In an egalitarian effort to level the playing field, statists make claims on any source of wealth imaginable as belonging, at least partially, to the government. These claims are not for themselves, of course, but so that all men may live equally. This government-sponsored equality under all conditions rather than equal under the law creates legalized theft of private property and an effective denial of free will.
While Congress debates extending the Bush tax cuts, some strange commentary is coming out regarding those who do not think that grabbing more private funds to fuel public programs is a good way to get the economy back on track. What sounds the loudest gong in the cacophony is that the government can’t afford the tax cuts. What exactly does that mean?
The government does not create wealth; it operates by taking money from those who do. But why should those who make more money (i.e. create more wealth) have to give a proportionally larger amount of their earnings to the government? How are they being treated equally under the law?
And yet it seems to satisfy a terrific portion of the population that those who earn over $250,000 a year can not only afford to pay the extra taxes, they should. If not them, then certainly those who make over $1,000,000 – right? Who, but a millionaire, would deny that a millionaire could afford to pay a little extra into the kitty? And why should we non-millionaires care?
The real question is who has the right to determine when you have made enough money for yourself and now owe a greater debt to society? It would seem that we, through the election of our congressmen, have consented to grant that determination to the government.
Bombarded by the loose use of the word equal as it applies to legal status, we have fallen prey to the false idea that equal under the law is the same as equal under all conditions, regardless of whether or not we have chosen those conditions through our own actions.
Ask Mr. Brunvand, an attorney for a murder suspect who successfully argued to have the court pay for $125 a day make-up job for his client. Why? Because his client decorated himself with a swastika and other offensive tattoos on visible parts of his body. Mr. Brunvand says this makes it difficult for his client to receive a fair trial.
While the move to pretty up a man accused of murder might seem bizarre, defense lawyers like Mr. Brunvand say they fight an uphill battle every day in court: though the law requires that juries see every defendant as innocent until proved guilty, they say, jurors are generally more likely to see someone who has been arrested as guilty.
And if you make more than $250,000 a year, you are automatically guilty of having more money than you need, regardless of your efforts to earn it.
When the government determines the limits of our aspirations, it leaves no room for liberty.