Taxes

Dan Crenshaw on Limited Government

The congressman eloquently articulated the reason for disagreement on taxes.

Nate Jackson · Mar. 6, 2019

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) is no stranger to the fight. The former Navy SEAL lost an eye in an IED explosion during his third combat tour in Afghanistan. Ironically, he’s probably best known so far for his amicable performance on “Saturday Night Live” last November. But he’s not just a warrior who can get along with his leftist opponents. He’s a philosopher espousing the principles of constitutionally limited government.

“Why does the left hate the tax cuts?” Crenshaw rhetorically asked Tuesday. “[Because] they think the people exist to fund the [government]. We believe the [government] exists to protect the inalienable rights of the people. When people keep their money, we get more jobs & wage growth, & less wasteful spending by ‘benevolent’ bureaucrats.”

With that comment, he posted video of his remarks at a House hearing, where he really nailed it (emphasis his):

We’re talking about a difference in philosophy, not just tax rates. It’s a question of whether the government should be taking more of your money or whether you should keep more of your money. It’s the difference in the role of government, in what we believe. It seems to me that you all believe that the role of government is to tax the people as much as possible so that you and your benevolent fellow academics can dream up more programs for the government to spend money on. I don’t believe that. I don’t believe that’s what the role of government is for.

The role of government is to protect God-given rights that we have and to ensure that we live as free as possible. The role of government is to tax people to the least extent possible, while still taxing them enough to cover basic needs for government. And if we’re questioning what those needs are, we can just look at our Constitution; they’re generally pretty clear there.

Indeed, the Constitution is quite clear on the role of government, and today’s federal behemoth exceeds its mandate at nearly every turn. Much of that growth has been fueled by exactly what Crenshaw rightly criticizes: “more programs for the government to spend money on.” Democrats have become increasingly cynical and “generous” in their vote-buying scheme to offer “free stuff” to more people. But Republicans are hardly blameless. In 2017 and 2018, Republicans controlled both branches of government responsible for spending — and it increased drastically. Everyone wants to cut government, so long as it’s not their program. Thus, government never gets smaller.

If more elected Republicans would follow through on Crenshaw’s philosophy, that might begin to change.

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