In Jim Cook's Archive


There’s a generally held belief that an upward limit exists on how high taxes can be raised. If taxes go too much higher, there’s no question it would damage the economy. However, that will not persuade the left wing or their political candidates to forego tax increases. Liberals refuse to see that high taxes hurt progress. They listen to left-leaning economic propaganda that ignores the evidence and claims that higher taxes will make little or no difference.

For the most part they don’t care about economic consequences as long as their precious social programs get funded. And, if some rich folks get the shaft, it’s all the more fun. There’s a deep vein of envy on the left. It wouldn’t bother them a bit to see taxes on the wealthy go to 90% with strict limits on what people can earn and what they can own. They are currently advocating excess profits taxes, raising the income tax, hiking the capital gains tax, increasing state income taxes, sales taxes and corporate taxes.

What’s truly frightening is how close liberals are to winning elections and controlling political outcomes. Once they get into power, social costs will rise precipitously and taxes will become punitive. Most leftists would secretly like to become Lenin. Since they share his view that wealth and success are only a matter of luck, it wouldn’t bother them to strip the affluent of every penny.

If enough people rely on the government for their financial survival, it going to happen and it’s closer than you think. Author James Bovard reminds us, “Government aid programs have been endlessly expanded, and the government has sought to maximize the number of people willing to accept handouts…. Roughly half of all Americans are dependent on the government, either for handouts, pensions, or paychecks…. There are more than 20 million government employees in the United States – more than the total number of Americans employed in manufacturing…. The sheer number of government employees and welfare recipients effectively transforms the purpose of government from maintaining order to confiscating as much as possible from vulnerable taxpayers…. Once a person becomes a government dependent, his moral standing to resist the expansion of government power is fatally compromised.”

There’s a lot at stake in these elections. If the redistributors and their subsidized followers win out, America’s waning greatness will fade away for good. The downside is a nightmare. It’s the road to hyperinflation, depression, dollar destruction, national decline and insolvency. The great economist, Ludwig von Mises instructed, “No one can find a safe way out for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interests, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle. None can stand aside with unconcern; the interests of everyone hang on the result. Whether he chooses or not, every man is drawn into the great historical struggle, the decisive battle into which our epoch has plunged us.”

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