The “Fair Share” Cannibals
By: Joel Turtel
The idea of forcing someone to pay his “fair share” of taxes through progressive income taxes applies only to a society of cannibals. It applies to a society where the majority has the right to devour those people who earn more than others. Paying your “fair share” in taxes implies that all of us have a responsibility to support the rapacious Welfare/Entitlement State, but some of us have more responsibility than others. It implies that the more money you earn, the larger your “fair share” should be, simply because you have more to give. In other words, the “fair share” principal embedded in our progressive income-tax code brings to America, the “land of the free,” Karl Marx’s dictum from his Communist Manifesto, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” This dictum is the philosophy of socialist looters who are consumed by envy.
This policy simply justifies stealing from those people who earn more than others. And since there’s always someone richer or poorer than you, the progressive income tax leads to universal looting, on a massive scale. Through the progressive income-tax system, everyone steals from the next victim above him on the economic ladder. Paying your “fair share” of taxes appeals to looters or parasites who have no idea how wealth is created or why it’s wrong to steal. To see what fair share really means, imagine the following. You have $10,000 saved in your local bank. You worked for ten years to save this money. The bank then gets a new “progressive” manager. The manager finds that most of the bank’s customers have less than $500 in deposits, which he thinks is grossly unfair. So he makes new rules for the bank. He sends you a letter telling you that he is going to “redistribute” your $10,000 to all his poorer depositors so that everyone has their “fair share.”
Do you think the bank manager should be arrested or sent to the loony bin? What if the government passes a law that lets him get away with this theft? You know that the bank manager has no right to “redistribute” your money. Does the government? Yet progressive income taxes and entitlement programs do exactly the same thing the bank manager did.
In 2005, if you earned $80,000, you now pay a 28 percent income-tax rate, or $22,400 in Federal income taxes. A person who earns $28,000 a year now pays a 15 percent income-tax rate, or $4200 in Federal income taxes.
If you pay $22,400 in income taxes, do you get five times more in services from the Federal government than the person who paid only $4200 in taxes? No you do not–you get the same “services.” In effect, those who earn higher incomes are looted far more than low-income earners to pay for Welfare/Entitlement programs that are now devouring our country. By what right?
What is the excuse that liberals make to justify this legalized looting of people who earn more than others. Simply this, that low-income earners need more money for all the goods and services they are “entitled” to. Since higher-income earners have more money, they claim, these higher-income earners have a moral “duty” to hand over their “excess” money to the “less fortunate.” In other words, they say “you have the money, we want it, so we’ll take it from you, and we’ll use the progressive income tax to do this.
In effect, the federal government becomes a fence for stolen property. Well, any mugger does the same thing when he puts a gun to your head and says, “your money or your life.” The mugger sees that you have money, he wants it, so he has decided to take your money at the point of a gun. Our government income-tax collectors are simply legalized muggers who loot our money through the progressive income tax. In a free society, the taxes a person pays should depend on the services he gets from government, his agent.
We should only pay for services that we personally use or benefit from. We could devise a system where each of us paid taxes for government services we bought — a voluntary trade between a citizen and his agent. But this system would be possible only if America had a small, limited government.
This goal is entirely possible. In 1914, the entire federal government’s budget was only $725 million. The 2005 fiscal-year
budget was over $2 trillion, a 2000-percent increase from 1914. Why the incredible difference? The income-tax revolutionized the
role of government from limited agent to safety-net builder. It gave government the income-raising tool it needed to create our devouring Welfare/Entitlement State. We could have a contractual tax system if we reduced government to its size in 1914. A
contractual system would be easy then, because the budget would be so small.
Imagine that the annual federal budget is $750 million because we phased out regulations and entitlement programs. To be more realistic, let’s increase the budget to $75 billion (one hundred times the amount in 1914) to account for inflation, defense costs, and the general increase in population. The United States today has a population of about 250 million people. If we had a simple flat tax calculated by dividing the total budget of $75 billion by the population of 250 million, the tax per person would be $300 a year. Do you think you could afford $300 for taxes?
This figure also excludes money the federal government collects from other taxes, such as excise, tariffs, and user fees, which were its primary taxes before 1913. These extra taxes would further reduce the income taxes needed and give government more funds to work with. Most of us would be so happy about our low tax bill that we wouldn’t want to bother with a complicated contractual tax system. We would be happy to pay the $300 and be done with it.
Except for this small tax, you could keep everything you earned. Add up all the taxes you now pay and then subtract $300. Everything else would be yours. But low taxes are possible only if we totally reject the philosophy behind the Welfare/Entitlement State. We pay heavy taxes only because we have thousands of regulations and entitlement programs and millions of government bureaucrats. The Welfare/Entitlement State and out-of-control government can be swept away only when we reject the idea that helping others is a moral and political duty instead of a personal choice.
Until then, the Welfare/Entitlement State forces us to help others at the point of a legislative gun. Our paychecks and savings accounts are no longer private property to be scrupulously protected and used for our own benefit. Instead, liberals assume that your salary, profits, and property are collectively owned. They assume that your income is a national resource they can give away to anyone who “needs” it. They assume that the only person who has no right to your money is you, the person who earned it. Are they right? Should you let them get away with that? Does your hard-earned money belong to you, or to any looting moocher who wants to steal it from you?
The next time you go into a voting booth, ask yourself these questions. Every liberal, most Democrats, and too many Republicans believe in the welfare-state philosophy. Vote only for those who don’t believe this.
Joel Turtel is the author of “The Welfare State: No Mercy For the Middle Class,” and “Public Schools, Public Menace: How Public Schools Lie To Parents and Betray Our Children.” He is an education and public-policy analyst. Email contact is: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website is: www.mykidsdeservebetter.com