Democrat Outrage Over GOP Tax Cuts Unfounded, Immoral
Government redistribution of wealth isn't charity, and tax cuts won't make Americans less generous.
The progressive Democrat outrage over the recently signed Republican tax reform law provides both a fascinating insight into the minds of leftists and a unique opportunity to discuss taxes and spending from a moral standpoint.
Democrats are clearly infuriated at the idea that the federal government will now be prevented from confiscating quite as much of the earnings of tens of millions of Americans as it did last year. In a bizarre twist of logic, Democrats see tax cuts as greedy American citizens stealing from government. That is evidenced in their rhetoric, with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi calling the tax cuts “Armageddon,” and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer accusing Republicans of “giv[ing] the richest few a bigger piece of the pie.”
Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) called it a “looting of the federal treasury,” at least before conceding to CNN’s Jake Tapper that 91% of the middle class he claims to champion will, in fact, benefit from the Republican tax cuts, and then blaming Republicans for not making the cuts permanent. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) brilliantly trolled Sanders on Twitter, inviting him to co-sponsor legislation doing just that.
The common thread in the government-loving leftist narrative is that government has a right to whatever portion of our earnings it deems necessary to achieve its ends, with taxpayers as slaves whose labor provides the necessary funding.
Democrats have hijacked and distorted language and turned it on its face, accusing workers who want to keep more of their money to provide for their families of being “greedy,” while painting government, which takes our earnings by force to give to those who have not earned it, as altruistic. Harvard economist Thomas Sowell captures the essence of this looking-glass logic, stating, “I have never understood why it is ‘greed’ to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money.”
As to the why of the progressive Democrat pursuit of what renowned economist Frederic Bastiat called “legal plunder,” well, that is a logical political calculation on their part, and it comes down to raw power. For, as socialist playwright George Bernard Shaw smugly noted, “A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul.” Democrats seek to steal greater amounts from a shrinking number of workers, with the clear knowledge that voters benefitting from the redistribution of those ill-gotten gains will keep them in power.
Democrats claim to be horrified at the thought that tax cuts will (allegedly) increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion over 10 years (as if keeping money in private hands, rather than ever-expanding government spending, is the problem). Yet an astute observer would note these same Democrats happily ran up the deficit during the Barack Obama years, resulting in $10 trillion in new debt.
Tax cuts are good policy. As liberal icon John F. Kennedy declared in 1962, in calling for significant cuts to the corporate and personal income tax rates, “In short, it is a paradoxical truth that … the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now.”
Tax cuts are also morally sound, allowing free men and women to provide for the care of their families, rather than be rendered serfs on a government master’s plantation, retaining just enough of the fruits of their labor to maintain subsistence.
And while leftists claim taxes need to be higher so the so-called “rich” can pay their “fair share,” let’s remind them they can voluntarily donate more of their money to government if they wish. That is, unless they wish to admit their philosophy is not about caring for the needy, but about cultivating envy and justifying theft.
Thus, speaking of benevolence with money, another fear regarding the impact of tax cuts is that, with the standard deductions and child tax credits doubling, it will drastically reduce the number of people who itemize and, therefore, reduce the number of people who give to charity.
Such a thought shows a misunderstanding of the nature of charity, which is a voluntary, individual act (by definition, government cannot be charitable, because it uses force). The American people are empirically the most generous people on Earth, giving twice as much in personal charity as the next closest country, Canada.
People give to charity not for tax breaks (which would be silly; the taxes saved are far less than the amount given to charity), but out of a sincere desire to help their fellow man. Last year alone, individual Americans donated nearly $300 billion to charity, nearly three times more than was donated by foundations and corporations.
The reality is that with more money in their own pockets, there will be more available for Americans to donate to charity. Multiple studies show the more conservative and religious a person is, the more they donate to charity, both in hard dollars and as a percentage of income. (Perhaps that’s tied with the way leftists think about taxes and deductions.) There is no reason to think the tax cuts will do anything but encourage even greater charitable giving, since those who were previously barely making ends meet may now have the means, and the desire, to share.
And voluntary sharing is a very good thing. Government redistribution is not.