I would just like to take this moment to thank the rich people of America for their generous subsidizing the lion’s share of America’s taxes. This year, for example, I am especially grateful for the child tax credit. Thanks!
I know that many people believe you are eeeeeeeeeeeeevil, and that you ought to be slapped with higher and higher taxes. In their view, such taxes are as much about hurting you as it is helping them and me. I, on the other hand, think that it is a damn shame how much you are taxed, even if my own tax burden is carried so substantially on your shoulders.
In fact, I would like to use this opportunity to argue that, even in the face of the direct benefit I seem to be receiving, we ought to abolish taxes altogether. For you, and for me.
A naysayer is likely to come and say, “But then how can you receive your yearly windfall (from your irresponsibly large brood)? Someone has to pay for it.”
I have two answers to this. First of all, if it meant we stopped sticking it to the rich, I’d be more than happy to forgo these and all other tax benefits. Why? Because I understand the way the world really works. By soaking the rich, I diminish the width and breadth of opportunity available to me and the rest of America to enjoy wild success. It is a piece of nonsense, that ought to be self-evident, that the rich will merely hoard their cash. Obviously, at some point, they will wish to spend some of it. And they will spend it on creating new businesses, buying lots of expensive new toys, investing in new or expanded enterprises, etc. In doing so, they will employ loads of people, create loads of new opportunities, and in general, lift up everyone around them. A rising tide lifts all boats, as it were.
Every dollar taken from anyone, including a rich person, diminishes their disposable income.
I have felt the impact of a decrease in disposable income. Since the great recession began with the taking of the House by the Democrats in 2007, the donations in my ministry have dropped significantly and selling books has become increasingly more difficult. It makes sense; when people have less money, they have to choose more carefully where they are going to spend it. In a choice between a fantastic book written by yours truly, and eating, is it no wonder they choose to eat? (I say this on the assumption they haven’t read my books, because if they had, they would in fact forgo a meal!)
In other words, I expect that what I would make in more book sales and donations to the ministry and a higher salary would exceed that which I receive in tax benefits. (Indeed, I have argued elsewhere on this blog that most of the ‘services’ our taxes are meant to secure for us could be more easily attained if the government wasn’t involved, in part because they would be much more affordable and in part because we would earn significantly more. Healthcare being a prime example).
Eliminating taxes for all would increase everyone’s disposable income, and an economic dream would unfold before our collective eyes.
But the naysayer cannot wait for me to get to my second point. He interjects, “But someone has to pay for it!)
But alas, we know that this is not actually the case. The government has been printing money by the billions for months and months and months and years and years and years. As it stands right now, each month they are printing more than the Iraq War was estimated to cost. Each month.
We are 16 trillion dollars in debt, not including the unfunded liabilities, which are five-fold that figure, if not more. Each year (under Obama), the Federal government spends about 4 trillion, whilst it only collects 2.8 trillion. For the gruesome details, you can look here: http://www.usdebtclock.org/
So, clearly it cannot be the case–not really–that even now, the money of the rich or anyone else is really going to pay for this, that, or the other, government program. The shortfall is made up through a variety of mechanisms, most of which seem to me to be a complete fiction.
So, why not dispense with the fictions altogether? If you’re going to just print the money anyway, why not stop collecting taxes at all? Why not just let everyone keep their money and get the best (putatively) of both worlds: unbridled government spending of money it does not have, principally via a few strokes of a keyboard at the US Treasury, and an economic windfall for every American?
This seems quite reasonable to me. But, for the record, I fully recognize what this state of affairs really amounts to. Anyone with half a brain can see that it is not necessary to directly link expenses (such as tax credits) with income (such as tax revenues), because clearly, that isn’t what is happening. Instead, it must be the case that the primary reason for taxing the rich is to punish them and the primary reason for throwing credits at the likes of me is to buy my vote. Or maybe its our big opportunity to express our patriotism?
And you know, that’s just not a scheme I can go along with. I don’t think a proper use of government is to target one group for punitive measures for the express purpose of bribing another group, robbing Peter to bribe Paul, as it were.
If ever there is a Balanced Budget Amendment with teeth, ask me to revisit this topic again.
In the meantime, I am quietly waiting for the great bubble to burst, with everyone paying a steep cost. And expressing my thanks to the rich people who, ostensibly, are the ones to credit for buffing up my disposable income.
Dear NSA and IRS agents,
I know you’re reading this, but please see the above as a bit of tongue and cheek spouting off. I didn’t mean any of it, honest. Please leave me alone… please!