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What Don’t You Understand About “It’s Not Your Money”

What Don’t You Understand About “It’s Not Your Money”

Allowing people to keep more of what they earn is a horrible giveaway tantamount to welfare for the rich, rendering anyone who would suggest such a thing evil and greedy.

That attitude is the fundamental public policy prescription of the Democratic Party and supportive economists, as expressed in an op-ed in The Washington Post, Five Myths About The Bush Tax Cuts.

We could argue over the specifics, and the historical ignorance and wishful thinking that raising taxes results in more revenue or helps the economy.

The argument over specifics is besides the point. It’s just more class warfare, presuming that someone who is successful needs to be punished.

These Democratic talking points reflect the fundamental disconnect: It is not your money.

I think the American people understand that point. The government works for us, not the other way around.

You either believe it, or you don’t. The Democratic Party doesn’t.

Update: Bruce McQuain has more patience than I do, and takes apart the specifics of the WaPo column.

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Comments

I think that you nailed it right on the head. The left believes that we work for the government. That when we are successful we are obligated to give our hard earned wealth to others whether they deserve it or not.(This is not to say that society should not help those that are in terrible predicaments, it is what we are all supposed to do) I do think its incredulous that my money has to go to fund the lifestyles of millionaire congresspersons and that my money has to go to fund an elitistt political heirarchy. Whether we like it or not we have our own oligarchs here in the US and they reside in Washington DC.

I agree it is a fundamental difference in beliefs. I heard a Democratic commentator on FoxNews justify the expiration of tax cuts on the 'rich' as the government can do a better job with the money than the 'rich' as if it was entirely normal. That 'better job' involves handing out enormous amounts to favored groups and living like kings. I think we are back to the royalty system the overthrow of which was the foundation of American Revolution.

"he government works for us, not the other way around.

You either believe it, or you don't. The Democratic Party doesn't."

THIS Republican Party doesn't believe it either. Things aren't going to be much better after we return THIS Republican Party in November. TARP was a GOP plan. Open borders was GOP policy. Out of control spending went hyperbolic from 2000 to 2008.

The party leadership that led us into this mess is STILL in charge of the GOP. It's like we Tea Party people say: "We can't fix the Democratic Party problem before we fix the Republican Party."

If only people in Arizona and Florida understood that. They are about to re-elect Cristie and McCain.

You can fool some of the people all of the time.

When I was a kid, I used to play Monopoly. When one player had all the money, we would end the game and start over. Apparently you would keep playing.

Joe5348

The difference, Phil is that we have a little more control over what Republicans do vs. Democrats. If we put enough pressure on Republicans, they will cave.

But you are correct, both parties are at fault here. And TARP and open borders are "Progressive", not party related. We need to purge Progressives from every corner of the government…starting with the GOP

There is no way in hell Cristie is going to be elected to anything, ever again, he didn't even win his primary. We have yet to see about McCain, the voters have not had their say in a long time. Arizona's primary is on August 24th.

Charlie Crist, whatever his name is.

If people think the wealthy aren't paying enough, why don't they advocate a wealth tax instead of a productivity tax?

Liberal Economics

=======
Money falls from heaven for everyone to use. But, the immoral and sneaky rich gather more than their share. The government's purpose is to redistribute that money the way God intended. Or, if you wish, the way Gaia, or the Tooth Fairy, or whoever intended.

Taxes remove the excess income of the rich and give it to the voting poor, through a fair and organized bureaucracy.

The rich oppose this action by selfishly and spitefully decreasing employment. Government responds by increasing grants and spending, to boost employment. The government runs a deficit while it discovers the "knack" for creating the jobs that the rich are hiding.
=======

The Left has been granted Divine Sight, along with the certainty this brings. They see clearly that they know what everyone should do in life, and they feel entitled to support while they do the tough planning work. Argument and evidence are not needed. They see a knowing agreement in each others eyes. It is not necessary to confront the confused arguments of the lesser beings.

The lesser beings are born to work. They like the labor and details, and they love saving. This is part of the divine order of things. Some will accumulate more than seems necessary for their continued functioning. This can be removed by taxes, regulation, and fines.

Do you want proof they they were born to work? They work harder when you take away more of their savings. They appear incapable of physical demonstration and revolt. Their heads are full of "the law" and a longing for an ordered society. They are docile.

The Left works tirelessly to provide an ordered society, and the lesser beings comply as long as those orders are carefully wrapped in The Law, as determined by judges of the Left. The lesser beings don't trust their own eyes or thoughts, as they should not. Although they can read the words of The Law, they are willing to accept the pronouncements of the Judges, no matter the contradictions. The Lessers think "That isn't what I thought the Law said, but who am I to complain. I suppose I will comply, no matter what."

