Arrogance of Power!
Just how utterly reliant on sheer power is President Obama can be appreciated from the fact that no one in his administration bothers to defend his policy of confiscating people's resources. Apart from calling upon the phony support of a few super rich folks like Warren Buffet − who, I understand, is by no means offering his own wealth up for use by Mr. Obama (instead, engaging in customary dodging and weaving, not paying up) − no argument has been put forth by the administration for the progressive tax policy it relies upon. Merely declaring that the very wealthy "may be asked" to contribute a higher percentage of their belongings isn't an argument, merely a dishonest dogma. Why, one may ask! What principle supports this policy of public finance? Why must those with exceptional talent, skill, luck, etc. be punished for possessing these?
Sure, such very rich folks may not need their resources as badly as do poorer folks but why is that a justification for the confiscatory policy? It simply is not. Matters concerning who needs what, how much, etc., just have no generalized answer. "Fair share" is a made-up idea, a rationalization, based on nothing more than the wish to take, take and take some more. Such a wish has no standing in morality or public finance!
If the country were some kind of club or organization that came together voluntarily, with the provision that dues will be progressive, the case would be different. But just being born into a society with greater advantages and resources than others possess doesn't by any means serve as a valid reason to be subjected to confiscation. Consent would be needed for that; otherwise, what we have is nothing different from highway robbery.
Some gullible folks have compared Obama's philosophy of public finance to Robin Hoodism but that's entirely misguided. What Robin Hood did was to take funds back from those who taxed the population! Robin Hood correctly regarded taxes as unjustified takings, as robbery!
Some of us are luckier than others; some of us work harder and earn more than others; indeed, the citizens of a free country are a highly varied lot in many respects, including how much they are worth economically! No one is justified in becoming an equalizer unless consent has been given to take part in such a scheme. (Imagine a marathon race in which at every new position the participants were re-positioned in line with some notion of fairness! Oh, some have imagined that already, such as George Orwell in his classic tale, Animal Farm, and Kurt Vonnegut in his short story titled "Harrison Bergeron." The practice of handicapping has nothing to do with fairness but with keeping the race interesting for spectators.)
I do not like to ascribe motives to people when they embark upon various objectionable actions or the advocacy of mendacious policies. Who knows what lies in the hearts of such men and women? Envy, resentment, naive idealism, whatever! I do know that the progressive taxation system, even taxation itself, is a vicious way to support policies and projects that one supports in societies. (We can all come up with innumerable great ideas that maybe others should also embrace but that's no justification for robbing others of what belongs to them so as to fund those projects or of enslaving them to labor for these!)
I suppose calling the progressive tax policy "progressive" suffices for some people to justify and implement it, to impose it on others who reject it; but it will not wash. In the end it all amounts to sheer, raw power wielding, comparable to what a lynch mob or bandit does.
Tibor Machan is a member of the Advisory Board for The Foundation for the Advancement of Free-Market Thinking (FAFMT) and the R. C. Hoiles Professor of Business Ethics & Free Enterprise at the Argyros School of Business & Economics, Chapman University in Orange, CA.
Posted by Just John on 02/12/13 02:53 PM
Posted by Just John on 02/12/13 02:52 PM
Thank you and Amen. I do not have great wealth except in my heart of hearts, however, whatever we cherish cannot be taken except by concent, anything else is stealing.
Posted by 1776 on 02/12/13 12:06 PM
Sexual assault reports rise at military academies. How is Pentagon responding? The Pentagon cites policy changes following the release of a study that found a 65 percent increase in reports of sexual assault at military academies between 2010 and 2011. By Anna Mulrine, Staff writer / December 28, 2011
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Posted by dave jr on 02/11/13 05:43 PM
"It is alright for the Elite Bankers and Corporations to make the economic rules that cause money to flow to them BUT it is Not alright for the masses or government to reverse this trend by political laws?"
Keep in mind that fiat flowing to them is worthless unless it first flowed through you attaching some obligation. Fractional reserve, taxes and inflation assures that some obligation will get attached.
"I can claim Australia as my own so long as I have the power to control it."
There you go. The definition of ownership.
"Might makes right; or is it the status quo cannot be changed via politics but rather only through the economic rules made by the elite for the elite?"
Depends on who is mightier. And we give ours to both the politicians and the central bankers by accepting/not questioning their rules of their game, we are forced to play. God forbid they would share the rule making.
