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Thursday, September 18, 2008

And Then It Hit Me - I Don't Believe in Forced Wealth Distribution

I was reading the news about Joe Biden's argument that paying more taxes is an act of patriotism, which I suppose it could be the case if it were voluntary, when it hit me, I don't believe in using the tax code to distribute wealth, except perhaps to care for the poorest and neediest among us.

I thought Biden's wording was telling:

"We want to take money and put it back in the pocket of middle-class people," Biden said in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America" (from Yahoo News).

Yeah, that's right, TAKE MONEY. It sounds like stealing.

I am a middle class American. I am struggling financially. I have raised five children on one salary (until now - my wife who has worked hard day after day for years caring for our children and homeschooling has just this season gotent a job outside the home) and it has been no walk in the park We have had big medical bills. We deal with debt. We live in a small house. But I'm doing OK, and by the standards of the world as a whole, I am rich.

But I do not believe that someone who makes over $250,000 owes me a penny, and to take money from them to give it to me would be little more than stealing as far as I am concerned.

I just don't think this is right. It's like there is this undercurrent assumption that people who make over $250,000 in income have somehow sinned, and now they have to be punished. I would rather see those people spend their money how they see fit, legally of course.

So this was kind of an "aha" moment for me. Thank you Joe Biden.

9 comments:

Roch101 said...

"But I do not believe that someone who makes over $250,000 owes me a penny, and to take money from them to give it to me would be little more than stealing as far as I am concerned."

McCain wants you to pay less in taxes. Obama wants you to pay even less that McCain. Obama will achieve his ends by increasing taxes on the wealthy. If you prefer to pay more taxes under McCain as a matter of "fairness" to the wealthy, that is certainly your prerogative.

Anonymous said...

The political desire for income redistribution is based on appeals to the old-fashioned biblical concept of covetousness.

Obama's plan for tax cuts often involves paying people a subsidy. Many of these people aleady do not pay taxes, and receive an earned income tax credit-- which amounts to a subsidy. And many therefore receive a check after having paid no taxes. Obama would do more of this type of thing.

Joe Guarino

Joel said...

Roch,

I guess that I have come to believe that what Obama wants to do is just not right. He is using class to buy the votes of us "middle class" voters. In fact, Obama is manipulating class and race in my opinion. You seem quite happy with the government taking more money from people who make more money than you do so that you can get a bigger tax break. I think for a middle class person to feel good about that is, well, telling, telling in a bad way. From the candidates it's a cheap and easy way to purchase votes if you ask me. I think it's tantamount to stealing.

What Biden said is idiotic. It is not patriotic to be coerced to let go of your money. If rich people like Joe Biden wanted to be patriotic they could give money freely to the poor, to colleges or universities, to faith based after school care key non profit agencies, etc. Or they could use their money to invest in helping business startups. I think what he is really saying to the rich is that if they were a patriotic they would pave the way for the government to take their money. They would vote for people who want the government to take their money. The rich are ALREADY paying more taxes - it's called the graduated tax scale, which I have also come to believe is wrong. Morally wrong.

Joe, I have a tender heart towards the man or woman working two of three jobs at 8 bucks an hour. I think it is in the national interest that such people be trained to be able to make more money, or perhaps have a higher national minimum wage, though it will never trust be a living wage. I think rather than mere subsidizing income we should grant scholarships to community colleges, and even pay living expenses while the people are in school, and maybe require they give back by working in needy areas themselves. Of course there are the chronically poor because of mental illness, addiction issues, and the like and I think we have a moral obligation to our neighbor to keep him from starving and to keep him off the street. But for the millions of people who can just barely make do, or who aren't, let's not merely subsidize, let's invest in training.

Hey, here is another way a rich person could be patriotic; he could take care of his employees better, and voluntarily make less money so they could make more. If it's voluntary it is noble. I would like to know what Biden does to invest in other people's lives, how much he gives. That's the real test of a man's character, what he gives voluntarily.

Roch101 said...

Joel,

Your comments would make sense if all that happened with taxes were that they got collected then redistributed. But there is the small matter of paying for government and the massive, record-setting debt accrued over the last eight years. Those have to be paid by somebody. As I said, if you think a greater share should be paid by those who earn less, that's your prerogative. I disagree.

Joel said...

Roch,

I was dealing with the issue of income redistribution as laid out by Joe Biden. I wasn't offering a doctoral thesis on taxation.

We all must bear the burden of paying for those things which government has a special responsibility to provide - national security, basic infrastructure of various kinds, care for the neediest among us, etc. We each and all share responsibility for paying down the debt, and hopefully for getting our Democratic and Republican leaders from playing hide and seek with our real debt, as they do by not separating completely out social security from our budget.

I have not advocated that we reduce taxes from present levels. I think in fact that it will be a very tricky matter both to grow the economy in such a way that increases tax revenues in that way down the road, and also to tax now in a way that enables us to see an immediate increase in tax revenues for the purpose of paying down debt. A full blown supply side approach won't do it. I believe that we are all in for some belt tightening if we're to get out of this mess.

If we had simpler and more standardized tax rates with fewer loopholes I think we would obtain more revenue. But I am not for taking money from richer people just to put it in the hands of the middle class. I would wish that you would feel uneasy about that and I don't understand why you don't.

Our national debt is the fault of Democrats and Republicans over several decades. That Bush has spent money like a drunken democratic sailor is one of the reasons real fiscal conservatism looks attractive to me.

Roch101 said...

"But I am not for taking money from richer people just to put it in the hands of the middle class. I would wish that you would feel uneasy about that and I don't understand why you don't."

I don't feel uneasy about that because I don't buy into the canard you accept. Letting the middle class keep more of their money while having the wealthy pay a greater share is not taking from th rich and giving to the poor.

"Our national debt is the fault of Democrats and Republicans over several decades. That Bush has spent money like a drunken democratic sailor is one of the reasons real fiscal conservatism looks attractive to me."

Puhleeze, Joel. You are not that blind to reality. The fact is that under Democrat Bill Clinton -- with tax rates like those Obama would implement, the country had a budget surplus by the end of his administration. You are spouting empty talking points that are just laughable because they are so ignorant of what really happened under Clinton and Bush.

Joel said...

Roch,

I don't need your snide and smug little lectures as if I am an idiot or have been asleep the last two decades. The budget was balanced under the Clinton administration because of the pressure from the Republican Congress to reform welfare and cut spending, because military spending shrank radically after Iraq I (which later came back to bite us), and because of the 1990's financial boom, which, as we all know, evaporated in time. I give Clinton credit for irritating his base and signing the bills that made the budget balancing possible, but that did not eliminate our debt which has in fact been the fault of leaders in both parties over time.

It is not a canard, but I am impressed with your vocabulary. That people making over $250,000 will be taxed more IN ORDER THAT middle class people can get their tax cut; that is exactly what Biden and Obama are proposing, or should I say peddling. You're not starving are you? If you are, let us all know, and we'll buy groceries for you. I'll help you with gas. If you aren't then what possible right do you have to your neighbor's money, whose only sin is that he has made more of it than you have. Has he made it at your expense? Has he stolen from you? I doubt it. You have no rightful claim to it. You didn't work for it. It's not your money.

Roch101 said...

It's like talking to a cabbage.

Joel said...

Then "puhleeze" do this cabbage a favor and stop talking, at least here.