A friend of mine posted the above from E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post on Facebook. While the post quickly garnered a number of “Likes” I was incredulous. My response was thus:
What a ridiculous statement. Tax cuts allow the rich and poor alike to keep more of the money they earned rather than give it to nameless, faceless and largely unaccountable bureaucrats to distribute.
Conservatives don’t want to give the rich anything. They simply don’t want the government taking from those who work or invest to give to others. That’s pretty simple. If Dionne has such a good idea, maybe we should forgo paychecks altogether and simply let the government take the fruits of our efforts and then divvy out what they think we need for food, housing, clothes, cars and entertainment.
And that’s the problem with liberals – or at least one of them. They have these wonderful bumper stickers that are intended to make them feel warm and fuzzy about being good people and wanting to help the poor while conservatives want to take food out of their mouths to give to the rich for whatever they might want.
It’s a patently absurd statement. Liberals perceive tax cuts as giving something to the rich. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Tax cuts allow the rich and poor alike to keep more of the money they earned rather than give it to nameless, faceless and largely unaccountable bureaucrats to distribute.
To see how this works, lets imagine that you, despite the demagoguery, still think you’d like to be rich and create a great life for your family. As such, you and your wife decide to start a business. Since you’re a great cook you decide to open a restaurant. Here are just some of the things you’re going to have to do from a business perspective:
You’ll probably have to take out a loan for buying equipment, remodeling your space, signage, recruiting, hiring, training, inventory and of course licenses and permits from a phalanx of government agencies. (Note: Even if you incorporate, as most small businesses loans require personal guarantees even if the business flops, you’ll probably still be on the hook for that loan.)
Then there’s the lease, many of which require a minimum of five year contracts, even before you have a clue how successful your business will be.
Now that you’re prepared to open your restaurant there are just a few other areas you need to focus on: Marketing. Security. Cash handling or electronic security. OSHA inspections. Health inspections. Unemployment insurance. Business insurance.
As entrepreneurs you have to concern yourselves with those and more. Basically you’re risking tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars on a business venture with no guarantee that you’ll even get your money back, never mind make a profit off of it. Then there is the actual work itself. Once you start your business you can look forward to 12 to 16 hour days, probably 6 and maybe 7 days a week for months if not years on end.
Once you’ve made this commitment and to put your money and sweat into your business you hope that things far beyond your control don’t get in your way, from the economy to the local roadwork that could close access to your restaurant to a mad cow or salmonella scare three states away that could upend your menu.
Despite every entrepreneur’s best efforts, half of all small businesses are gone within 3 years. In your case you’re still standing after those three years. You’ve worked more than you’ve ever worked in your life. You’ve had to risk every cent you’re worth as well as whatever you could borrow from friends, family and the bank. It’s all been worth it however because you have a flourishing business doing $3 million a year, employing dozens of people.
Finally, when you sit down to do your taxes, when all is said and done you find that between the salary you and your wife draw you’ve earned $250,000, which is a far cry from virtually nothing during the first two years. Then it comes time to pay Uncle Sam. Of that $250,000 you now have to write the IRS a check for $82,500, fully one third of your income. That leaves you with $167,500 after (federal) taxes. Depending on where you live you might have to write another check for as much as $25,000 to the state.
Then the two of you compare your situation to that of your brother and his wife, both of whom work for the federal government. Together they earn $246,000 in pay and benefits, pay $45,000 in federal taxes and have after tax income (including benefits) of $201,000.
You look at each other and really think about that. You’ve sacrificed so much, you’ve worked so hard, you’ve put so much into your business and at the end of the day you’re earned less than a couple of bureaucrats. You wonder whether it would be better to give up the uncertainty, the risk, the long hours for the comfortable and virtually guaranteed-for-life job of a government apparatchik.
Thankfully, more Americans are still choosing to start businesses and create prosperity for themselves and their communities than become government functionaries. But the tide is turning and with people like E.J. Dionne and President Obama pushing the wealth envy agenda and vilifying the people who build successful businesses, how much longer until that is no longer the case and America becomes just another collapsing victim of the cult of liberalism?