One of my most vivid memories as a kid was watching a bill collector at our door talking with my mother. After some discussion, she handed him a few dollars, and he reached into his pocket and pulled out a thick roll of bills, adding our paltry contribution to his stash. I remember being amazed that any one person could walk around with that much money in his pocket. For all I knew, it could have been fifty one-dollar bills, but it looked like the gross national product of Finland to me, and I decided I wanted to have my pockets filled with a wad like that one day. What I don’t remember doing is hating the guy because we were scuffling for cash and he wasn’t. My parents had apparently neglected to teach me the joys of class envy. Well, what my parents forgot, present-day Liberals have remembered.
As I listen to debates over tax rates and income disparity and the haves, the have-nots and the have-not-enoughs , the common thread seems to be the notion there is only so much money on the table, and anyone who takes more than his “fair” share is making it impossible for others to get theirs. More and more, success is equated with greed and lack of empathy. I have a number of well-to-do (and downright wealthy) Left-leaning friends who share that view and spend their days lecturing the rest of us on why taxes should be higher and why the government should expend a greater effort to spread that wealth around. Apparently those accursed low tax rates (along with their high-priced accountants) force them to keep way too much of their income.
Here’s the suggestion I make to them, and I happily share it with everyone else who’s forced to keep too much of what they earn: simply give the government more. The tax rates are merely legal minimums, and available deductions are not required to be taken. In addition, any of us is welcome to make out a check to the U.S. Government, and someone will be happy to endorse it and deposit in the general fund (or at least apply it to the general deficit). There are, in fact, people who do that, though I’m pretty sure I don’t know any of them.
So Liberals of the world, unite! Figure out what your fair share comes to, and then send the rest to your government. It’ll be thrilled, you’ll be leading by example, and I’m sure our leaders will see that your largesse is re-routed to those who most deserve it. However, just as that bill collector didn’t pass any of his money to my mother, I don’t expect the higher-taxes crowd to jump at this idea.