It’s Always About The Money

4 05 2009

 

Authored by William Robert Barber

It is now and has always been about the money. The entity that collects and distributes the cash is the a priori definitive of “that which governs”.   Taxation is the conduct the utility of means wherein the state extracts cash from its people. One part of this power is taking the cash, the other side is distributing it. The combination establishes the government’s weapon of absolute power; obviously, therefore, the more taxes extracted, the more influence peddled by the state.

Since the beginning of the republic the central government, as a manner of course, has extended its reach into the pockets of one to give to another; the power to take and give is the definitive descriptive of governmental power. 

WWI was the convenience for the first global crisis and as a result congress enacted the individual income tax; WWII was a crisis of unimaginable possibilities and the prospect of irreparable consequences if the nation was defeated. Tax rates on individuals exploded upwards and everyone paid without a murmur of disagreement. The war ended and the tax rate abated only slightly – government had grown and it was in no mood to retrograde to its prewar status. Big government was here to stay.

Our country’s personal or individual income tax system is founded on a principle of progressive taxation; generally, the more money one makes the more one pays in taxes and inversely so.  But there is a downside guarantee for citizens making less than a certain amount; these citizens pay no federal and where applicable no state income taxes; these persons, numbering in the multi-millions have no stake in the tax system. Therefore, these many millions are apathetic, uninvolved, and completely disinterested in the tenants or tax obligations of the actual taxpayers.

In this land of the free we cherish the dictum of one person, one vote; we adhere to this law of the land regardless of gender, economic class, privilege, educated or not, sane or insane, knowledgeable or ignorant, whether English is understood or not. The law is very clear: if one is of age and a citizen of this nation, one possesses one vote.

Now if you are a politician, a politician whose interest is the retention or attainment of elected office (my assumption being that covers all politicians), would not this politician buy votes with promises? A promising one could be: “Ninety-five percent of the American people will receive a tax break.” Would such a promise be considered buying of votes? And is it not the case that buying votes is illegal?

Along with buying votes with the taxpayers’ money, politicians lie. Campaign promises are considered for the most part only for the duration of the campaign. I think politicians get away with their constancy of lying because the overwhelming percentage of  people pays little or no taxes. They feel they have nothing in the game. They’re dead wrong of course but because our tax system excludes them, they remain apathetic and uninvolved.

The concept of progressive taxation taxes one more than the other and millions of “the other” pay no taxes at all. The effect is a general disregard from the untaxed and aggravation from the taxed. If “fair” is the reasoning of the individual income tax code, how could not taxing many and taxing the less (than the many) be fair?

I think it is about one man, one vote; it certainly could not be the fairness of tax policy. The Democrats have figured out the formula for electoral success is to purchase the votes with other people’s money. This is not a new strategy nor is it a practical policy; but it sure sounds good to the receiver of other people’s money.

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