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Subject:  Re: Could your retirement survive this? Date:  5/9/2008  1:42 PM
Author:  stockmuncher100 Number:  13028 of 20035

The socialist/far-left view which is evidently the view held by Obama & co. is that the default taxation rate is or should be 100%.

That is, NONE of the money you earn (whether by working at a job, running a business, living off investment income, capital gains, or whatever) really belongs to you as an individual. Rather, you are only able to generate that income in the first place, because you are part of a society which allows you to do so.

It is very, very important for those of us who disagree with this perspective to clearly understand where Obama, and many of the far left here at TMF, are really coming from.

They are looking through the wrong end of the telescope. They don't look at a tax hike as taking more of your money away from you; they look at it simply as the government "giving you" less, but that's O.K., because it's all really the government's money anyway. You get to keep anything that you earn solely from the sufferance of the goverment, not because you have any right to keep it.

So the difference in opinion is something basic and qualitative. It's not about the particular utility of a specific tax increase here or a specific tax decrease there, at least not for the leftists. It's not about belt-tightening or tweaking inflows and outflows. It's something much more fundamental.

Moderate conservatives/capitalists believe, that if there have to be taxes, there should be some sort of logical relationship between the tax imposed and the benefit received, and also, there should be some conception that some sort of value is being received in exchange for the tax, whether to individuals or to society as a whole. Conservatives also believe that the negative consequences of taxation (such as impairing capital formation, etc.) have to be taken into account, as well as the overall tax burden imposed by the various layers of government. In general if there isn't a pretty clearly defined justification for a tax, with a clearly definable benefit, it's probably not going to create a net benefit to society, and certainly not to the taxed individual.

Obama and the far left don't see things that way at all. To the far left, a "tax" is a purely political plundering which a majority can get by legislative fiat from the so-called "rich", i.e., it's politically sold as something that will always be paid by "the other guy." This is the class warfare idea. There's absolutely no idea that the amount of benefit I should receive in exchange for my tax payments should be in some sort of rough proportionality to the amount of taxes I pay.

I remember a recent thread where goofy hoofy kept repeating the idea that government activity "creates wealth." Example: government's use of tax dollars to create NASA which led to various useful technology etc. Completely failing to realize how those "tax dollars" were generated in the first place.

Leftists don't go into a particular say lower-income community and s