Jerry Bowles | August 1, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Do you not remember who David Stockman is? He is not now and has never been a Democrat. He was one of Ronald Reagan's most important financial advisors. What's with the Democrat talking points crap?

@joseph: that would be the case were wealth finite. But wealth is not finite, it can be created. If someone amasses a pile of wealth, rather than stop the "game" and take it all away from him, we all just keep working to create our own wealth.

"We could argue over the specifics, and the historical ignorance and wishful thinking that raising taxes results in more revenue or helps the economy.

The argument over specifics is besides the point. It's just more class warfare, presuming that someone who is successful needs to be punished."

The argument *is* indeed over specifics. The budget constraint is that the expected present value of level of outlays must be less than or equal to the expected present value of the level of taxes collected. Class warfare decides what the outlays are spent on and who the taxes are collected from, but the long run budget balance is only determined by the levels of spending a taxation.

So yes if there are lower rates of taxation that result in higher economic growth that ultimately still keep the budget in (cyclical adjusted) balance, then the size of pie the class warriors are fighting over is bigger and that's a good thing. If not, then a rate cut unaccompanied by spending cuts is just robbing our children, as Senator Coburn might say. However this is a technocratic question, not an ideological one. (e.g. are certain kinds of tax cuts more revenue friendly than others …)

"Allowing people to keep more of what they earn is a horrible giveaway tantamount to welfare for the rich, rendering anyone who would suggest such a thing evil and greedy."

This seems to be conflating cash and accrual accounting. Suppose a town votes to rebuild a bridge that has collapsed, and will pay for it with future tax revenues. The government borrows money by selling bonds to pay the builder and now the bridge is ready.

Saying that the government should "allow" the taxpayers to keep more of what they earn seems to really muddy the issue and turn it into an ideological food fight. If there were no "government" per se, but something more akin to a co-op or homeowner's association that contracted directly with the bridge builder the relationships would be clearer. The people collectively entered into an agreement (some how) to build the bridge. Now they have to pay for it. It's not clear to me that the taxes withheld from "their" earnings to do that are, in accrual terms, "theirs".

To the extent that a democratically elected government commits to spending (either on things that conservatives like, things that progressives like, both, or neither), it seems to me that the government has already put the spending on the credit card on behalf of the voters. The point is to stop charging, not to reduce the payments.

I like Christopher Hitchens' line: "I dislike the Republicans but I loathe the Democrats."

The US form of representative democracy used to give input to a republican form of government is based on a formula of taxation and representation. Original representative levels were of set proportion, not set number of representatives, and that meant that representation and diversity of it grew as the population grew in size. When the number of representatives becomes fixed, as the Progressives did in 1911 to the House, then there is an imbalance with more people being represented by the same number of people, thus there is less diversity in representation.

Our social contract is based not just on 'buy-in' but representative levels that are, at heart, representative of the diverse will of the people. Representative democracy is not 'efficient' nor is it made to be so: the diversity means it is inefficient with hard fights over what is a public good that help to deadlock government into NOT spending when there is a significant minority or plurality against it.

When representation proportions are high (that is to say 1:30,000 is a larger number than 1:550,000), then diversity of viewpoint results as does the need for easy legislation that can be understood by more than just a majority of members. This also means that representatives are more likely to be known by their voters personally, not from campaign slogans, and thus 'represent' them better. As it is the representatives in the House are distant at their current proportion levels and when they pass huge bills it is indicative of a system that no longer has diverse, deep and representation as its touchstone. Spending done by such institutions that feel no allegiance to those they serve then treat those who pay the bills with indifference or contempt. Instead of working for the people the view of those elites is that the people work for them.

The problem with money, influence and power in government rests with the number of representatives, not the money chasing them. To drive down the influence of powerful groups requires a vastly larger House so that money must, perforce, be divided amongst many more politicians. Without large sums to dominate elections you get a return to local representation and the lack of sloganeering means that people you might actually know will run for office. Change the divisor in the 1:x equation and you change the entire structure in DC. 2,000 page bills would not even be contemplated with a House 5 times its current size, not to speak of a maximum House of 9,000 members. Getting a mere 2,000 members to agree on large spending packages becomes impossible, as does packing pork into bills as all it takes is 1 whistleblower to uncover such things… and you have so many who are not part of porkritude politics that such revelations become a certainty. Until we get representation levels to that point, we will continue to see a sinecured elite…

Allowing people to keep more of what they earn is a horrible giveaway tantamount to welfare for the rich, rendering anyone who would suggest such a thing evil and greedy.

