The Republican tax plan has finally made its debut. At first blush it appears pretty good. At its heart the plan is populist, but what can we expect in these times?
As one might expect of populists, it is geared toward the lower income scale, but does have a few cut-outs for the wealthier among us – and is certainly more business-friendly than the status quo.
However, we must remember that all tax legislation begins in the House, so this is just a starting point, and what we see is as good as it will be.
The bill isn’t going to improve from here out. It will only get worse – more watered down, as the Democrats’ long-knives predictably start tearing into it.
The Republicans are touting this as the second coming of Ronald Reagan. Actually, the left is doing the same. They are wailing as they did in the ’80s – that any tax cuts will only benefit the rich and hurt the poor and “working families” – blah, blah, blah.
We constitutionalists will continue to insist that neither is correct and that the Republicans are just less progressive than the Dems. But we don’t really have a voice in this argument – never have. This battle is strictly reserved for the favor curriers.
As a constitutionalist, taxes of any kind generally bother me. Oh, I know they are necessary to fund the government, but they’ve grown far afield from their original purpose, as our government has grown far beyond its intended scope.
Fact is, our nation hasn’t been the “Home of the Free” for well over a century. And I do mean “well” over a century. Before that time, we were only the “Home of the Free” due to the constitutional constraints of our central government. But as the government grew, our freedom, and wallets, shrank.
And now, because our government can’t do with a dime less, it is said – and has been for decades – that any tax cuts must be “Revenue Neutral,” that tax cuts must be “paid for.” This claim presupposes that government gets “first dibs” on all money earned.
It’s like receiving a rebate on a new car purchase, only to discover that it has been folded back into your loan.
In his book, “The Income Tax: Root of All Evil,” Frank Chodorov writes, regarding the government, “Your earnings are not exclusively your own; we have a claim on them, and our claim precedes yours; we will allow you to keep some of it, because we recognize your need, not your right; but whatever we grant you for yourself is for us to decide. … The amount of your earnings that you may retain for yourself is determined by the needs of government, and you have nothing to say about it.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself. This is the rationale of the revenue-neutral crowd.
Government must always have more, so if we cut your taxes, it will lead to a shortfall of “revenue” coming into the government and add to the debt. It will add to the debt because we are incapable of not just spending less, but incapable of even spending the same as we did the previous year.
And make no mistake, regardless of what you read or hear, and regardless of who is in charge, the revenue-neutral claim will always allow government to spend more every year, as we pay for privilege of temporarily keeping a bit more of what we earned.
There can never and will never be any meaningful tax reform until those in charge of the government purse-strings decide to spend less that they did the previous year.
Until this occurs, all the drama is just smoke and mirrors.