53%

Governor Romney, in a video secretly captured during a moment during a fundraiser back in May, spoke something that has enlivened the week politically.  He dared mention how people benefiting from government largesse are more prone to elect politicians who promise to increase their particular take.

How brazen!

How shocking!

How dare he state something so true?!?

My preschooler understands that if he acts like we want him to he will be rewarded with special food, privileges, et cetera.  If I want a citizen to vote for me ad nauseum, why not give him something for nothing, and then threaten him constantly of taking it away.  What an amazing leash to control someone by in order to ensure that his votes keep coming in my favor.

What the citizen fails to recognize though is that the chain has already been placed around him and the shackles are bolted on.  He has been convinced, without need of firing a shot or committing violence that he is subservient and incapable of life without that politician’s continuance of his means of livelihood.  This is the fundamental essence of the welfare state.  This “benefit” is the crushing boot of tyranny, of slavery, of oppression.

Now how can it be oppression if it is for the downtrodden and unfortunate?  Have you no heart?

I am more concerned for the long term survival of my country and our innate freedoms and liberties, however temporal they may be when measured against eternity.

The truth is, all might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they ought.

Samuel Adams

While the chains of bondage in this case are meant to be benevolent, they are anything but as they further dependency.  This isn’t about being your brother’s keeper, or helping widows and orphans.  This is about destroying the ability to live joyfully.  This benevolence replaces God as the bearer of all of your needs and supplants Him with government and politicians.

The right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave…

Samuel Adams

If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.

Thomas Jefferson

So how was Mitt Romney wrong in any way?

He spoke the truth.  A large portion of this country’s populace is dependent on the government.  This portion also tends to vote in what it has been conditioned is it’s own self-interests rather than the country’s as a whole.  This is not how this country was designed to function. If things continue as they are and then accelerate with Obamacare being fully implemented, the republic will fall.

What happens when the 53% of taxpayers who don’t ask anything of the government other than equal protection under the law and defense of hearth and home decide to stop playing the game and elect liberty or death over tyranny, over the chains of servitude, over the slavery of government benevolence?

Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

Patrick Henry

Slavery once was defended as a benevolent institution that kept them fed, clothed, and occupied (Source).  How is the modern entitlement state any different?  If you support such institutions, recognize that you are supporting slavery of the soul and spirit.

What Governor Romney was implying was that it is up to the remainder of us, the 53%, to stand up for our fellow citizens, to point to their chains and their shackles and say “ENOUGH.”  In this way, we will be our brother’s keeper to free them from the curse of liberal progressive bondage.

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9 Comments

  1. Yes…those horrible people who don’t make enough money to owe income tax at the end of the year…what leaches! What parasites! Good thing President Romney won’t be president of them.

    Reply
  2. Max

     /  September 25, 2012

    How was what he said untrue? OK:

    1. He is assuming that the 47% that doesn’t pay taxes will overwhelmingly and completely vote for Obama, he has written them off completely. But we already know that many members of the 47% will vote Romney. All of the poorest states who contribute the least to Federal taxes and take the most, are Red states.

    2. He assumes that it is one big group of welfare queens, but the demographics are not so simple. Most of these people are the elderly, veterans, students, and the working poor (not taxed but not necessarily feeding off the government). These groups either have legitimate reasons they might not be taxed without necessarily being “welfare queens”. Not to mention the 3,000 millionaires who paid no income tax. But of course Romney wasn’t talking about them.

    3. He has stated emphatically that he feels no remorse over paying less in taxes himself than other, poorer Americans. He justifies this by pointing out that the government didn’t ask him to. He gladly pays no more than what he has to. But the 47%? They too are simply following the rules the government has handed them and paid what was asked of them, nothing. And for this they are somehow leeches.

    4. He assumes that only those who don’t pay federal income tax (and remember that the 47% pays every other tax, just not the federal income tax) are mooching off government programs. But while I am sure these people do take advantage of government programs, so does everybody else. Large corporations get subsidies all the time and by extension the managers who make a bigger profit as a result of those subsidies. Then there are the federal loans that middle and upper class students can take advantage of. FDIC insurance on the money in our bank accounts, etc.

    There are literally thousands of ways in which we all, large or small, benefit from the government. And, in turn, there are thousands of ways the government interferes with our lives in unpleasant ways. But Romney is dead wrong to suggest one group carries all of the burden and another takes all of the bounty.

    Reply
  3. Max, you bring up a decent criticism of what he said from a broad brush standpoint, but the fundamental truth of it remains the same. Government assistance and aide, neither of which is Constitutional in a strict sense, is inherently preferential. It is tantamount to a political bribe in that politican Bob tells you to elect him so he can tax those darn “wealthy” people more in order to send you a check to make your life a bit easier. Then two/four years later he comes back and tells you to reelect him so that little “benefit” doesn’t get taken away and he might even be able to sweeten it a little more.

    How is that different than a mob boss paying off a prosecutor or district attorney to keep him from looking too hard at the mob boss’ less-than-legal dealings?

    Personally, I advocate for the elimination of all tax loopholes, exemptions, credits, subsidies, etc… the dismantling of the IRS as a whole and the implementation of a flat tax rate for all, from the poorest among us to the wealthiest, and corporations all paying an equal proportion of their income in taxes for the services that the government rightfully provides. Imagine how much wealth would be freed up for business investment and job growth if such a simple revolution in taxation would occur?

    Reply
  4. Max

     /  September 25, 2012

    First of all, I was merely pointing out that your claim that Mitt told the truth was inaccurate. He was wrong. But moving on to your point (which was not Mitt’s point):

    You seem to be saying that when you don’t like the political promises, it is bribery, but it’s not when you do like them. If promising new programs and services for the poor is a bribe by politicians for votes, so is promising lower or no new taxes.

