Monday, September 20, 2010

Big Goverment, Big Taxes, Big Problems

When government creates taxes for the purpose of changing your behavior, your freedom of self-determination has been violated.  Do you understand this?  Do you care?

Shouldn't you be making the choices which shape the way your life story unfolds?  Should government be choosing the correct path for you instead?  Which would you prefer?  Does either of these two options sound scary to you?

One political party in this country is particulary in love with taxation.  They want to tax practically everything.  And they'd like to coerce your behavior whilst imposing said taxation upon you.  It utterly amazes me that there is any popular support whatsoever for a political party bearing such a platform.  Basically, their message is "We'll take what's yours, and tell you what to do."  Oh, how inviting.  Yet there are advocates for this.  They are known as the liberal leftists.

I often see articles with reader comments afterward wherein "tea-partiers" are immediately referred to with the most vile derogatory terms.  Descriptions along the lines of "moronic", "racist", "stupid", "uneducated", "backward", etc.  Sometimes it's not just in the readers' comments, but the author's prose as well.   It's quite frustrating, because I just feel like I've missed the logic altogether (it seems so natural and automatic in their writing, how could I not draw the same conclusions?).

For the record, the Tea Party Movement stands for the following principles:
  • Fiscal Responsibility
  • Constitutionally Limited Government
  • Free Markets
What's wrong with any of that?  Is there something there which isn't really a good idea?  So why all the insults and name-calling?  Aren't those three points all good things

According to Paul Krugman  "... among the undeniably rich, a belligerent sense of entitlement has taken hold: it’s their money, and they have the right to keep it."  Well, uh, yes.  I'd say our government displays a "belligerent sense of entitlement" -- to its citizens' money.  Once laundered through the purifying act of conversion into "tax revenue", your money becomes government property.  Never mind how they got it, right?

Let us not forget that the Soviet Union provided for us a brilliant example of what happens when you erase economic incentives from your society.  When an engineer earns the same wages as a bus driver, innovative technological inventions are far less common.  When a doctor earns the wages of a trash collector, the quality of your health care (and enthusiasm on the part of its provider) tends to decline.  Your local grocery's shelves are poorly stocked with a bland selection of minimal choices, as deemed necessary by the central-planning administrators (who are also poorly motivated and completely uninterested in your level satisfaction with said choices).

Maybe the folks doing that name-calling have something to hide.  Perhaps this strikes a raw nerve.  Maybe they're insecure in their own beliefs.  Why anyone would want to have less freedom and property rights is beyond me.

Benjamin Franklin wrote:   "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."  Thus, the benefit of constitutionally limited government should be readily apparent.  And yet we have an army of Krugmans out there, professing that exactly the opposite is true.

As we near the expiration of the oft-maligned "Bush Tax Cuts", I am reminded of one of my axioms for civilization:

Taxation should not be used as a tool for coercion.

Never have I found a case in contradiction of this rule.  Test any tax, proposed or enacted, against that.  Will it serve a purpose with rational basis, or is it a punitive tool by which the government seeks to alter your personal decisions?  Examples:

  • Soft drinks taxed, because "they make kids fat."  You're making the wrong choices for yourself.  Watch out for that trans-fat, too.
  • Carbon taxed, because of "purported environmental damage" based on dubious scientific claims from Al Gore.
  • Tobacco taxed at ludicrous levels of 400% or more, because of "increased costs of the resulting healthcare needs."  Oh, and by the way, government just assumed responsibility for administering your health care.  Conflict of interest, anyone?
  • Ammunition taxed because, well, "it's for guns, and of course, they're just bad."  Only the government has a need for weapons, pal.
  • Gasoline taxed, "to pay for infrastructure development" that never actually happens.  Oh yeah, they spent that money on a boatload of other budgetary pork.  Sorry.
Now, since all the taxes in place still aren't enough to feed the gigantic bureaucratic monster's hunger, California is mulling handing out IOUs again.  Isn't that just wonderful.

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