Here are some additional arguments for Republicans seeking to not raise taxes:
“The rich” are people too. Your rights don’t arbitrarily end at a certain income level. It’s bad enough that tax rates are higher for people who make more money. This is punishment of the most productive for simply being productive. Now, it’s proposed that tax cuts should expire for those who make more money and be maintained for those who make less money. By what right does the government decide that individual rights are based on income?
Fairness does not consist of making wealthier people pay more in taxes. Fairness consists of leaving everyone equally alone. Ideally, there would be few or no taxes. Taxes are very high because government has grown very, very big, well outside the limits of the U.S. Constitution. Those concerned with fairness should not concern themselves with redistributing income. They should concern themselves with restoring the right to one’s own income, as much as possible and as quickly as possible. People are morally entitled to keep what they earn. This is true whether you earn a dollar, a hundred dollars, a million or a billion. Principles are not quantitative. They’re not mathematical formulas.
Opponents of the Bush tax cuts claim that “we” cannot afford the tax cuts for the wealthiest. Who exactly is “we”? This term implies that the money belongs to somebody other than those who earned it. Who is that, exactly? And by what right does this money become theirs merely because the government says so?
Opponents of tax cuts, limited government and lower taxes generally love to call this approach to economics “trickle down.” What exactly is the alternative? Government does not “trickle” the money “down” or “up.” Government simply spends it, almost always wastefully. There’s a simple moral and psychological explanation for this. When you’re given money, or seize money by force — in the case of taxes it’s legalized plunder — then you don’t handle that money as responsibly as you would if it were your own. There’s no way to control wasteful government spending because government spending will always, by its nature, be largely wasteful and irresponsible. The only solution to this is to severely limit the role of government as much as possible. Lower taxes are a good thing not only because they leave wealth in the hands of the more productive; low taxes are also good because the government has less to do.
If you think America has been productive and prosperous up to now, just imagine how it would be if most of government as we know it went away. It’s bad enough that government takes income from the private sector and squanders it. Government is making decisions that people should be making for themselves. If something isn’t going to happen without government funds, then it quite likely should not happen in the first place. When people make decisions for themselves, they generally do a better job. And when they make a mistake, or perhaps act with deliberate irrationality, at least there are consequences for their actions. When government does something badly, it gets rewarded with more power, subsidies and control. Case in point: Public education. Everyone agrees public education is mediocre at best, and horrendous at worst. Yet every year the federal government taxes the productive more to pay for education that isn’t any good. Local governments tax property with the same purpose. In the private sector, stupid and incompetent behavior is punished. In government, it’s sustained and rewarded.
The fact that lower taxes make the government poorer is THE best argument for lower taxes. Less government revenue means less government. Less government means a freer, more prosperous, more interesting, more innovative and more self-responsible society.
You’re darn right we should restore all of the Bush tax cuts. And then we ought to lower them way, way more.