Liberals Trying to Have It Both Ways: Taxes Edition
It is both common and properly accepted logic that taxing an action or item, whatever it may be, discourages that action or item.
This is actually something on which conservatives and liberals agree. The difference is that conservatives believe this to be true all of the time, while liberals seem to pick and choose when they apply this proven logic.
For example, consider the extreme hike in taxes on tobacco products in recent years. Liberal lawmakers have decided that cigarettes and tobacco are a societal burden, a problem that they wish to combat through Surgeon General’s warnings and skull and crossbones stickers.
Agree or disagree with the government’s role in controlling the health of its citizens, the legislators reached a logical conclusion on how to deal with the perceived tobacco problem. They raised taxes. Again and again they raised them, until eventually the tax on a box of cigarettes is more than the actual cost of the box itself.
Lawmakers knew they could get away with these levies because the majority of American’s don’t smoke or chew tobacco and most are even turned off by others doing so and therefore the bills wouldn’t be met with much public outcry. It was a politically safe and easy way to raise revenue and depress the consumption of something they deemed to hurt the country as a whole. In doing so liberals unknowingly revealed that they do understand, at least in part, how taxes affect the taxed and the economical impact this has.
They wanted to stop people from smoking, so they hiked taxes up higher than Barney Fife’s trouser line and implemented a slew of regulatory measures (for instance, one cannot smoke inside a building or place of business in Illinois anymore, even a bar) designed to eliminate both the affordability of smoking and the convenience.
Here’s the kicker: it worked. According to Gallup, the percentage of people that smoke cigarettes has dropped about 5% in the last decade. The increase in taxes on tobacco products diminished the consumption of those products, which diminished the purchase, which diminished the production. A clean, neat and telling lesson in Economics 101.
The tobacco taxes are an ideal exemplification of why liberals cannot be trusted nor believed when they advocate a raising in taxes and regulations as a path to prosperity in our society.
It is inarguable that the vast majority of job creators and providers are people with some deal of wealth, or are in the process of obtaining it through business growth, expansion, etc. The plan of the Obama Administration and the majority of liberal and left-leaning politicians is to create more revenue for the government by raising taxes on the well-to-do members of our society. Obama and his minions claim that just these small increases (not to mention numerous regulation additions) won’t hurt those whom they are intended for because they have so much wealth already.
The President, in a backwards way, is correct. Taxing a millionaire or billionaire a few higher percentage points won’t negatively affect the taxed in a way in which they can’t survive. What the President and his band of all-too trusting followers either misses or chooses to ignore, however, is that raising taxes on the rich requires that less money goes to the economy, less to their employees, less to their investments, and more to the government.
Raising taxes on the wealthy hurts the non-wealthy Obama is claiming to help through higher taxes in the first place.
Why does the left refuse apply the same logic – that taxes discourage commerce – to their income and corporate tax plans as they do their war on tobacco? Because more tax revenue for the government equals less revenue in the private sector. And it is quite clear that this administration’s goal is to relocate as much power as possible from the private sector to the public sector.
The more power garnished by the public sector means the private sector garners less. It’s a pendulum on which the American people lose as more of their interests are controlled by those who have pet projects and agendas rather than a vested interest in growing business. When a wealthy private sector man profits, it benefits those to whom he provides services, products, and employment. When the public-sector man (think Congress) profits, he does so on the backs of his constituents to their detriment, not benefit.
Liberals cannot have it both ways. Taxes either discourage or encourage prosperity and growth. The evidence, oodles of it, point a straight and sharp arrow right at “discourage.” Their own policy on tobacco proves it. Why do they lie about the rest?