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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Bloated Government is the Real Enemy of the Working Man

Much of the campaign has focused on which of the candidates will have policies that will take care of the middle class or the working class even. The Democrats have pounded home the message that the Bush tax cuts have wound up hurting the middle class. They talk about things like income gap and stagnating wages. The Democrats then proceed to propose a plethora of government spending programs including the bohemoth of socialized medicine, and all of these spending programs are supposed to help the working class.

I am here to say that in my opinion the real enemy of the working class is bloated government. The working class (along with the wealthy frankly though they can withstand it) gets double, triple, and even quadruple taxed. Let's say you are an average worker. Then you make about 50k per year. Well, somewhere between 25-28% of that is taxed in income taxes. Now, you are left with less than 40k. After that, everything you buy is taxed. If you own your own lodging, that is likely taxed as well through property taxes. If you are fortunate enough to have anything left over and you invest it, that is taxed as well through capital gains taxes. In other words, the same dollar gets taxed up to four times by the time it is done being used by the worker. No wonder they are in a constant state of malaise. How can you lift yourself up if everything you make spend, invest, and live in is taxed?

Thus, in my opinion, the real enemy of the working class is the endless and punitive taxes that they pay. It is impossible to thrive as a worker if everything you do is taxed. Not too long ago, a worker, and everyone else, kept one hundred percent of their income. The income tax wasn't first introduced until 1862 and that was to fund the Civil War. It wasn't made permanent until 1912. In fact, the founding of our country had very limited taxation. It was much easier to be the average worker when you didn't turn around and at every corner there was a tax waiting for you.

The plethora of taxes we all now face, and what makes it nearly impossible to thrive as a worker, are a direct result of a bloated government. It is exactly this government that promises everyone everything that winds up cutting the knee caps out from underneath the workers. Imagine if someone making 50k a year could keep their entire paycheck like they did before 1912. They wouldn't need any of the government entitlements that government promises. Suddenly, the average worker can afford their own health insurance. They don't need social security because they have enough money left over to fund their own retirement. They wouldn't need unemployment insurance because they could afford to save enough to survive while unemployed on their own.

Yet, whether it's Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, No Child Left Behind, the bridge to nowhere, the government has created one program or another that is meant to give things to people. The only thing these programs actually give all of us is more tax burden. By forcing Social Security on the population, the government forces everyone to pay an extra 7.5% in taxes (up to nearly 100k in income). The average worker is much better off using that extra 7.5% for their own means and investing it themselves. Medicare, Medicaid and other programs are supposed to take care of us when we get old and sick, but in reality, they take from us so that we have to be taken care of when we get old and sick.

The reason we have seen a skyrocketing of taxes in the last century or so is because our government has ballooned. It's because we as a citizenry have not insisted that our politicians run the government, on all levels local, state, and national, efficiently. Politicians boast of increasing the size of government and make the claim that it will help the average person. It won't. All it will do is increase all our tax burdens. We have sat back while one bloated government program after another has been enacted and with it the size of government has increased. By so doing, so have our taxes. It is in fact, the working class, those with little disposable income to begin with, that struggle most when government expands. Rarely is there an entitlement program that works very effectively. Always do entitlement programs expand government and with it taxes.

If the working man really wants government to help them, then they must insist on a government that functions while minimizing taxes not maximizing spending. It is nothing more than political snake oil salesmanship for politicians to proclaim that they will help workers by increasing spending on them. They won't. All they will do is eventually increase taxes on them. Every American, the working class especially, sees each dollar they have taxed up to four times. Instead of asking when is enough enough, they reach out for more handouts. This makes them even more dependent on government. If they insisted on an efficient government, like how it was founded, they wouldn't need handouts because they would have enough money to take care of themselves.


Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more. They are no longer called taxes, but "fees". Add taxes and fees together and the picture is even worse. Give me the old America ethic of hard work without government interference.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget that along with less government comes greater personal responsibility. I think responsibility is where this country is begining to fail- when things go bad we expect to be saved by government. If we are not, we complain that the government is not compassionate. I believe that compassion should not be a trait of our government because along with supposed compassion always comes bloated spending and taxation. Government should defend us, make roads, and not much else. Leave compassion to family, friends, churches and charities (which could do quite well if americans weren't taxed so much).