The Dark Side of Taxing the Wealthy

Senator Elizabeth Warren wants an “ultramillionaire tax” on the “super rich.”

What could be wrong with that?

The government gets billions of dollars and gives it away to people in their 20s struggling with student loan bills. The happy and grateful former students will reward the politicians with more power, enabling them to take still more money from private citizens to give away.

Why didn’t we think of this before?

As the Billy Joel song says, “They didn’t give you quite enough information.”

For one thing, you can’t assume the government will get more money just because it raises taxes. It’s naive in the extreme to think so. One of the reasons America remains a wealthy economy is because for generations now wealthy people have been able to legally get around tax laws. If worst comes to worst, they can simply up and move to other countries or territories who will allow them to keep their wealth, especially if taxes go as high (70, 90 percent) as Democrats now promise to take them, once back in full control of the government.

For another thing, the government’s seizure of money from wealthy people is a violation of their rights. “So what?” sneer the masses. “We get to pay off our student loans and we get free health care. They don’t need the money.”

But rights violation is rights violation. If you’re going to live in a country where the government may ignore the rights of private property when it suits YOU, that same government may — at a different time — violate your own property rights.

For one thing, if you’re successful, you will have to be prepared to give up 70 or 90 percent of what you earn. Fair is fair, right? You authorized the government to seize money when you had little and others had a lot. It will have to work the other way around.

But maybe you’ll never be that rich. It’s overwhelmingly likely you will not ever be. Perhaps that knowledge fuels your hatred and envy. But there are all kinds of rights the government may violate. You might decide someday that you want to own a gun. Who says you’ll always be able to count on police? But the same government you empowered to ignore the Constitution in the name of wealth redistribution may now ignore the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, in the name of “public safety”. You might want to read books or view websites the government in power views improper or distasteful, for whatever reason. Too bad. Back in your 20s and 30s, you empowered the government to seize wealth because it suited you. If government may do whatever the majority wishes it to do, then what happens when you’re in the minority on some issue? There’s nothing to back it up. Why? Because you gave your rights away.

In order to violate the private property rights of people the government deems too rich, you must be prepared to violate the individual rights of everyone else. That includes yourself. Because the violation of rights will never be selective. Once you tell the government that votes and politics trump rights, then it’s all over for everyone, for all time.

Chances are, the rich will remain about as rich as they presently are. And the politicians you naively trust to pay off your student loan bills, give you free health care, or provide whatever other goodies you — in your naivete — assume they will provide will disappoint. Nothing will ever materialize in the way it was promised. When has it ever happened that way? Study Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, Soviet Russia, China and — yes — socialist democracies in Western Europe. They survive only the extent to which they eventually retrench on these programs. Why do you think France is in flames, Greece is totally broke, and Great Britain is falling apart? And without a semi-capitalist USA to back them up — and save them from fascists and Nazis — they would have collapsed a long time ago.

Call it karma. Because hiring politicians to act in what you think is your interest — while violating the rights of others — is about as smart as hiring the Mafia to get you something illicitly. The moral caliber of Mafia people and the politicians (Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Alexandra Occasional-Cortex) to whom you’re giving unlimited power is about the same. Actually, the politicians are far worse. Because — unlike the criminals, who must operate underground — they possess a smugness and arrogance which means you are the last thing they care about. Or need to care about. They will answer to nobody, because of the unlimited power you gave them in the quest of something for nothing.

Careful what you wish for, snowflakes. Voting for 70 or 90 percent tax rates on the hated rich so you can get free college and free health care feels like a no-brainer. We know your teachers mostly taught you how to feel, and never to think or reason. That’s on the idiotic adults from whom you inherited this deeply messed up world. But there’s such a heavy price attached when using force to violate the rights of others. Don’t learn the hard way what every civilization in history who has ever tried it — with far less to lose than the United States, and with far less to fall.

Your descent into wealth redistribution will not be a soft landing at all. Freedom and rights should be treasured and restored, not sneered at so some political hack can get her 15 minutes in the sun.


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