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Subject:  Re: Could your retirement survive this? Date:  5/11/2008  9:34 AM
Author:  stockmuncher100 Number:  13077 of 22143

Is the far-right's view that it is YOUR money and the government has to ask you for it?

My understanding of the "right's" view [I know nothing of the "far right"] is that other than a few very limited functions which are inherently appropriate for government to be responsible for--e.g. national defense/military, perhaps also things like the interstate highway system--government should not even be asking for it. In particular, the "right" views taxation for redistributive purposes with grave suspicion. Compare "reistributive," i.e. simply taking wealth from one segment and giving it to another--transfer payments and the like--to the alternative notion of taxation as a means of pooling resources in order to more efficiently create a joint benefit, such as funding the military or a national highway system.

Clearly a pretty generic "conservative" point of view [if you want to call that "far right" you can] is that private property rights should be protected; government should be limited in its powers; the default assumption is that people are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor, and taxation is something of a "necessary evil"; and generally that the "power to tax is the power to destroy." So this can be distinguished from the far left view--indeed, you have adopted it as your view--that basically all our earnings do not really belong to us, the government's taxation policy is essentially unprincipled, nor should there ever be any expectation among the populace that our country should have a principled system of taxation. Essentially this was the point I was trying to make and you more than confirmed it. Indeed you went beyond what I even said, as I suggested that there was some philosophical [although wrong-headed] justification for the left's position. You don't even claim that there is any philosophical basis for the left's confiscatory view of tax policy; it's simply a matter of raw power.

Even though the government is the one with all the tanks and guns? Tanks and guns, by the way, that the far-right is always HAPPY to pay for?

Actually, you're quite incorrect. One of Bush's most ardent critics w/respect to military spending has been Ron Paul. He was undoubtedly regarded as the most "right wing" of the candidates. The difference between Paul's opposition to Bush's extravagant spending and military interventionism and that of the left is that Paul's opposition is based on principle. That principle is precisely that government can't, or shouldn't be able to, take your tax money to do any darn thing it wants, just because it might have the power to do so. Therefore Paul's opposition to the war must be respected, even if one might disagree with it, because it is based on principle. The left, as exemplified by yourself, opposes Bush and the war, but that opposition is not based on any well-defined principle, if any at all. That's why all the criticism by the left here at TMF is of the "I hate Bush/Worst Prez ever" ad hominem variety.

If indeed you truly believe that, because government has the raw power, then it can do anything it wants with your tax dollars, then you AM in fact are a supporter of the war in Iraq, because your Democratic Congress is spending your tax dollars on that war. And that's why the Democrats have not ended the war, as they surely have the power to do. They are not opposed to it for principle's sake; they mouth opposition to it for pure political expediency. The war is simply a tool with which they can attempt to win the next electoral cycle.

In what reality do you live that you don't see that the government has the power here?

The question which you don't address is, by what set of first principles does the body politic determine the extent of governmental power over that populace? The "right" [as you call it] believes in the fundamental notions of private property and limited governmental power. The left [as typified by you] believes that absolute power is an end in itself, and is its own justification. I don't believe the left's view is a principled view. I also don't believe the left's view is economically rational, so it's not a practical view, either. If people are overly-taxed they will lose incentives to be as productive as possible; similarly, if other people are under-taxed [i.e. receive transfer payments etc.] they also have a negative incentive to be maximally productive in an economic sense.

That is all I'm pointing out. You live in a nation that has a government. That government has instituted a tax system and you, as a citizen, are expected to pay into that tax system if you want to remain free to move about and enjoy the country.

This too is incorrect. There is no obligation that one pay taxes to have freedom of movement in our country. However there probably are such obligations in totalitarian states ["your papers!"]

Nothing I'm saying is either far-left or far-right.

Given that you pretty much echoed my presentation of the leftist point of view of taxation, I think you're incorrect. You're certainly no "centrist" in your political points of view on other issues. It's interesting that you're afraid of being labeled a "leftist," and wish to claim authority as a "centrist." The "center" of American politics is occupied by those bitter, bible-thumping gun-clinging white working-class folks in Pennsylvania who go down to the local bar for a shot and a beer [Hillary], then go bowling [Obama]. Do you feel you have anything in common with those folks? If not, then you're not in the "center."

It is simply the truth. Whether you like that truth or not is your affair. Either way, your opinion does not alter what actually IS.

But I simply pointed out my understanding of the left's view of taxation, and you confirmed what I had initially posted. In other words you agreed with my premise. So that means my opinion was a correct one.
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