Let me preface this piece by saying that if you have convinced yourself that the government, by taking more of our money through higher taxes, will make us all more prosperous, then you need not read any further. I have come to learn that any attempt to persuade the far-left “tax-and-spend” crowd is a fruitless endeavor despite the obvious disconnect between what these people say, and what they do. This piece is directed at ordinary Americans who, as evidenced by the mid-term election results, have lost patience with the “big-government-is-best” crowd.
Whether it’s John Kerry’s tax avoidance scheme…or the Obamas spending $1,000 on just one meal at a club that charges an unbelievable $500,000 for membership, it’s clear that the leaders of the far-left are living by the credo “do as I say, but never as I do.”
I have asked many of the tax-and-spenders two simple questions and I rarely, if ever, get a reasonable answer.
Question #1: Do you voluntarily pay more in taxes? Hint; they always say no (despite demanding that we pay higher taxes).
Question #2: How does taking more of my money make me better off?
If you decide to tune in to Tuesday’s State of the Union speech or to ask your tax-and-spend friends the above questions, I have provided you below with a glossary of key buzzwords and phrases you will find in the president’s speech and in their answers:
“WE NEED TO” – The tax-and-spend crowd never discuss taxes in terms of “I need to” and “you need to,” largely because they avoid higher tax rates themselves and they know you don’t want to pay higher taxes either. Using the term “we” rather than the terms “I” or “you” is a clever rhetorical-trick they use to make you believe that the “other guy” is going to be hit by the new taxes, not you. Whether it’s John Kerry’s tax avoidance scheme by parking his $7 million luxury yacht in Rhode Island to avoid paying the $500,000 Massachusetts tax bill, the Clintons avoiding hundreds of thousands in estate taxes by using shady loopholes to divide their real-estate holdings into trusts, or the Obamas spending $1,000 on just one meal at a club that charges an unbelievable 500,000for membership, it’s clear that the leaders of the far-left are living by the credo “do as I say, but never as I do.”
“IT’S AN INVESTMENT” – I love this one because it requires tax-and-spend types to completely exit the world of the real for the world of wishful thinking. An “investment” is something individuals CHOOSE to do with their money where they put off immediate satisfaction for future payments based on a reasonable expectation of future gain. When government takes your money in the form of taxes to “invest” they do the following:
Tragically, this scene is repeated everyday inside the D.C. inner circle and rhetorically disguised as public “investments.”
1) They have CHOSEN for you what you chose not to do in the first place. If you wanted to “invest” in Solyndra then the opportunity was there, and the fact that Americans didn’t invest in Solyndra should have been a sign to the government that something was wrong. Instead, they took your money and gave it away at an incredible loss to all of us. Tragically, this scene is repeated everyday inside the D.C. inner circle and rhetorically disguised as public “investments.”
2) They distort the markets they enter by giving away your money to their connected friend’s businesses and, at the same time, assisting their connected friends in crushing their unconnected business competitors. If you have money, then it pays to make government connections to ensure your “investments” never lose.
3) They take your dollar and make it worth less before the “investment” is even made. The government bureaucracy siphons off a large percentage of your money before it arrives back in the economy, a phenomenon economist Arthur Okun called the “leaky bucket.” What “investment” have you ever made that is guaranteed to lose money before it’s even proposed? Only in government-speak is this a sound “investment.”
“FAIR SHARE” – An inconvenient series of facts for the tax-and-spend crowd, which they contort themselves to explain away, is that the government is taking a historic amount of money from you, and the highest income-earners already pay a significant share of the taxes. For the first time in American history the government took over $3 trillion from you in taxes, an astounding $1 trillion more than they took from you in the year 2000. Also, the top 20% of income-earners already pay 70% of the taxes and earn about 52% of income. Think about that, just 2 out of 10 Americans pay 70 cents of every tax dollar the government takes. If this isn’t a “fair-share” then you owe it to us to explain what percentage is, and how you figured that out.
Obamacare is decimating middle class incomes by hiking premiums while, at the same time, increasing the costs of healthcare for business owners and dramatically reducing the take-home-pay for their employees, as employee salaries stagnate to compensate for the increased healthcare costs.
“THEY DON’T NEED ALL THAT MONEY” – This one is ironic because most of the leadership of the modern tax-and-spend crowd seem to “need” a whole lot of money themselves. Whether it’s liberal rock-star Elizabeth Warren, or Bill Clinton, both with a net worth in the tens of millions of dollars, they appear to “need” millions of dollars for themselves, while telling the rest of us that we “need” a whole lot less.
“WE NEED TO BUILD THE MIDDLE CLASS” – This is an often used, yet ironic, statement considering so few of the tax-and-spend crowd are defined as “middle-class” yet, the people they preach to, are. Doubly ironic is that President Obama has rode roughshod over our economy with a hapless class warfare agenda of new and higher taxes on income, investments, capital gains, payroll, healthcare, and more. But, with each new tax, the rich get richer and the middle class are stuck in the mud. Here’s the painful truth about why this is happening:
1) The high corporate tax is driving quality manufacturing jobs out of our country, and to countries with more reasonable tax rates. This is harming the middle-class that needs these jobs to keep pace with the increasing cost of living.
2) The compliance costs for the massive new piles of red tape regulations the Obama administration has thrown at us are costing American businesses billions of dollars. But, here’s the catch, big businesses with connections get richer because they already have massive legal departments to deal with the regulations and their smaller competitors go out of business trying to comply. Again, the middle-class and small-business owners get screwed.
3) Obamacare is decimating middle class incomes by hiking premiums while, at the same time, increasing the costs of healthcare for business owners and dramatically reducing the take-home-pay for their employees, as employee salaries stagnate to compensate for the increased healthcare costs.
In conclusion, the President will deliver his State of the Union speech this Tuesday and, at some point in the speech, will use one, if not all, of the above terms and phrases as he proposes $320 billion in NEW taxes on us. He will disguise these taxes on us in flowery, class warfare rhetoric designed to divide us into artificial groups but, he will never be able to answer the simple questions I posed above without resorting to verbal judo and linguistic gymnastics.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the Conservative Review. The featured is by Charles Dharapak | AP Photo.