Journalists: Heelers For Big Government

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When
journalists write about taxes, you ask three things: Do they understand
math, do they understand government, and do they understand human
nature?

Nearly
every column published about income taxes is pregnant with the bromidic
liberal myths of our age: taxes are too low, the rich get unfair
tax breaks, tax cuts will increase deficits.

And
that is because most journalists are liberals, and most liberals
view life as a battle between the wealthy and unworthy haves and
the penurious and put-upon have-nots.

Allen’s
Fantasies

Consider
the most recent bilge from the pen of a writer named Jodie Allen,
who fancies herself one of the Divinely anointed sent forth to right
the world’s wrongs.

In
a column for U.S. News and World Report called “Tax Facts
– and fantasies,” the lady scrivener finds much wrong with
the tax code: principally, taxes aren’t high enough for rich people,
and slashing taxes is a bad idea. Now there’s an original thought.

She
laments that “the top 1 percent of households reaped 21 percent
of national income,” and that “if the prosperous find their tax
load too heavy, they can always lighten it by settling for less
income – though I know of few recorded cases of this phenomenon.”

Actually,
if liberals find their tax load too light, they can increase it
donating 100 percent of their income to the government, though I
know of no recorded cases of that phenomenon.

Anyway,
Allen makes the usual, pointless complaint that wealthy taxpayers
get the most out of a tax cut. Then, citing the “business-backed
Committee for Economic Development,” which no one has ever heard
of, she claims the “10-year deficit could climb to $5 trillion”
if the Bush tax cuts go through.

Most
Americans, she concludes, think taxes are “about right.”

About
Wrong

Most
of us who understand the GOP don’t much care about the Bush tax
cuts because they are only a mild palliative that will not cure
the nagging pain of big government. The only permanent remedy is
amputating three quarters of the federal Leviathan’s many appendages.
Government must go, and so must the income tax.

Still,
we must explain why the Jodie Allens are wrong. Instructing the
ignorant is one of the corporal works of mercy.

Generally,
rich people have a higher share of the nation’s income because they
are either the hardest workers or produce the most wealth. Wealth
produces jobs, like those in Allen’s building, including her own.

As
well, rich people benefit most from a tax cut because they pay most
of the taxes. And tax cuts only increase deficits if government
spending stays the same or increases. Liberals always assume the
latter. Indeed, they do what they can to ensure it, and conservatives
help them.

Are
taxes “about right?” Actually, they’re “about wrong,” and not because
we can’t pay them. They are wrong because they fortify an unconstitutional
bureaucracy and corrupt political class at the expense of American
liberty.

Of
course the poor and middle class want to tax the rich. That’s called
envy. It invigorates the collectivist urge, which is why Allen and
her ilk encourage it.

Do
They Get It?

Like
most of what we read about taxes and government, Allen’s column
is another crock of liberal nonsense, yet more proof liberal journalists
just don’t get it.

Or
maybe they do. Maybe they’re just heelers for Big Government.

May
7, 2003

Syndicated
columnist R. Cort Kirkwood [send
him mail
] is managing editor of the Daily News-Record
in Harrisonburg, Va.


     

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