If you pay taxes, you’re ‘rich,’ so you should expect more taxes

In my Jan. 3 column, I projected that Barack Obama would probably NOT wake up one morning this year, slap his forehead and exclaim that allowing welfare recipients to vote is a blatant conflict of interest which is quickly turning this nation into a collectivist slave state (or that, if he does realize it, being a Marxist, he would see any reason to stop it.)

On the Internet, one “patrick” responded: “Vin’s ‘point’ is that ONLY people with money get to vote. Can you point out to me where the Constitution says that, cause I musta missed it. … I (used to think) that Vin actually believed in the Constitution; not so much anymore. I realize that this guy is even more on the fringe than the ‘normal’ Review-Journal self-professed ‘libertarian’ (closet racist, uber-nationalist, goose stepping, tax dodging, parasite) …”

Wow. So someone who says those on the government dole or payroll should be allowed to keep on voting despite the fact they obviously have a vested interest in ever-expanding government and ever-higher taxes to benefit themselves is NOT a “tax dodging parasite” … whereas someone who proposes that you should only be allowed to vote if you pay more in taxes than you get back in government salary or benefits IS a “tax-dodging parasite”?

OK, just wanted to make sure we had that clear.

The Constitution, of course, leaves voter qualification up to the states, many of which long required property ownership (not wealth, per se) as a qualification for the franchise.

Why? Our modern youth propaganda camps, if they teach this fact at all, doubtless dismiss it as some kind of heinous trick designed to keep blacks from voting. But since blacks were largely barred from voting before 1865 anyway, why was this requirement in place long before that?

And since married black families now own homes or land at about the same ratio as married white families, why would such a requirement, re-instated now, tend to have any “racist, goose-stepping” effect — once we discount the family-destroying effect of the government “welfare” programs favored by Mr. “patrick” and Mr. Obama?

In fact, the states long set such a requirement as a wise prophylactic against the famous dictum, attributed to Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouse, that “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury.”

The original link was to property ownership because (before the income tax) the main source of tax revenue was the property tax (even for the central government, which if in need of “direct” tax revenues was supposed to assess the states, per capita, as it did to pay off the debt it accrued in conquering the South, 1861-1865.) Thus, anyone who owned real property was a taxpayer, with an obvious vested interest in electing only delegates who would be frugal with the tax revenues.

At the risk of belaboring the obvious, the average modern voter is going to be far less concerned about cynically wasteful or frivolous spending if he or she considers those tax revenues to come “from someone else — you know, ‘the rich.’” This is why a poll asking whether the respondent is willing to write a $100 check right now to fund some arts grant or a bird-counting computer for the local college would likely draw a “No” vote of 99-to-1, whereas proposing that this be done with “government funds” drawn from some undisclosed, far-away source is far more likely to win a casual “Sure, why not?”

But while the historical arguments thus usually mention enfranchisement based on property ownership, in my Jan. 3 column I offered the refinement that in the early 21st century the franchise might (should, actually) be extended only to “net tax payers,” to achieve the same result in a world where plenty of people appear quite wealthy, own homes and so forth, but are actually living mainly on taxpayers’ funds, looted under threat of force, removing said recipients from the group who have a vested interest in seeing government limited and tax revenues spent frugally.

At this point, though, let’s thank “patrick” for clarifying something that’s been bothering a lot of us.

Ever since candidate Barack Obama promised he would raise taxes “only on the rich,” we’ve been endeavoring to get the socialists/collectivists to tell us how they define “the rich.” They give us hints when they talk about raising taxes on “couples making $250,000 per year” and so forth, but up till now they’ve declined to answer the question directly.

Now, on their behalf, correspondent “patrick” appears to have finally spilled the beans.

I wrote, in essence, that only those who are net tax payers should vote. Patrick replies by saying “Vin’s ‘point’ is that ONLY people with money get to vote.” Since by “people with money,” it’s clear he doesn’t mean some pan-handler who just made $100 standing at the freeway exit with a tin can, we can’t avoid concluding that “patrick” has thus equated “the rich” (“people with money”) with “net tax payers.”

If this is true, than we can conclude the statement “I will raise taxes only on the rich” has a meaning identical to “I will raise taxes only on those who are already net tax payers.”

Posit a couple of retired federal workers, aged 57, living together in a modest $700,000 house in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington City and collecting dual federal pensions worth $250,000 per year. Living with them is a grown daughter — an unmarried schoolmarm on the government payroll — and a grandchild attending the public schools. The value of their federal pensions, the teacher’s tax-paid salary, and the welfare benefit accruing to them as the taxpayers fund their grandchild’s education EXCEED anything this family pays in taxes.

Therefore this entire family are “net tax recipients,” NOT “net tax payers.” Under my proposal, they would NOT be allowed to vote to bolster the ranks of the tax-and-spend crowd.

