Even The Poor Must Pay Taxes

Even The Poor Must Pay Taxes

One of my friends just brought an interesting article to my attention. Its a Wall Street Journal opinion piece written by Ari Fleischer former White House Press Secretary entitled The Taxpaying Minority. From the title you can guess he states the usual stats: top 40% of the population pays 99% of taxes, top 10% pay 71%, and the bottom 40% payNOTHING!

With the Earned Income Tax Credit many of these patriots even receive handouts by the federal government, taken from the rest of the chumps who pay taxes. When a large percentage of the population has no vested interest in the fiscal solvency of the state, they are prone to demand increasingly irresponsible programs until a crisis forces change. The Romans called the crisis civil war after which a dictatorship was established.

If 60% of the voting public can force 40% to pay the bills, whats to stop 90% of people in a democracy from making 10% pay it all? Or why not let 99% of the country off the hook, as long as the remaining 1% picks up the tab?

This is the inevitable consequence of inadequately constrained democracy, as illustrated by the British historian, Alexander Tyler, in his lifecycle of civilizations. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.

A basic rule of economics is that when something is free there is no incentive to curb consumption. When you dont pay taxes there is no reason for you to favor conservative fiscal policy. Starting a war or launching a fiscallydestructive social program lacks meaning unless you are directly responsible for the ensuing consequences.

We all derive benefit from living in a wellgoverned society. There is relative peace throughout the land, a refined legal system safeguards property and our lives, and an abundance of prosperity enables the majority of citizens to live better than medieval Lords. Of course the wealthier you are the more benefit you derive, so rich should pay the bulk of the bills. However, the middle class and even the poorest of us benefit. We must all pay our proportionate share or our civilization will lapse into dependent, complacent serfdom. I sincerely hope that America can get its act together and adjust its system of taxation to equitably distribute the burden.