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June 12, 2004

Spending Other People's Money

What a strange world this is.

I saw an interview with Dick Gephardt when he was campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination in which he was asked about his plan to raise taxes if he became president. The questioner pointed out that right now about 50% of the American population is paying 100% of the federal taxes (meaning that 50% of the population is paying nothing at all). Gephardt, who is certainly in a position to know such things, confirmed that 50% are paying 100% of the bills with a simple nod of his head.

Isn't it interesting that Americans live in a country where 50% of the population, who don't contribute anything, get to vote on how the other 50% of the population's money (at least some of it) is going to be spent (and not only that, but also get to vote on how much of the other half of the population's money is going to be spent)?

Is it possible that, perhaps, demonstrating the ability to make money and to increase personal wealth should be a pre-requisite to voting upon how that money should be spent? Or, at the very least, if a person is going to have some input in how the taxes are going to be spent (even by proxy, as it is in the United States through electing representatives to decide how to spend the dough), shouldn't the person at least have contributed something to the pot?

The first answer which, I'm sure, comes to most people's minds is likely to be: but that would mean that the poor don't get to vote!

Well, yeah.

But the answer to that is simple enough: If you want to vote, don't be poor. And talk about incentive, you either get a vote, or a hand-out, one or the other: choose.

Now if that strikes you as crass, that should immediately tell you that, in your heart of hearts, you don't really understand that each individual's wealth is up to him or her. Is it any wonder that the people in the lower 50% typically vote for the candidate who promises to tax the rich and provide government hand-outs?

Posted by Jeff at June 12, 2004 10:56 PM

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