On the other hand, posit a struggling young couple living on a couple of acres of cold and rocky ground in Idaho, in a small shack with no central heating or indoor plumbing, growing potatoes and home-schooling their two kids. Because they refuse the proffered welfare “benefit” of government day care/schooling, the property taxes, sales taxes and excise taxes they pay on their tires and gasoline DO exceed any tax-funded “benefit” they receive from the government. Thus, this struggling couple ARE net taxpayers, and WOULD be allowed to vote under my hypothetical proposal.

Yet according to “patrick,” this struggling family of home-schooling potato farmers is “richer” than the retired government employees in the $700,000 house — unlike the government retirees, they “have money.” After all, the struggling potato farmers would be allowed to vote, and “patrick” informs us that under Vin’s hypothetical plan “only those with money would be allowed to vote.”

In “The God of the Machine,” which I included alongside “Atlas Shrugged” and “Lord of the Rings” as a book whose eventual return to popularity will be a harbinger of better times, in her chapter on “The Fatal Amendments,” Isabel Paterson explains (right after she explains why the federal government must limit entry across the border, “otherwise the nation cannot remain in being”):

“The component states … must retain a legitimate control over admission to the state’s body politic, to preserve their political entities. This is the power to admit to the franchise. Race, color, or previous condition of servitude are irrelevant. They ought not to be considered disqualifications. The correct qualifications lie in local residence and allegiance and real property. Only in these requirements can a moral principle be found. . . . It must be attached to immovable local property. Liquid capital will not do.”

(Ms. Paterson’s footnote: “The ownership and residence in a slab shack with a potato patch is a SOUND qualification for the vote, while ownership of every share of stock in the Standard Oil Company is not.” — end footnote.)

“These qualifications are moral as well as material, being all within the competence of the individual; a responsible person can fulfill them by his own choice and efforts. . . .”

Limiting the franchise to “net tax payers” would give us a “government by the rich”? What in hell do we have right now, with the bankers of Goldman Sachs and the privately owned Federal Reserve still setting the nation’s disastrous (but oh-so-beneficial to them) economic policies for their docile and obedient front man Mr. Obama, just as they did for their docile and obedient frontmen Messrs. Bush and Clinton?

The government pledges to “raise taxes only on the rich.” They decline to tell us precisely who they mean. But I suspect “patrick” is absolutely right about who they mean:

Us.

10 Comments to “If you pay taxes, you’re ‘rich,’ so you should expect more taxes”

  1. j.h. dempsey Says:

    You want to disenfranchise tens of millions of people,including teachers,police,medical personnel and the millions of people in the military,active and retired,because you don,t want to pay for their services with your taxes.You are always complaining that your constitutional rights are being violated (and even sometimes threaten those you believe are violating them,including police and politicians with harm)but should you ever have the power you would violate the constitutional rights of those you disagree with.What a dangerous right wing hippocryte. Do really want to do without a military,public schools and roads etc. or are you just one of The huge majority of self-proclaimed libertarians I have met that want all of these things but just don’t want to pay for for them with taxes or any other way.If so please refer to yourself as one of those Reagan republicans that want that want government to provide free schools,roads.water,grazing recreation etc.and a huge tax cut to go with it(without any deficits,of course).And how do you propose to privatize the military you want to disenfranchise,or do you think we’d be safer without one?Thanks.

  2. B Dean Says:

    Mr. Obama has stocks in Baxter, one of the companies making the swine flu vaccines. Now, I don’t have stocks in the company, but maybe Patrick can talk to Mr. O in regards to this company. Maybe they can get me a vote in an organization I’ve done nothing to support and have never pretended to support in any way and in which I have no capital investment. After all, whats fair is fair isn’t it? Don’t I get a vote? Lets Democratize Mr. Obama’s company.

  3. John Brook Says:

    Vin, you are an inspiration. Our precinct caucuses are coming up soon, and I’m compiling a list of major points to be forwarded to the county convention. I would really like to include something about enfranchisement. Unfortunately, almost everyone pays taxes of one kind or another: property, sales, income, excise, etc ad nauseum. How do we draw the line? Net Federal tax payers can vote in Federal elections? Net state tax payers can vote in state elections? How about those of us who served in the military? Are we leeches with our military pensions or net tax payers? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.

  4. B Dean Says:

    Oops. Goofed up in my above comment. Mr. O… don’t forget to send me my dividend check.

  5. Chris Mallory Says:

    Hey dempsey, What if I don’t want the services of the teachers, police, military, or government medical providers? Can I quit paying for them?

    I don’t want the government to provide any services or own any land.

    Yes, we would be safer without the military going overseas and recruiting for ex CIA asset Bin Laden. It wasn’t the military that kept the Japanese from invading, it was the knowledge that there would be a privately owned rifle behind every blade of grass.

