Sunday, August 5, 2012

Tyranny of the Fair Share


“Taxation follows public debt, and in its train wretchedness and oppression”. - Thomas Jefferson

It is the arrogance of government, the current administration in particular, to believe it knows better how to spend your money than you do.  Taxes are necessary, as government has limited means of generating revenue and must fulfill certain constitutional duties.  Since we are the beneficiaries of the results produced by the fulfillment of these obligations, we are the ones that must pay.  And while areas like national defense and infrastructure are and were intended to be in the realm of the federal government, others like health insurance (Medicare and Obamacare), the administration of retirement benefits (social security), and charity (food stamps, Medicaid, and unemployment) never were.  Our national government was never meant to be the enormous bureaucratic nanny state it has become. 

Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions.” - James Madison

Crisis is fertile soil in which government grows.  In troubled times we turn to government as the answer, the liege we empower to save us from ourselves.  It gladly accepts this commission for it permits them to set the price.  In the end, that which we sacrifice far outweighs any perceived solutions the government implements.  Government is not efficient nor is it held accountable, so in exchange for increased taxes they give us additional debt spending, and in exchange for a false sense of hope or security they infringe upon our liberties and freedoms.  This is all further evidence as to why government was meant to be and must be restrained by the governed.  A government that provides limited services requires limited taxes, while big government dishing out ever increasing entitlements and social programs necessitates continuously escalating tribute.  To perpetuate the fa├žade of being “taken care of” is expensive, not just in terms of cash but even more so in terms of our prized freedom of self-determination. 

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” - Abraham Lincoln

Kicking the can down the road.  While it is one of the most overused lines today, it is an apt description of our government’s modus operandi.  We don’t want to deal with the mess we have allowed to happen.  That would be painful, and we do not like pain.  So our elected officials follow suit and select the path of least resistance and greatest political prudence by adopting the strategy of trading the swift sting of a quick Band-Aid pull for the long, constant swelling of a festering boil. We selfishly postpone the inevitable so we do not have to deal with it, at least not yet.  We choose instead to elect politicians that lead us headlong into the wall of financial disaster without the slightest hint of hesitation.  Is ignorance bliss, because reality can be very inconvenient.

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.” - Thomas Jefferson

Knowing that our day of reckoning is rapidly approaching and with it the unavoidable chore of having to make serious and politically unpopular decisions, our current administration has decided on a tactic of distraction versus dealing with the matter at hand.  Their ace in the hole is the ever reliable and easily incited emotion of envy.  According to them our country’s economic doldrums are the result of those making $250,000 a year or more not paying enough taxes.  Forget such things as a shrinking tax base, increasing government regulation, and a growing sense of victimization.  No, it is the wealthy robbing the masses of their legitimate chance at achievement through their own success and not paying enough in taxes.  While almost half of Americans pay no income taxes as all, the only remedy to right our financial ship is raising taxes on those they determine to be wealthy and vilify them as not doing their fair share.  I contend it is the government that is the one not doing its fair share, though with no incentive from the voting public to do so who can really blame them.  While we all share in the services provided by government, having someone else pay is always more palatable.  Heaven forbid we do something as sensible as widen the tax base or massively curtail wasteful government spending before we go after the people already shouldering the majority of our economic burden.   
 
“When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic. Sell not liberty to purchase power.” - Benjamin Franklin

A Frenchman that visited America not long after the Revolution predicted democracy would fail as the citizens realized they held the purse strings and based their voting on who promised to give them the most forcing the country into bankruptcy.  Even though we see multiple examples around the world today of what awaits us if we do not address our growing and unsustainable addiction to government assistance; we continue to do our best to ensure the Frenchman’s prophecy comes to fruition.  Unfortunately, common sense isn’t quite so common in America anymore.  Time and again we elect and reelect politicians that claim they have the answers to our problems.   Their solutions usually involve the expenditure of more public money and the expansion of government.  More government is never the answer nor does it address our essential issue – irresponsibility.  Debt is irresponsible, not taking control of your own life is irresponsible, relinquishing our freedoms and liberties, the very legacy of the United States, in order to be taken care of or address some politically manufactured sense of entitlement is irresponsibility personified.   

“We contend that for a nation to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.” - Winston Churchill

We now face what should be a very simple decision; unfortunately many will be persuaded by savvy political campaigns to complicate it.  The question is, who are we going to be?  Will we accept the patronizing belief of the current administration, one ardently embraced by the Democratic Party, that the individual is incapable handling of the rigors inherent with self-determination, so the guiding hand of government the only possible solution. The choice means maintaining the status quo of massive escalating national debt, cumbersome and intrusive government, along with never ending citizen supplied funding in terms of taxes and liberty.  Regardless of the propaganda peddling a utopian fantasy world where reality, responsibility, and consequences have no bearing, the ultimate outcome is our economic ruin and suppression.  The alternative is to support the reemergence of our essential belief in the individual and acceptance that our lives are the result of our own actions and decisions.  This choice will necessitate limiting government, self-reliance, and embracing responsibility.  But the rewards are uncapped possibilities, restoration of our inalienable rights, and the reemergence of the confidence and determination that made us the greatest nation on the planet.  Less government reliance will lessen the necessary tax burden.  Will we vote for the continued expansion of government, or will we restrain government as our founders intended, limiting our tax liability in the process while also freeing ourselves from the condescending constraints inherent with a big government welfare state. May we rise to the challenge and reject those with no faith in the American people, those that make it their mission to spread doubt and discontent.

“To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful & tyrannical.” - Thomas Jefferson

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