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Thoughts On Taxes

From Lileks:

If you are opposed to higher taxes on the rich - well, let's back up. If you start out by questioning the definition of "rich," you're one of them. "Rich" is like "racist" - the surest sign of the guilty is the failure to admit your problem. If there are a lot of people who make less money than you do, you're rich, and it doesn't matter how you got where you are, or whether that poor fellow over there who works for Wal-Mart - and don't worry, we'll belittle him as a three-toothed inbred cousin-marrying NASCAR Oxycontin-popping gun-nut in just a minute - made some life choices that may have affected his earning potential; the existence of disparity is sufficient to prove that something is wrong. Or at least suggest that something must be done. As a wise man said: half the people in the country live below the median income level. Half. In this day and age.

So if you don't want to help them - that's what you mean when you oppose taxes, after all - you're selfish. If you protest that you'll have to spend less, or invest less, or save less, or give less to charity, well, you had better start making more money, then. Go on; out to the woodshed; squat over that straw nest and pop out some more golden eggs, or whatever it is you do. Incidentally, you should spend less, because you spend money on things you don't need, and we don't have to know what they are to know you don't need them, just like we don't have to visit your house or neighborhood to know that the former is too big and the latter too far away. You should invest less - put your money in Main Street, not Wall Street. (This does not include spending money on Main Street on things we think you don't need. It means investing it. Consult a professional; we're not clear on the details.) You shouldn't save less, because saving is a virtue. Also, we can tax the interest.

Charity? Don't worry about it. Taxes have the same moral power as charity. As Sen. Obama said in the parable of the peanut butter sandwich, sharing is called "Socialism" by some wingnuts. He was correct to scoff: It's not whether you give of your own free will or whether you are compelled to give; it's the giving that counts, not the rationale.

Actually, the most important part is the separation of you and your property; that provides a deep glow of inner satisfaction you cannot possibly imagine, unless you have experience at the communion rail handing out the wafers. It's quite astonishing how the self can be so exalted by selflessness.

Plenty more where that came from, over at his new screedblog. And nobody screed like James.


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PeterH wrote:

To repeat an earlier comment:

If I give of my means, it's charity.
If someone picks my pocket to give to the same cause, that's theft.

And yes, I am calling Obama a thief for his socialist policies.

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on November 4, 2008 6:38 AM.

Raise Shields, Captain was the previous entry in this blog.

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