Posted by Chasvoice on 02/11/13 05:26 PM
Warren Buffett is best remembered for being the largest funder of abortions in the world:
Barack & Buffett Scratch Each Other's Back
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Posted by seer on 02/11/13 04:28 PM
It is alright for the Elite Bankers and Corporations to make the economic rules that cause money to flow to them BUT it is Not alright for the masses or government to reverse this trend by political laws? Yes, this makes perfect sense. Might makes right. I can claim Australia as my own so long as I have the power to control it. Might makes right; or is it the status quo cannot be changed via politics but rather only through the economic rules made by the elite for the elite?
Posted by seer on 02/11/13 04:23 PM
How the Republicans caused the housing bubble: Click to view link
Posted by 1776 on 02/11/13 03:51 PM
How The Democrats Caused The Financial Crisis: Starring Bill Clinton's HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo And Barack Obama; With Special Guest Appearances By Bill Clinton And Jimmy Carter
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Posted by dave jr on 02/11/13 03:28 PM
Taxing welfare recipients makes about as much sense as taxing the rich where it comes back in increased prices.
A flat tax, "apportionment" is the only workable tax. If we need to tax at all (there are better solutions), I'd be willing to pay a flat 20% sales tax if income tax were gone and 5% went to local government (city or twp), 5% to my county, 5% to my state and 5% to the fed. Certainly not ideal but much better than what we currently have.
Posted by Friend_of_John_Galt on 02/11/13 03:00 PM
Dr. Benjamin Carson, at the "national prayer breakfast" on February 8, 2013, made the point that "god" only requested that people "tithe" -- that is, give 10% of their income to support the church -- and why should government ask any more of us. Note that tithe applied to all members of society, ranging from those with the highest income to those with the lowest. Thus was born "flat tax rates."
Among the many errors of the "Bush tax cuts for the rich" was that it eliminated all Federal income taxes for many of those in the lower tax brackets. This eliminated the participation in paying for the burdens of our Federal government from a large portion of the public -- concentrating more government revenue into the middle class and above. Of course, the left continued to demonize these tax cuts (hence the inaccurate characterization that they were "for the rich") and gave President Bush and the Republicans absolutely no "credit" for removing tens of thousands of taxpayers from owing any income tax. (But when re-imposing this "tax cut for the rich" with the expiration of the rates on Jan 1 of this year, much fuss was made about the cost to lower income earners -- I can't understand this -- if the tax cuts only helped "the rich" then why the panic to retain the rates and brackets for the "non rich" when the statute was about to expire?
The government (local, state, and Federal) does too much as it is. The Federal government has extended its powers well beyond those limited by the Constitution (which has been ignored or abused by court interpretation) almost since it was first approved. In recent years, political parties, in control of Congress, have enabled the President (of either party in control) to expand power of the presidency and further diminish the constitutional limits of Federal power.
Agent Pete 8 suggests that the motives are shaped by religion -- and I would include the "religions" of the left in that category, environmentalism, social justice, and other statist/socialist utopian goals.
There is far too much of the malady in our society exhibited by an elderly lady in my neighborhood -- many times she'd describe the behaviors of her friends or acquaintances and suggest that they "ought" to do as she belives that they should do. So now we have a nanny state that steals our funds to squander on a multitude of worthless activities and that directs us in the smallest and often most personal of our activities. When the Federal government tells you what toilet or lightbulb you may use... the limit of that power is almost infinite.
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Posted by washingtongriz on 02/11/13 02:39 PM
Thanks for correcting the current wrong interpretation of the Robin Hood narrative. Robin took from the rich (those who had taken over in the king's absence and used their political power to plunder the populace) and gave back to the poor who had been robbed by these usurpers. Hmm... makes me think that the Robin Hood analogy SHOULD be used, but by the limited-government crowd rather than the statists.
Posted by dave jr on 02/11/13 08:04 AM
"In the end it all amounts to sheer, raw power wielding, comparable to what a lynch mob or bandit does."
Exactly, what you pay a bandit depends entirely on what you have. Wait it's worse! Many are required to put taxes on deposit based on the previous year, to pay on speculation of what you might EARN. A subtle transition to slavery.
Posted by Agent Pete 8 on 02/11/13 04:08 AM
TM: "I do not like to ascribe motives to people when they embark upon various objectionable actions or the advocacy of mendacious policies. Who knows what lies in the hearts of such men and women? Envy, resentment, naive idealism, whatever!"
AP8: Apart from lacking intelligence and nurtures, such mal-motives are shaped and led via a manipulation 'religion'. Get used to that idea please folks, as it helps in understanding the 'why'.