Tyranny of the majority

By | October 23, 2008

The ’08 Presidential election cycle has come down to a big fuss over who will make things worse.  Both the Republicans and Democrats are busy slinging mud at each other.  Both are talking about helping “Joe the Plumber” out.  Both are accelerating the trend of reducing the tax base by tilting it further towards the upper end of the pay scale.

Take a look at the below chart:

It is from this article.

Currently 33% of Americans have zero, *zero*, tax liability.  This is the 33% that McCain and Obama continue to talk about helping.  With their tax plans… that is projected to increase to 43% and 44% respectively.  What does that mean?  It means an increasing percentage of our countries population take no part in funding the government they *expect* to receive services from.

On the linked editorial:
By one estimate, the federal government already spends more than $20,000 per household in direct services or services that are considered part of the “general good” of the nation (like national defense).
That’s a big number. A married couple filing jointly wouldn’t pay $20,000 in income taxes until they earned about $110,000 in taxable income — that’s income after deductions.

Why do I find this so objectionable to increase and accelerate that trend?  Well for starters I believe in a smaller government and less taxes.  It is better to let people screw up with their own money then give it to a government that has proven it will screw it up.   The second part is simply this:  The American Dream.

I prefer the classic definition:

“The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.”

That is simply part of the American Dream is the ability to achieve.  By punishing the people who do manage to achieve more and more, reduces the incentive for people to do so.  Furthermore the wealthy, businesses, and corporations are the ones who employ us till we manage to get ahead!  By increasing their tax burden, you reduce their available capitol.  In doing so, to keep the business profitable, a change will have to be made somewhere.  The easiest way to do that is to reduce the headcount and make everyone else cover.  So in a vicious cycle you have just made it worse for the same people you were trying to help.

Yet it continues towards the trend of less people funding a growing government?  Why is that?  As Rob from SayAnythingBlog points out to us that “an increasingly sizable majority pays no taxes.”  If people get the services but have no contribution into funding it, they are less concerned with how well those funds are spent.   (Bailouts and pork added to bills are a great example of this.)  When did we surrender to mob mentality and tyranny of the majority?

Well we haven’t yet, but we are getting there.  Is this an objection to taxes?  Hell no.  Some taxation is necessary to operate a government.  As a volunteer firefighter in my community, I know quite well where our operating budget comes from.  Quite frankly I believe I will benefit from the McCain/Obama tax proposals.  However I also believe in planning for the future and dreaming.  I doubt I will ever be rich, but I would like to think someday I can have my own business that takes care of my family and sets my wife and myself up for retirement.

“Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law,’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

“A society that will trade a little liberty for a little order will lose both, and deserve neither” ~ Thomas Jefferson

(View other Thomas Jefferson quotes here)

Think about those for a moment.  By punishing the rich (we know the bar for being considered rich is just going to get lower and lower), you are not only tarnishing the American Dream for yourself, but tarnishing it for your fellow Americans.  Groupthink *is tyranny* people – it the antithesis of Liberty and the core values America was founded on. Our founding fathers would be ashamed.

[tags]Politics, Republican, Democrate, Libertarian, Thomas Jefferson, Liberty, Freedom, Taxation[/tags]

Cross-posted on NoDakLP, a Libertarian blog.

Also Cross-posted on SayAnything Reader Blogs.

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