October 23, 2008

Obama's Tax Policies

Part 2

You may consider this to be horribly old fashioned, but I operate on the principle that governments have the power to tax so that governments can collect the money needed to pursue and pay for the legitimate functions of that government. By "legitimate functions" I'm referring to law enforcement, national defense, a system of courts to adjudicate interstate disputes, national infrastructure and the costs associated with running the legislative, judicial and executive branches of government.

Now we can get into quite an argument over what constitutes a "legitimate" function of government, but let's save it for later. Suffice it to say that Barack Obama has a much different picture of our government's taxing authority than many of us do.

Before we go on, let me remind you of a point that I first heard made by former Libertarian presidential candidate Harry Browne. Government has one unique power that you don't have, and neither do I. This is a power that is denied all private businesses and individuals in this country. That power .. the power unique to government .. is the power to use deadly force to accomplish its goals. If you have a business; a restaurant, for instance; you have to convince people to come to your establishment for a meal. You can advertise for customers, but they make the decision whether or not to give your restaurant a try. When the customers do come in it is up to you to deliver to them a superior product with exemplary service. This is how you get them to come back. Not through force, but through value and service.

Not so the government. You have no choice as to whether or not you are going to be a customer of government. Your patronage is compelled and your payments are extracted at the point of a gun. Supreme Court Justice John Marshall said that "the power to tax is the power to destroy." The power to tax in the wrong hands can certainly bring destruction to our economy and even to our country. I submit to you that the power to tax in the hands of Barack Obama is dangerous: Dangerous to you personally, and dangerous to the very fabric of our Republic.

Just take a look at some of the rhetoric Barack Obama uses when he talks of his plans to increase taxes on the evil, hated rich. In a television interview with (I think) Charles Gibson, Obama was asked if he understood that tax increases have often resulted in decreases in government revenue. Obama responded that he was aware of this fact. He was then asked why, then, would he be so eager to raise taxes? Obama responded that, to him, tax increases were simply a matter of "fairness." In other words, Obama didn't wish to use the police power of the state to collect taxes necessary for the legitimate functions of government; he wanted to use his taxing power to promote some vaporous "fairness" in our economy. After all, as Obama put it, the people he wants to tax have more money than they actually need and he wants to give that money to people who really do need it.

Now I ask you, does any of that sound vaguely familiar? Hmmmmm, let's see. I know I've heard something like that somewhere before. Wait! I think I have it. "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." Some character named Marx made slogan quite popular around 1875 in a writing called "Critique of the Gotha Program." This phrase is one of the most well-known principals of communism. You can yell, scream, spin around on your eyebrows and spit wooden nickels all you want, but what Barack Obama is pushing here, at least insofar as his tax policies are concerned, is communism. This shouldn't come as a surprise considering Obama's self-professed affinity for communist student groups and communist professors during his undergraduate years. Oh, you didn't read that? Maybe that's because you read his second book, not the first one. But what the heck. He's eloquent, isn't he? And he has a good narrative.

As I've indicated, I've been doing talk radio for 39 years now. I was on the air when we were fighting communism in Southeast Asia. I was flapping my jaws when Soviet leaders seriously entertained dreams of world communism. Throughout all of those years I was never one to scream "communism" every time someone came up with an oddball idea on governance, and I never once found a communist under my bed. But now, at least when you consider tax policy, we have a candidate for president who seems very comfortable with some basic communist principals. Too comfortable. But none of this should really bother you ... right? A little communism or socialism never really hurt anyone that you can remember. Besides, Europe is telling us that they'll like us again if we vote for Obama. That pretty much overrules everything, doesn't it?

No comments: