If you have listened to the left in recent days, you would think that Senate Republicans violated the Geneva Conventions. What they actually did was pass a piece of tax legislation. This legislation, we are told, is a nightmare for women, will literally kill people, and those who support it must answer to God for why they hate poor people.
Putting the particulars of the Senate bill aside, there seems to be a misunderstanding of how taxes work among our liberal and progressive friends. Republicans often get bogged down in talks and charts about GDP growth and the Laffer Curve. However, they need to push back on the left’s moral arguments for higher taxes.
(Non-) Taxation Is Theft
Take the example of Bernie Sanders, who has never seen a tax increase he did not support.
Historians will look back on Dec. 1, 2017 and conclude this was one of the great robberies in US history because Republicans are looting the Treasury.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) December 2, 2017
According to Sanders, Republicans “are looting the Treasury.” That is a funny way of looking at it. The only reason the Treasury has money in the first place is because it first looted the wallets of taxpayers.
For Sanders, spending money on programs that not only fail, but also bankrupt the country long-term, does not constitute looting. Rather, allowing citizens to keep more of their private property does. Indeed, following Sanders’ logic, government owns every dollar in the economy. He can afford three homes on a politician’s salary, but you will just have to be content with what he allows you to keep.
Sanders also had an earlier tweet that was just as wrong.
The Republican tax bill is a moral abomination that would take away from so many in need to give more to people who already have it all. #TaxDebate
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) November 29, 2017
This is truly odd reasoning. According to Sanders, if you take less from Person A, it actually means that you are taking from Person B and giving to person A.
Let us just assume for the sake of argument that Bernie is right: Republican tax cuts are just a redistribution of wealth from the poor to the rich. How, then, did that money get to the poor in the first place? It got there through the redistribution from the rich to the poor. So if Bernie is correct, the money went from Person A to B, but then back to A. In other words, the money ends up right back where it started.
Tax Cuts Are Greedy
It is a common refrain for those on the left to say that those who favor tax cuts are simply being greedy.
America died tonight. Economic suicide adopted to feed the insatiable greed of donors, who have been refusing to dole out $ to GOP until they got their tax cuts. Voters fooled by propaganda and tribal hatred.
Millenials: move away if you can. USA is over. We killed it.
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) December 2, 2017
Greed would in fact be the opposite. If a masked gunman demanded money from you, and then insisted that if you refused it was because you are greedy, you would think that was absurd. But, when the government uses the strong-arm of federal power to do just that, the roles reverse. The masked gunman suddenly becomes the caring and compassionate, and you become the greedy one.
The philosophy of people like Bernie Sanders and Kurt Eichenwald is not compassionate, despite the talk of a softer “democratic socialism.” We here on the conservative side of the aisle like to say it is a false charity. It is easy to be “charitable” with other people’s money, but it is worse than that. This attitude fuels envy, spreading the lie that your life can be made better if you vote to take away somebody else’s property.
All you have to do is elect politicians who give some of their property to you.