the relentless pursuit of quarterly profits forces businesses to make stupid decisions that hurt their long term growth for sake of short term profitability. This country was and is the greatest bastion of creativity and economic output the world has ever known. But it only works if everyone "pulls their weight", or at least makes a valiant effort. Americans have never begrudged anyone a helping hand; but no culture or society anywhere, at any time in history, has tolerated thieves.

    Isn't it interesting that our elected officials all put the collective responsibility for the last economic downturn on the poor fiscal discipline and greed of individuals? There is much truth in that statement and belief, but how can they square that against their collective hypocrisy in addressing the spending and debt issues this nation faces? Where is their culpability in this slow motion train wreck?

    1. I agree in general, although I would be leery of throwing all "large corporations" into the same bucket as a den of thieves. If our electeds were incorruptible, large corporations, nor labor unions, nor environmental special interests could get a foothold in the corruption game.


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