Well, if we are only being "allowed" to keep our wealth, than the money really belongs to whoever is deciding about our "allowance", doesn't it?

These Democratic talking points reflect the fundamental disconnect: It is not your money.

Nice try, but that's not a specifically Democratic talking point; it is a profoundly mainstream one, equally represented on the Republicans.

Per Robert above:

The people collectively entered into an agreement (some how) to build the bridge. Now they have to pay for it. It's not clear to me that the taxes withheld from "their" earnings to do that are, in accrual terms, "theirs".

If you do not own the results of your labor, the rest is just haggling over price.

Its all about the private-sector middle class. Wipe out the middle class, and it will be the end of America you knew. There will come a point when the only politican you support should be those who swear by the middle class; the financial markets, and welfare both, be damned.

And, printing press aside, who creates that money (that wealth)? Couple that answer with Obamacare (gov healthcare) and you get to an even more fundamental point: it's not your life. That is where the control freaks stand.

It is ALL OUR money; none of it is theirs. No one sees the problem of public servants growing rich in office?? This is not about bridges or infrastructure, it is about shakedowns, backscratching, special interests. We have zero to show for ~$800 billion in "stimulus." Much of it will be used to prop up moribund Democrat campaigns this fall. None of it has resulted in jobs, shovel-ready or otherwise.

The mistake they (either party or both together as The Ruling Class) make in decreeing all this their money and us their SERFS is that we can and do control the amount of our labor and their "take." We can actually cut revenues way back and take them out.

When you see huge cutbacks to essential services such as firefighters and police forces while union pensions grow exponentially richer and public bureaucracies grow rapidly bigger (where are those pensions coming from??), the jig is up. This has nothing to do with what the country needs but everything to do with what thieving criminals and their supporters want. The buck stops WITH ME. In every way.

"Our rights, liberties and wealth are what have been taken. This government continues to enrich and empower itself and its benefactors with more of our money. There is no recession in Washington, D.C. In fact, there is no economic suffering if you're employed by the imperial government. They continue to see their salaries, benefits and pensions grow all on the backs of fewer and fewer taxpayers. This government spends well beyond its citizens' ability to repay this debt.

"The only logical design of such a policy is to ensure the redistribution of wealth through taxation from the upper and middle classes to the imperial government and its beneficiaries. The imperial government creates the circumstances of the crisis, and acts as the benefactor to the citizens impacted by the crisis thereby cementing into these beneficiaries' minds the righteousness of the imperial government. In fact, it is the taxpayer that provides this charity, but, rather than receiving credit, the taxpayer is demeaned by the imperial government as having attained his wealth through nefarious means."

"Nice try, but that's not a specifically Democratic talking point; it is a profoundly mainstream one, equally represented on the Republicans."

Seerak, there's a reason for the term RINO: You can call yourself anything, but what you do and how you vote reveals you for what you really are, and these are Leftists.

Steverino,

Wealth may be limitless, but there is absolutely a finite supply of money. The amount is published by the Fed, I believe weekly. It is called M1. The problem is that when money accumulates at the top, it stops circulating.
The ultra rich simply speculate, which is why in the art market, for example, high end pieces shoot up in value while middling and low end pieces take a huge hit. The necessary solution is to continuously recycle the money from the top to the bottom. Hence the progressive income tax.

Joe5348

Besides the point?

> Out of control spending went hyperbolic from 2000 to 2008.

That statement is hyperbole.

The Repubs lost congress in 2006. The 2006 deficit was $100B and had been decreasing for several years. While $100B/year is a big number, Obama's deficit is $100B/month.

The Repubs weren't saints. However, in every instance the Dem opposition wanted more spending, not less. And when the Dems took Congress, that's when the deficit "went hyperbolic".

"The problem is that when money accumulates at the top, it stops circulating."

What utter nonsense. If nothing else, the rich die, and their children piss it all away. =)

What do you think they do with money? They leverage it to acquire more. How do you do that? By lending it, investing it, not hiding it in the mattress and sleeping on it. So, while they still have a claim to it – it continues to circulate!

But I see you kind of vaguely grasp that.

Regardless, the author's point remains. It. Is. Not. Your. Money. Or mine money or anyone else's money. And if you don't believe in private property, I don't want anything to do with, and there is NOTHING to discuss (irreconcilable concepts of reality).

Andrew,

Ravi Batra has been publishing many studies on what the rich do with their money. They speculate, the middle class invests, the poor spend. And while it may be your money, it is worthless without the government guarantees behind it.

Joe5348

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