Let's take a ride down a slippery slope...

President Obama has told us a thousand times that it's only "reasonable" that the rich should pay a little more for the "good of all." He defines the rich as those making more than $250,000 a year. But what about those making over $100,000 a year? That's a lot of money and those that have less and who are having a problem making ends meet should have the right to ask for help from those who have more, shouldn't they? After all “they can afford it.” And what about the "poor?" The poor, those making only about $20,000 a year, are after all in much greater need than those making forty to ninety thousand per year. So shouldn't the middle class be called on to help the poor as well? Well, “everyone” agrees with that.

But wait! That $20,000 a year is a fortune compared to those making $3 a day in other parts of the world. Isn’t it only "reasonable" then that the so-called American "poor," who are immensely richer than most others, should be asked to pay a little more for the good of those who have less? What do borders have to do with social justice?

How's that slope workin' for ya? After all, if the goal is income fairness and equality rather than paying down our debt and our bills, then anyone with less than you has a claim to your wealth in the name of "fairness." No matter what their income is.

Of course, when Obama gets his way, the government will not be asking the wealthy to pay more -- they will be ordering it. And if they refuse to comply, they will be fined and/or sent to jail for not paying their taxes. If we applied the same moral imperative to the US citizenry at large, all US citizens should pay for those here and around the world who are poorer than they are "through no fault of their own." Shouldn’t we? By this reasoning export taxes should be imposed on all the US consumes, and international trade barriers imposed on the US if we refuse to share our wealth.

Of course this line of thinking only comes from those that advocate the redistribution of wealth. The Obama Administration denies any desire to redistribute wealth. Tim Geithner has voiced the President's view that the country can no longer afford tax breaks for the rich on income, capital gains, and dividends. The reason he gives is the government can no longer afford not to have that money. The government must take the money so they can spend it on the things this country needs. They are talking about things like education, infrastructure, and research and development. This they call imperative and essential “investments." To Obama, anything less is unacceptable.

Those that want less taxes and less government are accused of wanting to do away with income taxes altogether. It's claimed that without funding for government we wouldn't have education, infrastructure, or research and development. However history tells a different story. Prior to 1913 there was NO income tax. Did Abraham Lincoln not have an education? He walked to school and there he not only got a good education, he eventually became a lawyer and President of the United States -- without government income taxes or student loans to assist him!

How about infrastructure and research and development? Without any income taxes, the US created the greatest increase in the standard of living mankind has ever known. It was called the industrial revolution and innovation thrived as never before in history (And this again, without the Department of Education or government money). No, this country does not need more taxes and more government to create progress and prosperity. In fact just the opposite is true. We need less government and less taxation.

Government needs to be reduced to its original function: to protect individuals from force and fraud by others. That's all government need do. Even regulation can be done by institutions other than government. As the Model T Ford became a more accessible form of transportation, more cars were driving the trails and roads of America. It was the Automobile Club, not government, that standardized stop signs and signals around the country and mapped the roads for drivers. They did this for years. Not until 1950 did the states begin to seize that function, but most traffic laws and signs were originated by the Auto Club at no taxpayer expense. As drivers and roads increased, so did the need for more maps and AAA supplied those maps to members at their own expense, and still does today.

Prior to the creation of the Food and Drug Administration, a private company called Good Housekeeping created The Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. This company tested consumer goods and rated the results. Once again not one penny of taxpayer money was used to test products and provide results. From Wikipedia:

"In 1900, the "Experiment Station," the predecessor to the Good Housekeeping Research Institute (GHRI), was founded. The formal opening of the headquarters of GHRI - the Model Kitchen, Testing Station for Household Devices, and Domestic Science Laboratory - occurred in January 1910."

It was private enterprise that provided consumer protection along with the government court system that enforced it. To this day both AAA and Good Housekeeping remain profitable companies with excellent reputations. Can we say the same for our regulatory watchdog agencies? American History is replete with such stories of consumer protection, education, and research and development provided by the private sector, all without or only with minor government support. Yet, we are told that only the federal government has the ability to provide these services. Investing is not the prerogative of government. The fact is they’re not very good at it.

Our slippery slope ends here, but know this: as government demands more power to tax and regulate, it will never be enough. Ever more taxes, regulation, and control will be demanded by government as long as the American citizens permit it. Government is inefficient, ineffective, and very expensive. Yet yearly we continue to ask for more government – not less.

Paul Nathan
Paulnathan.biz