  6. Vin Says:

    Adults who go to work for the government, or who accept any form of government welfare including “free” attendance by their children at the government youth propaganda camps, do so voluntarily. Once they have accepted enough such pay-offs to make them net tax recipients, they have no more “constitutional right” to vote for some politician who promises to keep the gravy flowing at the expense of the struggling productive class, than a judge has a “constitutional right” to throw a case in favor of someone who has paid him a bribe which more than doubles his yearly income. The extent of the obvious conflict of interest is about the same.

    As I’m told at the airport, “Oh, of COURSE you have a right to keep your handgun — whereupon we have an equal right to refuse to let you board that plane,” I see no more problem with a person who is signing up for a welfare check, or enrolling their child in the government day-care camps, or taking a job in that smug and overbearing standing army assigned to disarm us and keep us in our place (generally known as “the police” — a force without which this country got along just fine from 1620 to at least 1850) being told, “Of course, by taking this step, you forfeit any claim to a ‘right to vote.'” They have the same option of retaining the franchise by declining to become a welfare leech or paid government bully-boy.

    This would not disenfranchise “teachers” or “educators” since teachers and educators work for private institutions. (Government schoolmarms whose charges cannot reliably spell two-syllable words or work their fractions after six years in stir do not deserve this job title — they are jailers and dysfunctional social engineers at best.) This would not disenfranchise medical personnel, since government has no constitutional authority to meddle in the medical field. Anyone offered government compensation to enforce compliance with government edicts on the sick is free to — and ought to — refuse.

    Of course I don’t want to be forced at gunpoint to pay for any of these supposed “services.” Nor did the Founders, which is why they delegated to the government no such powers. It’s those who want to extract payments for such “services” by force who are despicable fascist scum. What drooling moron will accuse me of “wanting free government schools” when I have called repeatedly for every government school to be burned to the ground (after the children are safely removed), setting the children free to go learn the same way American generations from 1620 through 1860 became the best-educated populace on earth, while forcing their wardens and guards to go seek honest work?

    What venomous toad will accuse me of calling for the “government to provide free grazing, recreation, etc.” when I endlessly expose the treasonous myth that the federal government owns any of the millions of acres they claim to control, but for which they can show no signed bill of sale “approved by the Legislature of the state in which the same shall be”?

    Roads, on the other hand, are paid for through excise taxes on tires and gasoline, the least objectionable of taxes since they constitute fairly well-targeted “user fees.” Anyone who throws in “and you don’t want to pay for the roads you drive on” is both desperate and pathetic, spouting nothing but ill-considered sound bytes memorized in the youth propaganda camps. I do not “threaten police and politicians with harm.” I predict they will eventually be hanged from lamp posts for violating the people’s rights. To confidently predict that children who insist on playing in traffic may eventually be injured is hardly the same thing as “threatening to harm the children.”

    What precisely is “j.h. dempsey’s” position — that we must bow and scrape at the feet of these scoundrels forever, that they may raise their extractions to 100 percent (as Barack Obama’s father recommended, in writing) as they incrementally take over and ruin every form of human endeavor, that there is no longer any right of the people to stand up for their rights, to water the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants and of patriots?

    Then let him be gone from a land of free men; let him slink home and lick the boots of his masters in New York or Chicago or Los Angeles or the great cesspool of Washington City itself like the despicable cur he is. He doesn’t even have the courage to take a gun and seize our wealth himself; he prefers to employs uniformed bully-boys to do it for him. Despicable collectivist eunuch, go ahead, eat the turds of the tyrant. Eat, and smile, and chew some more. You are an object of disgust to free men everywhere.

    — V.S.

  7. DPaulP Says:

    When I was 15 years old, I thought that letting welfare recipients vote was equivalent to allowing a 5 year old equal say in the family budget. You’ll eat lots of cookies and ice cream until your house is repossessed. I am now 45 years old and this is the first time I’ve heard someone make this point in public. If you can manage to miss the point that Mr. Suprynowicz is making here, then you also should be disenfranchised. You may disagree with him but to twist his meaning and motives is a sign of either moral turpitude or blatant ignorance.

  8. M. Taylor Says:

    It appear to me the solution is to have a non-elected random group of private sector civilians set the compensation for all public employees. The driving central flaw of government overcompensation issues is people paid with other people’s money voting on essentially their own and their fellows pay.

  9. Busted budgets: states desperate for new taxes – Garry Reed « Marin Libertarian Party Says:

    […] as libertarian columnist, editor, and author Vin Suprynowicz recently put it, “If you pay taxes, you’re ‘rich,’ so you should expect more […]

  10. Durk Pearson Says:

    When I was a child growing up on a farm in the 1940s, only property owners were allowed to vote on property tax rates. The black farm owner and his wife down the road had the same right to vote that my father and mother did. All the children learned to read, write, do arithmetic, understand the basics of American history, geography, and many other subjects. How was that possible? The parents had the power to hire and fire the teachers at the little red brick school house in the midst of the corn fields. The contracts were fire at will. No teachers unions allowed. It worked very well and cost very little.

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