“With various people complaining about “price gouging”… economist Walter Williams has coined a new term: “Tax gouging.” But government is never accused of either “greed” or “gouging” — not even when they bulldoze people’s homes in order to turn the land over to businesses that will pay more taxes.” Thomas Sowell (b. 1930), American economist, political and social critic, and author
Congress has been debating a bill on whether or not to extend the current tax rates that expire at the end of the year. If they are allowed to expire, everyone’s tax rates will increase. Because of congressional hand-wringing, preening and puffery, Americans are in limbo as to how much more of our hard earned money those robber barons in Washington will take. Corporations are holding onto their money. Small businesses are waiting to hire. The markets are jittery. Will the American people be called upon yet again to pay for the economic ignorance of Congress?
I am not wealthy. I am however, frugal. I make no more demands on Congress than I have for myself when it comes to money. If I make a bad financial decision there is no one to bail me out but me. Unlike some, I bear no animosity to the wealthy for our predicament. I do not blame them for an economy in shambles. I place blame at the feet of where the buck ultimately stops: our duly elected representatives. Complain all you want about lobbyists and evil corporations and the like, but ultimately every decision, statute, policy and law rests in the hands of those that actually cast the votes.
I do not want to penalize any group of American citizens for the bad decisions made in Washington. The wealthy did not create the burdensome regulations that got us to this point. The wealthy did not make the decisions on how to spend taxpayer money. The wealthy did not increase the deficit. The wealthy did not place the heavy yoke of taxes on the American people and businesses. Our government did all this. Therefore, it is not the job of America’s wealthy citizens to fix things – it is the job of Congress.
Everyone has a right to fight to keep their own money. They deserve it because they have earned it. We do not have the right to demand that anyone give up their income in order to fix the poor fiscal choices of others, whether those are made by Congress or the neighbor next door. Nor should Americans be treated like some lowly serfs residing under a feudal provincial lord, waiting for our master to decide how much of our harvest we will be allowed to keep this year. We are all free Americans, rich and poor alike, and we should stand up in protest when anybody tries to divide us against each other. Class warfare is just that, warfare. I will not do battle against my fellow Americans. They are not my enemy.
It is time to embrace frugalness, and celebrate those that work hard and sacrifice to create wealth for themselves and those they employ. No one ever says that their goal in life is to be on unemployment for 99 weeks, live on welfare or be on food stamps, do they? So why does Congress continue to vilify those that sacrifice to gain success? Are you truly comfortable with the government setting the line of how much wealth you are allowed to have or pass down before you are doubly penalized? If we grant them this power, then what will prevent them from ever moving the line?
We cannot achieve personal success by stealing it from someone else. We can only create wealth if we return to the honorable ideals of personal sacrifice, hard work, and learning to live within our means.
Will someone please tell Congress and the President?
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.” 10th Commandment, Exodus, Chapter 20, of the Bible