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As Long as We Remember...

April 23, 2010

Class Warfare on The Horizon?

Joe Charlebois

With the annual celebration of “Dollar Liberation Day” on April 15th behind us now, it pays to look at the dynamic change in how taxpayers are represented.


When the data are collected by the U.S. Treasury Department this year, it would be worth noting that nearly one-half of American households will pay NO federal income tax and yet others will receive a tax credit while paying nothing out.


Before you jump in and say “Well, they pay sales tax; they pay Social Security; they pay Medicare,” the 50 percent of those who pay income taxes, pay those same taxes as well as a significant percentage of their income at an increasingly disproportionate rate.


As George Mason University’s Walter Williams references in a recent column, Founding Father James Madison was concerned about the eventual breakdown in the representative republic if there was division among the economic classes. He points out that President Madison was concerned about not only the oppression of the poor by the property owner, but the undefended property owner against a powerful majority who owns no property. In short, he was first to warn of the potential for class warfare.


In today’s culture President Madison may well have said that those who pay no taxes have no discernible “skin in the game.” He would point out that the non-taxpayer has no intrinsic concern to how the federal government spends the taxpayer’s dollars. Those who have no monetary investment in the funding of the federal government and its programs have no reason to question how those funds are spent.


Why should they be concerned? They have been taught from birth that there is an inherent right for the “less fortunate” to accept the charity of others when the federal government is the “benevolent” intermediary. It is the duty of “wealthy” Americans to render support to those less fortunate.


To exacerbate the current climate, the political class continues to pander to the lower income sector of our society through ever increasing levels of handouts. This ensures payback in the form of electoral reward. The greater the entrenchment of political power, the greater the benefits.


The political class has manipulated the system through the careful division of taxpayers into specialized interest groups. They have whittled away at the number of those actually paying income tax and increased the percentage who pay no income tax and/or receive tax credits!


Once a majority can vote to receive money on behalf of the minority’s wealth, the economy will essentially run aground. It is akin to trying to turn around an aircraft carrier on the Potomac River.


The changes in how we pay taxes are becoming ever more unfair and punitive. We should all have some “skin in the game,” or we will lose the power as citizens to keep oversight of our federal government.


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