The difference between a conservative and a progressive: the conservative believes the money you earn is yours, and the government should take only the minimum it needs to perform necessary tasks. The progressive believes the money is yours, but government knows best how it should be used and how much you really need.
I’ve sometimes asserted, only half-jokingly, that statists believe all of our income belongs to the government and that we should be grateful if we’re allowed to keep any slice of what we earn.
This is, at least in part, the mentality behind the “tax expenditure” concept, which creates a false equivalence between spending programs and provisions of the tax code that allow people to keep greater amounts of their own income.
Here’s how I characterized this moral blindness when criticizing a Washington Post columnist back in 2013.
Hiatt presumably thinks that the government’s decision not to impose double taxation is somehow akin to a giveaway. But that only makes sense if you assume that government has a preemptive claim to all private income. …Hiatt wants us the think that there’s no moral, ethical, or economic difference between giving person A $5,000 of other people’s money and person B being…
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