Critics of President Barack Obamaís tax compromise, endorsed Friday by former President Bill Clinton, complain itís too expensive. Weíre told it is an $855 billion stimulus, a gigantic cost that government cannot afford.
Itís fair to characterize tax relief as a form of stimulus. Tax cuts have a track record of stimulating constructive economic activity. But itís ludicrous to call it an expense.
Reducing taxes, or maintaining a tax reduction, is entirely different. It cannot be viewed as an expense because government does not own the fruits of taxation. In the U.S., government serves individuals who have the right to own property and to keep and control the fruits of their endeavors. The founders guaranteed private property rights in the Constitution in order to forbid the tyranny of government owning what rightly belongs to individuals. Here, individuals ostensibly pay a portion of what they own to government to fund that which they have asked government to provide for the collective good. Government owns nothing; individuals own all. Government gets what the people have decided to give it, as decided by representatives they have elected to represent their interests. Government serves the people.
If we are something far different than a serfdom that owns and controls wealth, itís impossible for tax cuts to cost government. The wealth is not property of government. Leaving it in paychecks cannot be an expense.
Democrats who refuse to support Obamaís tax compromise just donít get all of that, nor do they want to. Ohio has its share of Democrats in Congress who fit this description. Sen. Sherrod Brown repeatedly has called the extension of the current tax rates a ďtax cut for the rich.Ē
Our government is mired in debt because of this confusion. It leads government to spend more than the people who own wealth have agreed to pay. The way out cannot involve more confiscation in the form of higher taxes. Less government is clearly what the people want and precisely what they should get in order to make this tax compromise work. All of the money belongs to the people, not the federal government that serves them.