Finally a Democrat on the Right Side of Taxes
By: Michael R. Shannon
Tim Kaine — known here as Gov. Flowmax after closing Virginia’s interstate rest stops — occasionally comes down on the right side of an issue. During the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce debate between Senate candidates Kaine and former Sen. George Allen, Kaine observed that he would be “open” to the idea of everyone paying some level of federal income tax.
Subsequent media and online coverage was dominated by the charge that Kaine wants to tax everyone. Republican websites instantly pounced on the tax statement in an effort to put Kaine on the defensive. This is typical of today’s politics where candidates and consultants go for short–term political advantage at the cost of long term damage to the country.
Readers of last week’s column know I think it’s a good idea for every adult to pay federal tax. Otherwise some enjoy Taxation Without Participation where those who don’t pay federal taxes are happy to vote for politicians who will increase the taxes of those who do.
There is no government free lunch, although it may seem like it as long as the Chinese allow Uncle Sam to run a tab. If everyone pays, then everyone is aware of the cost of government when taxes increase. Normally Democrats oppose this.
The whole idea of some individuals being exempt from responsibility is another of the modern “progressive” ideas that have done so much to damage the nation. “Forward” into oblivion one might say.
Contrast “progressive” tax policy with Biblical tithe policy. God — who one would think knows something about the human heart and fairness — did not exempt anyone from paying their obligation. Luke 21:1 – 4 relates the incident of the widow’s mite: And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”
The widow’s poverty did not exempt her, in fact it served to glorify her. Yet modern man, who evidently has a more finely attuned sense of justice than God, doesn’t think everyone should contribute to the nation’s upkeep. What’s more, the widow paid the same percentage tithe as those in “their abundance.” Proving God doesn’t believe in “progressive” tax rates either, but that’s a topic for another column.
Kaine was also asked if he supports eliminating charitable and mortgage interest deductions. Kaine answered that he supports broadening the base and rather than enduring a political battle over each deduction, he supports setting an aggregate total.
What this innocuous phrase means is Kaine wants the federal government to decide what’s a reasonable amount for you to give to charity. I’m sure if Kaine has his way the federally–approved donation deduction will be somewhere between the widow’s mite that Joe Biden delivers by motorcade each December 25th and the 30 percent Mitt Romney has donated to charity in 2011.
If instituted, the fed’s final decision on what’s allowed will be closer to the 3 to 5 percent charitable average for the US. For Christians who give a 10 percent tithe, this means they will be paying taxes on at least half of the money they donate. Proving Leviathan tolerates the worship of God as long as you save some Mammon for it.
This is a curious policy for a Catholic like Kaine to support, but it’s not the only issue where the former governor has a secular take on his faith. When the subject came up Kaine didn’t come right out and say he supported “abortion.” After all, this wasn’t the Democrat National Convention where abortion is part of the party platform.
Kaine’s genuflection came when he declared support for a woman’s right to exercise “constitutional choices.” But certainly not the “constitutional choice” that allows a woman to carry a concealed weapon. Kaine’s bloodless euphemism is just his feeble attempt to conceal the ugly truth of abortion.
Kaine will tell you that as a Catholic he is personally opposed to abortion, but is not willing to impose his beliefs on others. This is a classic dodge that weaselly Southern Democrats have been using for over 200 years.
Before the Civil War Democrats claimed to be personally opposed to slavery, but unwilling to impose their beliefs on the planter aristocracy.
The outcome in the one case was involuntary servitude, in the other involuntary death. I fail to see any improvement in Democrat philosophy over the years.
It’s a real shame that Tim Kaine is not willing to extend his “open” to everyone paying taxes to being “open” to everyone being born.
Michael R. Shannon is a public relations and advertising consultant with corporate, government and political experience around the globe. He is a dynamic and entertaining keynote speaker. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.