Monday, April 20, 2009
The Punitive Nature of Taxation
Since the tax day tea parties I have been considering taxes quite a bit. I had always heard pundits like Rush and Hannity refer to them as punitive taxes, and I've recently realized just how true that is.
Back in old times, taxation, especially burdensome taxation, was a tool used by the king to keep the serfs from garnering too much wealth, and therefore power. Wealth in the wrong hands meant trouble for the monarchy, so they put a huge tax burden on the peasants to keep them in place.
Then, a few extremely intelligent people boarded ships to strike out on their own, risking their own lives, and those of their families', to escape this taxation. They came up with the most amazing, awe inspiring, incredible system of government ever. And they did this to avoid heavy taxation on everyone; from the plantation owner, right on down to the street-sweeper. The brilliance of the concept was that one could benefit from the fruit of their own labor.
Somewhere in this country we got a way from that. Now taxes aren't just about gathering funds to run a minimal government, and to employ a military for the common defense. No, taxes now are used as punishment. Smoke or drink (note, I am in no way condoning those things!)? Pay a tax. Drive a car? Pay a tax. Have a job? Pay a tax. Own property? Pay a tax. Buy something? Pay a tax.
What are the incentives in our current tax code? To be a non-smoking, non-drinking, walking, unemployed renter that can't afford to buy anything. I won't argue with the first two, though I am not sure it is the government's place to tax people out of those activities, but you get the idea. The incentives of our wonderful system are drying up in a huge taxation sponge. As the government continues to play Robinhood and take from the earners, and give to the slackers, we are all becoming encouraged by the tax code to just quit trying.
Taxes shouldn't be punitive. The government should be limited, should be funded at the most minimum of levels, and provide for the common defense. Why liberals and Democrats don't get this is beyond me. We should be encouraging people, through lower taxes, to better themselves. But they don't see it that way. The liberal Democrat I sit near day-in-day-out espouses punitive taxes on the rich.
I guess she'd prefer England in the 1600s...........