Saturday, November 01, 2008

Tugging at Liberal, Law-Evading Heartstrings

So, Barack Obama's Aunti Zeituni is living in taxpayer funded public housing as an illegal alien.

This is a unique situation on several fronts. I'll point out the obvious.

* She is an illegal alien, flaunting the laws of her host nation.
* She is receiving public taxpayer assistance while violating our immigration laws.
* She is the poverty-status aunt of an affluent presidential candidate who calls the rest of America "selfish" for "not sharing our wealth with those in need."
* She is not unknown to Mr. Obama - he mentioned her in his book “Dreams From My Father.”
* Understandably, she is called "an exemplary resident" by the very bureaucrats who make their living off of providing taxpayer dollars to those who break laws and don't work.

This is the change we can look forward to in the coming years: Polices that discourage the dilligent and successful and enable (in the self-destructive psychological sense) those who need the most motivation to help themselves. Providing handouts (public or private) to lawbreakers and unmotivateds is not the path to motivation. This is the certain path to destroying our nation's productivity, quality of life, and greatness as a nation - growing the pool of lawbreaking entitlement recipients and reducing the pool of law abiding producers.

An Obama victory is the beginning of democracy's "tyranny of the majority" - the majority being those who see the chance for more government entitlements at the expense of those who have been the most productive because of the incentives to personal effort freedom used to offer.

An Obama victory will truly be a momentus occasion for this country. It represents the first time in our history that tax policy isn't just used as an equitable system of raising revenue to fund critical federal government programs, but as a conscious policy of shifting wealth from the haves to the have nots - " from each according to their ability, to those according to their need" as Karl Marx was fond of saying. As Frank Miele in the preceeding linked article opined, Mr. Marx may have lost the the battle but it appears he is winning the war. Thank you, Mr. Obama and all the voters seeking government entitlements and those who feel guilty for being motivated and successful. We've had affirmative action based on race. We will now have affirmative action based on degree of indolence.


Mindy said...

I don't understand the basis of this statement in particular: Obama "represents the first time in our history that tax policy isn't just used as an equitable system of raising revenue to fund critical federal government programs, but as a conscious policy of shifting wealth from the haves to the have nots."

Unless I’m misunderstanding your definition of ‘a conscious policy of shifting wealth from the haves to the have nots’ I’m not clear on how it differentiates from the concept of progressive taxation that has been in existence since the inception of American taxation.
"The first income tax was moderately progressive and ungraduated, imposing a 3 percent tax on annual incomes over $800 that exempted most wage earners. These taxes were not even collected until 1862, making alternative financing schemes like the Legal Tender Act critical in the interim. The Internal Revenue Act of 1862 expanded the progressive nature of the earlier act while adding graduations: It exempted the first $600, imposed a 3 percent rate on incomes between $600 and $10,000, and a 5 percent rate on those over $10,000. The act exempted businesses worth less than $600 from value added and receipts taxes. Taxes were withheld from the salaries of government employees as well as from dividends paid to corporations (the same method of collection later employed during World War II). In addition, the "sin" excise taxes imposed in the 1862 act were designed to fall most heavily on products purchased by the affluent. Thaddeus Stevens lauded the progressivity of the tax system:

"While the rich and the thrifty will be obliged to contribute largely from the abundance of their means . . . no burdens have been imposed on the industrious laborer and mechanic . . . The food of the poor is untaxed; and no one will be affected by the provisions of this bill whose living depends solely on his manual labor."”

There's further interesting history on that site about the increase in graduation of the progressive tax. But it appears that for more than a century, Americans have been nominally "shifting the wealth." The BO administration would continue authorizing the same tactics, only he would eliminate the tax breaks for those over the particular threshold.

(Aside: I'll venture that most of those over the particular threshold would agree that they don't need a break, or "wealthy welfare" as it's called, and it wouldn't be out of guilt. If, God-willing, I ever make it into that threshold, I look forward to making a larger contribution to successful government programs that help those who need help. If anything, self gratification is a bigger motivator of altruism, not guilt. And regardless, there are arguments that assert that the progressive tax theory has the wealthy's best interest in mind, as it can stabilize the economy and allows those who wouldn't normally be able to consume, to do so, therefore benefiting initiatives/companies/investments of said wealthy people.)

Anyway, in the U.S., the vast majority of economists (81%) support progressive taxation.

So how is Obama’s plan groundbreaking?

Gerardo Moochie said...

Obama's plan is groundbreaking because of the following:

It is a redistrubution policy coming out of the closet. It is the fiscal/political equivalent of a gay outing.

Historically, yes, we've had a progressive income tax. Yes, there has been a larger tax rate put upon higher income earners.

But Obama is breaking new ground in two ways:

1) The "degree" of the shift: He proposes even larger shifts of income redistribution from the top 5% to the 95% than what previously existed. He disbelieves that the wealthy create more jobs which generate more tax revenue than he wants to tax them.

2) The "purpose" of the shift: This is to the heart of my point. This is the part that is really revolutionary for this nation.

The purpose of fiscal policy, historically, was NOT to shift wealth from one class to another. It has been a means of raising revenue.

But now, as Obama explains his policy, he wants the purpose to be overtly to take from the haves and give to the have nots. An equitable revenue RAISING policy is being turned into a conscious revenue REDISTRIBUTION policy. This may seem like a fine point, but very significant. Obama is changing what has been "fiscal policy" and turning it into "social policy." The intent and outcome will become more Marxist (communist): Taking from the haves and providing to the have nots.

This, in moderation, has been our progressive tax policy, which primary purpose is to raise revenue.

This, in excess, becomes social policy. The "excess" comes about via both the magnitude of the redistribution, and the purpose it serves. It sound like the Obama purpose is income redistribution, not tax policy. As he states, the wealthy are being selfish for not wanting to give up more of what they've earned.

I guess those who don't have a problem with this don't think communism is such a bad thing afterall?

As a friend of mine recently put it: When is the last time you were hired by a poor person? Or by anyone who earned less than $250,000 (or $150,000 or whatever that number has become)?