Friday, April 04, 2003

When they talk about "paying" for a tax cut. . .

. . .you know half the battle is lost. The AP ran a report today titled: "GOP Study Ways to Pay for Bigger Tax Cut."

Politicians and commentators often discuss the "costs" of tax cuts. Such language is not limited to those who oppose tax cuts--the defenders of tax cuts often use the very same terminology as their opponents. For example, some have criticized President George W. Bush's tax cuts as being too "expensive." Others having defended them, saying that, relative to government spending, the "cost" of the tax cuts was really very low. What neither side acknowledges is that a tax cut has no "cost"--in fact, it is a pure benefit to the American people. All a tax cut does is return to the taxpayers the wealth that was rightfully theirs in the first place.

The principle that individuals have a right to the fruits of their labors and that taxation is necessary only to finance the legitimate functions of government (i.e. protecting the rights of individuals to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness) has all but been forgotten in America. Today's conventional wisdom is that the government owns its citizens wealth, but takes on the "cost" of returning some portion of it to them, just as it takes on the cost of subsidizing people whose sole goal in life is to leach off of others and offer nothing in return.

This sad state of affairs is caused by the welfare state, an affront to the Constitution and the principles of a free society. Instead of twisting themselves in to a knot over "paying" for a tax cut, wouldn't it be nice if Congress sat down with tier copy of the Constitution and eliminated all taxes that are not necessary to financing the government's legitimate, Constitutional functions. In doing so, rather than lamenting the "costs" of tax cuts, maybe our politicians would recall that the government is supposed to be the servant of the taxpayers, not their master.

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