    And as for the flat tax, it is regressive. Your whole economic philosophy seems skewed toward supply side, but what really matters is demand. If your corporate taxes are raised, you make a slightly smaller profit. But if you customers taxes are raised, and they have less spending money, you lose a lot more because you still pay some tax but have smaller revenue from customers.

    And the poor and middle classes spend a larger percent of their money than do the rich which means they drive demand, not the wealthy. Example: If I make $20,000 and the government charges 20% tax, I already needed every dollar to survive and now I have less than I need to survive. But if you make $100,000, you will have after tax 4 times what I made before tax. You can pay tax, live a lifestyle more than twice as good as me and still have 40% of your income free to put into savings. That means I spend, by necessity, every dollar while you save (potentially) 40%. Raising your taxes doesn’t affect your demand. Just decreases your savings (economy stays the same). Raising my taxes decreases my demand (economy shrinks).

    My counter proposal: Eliminate all loopholes, credits, and subsidies, on this we agree. Set a minimum deduction, say $25,000. This means the first $25,000 everyone makes is tax free. then pay 10% on all income between $25,000 and $75,000; 25% on $75,000-$250,000 and 40% on everything over $250,000. This way everyone pays the same and it is fair. But the more you make, the more you pay, because you can afford it and weren’t going to spend that money in the economy toward growth.

    Reply
  5. Max, let me give you a hint how businesses operate when assessed a new tax. Let’s say for the sake of an example that I am a manager a large national corporation that sells bolts. If the government decided to raise the taxes that my company pays, that money does not come out of my pocket. It is a cost that is factored into how I price my products. I don’t eat the tax because I’m trying to make money, I pass the tax along to my customers in the form of higher prices and or decreased quality. This is a basic business practice. It is neither right nor wrong, it just is.

    Where this becomes onerous on the business person is when you suddenly introduce foreign competition that is able to pay less tax on their production in another country. We can try to rectify this with tariffs, but tariffs have a nasty way of coming back around to biting your own exports too as nations will always act in their own interests just as a business or an individual will.

    While the concept of demand side economics sounds grand, it is not the way that the world works.

    In terms of taxation, I recommend you look at what the Supreme Court has docketed for their next session. There is a case that a Colorado man is bringing before the Court that is challenging the precept that income taxes can be applied to wages. He provides some fairly convincing evidence from what I’ve gleaned (link here: http://www.wnd.com/2012/09/supremes-docket-income-tax-challenge/). Imagine if you will a world where a 10% income tax reigns, but wages are exempt. Wouldn’t that be great for the low and middle classes? Calling a flat tax regressive or a tiered tax rate progressive is a misnomer and one that I completely reject. We’ve tried the “progressive” tiered tax rate for a long time now with negligible real effect on income stratification – perhaps it’s time for something “new” with the “regressive” flat tax.

    Reply
    • Max

       /  September 26, 2012

      A world of 10% income tax but not wages? Then what is being taxed? And you haven’t refuted the importance of demand side economics. Let’s say you are that bolt maker and you want to make a profit. Your taxes go up and you find that if you pass the cost onto your customers, they are willing to pay it. So your income stays the same, willing customers pay more and the government has funds to pay for important services for everyone.

      Now lets say that you are already priced at the optimal range. Raising prices will now decrease demand and therefore revenue. So you are forced to leave your prices as they are or risk losing business. You still make a profit, but a slightly smaller one.

      Now, however, your taxes stay the same, but your customer’s taxes are raised. Because they have less money to spend on your products, you must either lower prices or lose customers and either way lose revenue. The customer has less buying power, you have less profit, but the government still got theirs.

      Now lets say that your company already manufactures and sells as much product as the market will bear. Make more, and you can’t sell the inventory. So the government gives you a supply side tax break. You now have freed up funds to make more product, but you know doing so is futile. So it turns into extra profit, not new business. This is one of the reasons that corporations have, If I’m remembering correctly, 1 Trillion collectively in capital they aren’t spending. Unless demand for products goes up, there is no point in spending that money on more products. It is not that companies, at least big ones, don’t have money, it’s that they don’t have a reason to spend it; no one’s buying.

      And just to touch on your other points, taxation has far less effect on the cost of foreign goods than does the cost of labour. End taxes now in America and we still can’t compete with Chinese prices. And you don’t have to like the words regressive and progressive, but flat taxes DO hurt the poor more because everyone has a baseline cost of living. We can charge 90% tax on a millionaire without endangering his ability to live comfortably, but someone making $20,000 would be seriously impacted by a 3% tax.

      Reply
  6. This video illustrates my overall point. There is a constituency that is “enslaved” to government handouts. This mindset is utterly dangerous to the continued economic and personal freedoms that we still have. Dare to take it away and they’ll vote against you in lockstep. Promise to sweeten the deal and they’ll reelect you in perpetuity regardless of whether you accomplish it or not.

    Reply
    • Max

       /  September 27, 2012

      Ugh, this is at best anecdotal and proves nothing. Are there some really obnoxious and dumb people who abuse the system and only know how to leech? Of course. Are they 47% of Americans? I hope you don’t really think so. I’m sure Romney doesn’t even really think so. Most people just want fairness and opportunity. We have spent the last 10 years, really the last 30, living the supply side dream the result of which was an economy in collapse. Corporations and their owners/executives have been the biggest recipients of taxpayer dollars, directly and indirectly. Yet all they ever trickled down was lay offs, wage stagnation, reduced benefits, and higher costs of living.

      Reply

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