05.06.2011 1

Tax the rich, Feed the poor, ‘Til there are No rich no more

By Rick Manning – When you filed your taxes this year, did you get a refund larger than the amount the government withheld from your paycheck?

If you were one of the 23.1 million tax filers who benefitted from federal government share-the-wealth schemes like the Earned Income Tax Credit, you were effectively put on welfare according to the Congressional Joint Tax Committee.

An incredible 15.5 million of these tax filers actually received more money in a refund than was paid in by either themselves or their employers through various payroll taxes.

These working Americans did not ask for a welfare handout, but the tax code is written to pay extra money to people who federal lawmakers have determined don’t make enough money on their own. In doing so, the federal government has created a whole new welfare class, a working welfare class.

Is it any wonder that John McKinnon reported in the Wall Street Journal, that the percentage of U.S. households owing no federal income tax climbed to 51 percent for 2009?

That’s right. A majority of U.S. households don’t pay any income tax. Is it any wonder why the mantra of taxing the rich has become the rallying cry of the left, and middle class tax cuts now means expanding the number of people who don’t have a stake in the cost of government?

Utah Senator Orrin Hatch has been sounding the alarm about the dangers of the expanding number of Americans who don’t pay for the high cost of government services saying in a Bloomberg article, “Does it make any sense to have millions and millions of Americans desiring more government spending without the corresponding discipline that comes with the obligation to pay for this spending through income taxes?”

President Obama and Senator Harry Reid have already fired shots urging that the income tax rates be raised on those who are currently paying the majority of the tax burden with proposals to raise the highest marginal tax rate to 39.6 percent from its current 35 percent level.

And that is exactly the problem. When the majority of Americans don’t have skin in the government expenditure game and are net “takers” from the system, it enslaves those who pay the taxes to the whims of those who have government benefits lavished upon them.

It is natural to want to raise taxes on the guy who lives in the nice house down the street; the problem is that eventually the insatiable appetite for more government largesse ends up causing the politicians to knock on your door as the next nicest house on the street.

At Woodstock, the British group 10 Years After sung the song, “I’d love to change the world” with eerily prophetic lyrics which stated, “Tax the rich, feed the poor, Till we run out, rich no more.” Many on the left, even today, reference that song lyric as a call to action on their blog sites, and along with the John Lennon socialist anthem, Imagine, the song could serve as the wake up ring tone for the Obama Administration.

When more than half of the country doesn’t pay for the government, is it any wonder that it is so difficult to cut government spending? After all, for more than half of America money does grow on trees, or at least in other people’s paychecks.

Rick Manning is the Communications Director of Americans for Limited Government. You can follow Rick on Twitter at @RManning957.

Copyright © 2008-2020 Americans for Limited Government